2014/15 New year skiing in the Alps
The terrace of Nendaz, stretching from 1300 m to 1400 m in altitude, commands a fantastic view of the Bernese, Valais and Vaud Alps. A modern holiday resort has grown up all around the centre of this delightful old Valais village with its traditional timber houses, barns and grain stores. Siviez, eight kilometres to the south in the Nendaz valley, also belongs to this community. It is sometimes also called ‘Super Nendaz’ and cableways run from here to Mont Fort, at 3330 m the highest peak of the ‘Les 4 Vallées’ ski resort.
Nendaz offers a richly varied children’s programme and has been awarded the ‘Families Welcome’ seal of quality. There are child-minding facilities for toddlers; toy hire; craft programmes; footpaths suitable for pushchairs; and playgrounds: absolutely everything for 'smaller visitors'.
Around Nendaz there are approximately 250 kilometres of hiking trails, a network of paths running from the orchards in the valley up to the high alps. A particular highlight is the excursion by cableway or mountain bike to the glacier terrain on Mont Fort, with its expansive view of 20 four-thousand-metre peaks, including the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc.
Owing to the dry climate of the Valais, farmers built a system of irrigation channels across the region centuries ago. Nendaz has the biggest network of these ‘suonen’, some of which are still used, and 98 km of footpath now run along 8 of them. As one of the biggest raspberry and apricot growing areas in Switzerland, Nendaz has dedicated one of the local themed trails to fruit growing. There is also a hike to some of the biggest larch trees in Europe on the Balavaux Alp (Isérables) or, if you have a taste for the exotic, take a stroll through the Japanese Garden.
Nendaz lies in the broad ‘Four Valleys’ ski region (Verbier, Veysonnaz, Nendaz, La Tsoumaz & Thyon) with 92 transport facilities and 412 km of pistes. The best access to the railways is from Siviez. There are also off-piste activities with 12 km of cross-country ski trails, 100 km of winter hiking trails and 40 km of showshoe tracks.