South of the Rhone Valley lies the valley Val d’Anniviers, home to the municipalities of Ayer, Chandolin, Grimentz, Saint-Jean, Saint-Luc, Vissoie, Vercorin, and Zinal. It is located just south of Sierre/Siders. This valley is in canton Valais, Switzerland.
Grimentz is one of the most beautiful villages in Valais, Switzerland.
At 1,570 meters above sea level, Grimentz is one of the aforementioned villages in Val d´Anniviers. Grimentz in Valais is reminiscent of the villages Tschiertschen in Graubünden and Bosco Gurin in Ticino.
Even though it is a small village with just 380 residents, it attracts tourists from all over the world because of its old, beautiful wooden houses dotted with flowers. They date back to the 16th century and were built next to one another.
North of the village lies a small chapel dedicated to Saint-Théodule, which is quite quaint.
In the wine world, Grimentz is typically associated with the Valais “sherry” called Glacier Wine. The village itself is the only place where you can try this wine. Each year, new wine is added to the casks and the casks are never completely emptied. Therefore, the oldest drops can be over 125 years old.
History of Grimentz
Historically, Grimentz was known as Grimiens (or Grimensi in German). Grimentz village was administered by the Bishop of Sion, as was the whole Val d’Anniviers valley.
In the past, almost all of the population relied on mountain agriculture. Avoin, Moiry, and Torrent Alps are known for their Hérens cattle. Above, you can see someHérens cattle figures in the street of Grimentz. These alpine cattle are small and horned, and usually black, brown, or dark red in color.
TheHérens cattle is among the smallest in Europe. In the canton, this ferocious breed is used for cow fighting.
Lac de Moiry Construction
The construction of the Lac de Moiry reservoir began in 1957. The 148-meter-high dam was completed a year after in 1958. Lac de Moiry is the tenth-largest dam in Switzerland.
Construction of this project brought work to the villagers. Nowadays, it is used for energy production by Gougra, Mottec, Vissoie, and Chippis.
Tourism plays an important role in Grimentz today. Along with the development of ski lifts and the cable car to Alp Bendolla, Grimentz transformed into a mountain resort.
Around the village center, many apartment houses and chalets were built. Tourism and service industries account for the lion’s share of local employment.
How to Get to Grimentz
Geneva International Airport provides the most convenient access to Grimentz. It will take longer to travel through Zurich International Airport.
Traveling by Public Transport
You can take the train to Sierre/Siders from Geneva. After Sierre / Siders, change to the connecting bus for Vissoie, poste.
The bus then travels towards Grimentz from Vissoie, poste.
Traveling by Car
To reach the village by car, you need to go toward Sierre/Siders, and then along Rte d’Anniviers.
Grimentz is one of the most beautiful villages in Valais. Picturesque houses adorned with flowers date back to the 16th century. They are nevertheless still around to be admired today.
Hiking and Biking
Grimentz offers a variety of hiking and biking trails. Here are just a few examples of hiking trails:
- Grimentz – St-Jean – 3 km
- Grimentz – Vercorin – 12.7 km
- Grimentz – Mottec – 5.4 km
- Grimentz – Barrage de Moiry – 5.6 km
Lac de Moiry
The Lac de Moiry reservoir is not far from the village of Grimentz. During the summer months, from June to October, it is open to the public.
If you want to go to Lac de Moiry, you can either take the bus (Moiry VS) or drive. Parking is available under Glacier du Moiry.
Lac de Moiry’s turquoise waters are surrounded by several scenic trails. One of the most popular ones is the one heading to Cabane de Moiry, which is 2,850 meters high. While it is technically challenging and goes up 500 meters, it is popular because it can be reached within less than 2 hours from the lake.
The route to Cabane de Moiry will lead you eventually to a fantastic view of the Moiry Glacier. It’s one of the shortest ways to a mountain hut. The views of the Moiry Glacier together with Lac de Châteaupré are absolutely fantastic.
For climbing enthusiasts, the via ferrata is a great option. The trail is graded “very difficult” and provides beautiful views of Lac de Moiry. You can see all the way down to the magnificent turquoise waters of the dam from the rope course.
Guided tours of the Lac de Moiry Dam are also available for those interested.
Restaurant Barrage de Moiry offers outstanding views for those who wish to dine while taking in the sights.
Bendolla’s Big Adventure
Bendolla’s Big Adventure is located near the restaurant at the top of the gondola lift.
Kids can enjoy a variety of activities in this outdoor adventure park:
- A high ropes course
- Jumping on the airbag
- A variety of mountain bike trails suited to all levels of ability
For children, it is the perfect place to have fun.
Final Thoughts: Grimentz, Switzerland
As stunning as the pictures suggest, Grimentz really is. When old and new are combined in a cohesive way, there is beauty in it. In Grimentz, they really care about how the whole village is represented.
Grimentz has been named one of the most beautiful villages in Valais, Switzerland. And rightfully so.
Having such an incredible alpine backdrop is just one of the reasons why this place is so special. There are a variety of activities available – hiking, biking, climbing, or simply sightseeing. The place provides a place where you can participate in some action yet retreat to some peace at night.
Visit Grimentz if you have the chance. If you can stay a little longer, that would be great. No matter your schedule, if you are in Valais, Grimentz is definitely worth the stop.
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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. 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.