Italy | South Tyrol and the Dolomites | Family
The best of two worlds in one: South Tyrol is Italy with an Austrian twist
6 days / 5 Nights
Activity Level Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
This trip couldn’t be more perfect for families, with three days of easy hiking in South Tyrol and the Dolomites, plus two days of cycling as we follow the Etsch River (or Adige River, as it’s called in Italy) on a gentle, predominately downhill ride, always with the majestic peaks of the Alps and Dolomites as your backdrop.
Explore South Tyrol as you hike, bike, and eat your way through the Italian Alps and take in Northern Italy’s renowned Dolomites. Discover enchanting storybook villages, beautiful castles, and fertile countryside in this UNESCO world heritage site. Recognized for its sheer beauty of deep valleys and high vertical walls, this dramatic landscape will inspire you throughout this six-day, best-in-class travel experience through South Tyrol. The perfect balance of relaxation and adventure awaits!
- Bike through lush green fields, and spot cattle as they graze along the way.
- Hike through the nature preserve Texelgruppe, which offers views high above the beautiful Schnalstal valley.
- Enjoy lunch at a quaint mountain farm offering homemade delicacies.
- Immerse yourself in an entrancing and detailed world of miniature trains in Rabland, the largest installation of miniature railways in Italy.
- Explore the terraced gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle in Meraner Hoehenweg.
- Ride by cable car to St. Ulrich to hike between mountain huts and marvel at the surrounding 10,000-foot peaks of Langkofel and Plattkofel.
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
The Church of St. Procolo: known as a “place of energy.” Located amidst apple trees, this small church features beautiful, unorthodox paintings on its sacred walls.
Trauttmansdorff Castle: this enchanting palace displays a spectacular garden with plants from every corner of the globe nestled below in a dramatic twelve-hectare amphitheatre.
The mountain men: some of history's greatest climbers, skiers and mountaineers hail from Northern Italy and many come from afar to tackle the challenging terrain of these stunning peaks.
Verona, Italy VRN
Verona, Italy VRN
We meet in Verona in the morning and begin the day with a transfer to Katharinaberg. Our hiking trail leads us through the nature preserve Texelgruppe, offering fine views high above the Schnalstal valley. For lunch, we will stop at one of the pretty mountain farms which offers home-made delicacies. We then start the descent to Naturns, a lively town down in the valley. Once in Burgeis, check out the beautiful 12th-century Romanesque frescoes at the Marienberg Monastery Crypt. This evening we’ll gather for a grand welcome dinner with South Tyrolean specialties in the restaurant of our hotel.
About Hotel Mohren & Plavina
Hotel Mohren & Plavina is a traditional country inn in the center of the idyllic village of Burgeis. Relax in the wellness room, by the indoor pool or on an outdoor sunbathing area.
Enjoy a morning of breezy downhills, reminding yourself to slow down and take in the jaw-dropping panoramas that unfold around you. Snap photos of the Parochial church perched just outside the walls of the small fortified village of Glurns. Break in Latsch for a nice group lunch. Visit the San Procolo church in Naturns, home to magnificent eighth-century frescos, the oldest in the German-speaking world. Stroll the white-marble village of Laas and immerse yourself in a world of miniature trains in Rabland. The day culminates in the aristocratic spa town of Merano, famous for its picturesque promenades, towering cathedrals, and lush gardens. A gourmet meal will be served tonight at Hotel Meranerhof’s restaurant.
About Hotel Meranerhof
Situated on the Passer River in the heart of Merano, the family-operated Hotel Meranerhof has been offering tastefully furnished rooms and a personal, friendly atmosphere for over 40 years.
Today we trade our cycling shoes for walking boots beginning with the Tappeiner promenade winding high above Merano, followed by the Meraner Höhenweg (reached by cable car), on our way to Dorf Tirol, a charming town dominated by its 12th-century castle. In the afternoon, explore the magnificent Trauttmansdorff castle and award-winning gardens in the outskirts of Merano. If you prefer to pedal, opt to follow a peaceful bike path through the Passeiertal Valley. In Sankt Leonard, a charming hilltop Tyrolean village, visit the folk art Passeier Museum, where you can enjoy an exhibit on the Tyrolean freedom fighter Andreas Hofer and explore old farmsteads typical of the region. The evening is yours to discover Merano on your own.
A short day in the saddle today before our exclusive cooking class for the kids and wine tasting for the parents. Delight in local ingredients as we prepare our dinner at an authentic Tyrolian farmhouse. Parents will sample regional wines along the “Wine Road” in the village of Caldaro farmhouse, while kids and parents prepare some fantastic regional dishes. Check in to the ParkHotel Laurin, your home for the next 2 nights.
About ParkHotel Laurin
Built in 1910 and restored with great love for detail, the four-star ParkHotel Laurin in the heart of Bolzano offers modern comfort and service with an original Art Nouveau ambience.
This morning we transfer into the Dolomites to St-Ulrich, where we take the cable car to 6,000 ft. The Alpe di Siusi (Seiser Alm), is a large highland plateau, where the green meadows offer refuge to hundreds of grazing cows, surrounded by 10,000 ft mountains such as the Langkofel and Plattkofel. An easy 3.5-hour loop hike takes us from mountain hut to mountain hut through some of the prettiest and most dramatic landscapes. A charming restaurant will host you tonight as everyone gathers together for one last group dinner.
After breakfast, a scenic transfer takes you to Verona where you will be dropped off wherever you please – at your hotel, the airport or the train station. If you have time in Verona, be sure to visit Juliet’s Tomb in the Capuchin cloisters, adjoining the little church in which Romeo and Juliet were married.
*Trip itineraries are subject to change without notice due to road, weather and other factors outside of our control, for the safety and enjoyment of our guests, as deemed necessary and appropriate by Austin Adventures.
Arrival & Departure
Prior to the trip, arrive at your own convenience in Verona. On Day 1, we will meet you in the lobby of the Grand Hotel in Verona at 8:30 a.m. A two hour transfer leaves us in Katharinaberg, where the hiking begins. After breakfast on Day 6, we take you to the airport, train station, or the hotel of your choice in Verona (1.5 hour transfer).
- Day 2 mileage options: 41 / 47
- Day 4 mileage options: 23 / 27
- Day 1 hike mileage options: 6 / 8
- Day 3 hike mileage options: 4 / 8 / 11
- Day 5 hike mileage options: 5 / 8
Austin Adventures guides are experienced facilitators and regional experts. They will take the time to fit you to your bikes, explain the details of each ride and answer any questions. Each day your guides will help you choose the distance and route that is right for you.
Just south of Austria lays sun-drenched South-Tyrol, a region of breathtaking beauty bordered by the Dolomite Mountains. The mountain landscape is dotted with fortified towns and opulent villas set amid robust vineyards, apple orchards and lush green pastures. Enjoy savory Austrian/Italian cuisine and luxuriate in one of Mother Nature’s most pleasurable playgrounds.
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments and receptions are included as indicated by itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.
After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.
Included in Trip Price
- Double occupancy rooms with private baths.
- Fully trained, first-aid certified professional guides and knowledgeable local partners.
- All activities, ferry crossings, etc.
- All designated meals.
- Bikes, helmets and other necessary equipment – all safe and well maintained.
- Vehicle support and land transportation during the trip.
- Austin AdventuresT-shirt, water bottle, luggage tags and luggage service.
- Pre-departure and packing information.
- Incidental expenses such as taxes, dining and housekeeping gratuities, local guide and expert gratuities.
Not Included in Trip Price
- Gratuities to Austin Adventures guides.
- Meals not designated in itinerary.
- Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
- Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
- Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
- All types of personal insurance.
- Personal expenses.
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
Peter Van Glabbeek
Peter was born and raised in the Netherlands in 1978. In 2002 he received his master degrees in physics and astrophysics from the University of Utrecht. The day after graduating, he joined 4 friends on a 6-week bicycle trip from Utrecht to Istanbul, igniting the travel bug within him that has never been cured. Peter […]