he Valais is a slender, 93-mile long Rhone valley located in southwest Switzerland between Lake Geneva and the Rhone Glacier. Switzerland’s third-largest canton, it is ringed around by fifty-one mountains that are over 13,000 feet high (4,000 meters), among them the famous Matterhorn and the Dufourspitz which is the highest point in Switzerland. With the Bernese Alps in the north and the Valaisan Alps in the south, this valley enjoys a mild, sunny climate, with low rainfall in summer and plentiful snow in winter. The two cultural areas of the canton are determined by language: the German-speaking Upper Valais and the French-speaking Lower Valais.
This is a place of contrasts, with glaciers offset by bubbling thermal springs, magnificent sweeping vistas offset by secluded little valleys, and famous resorts offset by quiet little cabins and sleepy villages. The canton of Valais is also the largest producer of fine Swiss wines.
Zermatt is here, polished and sophisticated, a playground for the rich and famous. And Ovronnaz is here, also, not so polished or sophisticated, the perfect place for a holiday that doesn’t require you to look and act as though you would be in the society pages tomorrow. And if you have children with you, you couldn’t have come to a better place!
In the winter there is alpine and cross-country skiing, snow-boarding, snow-racquettes, and anything else you can think of regarding snow and sports. There is a children’s lift in the village and two ski centers on its outskirts.
In the summer there is hiking, tennis, horseback riding, fishing, para-gliding, mountain biking and more. There are lovely side valleys to explore, with flower-strewn meadows, bubbling streams, and pine-scented forests. There is also an excellent golf course available if you need to get in a game or two. It is a remarkably beautiful place.
And all year round there are the bubbling thermal pools and the assorted spas that attend them.
Only about 100 miles from the Geneva airport, you have several options when it comes to getting to Ovronnaz. By car you take the highway Martigny-Sion- exit at Riddes, then follow the signs to Leytron-Ovronnaz. By train you go to the mainline station of Sion (the canton’s capital), from where you can then take a taxi to Ovronnaz, or there is a regular bus connection from Sion to Ovronnaz.
Located within the Thermal Centre of Ovronnaz is Les Thermalies, an RCI-affiliated timeshare resort sitting on a terrace above the valley with spectacular views over the valley and the Alps. There are studios, 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments that are linked by glassed-in heated galleries, so even on the coldest days you need not get the slightest chill moving around within the resort. All units feature a kitchen where guests can prepare their own meals and dishwashers can be found in the larger apartments, to take care of cleaning up afterwards. The resort also has restaurants, a bar, shopping, indoor pool and a wellness centre for your convenience.
A variety of spa treatments are available, including a large choice of therapies, massages, anti-stress and beauty treatments. Also available : hammam, sauna, gym fitness area, indoor and outdoor thermal pools and a beautiful terrace. The village offers alternative shopping and dining, and the people here will welcome both you and your children with open arms.
So come to beautiful Ovrannaz and Les Thermalies resort to cure whatever ails you. You may never want to leave.
Websites you might want to visit for more information:
- http://www.thermalp.ch/ Thermalp Les Bains d’Ovronnaz (The resort’s website)
- http://www.ovronnaz.ch/en/ About Ovronnaz
- http://www.valais.ch/en/ About Valais
- http://sionvalais.com/webcams/ovronnaz Live “snow” cams from Ovronnaz
- http://www.winecity.ch/cvignoble.asp?txtCanton=VS&lan=en The wines of Valais
- http://tele-ovronnaz.ch/ about skiing there (nice photo gallery)
"On the Road" is a compilation of destination ideas, resort reviews, videos and more gathered from a variety of sources that includes our readers.
The purpose of "On the Road" is to showcase some of the magnificent places in the world to visit, to give you an idea for someplace to go that you might previously not have thought of or known about. In most cases, but not all, we have provided a brief overview of a timeshare resort in the spotlighted area. Most of those resorts are either RCI Gold Crown or I.I. 5-Star quality. However, these resorts are not usually the only timeshare resorts in the area; be sure to check in your exchange catalog for a complete listing of available resorts. Check it out--- enjoy yourself, go somewhere new this year!
Readers are encouraged to contribute their own stories and photos. Email email@example.com and put "On the Road" in the Subject line so we'll know what it's about.