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Transhumance - immaterial Cultural Heritage of UNESCO

One of the longest-standing and spectacular movement of sheep in the entire Alpine region

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Transhumance between the Ötztal Valley and Schnalstal Valley in South Tyrol


The transhumance in Schnalstal Valley, which is still practiced and deeply rooted in local tradition, dates back 600 years. This ancient tradition in Schnalstal Valley is part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and now also an immaterial World Cultural Heritage of UNESCO. The annual migration in Schnalstal Valley is the only cross-border and trans-glacial transhumance in existence.
Every June, the shepherds lead flocks of 3,000 – 4,000 sheep on a mass migration from Vernago/Vernagt and Maso Corto/Kurzras across two mountain passes to the fertile pastures of Vent in neighboring Austria. The transhumance in the Schnalstal Valley covers more than 40km, across gullies and snow-covered fields.

In mid-September, the sheep and shepherds with the help of sheep dogs guide the flocks back to the Schnalstal Valley on the much safer return trip. At the end of the transhumance, the successful termination of the migration is celebrated.


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ipotsch - Schnalstal Valley's felt slipper
ipotsch - Schnalstal Valley's felt slipper
Thanks to its diverse and distinctive natural and cultural landscape, the Schnalstal Valley is one of the most fascinating valleys in the entire Alps. The ...
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