Hiking in Nendaz
The Swiss town of Nendaz is one of the best places to visit in the canton of Valais. From winter sports to summer activities, from festivals to cow fights (really!), there is something to do in this pretty town in the Swiss Alps during every season of the year. As such, here is my list of the top 5 things to do in Nendaz:
1. Go skiing. Nendaz is part of the 4 Vallees ski domain, which is one of the biggest ski areas in Europe. The 412km (256mi) of ski runs, most of which are above 1,700m (5,577ft) in altitude, and the 92 lifts operate from December to April each year. All ability levels are catered for, from the beginner slopes on the lake at Tracouet to the steep pistes of Mont-Fort.
2. Hike. Nendaz has some of the best hiking in Switzerland, with a range of trails for every kind of hiker. The flat paths along the bisses, or manmade waterways, are perfect for leisurely walks, and the steep mountain terrain leading up to the gondola station at Tracouet are great for those that want a challenge. There is even a barefoot hiking trail in Siviez that offers an alternative style of hiking in the Swiss Alps.
3. Attend the annual International Alphorn Festival (Festival International Cor des Alpes). Every summer the festival takes place in the Swiss Alps, and people from all over the world come to watch and compete in the festivities. Parades, songs, dances, and music fill the air, and the atmosphere is one of celebration and fun for all ages.
4. Take the gondola to Tracouet. Nendaz has a gondola station right in the heart of town, and no visit would be complete without a ride to the top. Stunning views and fresh mountain air are on offer year-round, and there are plenty of opportunities for winter skiing and summer hiking and biking at the top.
5. Watch cow fights (combats de Reines). Nendaz is famous for its fighting cows. The Herens breed is characterized by its bellicose streak, and every year the cows fight amongst themselves until a Reine, or queen, wins the leadership of the group. There is a festival to celebrate the cow fights in Nendaz each spring, and it attracts spectators from all over the world.