An overview of Valais

Where the focus ison quality of life.

It’s well worth taking a closer look at this canton in the south-west of Switzerland, where work and relaxation are in incredibly close proximity to one another. And unlike the urban centres such as Zurich or Geneva, Valais stands out for its low cost of living. The excellent public transport connections with the rest of Switzerland and Europe ensure maximum mobility with short travel times. Town or country? The canton is both starting point and retreat – dynamic and relaxing in equal measure.

Living in harmony with nature.

Yes, it’s true – our canton is often called the sun centre of Switzerland, and for good reason. The dry, mild climate brings the Valais population an average of 300 days’ sunshine per annum. Mediterranean summers, snow-white winters, glorious spring flowers and spectacular autumn displays – experience the seasons here in all nature’s colourful glory. And there are some unique features, such as the Aletsch glacier, the longest Alpine glacier and heart of the UNESCO Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch World Heritage Site, an incredible variety of flowering plants, and 45 spectacular mountains over 4,000 metres high, including the distinctive Matterhorn. Unlimited variety for relaxation and outdoor sports!

Innovation and progress in the heart of the mountains.

The Alps, mountains, forests, meadows – Valais lives from its landscape and its expertise in making the most of it. The variety of natural resources and the unspoilt natural landscape are also essential assets for tourism, one of the most important contributors to the economy. A strong energy industry uses the huge water reserves in the mountains for environmentally-friendly electricity generation. Valais is home to large, internationally-active companies such as the Lonza pharma and chemical group in Visp and DSM in Lalden, Synthes (medical technology) in Raron and the Bosch works (powertools) in St. Niklaus, as well as numerous SMEs operating within a wide variety of sectors including commerce, industry, construction andagriculture – a lively economic structure with a mix of tradition and innovation.

The new Upper Valais Hospital Centre in Brig

Living in Valais


  • A population of around 300,000 (80,000 in Upper Valais, around 36,000 of whom are in the Brig-Visp-Naters agglomeration)
  • Above-average population growth, especially in regional centres
  • Cantonal capital: Sion
  • Language: 68% French, 24% German (predominantly in German-speaking Upper Valais), 8% others

Climate and geography

  • Plenty of sunshine: the surrounding Valais and Bernese Alps make the Rhone Valley one of Europe’s driest valleys, and with 300 days of sunshine per annum it is the sun centre of Switzerland
  • A breathtaking mountain landscape with 45 peaks over 4,000 metres
  • The “water tower of Switzerland”: 80% of Swiss glaciers are on Valais soil


  • A reliable public transport network provides the towns and villages with an excellent infrastructure
  • Convenient connections ensuring short travel times to the rest of Switzerland and beyond (including to airports in Zurich, Geneva and Milan)
  • Journey times from Visp (by rail): Bern 55 mins, Zurich 2 hrs, Geneva 2.5 hrs, Zermatt 1 hr, Milan 2 hrs
  • 30 mins to the ski slopes
  • Less than 4 hours to the Mediterranean


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