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Riffelalp and the Matterhorn (©_OTV)

East of Sierre stretches the German-speaking portion of Valais – or Wallis, as it officially becomes. To mark it out from the Lower Valais to the west, this is known as Upper Valais, or Oberwallis. The main town of the region, Brig, is an important road and rail junction, but is otherwise of limited interest. The reason that everybody passes through the area is to make a pilgrimage to the little mountain village of Zermatt, in order to lay eyes upon the Matterhorn, the most famous (if not actually the highest) of all Switzerland’s mountains. In a side valley nearby sits the equally alluring resort of Saas-Fee, while east of Brig, the remote Goms region follows the Rhône to its glacial source.

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