Ice-capped peaks with small mountain resorts staggered up their spines rim the Aletsch, a glacier that shares its name with the area surrounding it, paralleling the valley floor. A variety of ecological zones—from deep, frozen expanses in the center to forests emerging at the fringes—are part of a wilderness region that is now firmly in the hands of conservationists, protected as a UNESCO international
nature site. In contrast to these extreme expanses, sunny south-facing slopes are active with skiers and hikers staying in the villages of Riederalp, Bettmeralp, and Fiesch-Eggishorn.
A rail and road junction joining four cantons, this small but vital town for centuries has been a center of trade with Italy. Often overlooked...