The final stage of the Tour de la Vallée d'Illiez (TVI), Champéry to Monthey, is 15.8 km long with an elevation gain of 450 m and takes approximately 4h50 to complete.
From the Champéry cable car, follow the Route de la Fin in the direction of Grand Paradis. About 300 m past the cable car, the pedestrian trail crosses under the main road to descend towards the Vièze River, crossing the rushing waters over a charming wooden bridge at a place called ‘Le Progrès’. From there, the path follows the river – through the shady forest, across sunny clearings, and past tranquil ponds. Along the way, you might want to make a stop at Chalet Rosalie for a little trout fishing.
The trail crosses back over the river on a lovely stone bridge and continues along the riverbank through the Bêtre pastures. Continue towards the area called ‘Draversat’, on the right bank of the Vièze, turning left onto the Route du Stand. Just past the oratory, take the path that climbs through the fields towards the village centre. Tip your hat to the statue of Gros Bellet in the town square, then head down the Chemin de la Creuse, threading your way between the church, the cemetery and the cure, heading once again towards the banks of the Vièze. Cross the Fayot River near the football fields, then descend to cross a small footbridge over the Vièze, before arriving at the Pas sawmill.
From here, you’ll begin the climb to the village of Troistorrents, taking the Chemin de la Revenettaz at the train crossing on the cantonal road. If you have time, you may want to visit the magnificent Saint Madeleine church, or the ancient Moulins de la Tine, perched higgledy-piggledy in the river gorge just below. The Old Mill, painstakingly rebuilt down to the last, hand-forged nail, bears witness to the importance of hydraulic power and agricultural trades here over the centuries.
Your walk continues across a new alpine footbridge, which connects Troistorrents to the hamlet of Chenarlier. Hikers with vertigo beware – this graceful alpine bridge spans the entire valley and is 75 m high. If you have a fear of heights, you might want to cross the river over the intriguingly named Pont du Diable. According to legend, this bridge was built by the Devil himself, who then claimed the soul of the first passer-by to cross it, once it was built.
The last part of this stage and the end of the Tour de la Vallée d’Illiez crosses another footbridge before plunging into the spectacularly wild Vièze River Gorge, following an educational path that highlights the region’s geological, biological and historical heritage, and taking a thrilling detour through a tunnel carved right into the gorge’s rocky walls. Lighting on a timer provides just enough illumination to see your way in the nearly pitch-black darkness. Back in the warm sunshine, the final jaunt to Monthey passes by the hydroelectric plant, the Rue Reconfière, and the emblematic wooden covered bridge, built in 1809.
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