Mini guide to the Valais, Switzerland
Above the clouds at 3,000 metres, Kulmhotel Gornergrat appeals to those who like the idea of an Alpine hut, but shiver at the thought of thin mattresses and icy water. Rooms with downy duvets afford views to Monte Rosa or Matterhorn. When the day trippers leave, you have the glowing peaks to yourself (00 41 27 966 6400; gornergrat-kulm.ch; Gornergrat, Zermatt; from £200).
When to go
September is grape harvest time around Sion and Salgesch, while June to August is best for walking, cycling and white-water rafting. Prime ski season falls between December and March.
How to go
EasyJet, BMI and Swiss fly to Geneva from London (from £56), Edinburgh (from £116) and Manchester (from £128). Express trains connect Geneva with Brig (£12). Alternatively, take the Eurostar from London St Pancras, then local trains to Geneva (£180; 9 hours; eurostar.com).