|The Puster Valley is a valley in the Alps that runs in an east-west direction between Lienz in Tyrol, Austria and Mühlbach near Brixen (Bressanone) in South Tyrol, Italy. The term Pusteria or Pustertal is sometimes used only to describe the Italian part of this valley.
The Puster Valley is located in the western part of the Periadriatic Seam, which separates the Southern Limestone Alps from the Central Alps (and also most of the limestone Alps from the central gneiss and slate peaks of the range’s central section). Half of the valley drains to the West (to the Adriatic via the Isarco River) and the other half to the East (to the Black Sea via the Danube). The watershed lies in the shallow valley floor (the Toblacher Feld). The Rienz-Rienza river flows through the western Puster Valley (also known as the “Green Valley”). The Drau/Drava river flows through the eastern Puster Valley into Tyrol. The eastern part of the valley is called the Hochpustertal (High Puster Valley).
East of Sillian, the Puster Valley leaves the Peradriatic Line (which moves into the Gailtal Valley) and turns to the northeast towards Lienz.
The towns of the Puster Valley are located between 750 and 1,180 meters above sea level. The most important of these towns in the western valley are Toblach, Welsberg, Olang, and Bruneck-Brunico; the most important in the eastern valley are Innichen, Sillian, and Mittewald.
The largest tributaries of the Rienz river form the Antholzer Bach, the Ahr, the Pragser Bach, the Gsieser Bach, the Gader, the Pfunderer Bach, and the Lüsenbach. The Pustertal’s largest side valley is the Tauferer-Ahrntal. The Drava’s largest eastern tributaries are the Sextner Bach and the Villgraten-Bach.