Aletsch Glacier and the World Nature visitor centre
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch
To Brig: 45 Sfr from Interlaken, 20 Sfr from Saas-Fee or 37 Sfr from Zermatt with your Half Fare Card. FREE with the Swiss Travel Pass.
Local travel to the Aletsch villages from Brig varies. Entrance to the World Nature Form: 18 Sfr per adult and 9 Sfr per child 6-16 years.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch covers 824 square kilometres, from the Bernese Oberland to the Valais region. At its heart lies the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau rock massif and the glacial landscape surrounding the Great Aletsch Glacier.
Close to Brig are the southern slopes of the Aletsch Glacier, where you can witness high alpine scenery gradually transforming into a sub-mediterranean rocky steppe. The viewing points along the river of ice, the forests and the scenic walking opportunities are fantastic here and come highly recommended. Try visiting the impressive World Nature Forum, intended as a 'base camp' for those wishing to learn more about the region before setting out to explore.
The southern side of the UNESCO World Heritage Site is a natural wonder, showing off the longest glacier in Europe (23km) at its most awe-inspiring.
There are several villages dotted along the mountains overlooking the river of ice, with cable cars taking you up to viewing points of the most scenic beauty. You can take a picnic to enjoy while following a summer walking trail or try a traditional lunch in one of the charming mountain restaurants. We recommend purchasing a local travel pass - one of the best includes all the cable cars and mountain railways to the Riederalp, Bettmeralp & Eggishorn and allows you to explore different viewing points of this natural phenomenon. The area is best visited mid June-mid October.
Some other highlights of the Aletsch Glacier include:
Eggishorn-Märjela walk: The magnificent mountain hike takes you from the Eggishorn to Lake Märjela and back to the Fiescheralp. The route is relatively flat, but offers an extraordinary view over the entire Great Aletsch Glacier.
Moosflu & Aletschwald: Enjoy fabulous views from Moosfluh, followed by a walk in the Aletsch Forest. The forest is protected and is dominated by hardy Swiss stone pines, some which are believed to be at least 600 years old.
Belalp: The Hotel Belalp and its chapel were constructed in 1858 at the most panoramic view point of the Glacier. You can take a short walk from the cable car station to reach the Glacier’s edge.
Risihorn: The Risihorn, the mountain overlooking Bellwald, offers a breathtaking view to the Finsteraarhorn. There is a well-marked hiking trail from the chairlift to the Risihorn for more serious hikers.
World Nature Forum - base camp for the Glacier
Exhibition: Visitors to the World Nature Forum will gain an understanding of the history of the formations of the Alps, the wildlife that live here, and the culture of the people who have also populated the region. The future is also explored - what challenges will the effects of climate change bring to agriculture (when the meadows and pastures are no longer irrigated by the glacier), to the traditional alpine village life and to winter tourism, when the snows diminish. The exhibition makes good use of artefacts, infographics and plenty of interactive experiences to spark the interest of adults and children alike.
Panorama Space: The highlight of the exhibition, with a screen of 100 square metres showing incredible panoramic views of the Jungfrau-Aletsch Glacier.
Jungfrau-Aletsch Café: The café is open all day and offers local specialties from the Valais and Bernese Oberland towns within the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sandwiches, soup and hot and cold beverages are also available.
Trains and buses to the the Aletsch villages depart regularly from Brig and you can be up at a mountain viewing point within an hour. Brig is the ideal resort from which to explore the area; it has a charming historic centre and its own castle.
The World Nature Forum is open Tuesday-Sunday 10.00-17.00. From Brig railway station it is just a 5 minute walk, across the River Rhone bridge into the town of Naters.
Your choice of resorts and hotels in the Valais region
Not sure where to base yourself for this wonderful excursion? You can find out more about the Valais, and its resorts of Brig, Zermatt and Saas-Fee on this website.
Alternatively we will be happy to help you with your holiday plans on 0800 619 1200.