Fiesch, Fiescheralp, Eggishorn

 

Fiesch is a village in the Swiss Rhone Valley, just at the entrance to the Fiescher Valley in the Upper Goms Valley. Fiesch itself is at an altitude of 1,050 metres (3,444 feet) and is where you get the cable car for Fiescheralp and Eggishorn (2,927 metres / 9,603 feet). From the summit of the Eggishorn you have a panoramic view over the Aletsch Glacier, at 23 km (14.3 miles) the largest in the Alps. From there you can also see some of the most famous mountain peaks in the world: the Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau and Matterhorn.

The whole Fiesch area is perfect for outdoor activities in winter and summer. There are over 99 km (61.5 miles) of ski slopes offering opportunities for skiing at all levels of ability, including floodlit night runs and off-piste skiing. There are just as many cross-country ski routes too, and a 13 km (8 mile) toboggan run from Fiescheralp down to Lax. In both winter and summer you can hike on well-maintained trails in this UNESCO natural World Heritage Site. In summer there is also mountain biking and climbing, glacier crossing and paragliding. One of the most popular walks is to take the cable car up to the Eggishorn and walk down via the Märjelensee, a small lake on the eastern side of the Aletsch Glacier, which takes about 4 hours.

Within Fiesch itself there are various sports and leisure facilities including an indoor swimming pool, an outdoor climbing wall and sports halls. This village is officially a family friendly resort and apart from outdoor sports offers farm visits, a wildlife park and themed trails, such as the fantasy stories of dwarves complete with carved wooden statues along the way.

Domestic and native wild animals live at the Aletsch Wildlife Park (open 365 days a year), and some can be fed and petted. Pony rides are also on offer. For the more adventurous, the Swiss Adventureparks Fiesch (open daily in July and August – check with Swiss Seilpark Fiesch for other months) has a tree top pathway and rope slide which are available to wheelchair users too. There is rafting on the Rhone, and looking at crystals in the Binn Valley. In the old part of Fiesch village you can see the typical weathered houses of the Valais.

Where to stay in Fiesch
The 3 star Berg Hotel Derby is close to the River Rhone and only a five minute walk from the village centre. Some rooms in this traditional “Swiss Chalet” style hotel have balconies with mountain views. For a skiing base, try the 2 star Alpenlodge Kühboden, situated right by the Fiescheralp Cable Car Station. Its simple ensuite rooms have TV and free wifi. There is a bar and music lounge, and a common room with TV. Breakfast is available. For something a bit more luxurious in a fantastic location out of town (4.6 miles / 7.4km) there is the 4 star Hotel Castle, Blitzingen, with its spa and award-winning restaurant. The hotel is at 1,350 metres (4,429 feet) and all rooms have balconies with views of the Valais Alps.

Fiescheralp is 2,212 metres (7,257 feet) above sea level, on the car-free Aletsch plateau. This is the place for paragliding, and exponents flock here from all parts of the world. Also one of the most famous glacial lakes, the Märjelen, is accessible by hiking trail from here. The other main activities are climbing, mountain biking and skiing. The cable cars operate in summer with a variety of tickets to enable hikers to choose their walk.
The 3 star Christania hotel close to Fiesch-Fiescheralp offers a peaceful atmosphere surrounded by an idyllic landscape. As an alternative there are many one and two bedroom apartments less than a mile (1k m) from Fiesch-Fiescheralp. An example is the 3-star, 3 storey chalet Apartment Dani in a quiet, sunny position in the centre of Ernen, from where there is a free ski bus. There is a youth hostel in Fiesch and a 30,000 square metre camp site, Camping Eggishorn.

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