Arolla is located in the Swiss Alps, at a height of 2’000 m, some 40 km south of Sion in the Canton du Valais.
The high alpine location combined with easy accessibility presents some challenges:
- physiology: The air is thin here, the body works more, and it adjusts its functions to the situation. This often becomes manifest in headaches. The easiest remedy is to drink a lot, already on the way from the valley. Continue to do so throughout your stay, even if you think that you are not sweating. Reasons are that the air here is very dry and water allows the body to quickly adjust its balance. The drinking water at Arolla has excellent quality, so you do not need to buy any.
- Sun: Solar radiation is often very high and protection is important: sunglasses with UV protection, hat, sunscreen.
- weather (meteoblue): The temperatures are much lower than in the lowlands. Expect about 9°C difference. As quick changes are possible – snow may fall at any month of the year, even if it does not last long during summer – it is recommended to have several layers of clothing for both your stay and your hikes.
Arolla is easily accessible by public transport as well as by car.
by public transport
Travel by train to Sion and on by PostBus to Arolla Poste.
Sion train station: Leave the station through the main exit and find the Postbus station (big yellow buses) some 100 m to your left.
PostBus (time table): offers free internet.
Drive to Sion, VS, Switzerland, and leave the freeway at exit “Sion – est/Val d’Hérens” (notice that there are two exits at Sion). From here, it is a 50 minutes drive to Arolla. Follow the signs to “Val d’Hérens” and, passing through Evolène and Les Haudères, arrive at Arolla Poste. Find yourself a place for parking, either along the road or on the gravel place to your right.
Arolla Poste is the center of the village with most everything within walking distance. From here, it is a two minutes’ walk, across the gravel parking lot, to Les Ecureuils.
The house is accessible by a short but moderately steep dirt road. Conditions permitting, you may drive with your 4×4 car directly to the house for unloading and loading. Oftentimes, however, you will have to carry your material from the parking.
This is a traditional chalet with narrow and in part steep stairs. There are no elevators or ramps. Unfortunately, it is thus not equipped for the disabled.