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The Schnalstal Valley at the foot of the Hochjochferner Glacier

The Schnalstal Valley („Schnalstal“ in German, or „Val Senales“ in Italian) is a side valley of the larger Venosta Valley in Italy’s South Tyrol Province. It starts at Naturno/Naturns, not far from Merano/Meran, and extends over 20 km to the northwest into the Ötztal Alps. It runs steeply uphill from a narrow valley entrance to the Schnalstal Valley Glacier, and ends at the „Schnalskamm“, the main Alpine ridge. In the vicinity of the glacier lies the site where the Iceman, or “Ötzi”, was discovered; through him the valley gained worldwide fame. High over the narrow valley entrance towers Juval Castle, summer residence of the mountaineer and adventurer Reinhold Messner and one of six Messner Mountain Museums in South Tyrol.

Skiing on the Schnalstal Valley Glacier

The Schnalstal Valley Glacier ski area offers winter athletes and families 35 kilometres of prepared slopes and pure skiing fun. 18 different slopes of varying degrees of difficulty, 1 snow park for freeriders and snowboarders, a tobogganing hill and 2 Nordic ski tracks make the ski region a special experience.

Those who come to ski will certainly get their money’s worth. No overcrowded slopes, no waiting for lifts and no mass tourism. Just this guarantee: There will be snow.

More information on the Schnalstal Valley Glacier ski area

A hiker’s paradise

The Schnalstal Valley, a first-class region for hiking, awaits you with 300 km of hiking trails in all degrees of difficulty. As part of the South Tyrol’s largest nature park, the Texelgruppe, it offers pure hiking enjoyment in a pristine world of high Alpine flora and fauna.

Whether a strenuous mountaineering tour to the summits of 3,000-ers or a casual hike over Alpine pastures to one of the 35 mountain huts and inns, a hiking holiday in the Schnalstal Valley has something for everyone.

More information on the Schnalstal Valley hiking region

Schnalstal Valley from the air

Places of interest & cultural sites

There is more to the Schnalstal Valley than its magnificent mountain environment. Tradition and looking to the future have always been two important elements characterising the not-always-easy life of the people in this high valley. Thus there are many places of interest to appreciate, which belong to the history of the valley.

Of course, the valley found fame through the discovery of the „Iceman“. But also the Vernago Reservoir in Certosa/Karthaus with its former monastery, or the pilgrimage church in Madonna di Senales/Unser Frau, are worthy excursion destinations.

Sheep driving in the Schnalstal Valley

For over 1,000 years, the local farmers have driven their sheep up into the pastures of the Ötztal Valley near Vent in Austria. Each year in June, more than 3,000 sheep are led over the Niederjoch (3,019 m) and the Hochjoch (2,857 m) ridges into the Ötztal Valley, returning in mid-September. Enough reason to throw a party.

Here you’ll find information on the sheep migration