The mountain village of Vals is located at an altitude of 1250 metres above sea level, deep in the Valsertal, a side valley of the Surselva south of Illanz. The village square is still surrounded by original “Walser” houses roofed with stone tiles made of Vals quartzite. The peaceful Grisons holiday resort offers endless opportunities for hiking, mountain biking and wellness at the thermal spa, Therme Vals.
The Valsertal owes its wilderness, diversity and fame to the forces of water. While millions of years of ice and water have shaped the deeply-cut scenic mountain valley, it is Vals' natural 30-degree thermal source, that has brought the valley international recognition. The thermal spa designed by star architect Peter Zumthor, and built out of the treasured local quartzite, showcases the elements of water and stone and blends them together to create a truly unique wellness experience. The building, an elegant and timeless sculpture, has become a bit of a place of pilgrimage for people interested in architecture and design.
The wild, rocky Valsertal and its side valleys are an outdoor paradise, empty trails, alpine lakes and Intact agriculture (which is exclusively organic) characterise the valley, and steep trails over high passes lead to the neighbouring valleys of Val Lumnezia, Safien Valley, Val di Blenio and the Rhine Forest. These routes were originally built by the Walser people, nomadic farmers who lived in the high valleys of Switzerland and the surrounding regions of Italy & Austria from about the 12th century. Today many stone settlements remain, and if you are lucky you may visit a local family preserving the Walser ideals, in their renovated stone farm high on the Alp.
The peaceful ski region with five lift facilities at the Dachberg is located at altitudes between 1270 and 2941 metres above sea level and is regarded as snow-sure. The sheltered climate in the Central Alps and high-Alpine scenery add to the attractiveness of the Dachberg. Skiers, carvers and snowboarders can enjoy themselves on pistes catering for all abilities. Cross-country skiing, tobogganing, winter walking and snow-shoe trekking are possible too.