Zoo et piscine des Marécottes | Salvan (VS)
Updated: Jan 16
We visited the Zoo et piscine des Marécottes which is set in the middle of a larch forest and provides a completely natural environment where you can see most of the animals that live, or used to live, in the Alps.
We have been wanting to go here for a long time and I'm not sure now why we haven't made it. I think perhaps we assumed it was best seem in the summer and were then worried it would be very busy.
We were in the area on Sunday and decided to give it a try and we are so glad we did.
Parking outside the zoo is free and once we had collected our tickets, we were led off by our eccentric guides who were a group of 4 little goats!!! These chaps roam freely around the zoo and were a huge highlight for everyone as they trotted alongside us as we entered the park, nuzzling our hands and playing amongst themselves. Jude and Alba found this hysterical and were leaping around with excitement and giggling at the goats' antics.
It’s really a lovely place with plenty of paths to choose and lots of interesting animals to visit.
We were amazed that the deer who we came across first came really close to the fence to say hello. As we continued, our goat guides were joined by their mates and we all loved that they came up to greet us, and we went on our way with a bit of a tribe following us much to Alba's delight.
We had Elio in the pushchair and it it was mostly accessible apart from a couple of steep climbs including one up to see the wolves. It was a bit icy in places so we avoided some of the hillier parts with Elio but the rest was fine.
Further along, we loved seeing the lynx, the little muntjac deer, the owl and the fox. I especially liked the wild boar who was accompanied by two little fuzzy babies! Jude was fascinated by the large black bear and the fox but we all really loved the goats. Alba wouldn’t leave their sides and kept asking if we could take one home in the car…she even went as far as inviting two of them to come and live with us with the plan that they could share her bed!
Following a painful separation for Alba, we managed to sneak into the restaurant without the goats. It's a cosy space which is well organised for families with children (apologies once again to other diners for Elio’s shouting) and we were soon enjoying our meal. The menu offers a good selection and we had everything we needed.
After lunch, Jude wanted to try the snowy play area so he had a brief climb around before deciding it was too cold. The natural swimming pool is closed for the winter but we went to look and resolved to come back in the summer as it must be really beautiful. We were reading that there are also places to picnic in the warmer months.
Just before we left, some of the goats came up to see Elio. He was having a bit of a grumpy kind of day but the goat tickling his hand managed to raise a giggle which was really lovely.
Having promised to come back, Alba and Jude said goodbye to the goats and we headed off for home.
We will definitely be back in the summer but its really worth a visit at this time of year too.
The zoo is the highest in Europe at an altitude of 1,100 meters and since the animals are all native to the alps, we didn’t come across empty enclosures where the residents had been moved elsewhere for the colder months and the animals all seemed as happy to see us as we were them. A really lovely outing which kept us talking all the way home.
Alba wants a goat for her birthday...
Parking : Yes
Toilets : Yes
Accessibility : We would recommend baby-carrier
Opening hours of the Zoo
Open from 10 am to 5 pm / (Via the coin machine on Monday and Tuesday, plan coins in coins.)
From Wednesday to Sunday: 10 am to 11 pm Monday and Tuesday: Closed
Swimming pool timetable:
The pool is currently closed. (Open from June to September)
Les Combasses 3
+41 27 761 15 62