Switzerland has so much to offer and especially the beautiful Valais/Wallis region which offers more sunshine then the Côte d'Azur in France. Most importantly with the temperatures rising all over the world, an escape from the heat to the Swiss Mountains where temperatures stay comfortable is just the wise thing to do.
I have chosen the small family friendly mountain village of Nendaz in the 4 Valleys area, because the village holds the “Family Welcome” label and has a lot to offer for families with children of all ages.
From Geneva airport it is only a 2 h drive by car, or by train and bus 2h30. Zurich Airport is 3h away.
What there is on offer
A stay in Nendaz will keep the whole family busy and active. Nendaz is very centrally situated on a mountain plateau in the Valais region of the 4 Valleys with amazing views . You can also make many beautiful day trips in under two hours drive.
For example to Zermatt. Read "How to spend a perfect day in Zermatt"
The village is NOT a purpose-built Swiss Mountain Village and therefore you get the feeling of actually living with the locals. If you partake in any activities you will actually realise that the local kids and families are also participating which I like a lot.
You do not need to be an advanced hiking or biking family. Contrarily, the Village of Nendaz is a good area to get a good taste of all the mountain activities there are. Make your days on the mountain as easy or difficult as you wish.
Nendaz also has a heated outdoor swimming pool with probably one of the most amazing views a swimming pool can have plus a lake for swimming only 20min drive away.
All in all a perfect mix to keep everybody happy.
The cable car and lift system the Village of Nendaz has to offer, gives you the opportunity to experience quite a high altitude without much effort. Best to check out the time schedule to ensure the cable car system is operating when you visit.
Hiking / Walking
To keep the children interested there are multiple theme paths in the Village of Nendaz and neighbouring areas. All are between 1 to 3 hours walk and most importantly pretty flat. Therefore, ideal for the whole family and for little beginners.
If not a themed path then there are the many “Bisses” or water ways to follow. Most of them transport water down the valley which is still used by the farmers to water the raspberries, apricot trees and other agriculture crops. The walks vary from 45 minutes to 3-5 hours. These Bisses can be found all over the Valais and are a great alternative to introduce the family to the beauty of hiking.
These 12 Easy Hikes in Valais are in or near Nendaz
E-Biking / Mountain Biking
For the more advanced bikers there is the amazing Tour de Mont Fort which involves taking some cable cars (where your bike travels for free), some downhills/uphills and some of the most spectaculars views. Best suited for children age 6 and more with some bike experience. For the less advanced bikers there are also many routes available.
In the village of Nendaz next to the playground is a small bike pump track to practice your skills and balance.
Another amazing place is down the valley in Les Iles this place is the ideal park for families with young and new bikers.
There is a new Via Ferrata (protected climbing route) at the Gentianes/Mont Fort area. You can hire the gear in the local sport shops.
The Village of Nendaz has an excellent climbing rock with grades from 4-6b. If this is not enough there are 100's of routes scattered all over the Valais. There is even an amazing climbing hall just 30 min drive from the Village of Nendaz.
A great adventure park for kids and adults lies in Les Îles, just 20 min from the village. Great for a hot day, as the park is beautifully situated next to the lake where it is possible to swim and within the trees. Children from 4 years old can try the special mini park. There are 5 different gradings, so even dad can show off his climbing skills. Equipment is provided by the operator.
As mentioned before in the village is a heated outdoor swimming pool (26°) and down the mountain near Sion is an amazing area called “Les Îles”. This park is around a large lake and you can easily spend the day there. Activities include a large kids playground, sand volleyball court, outdoor climbing block, minigolf, tennis, paddle boarding and a miniature railway. Charges apply for some of the activities.
Not to be missed are the Thermal baths in Saillon and Leukerbad, of which both are less than a one hour drive from the Mountain village of Nendaz. The water temperature is over 30 degrees so this a great alternative to the outdoor swimming pool especially with younger children who find normal swimming pools chilly.
Not far from the Village of Nendaz, 30 min by car, in Chalais or Saviese are 2 great farms, where the kids can be close up to the animals and learn about the life on a farm. Most importantly they are free of charge, but they do require you to take at least a cafe or another refreshment in lieu of an entrance fee.
A bit further, 50min drive, is the “Alpine-Zoo Les Marécottes”in Les Marécottes. Next to the zoo is an outside swimming pool in the most amazing setting but just to visit the zoo is a great adventure for the whole family. It is the highest altitude zoo in Europe and provides a lot of educational information all about the alpine animals.
Best and most comfortable accommodation for a family holiday is a Swiss Chalet adapted to your needs. Check out Alpine Comforts selection and if you mention Packed Again during your booking process, bingo, you get 15% reduction on the price!
Daytrips in the area 1h to 2h drive:
- Sion the capital of the Valais
- Crans Montana
- Aletsch Glacier in the Bettmeralp area
- Montreux and Lac Lemon
- Verbier by cable cars
Daytrip further afield 2h to 3h drive:
- Grindelwald / Jungfraujoch
- Bern the Swiss Capital
- Chamonix and the Mont Blanc Massive (France)
There are just a few day trips mentioned. There are plenty more !
Voilà , have I convinced you that the Village of Nendaz would be the perfect place to spend your next summer holiday?
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Never forget to travel!
Thank you Corina
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