Crystal-clear mountain air, crunchy snow, sunshine from morning till evening and a clear view of the most beautiful 4,000-meter (13,000-foot) peaks of Valais - welcome to Riederalp, Bettmeralp and Fiesch- Eggishorn. Welcome to the Aletsch Arena! Even the natives are left speechless at the beauty of many winter days here, when the deep snow on the Aletsch plateau glows in radiant sunlight and the blue sky seems close enough to touch.The trip by aerial cable car takes between seven and ten minutes from the easily accessible valley communities of Mörel, Betten Talstation or Fiesch to the magical winter scenery. Like the car, everyday cares, stress, hustle and bustle stay behind in the valley. Vacation starts as soon as you alight from the cableway at the Riederalp, Bettmeralp or Fiescheralp mountain stations. Traditional Valaisian houses as well as contemporary chalets and hotels adapted to the regional style lend the three genuine Alpine villages a pristine charm. Snow-covered streets on which you'll find only pedestrians, skiers, wooden sleds, groomers or skidoos swallow up any unnecessary noise. The largely pristine mountain world casts a spell of tranquility and peace.
From each of the three villages on the sunny plateau situated high above the Rhone Valley between 1,925 and 2,222 meters (6,316-7,290 feet) above sea level, you have a breathtaking view of the most beautiful 4,000-meter (13,000-foot) peaks in Switzerland - free of charge. Towards the south, the Matterhorn towers majestically, nestled between Weisshorn and the Mischabel Group with the Dom. And if you still want something more: The vista points at Moosfluh and Bettmerhorn, afford you a unique view of the Valais Alps. Looking north from the Eggishorn, you can enjoy an exceptional panorama of the Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau, Wannenhorn and Finsteraarhorn mountains. From all three vista points you'll have a fabulous view of the 23 kilometer (14 mile) long Aletsch Glacier, the longest ice flow in the Alps and the heart of the Swiss Alps' Jungfrau-Aletsch UNESCO World Heritage Site.
|Length of ski slopes||104km|
|Number of ski slopes||53|
On the Aletsch Arena plateau, which opens to the south and southwest, there are up to 3000 hours of sun per year. And every winter enthusiast loves the fact that in addition to the altitude, state-of-the-art snowmaking facilities operated exclusively with natural resources ensure that snow is guaranteed from December to the end of April even in winters with little precipitation.
Riederalp, Bettmeralp, Fiescheralp - three stations, one skiing area with 35 state-of-the-art lifts, linked by 104 kilometers (64 miles) of outstandingly groomed pistes, including beginners' slopes, snow parks, half- pipes and floodlit night runs as well. Those who are looking for bigger challenges can get their adrenalin rush on the three free-rider pistes in Fiescheralp. By the way, the ski instructors know several great off-piste downhill runs from Eggishorn to and across the Aletsch Glacier. But what every skier and snowboarder in the Aletsch Arena particularly values: carrying your skis is a no-no. Out of your front door and straight onto the ski slopes.
It's idyllic, especially for children. Family-friendliness is a top priority in the Aletsch Arena. Day nurseries, babysitting services and rental of children's items can be arranged through the local tourist offices. In the "Kindersonnenland" playground near the "Maria zum Schnee" chapel in Bettmeralp, a safe sledding hill with colorful foam rubber figures offers the little ones plenty of fun and games. There is a children's entertainment program every weekday afternoon in Riederalp.
Get started early: The Swiss snow sports schools familiarize children as young as two and a half with skis in taster courses. For children three years of age and older, there are group lessons in the colorful, child- friendly snow gardens. Older kids can also improve their skills in six different classes with a wide variety of playful ideas, and gather racing experience in the weekly ski races. In the Aletsch Arena, every talent is nurtured, whether in adult courses, private lessons or snowboarding lessons.
The impressive winter world can also be experienced far away from the madding crowds, in solitude and quiet. Try the 72 kilometers (44.7 miles) of marked winter hiking trails, for example. The trail along the ridge, which takes you from Moosfluh to Riederfurka along the Aletsch Glacier, is known as one of the most beautiful high mountain hiking trails in the Alps. On the Riederalp-Bettmeralp-Fiescheralp panorama trail, with a subsequent aerial cable car trip to the Eggishorn (2,869 meters/9,413 feet high), winter walkers will see the Aletsch plateau in all its splendor and can enjoy the unique view of the entire Aletsch Glacier.
Those who prefer to make tracks can linger on the small but exquisite cross-country run around the lake known as Bettmersee or on the run at the golf course in Riederalp. You can also do your rounds on the natural ice rink in Bettmeralp. You can experience the pristine winter scenery with particular intensity on the 3-kilometer (1.9 mile) snowshoe trail between Bettmeralp and Riederalp or on a guided tour in the Aletsch Forest, which is protected by Pro Natura. The 13-kilometer (8-mile) sledding run from Fiescheralp down to Lax in the valley offers sheer action.
Winter vacation in the Aletsch Arena is also a time to pamper yourself. You can really relax in style in the brine bath in Breiten, the numerous wellness oases of the hotels, or at the sports centers. The numerous restaurants in the area will ensure your culinary well-being. Whether they offer local specialties, typical Swiss dishes or international cuisine, the restaurants are known for their good quality and fair prices.