Bisses are the historic irrigation channels of the Valais. A bisse is an open ditches delivering priceless water from mountain streams – often by daring routes – to arid pastures and fields, vineyards and orchards. Many bisses are still in use today and so are carefully maintained. Numerous trails accompany these historic watercourses, inviting visitors to varied hikes on historic trails.
Grand Bisse de Lens
It takes its waters from the Lienne River, watering the pastures and vineyards of Icogne, Lens, Montana and Chermignon. Taking a vertigo-inducing path, it leaves the Lienne Gorge and crosses the village of Icogne in an underground conduit, skirts the Châtelard hill in corbelled structures which are either concreted or cut into the rock, and finishes at Diogne. A walkway made of wooden boards supported by metal pilons has been constructed above the sheer drops.
Destination: Chermignon d’en Bas (910m)
Distance: 16 km
Vertical metres: +60m, -300m
Hiking time: 4h10
Restaurants and pubs: Icogne, Chermignon d'en Bas