|Sion : arrival, orientation and information|
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Sion’s train station is at the southern end of the
long, straight Avenue de la Gare, with the giant postbus station to one
side. Some 500m north along Avenue de la Gare is the wide open concrete of the Place de la Planta, with a shack housing the tourist office (July
& Aug Mon–Sat 8am–6pm; Sept–June Mon–Fri 8.30am–noon & 2–5.30pm, Sat 8.30am–noon;
027/322 85 86, www.siontourism.ch).
They offer a good two-hour guided walking tour of the town (July & Aug
Tues & Thurs 4pm; Fr.8), as well as information about hikes in the surrounding
area, including treks into the Val d’Hérens, through the vineyards and along
the bisses irrigation channels in the hills. Every August, Sion hosts
the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition, named after the virtuoso
violinist who settled in Sion for the health of his son, and centrepiece of
a summer-long classical music festival at venues around the canton. For tickets
and information, contact the Festival Tibor Varga, CP 1429, CH-1951 Sion
(027/323 43 30, www.nouvelliste.ch/varga).
Airport of Sion (©_OTV)
From Place de la Planta, the Rue de Lausanne heads east to
meet Rue du Grand-Pont in the heart of the Old Town, clustered at the
base of the two castle hills of Tourbillon
and Valère. Sion’s tiny airport – used regularly by international
flights only in winter – is 5km west of the centre.