Getting Oriented

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Getting Oriented

Switzerland's third-largest canton, Valais is a complex network of valleys, rivers, and peaks harboring an A-to-Z of ski resorts. Its bottom half, a wide, fertile riverbed flanked by bluffs, is the region's most characteristic and imposing. It's fed from the north and south by remote, narrow valleys that snake into the mountains and peter out in Alpine wilderness or lead to the region's most famous landmarks—including that Swiss superstar, the Matterhorn. Not all of Valais covers Alpine terrain, however. The western stretch—between Martigny and Sierre—comprises one of the two chief sources of wine in Switzerland (the other is in Vaud, along Lac Lèman). Valaisan wines come from ancient vineyards that grace the hillsides flanking the Rhône.

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