Highlights of The Haute Route Trek: Grimentz Village

If you’re looking for a trekking holiday that incorporates stunning mountain views, local culinary delights and Swiss village charm – then the Haute route is for you! 

For many people a highlight of the Haute Route is visiting the ancient villages that dot the trail from Chamonix to Zermatt. Of these, Grimentz is one of the most picturesque and historic. 

Frozen in time

Nestled in the Val d’Anniviers at 5157ft, the village of Grimentz seems to be frozen in time. It’s narrow cobbled streets are lined with rows of tightly packed wooden houses adorned with thousands of red geraniums. 

Some of the oldest buildings, such as the Bergher house, date back to the 1500s. Blackened by the sun, they still stand strong in testament to the craftsmanship of their time. The earliest records of the village date back to the 11th century and in the 14th century it became part of the Val D’Anniviers. At that time people of the Val D’Anniviers lived part of the year in the Rhone valley and would travel on foot to villages such as Grimentz in the spring. The home owning residents at that time were burgeoisie; owning alpine pastures, mills and vine yards in the Rhone valley. (To this day the Rhone valley is still  a principal wine region of Switzerland.)

grimentz
Throughout spring and summer, the houses of Grimentz come alive, adorned with thousands of geraniums. Photo by Jennifer Stretton,

Development of tourism

Tourism began in earnest in the 1960s and today Grimentz is a year-round destination for hiking, skiing and sight-seeing. Fortunately it has been developed sensitively in a way that retains its traditional charm. 

Historic walking tour

Even after a long day of hiking, it’s worth setting aside a couple of hours to follow the historic walking tour through the village. The tourist office will be happy to give you a booklet which will guide you through the hidden gems of Grimentz. These include the House of the Bourgeoise (1480), the parish church (1828) and granaries dating back to the 17th century .

Visit Grimentz 

If you are interested in visiting Grimentz, Alpenwild tours stay overnight on both the Haute Route and Deluxe Haute route trips. We stay in the centre of the village and you will have plenty of time to explore before a hearty three course meal in one of the best restaurants in Grimentz.

Related posts

If you’re interested in visiting Grimentz as part of the Haute Route trek, you may enjoy our other posts:

Getting to know the iconic Alps Trek – The Haute Route

What’s the best time of year to hike the Haute Route?

Top 5 things to do in Zermatt

Jennifer Stretton

About Jennifer Stretton

Jen grew up about as far from the mountains and nature as you can get—in Birmingham, UK. When she first visited the Alps on a university climbing trip, she immediately fell in love with the place. After graduating with a degree in Geography, Jennifer spent the next few years travelling the world, volunteering with conservation charities and freelance marketing to fund her adventures. In 2015 she settled full time in the Chamonix Valley and began training to become an international mountain leader. An avid climber and environmentalist, Jen’s passion for the mountains and the natural world is contagious. When she’s not guiding, Jennifer spends her free time climbing, skiing, travelling and trying to keep up with her dog on trail runs. Sociable, caring and always smiling, Jen is the perfect guide to keep you laughing and motivated on your journey. She looks forward to meeting you next summer!

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