58 Chemin des Bisses
58 Chemin des Bisses

Hiking

Chemin des Bisses

Chemin des Bisses

Martigny (Col des Planches)–Grimentz

Route report
21 photos

WL_058_02_046_R_F_M.jpg
Chemin des Bisses

Chemin des Bisses

The skilfully laid «bisses» irrigation channels are evidence of Valais history and culture. Fabulous flora along the way, the babbling water so soothing. The «Chemin des Bisses», a hike for all senses, follows the holy waters.
«Josi sits up, smiles dreamily, searches the heights with red, swollen eyes and sees how her father mounts the delicate waterwheel, which lifts the warning hammer and lets it fall on the board, so that its beat resounds through the valley. A flag wave up towards the slope, men standing at the start of the channel open the flow of the holy water. In a few moments it will stream through the new channels. Soon the warning hammer will give the first signal» The book «An heiligen Wassern» (On Holy Waters) by Jakob Christoph Heer is suitable reading for hikes along ancient water channels.

Centuries ago farmers in the sunny, dry Valais created an irrigation system to supply water to meadows and fields- a system which is still amazing today. Wild glacier streams were tapped and the life-giving element was supplied to the cultivated slopes via a skilfully laid network of channels. In Upper Valais these channels were called «suonen», in Lower Valais «bisses». The channels are evidence of the history, culture and civilization of the southern canton. Dug into the ground, hewn out of the rocks or spectacularly suspended on cliff faces, and as scars, a reminder of earlier times and the population’s battle against drought.

It’s a long time since all bisses have carried water; many channels have long fallen into ruin. However, the ancient channels are being rediscovered, restored and carefully repaired. Fabulous flora is developing along them and the babble of the water has a soothing effect. «Chemin des Bisses» is a six-day hike to delight the senses. It leads from Col de Planches to Grimentz and follows the «holy waters» along the northern slopes of the Rhonetal valley.
The skilfully laid «bisses» irrigation channels are evidence of Valais history and culture. Fabulous flora along the way, the babbling water so soothing. The «Chemin des Bisses», a hike for all senses, follows the holy waters.
«Josi sits up, smiles dreamily, searches the heights with red, swollen eyes and sees how her father mounts the delicate waterwheel, which lifts the warning hammer and lets it fall on the board, so that its beat resounds through the valley. A flag wave up towards the slope, men standing at the start of the channel open the flow of the holy water. In a few moments it will stream through the new channels. Soon the warning hammer will give the first signal» The book «An heiligen Wassern» (On Holy Waters) by Jakob Christoph Heer is suitable reading for hikes along ancient water channels.

Centuries ago farmers in the sunny, dry Valais created an irrigation system to supply water to meadows and fields- a system which is still amazing today. Wild glacier streams were tapped and the life-giving element was supplied to the cultivated slopes via a skilfully laid network of channels. In Upper Valais these channels were called «suonen», in Lower Valais «bisses». The channels are evidence of the history, culture and civilization of the southern canton. Dug into the ground, hewn out of the rocks or spectacularly suspended on cliff faces, and as scars, a reminder of earlier times and the population’s battle against drought.

It’s a long time since all bisses have carried water; many channels have long fallen into ruin. However, the ancient channels are being rediscovered, restored and carefully repaired. Fabulous flora is developing along them and the babble of the water has a soothing effect. «Chemin des Bisses» is a six-day hike to delight the senses. It leads from Col de Planches to Grimentz and follows the «holy waters» along the northern slopes of the Rhonetal valley.
105 km | 7 Stages
4600 m | 4500 m
easy (hiking trail) | medium

Arrival | return travel

Arrival / return travel Col-des-Planches
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map
Arrival / return travel Grimentz, poste
SBB Timetable Show stop and route on map

Services

Accommodation

Chambres d’Hôtes les Cerisiers
Chambres d’Hôtes les Cerisiers
Turin (Salins)
Hotel Bella Tola & St-Luc
Hotel Bella Tola & St-Luc
St-Luc
Immobilia Grimentz
Immobilia Grimentz
Grimentz
Le gîte de Briey
Le gîte de Briey
Chalais
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Bookable offers

58 Chemins des Bisses Valais
58 Chemins des Bisses Valais
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Places

La Tzoumaz
La Tzoumaz
Nendaz
Nendaz
Veysonnaz
Veysonnaz
Hérémence
Hérémence
St-Martin VS
St-Martin VS
Grimentz / St-Jean
Grimentz / St-Jean
St-Luc
St-Luc
Vercorin
Vercorin
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Places of interest

Flowtrail La Tzoumaz
Flowtrail La Tzoumaz
The bizarre pyramids of Euseigne
The bizarre pyramids of Euseigne
Val de Réchy
Val de Réchy
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Swimming

Outdoor pool in Nendaz
Outdoor pool in Nendaz
Veysonnaz indoor swimming pool
Veysonnaz indoor swimming pool
Municipal swimming pool in Grône
Municipal swimming pool in Grône
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Signalization

Signalization
For hiking, follow the logo indicated on the yellow signposts. Take a printout of our web map on your hike for safety's sake.
Signalization