The Irrigation Channels of Nendaz : The Historic Water Trail

Nendaz

"Suonen" water channels, Nendaz, Valais

Nendaz - Tracouet

Nendaz - Tracouet

Nendaz - Mont-Fort

Nendaz - Mont-Fort

Itinéraire Plan du fou

Itinéraire Plan du fou

Nendaz - Lac de Tracouet

Nendaz - Lac de Tracouet

Nendaz - Plan du Fou

Nendaz - Plan du Fou

Nendaz (Siviez) - Novelli

Nendaz (Siviez) - Novelli

Nendaz - Alpage

Nendaz - Alpage

Nendaz - Combatseline

Nendaz - Combatseline

A wonderful waterworld: 100 kilometres of hiking trails run through the sun-drenched Nendaz region along these historic irrigation channels.

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Technical information

Starting point:Haute-Nendaz station / post office
Destination:Haute-Nendaz station / post office
Getting to the starting point:Post bus from Sion to Haute-Nendaz station / post office
Getting to the destination:Post bus from Sion to Haute-Nendaz station / post office
Technique:easy
Physical fitness:medium
Gradient:250m
Hiking time:3h30
Season:May to October

Description

The setting could hardly be more beautiful. From the terraces of Nendaz, situated at between 1300 and 1400 metres above sea level, a fantastic mountain panorama unfolds with views of the Bernese, Valais and Vaud Alps. And right at the furthest end of the valley the gondola cable car sets off towards Mont Fort (3300m), breathtaking with its panoramic views over twenty Fourthousanders, the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc included.

Because the climate in the Valais is so dry, farmers have for centuries built irrigation canals, the so-called "suonen", or "bisses" in French. Nendaz, still one of the most important raspberry and apricot producing regions in Switzerland, has the largest ancient irrigation channel network that is still in use today. Along these channels there are 98 kilometres of magical water trails that are particularly suitable for families and casual hikers. This is because the aqueducts were laid out more or less at an equal altitude, with the result that there are no significant climbs or descents.

One particularly beautiful trail is the three and a half hour hike from Haut-Nendaz along the "Bisse du Milieux" (the middle channel) to Planchouet, where local delicacies await you at the Auberge Les Bisses. And if you happen to miss this first opportunity for refreshments, you need not wait long for another - just around the corner in Lavantier, Chez Edith also serves Valais specialities.

Then following the "Bisse Vieux", the "old channel", the romantic water trail finally returns to the "Alphorn capital". Here in Nendaz an international festival is dedicated to the alpine horn every summer.

Tour Overview

3D hiking map Download GPX coordinates Download KMZ (GoogleEarth)

Profile

Profile

The careful planning of a tour will ensure that you also derive the maximum pleasure and enjoyment from it. Please take the time to contact the local information centre and enquire about route and weather conditions before setting off. Your intended trail may be fully or partially closed, depending on the time of year and weather conditions.

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