The scents of the south in the mountains – wild jasmine and mountain meadows. Beautiful flowers of all shades contrast with the vigorous summer green of the landscape, criss-crossed by walking boots and bike tyres zoom. This is summer in the south of South Tyrol - and here are ten experiences that are al an absolute must!
#1 The Grand Canyon of South Tyrol
No need to go to the USA to see millions of years of the Earth’s history: South Tyrol has its own Grand Canyon on a smaller scale – although “small” is a relative term, as the Bletterbachschlucht, near Aldein at the foot of the twin peaks formed by the Weisshorn and the Schwarzhorn, is eight kilometres long and 400 metres deep. The dinosaur tracks and plant casts make a visit here a unique journey through time (open May to November).
#2 Horseshoes for luck!
Not everyone may wish to undertake the seven-day tour of the horseshoe-shaped Sarn Valley Alps, although it is an absolute summer highlight as it can of course be done in stages. One such stage is the Urlesteig, a trail that is well-known far beyond the Horseshoe Tour, with a range of mountain adventures in the Sarn Valley for everyone – man, woman or child!
#3 Lakeside fun in Kaltern
Lake Kaltern, the largest lake in South Tyrol and the warmest in the Alps, varies in hue between deep blue, emerald and turquoise. A brightly coloured spectacle, perfectly framed by the surrounding shores, wonderful for swimming and cooling off! And not just swimming: windsurfing and ice-cream are also part of the fun in and on the lake, not to mention the circular tour and a visit to the local biotope. A little activity - and plenty of relaxing!
#4 Meadows and larch trees
The Salten is Europe’s largest larch forest. Another of the highlights of summer in Bolzano and environs can be found here, where wild flowers bloom under conifers, ideal for mountain walking in the fresh air, with culinary delights (among others) to enjoy and help you regenerate. Get high on the Salten!
#5 The Rittner Bahn railway
One of the must-dos, and not only for residents of Bolzano escaping the summer heat! The cable car makes it easy to reach the Ritten high plateau from the city, where the famous little railway - 110 years old this year – runs tranquilly along its tracks. Sightseeing the traditional way!
#6 The Rapunzel experience in Eppan!
You do not have to be locked up in a tower to experience authentic castle life. Simply take a trip to Eppan: here await over 80 castles and palaces for history buffs and prince(sse)s large and small. The Three-Castle Walk allows you to visit three of them in one splendid excursion: the crowning glory for summer in South Tyrol!
#7 Swimming in mountain lakes
The fresh, cool mountain lakes of Bolzano and environs form a summer contrast to Lake Kaltern! No matter how hot the sun, the lakes are always refreshingly cool. Wild, surrounded by forests, created and cared for by nature, the Fennberg Lake, the Göller Lake in Aldein and the Wolfsgruben Lake on the Ritten are all especially good for cooling down. Not quite so high up, but equally framed by refreshing forests, there are also the Montiggler lakes in Eppan!
#8 The Knottnkino
A blockbuster of a very different kind! Near the village of Vöran on the Tschögglberg plateau is a natural cinema, the Knottnkino, offering unique panoramic views of the mountain scenery. The seasons dictate the programme – sit back and prepare to be amazed!
#9 Summer wine
What would Bolzano and environs without its wine? Quite: only half as delectable! And the wines - aromatic, fruity, tangy and truly fine - taste their best on a balmy summer’s evening on the terrace under a starry sky. There are no fewer than 111 winemakers in the region – making sure that, as regards wine, you are spoilt for choice!
#10 La Dolce Vita – in true style!
A little of Italy can be found everywhere in the south of South Tyrol! The “sweet life” pervades the air! So put a colourful scarf over your hair, put on a large pair of sunglasses and put the roof of your convertible down (or at least wind down the windows ;)). Drive along the Wine Route in true style, past vineyards, apple orchards and (wine) villages, experiencing the true feeling of summer sun in the SOUTH!
10 tips – 10 highlights – 10 adventures: and there are plenty more besides. But best to ask South Tyrol’s private landlords, who will show you at first hand why you will love summer in the south!