Friday, 3 February 2012 1:51 PM
When it comes to walking holidays that offer spectacular scenery, Switzerland is the perfect destination to choose. If you're looking for the ideal little-known spot to explore during your getaway, the Goms Valley could be just the place you've been searching for.
Situated in the south of the country, close to the Italian border, the Goms Valley is a stunning destination that holds the promise of serene walks through spectacular scenery, as well as more challenging routes through equally captivating terrain.
Expect to enjoy views of snow-capped peaks, colourful flowers and even Europe's longest glacier along the way.
Independent walking holidays here allow you to travel at your own pace, and, on several occasions, you will be able to choose between different length trails.
Your adventure will begin in Obergesteln, where you will be based for the opening few days of your getaway. Your first route will give you the chance to explore the Upper Goms Valley, following a pretty path along the valley floor and across the hillside covered in flowers.
Today, you can choose between a 9 km or 12 km trail. Both will begin with the same scenic start, but the shorter trail will take you down to Geschinen, before following the Rhone to Munster.
Meanwhile, the longer will give you the chance to climb up to the ideal picnicking spot, Minstigerbach Valley.
The following day, you'll take a path through pine woods from just outside the hotel. Peppered with pretty bluebells, this scenic trail will lead you to Oberwald, a lovely little village located at the upper end of the valley.
Surrounded by 3,000 m peaks, it is a really charming place to visit and enjoy lunch before completing your circular route back to the hotel.
Next on your itinerary is a walk down to the Lower Goms. Your day will begin with a brief train ride to Munster, where on arrival you can pick between two routes.
The 11 km track will see you follow a path above the river before crossing it to reach the pretty village of Gluringen, while the 13 km route will lead you on a spectacular trail along the Gommer High Level Path.
Wending your way through stunning side valleys, you'll also enjoy some incredible views of the snow-topped Weisshorn.
Exploring Blitzingen the next day, you will once again be able to choose between a longer and shorter path.
The valley here starts out narrow, before expanding and offering breathtaking mountain views. You can enjoy these on your way to the village of Bellwald, with its charming timber buildings and alleys brimming with flowers.
If you have the energy, you can then board the chairlift to reach a wonderful picnic spot, before meandering back down through Niederwald.
Next on your itinerary will be a day spent discovering the beautiful villages of the Lower Goms Valley. Situated on the south-east side of the river, these look like they have remained unchanged for hundreds of years.
Head into Muhlebach, for example, and you can admire 14th-century Valaisian wooden buildings.
Your final day will bring your holiday to an end in real style. Ascending the 2,926 m summit of the Eggishorn via cable car, you will be able to marvel at Europe's longest glacier - the Aletsch Glacier.
Moreover, this vantage point also offers tremendous 360-degree views of incredible peaks, including the Matterhorn, Jungfrau and Eiger. Before departing, enjoy a delicious picnic right by the glacier.
With so many dazzling landscapes, walking holidays in Switzerland are the ideal choice for an unforgettable break.