Aletsch Arena in summer

Aletsch Arena

Those who choose to spend the summer in the Canton of Valais have many options among the locations present and one of these is the Aletsch Arena, whose name is linked to the Aletsch Glacier, the largest in the entire European continent. The surrounding landscape that revolves around it is very luxuriant, showing itself green among flowery pastures, mountain pastures and characteristic villages such as Fiescherelp, Riederalp and Bettmeralp.

To bring these together three picturesque villages of the Aletsch Arena it is their being car free, or rather closed to car traffic, in order to preserve the healthiness of the air and the territory in general.

Proof of the beauty of this location is the recognition of the Aletsch Arena region as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the adjacent Jungfrau region, characterized by the iconic Mönch, Jungfrau and Eiger mountains.

Aletsch Glacier

aletsch glacier

The Aletsch it is the heart of this Swiss tourist area. It is considered the deepest glacier, longer and generally wider than the Alpine arc and in general of all Europe: it is in fact about 120 Km² (equal to more than 800 football fields) and extends, with its impressive amount of ice, between the canton of Bern and the canton of Valais.

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The name of the glacier is linked to Mount Aletschhorn which, like the mountain triad of the Jungfrau region (Jungfrau, Eiger and Mönch), originates from the glacial basin, like most of the peaks of the Bernese Oberland.

Consider that the offshoots of the Aletsch Glacier almost reach the valley and its waters do nothing but feed the Rhone River, passing through the Gola della Massa.

Looking at the Aletsch Glacier, it appears to be formed from a single mass of ice but is actually made up of three distinct parts, which come together at a point called Konkordiaplatz.

It was a certain JF Hardy who named it in honor of the famous Parisian square of Place de la Concorde, considering the two places of equal beauty, with the difference that the square is the work of human genius while the Aletsc glacier is the fruit of Mother Nature . The mountain range that surrounds it like a crown is composed of peaks that almost reach 4000 m. of height, including the Eiger, the Jungfrau and the Mönch.

Alpine villages

Kapelle Maria zum Schnee Bettmeralp Switzerland

The Aletsch Arena is an area that has a lot to offer to families, young people and sports enthusiasts, to spend a summer holiday full of fun, nature and complete relaxation.

This area of ​​the canton of Valais offers a lot to those who practice hand sports like mountain biking or who prefer to relax by doing yoga in the woods or on the Bettmersee lake at 2006 m. of height.

But they are excursions to attract more visitors to the Aletsch Arena: they are in fact ben you are the cable cars, moreover technological and modern, which allow everyone to start from Rhone Valley and reach the Aletsch region, with the associated tourist resorts: in this way, excursions to some of the most beautiful vantage points with a view of the Aletsch glacier can be organized.

At the Aletsch Arena there are also three villages unreachable by car and absolutely car-free, where stillness and silence dominate: no cars, therefore, but the fact remains that you can get around the villages on board electric vehicles, bicycles or golf cars.

Fiescher alp

One such village is Fiescher alp , village located at 2212 m. of height in the shadow of the Eggishorn. You can get to Fiescheralp by cable car or by walking along a 9 km Herrenweg path that starts from Bettmeralp: you pass the Möriken chalet, climb towards Wurzenbord and then, crossing pastures and green pastures, you pass the slopes of Laxeralp and Martisbergeralp until you get to the village.

Bettmeralp

Also Bettmeralp it is car-free and can be reached by cable car: it is located on a spectacular natural terrace kissed by the sun almost all year round, offering a spectacular view of the Rhone Valley, the Dom, the Corno Bianco and the pyramidal Matterhorn.

It enjoys the "Families Welcome" label and everyone, young and old, will be able to have fun on the scooter and downhill slopes.

Riederalp

Then there's the other car-free suburb and it's about Riederalp, also with the “Welcome Families” brand: it hosts one of the highest golf courses in Europe and the very interesting Alpine Museum.

This is located inside the Nagulschbalmu hut dating back to 1606 and is dedicated to the peasant life that characterized the Aletsch Arena in the past.

Aletsch Forest

Next to Villa Cassel is located Aletschwal, Aletsch forest, declared a protected oasis in 1933: full of stone pines, it is very reminiscent of the Fangorn Forest of Tolkenian memory, with the twisted roots that emerge from the undergrowth, the lichens hanging from the branches and the fallen trees that block the passage.

Already at the end of September it is possible to enter the Aletsch Forest and, with a little luck, hear the bellowing of the male deer. Excursions are usually organized at thesunrise or sunset and there is no greater emotion than hearing these verses or even seeing two male deer challenging each other for supremacy of the territory.

What to do and what to see

They are many excursions can be organized at the Aletsch Arena, starting with those that lead to visit the glacier: a mountain guide is enough to approach the Aletsch, with its crystalline nuances, the pools of clear water and the undulating shape of the glacier.

At Mt Eggishorn, at 2926 m. high, there is a wonderful panoramic point from which to best observe the glacier: from here you can perfectly perceive the three icy blocks that make it up, with the greyish tongues formed by the debris.

Equally enchanting is the panoramic point of Bettmerhorn, from which the path leading to Moosfluh and Hohfluh also starts: the route in summer is particularly beautiful, among alpine lakes, mountain pines and wonderful views of the glacier.

From Bettmerhorn station the Glacier Path: you pass by the Grande Gufer and descend to Rote Chumma, with a gentle breeze that comes from the same glacier which is pleasant in summer during the excursion. We proceed to the time of Märjelen lake until you reach a tunnel that leads straight to the Tälligrat, from which you descend to Fiescheralp.

Villa Cassel

villa cassal

In Riederalp you will find the unmissable Villa Cassel, a construction that catches the eye in its particular style that does not match the constructions of the Aletsch Arena.

Villa Cassel houses a small museum dedicated to the Aletsch glacier and climate change. The villa itself has been restored by Pro Natura in full respect of the environment, using only clean energy. The association also organizes courses and excursions in the forest, perhaps with the aim of tracking down some deer, a marmot or some chamois.

Gorge of Massa

One of the most impressive places in the Aletsch Arena is the Gorge of Massa, born following the slow geological activity of the Aletsch, with monumental masses of ice that have eroded the rock over the centuries. There Gola della Massa is 6,5 km long and is crossed by a suspension bridge at 80 m. high: crossing this canyon on this footbridge is an indescribable emotion that everyone must experience during a summer holiday at the Aletsch Arena.

The more adventurous can also go canyoning in the gorge with excursions organized by the guides, complete with helmet and neoprene suit: this experience involves a little climbing on the rocks and a descent to the heart of the cave.
A recommended excursion is then the one that leads to a visit to the nearby Valley of Binn, given the presence of splendid crystalline lakes surrounded by stones, ice, pastures and marshes.

Lakes

Il Halsesee lake stands for example in the heart of one of the most important peat bogs in Switzerland, while the lake Schaplersee it stands out in verdant mountain pastures.

Also worth a visit Geisspfad lake located at 2400 m. high, surrounded by stony ground and the Grengiols lake, located on a natural terrace overlooking the Saflisch Valley.

Valley of Binn

The Binntal valley is famous for its mineral wealth, so much so that the tourist office organizes many excursions for children in search of these treasures. In this regard, a visit to the Binn Regional Museum, located inside the Ofenhorn Hotel: inside there is a section dedicated to mineralogy and one to archeology.

You cannot leave the Binntal without visiting its most beautiful centre, namely Appoint, nicknamed "The village of music" thanks to the rich concert season that animates the village every summer.

The historic heart of this town sees the presence of ancient buildings such as the beautifully frescoed Tellnhaus with images relating to the famous William Tell. Equally beautiful are the Jost Sigristen house and the Kapuzinerhaus.

Mountain passes

Another excursion to do is the Tour of the Three Passes which, via the Furka Pass, the Susten Pass and the Grimsel Pass, connects Gletsch in the Canton of Valais and Andermatt in the Canton of Uri. You can use the steam train for an experience of times gone by, or proceed in stages on foot.

It starts from Reusstal valley and, through the Schöllennen Gorge and the Ursera Valley, you arrive at the Furka Pass. Then proceed towards the village of Tiefenbach and pass a pass at 2431 m. high, with a view of the Vrsar Valley and the Gotthard massif.

At the foot of the Furka pass are the Grand Hotels Glacier du Rhônw, where you can breathe the typical atmosphere of the XNUMXth century and a small station of the old Furka steam train.

Holidays in the Aletsch Arena

bettmeralp

A summer holiday at the Aletsch Arena cannot be reduced to just a few days because there are many things to do and see in the area. Visiting the Aletsch glacier is not particularly demanding, but it certainly does not take place in a few hours, it requires participation in excursions of at least a full day or more.

For this reason, to enjoy a fully satisfying holiday at the Aletsch Arena, you need at least 2 weeks: this period of time is also ideal for families who want to satisfy even the needs of the little ones without giving up their comforts and for sportsmen who want to cultivate their passions, without lacking the time to explore the area.

Kitchen

Discovering a new location also means knowing his gastronomic heritage e Aletsch Arena, like the canton of Valais in general, has a very attractive offer. There is therefore nothing better than resting at the table, after tiring excursions, tasting PDO delicacies such as Black Rye Bread from Valais, Raclette, Mund Saffron, Dried Meat and Coraline wine.

Hotel

With regard to accommodation, the offer is very high and complete: in fact, there are historic luxury hotels, family-run pensions and holiday homes, not to mention that it is also possible to stay in mountain chalets, enjoying the typical surrounding alpine landscape.

At Aletsch Arena it is possible to sleep both in structures immersed in the nature of the Canton of Valais and in the three car-free villages of Riederalp, Bettmeralp and Fiescheralp: although they are small in size, there is no shortage of hotels, restaurants, swimming pools and golf courses, to meet to the needs of every type of tourist.

Summer holidays Aletsch Arena

If you are considering a summer holiday in Aletsch Arena, below you can find some useful links to find hotels and holiday apartments.

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