Mountain Biking or VTT (Vélo Tout Terrain)
The Val d'Anniviers offers 120km of marked mountain bike (VTT) trails. Zinal sits at the end of the valley at 1670m and so makes a perfect base for an alpine mountain biking holiday. There are five cable cars in the valley operating throughout the summer, which allow you to do rather more downhill than uphill, if that's what you prefer. The valley is surrounded by four 4000m peaks, always covered in snow, and the Matterhorn sits just behind them, so incredible views are guaranteed.
As well as offering some pretty demanding mountain biking terrain the Val d'Anniviers is a picturesque valley with some charming villages and many places of interest to visit. It is a particularly sunny valley in the summer, although the temperatures are moderated by the altitude and by pleasant mountain breezes. Temperatures average 16°C in June, 19°C in July and August, and 16°C in September, perfect for walking.
From Zinal there is a wide range of mountain bike tours to choose from, taking in mountain paths, forest trails, glacial lakes and alpine meadows.
There is a special mountain biking map published of the valley showing all the marked trails, as well as altitude charts for all the routes, locations of bike repair stations, watering holes and cable cars.
Bike Hire and storage
Mountain bikes can be hired in Zinal or Grimentz for CHF40 for the day or CHF 150 for the week. If you bring your own bikes, there is lockable storage for 5 bikes in the apartment cellar, and further communal lockable storage (accessible only by people resident in the apartment building) for several more bikes.
Some example routes in the valley include the following:
Cabane du Petit-Mountet (14km)
A 14km out and return climbing 500m to a mountain cabin at 2142m, with spectacular views of the Zinal glacier and the surrounding peaks of the Imperial Crown.
Descent from Sorebois (3km)
Take the cable car in Zinal up 800m and enjoy a steep descent back into the village.
Bella Tolla via St Luc (35km)
Cycle 10k down the east side of the valley to St Luc. Take the funicular up 500m to Tignoussa at 2180m and then climb to 2580m enjoying spectacular views. Lunch at one of the mountain restaurants and then return to Ayer and Zinal through the forests.
Sex de Miranda and Lac de Lona (35km)
Cycle through the forest from Mottec round to Grimentz and then up to the very impressive Moiry Dam and the blue glacial water of the Lac de Moiry at 2255m. Then climb 500m to the Sex de Miranda at 2792 following the trail of the Grand Raid Cristalp race and then on to the Lac de Lona. Spectacular views. Return by the same route, just a lot faster!
Vercorin et Cret du Midi (40km)
Through the forests to Grimentz and then on to Vercorin all 'more or less' following the contours, except for the drop into Vercorin. Take the cable car from Vercorin to the Cret du Midi at 2330m for lunch and amazing views. Then descend rapidly to 1700m and follow the same trail back through the trees to Grimentz and then Zinal. An 800m forest descent from Vercorin to Chalais with a lift back up, provides a interesting detour!
Lac Noir via Chandolin (40km)
Follow one of three routes from Zinal to Chandolin, the highest permanently inhabited village in Switzerland at 1960m. From there take the cable car up to 2470m for lunch at Grande Remointze and spectacular views and then a short ride on to Lac Noir. Enjoy the descent back down to St Luc through the trees and then back along the valley side to Ayer and Zinal.
Downhill at Grimentz (16km)
Cycle 6km through the trees to Grimentz, take the cable car up to Bendolla at 2130m and enjoy the 500m downhill run back into Grimentz.
Grimentz is the finish of a serious mountain bike race held in August each year called the Grand Raid Cristalp. There are three courses starting in Evolène 41km, Hérémence 68k and Verbier 121k, all involving some serious climbs. Take your pick!
There is also a good bus service within the valley allowing you to cycle non circular routes and take the bus home.
OTHER SUMMER ACTIVITIES
In summer, Zinal is also a perfect base for Mountain walking, Rock Climbing, and Mountaineering. In Zinal there is a wildlife observation point, tennis courts, an indoor swimming pool, mini golf, a Tyrollean zip wire, and tandem paragliding or hang gliding flights. In the valley there is also an outdoor swimming pool, bungee jumping, canyoning, via ferrata and fishing. A gym, sauna, massage and beauty treatments are also available.
For reservations text Jule on 00447515898232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Aiglon Alpine: High Mountain Adventure,
Zinal Switzerland: Skiing