The Défago arcade or gallery (Galerie Défago in French) was built in 1864 at the beginning of tourism in Champéry and was intended to offer an attraction to the town. The gallery took the name of its designer, Emmanuel Défago. The term “galerie” (gallery), which can be seen painted red on a white background on the cliff, may seem more like a tunnel with an open side part. In fact, this word in Valais means “balcony”, which makes it easier to understand its meaning with the magnificent view, as on a balcony, on Champéry.
Parking available at the Rey-Bellet garage.
The trip consists of a loop with a starting point from the Rey-Bellet garage in Champéry. The distance is 3.8 km for about 1h45, it will take 2h15 from the cable car in the village of Champéry.
Ascent to the gallery
From the Rey-Bellet garage, after crossing the Vièze River, follow the small pebbled road and the signs indicating the direction of the “Accrobranche du Dahu” next to which you pass just before starting the gallery.
Path through the gallery
The path dug into the inside of the cliff slopes slightly upwards for about 700 metres. The path is well secured with the continuous presence of barriers. With rocky walls at the top and bottom of the path, the experience is particularly impressive.
The Défago gallery offers a view of the village of Champéry but also those of Troistorrents and Val d’Illiez. Looking towards the Val d’Illiez, you can see the Vaud Alps with the Tour d’Aï, Leysin and Mont d’Or.
Cantine des Rives restaurant
After the Défago gallery, the path climbs steeply until it reaches a paved road next to which is the Cantine des Rives restaurant. It should be noted that the small train of the Dents du Midi connects the canteen of the Rives from the Champéry cable car and can be used, in summer, to return to Champéry free of charge.
The return through the Vallon des Rives
The return begins by following, in descent, a small asphalt road winding along the pastures and passing by pretty chalets. Then, after a fork on the right, it reaches the starting point along a rocky road.
Village of Champéry