Couple of weeks ago, I loaded my backpack and left for a two days hike in Valais. My destination : Leukerbad.
I have a special connection with that place, being the first one where I ever spent – as a child – some “mountain” vacations. Reaching that location is quite impressive ; from Leuk, the bus takes you in a short 20min up to the last village of the valley. No possible escape apart from climbing up the great walls that surround the thermal city. Did I say thermal ? Yes ! and this is another great reason for booking a couple of days in this wonderful resort.
Last time I stopped by was on February this year, after crossing a bit of the Alps in a wonderful snowshoes tour from Kandersteg. This time, no more snow down in the village, but it was still early in the warm season – so a lot of residual snow patches were visible and some of the cable cars not fully operational. Finding the village still sleepy and on its preparation for the high touristic season to come is a great luck : thermal facilities, hotels and restaurants are empty and the locals pretty accessible and chatty. On top special offers – like a 18 chf card/day that allows entrance to any of the thermal baths – give you a good compensation in case the weather forbids the hikes or if you aren’t keen on hiking gives you a great alternative.
A great stay in a wonderful hotel (and the most amazing and helpful staff), the pleasure of some not very frequented hikes, the blossoming nature, delicious food and nice warm baths for recovery made out of these 2 days the most enjoyable improvised vacations I could have.
So why don’t you try it too ?