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Holidays

Self-Guided Walking in South Tyrol: Wine & Alpine Pastures

Italy
Available Departures: May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct

7 days from

US$1,155

without flights
Walk & Trek
Self-Guided
MODERATE MODERATE

Discover the unique cultures of Merano, Bolzano and Nalles for a week of self-guided alpine walking and wine in the South Tyrol.

Trip Code: SGWA
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Self-Guided Walking in South Tyrol: Wine & Alpine Pastures

Highlights
  • Walk through vineyards and orchards on the wine route and enjoy sampling the local wines
  • Stay in the Thermal Spa town of Merano and the Capital of South Tyrol, Bolzano
  • Discover Trauttmannsdorf palace and its immaculate botanical gardens
  • Explore the Tschoggelberg plateau for views of the soaring Dolomites and Etschtal valley below

At a Glance
  • Self-guided
  • 5 days walking
  • Max altitude 1520m
  • Saturday and Sunday departures
  • Join In Merano

Accommodation & Meals
  • 6 Breakfasts
  • 6 nights Hotel
Overview

Grand architecture, spa towns, palaces, 300 days of sunshine, and views of the Dolomites. Welcome to the South Tyrol, the Alps but not as you know them. This is German speaking Italy, with 95% of the county having German as their first language. An area where Austrian, Italian and Alpine traditions compliment each other seamlessly.


This one-week self-guided walking holiday explores the enchanting Etschtal Valley and its kaleidoscope of cultures and landscapes. Your trip begins in the spa town of Merano where palm trees line the streets, before walking the Marlinger Waalweg irrigation channel to the charming town of Nalles, teeming with palaces for you to explore. The contrasts continue as you traverse the eastern mountains along the wine route to the capital of South Tyrol, Bolzano, before the Tschoggelberg plateau and views of the soaring Dolomites. You end your South Tyrol experience returning to Merano. You will have a plethora of mountain huts, and restaurants to stop and enjoy the local cuisine and fantastic wines along your way. Plus you will stay in family run 3* and 4* hotels, some with pools, you can be sure of warm hospitality at the end of each day.

Is this holiday for you?

We have designed this trip to harness the unique culture of the Etschtal Valley where the sun shines 300 days a year, palm trees grow in the valley while you take in the views of the high Dolomites from high balcony paths. As you traverse the soaring mountains which protect Merano, Nalles and Bolzano below you will be blown away with the area's beauty. This trip is the ideal introduction to the So …

We have designed this trip to harness the unique culture of the Etschtal Valley where the sun shines 300 days a year, palm trees grow in the valley while you take in the views of the high Dolomites from high balcony paths. As you traverse the soaring mountains which protect Merano, Nalles and Bolzano below you will be blown away with the area's beauty. This trip is the ideal introduction to the South Tyrol with walks averaging 14km each day taking you through vineyards and across high mountain plateaus scattered with welcoming mountain huts. Routes are well marked for easy navigation and on well-established paths, Waalwegen’s and quiet forest roads. In the evening you can look forward to staying in family run 3* and 4* hotels, all chosen for their warm hospitality and fantastic locations. Plus staying in the spa town of Merano, the palace town of Nalles and Bolzano, the gateway to the Dolomites, there are plenty of great restaurants and sights to enjoy along the way too.

Why KE?

Discover the unique town of Merano and nearby Bolzano and Nalles with KE Adventure. With sunshine 300 days a year, thermal baths, Austrian influenced architecture, vineyards and soaring Alpine peaks you can look forward to experiencing the South Tyrol a new.


We have included a pass for the Jenesien Cable Car, allowing you to enjoy the high mountain plateau.

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Itinerary

Arrive in Merano, check into your hotel in the heart of the town. Merano is full of charm with arbour alleys, grand architecture and colourful alpine flower boxes. The town is not only popular for its fantastic walking and wines but it is also a traditional spa town and was a firm favourite with Emperess Sissi. The thermal waters have long been used for their therapeutic benefits and you will find a large modern Therme in the centre of town, which makes the perfect place to spend the afternoon relaxing.

Depending on the time of your arrival we recommend taking a stroll through the town along the river Passer and enjoy a gelato in one of the riverside cafes; after all you are in Italy. In the summer months you will often spot families paddling in the river or fisherman trying their luck in the flowing waters. Alternatively, you may wish to explore the fantastic Trauttmansdorff castle and botanical gardens. The town's location within the basin of the valley provides the perfect Mediterranean like conditions for the botanical gardens to bloom and with the backdrop of the high peaks it is made even more beautiful. In the evening, a KE representative will meet you at your accommodation to answer any questions you may have and you will find plenty of restaurants to enjoy an evening meal.

Accommodation

Hotel

Your first walk of the week is one of contrasts. You will discover the fantastic 'Waalwegens' of the South Tyrol (old irrigation channels); walk through thriving orchards and chestnut fields; delight in the shade of the deciduous forests, and arrive in Nals teeming with castles for you to explore. All this and it is only your first walk of the week!

Walking on irrigation channels is something most people associate with walking on Madeira, but 'Waalwegens' have long been used in this area of Italy to feed the water from the high mountains to the vineyards and orchards that fill the valley floor. Your walk begins following the Marlinger Waalweg, the longest of the Waals in South Tyrol, to lead you to Lana. This lovely market town is known as the 'Orchard of South Tyrol', set in the heart of the Mediterranean- alpine landscape the town's main produce is apples making a great coffee stop to enjoy a slice of Apfelstrudel and admire the breath-taking views up and down the valley. Continuing, your route takes you through fragrant forests to Tisens where chestnuts now fill the fields and the fantastic views towards Bolzano come into sight. Your final goal for the day is Nalles where the castles of Strachelburg, Schwanburg and Payrsberg punctuate the skyline. You will have time to explore the town and its castles before enjoying dinner in one of the inviting restaurants.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

550 M

Descent

550 M

Distance

19 KM

After a long day of exploring yesterday, today is much more relaxed as you make your way towards the capital of South Tyrol, Bolzano. You will have time to further explore before leaving Nalles to ascend to a high path allowing you to traverse the mountains and appreciate fantastic views too. Part of today's route leads you along the 3 castle route before dropping down into the extensive wine producing area of Eppan. You will have chance to wander through the town, soak up its characteristic flair, and perhaps sample some of the tasty wines they produced here before catching the bus to Bolzano.

This fascinating city was once a popular stop on the coach route between Austro-Hungary and Italy, making this natural basin not only the meeting point of valleys but also cultures. You will have time to explore this picturesque city of meticulously painted houses against a backdrop of mountains green pastures. We recommend visiting the South Tyrol Museum of Archeology, home to Otzi the Iceman, dating back to 3300 BC or pay a visit to the imposing 13th Century fortress of Maretsh Castle. Your day draws to a close with dinner in one the city's buzzing restaurants- possibly with a glass of wine from the vineyards you have walked through earlier in the day.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

480 M

Descent

400 M

Distance

11 KM

Feeling refreshed, today begins with taking the Jenesien cable car allowing you to experience the South Tyrol's most stunning facets (please note this is currently undergoing maintenance work and is replaced by a shuttle service). Arriving at the top of the cable car you can enjoy a morning coffee in the mountain town of Jenesien before heading on along today's route. It won't be long before you will be rewarded with a unique panoramic view from lake Kalterer See over the castles and palaces of the wine route and the jagged peaks of the Dolomites. Simply stunning. Following a high mountain path you are accompanied by views across the vast meadows dotted with cattle and horses and in the spring, alpine flowers too. Continuing through ancient larch trees you begin your descent into the mountain village of Molten. Set upon the high plateau of Tschoggelberg the village is filled with alpine charm and your traditional chalet style home for the next two nights is sure to provide you the warm alpine hospitality which makes the alps so popular. The perfect place to unwind and watch the sun set over the mountains.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

480 M

Descent

420 M

Distance

11 KM

Waking up to views across the rolling plateau to the impressive high peaks; you can take time to have a relaxed breakfast before beginning today's walk. Your route today is a circular one allowing you to soak in the landscapes of the Tschoggelberg plateau; meadows filled with spring alpine flowers, insanely fragrant larch forests and perfect alpine pastures. Ascending to a high point you will reach the Stoanernen Mandln (stone men) sat proudly. Walking through the sea of cairn-like sculptures you cannot help but wonder what their purpose is. The Stoanernen Mandln have often served as a means of orientation but the large quantity of these stone men have given rise to the legend that they were created as part of a witches gathering in the Sarntal Alps. We will let you make your own conclusions, but whatever their purpose they make for a great walk. When you have finished appreciating the 360 degree panoramas you will return to the old charm of Molten/Meltina you can take advantage of the pool and spa facilities of your hotel. Alternatively, you can perhaps enjoy a coffee and the local delicacy 'Kaiserschmarrn', a chopped pancake dessert introduced to the area from Austria which is dusted with icing sugar and served with stewed apples from the valley below. If like us here at KE you have a sweet tooth, you will love it.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

610 M

Descent

910 M

Distance

14 KM

Your final walk of the week explores the glorious alpine pastures and green meadows occupied by grazing cattle leading you to the inviting Leadner Alp. This welcoming alpine hut is set within a working farm and offers some of the best homemade dumplings in the Alps. We recommend stopping off for lunch before continuing along the high-path accompanied by more panoramic views. As you begin to descend towards Merano you will pass the impressive Trauttmannsdorf palace providing further opportunity to explore the palace and its immaculate botanical gardens before arriving at your hotel for your final evening in this wonderful town. In the evening you can delight in dinner at one of the many restaurants and toast to a great week in the South Tyrol.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

580 M

Descent

440 M

Distance

13 KM

Enjoy a final breakfast in this alpine haven and perhaps take a final stroll through the town before making your onward journey.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Point Point
Cable Car Cable Car
Airport Airport
Direction Direction
Trek
Transfer
Cable Car

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Self-guided information pack containing your map and route notes
  • Luggage transfer
  • Cable car ascent fare Jenesien

  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to / from Merano
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Some meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Personal equipment
  • Public bus on day 3 and optional bus on day 6
  • Any additional activities/excursions indicated as optional

Each self-guided holiday comes with comprehensive route notes and a map or pocket guidebook of the area you are exploring. The route notes contain information about the places you will visit, about the local transport you might need, along with the detailed route notes for your daily walks or cycle rides. We even include some tips for the best places to stop for lunch.

You can expect to receive your Self-Guided Pack containing your route notes, a map or guidebook and all your relevant documents no later than 3 weeks before your holiday start date. We will send your documents using a signed for courier so that you can track your package and know that they are safely on their way to you. For bookings of more than 4 people we will send an additional Self-Guided Pack. If you do not need this additional pack please inform our sales team. Your pack will be sent to the lead booker so please remind them to pack it before you set off.

Should your self-guided trip be part of a longer adventure requiring you to leave home more than three weeks before your holiday start date, please do inform our sales team so that we can make alternative delivery arrangements.

Our Self-Guided Holidays are perfect for your next family holiday and are suitable for children of all ages.

Our partner hotels and accommodations are able to provide cots for young children, and some offer family rooms. We can also arrange hire of children’s bikes and tag along bikes for most of our self-guided cycling trips and with trips such as Lake Constance and the Danube offering routes on designated cycle paths you can rest assured in keeping your family safe.

As a parent we trust that you know your own child’s capabilities, so please read the itinerary details to ensure the distances covered each day are suitable for your family. If this is a first time walking holiday for your family, a centre based trip is a fantastic option as it allows you to easily opt out of a days walking if a day of building sand castles, swimming in the pool or visiting museums is calling instead.

Please discuss this further with our sales team who will be happy to assist in picking the best trip for your family.

This trip starts at your hotel in Merano. All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a land only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. The nearest airports are Verona or Venice Marco Polo and both have great low cost flight options from UK regional airports.

The rail network in this part of Italy is extremely good and offers regular connections from both Verona and Venice making it the best option for getting to your hotel.

If you are flying into Verona airport you can either take a taxi from outside the airport or the shuttle bus to Verona Porta Nuova train station. From here you can take the direct train to Merano station. The journey takes approx. 2-3 hours.

If you are flying into Venice Marco Polo airport you can take the shuttle bus to Venezia Mestre train station. From here you take the train to Merano. The journey takes approx. 4 hours with one change at Verona Porto Nuova.

Tickets for the Italian trains can be booked through Trenitalia in advance of your holiday, simply visit their website www.lefrecce.it

This trip is on a bed and breakfast basis to allow you the most flexibility during your holiday.

Water is drinkable from the taps on this holiday. Please fill your personal bottles for your day in the morning. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

One of the great things about this trip is being able to see the cultural influences on the local cuisine from the German inspired delicacies of South Tyrol such as Apfelstrudel and Grostl (a beef stew) to typically Italian pasta dishes. With so many culinary delights to enjoy along your route, we have designed this programme on a bed and breakfast basis, allowing you to sample as many as possible. Breakfasts are typically continental with fruit, cereals and fresh pastries on offer, served with a cup of coffee. Along your walks you will find inviting mountain huts and cafes, and in the evening there are many fine restaurants to choose from. We recommend always asking for the house wine, they are usually from the local vineyards you have been walking through each day, not to mention that they are fantastic.

Alpine hospitality is second to none and you are sure for a warm welcome in our carefully selected family run 3* and 4* hotels on this trip. All of the hotels on this trip have been chosen for their fantastic locations and local character. Some also have pool facilities or gardens, making them perfect for unwinding after a day of exploring. The hotels all offer a great breakfast buffet to fuel you for the day ahead and rooms are on a double or twin basis, some with Austrian style twin beds as is traditional in this area (two beds within one bed frame and separate bedding).

It is possible to arrange additional nights accommodation if you would like to enjoy this magnificent region a little longer.

Please refer to the dates and prices tab for further details or speak to one of our sales team.

During high season you may be booked into an alternative accommodation of a similar standard in the area.

Your main luggage will be transferred between each of your hotels while you are out on your walk. We ask that you please ensure that each piece of your luggage is under 20KG and that your luggage is ready for collection in the morning on the day of each hotel change. You will also need a daypack to carry your daily essentials with you whilst you are walking.

Europe

Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

For the latest details on visiting countries within the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA), please check the UK Government website

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

Vaccinations

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations.

GHIC / Medical cover

UK residents should carry a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland. This is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is vital when travelling overseas.

Severe Allergies

Please inform our KE Sales and support team of any severe allergies you may have before travel. We will always do our best to help but we are unable to guarantee an allergy free environment on our KE trips. We advise that you always carry your own treatment for the allergy with you such as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' if required.  We also recommend that you discuss this with your accommodation on arrival so that they can better assist you.

The currency for part or all of this holiday is the Euro.

The advantage of a self-guided walking holiday is that you decide the pace however getting some additional exercise before coming on an active holiday makes a lot of sense. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable your walks will be. You should be comfortable with walking 4 to 5 hours for consecutive days. We suggest that you try to fit in a number of daily walks in hilly countryside before your trip and its always a good idea to spend some time walking in the footwear you are going to use on this holiday.

North Italy is still in the middle European climate zone making for warm summers and cold winters however, Merano sits within a large basin giving it a unique microclimate and allowing higher temperatures in the valley and a short snow season in the winter months. Spring brings beautiful wild flowers across the meadows, warm days and often cool evenings. Temperatures in the Autumn are similar. Rainfall in the region occurs in all seasons and so we recommend you pack your waterproofs just in case.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

  • Hiking boots with good grip soles

  • Functional base layer

  • T-shirts

  • Hat

  • Windproof jacket

  • Fleece / extra layer

  • Long/short hiking trousers

  • Hiking socks

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Waterproof trousers

  • Rucksack (approx. 20 l)

  • Small first aid kit inside your rucksack

  • Sunscreen

  • Water bottle or hydration pack

  • Camera (batteries/memory card)

  • Mobile Phone (ensure your data package covers your destination)

  • Power bank

  • Waterproof phone cover

  • Sun glasses

  • Personal wash kit

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping to avoid the use of plastic bags

  • Tupperware for picnics

  • Walking poles

  • Headtorch & spare batteries

  • Your self-guided route notes

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

DATES & PRICES

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

More Information

  • Self-Guided Walking in South Tyrol: Wine & Alpine Pastures
    Without Flights
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Self-Guided Walking in South Tyrol: Wine & Alpine Pastures
    Without Flights
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Self-Guided Walking in South Tyrol: Wine & Alpine Pastures
    Without Flights
  • Download Trip Notes

2025

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

More Information

  • Self-Guided Walking in South Tyrol: Wine & Alpine Pastures
    Without Flights
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Self-Guided Walking in South Tyrol: Wine & Alpine Pastures
    Without Flights
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Self-Guided Walking in South Tyrol: Wine & Alpine Pastures
    Without Flights
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Self-Guided Walking in South Tyrol: Wine & Alpine Pastures
    Without Flights
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Self-Guided Walking in South Tyrol: Wine & Alpine Pastures
    Without Flights
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

Please note our 'from price' listed is based on 4 persons on twin or double occupancy, however we can quote for any number of travellers, including solo travellers, contact our sales team for a quote.

This trip is available for departures on SATURDAYS and SUNDAYS throughout the dates listed.

All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a Land Only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. The nearest airports are Verona or Venice Marco Polo and both have great low cost flight options from UK regional airports so you can choose the best option for you.

You may even wish to make this holiday part of a bigger adventure or pair it with one of our other holidays. We can arrange additional nights accommodation before or after your self-guided trip, ask our sales team to find out more about this.

Our sales team will also be happy to provide you a quote for scheduled flights or alternatively you may wish to book your own flights with a low cost carrier from your nearest regional airport.

Please DO NOT book your flights before you have received your booking confirmation and your deposit has been taken.

We offer some transfers to your hotel from the nearest airports, please refer to the 'joining arrangements and transfers' for further details for this trip.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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