According to the latest Swiss Touring Club survey, the Swiss are spending more and more of their holidays on home ground. And it's easy to see why! Switzerland offers many vacation opportunities, for all tastes and all ages. When out on a hike, you may see one of the country's 200 big dams. Take the time to stop and look round – there's always something to discover nearby. And if you’re stuck for ideas, here are some suggestions to think about!
Planning a holiday in Switzerland? Discover the hydropower plants and their surroundings
If you're not too nervous about throwing yourself into the void and getting up close to the world's biggest gravity dam over a length of more than 700 metres, go and see the Grande Dixence in the Val d’Hérens (Canton of Valais). Thrill-seekers are in love with the longest zip wire in French-speaking Switzerland, inaugurated last year! They say you can hear their shouts echoing against the dam wall. You can check this out yourself if you go to one of the four “sound and light” guided visits programmed every day throughout the summer.
How about a hike at the foot of Dents du Midi and learning something at the same time? You can do this at the Salanfe dam (Canton of Valais), where the educational trail has just been refurbished! It's mainly devoted to the history of the hydroelectric installations, which were built at the beginning of the 1950s. It also explains the geology, flora and fauna of the area. This summer, an exhibition of historic photos at the top of the wall shows the vast size of the construction site between 1947 and 1952.
For this, you’ll need to get to the Moiry dam in the Val d’Anniviers (Canton of Valais). On 17 August, the film “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn” will be projected onto the dam. With a 148-metre high wall as a screen, the adventures of the young reporter will become an unforgettable experience!
Every Tuesday you can also discover the inside of the dam by going on a guided tour organised by the tourist office.
Fancy scaling a height of over 800 metres without breaking a sweat? Everyone can do it thanks to three attractions on rails leading to the Emosson dam. Once there, you'll be rewarded with a superb view of Mont Blanc and be able to discover the dam's innards.
In collaboration with Line E, Alpiq’s Ruppoldingen hydropower plant offers visitors interactive guided tours of the world of environmentally friendly electricity generation. You can also set out on your own to explore the countryside surrounding the “naturemade star” certified power plant: The “Hydropower in harmony with nature” information trail provides exciting background information. And with a little luck, you might even spot the beaver family that has settled at the power plant.