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Home to more than 70 ski areas, including some of the world’s most famous names, the Swiss Valais region is one of the world’s leading ski regions.

Located in the West of the country with a predominantly French speaking population, some ski areas in the Valais also copies French ski area measuring standards rather than those of Austria or the German speaking East of the country. This means they count the number of each type of run (blue, red, black) rather than (or as well as) measuring the length of each type of run as is the norm to the East. There may also be a green or ‘very easy’ run category as in France, but not in German-speaking Europe.

About 5% of the world’s top resorts are in Valais, among them Crans Montana, Saas-Fee, Verbier and Eurore’s highest resort, Zermatt, the only centre on the continent with skiing 365 days a year. All four of these areas are among those with glacier skiing for snow sure conditions.

Several famous cross-border ski areas have their Swiss side in Valais resorts. The ‘ski paradise’ connecting Italy’s Aosta Valley to the country is at Zermatt and one of the world’s biggest ski regions, the Portes du Soleil links resorts like Champery and Morgins to French resorts like Avoriaz and Morzine. Another of the world best known and biggest lift-linked ski regions is also here, the 400km (250 miles)
+ ski area of the 4 Valleys, home of Verbier, itself home to some of the ski world’s most prestigious property, including Richard Branson of Virgin’s luxurious Lodge.

In common with other Swiss regions Valais’s ski resorts have a reputation for top quality, big lift-served verticals, easy access by rail (Either direct on with an efficient bus link from the nearest rail station) and magnificent scenery, in Zermatt’s case of course with the iconic Matterhorn mountain towering above.

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