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On this jaw-dropping, self guided hiking tour, explore the beautiful and lesser-known part of Italy known as South Tyrol. Located deep in the heart of the Trentino Alto Adige region, it is only in this unique area where you will experience the perfect blend of German and Italian influences with delicious food & wines, architecture, and culture. On this tour, you will follow along the historic “Chestnut & Wine Route,” a hiking trail found in the shadows of the majestic, towering Dolomites Mountains. Experience breath-taking views of the rugged landscape, dotted with castles, farms and ancient abbeys, passing through orchards and vineyards where some of the best wines in Italy are produced. Along the way you will find picturesque villages like Chiusa, home to artists and poets, and lively cities like Bolzano, a beautiful town that is considered to be the gateway to the famous Dolomites. Stay at unique lodging along the way, completely surrounded by nature but without sacrificing any of the comforts of home. This tour is the perfect way to discover the Dolomites and the South Tyrol region – a truly “bucket list” trip!
Note: If you want a “harder” version of this trip, just let us know as we have great options in this region! 8+ hours hiking daily with greater elevation changes. This tour as is, is considered easy to moderate, with most of the walking on country paths, some hiking trails and the occasional secondary road in and out of town.
Tour begins in Bressanone and finishes in Bolzano. Fly in and out of Bolzano-Dolomiti airport (closest) or Innsbruck. Train and bus options to and from airports or private transfer may be arranged.
Included Standard Hotels:
About: There is a standard and upgraded hotel option for this tour. Regardless of option, all lodging includes private bathroom and a variety of other amenities; all options are excellent and unique lodging.
Local Expert: Marco’s main passion has always been combining the natural world with history and traditions of his native country. He enjoys exploring different places, visiting charming villages and little-known archaeological sites, especially when it comes to the ancient arts. He has been a tour guide since 1999. As a professional ornithologist, he has extensive birding expertise and has published several scientific papers on this topic.
Need to Know:
Welcome to magical South Tyrol! Your hiking tour begins in the vibrant city of Bressanone, which is also the oldest in all of Tyrol. We recommend arriving early so that you can have some free time to wander around the city, visit the beautiful frescoes in the medieval Bishops’ Palace, discover Renaissance art at the Diocesan Museum, and visit the beautiful Gothic White Tower.
A morning transfer (by bus or private) takes you to the famous Augustinian monastery of Novacella, which was founded in 1142. As part of the monks’ sacred vows to bring value to the community, the Abbey not only grows grapes for wine making, but also farms apples and vegetables, and there is a small school devoted primarily to studies of viticulture. The abbey’s reputation as a winery is world renowned. From Novacella, you will follow countryside trails through forests and vineyards, until you reach Velturno (or Feldthurns in German.) This beautiful town is surrounded by chestnut trees and boasts such a wonderful climate that it was chosen as a summer residence by several noble families throughout the centuries. If time allows, visit the Velthurns Castle, which also houses a museum!
Distance/Elevation: 10-15 km / 6-9 mi, +720/-471m
Highlights: Novacella Abbey & Velturno
Today after breakfast, you will depart for a lovely day of hiking with plenty of noteworthy highlights along the way. Visit the Sabiona Monastery, which is a Benedictine nunnery and has an extraordinary location, sitting high atop a rocky cliff-side known as the “holy mountain.” Established in 1686, the monastery consists of four separate churches and features beautiful frescoes. Another great stop is the charming village of Chiusa, historically a home to artists, poets, and beautiful architecture – featuring crenelated facades and coats of arms. Lastly, you arrive to your home for the evening: Barbiano. This beautiful town has a wonderful location on the River Isarco and has plenty to see and explore, such as the Trotsburg Castle and a visit to the Barbiano Waterfall (a must see!)
Distance: 16 km / 10 mi, +/-778m
Highlights: monastery, Chiusa & Barbiano
After enjoying your breakfast, you will take the bus or private transfer to the town of Barbiano, where your hike begins. Today’s walk takes you to the village of Collalbo, passing through dense woods and fragrant fruit orchards. This small mountain town is located on the Renon Plateau, which is a well known ski area and is a real haven for nature lovers. If you are interested, you can make a brief detour to see a rock with prehistoric markings on it!
Distance/Elevation: 10-15 km / 6-9 mi, +713/-403m
Highlights: forsest hiking, Renon Plateau & prehistoric findings
Today you have a beautiful panoramic walk that takes you along the Renon Plateau, through alpine forests and a rainbow of flower-filled meadows. As you continue on, you will pass by Kematen Lake, sparkling in the sun. You will also see jagged earthen formations rising out of the forest, known as “earth pyramids” – they emerge from the forest like sharp teeth. The material in these pyramids comes from moraine clays deposited by erosion from the Ice Age. Today, the earth pyramids are considered a symbolic feature of the municipality of Renon. At the end of your hike, take the Renon train back to Collalbo, enjoying the beautiful mountain and meadow scenery along the way.
Distance/Elevation: 11 km / 7 mi, +400/-366m
Highlights: flower meadows & earth pyramids
After this morning’s breakfast you will head off to your next hike, making your way to the striking Castel Roncolo. It is a beautiful hike, passing through fruit orchards, forests and farm, in a countryside dotted with castles, manor houses and farms. Finally, you reach your destination of Castel Roncolo, which sits perched high atop the rocky cliffs. Built in 1237, the castle features some extraordinary frescoes and panoramic views over the rocky outcrop. Definitely worth a visit! When you are finished, take a bus to Bolzano and spend the evening exploring this beautiful city, which serves as the capital of South Tyrol.
Distance/Elevation: 16-18 km / 10-11 mi, +591/-1396m
Highlights: Castel Roncolo & Bolzano
After a transfer from Bolzano to Alpe di Siusi, you will take a cable car up the mountain to begin your loop hike. Alpe di Siusi is Europe’s largest high-altitude alpine pasture. As part of the Sciliar-Catinaccio Nature Park, this area is characterized by large alpine pastures and a wide variety of flowers and larch forests. Follow the winding trail through mountains and huts, where you can stop for a tasty bite to eat and drink! From here, enjoy sprawling vistas that are seemingly surreal, offering beautiful views on the Dolomites’ jagged peaks. The hike loops back to the cable car and from here, a bus or private transfer will take you back to Bolzano.
Distance: 13 km / 8 mi, +316/-484m
Highlights: largest high alpine pasture, panoramic views & on mountain cuisine
Today is departure day, following breakfast and depending on your schedule. Depart on your own or we can arrange for a private transfer for you. If you are interested in extending your stay, we can also provide recommendations and make arrangements for you; just ask our travel experts at the time of inquiry or booking!
Tour Rates: (based on double occupancy)
Top Quality Three and Four Star Lodging:
For a more challenging hiking tour with nice mountain lodges:
ask us for details
Larger groups of 6-8 can save! Extra Nights and transfers: if you wish to arrange extra nights or arrival transfers and departure transfers; Ask us for rates
Make it Custom: Do you like this tour but want to make it different? Tell us your wishes & we will quote it!
This tour was truly everything we had dreamed of when it came to our idea of hiking through the Dolomites. Views were incredible, food was outstanding, wine of couse was to die for and we loved all of the cute hotels tucked away in the mountains. Everything was perfect and we might even do the trip again with our kids (they’re at uni.) Outsanding trip!!!