Martigny is a city in the southwest of Switzerland and is the second biggest city in the canton of Wallis. It is located along the Rhone at an elevation of almost 500 meters above sea level. It has about 15,000 inhabitants and the city has a beautiful location at the foot of high mountain ranges and is the base for further travelling south towards the Italian border over the Grand St. Bernard Pass and towards Chamonix in France over the Col de la Forclaz.
Martigny has summers from June to September with temperatures around 24 or 25 degrees Celcius during the day on average. Temperatures ranges from 35 to below 15 though, so be prepared for hot weather or even cool rainy weather in the middle of summer. Winter is from December to February with mostly temperatures above zero during the day, although in the mountains it usually freezes and snows.
The closest airports with a significant number of flights throughout Europe are the Euro Airport near Basel and the Geneva Airport.
The Euro Airport Mulhouse/Freiburg/Basel has most flights with many lowcostairlines serving the area, including flights to Turkey, other southern Europe destinations as well as many cities throughout the west and central parts of the continent.
The Geneva Cointrin Airport has more flights, including lots of flights to places outside Europe. It also has many flights with lowcostairlines like Easyjet.
There are trains in eastern direction towards Sion and the Rhone Valley and west towards Lausanne and Geneva. A local train goes north to Le Chable, with connections to Verbier.
Check the Swiss Railways for more information.
From Chamonix-Mont Blanc train station the Mont Blanc Express narrow-gauge train travels between Saintt-Gervais-le Fayet, 23 kilometres west of Chamonix, to Martigny, stopping en route in Les Houches, Chamonix and Argentière. There are nine to 12 return trips a day taking roughly 40 minutes.
Martigny can be reacheb along highway number 9 from Lausanne/Lake Geneva. It continues down the Rhone Valley towards Sion, Leuk and Brig.
South and southwest are mountain roads toward Italy and France (towards Chamonix over the Col de Montets).
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Switzerland has a high rate of people with their own internet connection and computers, so internet cafes are not as common compared to other countries and compared to the past. But still you will be able to find a computer in the main cities and tourist areas, also at libraries, video rental shops, train stations or tourist information places. Wifi is widely available, though sometimes at a cost. A growing number of hotels, restaurants, coffee bars and fastfood joints now offer free wifi.
See also: International Telephone Calls
Switzerland's country code is 41 and the emergency phone numbers are 117 (police), 118 (fire department) and 144 (emergency rescue service/ambulance). Swiss phone numbers consist of the area code and a local phone number. The area code has three digits and starts with a zero, such as 022 for Geneva. The local phone number has usually 7 digits, but there are numbers with only 5 or 6 digits.
If you stay for some time, it may be advisable to buy a pre-paid cell phone card that you can use in any phone that supports the GSM standard on the 900/1800 MHz bands - they usually cost around 10-40 CHF and are obtainable in the shops of the mobile service providers Swisscom, Orange or Sunrise in most cities. Mobile network coverage is close to 100% by area, even in the mountainous, non-populated areas. There are also a lot of cheap prepaid cards for local calls from other providers. The prepaid cards of the big supermarket chains Migros and Coop for example cost around 20 CHF and include already 15 CHF airtime. The cheapest prepaid card for calls within Switzerland is Aldi Mobile. The cheapest prepaid card for international communication is Yallo. The prepaid cards can be bought online (30 CHF with 30 CHF airtime inclusive), in most post offices (29 CHF with 20 CHF airtime inclusive) or Sunrise shops (20 CHF with 20 CHF airtime inclusive).
Swiss Post is the national postal service of Switzerland and has fast and reliable services. For more information about prices to send postcards, letters and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally, they have a very useful Price Calculator. Domestically, there is priority mail (arriving the following day) and economy mail which takes 2-3 days to be send within Switzerland. Stamps can be bought at the post offices or from shops and kiosks that also sell postcards. In general, post offices are open from 8:00am to noon and 2:00pm to 5:00 or 6:00pm, with a lunchbreak in between. Opening times on Saturdays are usually only during mornings. Larger cities and central post offices might keep longer hours and skp the lunchbreak. If you want to send packages internationally, you might also consider international courier companies like TNT, DHL or UPS.
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