Natural paths, many sunny days and fantastic views of the rugged peaks in the background - with more than 16,000 kilometres of hiking routes, South Tyrol is a true paradise for holidaymakers. After all, Goethe already knew that mountains are silent masters and make silent disciples. But South Tyrol is not only the ideal destination for sporty summit strikers; there are also countless highlights for families to discover along the former irrigation paths. On the wide plateaus of the Alpe di Siusi, for example, rustic alpine huts and inns await hungry visitors, and for longer tours, hikers will find what they are looking for on the Merano High Trail and in the Dolomites. The most beautiful building in the world, as the famous architect Le Corbusier called them, promises fantastic views and excitement for mountain sports enthusiasts.
When autumn colours the leaves and the days become shorter again, it has been Törggele time in South Tyrol for centuries. From October to the beginning of December, young wine is tasted and feasted on in the taverns of the wine regions. Nowadays, Törggelen usually combines regional culinary delights with hikes through nature. One of the best-known tours takes hikers along the Eisacktal Chestnut Trail. Following the traces of old chestnut cultures, holidaymakers reach the Rittner Hochplateau along the slopes of the Eisack Valley. The autumnal splendour of the forests and the lush meadows along the way make the route a real nature experience that will be remembered for a long time.
In Sterzing and the surrounding valleys, tours of varying degrees of difficulty await holidaymakers. One route that is popular with families is the Rosskopf-Runde, which can be completed in just two hours. Young hikers in particular will whoop with joy when they discover the rabbits and goats in the nearby petting zoo at the beginning. From the top station of the Rosskopf cable car, the trail continues to the Vallmingalm.
For experienced hikers, the Weisswand circuit in Pflerschtal offers breathtaking views of the Alps and some challenging traverses. The trail starts at the Weilerstein in Innerpflersch and leads up to the Tribulaun hut at the picturesque Sandsee lake. After a refreshing break, the hike leads over to the Magdeburger Hütte, where the traverse of a rocky band between the Weisswand peak and the Hoher Zahn awaits. On snow-free days in late summer, the traverse is no challenge, but caution is advised on slippery ground. Afterwards, summit strikers reach the top of the Weisswand and enjoy the unobstructed view of the surrounding mountain panorama.
The so-called Waale were built in South Tyrol centuries ago. The canals supplied the fields and meadows with the necessary water and can be found above all in the area around Merano and in Vinschgau. Along the banks of the canals, paths were built that were originally reserved for the Waaler, who was responsible for the maintenance and distribution of the water to the farmers. Nowadays, the flat paths are home to hikers who experience the splendour of the landscape at their own pace. A popular hiking trail circles the Merano basin over a distance of about 80 kilometres. The loop runs at almost the same altitude and is well suited for inexperienced hikers and families in individual stages throughout the year. For the necessary supplies and breaks in between, there are many inns along the way.
At the Romantik Hotel Oberwirt in Marling near Merano, hikers will find the perfect starting point for tours in the region. Whether you're a mountain climber or a leisurely hiker, there are numerous routes for every level of difficulty right on the hotel's doorstep.
Lush meadows shine in the sun, with the majestic peaks of the Dolomites in the background: On the largest high alpine pasture on the continent, holidaymakers experience South Tyrol as if it were a picture book. But hikers also get their money's worth on the Alpe di Siusi. On the circular hiking trail around the Puflatsch, dreamlike spots and breathtaking vantage points await discovery. The incomparable mountain panorama remains in your memory long after the tour. Another popular route is the Hans and Paula Steger Trail, named after the two mountaineering legends Hans Steger and Paula Wiesinger, which was only completed in 2006. The easy route leads from Compatsch to Saltria along the alpine meadows without any major climbs and brings hikers closer to the nature of the highlands.
In Val Gardena, hikers are spoilt for choice. Most tours start in Ortisei and lead in short or longer stages to the surrounding mountains. Particularly popular is the Raschötz-Höhenweg, the start of which can be easily reached by funicular railway. At an altitude of 2,100 metres, holidaymakers can expect an incomparable mountain panorama that is a faithful companion along the entire route. Past the Saltnerhütte, you walk with great strides along the sunny south-facing slopes to the Brogleshütte. Grazing cows on green meadows and only a few metres in altitude make the trail an ideal tour even for families or the inexperienced, while the Geisler peaks in the background provide the perfect South Tyrolean backdrop. The trail continues through forests and meadows to the valley station of the cable car, which takes hikers back to the starting point in Ortisei.
Holidaymakers will probably find the most beautiful view in the region on the Seurasas Alm. The moderately difficult hike starts in the municipality of S. Cristina and leads up to the hand-carved summit cross. Through mostly shady forests, hikers reach an altitude of over 2,100 metres and enjoy the magnificent view of the Sella massif and Sassolungo. For the way back, the route over the Balest Saddle is a good choice, which after a short time leads to the lonely St. Jakob's Church. Then you return to Ortisei via Sacun.