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Tausende Schafe überqueren ein Schneefeld im Schnalstal

Annual Transhumance in Schnalstal Valley

The migration of sheep from the Schnalstal Valley to the Ötztal Valley

The transhumance in Val Senales/Schnalstal Valley, which is still practiced and deeply rooted in local tradition, dates back 600 years.

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. This ancient tradition in Schnalstal Valley is now part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. The annual migration in Schnalstal Valley is the only cross-border and trans-glacial transhumance in existence.

 
 

Migration between Ötztal and South Tyrol: For many centuries, every year in mid-September the sheep returning in the Schnalstal Valley!