Traditional sheep homecomming procession of about 4,000 sheep
Traditional Sheep Exodus Val Senales South Tyrol
The people of the Schnals valley are very attached to their country and to their old traditions
and one of the most spectacular of these is the migratory procession of thousands of sheep
which takes place twice a year.
For hundrets of years
now, flocks of something like 3,700 sheep and 300 goats
from the Vinschgau and Schnals valley have climbed up over the 2,857 mt. high Hochjoch and the 3,019 mt. Niederjoch in the middle of June to reach the high alpine pastures
of the Venter valley in nearby Austria which have been owned by Schnals valley farmers for centuries.
Shepherds, drovers and sheep dogs
accompany the animals on their two-day march over 44 km. up to an altidude of some 3,200 metres and then down 1,800 mt. on the other side, crossing numerous snow-fields, rocky outdrops, steep slopes and slippery ice on the Alpenhauptkamm.
The middle of September
sees a repeat of this same journey in the opposite direction and, usually, under better weather conditions and along paths which are not so dangerous at that time of year. The sheep with their shepherds and drovers are welcomed on their return by valley folk and visitors alike and the unique, festive event
is enjoyed by everyone.
June 20164th June 2016
The first sheep leave from Vernagt at about 3a.m. while the second part of the flock, ewes with lambs, starts a little later. In total, there are up 2,200 sheep and 300 goats.
11th June 2016
The sheep set out from Kurzras at around 5p.m. In total, there are up to 1,500 sheep.
Possible change of date !
September 2016The return of some 4,000 sheep from their summer pastures in Austria.
10th September 2016
Up to 2,200 sheep an 200 goats cross the Niederjoch to arrive at Vernagt at 2p.m. Traditional Shepherds'Festival follows.
11th September 2016
The flocks begin their journey home over the Hochjoch to Kurzras where about 1,500 sheep usually arrive between 3p.m. an 4p.m. Traditional Shepherds'Festival follows.
In the event of bad weather short-term schedule changes are possible!