The Matsch valley is a side valley of the Vinschgau, which lies in the west of South Tyrol and borders on Switzerland and Austria. The Matsch Valley leads into the southern Ötztal Alps at the foot of Weisskugel (3,739 m), the second highest peak in the Ötztal Alps and often referred to as its “secret queen.”
valley is surrounded by a large number of three-thousand-metre peaks and boasts a magnificent view of the Ortler opposite. Located as it is in a south-western spot, Matsch is a true sun-blessed valley.
Matsch is a “fraction,” or hamlet, which belongs to the municipality of Mals: The division of municipalities into what are known as “fractions” is common in Italy. The centre of Matsch is located at 1,580 m, and its section of the valley extends out to the valley’s end at the Glieshof farm (1,800 m). Matsch is home to around 460 inhabitants.
Home of the “Waale” irrigation channels
Just one look at the countless irrigation systems and you’ll see exactly how dry the south of the Ötztal Alps is. Glacier streams at the back of the valley are the source of the water: We are in the home of the “Waale irrigation channels which run parallel with the slopes and were created centuries ago with the greatest of skilled finesse. Given that they require constant maintenance, it is not always possible to keep them in working order. Some of the “Waale” which have lasted the test of time in Matsch include the “Ackerwaal” and the “Leitenwaal” channels. To the west of the valley they extend out to the area of Tartsch and are flanked by well-built walking trails. When you reach this point of your journey, at the very latest, you can look out to the south and admire the colossal ice flanks of the Ortler and its satellites.