January 27, 2023

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Three thousand in sight: South Tyrol’s “Little Tibet” attracts hikers

Three thousand people in sight
South Tyrol’s “Little Tibet” attracts hikers

In a beautiful South Tyrolean valley you will find a place also known as “Little Tibet”. The soil looks back on a long history and today primarily attracts hikers. After all, the valley is isolated in winter and summer.

In the Ötztal Alps lies a village nicknamed “Little Tibet”. The reason? The place is surrounded by high mountains – some 3000 meters high. For many trekkers, Match village is the starting point for their trek to higher mountains. But not only that: the world’s smallest roof exudes a special atmosphere.

The mountain village of Machia in Italian Masia is already above 1500 meters. The place belongs to the municipality of Malles im Vinschgau in South Tyrol. Only 460 people live here, and of course it is very isolated. The landscape is characterized by black pine forests and grassland vegetation. Many animals live in the unique natural setting – apart from chamois and other wild species, golden eagles and bearded eagles are at home here.

Village at 1500 meters above sea level

The place was first mentioned in 824, under a different name at that time. Celts are said to have settled here around 400 BC. Powerful bailiffs once lived in Obermatsch and Untermatsch castles, the ruins of which still stand today. Until the 16th century, they were one of the most respected noble families in Vinnytsia. The original hill farming culture can still be felt today. In 2017, Match was named the first South Tyrolean Mountaineering Village by the International Alpine Club Initiative.

From here numerous hiking trails lead to untouched nature. How about Winschker Hohenweg, for example? It passes through the most beautiful valleys at an altitude of about 2000 meters above sea level. Trekkers should plan for around four hours. The second highest mountain in the Ötztal Alps, the Weisskugel, rises 3,739 meters into the sky. Glacier equipment is required here. But Rabenkopf (3394 meters) or Valvelspitze (3360 meters) are popular places in the area. From there you can also see the highest mountain in South Tyrol, the Ardler at 3905 meters.

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