High up in the mountains and surrounded by glorious scenery, Nendaz brings you a multitude of breath-taking landscapes just waiting to be discovered on foot. With five summer lifts ready to whisk you up to the highest points, it takes no time at all to reach the best viewing spots and trailheads to begin your adventures.
And amidst all the mountain splendour, the Nendaz area has one unique feature that makes hiking here unlike anywhere else - the 'bisses'. These historic mountain water irrigation channels form a striking network of waterside walks that at times thread through both unspoilt nature and delightful villages. Flowing through a variety of landscapes from meadows to perching high up on hillsides, children and adults will love these easy-level walks, all through spring and autumn.
Where is Nendaz and how to get there
Nendaz is in the heart of Switzerland's 4 Vallées in the Valais region, a popular winter destination for skiers eager to test themselves on the slopes here and in neighbouring Verbier.
It's easy to reach by road, air and train, as well as being close to the motorway network with fast links to the rest of Europe by car. You can also take the train to Sion from all European capital cities and every region of Switzerland and there are daily bus connections between Sion railway station and Haute-Nendaz.
Why take a summer holiday in Nendaz?
While, in winter, Nendaz is appreciated for its 400km of ski runs, during the summer these same mountains offer some of the best alpine scenery in Europe. You can explore on foot, by mountain bike or simply via the gondolas!
The eight 'bisses', of which six still carry water, make for relaxing, gentle, shady waterside walks, while the 250km of hiking trails wind up and down between the old villages, mountain pastures, forests and rockeries, and provide something for everyone, from casual walkers to experienced hikers.
Several lifts run during the summer making it easy to reach the high summits and offering numerous opportunities to admire the incredible views. If you aim to ride just one, make it the Mont-Fort at 3,300m with its breath-taking panoramic view over the Alps and especially towards the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc.
And while you're there, don't miss the amazing Mont4 zipline - a chance to fly over the Tortin glacier over a distance of 1.4km, an altitude drop of 323m, and a top speed of more than 100kph. A thrilling experience indeed!
Mountain bike lovers get 200km of marked itineraries, and with the arrival of the electric mountain bike, these tours are now accessible to everybody. Whether on foot or on bike, the 35 restaurants and bars of the region provide wonderful local mountain cuisine and delicious wines.
Families can feel confident here too: from the day-care centre to the play areas, treasure hunts and a varied entertainments programme, everything has been prepared to satisfy parents and children alike.
Nendaz is a holiday resort of human size, warm and welcoming with a rich sense of local authenticity. You might even get a chance to discover the art of Alphorn blowing!
Hiking routes for all abilities in Nendaz
Through the forest, across the pastures, along a bisse or up to the summits, you can choose from more than 30 marked hikes around Nendaz. Among the best hikes, Nendaz boasts several themed trails, such as several treasure hunts for young children or a fun mountain trail for the older ones. Families will particularly appreciate the barefoot path departing from Siviez or the Hérens cow path on the Tortin mountain pasture.
The mountain hikes - suitable for good walkers who are comfortable on steep paths - will take you to the most beautiful viewpoints in Nendaz, while the bisse walks are a window into the history of this area.
Our pick of the best hiking trails in Nendaz
From family-friendly pushchair strolls to an all-inclusive three to four-day hiking break around the Val de Nendaz area - there are options to suit every kind of walker! Here are our pick of the best hiking trails in Nendaz.
Best for families
With breath-taking panoramic views, photo spots, educational information boards and games, the easy panoramic path promises an unforgettable day out for the whole family.
Easily accessible from the top of the Tracouet gondola, this walk teaches you all about the local fauna and flora of the area through both the fun information boards and the many diverse landscapes you walk through along the way, including dry meadows, lakes, rock fields and pine forests.
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The barefoot path is all about kicking off your hiking boots and letting yourself experience the sensations of the natural world around you. This gentle walk guarantees an enjoyable experience that's perfect for families with children and adults alike.
Departing from Siviez, the trail leads you to a tranquil picnic area by the river, reached by stepping into paths made from sand, wood shavings, pebbles, pine cones, wooden logs, earth, grass, moss and pine needles at various sections, introducing walkers to a unique sensorial experience.
For more information about family-friendly walks in Nendaz, go to nendaz.ch
Best for nature lovers
Bisse de Salins - Bisse de Vex
Duration: 3hrs 20mins
This beautiful loop along two bisses offers you magnificent views over the Val de Nendaz and the pretty villages of Basse-Nendaz and Haute-Nendaz, and gives you the opportunity to explore the rustic, lesser-known village of Clèbes.
With a construction dating back to 1453, the Bisse de Salins is the oldest bisse in the area and still irrigates the mid-mountain pastures, meadows, orchards and fields of Beuson, the Bioleys and Salins.
Built over 500 years ago, the Bisse de Vex was originally used to irrigate the surrounding pastures. Today, it offers an easy and very popular walk that's suitable for all abilities.
Bisse du Milieu - Bisse d'en Bas
Difficulty: Fairly easy
This circular route from Nendaz takes you along two historic bisses with water flowing within their banks. You'll have the chance to admire the lovely Planchouet Chapel at the start of the trail, before following the bisse through peaceful forest landscapes as you soak in the history of the area along with the beautiful natural surroundings.
The Bisse d'en Bas is the wildest of all the bisses in Nendaz, and its path is not as flat as the other bisses, so you're in for an adventure!
For more information about hiking Nendaz' bisses, go to nendaz.ch
Best for sporty people who like a challenge
Dent de Nendaz
Difficulty: Fairly hard
This high altitude hike takes you from the Dent de Nendaz to the Basso d'Alou, following the dramatic mountain ridge and enjoying the spectacular mountain views along the way.
To start, simply hop on a gondola from Haute-Nendaz to Tracouet, pass the lovely Lac Noir and join the winding mountain footpath to begin the climb to the Dent de Nendaz, whose summit sits at a towering 2,462m. After reaching this point and taking a moment to appreciate the sights, continue on towards the Pointe de Balavaux, where you get a tremendous view of the Cleuson dam and the Val de Nendaz below.
The technical descent then zig-zags down through rhododendron-lined trails and hundred-year-old larches, before returning to Tracouet.
Lac du Grand Désert
Duration: 5hrs 30mins
A challenging trek from the Bisse de Chervé to the Cleuson dam via the Grand Désert lake, this superb hike takes you through unbeatable alpine landscapes.
You start the hike at the top of the Combatseline chairlift and follow the ancient Bisse de Chervé - the highest and most alpine bisse in the region, with its path entirely above 2,200m.
Now no longer in use, it includes some steep and vertiginous sections, but also wonderful views of the turquoise waters of the Cleuson dam. The route continues towards the Grand Désert mountain lake, along a red and white marked trail that demands both technique and stamina.
For more information about hiking in the mountains of Nendaz, go to nendaz.ch
Best for long distance
The Short Trek
Duration: 3 days
The Short Trek covers three days of hiking in the heart of nature between Nendaz and Veysonnaz, with two nights in a cabin. With a total length of nearly 40km, it follows marked trails from hut to hut between Veysonnaz and Nendaz. The effective daily walking time (without breaks) is around 4-5 hours a day.
With few technical difficulties, this tour is aimed at the average hiker but does need some stamina. It can be walked from July to mid-September depending on the conditions, with highlights including the Bisse de Chervé natural park, the Cleuson dam and the 2,491m Mont Rouge - famous for its red earth and its cross, and which offers hikers a breath-taking 360° panorama.
Book your trip now for 180 CHF, which includes two nights accommodation, full board (minus drinks) and a shuttlebus from Nendaz to Veysonnaz.
The Long Trek
Duration: 4 days
If a Short Trek is not enough, then step up to The Long Trek - four days of hiking in the mountains with three nights in a cabin. Similarly demanding, it offers the chance to really immerse yourself in the mountain landscapes.
Highlights of this trek include staying at the Saint-Laurent hut at 2,500m, the Bisse de Chervé natural park, Mont Rouge, Cleuson Dam, Tracouet Lake - also known as 'Lac Noir' for the dark colour of its water - and above all, the hike along the mountain ridge to the Dent de Nendaz at 2,462m which offers a breath-taking view over the Alps and the Rhône Valley. "
Book your trip now for 270 CHF, which includes three nights accommodation, full board (minus drinks) and a shuttlebus from Nendaz to Veysonnaz.
For more information about trekking in Nendaz, go to nendaz.ch
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