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Along the water’s edge

Experience South Tyrol's 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/Val Venosta, where rainfalls were a rare event. The "Waaler", namely a waterkeeper, made sure every farmer was supplied with 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 and are suitable for everyone. A spring walk during the apple blossom or in autumn is particularly charming: it’s the time of the year when nature shows its most colorful dress.

Across forests, past apple orchards and vineyards, castles, chateaus and chapels, the narrow trails have moderate changes in elevation. The Meraner Waalrunde, a canal circuit, is considered as a leisurely hike. It links together eleven Waalwege canal trails and gets you around the Meran basin with a soothing water splash sound in the background. This traditional irrigation system is an extraordinary example of how water resources can be used in harmony with natural cycles. For instance, the traditional irrigation system of Malser Haide heath in Obervinschgau/Alta Val Venosta has been acknowledged as a UNESCO World Heritage Site to protect its outstanding landscape and cultural value

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

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

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