The canton or state of Valais in southern Switzerland is well known as a place to escape the rigors of modern life, and its hot, dry climate is both relaxing and invigorating. But there’s one village there in particular that is known as an especially great place to get away from it all: Zinal, located in the mountains to the south of the town of Sierre in French-speaking Lower Valais. This village of 400 people offers beautiful, clean and untouched nature, with a myriad of hiking possibilities and excellent high-altitude skiing. This is a family-friendly destination, and you’ll find it very easy to blend in with the locals.

The late Professor Aubrey Diem was a Canadian historian and geographer who fell in love with Zinal when he first went there in 1968, and where he made his home for many years.

Bob Zanotti and Aubrey Diem were old friends. The walking tour of Zinal that they once took together remains here on SIS in Aubrey’s honor and memory.