Tips for Autumn in South Tyrol

LISTICLE | 10/16/2023
Martina Wengenmeir

Crimson and gold slopes in vibrant autumn attire, crisp air carrying a touch of coolness, panoramic moments between steep peaks in the morning at sunrise or in the evening at sunset: Autumn in the mountains has a lot to offer, especially in South Tyrol, where delectable treats follow outdoor adventures like biking or hiking. We've gathered the best hidden gems in a blend of action and Dolce Vita.


Mountain Biking at Kronplatz

From easy to challenging: Kronplatz Bike Park offers a variety of mountain biking trails to choose from.

From easy to challenging: Kronplatz Bike Park offers a variety of mountain biking trails to choose from.

For those seeking trails and action, Kronplatz is the place to be. Known for its excellent skiing, the bike park on-site also provides plenty of fun on a mountain bike during the autumn. With 18 diverse trails, ranging from easy to challenging and leisurely to steep, they traverse different terrains, offering rocky, rooty, or rugged challenges as well as smooth curves and flowing rides. Iconic trail names like Franz and Hans are well-known in the community, but names like Alex, Andreas, and others are also favorites for exhilarating descents. The ascent from Reischach remains open until November 5th.


Cycling Tours: Exploring on Two Wheels

Latsch in Vinschgau offers beautiful bike trails.

Auch im Vinschgau finden sich tolle Trails zum Radeln, zum Beispiel in und oberhalb von Latsch.

Der landschaftlich einmalige Sonnenberg bietet dabei ideales Terrain für abwechslungsreiche Biketouren: Vom einfachen Annenberg-Easy-Trail über den flowigen Tschilli Trail bis hin zum Klassiker für Biker, der St. Martin im Kofel Tour. Der grüne Nörderberg besticht dagegen durch Gebirgswälder und Wiesen. Mit ihren Schatten spendenden Wäldern und Wildbächen bieten die Hänge am Nörderberg, für alle, denen es in der Herbstsonne am gegenüberliegenden Sonnenberg zu heiß wird, Abwechslung und ebenfalls tolle Bedingungen zum Biken.

Besonders beliebt bei moderaten Radfahrern ist daneben die Etschradroute von Meran nach Reschen oder anders herum. Der 80 km lange, leicht abwärts verläuft entlang der antiken Römerstraße Via Claudia Augusta.


Trying Out a New Via Ferrata

New "Ölberg" Via Ferrata in Sterzing.

Climbing steep slopes and coming into direct contact with the rocks is undoubtedly a remarkable experience, especially when exciting views await around every corner. A new climbing route, the Via Ferrata »Ölberg«, was recently opened at the entrance of Pfitschtal in Sterzing, rewarding climbers with beautiful climbing passages after a 3-hour journey and a 230-meter elevation gain. The Klettersteig route falls in the B/D category, with most of the route being rated as B. Various variations provide skilled climbers with sections in the D category. This route pairs wonderfully with a visit to a South Tyrolean inn, where you can enjoy Eisacktal cuisine and reinterpretations of South Tyrolean favorites, or dine at the Restaurant Sprechenstein, offering slow food in a farm-to-table concept in a splendid castle setting. Of course, you can also combine it with a stroll through Sterzing.



Seiser Alm for Early Birds

Sunrise is the most beautiful time in the mountains, especially on Seiser Alm.

Europe's largest high alp, Seiser Alm, offers something throughout the year, attracting guests accordingly. In the golden autumn, a special atmosphere awaits you: the alpine air is clearer, the colors are more intense. In this season, you can explore some peaks while hiking, almost entirely alone. Or, if desired, with the locals: experienced mountain guides take you on a sunrise tour followed by a regional mountain breakfast in a mountain hut. Schlern, Plattkofel, Rosszahnscharte, and Völseggspitze offer breathtaking Dolomite panoramas and unique lighting conditions for a great start to the day.



Exploring Lakes in the UNESCO World Heritage Site

There are many beautiful mountain lakes, and when morning mist rolls over them or the entire panorama is reflected, every strenuous ascent rewards you with a stunning view. The Pragser Wildsee has become a photography magnet. In the UNESCO World Natural Heritage of the Dolomites, within the Drei Zinnen and Fanes-Sennes-Prags nature parks, you can discover several more beautiful lakes and a multitude of great hikes over one or more days. Whether you incorporate a climbing route, stay in one of the mountain huts, or go for sport climbing or alpine multi-pitch routes, the possibilities are endless.


Themed Hiking: From Impressive to Enlightening

The pulpit in the Plimaschlucht offers exciting viewpoints.

For all hiking enthusiasts, there are various enjoyable options, depending on your preference. As an easy hike in Martell, the Plimaschlucht offers impressive gorge views with secured observation platforms, including spray to touch. The Kastanienweg in Völlan offers an interesting themed path through the colorful autumn landscape and provides some background information about chestnuts, one of the main attractions during Törggelen. Speaking of which, especially in autumn, a hike to the historical Eishof in the farthest valley of Pflossental is worthwhile; it was first documented in 1290. Moreover, the Zirmtaler Seen in Vinschgau also invite you to hike in the autumn sun.



Witness a Cinematic Natural Spectacle

The South Tyrolean mountains offer numerous rock formations and stunning viewpoints. Some of them are easily accessible, such as the easy hike to the Knottnkino in Hafling, which offers one of the most beautiful viewpoints in South Tyrol. Knottn translates to "rocks" in the South Tyrolean dialect. Between the villages of Hafling and Vöran, several red porphyry rock noses rise like red round peaks from the landscape, and you can hike them in a four-hour round trip. The Knottnkino doesn't feature a movie but offers a splendid panoramic view that changes with the time of day and season. And not only here, where chairs have been artistically set up, but also in other parts of South Tyrol, you can experience spectacular sunsets and lighting changes, offering fantastic natural spectacles.


Törggele Tour for Culinary Enjoyment

Chestnuts, grape must, and wine: the stars of Törggelen.

Speaking of wine and hiking: Autumn in South Tyrol wouldn't be complete without Törggelen. While apples and grapes are eagerly harvested in the valley and on the slopes, a bike ride along the South Tyrolean Wine Road leads to numerous wineries and wine estates amidst the vineyards. Törggelen is a South Tyrolean tradition and a fifth season. Here, you can sample chestnuts, doughnuts, grape must, and characterful wines. For instance, at Pfefferlechner in Lana: it's a family-run tavern brewery that serves beer or non-alcoholic beer alongside Törggelen. In Algund, the Schnalshuberhof also offers a farm tour, and in Meran, the Rauthof invites for an additional tasting of Suser, a young wine made from freshly pressed grapes. Until November, Buschenschänken offer tastings of new wine and homemade South Tyrolean specialties, often combined with hiking. For example, you can enjoy a culinary hike on the "Keschtnweg" from Brixen or explore the idyllic autumn landscape on the Meraner and Vinschgauer Waal paths, where there is much to discover.

As a year-round invitation to wine enthusiasts, the Vinschgau offers the Via Vinum Venostis. The Vinschgau Wine Trail follows the Waalen over long stretches, which were originally constructed as artificial irrigation canals. It occasionally passes farms and vineyards.

Need more ideas? You can find additional tips and general information for an active holiday in South Tyrol, coupled with Dolce Vita, here.



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Martina Wengenmeir
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