From hiking in the mountains on a sunny day, hitting the slopes with friends at one of the numerous skiing resorts, to enjoying local delicacies, life in the Valais offers many unique advantages. It is a beautiful part of the world where the scenery and activities change dramatically with the seasons. Located in the heart of the Swiss Alps, the Valais offers a wide range of housing options.

Unless you have lived in an alpine region before, moving to the Valais will offer you a whole new lifestyle – relaxed, healthy and close to nature. It is a paradise for winter sports and summer activities such as hiking, cycling, climbing and more. You are only a stone’s throw away from two of Switzerland’s most iconic landmarks, the world-famous Matterhorn in Zermatt and the Great Aletsch Glacier, the biggest glacier in the Alps as well as some of Europe’s highest vineyards. Should you miss city life, the Swiss cities of Bern (1 hour), Zürich (2 hours) and Geneva (2.5 hours) are within easy reach for a weekend visit – as is Milan in Italy (2 hours).

Moving to the Valais is your opportunity to enjoy the best of both worlds. You can pursue your career at one of the world's leading suppliers to the pharmaceutical, healthcare and life science industries while enjoying the Valais style of life.

Living and Housing

Whether you decide to settle down in the French or German speaking part of the canton, in a cozy mountain village or a vibrant valley town, there are multiple opportunities to suit every need and lifestyle. Unlike urban centers such as Zürich or Geneva, our beautiful canton enjoys a low cost of living. Learn more about the different municipalities in the Valais.

This is also reflected in the broad, affordable housing on offer. From temporary accommodation, renting an apartment or buying your own real-estate, you can find a broad choice of housing options here.

Across the Valais and in Visp in particular, public transport connections are excellent and reliable, making it easy to reach from the Canton of Bern. Lonza Visp grants all commuting employees a generous travel allowance (75% of travel costs). Learn more about our employee benefits.


Sport, Leisure and Activities

The Valais is often called the sun centre of Switzerland, as the mild and dry climate of our region brings an average of 300 days of sunshine per year. This makes the Valais a paradise for a variety of outdoor sports and leisure activities. The people of the Valais are passionate about their fantastic mountain landscape and love the vast choice of outdoor activities – among them hiking, climbing, cycling, downhill skiing and ski-touring, snowshoeing or simply relaxing in the soothing thermal spas of the region.

At Lonza in Visp, we encourage our employees to take part in different activities as part of the “Lonza Makes You Fit” program.

What we offer:

Sports and Nature

  • 2,000 km of snow-guaranteed ski slopes in the highest-altitude ski areas of Switzerland
  • More than 8,000 km of hiking trails amidst breathtaking alpine landscape
  • A vast network of 1,600 km mountain bike and cycling trails connecting cultural and scenic attractions
  • Mountaineering, climbing and ski touring in the breathtaking Valais mountains, with 45 peaks over 4,000 metres
  • Spa region with thermal springs from the mountains to relax and unwind

Arts and Culture

  • Internationally-renowned art at the Fondation Pierre Gianadda in Martigny
  • UNESCO world heritage site visitor center and other museums giving an insight into the unique natural, cultural and historical heritage of Valais
  • Internationally recognized cultural events such as the Leukerbad literary festival or the Zermatt or Saas-Fee classic music festival
  • Popular music festivals such as the Open Air Gampel or Zermatt Unplugged
  • Local traditions such as carnival processions and alpine festivals

Food and drink

  • Culinary Valais: local delicacies such as raclette, rye bread and dried meats, Abricotine, saffron and many more
  • Haut cuisine: 75 GaultMillau-rated restaurants
  • Apéro time: discover a huge variety of local specialty wines including Cornalin and Petite Arvine

Language and Culture

People in the Valais are characterized by their down-to-earth outlook and sociability, kindness and strength of character and are proud of local traditions and customs. The German-speaking people of Upper Valais (approximately 80,000) are especially proud of their local dialect “Walliser Deutsch”. This fairly complicated dialect might be hard to comprehend at first, but Valais people are generally also fluent in one of the two official languages of the canton (German and French). Because of the tourism industry in the Valais, English as a second language is also quite common. 

The Valais is known for its strong communities, which have an open-minded, multinational character. Opportunities for celebrations and social gatherings are a key part of the local culture with Carnival being one of the biggest events in the Valais calendar at the end of Winter. In the summer, alpine festivals such as cattle drives and cow fighting are a regular feature on the calendar. 


Family Life

The Valais is a very family friendly canton and excellent place to bring up children. The outdoor lifestyle and vast choice of sports and leisure activities are all great for kids and families can benefit from high-performing schools and high-quality healthcare. In addition, the cost of living is lower than in many other parts of Switzerland.


Education

The Swiss education system is free of charge and is known for its high standards and high student achievements. The exact systems and regulations vary from canton to canton. When moving to Switzerland, you are required to contact the cantonal education department so that your children can participate in integration programs to support their transition into the Swiss education system.

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Childcare

The canton of Valais leads the way in supporting young families. If offers the highest family allowances of all the cantons in Switzerland for working families who need childcare and a good standard of living. A rapidly growing provision of childcare facilities in central locations ensure that work and childcare can be effortlessly combined.

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Healthcare and Transport Connections


Medical Care

The healthcare system in Switzerland is very well developed. All residents have comprehensive and compulsory accident and illness insurance. Numerous doctor surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals ensure patients are well provided for. The system is based around the general practitioner as the first port of call. Only in serious emergencies should you go directly to the hospital or call an ambulance.

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The World on your Doorstep

The Valais offers you a diverse range of day trips and excursions right on your doorstep. For those who feel the call of the city, the rest of Switzerland and its neighbouring countries are just a short journey away thanks to the Valais’s central location. With excellent public transport networks, you can visit museums in Zurich, attend concerts in Geneva, or go on shopping trips to Milan at any time.

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Do you have any further questions?

The valais4you team at the Welcome Desk in Visp will be happy to provide you with useful information and tips on living and working in Valais.

Get in touch