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Have You Been to the Secret Town of Binn?

Switzerland is the place to be avid hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, may it be for its winter wonderland or its shining summer. The country has numerous hiking trails fitted for everyone, but located in the Upper Valais in southwest Switzerland, lies the beautiful yet little known Binntal or Binn Valley.

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Binn Valley is adorned by stunning natural beauty, amazing panoramas and ancient wooden villages filled with history and curious traditions. Before having a tunnel built in 1965, the valley and its villages were cut off from the rest of the world when winters arrives, having a unique feel of history and tradition that still sticks to today.

Many would consider Binn Valley to be too far and/or remote, but it is actually extremely easy and is a reasonable distance from the city. Binntal is only two hours away from the capital of Bern and can be accessed by most vehicles. If you still feel as though it might not be worth the travel, remember, you will be rewarded with some of the most jaw-dropping sceneries.

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Hidden behind towering walls of rock and a beautiful church, Binn seems like a secret. Guarded by the Binna river, the village is admired by its architecture, the picturesque stone bridge that dates back to 1564 and carved wooden masks that sport fierce expressions. The masks are hung up as a tradition of the Valais to ward off spirits. Binn Valley is also widely known for its mineral deposits, it is proclaimed to be one of the ten largest in the world.

Before the two-kilometer tunnel through the mountain was opened in 1965, Binn and Fäld was only accessible via a narrow road that faces along the Twingi gorge, which was extremely unsafe during the winter. This effectively closed off the villages from the outside world during winter, only having supplies be brought in by helicopter. But now with the tunnel providing a safer route for visitors, the old road is now used as a viewing platform for epic views that can be accessed by foot or bicycle.

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Ancient trade routes are are visible throughout the valley, such as the old Roman road. From the Binn village centre, there is a trail that is one the right side of the church that will lead you down through farmland and then to a small lake. The trail skirts the the lake which then turns into a 30-minutes flat walk along the gorge.

The hike gets a bit more challenging as there is a descent on a rugged trail. There is a part of a trail that is an old pilgrimage route to a church in Heiligkreuz, it is a 6.2km loop that takes about two to three hours. Binntal has a variety of hiking trails, like the trail to Imfeld (Fäld) that is deeply tucked into the valley and various alternative trails you can take to go back and forth the Binn valley.

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