The precise dating of this bisse is not known. However, a publication from the local authorities dating back to 1658 mentioning this irrigation channel suggests that it had already existed for some years. The seven-kilometre-long Bisse Vieux takes its source from the river Printse, between Siviez and Planchouet.
As you walk along it, you can clearly see the different materials used to build it. Over the years, the old wooden gutters have been replaced by concrete pipes or iron troughs. And the parts which pass through the gorges made dangerous by the risk of avalanches crashing down from the Dent de Nendaz forced the farmers to run the water through pipes.
This bisse is still used today to irrigate meadows and crops, especially the apricot orchards and raspberries patches in the regions of Haute-Nendaz, Fey and Bieudron.
A BISSE, WHAT IS IT ?
The bisses were originally irrigation channels that diverted water from the rivers to water the farm land crops growing on the mountain slopes. They are true historical relics and bear witness to the Valaisans' relentless fight against drought. It is their construction that makes them so special. Indeed, these channels had to adapt to the different terrain and environments encountered along the way, giving rise to impressive workmanship, especially when we imagine what the means of construction were at the time. The bisses of our region take their source from the Printse, a river that flows along our valley. Of the eight bisses located in Nendaz, six still have water flowing within their banks and are still carrying out their original task of irrigation.
WHY IS IT WORTH THE DETOUR ?
This bisse allows you to walk from the resort of Haute-Nendaz to Planchouet in about 1h30. Marvel at the landscapes and wood sculptures you can find along the way. Observe how the builders were able to get around a steep rock face by creating a small waterfall along a stone staircase...
ADVICE FROM THE LOCALS
If you are interested in discovering the bisses, kill two birds with one stone and walk two of our bisses by combining this hike with the Bisse du Milieu ! Indeed, between them, these bisses form a charming loop between Haute-Nendaz and Planchouet.
- Summer, Autumn
- Picnic area available
- Panorama / belvedere