The Val d'Anniviers is a stunning Swiss valley surrounded by peaks over 4,000m high, which is home to a chain of authentic mountain villages. All of these offer sublime panoramic views and a unique atmosphere and architecture. Chandolin has the largest ski area and widest choice of slopes, whilst Vercorin is an oasis of peace and quiet adapted to provide the most relaxed of ski holidays. Zinal is situated below a glacier and is the last village in the valley, offering the best choice of activities.
For decades the valley has been something of an Alpine secret, however with the opening of Switzerland’s third longest cable car, linking the resorts of Grimentz and Zinal, Val d’Anniviers is gaining well-deserved attention in the skiing community. There are still a limited number of skiers here which is a massive part of its appeal, as you can enjoy a truly authentic and somewhat nostalgic skiing experience. Most of the villages have also retained their unspoilt rustic charm, overall making for a refreshing change from other high-speed, ultra-modern resorts.
Resort Altitude: 1,370m
Resort Skiing: 3,025m
Total Ski Area: 215km
Blue Runs: 59km
Red Runs: 112km
Black Runs: 44km
The five resorts in the valley share a total of 215km of pristine slopes served by 42 ski lifts, providing an endless choice for winter sports fanatics. The highest resorts extend up to an altitude of 3,025m around the connected St. Luc / Chandolin area, whilst Vercorin provides a smaller separate area with plenty of good snow. The valley is well-noted for its off-piste territory, and it is recommended to get a guide to best explore the terrain.
A single lift pass will provide you with access to all four ski areas within Val d'Annivers; Grimentz, St. Luc / Chandolin, Vercorin and Zinal. The skiing on offer is sublime, ranging from long, cruising, sunny runs for intermediates which are in excellent condition thanks to the high altitude; to a variety of 40 to 45-degree couloirs which advanced skiers will flock to. Grimentz also provides fantastic off-piste territory for advanced skiers, such as a multitude of lower down tree runs.
The Val d'Anniviers area boasts three terrain parks which will thrill snowboarders. The Major Park of Vercorin is particularly notable for its varied and extensive set up. In addition to this, there is access to wide open slopes ranging from beginner to advanced, across multiple valleys, which provides fantastic territory for beginners and intermediates alike. Advanced boarders can head to the Grimentz-Zinal free-ride zone called the Gardes de Bordon for 100 hectares of steep slopes coated in powder.
Each of the villages in the Val d'Anniviers area offer ski schools which provide private or group lessons for skiers or boarders of all abilities. The area is also famed for its off-piste guides, who are able to help visitors safely explore the region's vast backcountry and freeride territory.
The children's crèches and snow gardens are based at the top of the Bendolla ski slopes, which works as a convenient meeting place for parents and families. Children's ski lift and magic carpets will ensure that they will enjoy their first experiences on the snow and can progress to the resort's more challenging terrain after mastering the basics.
Val d'Anniviers offers a wide range of mountain restaurants which will provide rustic and brilliantly comforting local fayre. L'Etable du Marais in Grimentz is well known for its delicious rösti, whilst Cabane Illhorn in Chandolin serves up huge portions of regional favourites such as polenta and divine fruit tarts. Down in the towns you will find everything from the local crêpes and pâtisseries at La Versache in Zinal to the famous Café de Paris rib steak at Le Grand Chalet Favre in St. Luc.
Val d'Anniviers has a relatively quiet après scene, which offers a nice range of friendly, laid-back bars to relax in after a long and rewarding day on the mountain. A popular spot at the bottom of the slopes in Grimentz is Chez Florioz, which serves good food and has a lively atmosphere in the late afternoon. For a drink later on, head to La Godille in Verconin or Disco Shaddock in Grimentz which is open from 10pm until 4am.
Val d'Anniviers offers a range of alternative winter sport activities including toboggan runs, snow-tubing, hiking routes accessible via foot or snowshoes and a cross-country skiing area. Off the slopes, visitors to the town can enjoy a range of natural landscapes including the amazing cave Zinal Glacier and the Finges Natural Park, as well as Zinal's indoor pool and spa complex which offers a wellness spa room with hammam, sauna and Jacuzzi.