KEEPING THE NON-SKIER HAPPY
There is more to a winter holiday in Nendaz than downhill ski-ing. For anyone who wants or needs a break from the slopes take your pick from the activities listed below. Some are new, some are old favourites. Some are on the snow and some are definitely not. Always check with Nendaz Tourisme for up-to-date details when you are in the resort and to collect relevant brochures.
The Hotel Nendaz 4 Vallées has an excellent spa where you can spend a blissful day, free of skis.
The Spa des Bisses is located in the hotel – in front of the Tracouet lift - about 500m from Secret Alps. It is equipped with everything you need to combine fitness with relaxation. Besides a 15m swimming pool, the Spa offers a biological sauna, a Finnish sauna, a vaporised steam bath, 3 grottoes (hammam, salt, ice), a Kneipp circuit, a flotation basin, another basin for swimming against the current, a panoramic sauna, a panoramic rest area, a jacuzzi, a children’s area and a fitness area.
Treatments are available too and the Spa is open from 9am to 9pm. Entrance costs CHF 45. There are lots of offers available including a full day at the Spa with lunch and/or with specific treatments.
The ice rink is in the middle of the resort beside the sports centre. Skating is available from 2pm till 4.30pm every day. On Tuesdays, there is a figure skating class from 3pm – 4pm. It is offered to would-be skaters over 8 years of age and you must register at Nendaz Tourisme for the class by 5pm the night before. Skates can be hired at the sports centre; CHF6 for adults and CHF4 for children.
There is a disco on ice every Thursday evening from 8.30pm.
Hockey is an important activity at the ice rink which is open for play from 10am – 11.45am and again between 5pm and 6.30pm.
Health and fitness
Various classes are held at the Sports Centre including Pilates on Monday mornings (9am – 10am); Zumba on Wednesday evenings (8pm – 9pm); Step lessons on Friday mornings (9am – 10am) and Hatha Yoga on Friday evenings (8.15pm – 9.15pm).
On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, our partners at Neige Aventure organise 2-hour walks with a guide, directing exercises in meditation and tai-chi. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
You don’t have to wear skis to enjoy the snow. Equipped with Snowshoes that can be rented from any of the sports shops, you can enjoy 6 different snow-shoe tracks, dotted all round the resort. The distances range from 3.5km to 7km and are graded either easy or intermediate. Some start from the middle of the resort; some from Siviez; and some from Pracondu. Access to Pracondu is simple thanks to a free shuttle bus from the tourist office. Make sure you collect the excellent snowshoe brochure with detailed maps of trails and shuttle bus timetables.
For those who fancy snow shoe hiking in the evening with a guide, there are a couple of possibilities. On Tuesdays at 6pm, a guide from Premier Alpine will take a group on an hour long tour, followed by an hour or so enjoying cheese fondue at Chez Odette in Siviez. The Swiss Ski School organises a similar evening on Thursdays round the Antenna area, finishing at Chant du Torrent.
Cross country skiing
OK, this will be brief because it is on skis - but not the kind you immediately associate with Nendaz. There are 9km of trails for cross-country ski-ing which are in the Pracondu-Pra da Dzeu area. That’s all I’m saying.
The first thing to appreciate is that though the 100km of walking trails are marked, they may be icy. Make sure that you wear the right gear and check the state of the track before you set off. The second thing to remember is that you must not walk on any ski run. Look for the pink signpost at the various starting points (at the round-about at the centre of the resort; at the top of the Tracouet cable car; at the bus stop in Siviez) and then follow the signposts. Some walks are right out in the countryside while others may involve sharing the road sometimes with light traffic. For instance, a short hike round the old village, along to Chapelle St Michel and back to the centre of Nendaz via La Crettaz would take about 45 minutes and you would be on quiet roads for some of the time. On the other hand a two and a half hour circle walk from Siviez to Ouché to Tortin would be entirely traffic free.
Do you want to forget all about the snow and ice but sample something truly alpine? How about giving the alphorn a blow? Tell Nendaz Tourisme that you want to try to create some alpine noise and they will fix up a class on Thursday morning from 9am to 11am. It costs CHF15 for an adult and CHF10 for a child.
Sky diving simulator
The key word here is simulator. This is how to feel wild without risking too much. It is open to everyone from 5 to 105 years old on Thursdays between 3pm and 5pm. Register with Premier Alpine Centre by Wednesday noon to do it.
The Chateau de Brignon is located in the district of the same name just off the main road that links Sion and Nendaz at an altitude about 400m lower than Nendaz. It is an imposing building that promotes local specialities, including wines from Valais. On request a wine tasting can be organised with 3 white wines and 3 red wines for CHF20 per person. The chateau is open 10am till 10pm and closed Sunday afternoons and all day Monday.
Sion, the administrative capital of Valais, is only 30 minutes away by road. It is at the centre of the most prolific vineyard area of Switzerland with grapes being grown in every possible nook, including within 100m of the airport runway. There are numerous wine tours and/or tastings available. Details from the Sion tourist office or from the trade organisation called Les Vin Du Valais.
Amusing the children
There are a couple of treasure hunts available any time. Simply ask Nendaz Tourism for the adventure books for the treasure hunts and start searching! A Toy Library with a selection of games, toys and books is open to all visitors. It is a complimentary service.
Bains de Saillon
Surrounded by vineyards only 20 minutes drive from Sion in the Rhone Valley is the huge thermal zone of Saillon. If you like swimming outdoors in hot water, this is for you. They have 3 thermal pools, one semi-Olympic swimming pool, an outdoor thermal river, a fitness and aerobic area, a spa area (with massage, beauty and health treatments on offer), steam rooms, Turkish baths and a sauna village.
Laze and gaze
If all the above sounds far too energetic, relax and stay put in Secret Alps comfort. Enjoy your own steam room, have a beauty therapist come round to give a massage treatment. Then laze in front of the fire and gaze at the huge panorama while listening to music from the impressive collection.
We can advise on sport or pampering treatments delivered at Secret Alps and will book in advance, if requested.