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Hike the BISSE de SAVIESE, Switzerland

Updated: Sep 15, 2020

One of our FREE Camping Spots in Switzerland not only offers incredible views over the mountainous valley, but it is also the starting point for many stunning hiking trails and most famously, the Bisse du Torrent-Neuf or Bisse de Savièse channel.


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Built around 1430, the Bisse du Torrent-Neuf or Bisse de Savièse channel was no doubt at its time one of the most ambitious projects of its kind. It drew its water from the river Morge before leaving the gorge via a rickety wooden structure to carry water to the Savièse area.

BISSE de SAVIESE hiking trail

Work is underway to make all of the old channel accessible again. The hike is 8km long (in one direction) at an altitude of between 1100m and 1300m. It follows the old channel and has good information about the construction along the way. There are currently four suspension bridges along the way, each almost 100m long. This spectacular walk follows the old channel past sheer rock faces and takes approximately 2 - 3 hours to walk in one direction (possibly longer if you have to wait for Lisa to cross the bridges!) and yes, you do need to walk the same way to get back!

BISSE de SAVIESE hiking trail

Lisa has a moderate (to severe) fear of heights (some days are far worse than others) which at times poses the predicament of whether we should attempt this type of route or not. Although the local recommendation clearly states that the route is "absolutely not recommended for those suffering from a fear of heights...", we just couldn't ignore the fact that we were right there, at one of the most magnificent walks in Switzerland, and so we decided that we simply had to give it a go!

It was a lot more challenging for Lisa than expected, especially on the way back when there were more people and we couldn't time it for Lisa to cross the bridged alone. The day contained both my (Lisa) strongest and proudest moment (making it across all four bridges successfully) and my weakest moment (almost breaking down having to cross the final bridge with oncoming people causing the bridge to sway and bounce). For the most part, I managed to keep my fear of heights under control and walk the dizzying path along this gravity-defying irrigation channel. Take a look at our video and decide whether it is something that you would want to do!

You should definitely not underestimate the degree of challenge that this walk poses to those with a fear of heights. It's not only a single, very long, swaying in the breeze, suspension bridge - there are FOUR of them. AND, once you reach the end of the trail, you will need to turn around and walk ALL FOUR bridges back again! That being said, if you do manage to overcome your fears you will be richly rewarded as the hike and views are absolutely spectacular. It might be best to start super early in the morning as there are a lot fewer people on the trail and you can walk the bridges without the added stress of others rocking and swinging it.

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