The Val d‘Hérens
The Val d` Hérens is located in Switzerland, in the canton of Valais. It is one of the best preserved and most beautiful valleys of the alpine arc. With its 34 km in length, it is also one of the longest valleys, reaching from the heights of the glacier Arolla to the village of Bramois, where it enters the Rhone Valley through the deep defile of Longeborgne.
Nowhere else can you see the entire alpine landscape more impressively and assess the role of humans in their present appearance better.
Large areas give the impression of a free and wild nature. However, looking more closely you will discover numerous traces of human intervention. Paths and trails lead everywhere and in all directions, down to the valley floor or up to the alpine pastures.
The fields which were constructed in a terraced manner through the implementation of drystone walls served as a most welcome extension of agricultural land. The villages have been consistently built outside of natural hazard zones and are in perfect harmony with the environment.
The dense settlement patterns have spared the best acreage and lots of natural land. For centuries, man has slowly and persistently altered the environment to his own benefit, now the opposite phenomenon occurs as wide areas of Europe are spoiled.
However, there are little or no giant resorts that have marred the entire alpine landscape.