British Residents’ Association of Switzerland

Visit to the Magic Valley of Lötschental

Share this page

Welcome / Past Events / All Past Events / North-West Region / Visit to the Magic Valley of Lötschental

In late October a group of just over thirty members (including the BRA Chairman, the Vice Chairman and a couple of guests) from several regions of the BRA travelled to the magic valley of Lötschental at the invitation of Jenny and David Love. Our hosts had for a number of years lived in Ettingen BL, but when they moved permanently to Kippel, a delightful village in the Lötschental VS, they had the brilliant idea of arranging a guided and gastronomic visit not only for  we Baslers but for all other interested members of the BRA.

Not surprisingly the invitation was taken up in various parts of Switzerland and we were blessed with beautiful sunny and warm late October weather. Two days later the Lötschen valley had one of its first winter snowfalls !

The Lötschental is well-named as the “magic valley” because it is somewhat hidden away high up in Canton Valais. In former times it was completely cut off from the rest of the country by avalanches in the winter. For that reason the valley has numerous legends and myths, the most striking being the weird and rather terrifying masks which are worn in the carnival between Candelmass and Shrove Tuesday. The carved figures are real works of art and the wearers, the so-called Tschäggättä, also wear sheep or goat skins to make the hand-carved Swiss pine wooden mask even more scary.

For me one of the most striking things about the magic valley is that one can literally step back into the past of unspoiled Swiss rural villages with beautiful carved wooden buildings and the occasional cow tethered to a doorpost.

Our visit began with a guided tour of the Lötschentaler Museum in Kippel . This was followed by an Apéro and luncheon in the Dorfkeller restaurant, where we were warmly welcomed by owners Jacqueline and Claudio Rieder and enjoyed a tasty and traditional Lötschentaler meal. A guided tour of the magnificent village church followed, and later we all took the bus up to the head of the valley to Blatten, where the charming former Gemeinde President, Lukas Kalbermatten, gave us a fascinating description of the history and significant sites of his village. We then repaired to the Edelweiss Hotel in Blatten for coffee and dessert before making the journey home.

A number of us extended our visit with an overnight stay at the Hotel Petersgrat in Kippel, where Stephanie and Herbert Jaggi made us most welcome.

The thanks of all participants deservedly go to to all our charming guides and hosts both in Kippel and in Blatten

All in all one of the most interesting BRA events I have ever attended. Our grateful thanks are due to the imaginative organisers, Jenny and David Love.

Graham Simons