Villa Cassel, a turn-of-the-20th-century mansion, was considered a wealthy Englishman's folly when the Tudor-style structure was installed on the rugged pass above the village of Ried. It has weathered time well and is now the headquarters for Pro Natura Zentrum Aletsch, an environmental education center. The naturalist organization runs guided tours, glacier walks, and expeditions to spot marmots and eagles. In addition, the center offers self-directed paths, an Alpine garden, a tearoom, and even dorm and private rooms for overnight stays during the summer. Some information is available in English; prices vary according to the activity. To access the facility, take the cable car from Morel to Riederalp. From the village station it's a 30-minute walk, but more appealing and challenging is the hike from Moosfluh (an additional gondola ride) where you can catch views of the glacier rimmed by its old-growth Alpine forest.
Villa Cassel, Riederalp, 3987, Switzerland