If you love spring flowers like I do, come to Saxon in springtime for a beautiful hike in apricot orchard when the trees are in bloom! If you are not impressed by the apricot blossoms then you will surely get impress by the post-card perfect view of the valley in the canton of Valais!
Ever since I found a blog post written by Un trek une fille about a Apricot trail in Saxon I was following the apricot blooming status like a hawk by harassing the Saxon commune with e-mails. And finally after a long wait what felt like forever (the spring in 2018 came very late), they send me an e-mail telling me to hit the trail because the apricot trees were in fully bloom. You can find the official site with all the practical information Here. The site is only in french.
This time, I left David at home and had a mother-daughter hike. We took the train from Bern to Saxon which lies near Martigny in the canton of Valais. The train ride took us in total 2.5h but it was totally worth it! By the Saxon train station a good friend of mine Cecilia and her 11 years old daughter Kathy were waiting for us. They came also by train but from Lausanne and the train ride took them 1.5h. If you come by car, by looking at the map below, there are parking spaces by the train station.
Please study the map above! There are two trails.
The small trail: 8 km long, 2 hours to complete and with 365 m of elevation gain. Follow the Orange apricot sign.
The big trail: 12 km long, 3 hours to complete with 370 m of elevation gain. Follow the Green apricot sign.
You will start with the small trail but at a specific point the trail will separate and you will have to decide if you will continue on the longer trail or the shorter trail. Although I personally would love to take the longer trail, it was best for all of us to do the smaller one. Finally it was a good choice because at the end of the day we were all very tired.
The trail head starts at the train station and there is a post sign with an orange apricot and that is what you will need to follow!
Follow the apricot trail post sign, Saxon.
Not far from the train station at the beginning of the hike lays a playground. Just a few meters further up, there is a bridge where you can cross and take a very few steps to see the Barmes waterfall.
Getting close up with the Barmes waterfall on the apricot trail in Saxon.
Go back to the bridge and continue to walk up along the vineyard.
Not far from the first playground after passing a small vineyard and apricot trees you can find a second playground. At the end of this road you will have to turn right (we didn’t know where to go at first) and once you turn right from now on the hill is getting steeper!
It’s from up there where we are walking down at the end of this hike on the apricot blossom trail.
Cross the main road and the hill is getting seriously steeper!
Just follow the orange fruit and you can’t get lost! The higher we walked up the better the view we got of the apricot orchards, of Saxon and of the valley.
There are picnic benches up here at the view-point. But we were choosing to sit under blooming apricot trees further away.
The view of the valley on the apricot trail in Saxon, Switzerland.
If you want perhaps a better view of the surrounding, you will need to climb these 108 steps up on the tower. Which we didn’t because we felt it was already enough pretty from where we were standing…*coughing.
I was complaining to my friend Cecilia that from a perspective of a photographer, taking photos of Swiss landscape can be annoying because wherever you go you will alway have these electric lines and the power towers on the background.
This part of the apricot trail in the forest is the steepest but short. In spite of having Mirabelle on my back I was far ahead of my hiking ladies and I was astonish of how fit I am. Yes, let me be proud of myself and brag about it.
Some of the apricot orchards had fences all around but some don’t and we asked a lady if we could explore her backyard and she said no problem as long as we paid attention to the bees and the honey houses that she have prepared the very same morning.
Mother and daughter on the apricot hiking trail in Saxon, Switzerland.
Along the way you will have educational boards about the 25 varieties of apricots, the explication of the cultivation, the obstacles and dangers for the plants etc. At the end of this site you can download a free PDF of the boards filled with interesting information about the apricot. It is only in french.
WARNING ! We almost missed this apricot post sign that indicated that we should walk down the dirt track instead of continue straight forward.
This is the first time I have seen apricot blossoms and to be honest, is not as spectacular as cherry blossoms. That said, I highly recommend this apricot blossom trail in Saxon because no matter condition of the apricot blossoms, the view of the valley is post-card perfect!