|Starting point:||Haute Nendaz, centre|
|Destination:||Haute Nendaz, centre|
|Getting to the starting point:||Car or bus from Sion|
|Back from the destination:||Car or bus to Sion|
|Difference in elevation:||Ascent 250 m, descent 250 m|
|Hiking time:||3h 40m|
|Season:||May to October|
|Note: Hikes along the "bisses" are ideal for families and leisure hikers. The water channels are more or less on the same level.|
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.
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.