The village of Blatten is reached by a mountain road zig-zagging up from Brig in the Valais region of Switzerland. The ride itself affords fine views over Brig and nearby Natters and alone would be worthwhile but the village itself is picturesque with typical stone-roofed timber houses with façades burnt almost black by the sun and their adjacent raised storehouses.
Over thousands of years, the ice masses of the Aletsch glacier, and after its retreat, the melting water with its deposits, have carved a deep canyon into the rock - the Massa Gorge. The entrance to the gorges is situated at the foot of the 120-foot Gebidem Dam, which was build by the Electra Massa Corporation in the 1960s in order to utilised the natural energy generated by the water.
1 Reviews and Opinions
Relais Du Silence, Blatten, ch
Good for: Business
Belalp, P.O. Box 49, Blatten, 3914, Switzerland
Good for: Families
Ried, Blatten, 3919, Switzerland
Good for: Couples
Blatten-Naters, Blatten, 3914, Switzerland
Good for: Couples
The bus to Blatten is timed to connect with the gondola ascending up to car-free Belalp a summer and winter resort at 2,000m above sea level. Check the website for up-to-date opening times and fares.
We made the trip to Blatten by local bus from Brig via Natters - a journey of about 20 minutes with wonderful views over the Rhone Valley of Brig as it climbs hairpin bends up to Blatten. It would be woth it for the journey alone.
In 2008 we were back at Blatten, the skies were clear plus a new suspension bridge over the Masa Gorge had just opened the week before giving access to a new hiking route from Belalp, high above Blatten, to Riederalp cutting short a longer hike of 8 hours down to approx 5 hrs.
Lovely variety of views and terrain starting off from the alpine village of Belalp, reached by gondola from Blatten, through alpine meadows with tiny chapels, descent to the Aletsch glacier edge, across the new suspension bridge over the Massa gorge and finally ascending through the Aletsch forest to Riederalp to a welcome hut. Its a long hike with ascent and descents of over 500m, with some step sections but the views are well worth while - just take plenty of water and wear good shoes.
The web link below provides more info and even a google earth file showing a virtual route - although it doesn't do justice to the steep sections!
Too many pics to show her so more in a travelogue if interested.
Our first visit in 2007 was a little cloudy for taking the gondola up to Belalp so we opted for the 3 hr hike through the woods on the outskirts of Blatten in the direction of the dam and down the gorge path, cut into the rock high above the Massa Gorge, taking you down to the end of the valley with fine views over the Rhone Valley and around to Ried Morel following water channels. From Ried Morel there are fine views towards Fiesch and a gondola can be caught down to Morel in the valley below and the local train station.
A very pleasant easy hike and along the route are info boards (german and french) regarding the water.