Val d'Anniviers

If you drive east of Sierre and south of the Rhône, following signs for Vissoie, you enter a wild and craggy valley called Val d'Anniviers. The name is said to come from its curious and famous (among anthropologists, at least) nomads, known in Latin as anni viatores (year-round travelers).

A stopover in any one of these windswept mountain hideouts to walk, climb, ski, or relax by the fire is a reward. In late September, when herds of bell-toting cows are brought down from the mountains, there's a clangy seasonal celebration called Désalpe.

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