Sierre Tourist Attractions
The little town of Sierre (German name Siders) in the Rhône valley, lies near the linguistic boundary between French and German. It is set amid vine-clad hills formed by a gigantic rock-fall in prehistoric times, facing the gorge-like mouth of the Val d'Anniviers. On the left bank of the Rhône, at Chippis, is a large aluminum plant.
Château des Vidomnes
In the main street of Sierre is the 16th C. Château des Vidomnes, with four corner turrets, residence of the episcopal bailiffs (vice domini). Close by stands the church of Notre-Dame-des-Marais, which dates in its present form from the 15th to the 16th C; the Baroque parish church is 17th C. (restored 1947).
Château de Villa
The Château de Villa (16th C.), in the northwest of Sierre, was the residence of the Platea family.
Hôtel Château Bellevue
Close to the railroad station, in the northwest of Sierre, is the Hôtel Château-Bellevue (Rue de Bourg; restaurant). Built in the 17th-18th C. and restored in the 20th C. it houses a collection of pewter and the Rilke room with mementos of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926).
Tour de Goubing
On a commanding crag (590 m/1,936ft) above Sierre to the east is the massive Tour de Goubing (13th C.).
To the south of Sierre, on a rocky hill above the two Lacs de Géronde (bathing lido), stands the former Carthusian Monastery of Géronde.
The driving tour from Sierre to Val d'Anniviers passes sights such as the 3,028 m Bella Tola, Lac de Moiry, and several small villages.
Sierre to Crans (driving tour)
A funicular goes up via St-Maurice-de-Laques (change cars) to Montana (4.2km/2mi, gradient 39%, 30minutes).There is also a well-engineered road to Crans (15km/9mi) which winds its way up the steep hillside through the forest. From the first bend there is a view of the little Château de Muzot (not open to the public), in which the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke lived at one time. From here it is 4km/2mi to Venthône.
Venthône (800 m/2,626ft) is a picturesque village with a Gothic church and a 15th C. castle. 5km/3mi: Randogne (1,250 m/4,101ft), with the Montana sanatoria (pulmonary tuberculosis, tuberculosis of the bones and joints).
Montana (Vermala, Crans sur Sierre)
From Randogne it is 4.5km/3mi to Montana (1,500 m/4922ft). 1.5km/ 1mi north, higher up, is Vermala (1,680 m/5,512ft). 1.5km/1mi west of Montana is the separate resort of Crans sur Sierre (1,480-1,500 m/4,856-5,922ft).
From Crans sur Sierre an excellent road, with extensive views, runs southwest to Lens (5km/3mi), a small health resort in a commanding situation, and from there to Sion.
The Lens Museum is housed in a 19th century building that has been restored. Temporary exhibits are featured regularly.
Sierre to Vercorin (driving tour)
This driving tour from Sierre to Vercorin is 18km/ 11mi.
The road runs south from Sierre and over the Rhône to Chippis (2km/ 1mi; 534 m/1,752ft), at the entrance to the Val d'Anniviers, where there is a large aluminum plant (Alusuisse).
From Chippis a road runs 3.5km/2mi down the Rhône valley to Chalais (521 m/1,709ft), at the near end of which, on left, is a cableway up to Vercorin (1,820 m/5,971ft, seven minutes).
From Chalais a winding mountain road, with sharp bends and two tunnels, continues up 10.5km/7mi to Vercorin (1,342 m/4,403ft), a beautiful old village 800 m/,625ft above the Rhône valley. A cableway runs south to Sigeroula (1,865 m/6,119ft). Still farther south is Mont Tracuit (2,332 m/ 7,651ft).
Tin and Pewter Collection
17th-19th C Swiss and French metal work including soldering irons, candlesticks, and doctors equipment.
Sierre Flower Festival
This annual three-day festival takes place in mid-October.
St Catherines Festival
This two-day festival takes place in late November.