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The Peaceful Village of Bellwald, Switzerland

Last Updated on April 2, 2024 by Darla

Bellwald feels like stepping back in time, to a Switzerland of centuries ago that has stayed unchanged and untouched by modern progress.

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Bellwald, a charming village nestled in the Goms region of Switzerland, holds the distinction of being the highest village in the area. It is 1,560 meters above sea level. Accessible by a cable car since 1965, Bellwald comprises the hamlets of Ried, Egga, Bodmen, and Fürgangens. Located in the German-speaking part of the Valais canton, Bellwald offers visitors a picturesque setting to explore.

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In the past, Bellwald was a quiet farming village, relatively unknown and untouched by tourism. Despite its stunning surroundings, it remained hidden from the bustling crowds.

With around 250 to 300 residents, the village exuded a peaceful ambiance, distinct from its more popular Swiss mountain neighbors like Riederalp and Bettmeralp.

However, changes began with the introduction of the cable car from the valley in 1956 and the road in 1971. These developments gradually transformed Bellwald from its agricultural roots into a burgeoning tourist destination.

Despite these changes, Bellwald still maintains its serene charm amidst the mountains, making it a beloved destination for those seeking tranquility away from the tourist crowds.

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Since World War 2, the village has thrived primarily on farming, including animal husbandry and crop cultivation. This has helped maintain the village’s self-sufficiency despite limited and challenging land resources.

Old, traditional wooden chalets dot the landscape of Bellwald. Despite not being entirely car-free, Bellwald maintains its rustic allure, with cars blending harmoniously into the village scenery. It is a typical Walser village similar to Bosco Gurin, Tschiertchen, Mutten, and Davos Monstein.

You can ask the tourist office about joining a guided tour to discover more about the village.

Highlights of Bellwald, Switerland

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The Risihorn, standing at 2,875 meters above sea level, is Bellwald’s local mountain. It towers above the Rhone Valley, offering a breathtaking view of the Aletsch Glacier. You can reach it by taking the cable car to the Furggulti mountain station and then following a challenging alpine trail meant for experienced hikers.

If heights don’t bother you, you should check out the Aspi-Titter Hanging Bridge. This bridge links Bellwald with Fieschertal, connecting the Goms region to the Aletsch region. From there, you can see Fiescher Glacier. Climbing the 200 steps and being 120 meters high above the bridge and Weisswasser Gorge might be a little scary, but it’s worth it for the experience.

How to Reach Bellwald, Switzerland

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You can get to Bellwald either by car or public transport. To reach Bellwald by car, just follow the road from Chalet/Fürgangen until you reach Bellwald.

If you prefer public transport, here’s how you can do it:

  1. Take the train to Brig.
  2. At Brig, switch to the R43 regional train heading to Andermatt. Get off at the Fürgangen-Bellwald Talstation stop.
  3. From Fürgangen, take the cable car up to Bellwald.

Final Thoughts: Bellwald, Switzerland

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Bellwald is an incredibly peaceful village that seems almost forgotten. During our visit, there were hardly any tourists around. The village itself is quite small, and you can explore everything in less than an hour. Yet, despite its size, it’s charming and has a sense of tradition.

Bellwald offers a serene alternative to bustling resorts like Zermatt and Verbier, boasting preserved authenticity and stunning natural beauty. With its charming blend of traditional architecture, captivating scenery, and rich cultural heritage, Bellwald stands as one of Switzerland’s most enchanting villages, captivating visitors with its timeless allure.

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Darla is the owner of Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country. Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.

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