Veysonnaz, located at about 1400 m, is 13 kilometres by road from Sion, the capital of the canton of Valais. Far below is the broad Rhone valley, and opposite, the northern chain of the Valais Alps, with the wide glaciers of the Plaine Morte. Veysonnaz combines a modern tourist infrastructure with its original village features and the authentic way of life of the upland and alpine economy. Taking the cows up the mountain in June and the (bloodless) cow fights between the naturally combative Eringer (Hérens) cows of the Valais are traditions that are still alive and well here.
Veysonnaz is probably best known as a ski resort, as it is part of the largest ski area in Switzerland. The dry, cold climate means that snow conditions are generally very good, and there are lots of snow cannons just in case nature doesn't provide sufficient snow for skiing. The main reason to visit Veysonnaz in winter is for downhill skiing, though there are other activities (winter walking, Nordic skiing, tubing) available too. The ski season starts in mid-December and runs through to mid-April. During this period the resort is at its busiest, though it still retains its small, peaceful resort charm.Skiing in Verbier is likely to come with a complimentary headache. Whether alcohol induced or through calculating how you’ve spent all your Swiss Francs in your first bar, packing aspirin seems a fair compromise for the beautiful conditions the resort is so famous for.
But if this is just too bitter pill to swallow, then pleasure without the pain is only an hour away in Veysonnaz. Included in the Four Vallées ski pass, which links Nendaz, Thyon and Verbier, from Veysonnaz there is 400km of world class piste at your fingertips.
Veysonnaz resembles a typical commuter town: close enough to get in the mix of things, but far enough to escape the crowds. The low-key après-ski keeps the late night noise pollution to a minimum, but can still accommodate those happier lubricating their aching muscles in the handful of pubs such as La Barlouca or the Vague a l’aime.
It’s become a skiing cliché, but Veysonnaz really can provide for all abilities. The slopes are a great place to teach a nervous ski novice, but also provide substantial challenges for a ten-year carver and off piste beast to really play on. From the motorway blues of Trabanta, beginners can set their sights on the looming Etherolla black run, an ambitious goal.
Sunshine is guaranteed over 300 days of the year. In summer, the area is idyllic for a number of activities, all of which provide endless opportunities to take in the amazing scenery of both Veysonnaz and the surrounding Valais region.
• Hiking/Walking: Over 300 km of well marked routes
• Mountain Biking: 70 km terrain broken into 5 different routes
• Golf: The area boasts 6 courses
• Horse riding
Holidaying during the summer months also provides the opportunity to enjoy some real Swiss traditions. For example, there is the yearly ritual of the Swiss farmers moving their cattle to graze in higher pastures. Also, by attending one of the 'Valais evenings,' you can take part in activities such as cellar-visits, bread-making, cheese-making, and fruit-picking.