With 300 days of sunshine per year, the South Tyrol/Sud Tirol – Italy’s northernmost region – is the perfect destination for lovers of an active summer holiday.
Sitting at the heart of the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage Site, the region offers spectacular scenery, 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.
Before you indulge in all of that marvellous food and wine, here are six memorable South Tyrol experiences:
Erlebniswege Eisacktal: Isarco Valley Adventure Trails
The 80km long Valle Isarco which lies between the Brenner Pass and the city of Bolzano/Bozen, boasts a rich cultural heritage and is known as the Valley of Trails.
The valley’s three themed walking trails lead the hiker on a journey into the world of mining and peasant culture, and offer an unbeatable opportunity to enjoy a first-hand experience of regional products – from apfelstrudel to chestnuts and goat’s cheese - and traditional crafts.
Tours and tastings allow you to delve deeply into the life and culture of the area and learn first-hand from farmers, wine producers and even miners. All themed trails are easily accessible using public transport.
Kite Surfing and water sports on Lake Resia
Nestling in the Ortler-Cevedale Alps and the Texelgruppe Nature Park, the Venosta Valley is a fantastic holiday destination for sports enthusiasts and families alike. The 6m-long winding Lake Resia is ideal for kite surfing and other water sports.
Sailing the cool waters of the Resia Lake is highly appealing on hot summer days, while on windless days, there are guided canoe excursions on the Resia and Haidersee Lakes. You can also try rafting along the Adige river.
Walking tour: Meraner Höhenweg - Alta Via di Merano
The Merano High Mountain Trail is about 100 km long and one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the entire Alpine Region. Running at a constant height, the path divides the high mountain climate of the Texel Group from the sub-mediterranean climate of the Etsch valley.
There are various access paths to the Merano High Mountain Trail, and several paths where you can enter and leave, so that the hike can be started and stopped at any point. Exposed sections of the trail have been made secure by chains, ropes or railings. Steps and ladders also give access on the way up or down.
Sellaronda Mountain Bike Tour
Winter visitors will be familiar with the Sella Ronda ski circuit, and in the summer these pistes become the playground for mountain bikers – and e-bikers, too - with easy bike transportation on mountain lifts. Access to the Sellaronda MTB Tour is possible from any of the four valleys which surround the Sella Massif - Val Gardena, Alta Badia, Arabba and Val di Fassa.
The clockwise route is for those who mostly enjoy descents, while the anti-clockwise route is perfect for those who love the challenge of the climbs. You can do the tour on your own, however, an MTB expert guide will enhance the experience especially if you do not know the area well.
Sunrise at the Peak
One of the most stunning of Dolomites adventures, this weekly tour lifts you up to experience sunrise at the top of Monte Elmo. Starting early from Sesto, you travel up with the Helmbahn cable car to the mountain station. From here, there is a hike to the peak of the Monte Elmo to witness the sunrise in style, with 360° panoramic views of the Dolomites and the Central Alps, followed by breakfast in the Monte Elmo restaurant.
You can contrast this with the spectacular Dolomite phenomenon of alpenglow or "Enrosadira" in Ladin language. At sundown, the Dolomite mountains around Alta Badia are illuminated in magnificent shades of red, from pink to orange and carmine - the Santa Croce is a peak especially renowned for its blaze of colour.
Wine & Bike
Wine has been cultivated in Alto Adige for more than 3,000 years. There is no better way to experience this wonderful side of the area than on a bike ride along the Alto Adige Wine Road - the oldest wine road in Italy.
From spring through to autumn, you can discover the nature and culture while cycling amidst vineyards and orchards, past old castles and fortresses, along comfortable cycling tracks and through the varied landscape. The cycling tours along the Alto Adige Wine Road are a true pleasure also for non-pros. Choose from four guided tours – each including a visit to a winery!