Saffron is known as the queen of plants. And the only place in the whole of Europe that still cultivates saffron using centuries-old traditional methods is in Mund, Switzerland. Just 15 minutes’ drive from the Brig-Gils-Naters group of towns, this saffron village is a treasure trove of undulating landscapes with breathtaking views onto the mountains of the Valais.
Each year thousands of visitors flock to this area, with many staying in Brig, the liveliest town in Valais, to find out about the world-renowned ‘red-gold’ plant, which is used to flavour various local dishes in the area’s authentic restaurants.
Saffron is a micro culture in this part of the world. Here, you can follow the Saffron educational trail which winds through beautiful saffron covered fields and meadows and affords impressive views of the Rhone Valley. Ideal for a family day out, the route is dotted with numerous plaques that contain all you need to know about the origins, history and cultivation of saffron.
And if you are feeling enthused, you can learn even more on a visit to the Saffron museum located in an historic barn that is one of Switzerland’s oldest wooden buildings. While away a fascinating hour or two viewing saffron making equipment and learn about the unique qualities of Mund saffron.
Looking for accommodation in close proximity to Mund? Then check into Brig’s fabulous Hotel De Londres, where minimally dressed interiors featuring subway tiles and oil scrubbed floors meld wickedly with British design touches by Timorous Beasties and House of Hackney.
EDITOR'S JOURNAL EDIT
For more on all things Alpine culture in Valais, read up in our Travel Journal's about even more culture in Valais including the Valais Art Museum, Sion's contemporary Ferme-Aisle gallery and of course the yearly yodelling festival (which happens right outside your Hotel de Londres Balcony). Chillax hillside in Valais' Brig and discover this beautiful, snow-covered world White Line style, with our Beauty Spot in the Swiss Alps.
Once the grand resting spot for the weary English mountaineer brigade heading high up the Alps, this wonderful historic spot has been brought smack up to date and is the creative hub of the town. This is a fabulous example of Swiss culture melting into English eccentricity – a place where the urbane greets the mountains, all in fresh modern tones.
One thing is for sure: when it comes to the Arts, Valais is not to be found wanting. Take the Valais Art Museum in Sion. Here you can feel the history leap out at you in seminal paintings that depict life in the area and sweeping landscapes and Alpine mountain paintings that excite and inspire.
Switzerland’s picture-perfect Valais valley is eponymous with all things ski; from guaranteed snow and cutesy Alpine villages to what we are all here for, an exhilarating foray into the wild: cross-country skiing. Valais’ 1000km of immaculate trails accompanied by soaring sights of the Matterhorn and numerous frozen lakes make it a dream of a rural Swiss location. Best crossed the old fashion way, on skis.
Rekindle your artistic fires and concentrate on creative pursuits at the Hotel de Londres Brig - from the fab meeting stube, living room, open kitchen and of course be disturbed only by the majesty of nature; the Alps of Valais
Whether you’re a seasoned visitor or planning on your first trip, the charming town of Brig in Switzerland is sure to surprise. Located close to the Swiss-Italian border, in the sunny Upper Valais, Brig is an accessible gateway to the Alps, ski resorts and mountains, even more, Brig is a magnet for thrill-seekers and those with a passion for culture and history.
Ski culture is more than an exhilarating afternoon spent on the slopes followed by a sauna and some well-deserved après-ski in the bar. Discover the ski-licious foodie side of the Alps where the focus is on enjoying great cuisine in spectacular surroundings.
When the doors opened to the public in 1970, it wasn’t just the interior of Flash Flash that was forward thinking. The restaurant is soundproofed to make conversation easy and comfortable, and while it may not seem particularly revolutionary now, the restaurant is only closed on Christmas day and features bright and pleasant restrooms — both rare in a restaurant in 1970!
Fancy stepping into a walk-in cloud of breathable G&T? How about rafting across four tonnes of alcoholic punch, taking tipples as you please? Or if you’re feeling adventurous, how does conquering the world’s first chocolate-based scratch n sniff climbing wall sound?