The Valais Bisses Trails

Important information

Arrivals on Friday and Saturday only! Please select the required day below.

Availability

Once your booking is complete, we will check the availability of the accommodation selected. A final confirmation will then be sent to you by email. If the service is no longer available on the date you have chosen, you will either be able to choose another date or you will receive a full refund.

Description

In the footsteps of water

The plague led to a switch to more productive livestock farming in Valais. The construction of irrigation channels, the so-called bisses in French, or Suonen in German, which continue to characterise the image of the Rhone valley even today, was started in the middle of the 13th century in order to irrigate the pastures and meadows. The mountain farmers of Valais came up with some adventurous constructions, which you will see at close range on this hike. The water runs quietly in the canals next to you and leads from one mountain village to the next on little-used mountain paths.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Martigny

Day 2: Col des Planches - La Tzoumaz

Head over measdows from the Col des Planches to Col du Lein, a wonderful spot to stop with barbecue spots along the way; then into the forest at Boveresse and on romantic paths alongside the Bisse de Saxon (irrigation channels that are dry at first, and later running with water) to La Tzoumaz.

Details: approx. 14 km ↑ 680 m ↓ 355 m, Hiking time: approx. 4.5 h

Day 3: La Tzoumaz - Nendaz

Enjoy a beautiful picnic area at Taillay near the Bisse de Saxon with a waterwheel and warning hammer in this lovingly restored part of the Bisse. En route to Nendaz, the silence of the forest is just as striking as the splendid views over the Rhone Valley.

Details: approx. 12 km ↑ 250 m ↓ 560 m, Hiking time: approx. 3.5 h

Day 4: Nendaz - Veysonnaz

Nendaz is a paradise for bisse hikers, and with eight of these irrigation channels still operational, it is the largest network still in use. The route from Planchouet to Veysonnaz leads through flowery meadows alongside the open channel of the restored Grand Bisse de Vex.

Details: approx. 14 km ↑ 240 m ↓ 340 m, Hiking time: approx. 3.5 h

Day 5: Veysonnaz - St. Martin surroundings

Today’s route runs alongside the Bisse de Vex to the Mayens de Sion and the mighty concrete church in Hérémence, the fairytale world of the earth pyramids in Euseigne which like an invitation to daydream. End off with the ascent to St. Martin, clinging to the side of the Val d’Hérens like an eagle’s nest.

Details: approx. 20 km ↑ 1’120 m ↓ 825 m, Hiking time: approx. 6.5 h.

Day 6: St. Martin surroundings - Nax

Wonderful high-level hike above the Rhone Valley through Valais villages, on down into Vallon de Réchy. From the head of the Grand Bisse de Vercorin alongside the open suone (irrigation channels) to Réfuge du Bisse.

Details: approx. 16 km ↑ 730 m ↓ 865 m, Hiking time: approx. 5 h.

Day 7: Nax - Vercorin

A demanding stage through the Vallon de Réchy with a stop in Vercorin where the old village centre around the church is worth a visit.

Details: approx. 16 km ↑ 745 m ↓ 685 m, Hiking time: approx. 5 h.

Day 8: Vercorin - Grimentz | Departure

The around 500-year-old suone (irrigation channel) «Bisse des Sarrasin» and its 17 information panels are of great historical and technical interest. The route then leads via the «Grand Bisse de St-Jean» suone to the typical Valais village of Grimentz. After arrival in Grimentz individual departures.

Details: approx. 17 km ↑ 910 m ↓ 865 m, Hiking time: approx. 5.5 h.

Tour characteristics

The tour requires good physical condition especially towards the end and sure-footedness and a head for heights are mandatory in places. The hikes along the bisses (Suonen) are mostly flat, but there are ascents and descents to master now and again and the rock can be slippery when it rains.

What's included

  • 7 overnight stays incl. breakfast

  • Daily luggage transfers

  • Carefully elaborated route

  • Detailed travel documents (1 x per room)

  • GPS data available

  • Service hotline

Not included

  • Tourist tax, if due, is not included in the price

  • The Martigny - Col des Planches bus journey is not included in the price. Approx. CHF 12

  • Bus trips Sion - Veysonnaz or Veysonnaz - Sion are not included in the price. Approx. CHF 10

Option of additional nights - booking after your payment (you will be contacted by our booking team):

  • Martigny: CHF 79.- (per person in a double room)

  • Single room surcharge: CHF 35.-

  • Grimentz: CHF 75.- (per person in a double room)

  • Single room surcharge: CHF 40.-

  • Veysonnaz : CHF 95.- (per person in a double room)

  • Single room surcharge: CHF 35.-

Cancellation conditions:

  • Up to 29 days before start of the trip: 20%

  • 28 – 15 days before start of the trip: 50%

  • 14 – 08 days before start of the trip: 70%

  • 07 – 1 days before start of the trip: 90%

  • 0 day before start of the trip / No–show: 100%

In the footsteps of water

The plague led to a switch to more productive livestock farming in Valais. The construction of irrigation channels, the so-called bisses in French, or Suonen in German, which continue to characterise the image of the Rhone valley even today, was started in the middle of the 13th century in order to irrigate the pastures and meadows. The mountain farmers of Valais came up with some adventurous constructions, which you will see at close range on this hike. The water runs quietly in the canals next to you and leads from one mountain village to the next on little-used mountain paths.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to Martigny

Day 2: Col des Planches - La Tzoumaz

Head over measdows from the Col des Planches to Col du Lein, a wonderful spot to stop with barbecue spots along the way; then into the forest at Boveresse and on romantic paths alongside the Bisse de Saxon (irrigation channels that are dry at first, and later running with water) to La Tzoumaz.

Details: approx. 14 km ↑ 680 m ↓ 355 m, Hiking time: approx. 4.5 h

Day 3: La Tzoumaz - Nendaz

Enjoy a beautiful picnic area at Taillay near the Bisse de Saxon with a waterwheel and warning hammer in this lovingly restored part of the Bisse. En route to Nendaz, the silence of the forest is just as striking as the splendid views over the Rhone Valley.

Details: approx. 12 km ↑ 250 m ↓ 560 m, Hiking time: approx. 3.5 h

Day 4: Nendaz - Veysonnaz

Nendaz is a paradise for bisse hikers, and with eight of these irrigation channels still operational, it is the largest network still in use. The route from Planchouet to Veysonnaz leads through flowery meadows alongside the open channel of the restored Grand Bisse de Vex.

Details: approx. 14 km ↑ 240 m ↓ 340 m, Hiking time: approx. 3.5 h

Day 5: Veysonnaz - St. Martin surroundings

Today’s route runs alongside the Bisse de Vex to the Mayens de Sion and the mighty concrete church in Hérémence, the fairytale world of the earth pyramids in Euseigne which like an invitation to daydream. End off with the ascent to St. Martin, clinging to the side of the Val d’Hérens like an eagle’s nest.

Details: approx. 20 km ↑ 1’120 m ↓ 825 m, Hiking time: approx. 6.5 h.

Day 6: St. Martin surroundings - Nax

Wonderful high-level hike above the Rhone Valley through Valais villages, on down into Vallon de Réchy. From the head of the Grand Bisse de Vercorin alongside the open suone (irrigation channels) to Réfuge du Bisse.

Details: approx. 16 km ↑ 730 m ↓ 865 m, Hiking time: approx. 5 h.

Day 7: Nax - Vercorin

A demanding stage through the Vallon de Réchy with a stop in Vercorin where the old village centre around the church is worth a visit.

Details: approx. 16 km ↑ 745 m ↓ 685 m, Hiking time: approx. 5 h.

Day 8: Vercorin - Grimentz | Departure

The around 500-year-old suone (irrigation channel) «Bisse des Sarrasin» and its 17 information panels are of great historical and technical interest. The route then leads via the «Grand Bisse de St-Jean» suone to the typical Valais village of Grimentz. After arrival in Grimentz individual departures.

Details: approx. 17 km ↑ 910 m ↓ 865 m, Hiking time: approx. 5.5 h.

Tour characteristics

The tour requires good physical condition especially towards the end and sure-footedness and a head for heights are mandatory in places. The hikes along the bisses (Suonen) are mostly flat, but there are ascents and descents to master now and again and the rock can be slippery when it rains.

What's included

  • 7 overnight stays incl. breakfast

  • Daily luggage transfers

  • Carefully elaborated route

  • Detailed travel documents (1 x per room)

  • GPS data available

  • Service hotline

Not included

  • Tourist tax, if due, is not included in the price

  • The Martigny - Col des Planches bus journey is not included in the price. Approx. CHF 12

  • Bus trips Sion - Veysonnaz or Veysonnaz - Sion are not included in the price. Approx. CHF 10

Option of additional nights - booking after your payment (you will be contacted by our booking team):

  • Martigny: CHF 79.- (per person in a double room)

  • Single room surcharge: CHF 35.-

  • Grimentz: CHF 75.- (per person in a double room)

  • Single room surcharge: CHF 40.-

  • Veysonnaz : CHF 95.- (per person in a double room)

  • Single room surcharge: CHF 35.-

Cancellation conditions:

  • Up to 29 days before start of the trip: 20%

  • 28 – 15 days before start of the trip: 50%

  • 14 – 08 days before start of the trip: 70%

  • 07 – 1 days before start of the trip: 90%

  • 0 day before start of the trip / No–show: 100%

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