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The Best Skiing (and Spas) in Valais, Switzerland

Contrary to popular belief, the Matterhorn isn’t Switzerland’s only mountainous child. It’s one of a string of 47 sky-scraping mountain peaks in the Swiss canton of Valais. The skiing, of course, is epic in this sunny, bilingual region on the border between Switzerland and Italy, especially on the Längfluh Glacier at Saas-Fee. As well as skiing, Valais is known for scenic spas and ancient Roman baths, such as the outdoor bubbles at Ovronnaz.
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3906 Saas Fee, Switzerland
From Saas-Fee’s Spielboden ski area, the world’s highest underground metro train barrels up to the Längfluh Glacier, where snowboarders and skiers carve with abandon. The less brave (or less crazy) come to the 11,482-foot-high station for the...
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Ovronnaz, 1911 Leytron, Switzerland
When the Romans arrived here in 15 b.c.e., they brought their thermal bath culture, and you can still see the ruins. But newer bains thermaux also abound. The village of Saillon has a Rivière Thermale, like a water park’s lazy river, lined with...
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Rue du Ctre sportif 24, 1936 Bagnes, Switzerland
At the low-key lodge Cordée des Alpes, a Verbier newcomer, rooms have Alpine views of the surrounding ski area, Les Quatre Vallées, as does the Moorish-themed spa’s indoor pool. From $496. hotelcordee.com. This appeared in the January/February...
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Rue de Médran 70, 1936 Bagnes, Switzerland
Switzerland’s first W Hotel, in the village of Verbier, is a refreshing addition to the country’s luxury accommodations. Glass fireplaces make the rooms a modern retreat, and Spanish chef Sergi Arola collaborates with local farmers to create...
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Route de Verbier Station, 1936 Bagnes, Switzerland
It would be a sin to leave Valais without tasting the ubiquitous pain de seigle valaisan, a rye bread with its own AOP (Appellation d’Origine Protégée). The Verbier bakery Pâtisserie de la Poste makes one of the best versions. Grab a loaf and sit...