VAL VENOSTA

Let’s say it: the Val Venosta is huge! We never thought we would have to split this chapter in two, but the news is only positive: this means that there is so much to see, so much to discover.

The Val Venosta (Vinschgau) stretches from Naturno to the Reschenpass and the Stelvio Pass. We identify the area to Silandro and Lasa as the Lower Val Venosta.

Apple orchards, vineyards, Waalwege (irrigation channels) and castles are typical of this area, which also offers a unique activity: the extraction and processing of marble.

Two glaciers and a very special area. Take your bike and dive with us into the Val Venosta!

TOP 5 NOT TO BE MISSED

  • Skiing in Val Senales
  • Discovering the marble of Lasa
  • Follow the Waalwege paths
  • Cycling on the Adige cycle path
  • Participate in the Strawberry Festival in Val Martello
Parco Naturale Gruppo di Tessa panorama sulla vallata

Ph © IDM Alto Adige Alex Filz

MAIN VILLAGES

KASTELBELL-TSCHARS / CASTELBELLO-CIARDES

As the name suggests, there is a castle in Castelbello. Well yes, and it is also quite visible from the main road. It is a fortress built in 1232, today the symbol of the village and home to important cultural events and art exhibitions. From the village square you can start along the path of the castles, which in less than two hours leads you to the ruins of the castle of Colsano.

An appointment not to be missed: from mid-April to May, during the Castelbello asparagus weeks, restaurateurs, asparagus growers and traders give their best to make known and taste the refined vegetable, pride of the local production.

Ciardes, together with the other localities that make up the municipality, is located on the surrounding hills, and overlooks a panoramic carpet of vineyards and apple orchards. Juval Castle in Ciardes is the summer residence of Reinhold Messner and also his museum MMM Juval.

We recommend the circular path along the Schnalser- und Stabener Waalweg, which starts at the car park below the church in Ciardes and leads to the Volghof  Farm through Juval Castle.

This area is particularly suitable for apple and vine cultivation due to its favourable climate: the Via Vinum Venostis is the path that allows you to discover all the particularities of this area, through the various information panels along the route.

The localities that make up the municipality of Castelbello-Ciardes are Maragno, Colsano, Lacinigo, Monte Fontana, Monte Trumes, Montefranco and Juval.

Ciardes campanile

Ph © IDM Alto Adige Frieder Blickle

LATSCH / LACES

Laces is located at 639 meters above sea level and is located near the entrance of Val Martello, side of Val Venosta that goes up to the foot of Cevedale and Cima Gioveretto, in the heart of the Stelvio National Park.

It is not only the natural environment in which it is immersed – between the sunny Monte Sole (or Monte Mezzodì) and the more shady and wooded Monte Tramontana – that gives Laces its many attractions: surrounded by the typical orchards of the Val Venosta, the characteristic village offers many architectural and artistic attractions, such as the parish church of Saints Peter and Paul, the church of Santa Maria in Colle (where the Menhir of Laces was found, a marble stele dating back to between 3.300 and 2,200 BC).

Laces is the perfect starting point for all kinds of excursions: on Monte Sole, thanks to the cable car that reaches the 1,740 meters above sea level of San Martino al Monte, on Monte Tramontana. Another hiking and skiing area is the Malga di Tarres, which can be reached with a comfortable chairlift from Tarres, near Laces, or to discover the landscapes, flora and fauna of Val Martello.

Around Laces, a mild climate caresses the villages of Coldrano, Morter and Tarres, which form the “South Tyrolean Apple Garden”.

Coldrano castello

Ph © IDM Alto Adige Frieder Blickle

SCHLANDERS / SILANDRO

Silandro is the main centre of the Venosta Valley and its strategic position has made it the real capital of the valley, of which it is not only geographically the heart.

Silandro is in fact a real town, not so much for the number of inhabitants, but for the atmosphere that you breathe: a walk in the large pedestrian area of the old town – between shopping and breaks at the outdoor tables of cafes or restaurants – will be enough to convince you.

Among the many historic buildings and churches worth a visit are Schlandersburg Castle and Schlandersberg Castle, residences such as the Beheimturm (or Matscherhaus) or the Sachsalberhaus, now the seat of the court, the commander of the Teutonic Order and the parish church of Santa Maria Assunta, which has a bell tower of 97 meters, the highest in Tyrol.

Laces panorama sul paese

Ph © Vinschgau Marketing Kirsten-J. Sörries

LAAS / LASA

Marble and …apricots! What an unusual pair, isn’t it? Yet here at the entrance to the village stands a slab of marble with apricots engraved on it.

The 12th century parish church of Lasa, consecrated to Saint John the Baptist, with its apse entirely made of Lasa marble, is well worth a visit. Above the village are the marble quarries, which have made Lasa famous in recent centuries. The most famous mineral in the area has been used in the construction of many buildings, including the new Ground Zero in New York and the Abu Dhabi Mosque. Walking through the village you can see everywhere small marble sculptures or even walk on it: the sidewalk was made with the precious material.

If you are interested in the theme, you can take part in guided tours on marble, discovering the myth of white gold in the Venosta Valley.

Lasa cubi di marmo

Ph © IDM Alto Adige Andree Kaiser

CURIOSITIES

Every first weekend in August, Lasa hosts the big festival “Marmor & Marillen – Marble and apricots”, which focuses on the two symbolic products, culinary and cultural, of Lasa and Silandro. Not to be missed!

The Hotels selected by Passione Dolomiti

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WINTER ACTIVITIES

Winter in Val Venosta is all to be experienced in its villages, in its side valleys with a thousand activities: from alpine skiing in Val Senales, to ski mountaineering in Val Martello, trekking in the middle of apple orchards and paths in the snow, where you will only hear the sound of your footsteps.

Before the whiteness of the snow marks the beginning of the cold season, we recommend that you come to the Val Venosta for the Törggelen: the moment of pressing the grapes in this area is always magical! New wine and chestnuts are the typical snack for unforgettable autumn afternoons!

Chiesetta in val Venosta inverno

Ph © IDM Alto Adige Frieder Blickle

SUMMER ACTIVITIES

First of all, all you have to do is get in the saddle and… ride! And trust me, it won’t bother you: leaving for the Venosta cycle path, along the Adige river, is definitely one of the best things you can do! If you don’t have the bike at your disposal, there are many rental points that you can find all over the valley.

Trekking on the paths of the channels, via ferrata or crossing the glacier, why not? Everything is possible in Val Venosta!

Val Martello escursione cascata

Ph © IDM Alto Adige Frieder Blickle

EXCURSIONISTIC AND SCIISTIC AREAS

SCHNALSTAL / VAL SENALES

“Preserved by time and man, intact, powerful” is how the Val Senales is officially presented, which with its glacier, its people, its farms, is a treasure chest of wonders. This is the area where Ötzi, the mummy of Similaun, a primitive man who lived at least three thousand years before Christ, was found.

The villages of the Val Senales are Certosa, Monte Catarina, Madonna di Senales and Vernago with its lake. The lake is the starting point for family-friendly hikes, such as the one to the characteristic farm Fineil, or from Madonna di Senales to the malga Mastaun, enjoying a beautiful panorama.

For those who are looking for a mountaineering adventure, we would like to remind you that Val Senales is surrounded by high crests that lead you to touch with your own hands the 3000 metres of altitude and beyond. On the glacier of Giogo Alto (Hochjochferner) you can spend whole days of adventure. Thanks to the glacier cable car, you can reach an altitude of over a thousand metres in just six minutes. From Maso Corto, at 3212 meters, a beautiful village at the foot of the cable car, you climb between sky and rocks. Just forty meters and you reach, on foot, the impressive cross of Croda delle Cornacchie (at an altitude of 3251 meters). From there you can enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view, from the Dolomites to the Brenta group, from the Ortles group to the giants of the mountains in the Garda valley.

An integral part of the Giogo Alto glacier is the Similaun peak, where in 1991 the body of Ötzi, a mummy of a prehistoric man who lived in the Bronze Age (about 3000 BC), was found. Both in summer and winter, there is the opportunity to take the Ötzi Glacier Tour, a guided hike not to be missed, which crosses the fascinating world of perennial ice and reaches the Giogo di Tisa (3,210 m), place of discovery of Ötzi. And if you wonder where the Similaun mummy is kept, as Ötzi is known, you can always go to the South Tyrol Archaeological Museum, in the centre of Bolzano, where a large part of it talks about this unique protagonist.

From September to May, the glacier is a paradise for all winter sports enthusiasts. Alpine skiers and snowboarders will find their ideal environment with 11 lifts and 18 well-prepared slopes. The “Schmuggler” (smugglers’) descent takes you down an eight-kilometre-long route. The Schnalstal valley is part of the Ortler Skiarena ski area, which includes 15 ski areas.

Two 7-kilometre cross-country trails, a toboggan run and numerous ski touring trails complete the winter offer.

Val Senales panorama invernale ciaspolate

Ph © IDM Alto Adige Alex Filz

MARTELLTAL / VAL MARTELLO

The Martello Valley, entirely included in the Stelvio National Park, is very popular among mountain lovers. The beautiful alpine environment of Val Martello ranges from the green meadows of the valley to the glacial peaks of the Ortles Group, among which the two peaks of Monte Cevedale (Zufallspitze), Cima Gioveretto (Zufrittspitze) and Punta di Lasa (Laaser Orgelspitz) stand out.

There are numerous alpine refuges in the area, excellent support points for exciting excursions at high altitudes: the Genziana Refuge (Enzianhütte), the Malga Lyfi, the Val Martello Refuge (Martellerhütte) and the Corsi Refuge (Zufallhütte). If you are satisfied with less demanding excursions, you can walk along the paths of the valley bottom or around Lake Gioveretto, whose crystal-clear waters mirror the imposing peaks and glaciers.

And to put the icing, oops! the strawberry on the cake, we tell you that Val Martello is known for its agriculture “sweet” and environmentally friendly: the most famous local product, the strawberry, here finds ideal conditions for a natural ripening, to wait – given the high altitude of the crops – with a patience rewarded by the goodness of a unique product of its kind and the intense flavor and enveloping. Towards the end of June there is the Strawberry Festival, an essential event for lovers of festivals, where the theme of the strawberry ranges from the celebration of the fruit itself, to cakes, up to the election of the Queen of Strawberries.

In winter, your sporting spirit will find ample expression in the modern and well-equipped cross-country skiing and biathlon centre, as well as all the routes for ski touring and winter hiking in a majestic and uncontaminated alpine environment. Val Martello is also the place of the international “Marmotta Trophy” that takes place all year round, one of the most spectacular routes of the ISMF World Cup of ski mountaineering.

Alpine skiing can be practiced in the Malga di Tarres area, which has 11 km of slopes and 4 lifts.

ADVICE

The Adige cycle path is certainly one of the most evocative experiences, but above all green that you can do: start with the bike from the point you prefer and if you are tired, we recommend you return with the characteristic train that runs through the valley. Among apple orchards, vineyards and along the river, enjoying every ride with zero impact on the environment.

Escursioni Val Martello estate

Ph © IDM Alto Adige Frieder Blickle

NATURAL PARKS

Nationalpark Stilfserjoch /Stelvio National Park

The Stelvio National Park is one of the largest nature reserves in Europe. Its territory is centred around the Ortles Cevedale group and extends over South Tyrol, Trentino and Lombardy; it borders the Swiss National Park to the north-west and the Adamello Park to the south. Admission is free and the National Park is open all day.

The Stelvio National Park will allow you to really experience the spectacle of nature: from 600 m to over 3,900 m above sea level. In just over 53 km² of the park, depending on the altitude, a wide variety of alpine animals and plants thrive. From lower altitudes, through meadows and woods, you can climb to reach lonely and peaceful landscapes, caressed by the warm rays of the sun and animated by the whistles of marmots. Above the tree line, hikers will find wide views, peace and quiet.

This high mountain nature reserve is home to a unique flora and fauna: deer and roe deer, ibex, chamois, eagles and vultures, but also a varied vegetation with rare flowers such as edelweiss and glacialela buttercups, thrive in this habitat. The water from the glaciers of the Stelvio National Park around the Ortles Cevedale Group is precious for man and animals. The inhabitants of the National Park region protect their environment and lead a sustainable lifestyle so that it can be preserved in the future. Local products are of high value and are mostly produced according to rural tradition.

The ten municipalities, at the foot and in the heart of the Ortles Cevedale Group, are committed to ensuring that the Stelvio National Park is maintained in all its splendour. The inhabitants of Stelvio, Prato allo Stelvio, Glorenza, Tubre in Val Monastero, Malles, Lasa, Silandro, Martello, Laces and Ultimo do their best to preserve the diversity of this high mountain nature through a sustainable and not mass excursion tourism.

Naturpark Texelgruppe/Natural Park Texel Group

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 Val Senales, Val Passiria, 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.

As far as the flora of the park is concerned, the larch forests and the alpine rose are common. The animals you will frequently encounter are the mountain swallow, the squirrel and the raven.