South Tyrol is a land rich in beauty, but it is not always necessary to leave the city to discover it. The immediate surroundings of Bolzano offer pleasant and unexpected surprises for visitors. Numerous attractive locations around the city can be reached on foot or by public transport (free of charge thanks to the Bolzano Card). In fact, the mountains surrounding Bolzano offer wonderful hikes, picturesque landscapes and remarkable discoveries. Here we have selected a few that are worth seeing should you choose Bolzano for a holiday.
Things to see around Bolzano
The area around Bolzano offers many activities for visitors to the city. We have selected some of the most attractive and easy to reach.
Guncina and Sant'Osvaldo Walking Trails
Heading southwest, Guncina and Sant’Osvaldo are two popular hiking trails that can be easily reached on foot from Bolzano. Both trails are lined with lush vineyards and romantic castles and climb gently up the slopes surrounding the town, offering impressive views and glimpses of the Bolzano basin and the Bassa Atesina. Along these trails, the city’s alpine flora intermingles with typically Mediterranean plants, creating one of those contrasts that make Bolzano famous and special.
One of the most popular locations in South Tyrol, the Renon Plateau can easily be reached from the hotel by car, cable car or on foot. Once up there, beautiful forest walks, picturesque villages and clear mountain lakes await you. The excursion aboard the charming wooden carriages of the historic train connecting Soprabolzano and Collalbo, passing through the meadows and forests of the area, is not to be missed. Also worth a visit are the much-loved llama and alpaca herds at the Kaserhof Restaurant and the incredible earth pyramids. Geological formations that defy gravity, making the landscape unforgettable.
Rittner Horn Ascent
Departing on foot or by cable car from the bottom of the valley, climb up to Soprabolzano. This is the starting point for the hike to the summit of the Rittner Horn along paths 6 and 1, which also serve as the route for two spectacular mountain running races: the Hornattacke and the Skyrace. Once at the top, it is possible to stop in one of the two refuges and enjoy the splendid 360° view, which sweeps towards some of the most beautiful peaks and ranges in the province (to the north towards the Austrian Alps, to the east towards the Dolomites, to the south towards the Brenta group and west towards that of the Ortles).
San Genesio and the Salto Plateau
A few kilometres from Bolzano, on the Monzoccolo, between the municipalities of San Genesio and Meltina, lies the Salto Plateau. This is Europe’s highest expanse of larch woodland and is ideal for hiking in both summer and winter – whether you do it on foot, by bike, on horseback or on skis, it makes little difference. Surrounded by magnificent trees and lush green meadows dotted with alpine huts and inns, you can enjoy wonderful views of the Dolomites and the Adige Valley. Here, in the midst of these deeply moving landscapes, the beautiful Haflinger horses with their soft, blond coats graze. Of the many excursions in the area, which can easily be reached from Bolzano by cable car (free of charge thanks to the Bolzano Card), we recommend the one to the Stoarne Mandel, a truly fascinating and striking collection of ‘stone men’.
Colle and its Trails
Colle is another of the mountains surrounding the city of Bolzano. Its slopes rise from the district of Aslago and can also be easily reached on foot or by cable car (the oldest in Europe). From its summit, at an altitude of about 1,000 metres, numerous trails lead into the green forests of the area. From here, you can reach the Alta Via di Laives and the Pietralba Sanctuary, or head towards Nova Ponente and the Val d’Ega. Both of these excursions can offer magical moments and picturesque views.