Zinal is an excellent base for a mountain walking holiday. The valley is surrounded by four 4000m peaks, always covered in snow, and the Matterhorn sits just behind them, so incredible views are guaranteed. The Val d'Anniviers, which Zinal sits at the end of at 1670m, 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.
The valley is relatively quiet and it has a rich variety of flowers. Many different plant species grow here, including orchids, pasque flowers, saxifrages and bellflowers. Wildlife includes birds of prey, marmots, deer and chamois.
From Zinal there is a wide range of walks to choose from, taking in mountain paths, forest trails, glacial lakes and alpine meadows. There are twenty or so marked trails starting in Zinal, ranging from one hour strolls in the valley to six hour treks, climbing up as much as 1500m to one of the mountain huts near the glaciers at the top of the valley.
For the more adventurous, five mountain huts all offer simple overnight accommodation allowing you to embark upon longer walks deeper into the mountains, without having to carry too much gear. The huts are at a range of altitudes from 2200m to 3300m.
Nearby Grimentz, which is only 10 minutes away by bus offers a further twenty marked trails.
The cable cars in Zinal and Grimentz run from mid June to the end of September, taking you up 800m and 600m respectively, reducing the amount of uphill walking you have to do.
There is also a good bus service within the valley allowing you to walk non circular routes and take the bus home. Walking down the valley from Zinal brings you to a number of lovely mountain villages, including Vissoie, St Luc, St Jean, Chandolin and Vercorin, all with their own unique features, and assorted watering holes with a bus back home at the end of the day
Also in the valley you will find a copper mine, a mountain observatory, fire places for picnics and museums, all of which can be incorporated into panoramic walks.
OTHER SUMMER ACTIVITIES
In summer, Zinal is also a perfect base for Mountain Biking, 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.
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Aiglon Alpine: High Mountain Adventure,
Zinal Switzerland: Skiing