Martigny is the nearest town to Champex Lac. It has been established since Roman times as a major commercial centre. Here you will find many Roman remains, in particular the amphitheatre. It is situated between the Mont-Chemin Forest and a hillside of terraced vines. Martigny has a population of around 15,000 people. It has grown on a bend of the Rhone river and the town in ancient times was protected by the Bâtiaz Tower, a 13th-century fortress, which you can climb up and view. The older areas have preserved their original character, and you can take a very pleasant walk through them.
The town sits at a crossroads for the main routes across the Alps, Martigny is linked to Italy (Aosta 75km) by the Saint Bernard pass - used by Caesar, Hannibal, Charlemagne and Napoleon - and to France (Chamonix-Mont Blanc 40km) via the Forclaz Pass or by a lovely train ride with panoramic views.
Martigny is famous as the artistic capital of the Valais - it is a centre of gastromy and home to the Willamine Morand William's pear brandy) . In Martigny you will also be able to visit La Foundationa Pierre Gianadda which houses regular art exhibitions by famous artists and sculputors such as Matisse, Chagall and Picasso. You can also trace the history of the St Bernard dogs and see the dogs themselves at the Musee et Chiens du St Bernard
Whilst there don’t forget to take a look at the towns' roundabouts. Each is decorated with the work of contemporary Swiss sculptors. In the evening, the town's castle, monuments and other features are beautifully floodlit.
Visit the Martigny Website at Martigny.ch