The bisses are important witnesses of our history, our culture, our civilization.
With 8 bisses, of which 6 are still water-filled, representing 98 km of walks, Nendaz benefits from a unique network of bisses. These are practicable from spring to autumn and just as accessible to children, to their parents, as to their grandparents. At Nendaz, the bisses spread over between 700 and 2,300 metres of altitude.
The footpath of the Bisse du Milieu is practicable all year round. It can be used by pedestrians as far as Le Bleusy in all seasons. The whole of its length is, moreover, suggested to snowshoe adepts in winter.
What is a bisse ? What is it used for ?
Dug into the ground, carved or suspended on the rock walls, like scars full of memories, they symbolise the fight of the people of Nendaz for the control of water.
Born of the peasants' wish to escape from the cruel consequences of drought, water was captured from rivers, notably the Printse, and artificially deviated over the cultivated hillsides.
The paths which run along the bisses have the advantage of being gently inclined, of traversing very varied sites, of furnishing breakaways with surprising views of the valleys, the villages and the mountains. That is why these little paths, traffic free, constitute greatly appreciated hikes and permit the discovery of one of the most picturesque aspects of our region.
How to behave on a bisse
The bisses are fragile and need a lot of maintenance. They are on private property and not on common land; they are useful to agriculture. All damage can endanger their existence.
- Do not damage the banks and do not throw anything into the bisse; there is a risk of flooding.
- Respect for hikers and other users of the bisse is essential.
- Dogs must be kept under control at all times.