Summer cool? Hiking in Meraner Land

When the sun warms the landscape around Meran in summer, a spot of cooling off is called for in Hotel Tyrol, too. Fresh air can be found in the mountains on an extensive walk, or on the European long-distance path. A little further to the south of South Tyrol, the Eppan Ice Holes have rare high altitude plants growing in them even in summer thanks to the cool they offer.

European long distance hiking trail, holiday South Tyrol

European long distance hiking trail E5

Klammeben – Prenn – Hintereggalm – Mahdalm

The route leads from Klammeben along the refuge “Hirzerhütte” to the alpine pastures “Hinteregg” and “Mahd”. There, we descend to the meadows “Gampenwiesen” and to the alpine pasture “Gompm Alm”. Afterwards, we take the forest path descending to the Gasthof “Hochwies” and Prenn, the intermediate station of the Hirzer’s funicular railway.

Walking time

ca. 2.5 hours

Ice holes in South Tyrol, hiking holiday in Hotel Tyrol

The Ice Holes

Our hike starts at the parking space of the Steinegger tavern. The weather is not too fine, but from time to time the sun shines through the clouds. Today we’ve decided to walk to the ice holes, in order to reach this remarkable natural phenomenon, follow the trail n° 7A. The forested trail stretches across the forest at the foot of the Monte Ganda. We are surrounded by beeches and fir trees, but also foliage trees line the path. It is April and the little forest flowers at the edge of the the trail as well as the first buds are put forth.

By continuing on trail n°7A we reach a crossing, where we keep right and follow the signs to the ice holes. A path slightly downwards takes us to the next crossing, where the trail n° 15 leads to the natural phenomenon. Already in this place we can see porphyry rocks and a panel informs us that now we are in one of the protected biotopes, in which the ice holes of Appiano are located. A freshening cool welcomes us, in the hallows among the huge stone blocks, there is snow. Also ice pinnacles can be admired in these caves. On a 200 m long and 40 m wide surface area, the astonishing natural phenomenon can be seen. Between the rock towers and in the hallows, there is a constant air-stream, as the warm air circulates in these intermediate spaces. This warm air enters the hallows, is cooled down among the stones and exits the hallows in the depth as cool air. For this reason, in the lower part the temperature is between 0 and 5 degrees. After having observed this phenomenon at close quarters, we continue our hike and start our way back by following the path n° 15 and further on 7A, which make us reach our starting point, the Steinegger tavern.

Our tip: this hike is particularly recommendable in summer season, as then you can clearly notice the drops of temperature. By the way, thanks to the special climatic conditions, this area boasts a merely high alpine vegetation that normally starts growing at 1,200 m asl.

Walking time

ca. 2,5 hours

Hike to Möltner Kaser

The trailhead of the hike is the Schermoos parking area, which is easily accessible via the Tschögglberg Bus. From there, the route follows the E5 European long-distance footpath up to Möltner Kaser. Here, the hike passes mostly through vast alpine pasturelands and meadows. Following Trail No. 15, hikers reach the Waldbichl inn, which is a good place to stop and eat. The route leads along Trail No. 16 back to the bus stop in Verano/Vöran.

Walking time

ca. 3,5 hours

Altitude

ca. 320 m asl

Zirm Valley lakes in South Tyrol, holiday in Schenna

Zirm Valley Lakes

Naturno (554 m) - Kastelbell (600 m) - Säge car-park (1.500 m) - Marzoner Alm (1.595 m) - Schweinsstall - Zirmtaler See - lakes (2.114 m) - Marzoner Alm (1.600 m) - Kastelbell - Naturno

Take your car to Kastelbell and drive on through the thickly-forested Nörderberg to the Säge car-park. Start walking along the forestry road, the Forststraße, to the Marzoner Alm, where you might like to stop for a little refreshment! Then continue along path no 18. to Schweinstall and up a rather steep path to the lovely lakes of the Zirmtal with its romantic, quaint little Alpine chalets and mountain huts. The climb is well-worth the effort at any time of the year and the scenery is especially beautiful in June, when everything is covered in the vivid-pink blossom of wild mountain rhododendrons, reflected in the crystal-clear waters of the lakes, or in autumn with its rich colours as the leaves of the trees turn from green to golden-brown. Enough to take your breath away and leave you speechless! And, whatever you do, don't forget your camera and an extra film or full memory card: Then, at the end of a memorable day, back down along the same paths to where you left your vehicle at the Säge car-park.

 

Walking time

ca. 3,5 hours

Altitude

600 m asl

Rest Stop

Marzoner Alm, Zirmtaler Alm