Wallis Heidenhaus

  • Location: Mountains
    Restaurants: In walking distance
    Shops and restaurants in Fiesch: 4km (7 mins by car)
    Ski lifts in Fiesch: 4km (7 mins by car)
    City of Brig: 19km (25 mins by car)
  • Brig train station and bus (Postauto): 19km (25 mins by car)
    Zurich Airport (ZUC): 180km (2h 15 mins by car)
    Car recommended
    Paid parking

This property offers easy COVID-19 cancellation terms:
In case of official travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, guests can cancel up to 4 days before arrival and receive a full refund of the amount paid less CHF 60 admin fee. Alternatively, guests may also use the amount paid as a voucher for a future stay (subject to availability).

Authentic and cosy atmosphere without the feeling of being in a museum. Natural and sustainable materials. Contemporary design combined with historic details. Wooden charm.

There is no TV but there are Bluetooth loudspeakers and good WiFi.

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An introduction to Wallis Heidenhaus

How would you describe Wallis Heidenhaus in a nutshell?

Wallis Heidenhaus is a typical Heidenhaus in the village of Ernen that was built between 1424 and 1454. It’s one of the oldest surviving houses of this kind in the Goms region. It’s been beautifully preserved and now comprises two apartments that combine atmospheric, original details with modern design elements. And both apartments have a unique outdoor space as well.

What was the inspiration and story behind Wallis Heidenhaus?

I have a strong passion for historic houses, architecture and interior design, with my first project being a barn transformation in the mountains of Grisons. But I wasn’t searching for another project — it just found me!

An old man was living in the house until 2015 and it was very basic, with only one cold-water fountain (no bathrooms or WCs). It’s rare to find properties like this in today’s day and age. So my intention was to capture the property’s authentic atmosphere while integrating it with modern-day comforts. I wanted to give it a future and rent it out so that others could experience how the traditional Heidenhäuser were built.

How would you describe the interior design and atmosphere of the apartments?

I’ve always had a love for interior design and researching the history of buildings, especially when it comes to finding old, authentic objects and details that match their past. On the other hand, I’m also very interested in contemporary art and love to combine the two. So there’s been a strong emphasis on the choice of materials and fittings to create an authentic atmosphere.

I think that every object tells a story and I love giving things a new life in a sustainable way. For example, I found wooden antiques once used for carrying bread from the communal village oven and have transformed them into towel rails. A lot of guests ask about these and are interested to learn the old traditions.

Is Wallis Heidenhaus suitable for children of all ages?

Yes. I’ve had lots of families with children of all ages stay and can provide a baby bed and hi-chair if needed. That being said, there are a lot of historic details that are quite special and difficult to replace. So parents may need to pay more attention than when staying in some other apartments. Children love checking out the animals in the village, including the goats and the donkeys that live right next door!

I’d also say that the apartments aren’t really suitable for elderly people as the property is located on a very steep hill that makes access difficult. The doorways are also quite low, so tall people should be aware!

What is the charm of the region?

The region is special due to its landscape — there are 4,000-metre-high mountains and endemic flowers you can’t find anywhere else. Compared to some mountainous regions that feel claustrophobic, the mountains around Ernen are open and you can see in every direction.

The village is very historic and authentic — you won’t find any ugly houses here! It’s located on a terrace that’s always sunny and boasts beautiful views. While it’s famous with tourists, you don’t feel like you’re in a tourist destination as people live here throughout the year and are busy going about their daily lives. Guests often comment on how friendly the local people are.

Wallis Heidenhaus
Ground floor kitchen and dining room
Ground floor living room
Ground floor living room
Ground floor living room
Ground floor living room
Ground floor living room
Ground floor twin bedroom
Ground floor twin bedroom
Ground floor double bedroom
Ground floor twin double bedroom
Ground floor bathroom
Ground floor terrace
Exterior
Exterior
Upper floor terrace with private entrance
Upper floor kitchen and dining area
Upper floor kitchen and dining room
Upper floor twin bedroom
Upper floor double bedroom
Upper floor bathroom
Upper floor bathroom
Upper floor living room
Exterior
Views

Wallis Heidenhaus rooms & rates

The house is divided into two separate apartments that can be rented separately or as a whole. It’s ideal for two families who want to spend their holidays together while still having their own privacy. Both of the apartments are the same size, with two bedrooms and large kitchens. The apartment on the ground floor is more historic, with an old oven dating back to 1565 which provides a really cosy atmosphere in the kitchen.

The upper apartment is a little more suitable for families, with two bathrooms, one of which has a bathtub. Both apartments look out across a large garden where you can relax or listen to music coming from the church during the annual music festival.

  • Ground floor apartment for 2-4 people / 85 m²
    / night
    • 1 Twin bedroom
    • 1 Double bedroom
    • 1 Shower room
    • 1 Living room
    • 1 Kitchen
    • 1 Baby cot (on req.)
    • Terrace
    • Fireplace

    The apartment on the ground floor features:
    2 bedrooms: 1 double bed: 180x200cm; 2 single beds 100x200cm
    Large eat-in kitchen made of reclaimed wood with stove including oven, fridge with freezer and dishwasher.
    Bathroom with shower and toilet
    Giltstein stove from 1576 with a visible fire chamber
    Original buffet from 1822
    Magnificent views from all rooms
    Generous orchard with a view of the valley

    During peak season, the apartments have a one-week minimum; shorter stays are possible with an additional extra fee per night. Off-peak, shorter stays or long weekends are also possible. Please indicate your desired dates in the comments field.

  • Upper floor apartment for 2-4 people / 85 m²
    / night
    • 1 Twin bedroom
    • 1 Double bedroom
    • 1 Bathroom
    • 1 Living room
    • 1 Kitchen
    • 1 Sofabed (on req.)
    • 1 Baby cot (on req.)
    • Terrace
    • Fireplace

    The apartment on the upper floor with its own private entrance features:
    Two large bedrooms: 1 double bed: 180x200cm and 2 single beds: 90X190cm
    Spacious eat-in kitchen made of reclaimed wood with stove, oven, fridge with freezer and dishwasher
    Large bathroom with shower, free-standing bathtub and toilet
    Additional toilet in the entrance area
    Well-preserved beam-headed chimney typical of the Gommer Heidenhäuser as evidence of earlier times when open fireplaces were common.
    Heidenkreuz and beam head fireplace as the heart of the apartment
    Beautiful views of the valley and the mountains from all rooms
    Outside seating area, with a view of the St. Georg Church, accessible directly from the apartment

    During peak season, the apartments have a one-week minimum; shorter stays are possible with an additional extra fee per night. Off-peak, shorter stays or long weekends are also possible. Please indicate your desired dates in the comments field.

  • Entire house for 4-8 people / 170 m²
    / night
    • 2 Twin bedrooms
    • 2 Double bedrooms
    • 1 Bathroom
    • 1 Shower room
    • 2 Living rooms
    • 2 Kitchens
    • Terrace
    • Fireplace

    Both apartments can also be rented together. See detailed descriptions above.

    During peak season, the apartments have a one-week minimum; shorter stays are possible with an additional extra fee per night. Off-peak, shorter stays or long weekends are also possible. Please indicate your desired dates in the comments field.

Included in the rates
Rates include water, electricity and heating and WiFi.
Extra charges
There is a local tourist tax of CHF 3.50 per person per night (CHF 1.75 for children between 6 and 16 years old). Children under 6 years are free.
Children & Extra beds
Children of all ages are welcome. A baby cot is available on request at CHF 5 per night. 1 extra bed is available (sofa bed or mattress for kids).
Minimum stay
7 nights
Check in time
after 16:00
Check out time
before 10:00
Discounts/Special offers
This property offers easy COVID-19 cancellation terms:
In case of official travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, guests can cancel up to 4 days before arrival and receive a full refund of the amount paid less CHF 60 admin fee. Alternatively, guests may also use the amount paid as a voucher for a future stay (subject to availability).

Facilities & services

  • Children welcome
  • WiFi
  • Terrace
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Washing machine
  • Central heating
  • Hair dryer

There is a ski/bike room in the cellar where guests can safely store their equipment. There’s also a washing machine and tumble dryer that guests appreciate, particularly if they’re doing a lot of sporting activities during their stay. For longer stays, I can organise additional cleaning of the apartments and extra linen and towels.

Things to do in Wallis & Ernen

  • Art / Culture
  • Wildlife / Animals
  • Skiing
  • Hiking
  • Cycling
  • Horseback riding

There are some very nice walks that leave directly from the house, including one that leads to a hanging bridge in the neighbouring village. There’s a cafe next door where you can have lunch before continuing your walk into the surrounding alps. Landschaftspark Binntal also has a historic hotel with a very good restaurant.

The area is renowned for hiking and paragliding in the summer months and skiing in the winter. You can hike directly up the mountain with your skis or snow shoes from Ernen. And from Fiesch, about 8 mins away, you have access to a huge ski region (Aletsch Arena) with beautiful view of the glaciers.

Families can spend a day at the Zaubergarten or fantasy or magic park, which features different stations with animations and forest activities, as well as a picnic spot. It is easy for kids and families to spend an entire day there.

If you’re more interested in culture, you can attend one of the summertime festivals or writing seminars that are held here. The founder of the Ritz hotel, Caesar Ritz, also comes from the region, with an exhibit about his life and legacy at the Station Ritz in Niederwald.

To explore the region, you really need to stay at least a week. Most of our guests come with the intention of being out and about every day. But if bad weather forces them to stay inside, they often comment about how much they enjoyed the cosy atmosphere and reading books from Wallis Heidenhaus’s well-stocked library.

The location of Wallis Heidenhaus

Wallis Heidenhaus is located in Ernen, a small, historic village in the Swiss Alps that’s positioned at 1,200 metres above sea level. It’s a really comfortable elevation — in summer it’s warm, and in winter the entire village is covered in snow. The property is located at the entrance to the village right next to the nationally-significant St. Georg Church. From the house you have great views across the valley. The entire region around the church is protected, so nothing can be constructed in front of the property to obstruct its views. In fact, Ernen won the Wakker Prize for the preservation of its architectural heritage in 1979.

Ernen is just above Fiesch, which is famed for its sports camps and offers direct access to several different mountains. There are plenty of grocery stores in Fiesch, although you can find everything you need in Ernen’s local shops and there are four restaurants in the village if you want to eat out.

Ernen also forms part of Landschaftspark Binntal, a spectacular natural area that’s great for hiking and mountain biking in the summer months, as well as snowshoeing in the winter. If you need a change of scenery, you can take the train across the border and in less than an hour you can be soaking up the Italian lifestyle in Domodossola. Zurich is around three hours away by train, which includes a transfer in the interesting alpine town of Brig.

When is the best time to visit Wallis?

Autumn is my favourite time of the year because of the changing colours and the village gets quite mysterious with all the fog. But I think for most tourists, they either want to visit in the summer so they can go hiking in the mountains or in winter when everything is covered in snow. The contrast between the white of the snow and the dark wooden houses is quite special and a characteristic of the area. All of the houses have ovens, which makes it nice to come home and sit by the fire after being outside in the cold all day.