7 days – 7 experiences on my walking holiday in the Alps

Hiking in the Alps promises beautiful views, clear mountain air, mild temperatures, and varied trails - so far, so good. What I wasn't prepared for before my first hiking holiday in Italy, were the unexpected encounters, the sense of achievement and the precious memories that I took home with me. These are the ones that, even years later, allow me to think back to every single day of this 7-day holiday. I particularly remember...

My first climbing tour

I had rented an apartment at Wosching Haus at the time so that I could be as independent and flexible as possible on holiday with my wife. We particularly enjoyed the freedom of visiting a different restaurant every evening and not being tied to any mealtimes. Sometimes we even cooked our own meals in our kitchen.
Anyway, one day we decided to go climbing in the Alps, on the Ivigna peak. This summit near Merano is suitable for anyone with a bit of climbing experience, but it's not too difficult. From the mountain station of the Merano 2000 Ropeway, it's about a 4-hour walk, but all the effort was amply rewarded when we reached the summit and took in the 360° view. Thanks to our binoculars, we could see from Monte Baldo on Lake Garda to the Stubai Glacier in Austria. What an unforgettable moment of success!

The South Tyrolean secret recipe

The Mutspitze, almost 2,300 metres high, is Merano's local mountain. If you want to go on hiking in the mountains in South Tyrol, you should definitely not miss it. First, we took the Hochmuth funicular, which took us from the village of Tirolo up to the Muta Farms at around 1,400 metres. This enabled us to reach the summit without too much effort. During the descent, we stopped off at the Hochmuth inn at the mountain station of the funicular and ordered a typical South Tyrolean afternoon snack. The bread we were served with it tasted so good that my wife asked the friendly waitress for the recipe. It turned out to be the famous Vinschger Paarlbrot, a South Tyrolean specialty. And so it was that we not only took home many beautiful memories that day, but also a small piece of paper with Karin's secret recipe for genuine South Tyrolean Paarl. And I can confirm: they really do taste heavenly!

Everything in the garden is rosy

Staying at Wosching Haus during our walking holiday in Italy turned out to be an advantage: the house is located right in the centre of Merano and has its own underground car park. This way, we were able to set off straight away in the morning and discover the beautiful surroundings of Merano - and if, like on that day, we felt like staying in the spa town, we were already there. So, we took a leisurely stroll from our accommodation to the Passirio Promenade and then continued along the so-called Gilf Promenade at the northern end of Merano. From there, a leisurely path, which is also suitable for strollers, leads to the Tappeiner Promenade, which is often called one of the most beautiful high-altitude promenades in Europe. The Tappeiner Promenade runs for around 3 kilometres along the Küchelberg hill north of Merano until reaching Quarazze. In addition to the marvellous view of the spa town, the highlight was undoubtedly the botanical diversity! Numerous information boards point out the Himalayan cedars, cork oaks, olive trees, eucalyptus, magnolias, prickly pear cacti and many other rarities growing along the way. Colourful flowerbeds also lined the path - and the public herb garden smelled like grandma's kitchen. Of course, fragrant and delicious food is also served in the inns along the way.

(Motion) picture-perfect

Think you've seen everything? Then wait until you check out the view at "Knottnkino" (“rock cinema”)!
On the Rotsteinkogel near Verano, not far from Merano, there is a special viewing point where 40 seats made of steel and chestnut wood have been positioned. To find the Knottnkino, simply follow trail no. 12a behind the "Grüner Baum" inn in Verano for around 2 hours. At the end of this easy tour, you will be richly rewarded with a dream view of the Adige Valley, the Texel Group, the Penegal and the Corno Bianco. Settle into one of the seats, unpack your snacks, and take plenty of time to enjoy the view. If you are not yet familiar with South Tyrolean geography, a handy display board will help you identify the peaks in the vicinity. Along the way, we also noticed special features such as a metal sundial and small wooden figures, which the children particularly enjoyed.

Shopping alongside the way

According to my wife, the best hike in Italy is the one where you can combine hiking with shopping. The easiest way to do this is on a leisurely walk along the Lagundo Waalweg path near Merano. This flat and family-friendly trail starts at Tel, which can be reached by car or bus, and leads for around 5 kilometres to Quarazze, where the Tappeiner Promenade begins. On this easy hiking trail in Italy, you cross vineyards and orchards and pass numerous inns. Information boards and adventure stations for children and adults provide interesting insights into the surrounding natural and cultural landscape as well as the functioning of the Waal, the man-made irrigation canal that runs right next to the trail. The tasty highlight, however, are the farmers' stalls that you will come across here again and again, where you can buy home-made products such as fruit juices, jams, or cheese directly from the producers. I still remember that the next morning we tried out the delicacies we had bought at breakfast in our apartment!

High mountain air at the long-distance hiking trail

The Merano High Mountain Trail is one of the most beautiful long-distance hiking trails in the Alps. It takes experienced hikers around the Texel Group Nature Park in 5-8 days. The whole tour was of course out of the question for us. Conveniently, however, the individual stages of the high mountain trail can also be hiked within a day.
We opted for the section from Hochmuth to Giggelberg. To do this, we took the Hochmuth funicular once again and then walked up to the Leiter hut and then to the Hochgang hut via the so-called Hans-Frieden-Path. From then on, the path became a little more "alpine", but still manageable. We reached the Tablander hut, Nasereit hut and then our destination, the Giggelberg mountain inn, which is conveniently located above the Texelbahn cable car, which took us back down to the valley. This hike does not take you back to the starting point, which is why we recommend travelling there by public transport.
What made us so enthusiastic about this tour was the fact that we were able to breathe real high Alpine air, that the route was so varied and that we were able to enjoy fantastic views throughout.

2 summits in one day

Sounds exhausting? It's not!
As my walking holiday in the Alps was coming to an end, I was looking for a tour that would allow me to see as much of beautiful South Tyrol as possible. There is a hike on Merano 2000 that takes you on 2 peaks and past 6 mountain inns in one day:
First, you take the Merano 2000 Ropeway, then you hike along the paths no. 3 and 18a into the back part of the hiking area and to the Mittager chairlift, which comfortably takes you a little higher. From there, it's just a stone's throw to the 2,390 m high Windspitz and not far to the neighbouring Mittager at 2,422 m.
Because we were still feeling so fit, we then hiked back via the Meraner hut. If I remember correctly, we stopped for refreshments twice that day: on the way up, we only stopped for a snack and on the way back we rewarded ourselves with a delicious Kaiserschmarrn and a juicy apple strudel. Rarely have I had the feeling of having achieved so much after a hiking tour!

Gentle meadows and mighty peaks, peaceful plateaus and cosy huts combined with stylish city life and Mediterranean flair - I have been totally addicted to this holiday mix ever since my first visit to Merano. Needless to say, I have returned countless times since then to do more hiking in Merano, Italy.

Thanks to the wide choice of tours, a walking holiday in the Italian Alps really does meet every expectation - and with Wosching Haus in the centre of the spa town we have found our ideal base camp from which we can comfortably go hiking in the mountains around Merano, while enjoying total peace and privacy in the evening. Give it a try!