La Route des vins
Leaving from Martigny railway station
This route runs through the Rhone valley, through fruit orchards (apricots, pears, apples, …) and vineyards. It could be called the wine road because it offers the Valais’ best specialties.
We suggest you go up the right bank of the Rhone as far as Sion and then come back down along the left bank. Obviously, you can change it round but be aware that the north bank is sunnier.
At Fully you’ll find the Follaterres Nature Reserve and a chestnut grove. The village is famous for its chestnut festival which is held every autumn. Take the time to sample the local speciality, a wonderful native Valais white wine called the Petite Arvine.
The road then leads to Ardon where you will see a beautiful well-preserved marshland. Then you’ll come to Vétroz, home of Amigne, a beautiful white wine whose sugar content is measured in bees (1 bee = dry / 3 bees = sweet). Finally, you go through Conthey and Ormone before arriving in Sion.
Dominated by two castles (Valere and Tourbillon), Sion is the capital of Valais. The historic city centre is worth seeing.
For your return, head in the direction of Aproz (on the left bank of the Rhône). This village is famous for its water but also because it holds the national final of the Battles of the Queens (Hérens cows).
Saillon is a medieval village that has been elected the most beautiful village in Switzerland. It grows the best asparagus in Valais (in May and June). You should also take the opportunity to visit the smallest vineyard in the world, the one that belonged to Farinet, a famous counterfeiter in the late 19th century. This vineyard has 3 vines but is extremely famous since it is maintained every year by a different celebrity (Zinedine Zidane, the Dalai Lama, Roger Moore, David Douillet, …) Finally, the Bains des Saillon complex is ideal for a swim, summer or winter, and the chance to relax for a while.
After crossing Leytron, which stands on an alluvial cone, you reach Chamoson, one of the Valais’ largest wine growing areas and home to a grape variety called Humagne, which can be red or white. The nearby village of Saint-Pierre-de-Clages is also known as “the village of the book”.
Follow the Rhone to Riddes and then continue to the village of Saxon, famous for apricots which all the people of Valais are very proud of. Why not indulge in some of these orange fruits, whether as jam, ice cream, juice, abricotine liqueur or simply in their natural state.
Charrat is the last village before you arrive in Martigny, and it is often visited in the spring, because it is one of the few places in Switzerland where we can still admire the adonis, a rare flower.
Back in Martigny after an active day, you’ll probably want to visit Barryland, the museum dedicated to the St. Bernard dogs, or the Pierre Gianadda Foundation which has beautiful painting and sculpture exhibitions, as well as an underground car museum. You can relax on the terraces of the Place Centrale de Martigny or Rue du Bourg.