Hike, Wine, & Culture in the Südtirol / Alto Adige

Self Guided

Guided

Luxury

from €2.120 - min 2 pax from €2.240 - min 4 pax on request

Immerse yourself in Alto Adige – the South Tyrol region of the Italian Dolomites. Discover the unique blend of Italian and German cultures, and with the historic Ladin influences from Roman times, hiking through vineyards, chestnut groves, and across Roman roads, exploring monasteries and castles throughout.

  • Length 6 Days / 5 Nights
  • Trip Type Hiking
  • Activity Level Moderate
  • Start / Finish Bressanone / Merano
  • Dates This trip is available as a custom, private departure on dates of your choosing from mid June to October

Highlights

  • Discover medieval towns and villages, nestled in the valleys created by tall mountain peaks
  • Explore Bressanone, Bolzano, and Merano, discovering the history and culture of the Südtirol ranging from agriculture and culinary treasures to the military and religious influence the region wielded over Italy and the whole of Europe
  • Hike famous footpaths through glorious landscapes including ancient Roman roads to groves lined with chestnut trees, with panoramas of the majestic Dolomite Mountains throughout
  • Experience the rich history and cultures of the Südtirol  – Italian, German, and Ladin – with their many traditions that make this region so unique
  • Alternate hiking with exploring the cultural history and diversity of this unique region!

 

OVERVIEW

The Dolomite Mountains’ South Tyrol is an enchanting combination of German traditions and Italian flair, with a history that is as fascinating as the peaks found here are beautiful.  From the Roman Empire, a seat as a Catholic Bishopric, Austro-Hungarian Rule, and Italian Annexation, it is perhaps one of the most fascinating and layered histories in Europe. What’s more, this is is a living history, played out daily, with the resultant confluence of Italian, German, and Ladin cultures, languages, and cuisines found throughout the region.

The South Tyrol (or Südtirol in German, and commonly referred to as Alto Adige in Italian) where this itinerary will take you, is set right against the Austrian border. In fact, until the Italian Annexation in 1926, it was part of Austria. Here you’ll find the dominant language to be German, followed by Italian and Ladin (and English, of course!). And you’ll find the same mix of cultures and cultural influences in everything from the architecture to the food. But once you hit the trail, there is no doubt where you are – the Majestic Dolomites. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, comprising over 90,000 acres of mountainous terrain, the Dolomite Mountains are full of surreal towers and crags, wild alpine meadows, deciduous and evergreen woods, high altitude lunar-like landscapes, alternating with refined South Tyrolean towns that you’ll encounter during your daily excursions. We think this incredible offers the best of both worlds – not only will you get to explore the towering cliffs of the Dolomites, carved over millennia by the elements, but also the towering spires of cathedrals and castles, carved by the hands of man. It’s almost like two trips in one!

On this fantastic itinerary, you will explore incredible mountain landscapes, countless miles of trails that wind through the valleys and across passes, with cozy villages and beautiful towns interspersed in the most strategic positions for agriculture and trade. Hike and explore the landscape and histories of the charming cities and towns of Bressanone/Brixen, Bolzano/Bozen, and Merano/Meran, and uncover the surprising wealth of culture they offer!

Day by Day

Immerse yourself in Alto Adige – the South Tyrol region of the Italian Dolomites. Discover the unique blend of Italian and German cultures, and with the historic Ladin influences from Roman times, hiking through vineyards, chestnut groves, and across Roman roads, exploring monasteries and castles throughout.


Day 1 ~ Arrival in Bressanone / Brixen
Arrive in Bressanone on your own (private transfer available on request) and check in to your hotel. The third largest city and oldest town in the province, Bressanone (560m / 1,837'), or Brixen in German, is the artistic and cultural capital of the valley. For centuries, the city was a stopover for emperors on their travel, and as the seat of the Prince Bishop, it ultimately grew into a center of intellectual and cultural activity. It is impossible to mistake the importance of this city and the countless signs of Bressanone’s 1,100 year-old history and power – the historic medieval center, the old arcaded walkways, the porticos and lanes decorated with merlons, the sumptuous architecture of the cathedral, cloister, and Prince Bishop’s Palace (Hofburg). Nevertheless Bressanone still has the welcoming atmosphere of a small town, and invites you to discover and enjoy modern events, cabarets, and concerts in addition to the museum treasures and crafts.

In the afternoon, meet a Dolomite Mountains representative who will provide a trip briefing and orientation.
D... Hotel in Bressanone/Brixen (4-Star)


Day 2 ~ Novacella Abbey
In the morning, meet your local English speaking cultural guide and enjoy a two (2) hour guided visit of the city.

After the tour, start hiking in the direction of Varna / Novacella. When you reach Novacella, enjoy a guided visit to the vineyard and the wine cellar of the Abbazia di Novacella (Novacella Abbey in English, Kloster Neustift in German). The abbey is located in the northern-most winegrowing region in Italy, on the southern side of the Alps. The mineral-rich soils, elevation, and cool climate are all factors that explain the intense aromas, flavors and fruity, mouth-watering acidity found in the monastery’s famous white wines produced here in the Valle Isarco (Isarco Valley in English, Eisacktal in German). The monastery also owns vineyards in the warm central region of Alto Adige that supply the red grapes. Here you will enjoy a guided tasting of four (4) red and white wines with some snacks, and have the opportunity to visit the historic abbey and library.
B,D… Hotel in Bressanone/Brixen (4-Star)


Day 3 ~ The Chestnut Footpath and Bolzano
This morning, meet your local English speking hiking guide, take a short transfer and hike a portion of the famous “Keschtnweg" – the Eisacktal Chestnut Trail (keschtn means chestnut in the German South Tyrolean dialect). This well-marked route leads through a line of imposing groves filled with old chestnut trees, mixed forests vibrant with color, lush green meadows, and panoramic views of the Dolomites – a very special experience indeed. Along the "Keschtnweg," local farmers offer produce and other regional products for sale. This footpath spans 60 kilometers (37 miles), crossing the Isarco Valley from Bressanone to Bolzano, but don’t worry – today you’ll only be tackling the first quarter of the trail! (5 hours hiking 15.5km / 9 miles, 590m / 1,936' ascent, 654m / 2,146' descent.)

Towards the end of your hike, you’ll reach the Sabiona Monastery. Set on a rock spur that towers 200-meters (656') above the town of Chiusa, the area was initially settled in the Neolithic period and is considered to be one of the most ancient pilgrimage sites of Tyrol. Today there are four chapels here: Chiesa delle Vergini, Cappella delle Grazie, Torre di S. Cassiano, and Chiesa S. Croce – the seat of the bishopric of Sabiona between the 6th century and about 960.  In 1687, the monastery became a Benedictine monastery, inhabited by the nuns of Nonnenberg Abbey in Salzburg; it was elevated to a convent in 1699, and continues to serve as a nunnery today. When you are finished exploring Sabiona, hike the final 45 minutes down to Chiusa for lunch. After lunch, take a short transfer to Bolzano, and check into your hotel.
Bolzano/Bozen is considered the gateway to the Dolomites. Set in a valley, the forest-clad slopes and ridges of jagged limestone that surround it are quite something. From the traffic-free main square, the pretty Piazza Walther, be sure to gaze up and take in the green surroundings and lovely mountains that frame the urban area here. Bolzano is the ideal place for outdoor enthusiasts: tranquil surroundings are within easy reach, there are footpaths for hikers, and cable cars for those seeking a head start on their walks, or simply a panoramic view over the city. In the afternoon, enjoy a guided tour of the city with a tourist guide.
B,L,D... Hotel in Bolzano/Bozen (4-Star)


Day 4 ~ Soprabolzano and Merano
In the morning, from the center of the city, take a cable to Renon with your hiking guide. The area of Renon offers an impressive variety of landscapes, people, fauna and flora. This variety can be experienced in the best and most intensive way by foot. Over 350 kilometers (217 miles) of marked hiking routes make it possible to explore this astonishing natural and culture landscape and enjoy an amazing panoramic view of the Dolomites. The Rittner Bahndl, which is now more than a hundred years old, is the name given to the narrow-gauge railway which links Oberbozen and Klobenstein every half an hour. It can take you to the starting point for a range of other hikes or it can shorten your journey home because you can get on and off the railway at the many stations along the route. A little trip on the historic mountain railway from the nineteenth century is an absolutely must for railway fans.

Hike down the Renon Plateau to Terlano, and enjoy hiking a small part of the historic 700 kilometer (435 mile) Roman Via Claudia Augusta. After two thousand years of history, today this ancient Roman road is enjoying a renaissance. What once led traders from the Po River lowlands and the Adriatic Sea all the way to Bavaria and the Danube, today has become a bridge joining and blending cultures, places, and emotions.

In Terlano option to visit the Terlano wine cellar. Founded in 1893, the Cantina Terlano winery is now one of the leading wine growers’ cooperatives in South Tyrol, with a current membership of 143 growers working a total area of 165 hectares. That is the equivalent of some 1.2 million bottles of wine a year. Cantina Terlano has attracted praise and recognition on the Italian and international wine markets, and in spite of its relatively small size, this winery is now well established in the world of wine.
Take a short transfer to the city of Merano/Meran (324m / 1,063'), and check into your hotel.
B,L,D… Hotel in Merano/Meran (4-Star Superior)


Day 5 ~ Castles of Merano/Meran
Located between the Ötztal Mountains in the Gruppo di Tessa, and the vineyards of Val d'Adige, Merano sits at a crossroads between the majesty of the Alps and the allure of the South. In the past the town has been a popular place of residence for scientists, writers, and artists, including Franz Kafka, Ezra Pound, and Paul Lazarsfeld, who appreciated its mild climate. Fantastic hiking, cycling, and many water sport activities are all on offer, but Merano the long tradition as a spa town has left also its mark on Merano. Historical and contemporary architecture are in perfect harmony along the Passer River: modern design hotels stand next to traditional buildings from the Belle Époque.
This morning, hike to and explore some of the famous castles in Merano. In South Tyrol, forts gained importance in the tenth and eleventh centuries, when the vassals of the Adige Valley embarked on the struggle against the authority of the bishops and the Counts of Trento, Bressanone and Chur in order to free themselves from their dependence on them. Many of these structures, which are very striking, were subsequently converted into residences when Merano made its transformation into City of Cures. Your Hotel, Castel Fragsburg, is one of the famous Castles of Merano.

Enjoy lunch in Merano. In the afternoon, you’ll have time to explore the city on your own, or return to your hotel. (4-5 hours walking.)
B,L,D… Hotel in Merano/Meran (4-Star Superior)


Day 6 ~ Depart
Breakfast and departure on your own.
B…


EXTEND YOUR ADVENTURE!
You've come all this way, why not stay a little longer? Dolomite Mountains offers fantastic extensions that you can enjoy before or after your trip in the Dolomites. Explore VeniceVeronaLake GardaFlorence, or Milan, or any of the many other magical places found throughout Italy. There's no more perfect way to recover from jet lag upon arrival, or delay your return to reality at the end of your trip!


Trip itinerary may vary based on weather conditions, fitness levels and abilities of participants, and/or the recommendations of your guide.

Cost

Self Guided Trip:
From € 2.120 per person (minimum 2 participants)
From € 1.760 per person (minimum 4 participants)

Guided Trip:
From € 3.100 per person (minimum 2 participants)
From € 2.240 per person (minimum 4 participants)

 

Private room supplement in rifugios: €15 per rifugio, per person (based on availability)
High season supplement from July 20th to August 31st: 5% surcharge


Cost Includes:

  • Trip briefing
  • Logistics and map of the area
  • 5 nights accommodation in 4-star hotels in the Südtirol /Alto Adige
  • All breakfasts
  • Meals as noted in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
  • Local English speaking professional hiking and cultural guides
  • Private local transfers in the area as per itinerary
  • Local tourist tax
  • Italian VAT tax

Airport transfers available on request.         

Accommodation

Want to learn more about our Luxury Hotels?                                                        

Luxury accommodations in the Dolomites combine the ultimate in comfort and refinement. From five star hotels, Michelin star-rated restaurants, and pampering spas, just because you are in the mountains does not mean you cannot have a truly luxe Italian experience in the Dolomites! From the chic town of Cortina d’Ampezzo, a popular destination for the rich and famous, to the quiet and discreet luxury of San Cassiano in Alta Badia, you will find accommodations with credentials ranging from membership in the exclusive Relais & Châteaux to The Leading Hotels of the World!

You can also book a custom departure of this trip using our Hotels and B&Bs. For details, please contact us.

More info

Still want more? Why not extend your adventure!
Dolomite Mountains offers fantastic extensions that you can enjoy before or after your trip in the Dolomites. Explore VeniceVeronaLake GardaFlorence, or Milan, or any of the many other magical places found throughout Italy. There's no more perfect way to recover from jet lag upon arrival, or delay your return to reality at the end of your trip!

Group Trip Dates

Trip name   Trip dates   Min persons   Trip status   Price    
25-30 Jul
2017
4
Available
€ 950
27 Jul - 3 Aug
2017
4
Limited space
€ 1260
8-14 Aug
2017
4
Sold out
€ 1610
15-21 Aug
2017
4
Sold out
€ 2790
16-20 Aug
2017
4
Limited space
€ 890
16-21 Aug
2017
4
Sold out
€ 950
26 Sep - 1 Oct
2017
4
Limited space
€ 2790
26 Sep - 1 Oct
2017
4
Limited space
€ 1610
2-8 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 2790
3-10 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 1560
3-7 Oct
2017
4
Sold out
€ 890
10-15 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 950
14-19 Feb
2018
4
Limited space
€ 2290
21-27 Feb
2018
4
Limited space
€ 1990
26-31 Feb
2018
4
Limited space
€ 1270
25 Mar - 2 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 2290
25 Mar - 2 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 1600
4-9 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 1350
11-17 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 1990
18-23 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 2290
18-23 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 1270
17-21 Jul
2018
4
Available
€ 890
17-22 Jul
2018
4
Available
€ 950
22-27 Aug
2018
4
Available
€ 1460
7-13 Aug
2018
4
Available
€ 1610
7-13 Aug
2018
4
Available
€ 2790
15-22 Aug
2018
4
Available
€ 1560
25-31 Sep
2018
4
Available
€ 2790
1-8 Oct
2018
4
Available
€ 1770
8-12 Oct
2018
4
Available
€ 890
16-21 Oct
2018
4
Available
€ 950