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🏞️ Mont d’Orge and Siphon Bisses

Keyword
2019 Sept
  • Date de Visite
    21.09.2019
  • GPS
    46.23338 7.34028

Mont d’Orge and Siphon Bisses


The Mont d’Orge and Siphon bisses are crossed in a loop on the magnificent slopes of the South side of the Mont d’Orge hill. It offers a pretty view of the Rhône valley and in particular the city of Sion with Valère and Tourbillon.

The castles of Valère and Tourbillon are clearly visible from the Mont d’Orge bisse.
The castles of Valère and Tourbillon are clearly visible from the Mont d'Orge bisse.

Summary


  • 📍 Location: Sion
  • 🏆 Interest: ⭐⭐
  • 📏 Length: 5.34 km
  • 🏞️ Length: – (Mont d’Orge) – (Siphon)
  • 🔁 Loop: ✔️
  • ⌛ Time: 120 min
  • 🏗️ Construction: ?
  • 📐 Positif altitude difference: 250 m
  • 🏔️ Altitude min/max: 785 / 581 m
  • 💧 Water intake: Lake of Mont d’Orge
  • 👁️ View: Rhône Valley, city of Sion
  • 📌 Curiosity: Castle of Mont d’Orge

Access


A shaded car park is available at the eastern tip of Mont d’Orge Lake..

The parking lot of Mont d’Orge Lake.
The parking lot of Mont d'Orge Lake.

Weather Forecast


Mont d’Orge bisse


Map


Route


The Mont d’Orge bisse is a little river that takes its water from the Mont d’Orge lake to irrigate the vineyards. From the car park, the path starts by going down steeply for about a hundred metres and then turns right to follow the bisse in the vineyard.

The start of the bisse path with the valve to feed the bisse.
The start of the bisse path with the valve to feed the bisse

The start of the bisse in the vine.
The start of the bisse in the vine.

It will be necessary to be very careful with small children along the bisse because the narrow path sometimes winds along the edge of walls several meters high without protective barriers.

The path along the edge of dry stone walls.
The path along the edge of dry stone walls.

The path along the Mont d’Orge bisse stops at the level of a small asphalt road where it returns to the starting point at the level of the lake of Mont d’Orge via the Siphon bisse.

Hills of Sion


No less than 7 hills dot the commune of Sion with the two most famous ones that are Valère with its fortified basilica and Tourbillon and its castle that can be clearly seen at the beginning of the route. The hills of Sion are the result of erosion that was slower than the one that formed the Rhone Valley.

The view on Valère and Tourbillon.
The view on Valère and Tourbillon.

Climate


The climate of the central Valais is particularly dry, it rains even less than in the Mediterranean climate. The southern slope of the Rhone Valley, like the one used by the Mont d’Orge bisse, is very different from the northern slope, which is less sunny and therefore colder.

On the route of the bisse, we can observe the presence of cactus, an imported species that is doing well there.

The dry vegetation with the surprising presence of cactus.
The dry vegetation with the surprising presence of cactus.

Dry stone walls


The bisse is channeled along its entire length by concrete. Large stone walls support the vine.
The bisse is channeled along its entire length by concrete. Large stone walls support the vine.

The Valais grape varieties


The vineyard is omnipresent during the tour. A didactic panel lists the different grape varieties in Valais.

  • Chasselat called Fendant in Valais
  • Ermitage
  • Arvine
  • Johannisberg
  • Pinot Noir
  • Cornalin
  • Syrah

Return path


After the end of the Mont d’Orge bisse, the path follows a paved road and returns east. After some time of ascent by a gravel road through the vineyard, the path reaches the retention basin of the Siphon bisse.

The return by the dirt road in the vineyard.
The return by the dirt road in the vineyard.

Siphon bisse


The Siphon bisse takes its water by pumping it from the Mont d’Orge lake into a retention basin to flow towards the lake. This bisse no longer seems to be in water.

The retention basin of the Siphon bisse is overgrown with vegetation.
The retention basin of the Siphon bisse is overgrown with vegetation.

The Siphon bisse inside the rock face.
The Siphon bisse inside the rock face.

The dry vegetation in the vineyard.
The dry vegetation in the vineyard.

Castle of Montorge


Shortly before returning to the car park, a path leads to the top of the Mont d’Orge hill where the castle ruins are located. The path climbs steeply and allows you to discover a very beautiful viewpoint.

If you want to avoid this effort, you can continue on the road towards the lake of Mont d’Orge, which you can reach in a few minutes

The signpost to get to the castle of Montorge.
The signpost to get to the castle of Montorge.

The plan of the castle of Mont d’Orge, of which only a few ruins remain.
The plan of the castle of Mont d'Orge, of which only a few ruins remain.

The castles of Valère and Tourbillon from the castle of Mont d’Orge.
The castles of Valère and Tourbillon from the castle of Mont d'Orge.

The largest ruin of the castle.
The largest ruin of the castle.

The statue of Notre-Dame de Mont d’Orge at the western end of the hill top where a tower of the old castle stood.
The statue of Notre-Dame de Mont d'Orge at the western end of the hill top where a tower of the old castle stood.

View


The path along the Mont d’Orge bisse, the Siphon bisse and the top of the Mont d’Orge hill offer beautiful views.

East view of the city of Sion from the Mont d’Orge bisse. One can see the Castles of Valère, Tourbillon and Majorie as well as the cathedral of Sion.
East view of the city of Sion from the Mont d'Orge bisse.

South view on the Sion aerodrome from the Siphon bisse.
South view on the Sion aerodrome from the Siphon bisse.

South-West view of Nendaz from the Siphon bisse.
South-West view of Nendaz from the Siphon bisse.

West view on Conthey and the Rhône valley from the west end of the route between the Mont d’Orge bisse and the Siphon bisse.
West view on Conthey and the Rhône valley from the west end of the route between the Mont d'Orge bisse and the Siphon bisse.

North view on Savièse from the ruins of the castle of Mont d’Orge.
North view on Savièse from the ruins of the castle of Mont d'Orge.

Lake of Mont d’Orge


The lake of Mont d’Orge is located directly north of the hill of the same name just next to the car park. It is supplied with water by the Lentine bisse and supplies water to the Mont d’Orge bisse by gravity and the Siphon bisse by pumping.

The lake of Mont d’Orge from the “Maison de la Nature” (Nature House)
The lake of Mont d'Orge from the “Maison de la Nature” (Nature House)

Webcam


Webcam on the Sion aerodrome with a view of the Mont d’Orge.


Video


A video of the ascent of the Mont d’Orge bisse.

Related attractions


Attractions in the canton of Valais
Attractions in the region of Sion

Bisses in French speaking Switzertand

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