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Kaltern Bike racing bike tour: "Wiesenbalkon" from Merano

Caldaro Paese/Kaltern Dorf, Kaltern an der Weinstraße/Caldaro sulla Strada del Vino, The South Tyrolean Wine Road
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While pedaling in the Etsch / Adige Valley from Bozen / Bolzano to Meran / Merano, to your right you can see only cliffs and steep slopes served by two solitary cableways. But behind those mountain slopes and cliffs, there's an enormous hidden area of verdant alpine meadows dotted by hamlets and countless farmhouses. The road across this landscape is a joy for bicycle racers. This road leads from Kaltern / Caldaro over to the Burggrafenamt / Burgraviato district. This district – which includes the city of Meran – has its name from the previous historical era during which Tyrolean Burgraves reigned here. Today, this region is a center of tourism in South Tyrol: Meran and its neighboring communities are pulsing with life. One the route to this area, the only thing holding you back might be a gentle breeze blowing to the south from the Vinschgau / Venosta Valley along the Etsch / Adige River. This tour starts at the central market square in Kaltern and continues via the Bahnhofsstrasse down to the Kellereistrasse (alternative starting-point) at the end of which (at the old locomotive) the actual bike trail begins that leads down into the Etsch / Adige Valley. You will now proceed along the Etch bicycle path into the valley and later along the little valley roads until you approach the gates of Meran. The traffic will now become somewhat heavier until you have left the branch roads into the center of Meran and the streets up to Schenna / Scena behind you. At the outskirts of Meran, the ascent begins up to Hafling / Avelengo, the first village of the extensive "Wiesenbalkon" ("meadow balcony") above the Etsch Valley. (This village gave its name to the "Haflinger" breed of horse.) On the uphill stretch, the traffic will lighten once you've passed the valley station of the Meran 2000 gondola-type aerial lift (to which many visitors come by car). You can now fully enjoy the fabulous view of the Etsch / Adige Valley until the in part quite steep road disappears behind the cliffs. Not only the view into the valley is now obstructed. Suddenly, Meran has vanished from sight when you immerse yourself in this completely different world of peaceful mountain pastures and rustic farmsteads. From Hafling, the road now winds across the plateau via Vöran and over to Mölten / Meltina. Just before you reach Mölten, in Schlaneid, you can also stay on the main road. But this tour will take you over a narrow side street and past the aerial lift's mountain station that serves the Etsch / Adige Valley. And that again meets the main road in Mölten. This side-trip is an exciting option for cyclists looking for a little adventure. That's because, between Hafling and Mölten, there is one or another side street leading to hamlets and farmsteads that you might like to try out along this route. But in Mölten, you'll again be riding along wider, well-established main street and continue for a while over the plateau. But soon, while descending along this exciting road featuring a couple of curves, a warm wind will again be blowing in your face until you get to Terlan / Terlano and are standing in front of the gates of the provincial capital. You'll now see more vineyards, and viticulture will now characterize the tour. The route does not lead you directly on the main street to Kaltern. Instead, you will be taking little side streets through wine villages. You'll have to exert yourself until just after the Kaltern Höhe you have achieved the upper part of the Mitterdorf district. Only now can you glide easily into the center of town and maybe treat yourself to an espresso or maybe even a glass of wine – the perfect conclusion to this interesting tour.

Variants: You can take this tour in either direction. However, the descent from Mölten / Meltina to Terlan / Terlano is more charming that the one from Hafling to Meran. Because this route is in the shape of a figure-eight, with nodes between Terlan and Andrian, you are free to try out different variations.
Distance 100.5 Km
Ascent 2127 m
Descent 2127 m
Highest point 1316 m
Lowest point 232 m
Tour Details
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(incl. VAT / excl. local tourism tax)