Questions Frequently Asked (FAQ)

Answers to the most important questions

We offer you answers to South Tyrol, Merano and Vinschgau at a glance and arranged thematically.

Südtirol

What passes are there in South Tyrol?

South Tyrol is a true paradise for cyclists and offers a range of impressive passes that provide both challenges and stunning views. Here are some of the most famous passes in South Tyrol.

  • Stelvio Pass (Italian Passo dello Stelvio): At 2,757 m, this is one of the highest paved passes in the Alps. The ascent from Prad is particularly popular, offering 48 hairpin turns on the way to the summit.
  • Timmelsjoch (Italian Passo del Rombo): A beautiful pass connecting South Tyrol with the Ötztal in Austria. It is located at 2,474 m and offers stunning views.
  • Penser Joch (Italian Passo di Pennes): Located at 2,211 m, this pass connects the Sarntal and Wipptal (Vipiteno).
  • Jaufenpass (Italian Passo di Monte Giovo): It is located at 2,094 m and connects the Passeiertal with the Wipptal (Vipiteno).
  • Gampenpass (Italian Passo delle Palade): This pass, located at 1,518 m, connects the Adige Valley with the Non Valley.
  • Karerpass (Italian Passo di Costalunga): A relatively lower pass (1,752 m) that connects the Eggental with the Fassa Valley and is located near the famous Lake Karer.
  • Gardena Pass (Italian Passo Gardena): At 2,136 m, this pass lies between the Gröden Valley and the Gadertal. It offers fantastic views of the Dolomites.
  • Sella Pass (Italian Passo Sella): This pass is located at 2,244 m and provides stunning views of the surrounding Dolomites.
  • Würzjoch (Italian Passo delle Erbe): Located at 1,987 m, it's a less traveled pass connecting the Gadertal with the Villnöss Valley.

This list is by no means exhaustive, as South Tyrol offers many more smaller passes and roads worth exploring. Remember to check the respective weather and road conditions before you set out, as some of these passes might have snow and challenging conditions, especially outside the summer season. Safe travels!

Which river passes through Bolzano?

The city of Bolzano, nestled in the heart of South Tyrol, is traversed by three significant rivers: the Adige, the Isarco, and the Talvera.

The Adige / Etsch, Italy’s second-longest river, grazes Bolzano and shapes the landscape of the surrounding area. It originates in the Alps at the Reschen Pass in South Tyrol and empties into the Adriatic Sea after about 415 km. Along the Adige, numerous recreational activities are available, including cycling, hiking, and fishing. The riverside promenade in Bolzano has been thoughtfully designed, providing a relaxing space for enjoying nature and the shimmering waters of the river.

Flowing through the center of the city is the Isarco / Eisack, an important tributary of the Adige. It springs from the Brenner Mountains and joins the Adige in Bolzano. The Isarco influences the cityscape and also offers a variety of opportunities for leisure activities. Its banks are popular walking paths, and the clear waters attract anglers.

The Talvera / Talfer, a smaller but characteristic river, originates in the Sarntal Alps and flows into the Isarco in Bolzano. It is especially known for the picturesque Talvera Meadows, a popular recreation area for locals and visitors alike. This idyllic spot invites walking, picnicking, and sporting activities, all while enjoying the impressive views of the surrounding mountains.

Each of these rivers lends Bolzano a unique character and contributes to the natural beauty and diversity of the region.

What lakes are there in South Tyrol?

With its picturesque landscapes, traditions, and hospitable people, South Tyrol is an idyllic destination that invites you to discover and enjoy. Particularly noteworthy is the impressive diversity of lakes in South Tyrol, offering an unforgettable experience for every vacationer. Here is a list of the most famous lakes you can visit in South Tyrol.

Lake Prags (Pragser Wildsee)

Lake Prags, also known as the Pearl of the Dolomite Lakes, is nestled in the Prags Valley in the Fanes-Sennes-Prags Nature Park. It is a breathtaking destination, known for its emerald green water and the surrounding snow-capped mountains.

Lake Carezza (Karersee)

Lake Carezza is another picturesque lake in South Tyrol. It is also referred to as the Rainbow Lake as the clear, turquoise blue water reflects radiant colors in the light. The lake is situated at a height of 1,520 meters and is surrounded by dense forests and majestic mountain peaks.

Montiggl Lakes (Montiggler Seen)

The Montiggl Lakes, consisting of the Large and Small Montiggl Lake, are located in the south of South Tyrol near Eppan. They are nestled amidst a dense forest and offer a refreshing cool-off after a bike tour through the hilly vineyard landscape. Cycling paths, hiking trails, and even an outdoor pool make these lakes a great summer attraction.

Lake Caldaro (Kalterer See)

Lake Caldaro, the warmest swimming lake in the Alps, is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. It offers a wide range of leisure activities, including sailing, windsurfing, and stand-up paddling. Additionally, there are cycling and hiking paths around the lake and through the nearby vineyards.

Lake Fennberg (Fennberger See)

This small but fine lake is located south of Margreid on the wine route. Lake Fennberg is particularly popular with locals and offers a wonderful panorama of the surrounding vineyards and apple orchards. It is an ideal place to take a break and enjoy South Tyrol's unique landscape.

Lake Reschen (Reschensee)

One of the most famous lakes in South Tyrol is Lake Reschen in Upper Vinschgau. With an impressive length of about 6 km, it is the largest lake in the region. Particularly interesting for cyclists is the bike path that circles the entire lake and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Alps. A famous photo motif is the sunken church tower of Alt-Graun, protruding from the water.

Lake Vernagt (Vernagt Stausee)

Lake Vernagt is located in the Schnals Valley, about 1700 meters above sea level. The route to the lake leads through the beautiful Schnals Valley, past old farmhouses and picturesque villages. At the reservoir itself, you can be impressed by the fascinating mountain world and the tree stumps protruding into the water. Tip: Visit in autumn!

Lake Zufritt in Martell Valley

Lake Zufritt is an artificially created reservoir in the Martell Valley, a side valley of Vinschgau. The lake is surrounded by high mountains and green forests, making it a real gem for nature lovers.

Lakes of Ulten Valley (Ultentaler Seen)

In the Ulten Valley, you will find a number of picturesque mountain lakes, including Lake Zoggler. They are nestled in the midst of untouched nature and are a wonderful place to rest and relax after a bike tour. Lake Zoggler also offers a well-developed bike path that leads through forests and meadows.

 

In conclusion, it can be stated that South Tyrol offers a rich variety of lakes, perfectly suited for cycling tours. Whether you're looking for challenging routes, breathtaking nature, or just relaxation and peace, the lakes of South Tyrol will not disappoint you. So, get on your bike and discover the wonders of South Tyrol on two wheels!

Where is the best place to cycle in South Tyrol?

We recommend the cycle paths in South Tyrol: the Etsch Cycle Path with the Vinschgau and Merano-Bolzano sections, the cycle path into the Passeier Valley, a lap around Lake Kaltern or a lap around Lake Resia.

When is the best time to travel to South Tyrol?

Die Sommer- und Herbstmonate Juli, August und September sind besonders beliebt. Für Wanderer und Radfahrer eignet sich die Zeit von April bis Oktober, in den Wintermonaten kommen Skifahrer und Winterwanderer auf ihre Kosten.

Vor allem im Meraner Land startet der Frühling besonders früh mit Temperaturen um die 20 Grad. Ende März ist die Gegend um Meran bereits aus dem Winterschlaf erwacht.

Why do people speak German in South Tyrol?

About two thirds of South Tyroleans speak German. In the autonomous province, German is an official language on an equal footing with Italian. In the Ladin parts of South Tyrol, Ladin is added as another official language.

South Tyrol was part of Tyrol until the end of the First World War. After the war, Austria had to cede many parts of the country, including South Tyrol.

Most locals speak in the South Tyrolean dialect, which differs from the standard German language.

Where exactly is South Tyrol – Südtirol?

South Tyrol is located in the north of Italy and borders Austria and Switzerland. This region is known for the impressive Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and its diverse opportunities for active vacationers, such as cyclists.

Whether looking for comfortable cycling paths through vineyards and orchards or challenging mountain bike trails and road routes through the mountains – you will find them in South Tyrol.

Cycling paths: The Via Claudia Augusta is just one of many routes that lead through this picturesque region. It offers a perfect mix of cultural history and landscape diversity.

Mountain biking: For those who like it a bit more challenging, the mountains in South Tyrol offer spectacular trails and tours.

Road cycling: South Tyrol is also known for its challenging mountain passes, which are popular among road cyclists, such as the Stelvio Pass and the Sella Pass.

Besides cycling, South Tyrol offers rich culture, excellent wines, and a cuisine that ranges from alpine to Mediterranean influences. It is thus an ideal place to combine an active vacation with culinary delights.

Where is it warmest in South Tyrol in autumn?

Im Talkessel von Meran, Bozen und Umgebung liegen die Tageshöchsttemperaturen im Oktober bei angenehmen 18° C. Im Hochpustertal und im Obervinschgau kann es zu dieser Jahreszeit bereits recht kühl sein.

Die beliebtesten Ferienregionen im Herbst sind: Meraner Land, Südtirols Süden, Eisacktal.

What glaciers are there in South Tyrol?
  • Übeltalferner: Mit 6,16 km² (2019) der größte Gletscher Südtirols. Der Gletscher liegt am Talende des Ridnauntals und hat seinen Namen wegen seiner bedrohlichen Felswände. Höhenbereich: 2550 m - 3470 m
  • Suldenferner: Mit 5,7 km² (2006) der zweitgrößte Gletscher Südtirols und befindet sich an der Ostseite von Ortler, Zebrù und Königsspitze.
  • Feuersteinferner
  • Rieserferner
  • Lenksteinferner
  • Zufallferner
  • Laaser Ferner
  • Fürkeleferner
  • Langenferner
  • Ortlerferner
  • Rieserferner
  • Hohenferner
  • Ultenmarktferner
  • Schranferner
  • Gepatschferner
  • Langtauferer Ferner
  • Bärenbartferner
  • Freibrunner Ferner
  • Planeilferner
  • Matscher Ferner
  • Grafferner
  • Texelferner
  • Kesselferner
  • Prettaukees
  • Äußeres Lahnerkees

Gletscher sind wichtige Speicher für Süßwasser. Besonders im trockenen Vinschgau kommt den Gletschern als Wasserreservoir besonders auch für die Bewässerung der landwirtschaftlichen Kulturflächen eine enorme Bedeutung zu.

Meran

Which river passes through Merano?

The Passer (Italian: Passirio) originates from several streams at the Timmelsjoch, runs through the Passeiertal and Meran, where it flows into the Etsch. With about 43 km, the Passer is one of the largest tributaries of the Etsch. 

In the rear Passeier Valley between Moos and St. Leonhard, you can get very close to the Passer on the Passeirer Schluchtenweg. The impressive hiking trail follows the upper course on metal bridges and constructions, where the river has dug deep into the rock.

Fly fishing on the Passer - In the Passeier Valley there are ideal conditions for fly fishers, whether novice or professional: the Passer offers varied sections, fast and calm flowing areas.

In the course of the project "The Passer for Merano - open spaces on the water", the so-called Passer terraces were created. Generously laid out lawn steps, near the Merano Thermal Baths, invite you to slow down and enjoy. 

Read more: Passer - The river through Merano

What is a must-see in Merano?

Merano offers many outdoor attractions, as well as numerous museums and exhibitions. Some of them are listed here:

  • Laubengassen in the old town
  • Botanical Gardens with Trauttmansdorff Castle
  • Tappeinerweg
  • Merano Thermal Baths
  • Arcade
  • Provincial castle
  • Sissi Park
  • Kurpromenade and Passerpromenade
  • Merano City Theatre
  • Touriseum
  • Women's Museum
  • City Museum
How's the weather in Merano in October?

Merano is known for its mild climate and average temperatures in October range from 6 to 19° C.

When does the weekly market take place in Merano?

Large weekly market in Merano

  • Every Friday from 08:00 to 13:00.
  • Clothes, shoes, leather goods, plants, food such as bread, sausages, cheese, fish, fruit, vegetables, etc.
  • At Praderplatz, Andreas-Hofer-Straße, along Meinhardstraße to the Otto-Huber-Straße.


Small weekly market in Merano

  • Every Tuesday from 08:00 to 13:00.
  • Clothes, shoes, leather goods, food such as bread, sausages, cheese, fish, fruit, vegetables.
  • At Praderplatz


Farmers' market on Brunnenplatz in Obermais

  • Every Wednesday from 07:00 to 13:00.
  • Seasonal fresh vegetables and fruit, as well as regional farmers' products.


Farmers' market in Meinhardstraße

  • Every Wednesday from 08:00 to 12:00.
  • Seasonal fresh vegetables and fruit, as well as regional farmers' products.


Farmers' market in G.-Galilei-Straße

  • Every Saturday from 08:00 to 12:00.
  • Seasonal fresh vegetables and fruit, as well as regional farm products.


MM - Merano Market - Regionality & Sustainability

  • Every Saturday from 09:00 to 13:00.
  • Meat specialities, cheese, fruit, vegetables, bread and herbs.
  • Freiheitsstraße, Sandplatz

Merano Christmas Market 2024

  • 29th November 2024 until 6th January 2025
  • Closed on 25th December
How far is Merano from Munich?
  • As the crow flies: 165 km
  • Driving distance: 250 km (approx. 3h 30min)

The distance between Merano in South Tyrol / Italy and Munich in Germany is approximately 300 kilometers when considering the route via road. The exact distance can vary, depending on the specific route taken. The driving time by car is usually about 3 - 4 hours, depending on traffic conditions and the chosen route.

Option 1: Via the Brenner Pass

A frequently used route leads from Munich via the A8 and A93 to the A13 through Austria over the Brenner Pass, which is one of the main arteries through the Alps. After crossing the Brenner Pass, you continue on the A22 in Italy until you reach the Bolzano Sud motorway exit. From there, you will reach Merano on the expressway MeBo. This route is relatively fast and direct.

Brenner and Jaufen Pass

For a route that includes the Jaufen Pass, you would typically drive from Munich via Innsbruck, then southwards towards the Brenner Pass, but turn off towards Sterzing beforehand. From Sterzing, you can drive over the Jaufen Pass and through the Passeier Valley, which is a very scenic but winding and challenging route before you reach Merano.

Option 2: Via the Reschen Pass

An alternative and scenically attractive route takes you from Munich via the A95 or A96 and further on Austrian country roads towards Landeck, from where you cross the Reschen Pass, which connects Italy with Austria. After crossing the pass, you enter the Vinschgau and drive southwards to Merano. This route is particularly appealing because of the drive along the Reschen Lake and through the Vinschgau.

Where to park in Merano?

The most important car parks in Merano: 

  • St. Josef car park
  • Merano Thermal Baths car park
  • Karl Wolf car park
  • Plaza multi-storey car park
  • Algund Winery multi-storey car park
  • Car park Meranarena
  • Obermais multi-storey car park
  • Parking Prader Platz (free)
  • Untermais railway station car park (free)

Read more Parking in Merano

What to do in Merano when it rains?

What to do if the morning view out of the window still doesn't bode well for today? Culture lovers can visit the following sights, for example: Trauttmansdorff Castle, the arcades in the old town, the parish church of St. Nicholas, Merano Castle, the Women's Museum and much more.

Shops, boutiques, restaurants and cafés invite you to relaxed shopping and strolling.

Popular on rainy days: the Merano Thermal Baths with a wide range of wellness offers.

Read more: Rainy day in Merano

Vinschgau

What does the Reschen Pass cost?

The road over the Reschen Pass is free of charge all year round. There is no winter closure and no toll. The Reschenpass is therefore very popular with car travellers. In the summer months and autumn there are often long traffic jams in the Vinschgau Valley from Mals to Meran. We recommend an alternative route via the Brenner Pass, the Timmeljoch or travelling by train if there is a lot of traffic.

Why is the church in Lake Reschen?

In 1950, a reservoir was built against the will of the population and the village of Graun was flooded. Hundreds of families from the surrounding area were forced to abandon their homes. Only the church tower of Alt-Graun is a reminder of a village that disappeared in the floods.

How do I get over the Reschen Pass by bike?

From Italy over the Reschen Pass by bike:
From Mals in the Vinschgau Valley, the well-maintained cycle path leads to Burgeis and on to Lake Reschen. Along the western shore of the lake you reach the village of Reschen and get to the Reschen Pass. From there you cross the border to Austria.

From Austria over the Reschen Pass:
From Landeck we follow the "Via Claudia Augusta" cycle path with partly steep climbs to Prutz. Up to Pfunds it is flatter again. A section continues into Switzerland to the town of Martina, where the climb to the Reschenpass begins. There are 11 hairpin bends to negotiate by bike, and at the pass near Naudersmühlen the route descends to Nauders and on to the border crossing. After another climb at the pass, you experience a wonderful view of Lake Reschen.

Is it possible to cycle around Reschensee?

Clockwise or counterclockwise, the loop around Lake Resia can be cycled. There are a many possibilities for the starting place:

  • at the parking lot near the famous church tower of Altgraun
  • in the village of Reschen
  • at the parking lot in the south of the Reschensee
  • cycle path Vinschgau from Mals
  • Etsch cycle path from Reschenpass

Start at the parking lot near the church tower in the lake

We follow the gravel road to the south, continue around the kite spot - on our left the road and on our right the lake - continue to the dam. When the weather is nice, we have a fantastic view of the Ortler, the highest mountain in South Tyrol at 3,905 meters. We cross the dam wall and follow the asphalt bike path back north along the west bank of the Reschsee. The cycling path leads through woods and meadows with slight inclines to Reschen and there we again follow a gravel path back to the starting point.

In total there are 70 meters of altitude. Length of the tour: 15 km.

Who is the bike path around the Reschensee suitable for?

Ideal as a leisurely excursion for families or as a cycling introduction for gravel or MTB bikers. The bike path is not suitable for racing bikes because the lake circuit is only partially asphalted.

 

Bike path on the western shore of Lake Resia
Bike path on the western shore of Lake Resia
When is the apple blossom in Vinschgau Valley?

For one to two weeks, the apple orchards bloom in white and pink. First along the South Tyrolean Wine Road, then in the surroundings of Merano and the higher altitudes in Vinschgau. Apple blossom in Vinschgau begins in mid-April to end of April, depending on the weather and altitude.

The cycle path through the Vinschgau Valley leads through the middle of the orchards and makes it possible to marvel at the blossom up close. The apple blossom is an experience for all your senses.

Read more Fruit blossom in South Tyrol

Which river flows through the Vinschgau Valley?

The Adige is the second longest (415 km) river in Italy and has its source at the Reschen Pass in the Vinschgau Valley. It crosses the Adige Valley and the Po Plain and flows into the Adriatic Sea.

The river is fed by numerous rivers and streams. The following rivers are worth mentioning in the Vinschgau Valley:

  • Metzbach / Schlinger Bach from the Schlinigtal valley.
  • Puni from the Planeil valley
  • Saldurbach / Matschtalbach from the Matschertal valley
  • Rambach from the Münstertal
  • Suldenbach
  • Plima from the Martell Valley
  • Schnalser Bach from the Schnals Valley
  • Zielbach from the Zieltal valley near Partschins/Parcines
Where is Vinschgau / Val Venosta?

Vinschgau or Vinschgau Valley (Italian: Val Venosta) extends in the west of South Tyrol from the Reschen Pass to the Töll near Merano. The valley encompasses the uppermost part of the Etsch Valley and is divided into Upper and Lower Vinschgau. The area is centrally located in the Alps and is surrounded by high mountain ridges: to the north by the Ötztal Alps, to the west by the Sesvenna Group and to the south are the Ortler Alps.

Was that helpful?

Suggest a text change

Hotel recommendations

Lindenhof Pure Luxury & Spa DolceVita Resort in Naturns
Naturns
Lindenhof Pure Luxury & Spa DolceVita Resort
5
Details
Piris Jagdhof - Dolce Vita Experience in Latsch
Latsch
Piris Jagdhof - Dolce Vita Experience
4s
Details
Feldhof DolceVita Resort in Naturns
Naturns
Feldhof DolceVita Resort
4s
Details
Preidlhof Luxury DolceVita Resort in Naturns
Naturns
Preidlhof Luxury DolceVita Resort
5
Details