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Decanter travel guide: Valais, Switzerland

From impossibly picturesque and steep vineyards, the wines from this Alpine canton are booming in quality, discovers Sue Style. And are perfect to enjoy with raclette, see our Valais travel guide here - first published in the Decanter January 2014 issue.

Valais: Where to stay, shop, eat and relax


Maya Guesthouse, Nax
Unique, warmly welcoming, eight-bedroom ecohotel on a sunny plateau above Sion, built from straw bales, wood, glass and stone. Dine seated on chairs from recycled wine barrel staves at the huge communal oak refectory table, as the sun sinks behind the Alps across the valley. maya-guesthouse.ch

La Grande Maison, Savièse/ Chandolin
Imposing sunflower-yellow village house built in 1812, and transformed five years ago into a stylish, quirky B&B. Mediterranean- French-Swiss food is served in the atmospheric barrel-vaulted dining room in winter, andon the terrace(s) in summer. lagrandemaison.ch

LeCrans Hotel & Spa, Plans Mayens/Crans-Montana
Understated luxury at this 14-room, chalet-style hotel. Restaurant with stellar wine list, wine bar and a table d’hôte in the kitchen where you can dine while watching chef Pierre Crepaud and his brigade in action. lecrans.com

Castel de Daval, Sierre
Delicious, turreted, red-shuttered B&B in the vineyards above Sierre owned by wine growers Monique and Bertrand Caloz- Evequoz. A glass of house wine is offered on arrival and you can taste the domaine’s full range next door. collinededaval.ch


Les Alpes, Orsières
The wow factor is guaranteed at this outstanding table close to Verbier. Good- looking, big-flavoured food from chef Samuel Destaing, with spotlight on a different Valais producer every month, whose wines are offered by the glass. lesalpes.jimdo.com

Château de Villa, Sierre
Cosy, wood-panelled restaurant inside the 16th-century château serving typical Valaisan specialities (terrific raclette tasting menu and fondue) and a good range of local wines. chateaudevilla.ch

Restaurant Didier de Courten, Sierre
Star chef Didier de Courten combines a gourmet restaurant, the Atelier Gourmand brasserie and L’Ampelos wine bar under one roof at the Hotel Terminus, close to the station. Classy food at every level and excellent wine selection, big on the Valais. hotel-terminus.ch


Oenothèque, Sierre
Some 600 wines from 102 different local domaines are offered for sampling and purchase, with wines from four producers showcased each week and available by the glass – a crash course in the Valais’ finest. chateaudevilla.ch

Salon Vinea, Sierre
Every year in early September, Vinea, a Swiss-wide association that stages wine competitions and publishes an annual guide, hosts the Salon des Vins Suisses. This wine fair offers a great opportunity to wander the streets of the old town browsing the full range of Swiss wines. vinea.ch

Marché de la Vieille Ville, Sion
Locavore heaven at Sion’s farmers’ market every Friday morning in the old town, come rain or come shine: vegetables, fruit, raclette and alp cheeses, air-dried meats, sausages, bread baked in portable wood-fired ovens, picnic provisions and take-home treats.

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