As winter arrives in Merano and environs, it is time to head outdoors! The excellent ski runs should not be missed by any winter sports fans, whether beginner, amateur or expert. The five ski areas, each with snowmaking facilities, offer a total of over 100 kilometres of pistes for ski fun and adventure, with modern ski lifts offering problem-free access to the picturesque slopes, usually without queues. The numerous small, quiet ski areas are ideal for families, as are the many natural toboggan runs, which combine fun and thrills. The high plateaus around Merano and environs are an inspiration for cross-country skiers
, with the Hochjoch cross-country ski trail at 2,450 metres the only one in South Tyrol to open in autumn. Beginners can find easy trails in the ski areas of Meran 2000 and Vigiljoch, while international stars train up in the glacier areas. There are also plenty of opportunities for ice-skating
, both in the city and the great outdoors. The natural environment is also perfect for exploring on foot, with snowy paths near the ski areas, walks in the Merano/Meran valley bowl, which is often free of snow, or snowshoe excursions to small side valleys or lonely plateaus. Ski tourers
particularly enjoy the snow-covered winter landscapes to be found in the Texel Group.
The Christmas season in Merano/Meran is particularly festive, with the surrounding villages – and even some castles – hosting attractive Christmas markets
. The cold season too is well suited for cosy strolls and promenades.
The ski areas of Merano and environs
- Meran 2000: 40 kilometres of pistes (mostly of medium difficulty), 7 lifts, 3 moving carpets in the ski kindergarten, cross-country ski trail, 25 km ski touring network, Alpin Bob (South Tyrol’s longest mountain rollercoaster), Lucki’s play world and various eateries
- Pfelders: 10 kilometres of pistes with snowmaking facilities, 4 lifts, 2 cross-country ski trails, well-equipped snowpark, natural ice-skating rink, 3.5 km toboggan run and several eateries
- Schnalstal glacier: 16 pistes totalling 38 kilometres, 12 modern lift systems, 350-metre long snowpark, two well-equipped ski hire shops and depots, ski and snowboard school, high-altitude cross-country ski trails, Tiroli play world and refreshments available at the Ötzi Bivouac and the Teufelsegg hut
- Schwemmalm: 9 pistes of varying degrees of difficulty totalling 25 kilometres, 5 lifts, ski touring area, 25 km cross-country ski trail, snowpark, 2 ski schools, 2 ski hire shops and ski kindergarten, Schwemmy snow world and refreshments available at the Schwemmalm mountain restaurant
- Vigiljoch: unspoilt and quiet, with 3 pistes totalling 5 km of slopes, 4 lifts, 2.2 km toboggan run, winter walks and snowshoe excursions, car-free but good transport connections, 2 ski schools and several eateries