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    Points of interest

    Power spots

    In South Tyrol there are places and sites that radiate a special energy. In the silence of the forest, from sublime lookout points or or behind monastery walls, you can listen to yourself and draw new strength.

    Abbazia di Novacella
    Vahrn/Varna, Brixen/Bressanone and environs
    A winery has existed in Novacella since 1142, and thus the monastery winery is one of the oldest active wineries in the world. In addition, it is one of the most important in the Valle Isarco and the representative of an outstanding white wine area.

    Within that context, the assortment on offer by the monastery winery is in fact primarily white but not exclusively so.

    “Some 70 percent of our production is white wines: Sylvaner, Müller Thurgau, Kerner, and Riesling that grow from the Bressanone valley basin up to 900 meters,” says winemaker Celestino Lucin. The care and prudence that he practices hold true not just in the winery, but through a large number of additional circles. Thus the winegrowers work their vineyards in a sustainable manner, and the entire winery works in a CO2-neutral way.

    Even if the Novacella Monastery Winery is renowned above all else for its white wines, the red varieties do indeed also play a role. They make up 30 percent of the production, whereby the grapes do indeed grow in vineyards belonging to the monastery, but not in and around Bressanone. “The climate would be too harsh for them,” Lucin is convinced. His Schiava, Pinot Noir, and Red Muscat thus have their origins in Bolzano and Cornaiano.

    But it doesn’t matter whether it is red or white: the calling card of the monastery winery has been and remains the Praepositus line. And because that is the case, it is at the same time also an homage to the leader. Praepositus is the Latin word for the provost, and thus the abbot of the monastery.
    Wasserbühel Circuit trail
    Lajen/Laion, Dolomites Region Val Gardena

    The Wasserbühel Rundweg circuit trail in the wonderfully located village of Laion at the entrance to Val Gardena valley is a short walk to archeological findings at the ancient settelments at the Wasserbühel hill. Wasserbühel lies to the north-west of the village and is the perfect place to relax and enjoy its magnificent views.

    Difficulty: easy
    50.0 altitude up
    0h:19 min duration
    Hike from Nova Ponente to the Maria Weißenstein Monastery
    Deutschnofen/Nova Ponente, Dolomites Region Eggental

    This hike leads through forest and meadows to the most famous pilgrimage site in South Tyrol, the Maria Weißenstein monastery, which is well worth a visit. Numerous votive tablets demonstrate how, for centuries, the devout sought refuge and mercy from the mother of god in times of worry or distress.

    Difficulty: medium
    505.0 altitude up
    4h:00 min duration
    Theme path: Sorgente "Maite"/Quellenweg
    Prags/Braies, Dolomites Region 3 Zinnen

    The new footpath in the Nature Park Fanes-Senes-Braies, where you can find one of the most beautiful source of the country. The “way of sources” is also a part of the footpath nr. 37 and easy to go. On the way you can find some wooden information-points, where the flora and the fauna are described, as well as the of drinking water. It’s werth to visit the Maite, the name of the sources.

    Difficulty: easy
    46.0 altitude up
    0h:31 min duration
    Theme trail "Balance" - Heightened energy areas and Forest Therapy
    Niederdorf/Villabassa, Dolomites Region 3 Zinnen

    This very special trail makes it possible to establish a close bond with nature and its forces. The stations along the trail invite you to meditate on the energy of nature and its power to heal the human body.
    It begins with an introduction to the geomancy of this place, illustrating the classic settlement patterns of villages and churches, most of them dating back to the Neolithic era. Particularly characteristic are the three churches, built over ancient places of worship. The three churches of Villabassa were constructed
    at a later date, on the exact spot of these ancient sacred places immersed in Nature. Their original meaning remains unknown to us. Then there is the house known as the “Dreiurschenhaus”, which alludes to the idea of trinity and is related to the three churches.
    Another significant element is the large number of trees in the area with three ramifications.
    Walking through the forest and in the fields or along the natural biotopes, in a deep and dedicated bond with nature, our brainwaves are transformed. In a process similar to deep meditation, the two halves of our brain begin to harmonize at the same rhythm, emulating healing processes and channelling energy at every level. With the construction of the Kneipp facilities,  Villabassa has made health a central issue.

    Now this meditation trail will bring psychic and therapeutic enrichment to everyone who experiences it as
    an alternative to the consumerism of our times.

    Difficulty: medium
    285.0 altitude up
    3h:27 min duration
    Theme path: Meditation and Fairytale Trail
    Sexten/Sesto, Dolomites Region 3 Zinnen

    Legends and stories about the Sextner Tal valley and the Alta Pusteria/Hochpustertal valley have been told and passed on here for years. Now these many fairytales and stories have been used to create a Fable Trail (Fabelweg) in Sesto. Figures depicting characters from all kinds of legends have been set up along the route, giving visitors an insight into a different world.

    Difficulty: medium
    528.0 altitude up
    1h:49 min duration
    The Peace Trail (Friedensweg) in Caldaro/Kaltern
    Kaltern an der Weinstraße/Caldaro sulla Strada del Vino, The South Tyrolean Wine Road

    The Peace Trail (Friedensweg) in Caldaro was created between 1995 and 2000 by an action group led by Georg Reider. It leads from the Sportzone St. Anton car park across the cultural and natural landscape through the Kardatschertal valley or the wild Rastenbachklamm gorge to St Peter’s Church in Castelvecchio/Altenburg.

    Seven stations invite hikers and pilgrims to pause and reflect. Artists have interpreted the five themes of “Moderation, Wisdom, Justice, Belief and Hope,” artistically applying them to the environment. The sixth station (Courage) is the Rastenbachklamm gorge. The seventh, Love, is represented by the ruins of the early Christian St Peter’s Church in Castelvecchio, probably the oldest church ruins in Tyrol.

    Sturdy footwear is recommended for the hike and sure-footedness is also essential in some places.

    Difficulty: medium
    3h:00 min duration
    The Stone man
    Sarntal/Sarentino, Bolzano/Bozen and environs

    The Stone Men (Stoanernen Mandlen) - Moonlight and Satan’s milk - the true story of the Val Sarentino witch ‘Pachlerzottl’

    Barb (Barbara) Stöckele married Kunz Pachler and moved to the Bachlerhof from her home on the opposite side of the valley. The cheerful young farmer’s wife brought new prosperity to the farmstead, though Katl Hiller, the former housekeeper at the Bachlerhof grew suspicious of her. Several years later, after no heir to the farm had been born, Katl took Kunz aside, asking if he hadn’t noticed that Barb was involved in black magic and saying that God would never entrust her with a child. Kunz became increasingly estranged from Barb, who grew lonely and depressed realising she had been abandoned. One day Katl observed her as she splashed around in a water trough, deep in thought. Straight afterwards a devastating thunder storm broke out over the Sarntal valley and all Windlahn blamed it on Barb, saying she had brought it about by magic. Barb soon realised that she had been branded a witch, and that every kind of misfortune was attributed to her: the death of a child, just as much as a cornfield flattened by hail. Barb became a recluse and hid at her mother’s for weeks on end. After her mother’s death she went to ruin, wandering from place to place, homeless, in rags, ‘zottelig’ (unkempt, with matted hair). The accusations of witchcraft accumulated and she, the ‘Pachlerzottl’ was imprisoned in Schloss Reineck castle. Under torture she admitted to making mice out of coal, to putting a spell on milk, to riding on a broomstick to the Steinernen Mandlen at Auen, to masticating children and to copulating with the devil. She was tried in the Kellerburg in 1540 and the trial records are still preserved complete. ‘Pachlerzottl’ was condemned to death for witchcraft and burnt alive at the ‘Galgenangerle’ (gallows corner) at the northern end of Sarnthein where the Öttenbach stream runs into the Talfer.

    The Pachlerzottl tragedy is re-enacted as a play on the first three Thursday evenings in July, with the original Steinernen Mandeln as a backdrop.

    Difficulty: medium
    446.0 altitude up
    2h:30 min duration
    St. Martin trail
    Jenesien/San Genesio Atesino, Bolzano/Bozen and environs

    This about 3 km long round trail is a child-friendly, creative and near-naturally designed contemplation trail!

    The visitors, especially children, receive in this wonderfull calming landscape the opportunity, to experience the nature and his creator understanding the God's message to us with all senses…

    The famous St. Martin is the patron of Glaning. The design of the round trail is based on his life and model.

    With the helpful elements like footprints, stone bench, labyrinth, „Our-Father“ rock or splendid viewpoints, can both children and adults comprehend the life of the Saint Martin learning also more about themselves…

    Difficulty: easy
    164.0 altitude up
    1h:18 min duration
    Hike to Resciesa
    Urtijëi/Ortisei, Dolomites Region Val Gardena

    Resciesa is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Puez - Odle Nature Park and is one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Val Gardena. This loop hike takes you from the top station of the Resciesa funicular to the summit cross. Passing then by the S. Croce Chapel you return to the starting point. Suitable for hikers of all ages, this easily hiked route guarantees spectacular panoramic views, extending from the Valle Isarco to the Sciliar area and to the Passo Sella.

    Difficulty: easy
    197.0 altitude up
    1h:28 min duration
    Hiking trail Via Monachorum from Madonna di Senales to Monte S. CaterinaWay of silence
    Schnals/Senales, Meran/Merano and environs

    The Via Monachorum, also referred to as “Silentium“ (Path of tranquillity) connects the villages of Madonna di Senales/Unser Frau and Monte S. Caterina/Katharinaberg with Certosa/Karthaus. There was a historic monastery there, founded by the Carthusian monks in the 14th century.  Dressed in their white robes, the monks lived in silence. Some large parts of the monastery walls have been preserved, as are the Gothic cloister and the former monastery kitchen. There are a number of plaques along this themed trail with philosophical quotations relating to tranquillity and silence. The trail is signposted using life-sized figures of monks.

    Difficulty: medium
    803.0 altitude up
    3h:37 min duration
    Hiking in the Gilfenklamm Gorge
    Ratschings/Racines, Sterzing/Vipiteno and environs

    Cutting through pure white marble, which used to be coveted by stonemasons from all over the world and which shimmers here in every conceivable shade of green, the otherwise peaceful Ratschinger Bach stream becomes a raging torrent. By going down steep steps and over narrow bridges, you can get right down to the heart of the gorge, where a breathtaking natural scene awaits. The lower entrance to the Gilfenklamm gorge is in Stange/Stanghe, from where you walk along a level hiking trail to the entrance to the gorge, where the trail begins to climb gradually over bridges and along well-secured trails. Storming and raging, the wild waters of the Ratschinger stream tumble over numerous waterfalls, forcing themselves through narrow chasms between the steep cliff walls, which ensure that at the lowest, most impressive point - the so-called "church" - even the most dazzling sunshine is dimmed. Going from one bridge to another and up and down steps, you finally reach the end of the gorge. If you take your time, have good shoes and a camera, this hike is a memorable experience for all the family.

    Difficulty: easy
    1h:30 min duration
    Churches & Monasteries
    St. Valentin Church
    Kastelruth/Castelrotto, Dolomites Region Seiser Alm

    The St. Valentin church surrounded by meadows and fields, with the Schlern massif in the background, the small church of St. Valentin offers a real idyllic scene. The construction is of great historical and artistic value with precious frescos from the 14th and the 15th century. A peculiarity (among others): the painter has tried to include the local landscape as background in its representation of the three Kings.

    Churches & Monasteries
    Place of Spiritual Energy St. Hippolyt in Naraun/Narano
    Tisens/Tesimo, Meran/Merano and environs
    The hill of St. Hippolyt in Naraun, a fraction of the municipality of Tisens/Tesimo, forms the highest point of the plateau. Due to its striking appearance and its breathtaking panoramic view, it is not only a popular destination for excursions, but has also radiated a special atmosphere on people since time immemorial. 

    The first traces of settlement date back to the Neolithic Age, i.e. the 4th millennium BC. Since that time, the hill has been continuously settled or at least visited. In addition to small finds such as arrowheads, knives, garment clasps and various tools, numerous house foundations and an Iron Age fire sacrifice site from the 4th-2nd century BC have been found, giving us insight into the life and cults of the former inhabitants.

    The numerous circular shells cut into the rock, so-called shell stones, still pose a mystery to us, and their function has not yet been clarified. Also puzzling is the scoring of a beautiful spiral that is hardly visible today. It is located on a rock slab ground smooth by the glacier near the pond at the foot of the hill (Narauner Weiher), directly on the path to the hill of St. Hippolyt. 

    Today, the little church of St. Hippolyt, first mentioned in 1288 but certainly older, dominates the hilltop. It shows how much this place retained its mystical attraction for people even in Christian times, although other rituals took hold. 
    One of these important rituals was certainly the weather ringing, the task of which the sacristan of St. Hippolyt had to fulfil. During heavy summer thunderstorms, however, the exposed nature of the hill repeatedly led to accidents, which is why the church of St. Hippolyt was nicknamed "Zum bösen Segen" ("To the evil blessing"). As late as 1925, a sacristan couple was killed by lightning, which is commemorated by a memorial plaque inside the church. 

    Whether due to the lonely location of the sparsely overgrown hill, its long history or the vastness that can be seen here, there is no doubt that the hill of St. Hippolyt in Naraun with its church possesses a special aura that invites people to inner contemplation and makes it a place of spiritual energy. 
    It is also for this reason that the path of reflection to the Luminous Rosary and in memory of Pope John Paul II was built in 2010, leading from the car park at the foot of the hill to the church.
    Places to See
    Prad am Stilfser Joch/Prato allo Stelvio, Vinschgau/Val Venosta

    Kaschlin - A special place near the mountain village Stelvio in Venosta Valley at over 1.400 m.

    Views of the big mountains of the Ortles area in the Stelvio National Parc and the old village of Stelvio.

    Forts & Castles
    Carthusian Monastery Allerengelberg
    Schnals/Senales, Meran/Merano and environs

    Visiting the town of Certosa/Karthaus is like a journey into the past. The town was built inside the walls of the Cloister of Certosa degli Angeli, founded in 1326 and reopened in 1782. The Via Crucis of the ancient cloister is especially interesting.

    Churches & Monasteries
    Abbey Monastero di Sabiona/Kloster Säben
    Klausen/Chiusa, Brixen/Bressanone and environs

    Sabiona is the spiritual cradle of the entire Tyrol region and one of its oldest monuments.

    Today, the fortress is the site of the enclosed convent of the Benedictine nuns. Some parts of the monument can be visited every day from 8 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m.

    Instead, the church of Our Lady is open from the middle of April to the end of octobre every Tuesday  from 2 to 5 p.m. Guidet tours on request. 
    Groups of 15 or more persons can reserve a guided tour even outside normal hours. Information in the Tourist Office Klausen, Tel. 0472 847 424

    Holy Mass: Sunday at 8:30 clock and Monday – Saturday at 7:15 clock (German)

    Churches & Monasteries
    Chapel St. Peter am Kofl
    Toblach/Dobbiaco, Dolomites Region 3 Zinnen

    From the pilgrimage church in Santa Maria, via several stations of the Cross, a meditation road (built in 1996) leads you to the oldest religious sanctum of the Alta Pusteria Valley: St. Peter am Kofl. It is said that the chapel was used as a refuge for some priests during the turmoil of the mass migrations from Aguntum (near Lienz in Eastern Tyrol). St. Peter am Kofl was first mentined in 1329 and later renovated in 1987.

    Places to See
    The Hill of the Holy Sepulchre
    Villnöss/Funes, Dolomites Region Villnösstal

    The Hill of the Holy Sepulchre is the most beautiful viewpoint of Tiso. The Holy Grave Chapel was built as a baroque building at the end of the 17th century. In it, the suffering and death of Jesus Christ was worshiped. After the entry of Italy into the First World War in May 1915, fortifications were built here on the order of the Austrian Empire army. They should serve as a defense against a possible invasion of Italian troops in the Isarco Valley, if the Dolomite front should fall. The trenches and a bunker were built by Russian prisoners. However, the defenses were not used during the First World War. However, during the final months of World War II, the bunker was used by the village population as protection against air raids and bombing.

    Lake Felixer Weiher
    U.L.Frau i.W.-St. Felix/Senale-S.Felice, Meran/Merano and environs

    The Lake Tret – also called Lake Santa Maria – is located in Alta Val di Non near St. Felix, at the point where South Tyrol and the Italian-speaking Trentino meet. The way to the sea proceeds through the forest and across larch meadows, by the wayside we watch various forest flowers and many butterflies.

    Places to See
    Natural heritage Partschinser Wasserfall/Cascata di Parcines
    Partschins/Parcines, Meran/Merano and environs

    Water is, without doubt, one of the most important natural elements in the Texel Group Nature Park. It runs off nearby glaciers and bubbles up from deep underground springs to fill many crystal-clear streams and lakes. The Partschins waterfall is one of the most impressive falls in the Alpine region.

    The thundering water shoots out over a towering rock wall and thunders, rages and roars downwards like a "liquid curtain”. The sun’s rays shine on the drops of water making a fascinating myriad of rainbow colours. The 97 mt. high falls are at their best from May to July, when they swell with melted snow water, or after heavy rain storms (water capacity 4,000 – 10,000 per second). Water in all its mighty, majestic forms – the Partschins waterfall is an absolute must, especially around the end of March to the beginning of April when the snow starts to melt and the falls reach a 50 to 60 lt. per second capacity, at the end of April with an average 100 to 200 lt. per second or the end of May with records of between 350 to 500 lt. per second.

    The falls reach their full weight with melted snow from mid-May to the end of June or beginning of July with 5,000 to 6,000 lt. of water crashing over them. The most impressive sight of all was seen in July 1989 when an estimated 10,000 lt. per second went hurtling its way towards the valley.

    Alpine Health: The high level of humidity found at the waterfall has an extremely beneficial, refreshing and re-vitalising effect on our body, helps improve the circulation of air in our lungs and boosts our immune system. The “WATERFALL CURE” is recommended as a means of combatting the effects of air pollution as well as for itscleansing action on the breathing mucous membranes. The Partschins waterfall is known to have an exceptionally high concentration of so-called oxygen-ions, estimated at an incredible figure of 50,000 per sq: cm. These particular oxygen-ions are present in our homes as 100 ions pro cm³, 200 ions in town and city air, and 5,000 in mountain and seaside regions. You can either walk up to the bottom of the Partschins waterfall from the village centre in about 1,5 hoursor take the bus line 265. A well-marked, safe path then leads up to a viewing platform with a fantastic panorama out over the nearby valley and imposing mountain peaks.

    The Partschins waterfall is fed by various side streams and other smaller falls all along its 8km. journey on through a steep gorge. The watershed of the Texel Nature Park, which is completely encircled by the Merano High Path, totals some 25 sq. km. and includes the highest peak of the Partschins/Parcines area, the Roteck peak at 3,337 mt.

    The falls are most swollen at about 20.00 by which time the run-off water from various mountain streams and little lakes, which takes five hours to reach the main stream, has found its way to the waterfall. The water volume decreases during the night.

    Places to See
    Music balcony Naturno
    Naturns/Naturno, Meran/Merano and environs
    The Naturno Music Balcony was newly opened in 2020 and reveals a wonderful view of the Vinschgau Valley. Furthermore, you can admire the imposing mountain range opposite and Juval Castle, the summer residence of extreme mountaineer Reinhold Messner.
    The new attraction is located just a few minutes' walk from the Unterstell mountain station (heading west).
    Together with the Unterstell viewing platform, which faces east towards Merano, the Naturno Music Balcony forms a panoramic view of Naturno and its surroundings that is well worth seeing.
    The percussion ensemble of the music band of Naturno has recorded a piece for the opening of the music balcony, in which music is played only with clapping.
    Churches & Monasteries
    Pilgrimage Maria Weißenstein
    Deutschnofen/Nova Ponente, Dolomites Region Eggental

    At an altitude of 1520m, Pietralba is the most significant place of pilgrimage in South Tyrol and among the region’s popular destinations, especially since the visit of Pope John Paul II in July 1988. Highlights include the large monastery and its collection of votive.

    Gaul Canyon
    Lana, Meran/Merano and environs

    The Gaul Canyon....craggy and beautiful

    Bizarre rock formations, unique vegetation and the picturesque location at the foot of Castle Braunsberg make the Gola Canyon in Lana charming and unique.

    Only a few minutes from the centre of Lana you feel like you are in a different world: the Gola Canyon directly at the foot of the hill on which Castle Braunsberg is towering.

    Steep rocky slopes rise above the pebbly riverbed of the Falschauer. Between the cool rock walls the temperature stays fresh even at the height of summer. A number of different rock types come together here.

    Between the quartz porphyry and the primary gneiss rocks there is also a thin layer of granite. Between the massive rocks the mountain stream runs untamed and only a slim strip of land passes over the river.

    Already for some decades the easily accessible meadow at the centre of the Gola Canyon has been used as a venue for numerous events. The glade is used for summer feasts as well as an atmospheric backdrop for the Lana open-air theatre.

    From the Gola Meadow the well secured path continues over a number of suspension bridges deeper into the rocky canyon passing by a roaring waterfall.

    You can follow it either into the narrowing,wild and romantic canyon or up to Castle Braunsberg, where a lovely view over Lana awaits you.

    Churches & Monasteries
    Trechiese Barbiano/Dreikirchen Barbian
    Barbian/Barbiano, Brixen/Bressanone and environs

    Three small churches, the church of Saint Gertraud, Saint Nikolaus and Saint Magdalena, built in the 12th and 15th century in an incredibly beautiful location with a fantastic view over the Isarco Valley. Visitors will be surprised by the level of artistic skill of the late-Gothic frescoes. This location can only be reached on foot over beautiful paths. Ask for the key from the nearby Messner restaurant. Guided tours are available on request, please call +39 0471 650 059. Holy Mass: July and August Sunday at 10:30 clock (german). Open from March to Mid Novembre, winter closed.

    Places to See
    Ancient larch trees
    Ulten/Ultimo, Meran/Merano and environs

    These three larch trees, to be found near St. Gertraud in Ulten Valley, are considered to be the oldest conifers in Europe. Legend has it that these ancient larch trees are more than 2,000 years old.

    Places to See
    Ice caves
    Kaltern an der Weinstraße/Caldaro sulla Strada del Vino, The South Tyrolean Wine Road

    The unusual phenomenon of the ice caves between the two villages of Kaltern (Oberplanitzing/Pianizza di Sopra) and Eppan/Appiano can be explained with a simple physical principle: air streams down through cracks in the porphyry stone, creating a system of windpipes that becomes cooler as it descends. This heavier, cold air mass collects in a 5 meter high pool in the depression. This climate is ideal for plants that would normally thrive in higher alpine regions. We do recommend to make this excursion during warm summer months.

    Places to See
    Earth pyramids Ritten
    Ritten/Renon, Bolzano/Bozen and environs

    The Renon earth pyramids are the highest and the most aesthetically pleasing in Europe. Earth pyramids are a phenomenon of erosion. They originate where ice-age glaciers have deposited moraine clay in valleys. When it is dry, it is rock-hard. If it comes into contact with water, it turns into a clayey pulp that flows down into the valley. However, when protected from the rain by large stones, the clay remains dry and hard. Only the part around the stone erodes. This is how earth columns are formed and become higher each time it rains. If the top stone falls off the peak, the column is certainly doomed to a quick decline because the clay is exposed to the rain and then carried away by it. The earth pyramids on the Renon can be marvelled at in three ravines: in the Rio Fosco valley between Longomoso and S. Maria, in the Rio Rivellone valley below Soprabolzano and in the valley of the Rio Gasterer at Auna di Sotto.

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      Uphill Seespitz
      Meran and environs
      Starting point: Töll Etschbrücke (525 m) End point: Gasthaus …
      44 km total slope
      7 lifts
      Highest point: 2,505 m