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Along the water’s edge

Experience South Tyrolean cultural landscape during a leisurely walk along our historic irrigation canals 

Canals had been built centuries ago in South Tyrol to irrigate meadows and fields, especially in the environs of Meran/Merano and in Vinschgau Valley, where rainfalls were a rare event. The "Waaler", namely a waterkeeper, made sure that every farmer could get water. Today, the pathways along the historic irrigation canals are among the most popular promenades in South Tyrol. In effect, they can be walked almost year-round, are mostly flat and can therefore be hit by anyone. A spring walk during the apple blossom or in autumn is particularly charming: it’s the time when nature shows its most colorful dress. Across forests, past apple orchards and vineyards, castles, chateaus and chapels, the narrow trails lead at medium altitude. The Meraner Waalrunde, a canal circuit,is considered a leisurely hike. It connects eleven Waalwege canal trails and gets you around the Meran/Merano basin. All the way with a soothing water splash sound in the background. This traditional irrigation system is an extraordinary example on how water resources can be used in harmony with natural cycles. Then irrigation canals in Malser Haide heath, in Obervinschgau Valley, were awarded with the "Green Flag" by the "Legambiente" environmental association in 2022. This prestigious award is given, every year, by the Italian environmentalist association "Legambiente" for innovative practices and systems that are representative of high environmental, landscape and cultural quality.

Strolling along historic watercourses

The first Waalwege canal trails were built in the 13th century, and the pathways on which we walk today encouraged building maintenance. Here we show you the most alluring Waalwege canal trails: full of lookout points, history and in shadow.

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More tips for your winter holiday

The stroll along the canal trails was just an ice-breaker? Then you'll find inspiration here for long-distance hikes through the surrounding mountains.