The dam is the highest level accessible for tourists on an architectural structure in Europe, after the restaurant of Ostankino Tower in Moscow. However, there is currently a taller dam at Nurek in Tajikistan which is 300 metres. The lake is usually full of water by late September, and is allowed to empty during the winter, reaching its lowest point around April. This photograph was taken in June, when the water level was still low, as can be seen from the lighter coloured 'tide mark' on the surrounding rocks. There is another view of the dam taken from the eastern end.
Grande Dixence dam - Sion visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Grande Dixence dam' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Wallis.
The Grande Dixence dam is one of the tallest concrete dams on earth. It rises 285m high reaching an altitude of 2,365m at the head of Val d'Hérens in the canton of Valais in Switzerland, some 22km south of Sion. The dam is 200m thick at the base and 700m long. Around 32km of tunnels within the dam are used for regular inspections.
The dam has become a tourist attraction. Visitors can take a guided tour within the dam, or take a cable car to the top. Ibix trails, which may be walked along, depart from Grande Dixence dam along parts of Lac des Dix, the 5km artificial lake created by the dam.or walk along the natural path by the lake. These paths are only open between July until October and the walk lasts abuot 4 hours, taking visitors through some stunning mountain scenery. Walking information available at the visitor centre at the foot of the Grande Dixence Dam. Entrance is free.
When full, Lac des Dix is up to 284 metres deep and contains 400 million m³ of water. The water is fed through a series of tunnels to three power stations in the Rhône valley over 1,800 metres below. Much of the water filling Lac des Dix comes from glacial melt water which fills the lake during the summer months, peaking around September. During the winter the water level falls, reaching low points in April.
Grande Dixence SA Rue des Creusets 41 1951 Sion Tel. +41 (0)27 328 43 11
TRAVEL DIRECTIONS AND GETTING THERE
Road: Grande Dixence dam is 27km south of Sion. The drive is dramatic passing up a long valley through several villages to the dam itself.