With 300 days of sunshine per year, the South Tyrol – Italy’s northernmost region – is the perfect destination for hikers and, indeed, anyone who loves spectacular scenery.
Sitting at the heart of the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage Site, the region offers a wonderful mix of Alpine and Mediterranean culture and cuisine, and is also Italy’s most decorated province, featuring 19 Michelin-starred restaurants, sharing 25 Michelin stars.
One great feature of the walks in the Dolomites is the amazing abundance of mountain huts – rifugios – many serving gourmet meals along with more homely fare.
So, to help you work up an appetite for all that wonderful food and wine, here are six of the region’s greatest hikes:
Alta Via di Merano/Meraner Höhenweg
Time: 37 hours
The Merano High Mountain Trail is one of the most beautiful in the region, suited to longer multi-day tours and perfect for stopping off at rifugios/mountain huts. The ridgeway path is divided into two sections with several points to join and leave, and exposed parts are made safe by chains, ropes or railings.
The Tre Cime di Lavaredo/Drei Zinnen (Three Peaks)
Time: 4 hours
The Three Peaks are the symbol of the Alta Pusteria and epitomise the beauty of the Dolomites. This circular hike around the cluster of three vertical peaks rises to a maximum height of 2,450m, offering striking views, and there are several rifugios that will tempt you to break your journey.
The Adolf Munkel Trail – circular walk
Time: 2hrs 30mins
This trail beneath the majestic Odle/Geisler mountain group, near the town of Funes/Villnöss is one of the most spectacular circuits in the Dolomites. The long but steady climb over the first half (followed by a gentle descent) offers breathtaking panoramic views and the colourful plant life is impressive.
Circular Hike through the farmland of Alta Badia
This short, gentle hike exploring the old Ladin farmsteads between La Villa and Badia goes along the valley floor, through meadows and woodland, from farm to farm, and through San Cassiano, home to the St Hubertus restaurant – one of six Michelin-starred restaurants in the Alta Badia valley.
Climb to the Ciaval peak on the Sas dla Crusc/Santa Croce
One of the most stunning hikes in Alta Badia and the Dolomites: Untouched nature, vertical rock walls which turn red at sunset, a breathtaking view over Badia’s green valley and the landscape of the Fanes alp. Add the Dolomite flora, and marmots and chamoix goats, and you have a truly unforgettable walk.
Caldaro/Kaltern Wein Trail
The Caldaro Wine Trail is a figure of eight circuit and takes you from the village centre, down to the lake and back – past wine vineyards, farms and estates. Ground markings have been laid into the ground so that the hiker is aware of the various age-old poetic vineyard names.
To discover even more outstanding hiking routes in the South Tyrol, go to summer.suedtirol.info/hiking