Surrounded by the Alps and located on the Simplon road, the town of Brig is situated upstream from the Rhone Valley in the canton of Valais. Let’s take a closer look at the geography of this Valais commune with a touch of history.

The town has a beautiful mountain landscape and an important connection to the Saltina River. Let’s take a closer look at its geographical specificity by exploring the town of Brig, in Switzerland.

History of Brig

Probably founded by the Bishop of Sion, its name is mentioned in writings in the 13th century, before its more important development in the 17th century, notably under the impulse of Kaspar Jodok von Stockalper.

The road to Italy through the Simplon Pass from Brig was built at the beginning of the 19th century, consolidating the town’s role as a major axis of strategic importance between the Rhone Valley and the lower Po.

The inauguration of the Simplon tunnel at the beginning of the 20th century confirmed the town’s position as a major link between Switzerland and Italy across the Alps.

View of the city by Gabriel Lory in 1811
View of the city by Gabriel Lory, 1811*

Geography of the city of Brig

At the crossroads of several languages and cultures, Brig in German is written Brigue in French and Briga in Italian.

It is a Swiss town located in the canton of Valais and in the district of the same name. It covers an area of 38 km2 and has a population of more than 12,000, with an average altitude of 691 metres.

Brig is situated on the Simplon route, an important transport route, both road and rail, linking Switzerland and Italy.

Where is Brig?

Location map of the city of Brig in the Swiss Valais:

Brig on the Simplon route

The Simplon road links Brig and Vazo in Italy, creating an axis between Geneva and Milan. It is very popular because it allows travellers to reach Italian cities by crossing the Alpine passes without having to use the major motorways.

A railway tunnel also provides a link via the train line between Brig and Domodossola, with the possibility of piggybacking vehicles. The tunnel runs through the Alps under the Simplon Pass and is about 20 km long.

Col du Simplon en Suisse

Municipality and district

Brig, also known as Brig-Glis due to the amalgamation of municipalities, is the capital of the district of Brig, Bezirk Brig in German, and also includes the neighbouring municipalities of Eggerberg, Naters, Ried-Brig, Simplon, Termen and Zwischbergen.

The district of Brig offers a variety of landscapes from the Alps to the fertile plains around the city. There are also several lakes, rivers and streams in the vicinity which offer natural landscapes to admire.

The Saltina River flows through Brig

The Saltina River flows through the town of Brig and provides drinking water for the inhabitants. It comes from the mountains surrounding the canton and flows to Lake Geneva via the Rhone River, of which the Saltina is a tributary.

Tourism in Brig

The old town is worth exploring with its main street, Bahnhofstrasse. The Stockalper Castle with its characteristic architecture is worth a visit.

The Simplon Pass, with its famous eagle rock, is also a source of hiking, biking, motorcycling or driving for landscape and mountain lovers.

Brig is also a stopover or starting point for excursions to the many nearby Alpine peaks, such as the Matterhorn, as well as the nearby ski resorts.

Stockalper Castle in Brig
Stockalper Castle in Brig

Climate and weather

Nestled in the upper Rhone Valley between the Matterhorn and the Rhone Glacier, surrounded by the high peaks of the Alps, the climate is continental and humid, both influenced and protected by the mountains.
Temperatures range from a low of -5°C in winter to a high of 27°C in summer.

Along the Rhône

Hotel, rental
Activities, visits, tickets, leisure
Activities, visits, tickets, leisure