The Valais is one of the 26 cantons of Switserland in the south-western part of the country, in the Pennine Alps around the valley of the Rhone River from its springs to Lake Geneva. The canton is one of the drier parts of Switzerland in its central
Rhone valley. Paradoxically it is also one of most well-watered parts,
having large amounts of snow and rain up on the highest peaks found in
Switzerland. It is perhaps best known world wide for the Matterhorn.
The canton of Valais is located in the south of Switzerland. To its south lies Itlay, to the southwest France. To the north the canton is bounded by the Swiss cantons of Vaud and Bern, the cantons of Uri and Ticino lie to its east.
The wide, glacial Rhone valley dominates the area. There are many side valleys which branch off
the main valley. These vary from narrow and remote to reasonably
populous and popular. At the head of the Mattertal valley lies Zermatt,a pretty tourist village dominated by views of the Matterhorn (4,478 m).