Visperterminen or Heidadorf: village with high vineyards

The village of Visperterminen is a small village near Visp. It is also called Heidadorf Visperterminen. About 1,400 inhabitants live there. This number has remained fairly stable over the years. There is an old village center with houses dating from around the Middle Ages. Visperterminen is known as the village with the highest grape vines in Europe. A cable car runs from the village to Giw, located at an altitude of 2,000 metres. From there you can take beautiful walks.


  • Fishing terms
  • History
  • climate
  • Stay overnight
  • Population
  • Traditional costume
  • Total costume
  • Europe’s highest grape vines
  • St. Jews Kellerei
  • Sights
  • Old village center
  • Churches
  • Cable car to Giw
  • Nice walks
  • Special learning path and Kappelenweg


Fishing terms

The village of Visperterminen is located in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. It was built on the Terbinerberg and is not far from Visp. To get there you have to take the road from Visp to Visperterminen. This road has existed since 1941. The road was specially built for residents who had a job at the chemical company Lonza AG in Visp. People from Visperterminen still work at Lonza AG today. The village is also called Heidadorf Visperterminen. This has to do with the Heida wine variety, which is grown on the high-altitude vines.


It turns out that people already lived in this area in prehistoric times. The old part of the village dates from the Middle Ages. In earlier times there were four villages on the Terbinerberg. These villages often did not even agree with each other. Finally – in 1715 – they repented and continued together under the name Visperterminen.


In contrast to Visp at a lower altitude, the climate in Visperterminen is a lot colder and wetter. There is around 1320 millimeters of rain per year. August is the wettest month, when an average of 139 millimeters falls. The temperature is not very high. In July – which is the warmest month – it is around 14 °C.

Stay overnight

There are a number of options to spend the night in or around Visperterminen.

  • There are two hotels in Visperterminen: Hotel Gebidem and Hotel Rothorn.
  • There are also around 10 holiday homes in Visperterminen and a number in the surrounding villages.
  • There are also two overnight accommodations for larger groups. Ferienlager Tärbinu is located in Visperterminen and Ferienlager ‘Giw’ is near the village of Giw.



Between 1849 and 1883, a quarter of the inhabitants left Visperterminen. They left for South America. This had everything to do with the severe drought that prevailed around 1850. In order not to reduce the population even further, it was decided to install a water supply. This became the Muttji Tunnel. It took twenty years to realize the tunnel with a length of 2.4 kilometers (from the Nanztal to Visperterminen). From 1916 onwards, Visperterminen was supplied with water in this way. This tunnel is part of the Bodmeri-Niwa road. From that moment on, the population grew steadily again. In 1930 there were only 750 inhabitants, by 1970 this number had increased to approximately 1,325 inhabitants and around 2020 approximately 1,400 people live in Visperterminen.

Traditional costume

In the past, all residents of the Terbinerberg – also called Terbiners – wore traditional costumes. Nowadays there are still fifteen women who wear traditional costumes every day. The original costume was the expensive Festtagskleid. This was worn by the women anyway during their wedding. It was also used for baptisms and church festivities. There has been a Trachtenverein since 1975: roughly translated, this means a traditional costume association. Traditional costumes are worn on special occasions.

Total costume

The total costume consisted of:

  • a dress (reverend Chleidji in dialect) with the Festtagskleid over it in winter
  • a Sunday dress
  • a dress to work in
  • a dress for the shepherdess
  • a dress for serving

Grape vines at Visperterminen / Source: ©ottergraafjes

Europe’s highest grape vines

The grape vines on the Terbinerberg (near Visperterminen) are Europe’s highest grape vines. They are located at an altitude of 1150 meters and are contiguous. In total there is approximately 50 hectares. Of this, 60% white grapes are grown and 40% red grapes. The Heida wine variety is brewed from white grapes. This is a characteristic wine for Visperterminen and is also called the pearl of the Alps named.
The grape vines are on steep slopes and are surrounded by a stone wall. They cover a height of 500 meters, calculated from the bank of the Vispa river to the highest point. In the past, the grapes were processed by the farmers themselves, but nowadays they go to the St. Jodern Kellerei.

St. Jews Kellerei

The St. Jews Kellerei has existed since 1979 and is located in Visperterminen. About 300,000 liters of wine are brewed there annually. This will fill around 400,000 wine bottles. The grapes for these wines come from 500 cooperative members. This brewery has already received several awards for their wines, both nationally and internationally.


Although Visperterminen is not very big, there is plenty to do. You can take a walk through the old village center, along the learning path through the grape vines or past all the chapels in Visperterminen. You can also take the cable car up to Giw.
A . Visperterminen
B . cable car
C . old village center
D . Giw
E . Gebidumsee
F . Gebidumpass
Old village center / Source: ©ottergraafjes

Old village center

The old village center is still partly inhabited. The old houses are called Heidenhäuser. It is possible to take a walk through the old part accompanied by a guide.


There are quite a few churches and chapels near Visperterminen. The first church dates from 1256, the second from 1686 and the third church was built in the period 1834-1835. The newest and current church was founded between 1962-1963. This church was renovated in 2004.

Cable car to Giw

From Visperterminen a cable car goes up to Giw, which is at an altitude of 2000 meters. At the top you have a beautiful view of the Matterhorn, among other things. The area is a true hiking paradise with no less than 120 kilometers of hiking trails. You can take a walk to the Gebidumsee (2193 meters) or even further to the Gebidum Pass, located at an altitude of 2201 meters. Near the pass is the suone Heido.
Address and contact details
Giw AG, Sesselbahn & Skilifte
CH-3932 VisperterminenTelephone: +41 (0)27 946 32 46Email: [email protected]

Suone / Source: ©ottergraafjes

Nice walks

There are a number of nice walks to do in the Visperterminen area. Some of these are along a suone, a canalized water supply.
These are:

  • suone Bodmeri-Niwa (near the Nanztal above Visperterminen)
  • suone Heido (near Giw above Visperterminen)
  • suone Beitra (near Visperterminen)


Special learning path and Kappelenweg

It is also possible to take a walk on a special learning path through the grape vines on the Terbinerberg. Or a walk past 10 historic Rosary Chapels. This route is also called the Kappelenweg von Visperterminen . For this you have to take the cable car to Giw and walk back to Visperterminen.

read more

  • Visp: the city close to Europe’s highest grape vines