Val Passiria

Foto  © Vittorio Pasta

Val Passiria

If you have noticed ” some” street or structure dedicated to Andreas Hofer, well, here in Val Passiria you will find all the answers to your questions. Or at least, those related to him.

Val Passiria stretches from the north of Merano to the Timmelsjoch, which connects with Austria, and the Jaufenpass with Sterzing. It is characterized by a mild climate in the lower part, where you will find fields of apple trees, and by a crisp air in its upper part, where the alpine rose grows thriving.

The valley is a cosy one, where the majority of the inhabitants are German-speaking, crowned by the Stubai and Ötztal peaks and crossed by the stream Passirii

We are sure that here too your desire for the Dolomites will be satisfied!


Visit the “Sandwirt”, the birthplace of Andreas Hofer

Exploring the “Monteneve Passiria” mine

Trekking on smuggling trails

See the lakes of Sopranes

Skiing in the white mantle of Racines


Villages adjacent to the entrance to the valley, are two small pearls that rise in the middle of apple orchards. Rifiano has always been a place of pilgrimage and boasts architectural treasures of rare beauty such as the miraculous image in the parish church or the church of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sorrows designed in 1671 by master Franz Delai. Caines will fascinate you with its breathtaking natural scenery, such as the famous earth pyramids; at the Ungerichthof farm you will find the Tractor Museum, where you can admire 30 Porsche-Diesel models, among others. For a completely free guided tour, we recommend that you go there every first Friday of the month.


San Leonardo is the main town of the Val Passiria and lies in an idyllic position at the confluence of the rivers Passirio and Veltina at the foot of the road that leads up to the Passo Giovo. It is the border between the lower and upper Passeiertal valley and has a climate particularly suitable for those who want to spend an active holiday surrounded by lush landscapes.

No less important, here you can finally follow in the footsteps of freedom fighter Andreas Hofer. A South Tyrolean patriotic hero, he is remembered for leading the Tyrolean resistance in the battle against Napoleon in Bergisel, Austria. The Sandwirt farm, just before the village, is the birthplace of Andreas Hofer and now hosts the Passiria Museum. Among the symbolic buildings of San Leonardo are also the Masi dello Scudo and Castel Giovo.

The municipality of San Leonardo also includes the pretty village of Valtina, located directly on the road leading to Passo Giovo.

Not to be missed is the panoramic 18-hole golf course, right here in San Leonardo.


The “metropolis” of the Val Passiria is San Martino. We don’t really want to scare you with this term, but the pretty village 16 km from Merano is the largest place you can find here. Also including the localities of Sorgente and Saltusio, you will come across a place full of nature and history that offers you direct access to the paths of Monte Cervina and enchants you with its history, found in ancient buildings and monuments.

The Passiria waterfall, the parish church in baroque style, the Malerhaus house, once home to an art school, and the Masi dello Scudo give San Martino its unique and unmistakable image.

We are not serious, however. In San Martino you can find modern shops, cosy coffee bars and a charming brewery that testify to the happy combination of tradition and modernity.


The part hidden in the mountains is a world to be discovered. The “Monteneve Passiria” mine is the highest mine in Europe. You can explore dark tunnels, moist ditches and narrow cracks on an adventurous route that evokes a distant past.


Perhaps most of all here is the area where you can start countless hours of ski touring. The routes for this practice are not counted and all are worth at least one test.

Trekking or snowshoeing to reach isolated mountain pastures, rings or cross-country trails, small but charming ski areas complete the offer of this valley, which seems to be dedicated to the practice of sport in total peace.

Foto © IDM Alto Adige Frieder Blickle

Foto © IDM Alto Adige Benjamin Pfitscher


In summer, you can go on the many hiking trails that will lead you to explore corners that you never imagined.

If water is your element, then you should know that you have something in common with this valley. So get ready with canyoning, rafting and “Waalwege” the paths of the irrigation canals, typical of this area. These are routes along which the canals run, irrigation canals, which will show you the stretch to follow. We also recommend the Sopranes lakes, which form the largest mountain lake landscape in Europe. And why not? There’s also a nice 48-metre-high jump with the Passiria waterfall, a must.

It will be a real pleasure to immerse yourself in nature in the Val Passiria, perhaps accompanied by a horse. A couple of stables in the valley can make this dreamy picture.

Last but not least, there is the 18-hole golf club in San Leonardo.



Merano 2000 is the district at the entrance to the Val Passiria, serving the catchment area of the Burgraviato, an area that goes from Merano to the wine road. In winter it is well frequented and is the ideal place for any kind of skiing.

From the “Terrace of Merano” you will have a wonderful view while climbing up with the cable car. At the top station you’ll find the Outdoor Kids Camp, a free recreation area for children, where they can enjoy Wonder Carpets and flat slopes. For your brave kids you can also try the experience on the Alpin Bob: a track for tobogganing on rails that reaches up to 40 kilometres per hour.

However, Merano 2000 is synonymous with skiing and snowboarders and tobogganists will find something for everyone on 40 kilometres of perfectly groomed slopes. If stunts is what you are looking for, then you should know that there is also a snow park here in Merano 2000: you will find it on the S. Osvaldo slope at Malga Waidmann.

Merano 2000 is part of the Ortler Skiarena, the second largest ski area in South Tyrol after the Dolomiti Superski. With a single ski pass you can ski in 15 areas.

In the summer season Merano 2000 becomes a trekker’s paradise, with excursions of all kinds: from the tour of the mountain huts to the via ferrata on the Picco Ivigna. Refuges such as Zuegg and Parete Rossa will give you the right refreshment between one step and the next.

Numerous mountain bike trails with electric charging stations complete the range of activities for this area.

Foto © IDM Alto Adige Frieder Blickle

Foto © Valeria Sambo


Whether you are an experienced skier or just taking your first steps in the world of skiing, this ski area is the place for you: with 8 lifts and more than 25 kilometres of easy and medium difficulty slopes, the Racines/Giovo ski area will leave you speechless with its wonderful landscapes.

Funpark and funslope also present here, for freestyle virtuosity. In addition, a 5 km long toboggan run will give you a great deal of adrenaline.

If cross-country skiing is your passion, we recommend the 50 km circuits between Racines and Val Ridanna.

In the warm season, the area becomes the family area of your dreams: among the many excursions surrounded by nature, we want to highlight the WorldAdventure Mountain, which is located at 1800 meters above sea level, at the arrival of the new panoramic cableway Racines-Giovo. From here starts the ring path suitable even for prams or pushchairs, where you will discover with your kids the world of ants, marmots, many other attractions and you can cool off with water games. The duration of the walk is 45 minutes.

And to regain your strength after your excursions, don’t miss to put your legs under the table and treat yourself to the delicacies served by the huts of the area.


In the small ski area of Plan you can really get to the top: modern lifts lead up to 2500 meters above sea level!

Plan is the perfect place for those who start skiing, but also for those looking for the perfect curve. It is also part of the Ortler Skiarena, the ski area that goes from Bolzano to Val Senales with a single ski pass.

At high altitude you will be spoilt for choice: skiers and snowboarders can enjoy perfectly groomed slopes for a total of 18 km.

No matter if you want to rest between skis or at the end of the day, a stop in one of the many refuges will make everything more enjoyable. An excellent opportunity to enjoy excellent traditional dishes, perhaps a Kaiserschmarrn (sweet omelette) or a trio of canederli, ideal for regaining energy before embarking on an exciting descent again.

The lifts are also in operation in summer, so that you can get to the top without too much effort. Pfelders is a pleasant destination during the warm months with many hikes to suit all abilities.

One of them is definitely the trail to the Sopranes lakes, the largest high-altitude lake group in Europe. It includes 10 of the most beautiful lakes in South Tyrol. To this we add the hiking area of Monte Cervina, ideal for family exploration and the interweaving of paths of the old smuggling routes.

Pfelders is located in the Texel Group Nature Park, where you can learn a lot about the flora and fauna of this area. In the Nature Park, another of the most popular and appreciated attractions is certainly the waterfall of Parcines with a jump of 97 meters.

Foto © IDM Alto Adige Alex Filz

Foto © IDM Alto Adige Alex Filz


From Pfelders/Plan there is a dense network of hiking trails, created from the ancient paths furrowed by smugglers. Through these paths they were able to smuggle Speck and leather into nearby Austria and bring sugar and tobacco back to Italy. Why don’t you get into the part too?


Naturpark Texelgruppe/Texel Group Nature Park

The Texel Group Nature Park covers an area of more than 31,000 hectares between the Schnalstal and Passeiertal valleys.

The Texelgruppe Nature Park, established in 1976, includes the municipalities of the Val Passiria, Senales, Naturno, Parcines, Lagundo and Tirolo. The protected area includes the Texel Group, which gave its name to the nature park, and parts of the Vinschgau Alps – the Schnalstal Ridge and the Gurgl Ridge – and the Stubai Alps, with the area around the Timmelsjoch.

In addition to the famous Sopranes lakes, one of the main attractions of the Texel Group Nature Park is the Parcines Falls, which during the thaw period is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the Alps. Here the water plunges 97 meters deep.

One way to explore the Natural Park is to take the Alta Via di Merano, which for several days leads you to discover this wonderful corner of the world from above.

For the flora of the park, the larch forests and the alpine rose are common. The animals you will frequently encounter are the mountain swallow, the squirrel and the raven.