Kaltern an der Weinstraße/Caldaro sulla Strada del Vino, The South Tyrolean Wine Road
The Regglberg is a high-altitude plateau rising above the eastern shores of the Etsch / Adige River. If you choose to ascend from Leifers / Laives to Deutschnofen / Nova Ponente, you'll land in a landscape of alpine meadows. Here you'll find plenty of rest-stop options – too many, in fact, since you couldn't possibly stop for a break in every inn and cafe situated along this challenging and long tour.
This tour is challenging, but allows you to explore the east of the Etsch / Adige Valley, on the fringe of the foot of the Dolomites. The meadow landscape at the Regglberg between Deutschnofen and Aldein / Aldino resembles a verdant carpet stretching out in front of the impressive Latemar – from the perspective of Kaltern, the nearest outpost of the Dolomites, this most-prominent peak looms 2,842 meters above sea-level. But to approach it, you'll have to constantly pedal. The first milestone of your journey is the Mitterberg / Monte di Mezzo, accessible via the little Pass Road and the Kreither Saddle and then into the Etsch / Adige Valley. After a couple of relatively level kilometers, you'll reach Leifers / Laives, where the Branten Valley indicate the continued upward direction. At the upper end of the Branten Valley, you'll find the town of Deutschnofen / Nova Ponente perched on a high-altitude plateau. There is a path in the valley basin for your ascent, but the winding trails on the north flank of the valley offer more scenic beauty and are just as quick – besides giving you more panoramic views towards Deutschnofen. You will now proceed upwards into the rolling meadow landscape. You've mastered the steep uphill grade; now, it's a constant up and down. This route offers beauty and variety, and every couple of kilometers, you can take a rest-stop at one of the many charming inns and cafes along the way: the Laabalm, the Neuhütt-Alm, the Schmiederalm, or the Schönrast-Alm. In view of this wealth of options, you might be tempted to spend too much time here – but don't forget: The return leg is still ahead of you! The trail will first take you down into the Etsch Valley. But because the direct way from the Regglberg into the valley is possible only via very steep trails that are best traversed on foot, you'll have to instead take a slight diversion and follow the trail along the former Fleims / Fiemme Valley railroad, which displays a pleasant downhill grade at Montan / Montagna. And you'll be treated to spectacular scenery along the way: First, there's the unobstructed view of the valley, then the rolling terrain of the Castelfeder biotope with its mystical medieval cult site. Once you've arrived in Auer / Ora, you can traverse the Etsch River and quickly reach Lake Caldaro. On warm summer days, you could now take a pleasant dip at Klughammer. After a refreshing dip, you'll be ready to attack the final 200 meters of altitude differential from the lake up to Kaltern / Caldaro.