The Schnalstal, or just Schnals, is the tourist most undeveloped valley of the Vinschgau in South Tyrol. From the Adige Valley from Merano in Burggrafenamt coming it opens to the right roughly northwest through a narrow entrance to a steep hill. At the start of the 22 km long valley ( road to Maso Corto ) stands in a prominent location, the castle Juval, which is privately owned by the famous mountaineer, conservationist and author Reinhold Messner.


The valley is drained by the Schnalser stream that is dammed up in the upper part of the valley to Vernago reservoir. In this section limits the mountain farming settlements are reached, the Finailhoefe (1953 m) count (ed) to the highest grain farms in the Alps.

Like few other comparable regions shows the Schnalstal on a relatively short distance climate and vegetation ranges from apple and wine to the high alpine glacier. Politically, the Schnalstal belongs mainly to the municipality Schnals, the Taleingangsbereich to Naturns and Kastel -Ciardes. In the north part of the valley is part of the Texel Group Nature Park.

At the end of the valley in the winter Maso Corto is one of the oldest and largest cable car in South Tyrol, the Senales. The Schnalstal ski resort has over 35 km of slopes and ranges from 2011 m to 3212 m above sea level and is a member of the Ortler Ski Arena. It is partly a glacier ski area, so you could go on some lifts year-round ski until 2013, the summer ski has ceased operations.

For hikers numerous hiking trails are available. Recommended in particular the walks from Vernago Reservoir on the 1306 documentary called Mountain Farm Tisenhof (1814 m) to Similaunhütte ( 3019 m, private), Maso Corto to Schöne view ( Rifugio Bellavista ( 2842 m), private) and by the Pfossental, an only partially navigable tributary of the Senales until the ( ice-free ) Eisjöchl.

Near the Hauslabjochs, on Tisenjoch, above the Senales, the Iceman Ötzi was found. On the subject, there are two exhibitions: the " Ötzi Show Gallery " at the top station of the glacier path and the ArcheoParc Schnals in place Unserfrau.

Villages and community

All localities are summarized in Schnalstal to the municipality Schnals:

  • Karthaus
  • Katharinaberg
  • Maso Corto
  • Our woman
  • Vernago


Karthaus is orographic right on a terrace above the Schnalstal in 1323 m height. The place is out of the Charterhouse Allerengelberg, a former Carthusian monastery arose, which was founded in 1326 and in 1782 abolished by Emperor Joseph II in the course of secularization. Then it came to the settlement of the monastery area by farmers and artisans. In case of fire in 1924, the village was largely destroyed, but later rebuilt.


The Schnalstaler glacier railway was built in the early 1970s on the initiative and personal commitment of the ski pioneer Leo Gurschler ( 1947-1983 ). In July 1975, the highest cable car in South Tyrol opened ( mountain station at 3212 m). In May 1982, Gurschler went bankrupt with his also built in the late 1970s, Hotel and Apartment Commercial. The exact circumstances that led to bankruptcy, have never been fully explained .. In October 1983, the 36 -year-old took his own life. Gurschler honor was erected in September 2007 in his hometown Corteraso a monument to him.

The four annual Ötztal sheep drive allows the sheep farmers from the Schnalstal and the Vinschgau to use their grazing rights in the Ötztal above Vent. Here, thousands of sheep up to 44 km of track are driven with 3,200 m ascent and 1,800 m descent over the Ötztal main ridge to the summer pastures in June and September through two routes. The passage is not safe for animals and shepherds.

On 27 May 1995, the 14th stage of the Giro d' Italia ended in Schnalstal with the victory of the Colombian Oliverio Rincon.