Three thousand people on the scene: South Tyrol's 'Little Tibet' attracts mountain climbers

Three thousand on offer
South Tyrol’s “Little Tibet” attracts climbers

In the pristine valley of South Tyrol, you can find a place also known as “Little Tibet”. Mud looks have a long history, and today it primarily attracts hikers. Above all, the valley offers solitude in winter and summer.

In the Ötztal Alps there is a village called “Little Tibet”. the reason? The place is surrounded by high mountains – some of them are over 3000 meters high. For many trekkers, Match Village is the starting point for trekking in the high mountains. But not only that: the small roof of the world exudes a special atmosphere.

The Italian mountaineering village of Match is already at an altitude of more than 1,500 metres. The place belongs to the municipality Malles im Vinschgau in South Tyrol. Only 460 people live here, which of course also means that it’s very isolated. The landscape is characterized by black pine forests and steppe vegetation. Many animals inhabit a unique natural environment – in addition to chamois and other wild species, golden eagles and bearded vultures are at home here.

A village at an altitude of 1500 meters above sea level

The place was first mentioned in 824, at that time under a different name. The Celts are said to have settled here around 400 BC. Powerful bailiffs once lived in the castles of Obermach and Untermach, the ruins of which still stand today. Until the 16th century, they were among the most respected noble families in Vinschgau. The original mountain farming culture can still be felt to this day. In 2017 Mach was named the first mountaineering village in South Tyrol from the initiative of the International Alpine Club.

From here several hiking trails lead into unspoilt nature. What about Vinschger Hohenweg, for example? This leads to the most beautiful sections of the valley at about 2,000 meters above sea level. Hikers should plan about four hours for this. The second highest mountain in the Ötztal Alps, Weißkugel, rises 3,739 meters into the sky. Ice equipment is required here. But also Rabenkopf (3394m) or Valvelspitze (3360m) are popular destinations in the area. Ortler, at 3,905 metres, the highest mountain in South Tyrol, can also be seen from there.

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