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Reach for the heights

‘Those spending time in the forest smell of foliage and honeycomb, of berries and damp skin, with their evening meal consisting of sunsets. A nightingale can be heard singing through the air.‘ The Austria writer, H.C. Artmann, was able to convey the nature of the forest in few words. Yet for those going into the woods, and daring to explore the mountains, yet more emotion awaits.

Nothing smells as spicy as the herbs on dry meadows. The sound of cowbells is carried by the refreshing breeze. Feet search for foothold amongst rocks and tree roots. The summit cross is the goal, and the views the rewards. 360 degrees of mountain. Clouds scurrying by, craggy rocks, a horizon made up of peaks.

The ALPIANA – green luxury Dolce Vita Hotel lies on its upland plateau, surrounded by graceful mountain peaks. Wonderful hiking areas may be reached in no time from Völlan.


Both flanks of this rustic valley are dotted with pretty, old farmhouses, steeply rising meadows and delicate larch woodland. Yet it is the jagged backdrop of mountain peaks that makes the greatest impression. In Ulten valley there are plenty of walks between mountain pastures, through forests, mountain tours, paths along valleys and walks from farm to farm.


Vigiljoch walking country is a quiet place, with no cars allowed. Hikers will be able to hear nothing but the noises of the surrounding countryside. Extensive paths gently rising up through larch forests start at the upper cable car station located at 1,486 metres above sea level. There are tours for families with pushchairs, scenic paths for casual hikers and sporty routes for those aiming for the heights.

Meran 2000

Walks around what may be described as Meran’s ‘sun terrace’ range from easy to medium difficulty, from circular walks and scenic paths to more challenging routes leading to mountain peaks. Meran 2000 has an extensive, well signposted network of paths and features plenty of huts and pastures where you can stop off and rest your legs.

Time travelling Ulten Valley

Here, many things are still like they used to be in the past. The hands of time seem to run more slowly in Ulten valley. This can be noticed in the farmhouses with their larch wood blackened by the sun. In the little villages. In the people. And the mountains stand there, just as they always have done.

Ulten valley runs from Lana, near the DolceVita Hotel, along the Falschauer river for 40 kilometres into the mountains. While at the beginning it ascends steeply, the course of the road soon becomes enjoyably winding and leads the visitor through an original and idyllic valley up to Stilfser Joch national park. On both sides, summit after summit rises into the sky striving for the 3,000 metre level.

Valley of the high mountains

The panoramic Hochwart (2,608 m), the Hohe Dieb with its two summits (2,723 m), the dark Nagelstein (2,469 m) – every summit has its own unique charisma. Hasenörl and Soyspitz have cracked the 3,000 m level.

The southern flank starts above Lana and the Tisener uplands with the Kreuzberg, curves into the valley with the broad crown of the Kleinen Laugen and Großen Laugen and then runs across the Kornigl (2,311 m), Hochwart (2,627 m), Ilmspitze (2,656 m), Welscher Berg (2,630 m) and Karspitz (2,752 m) to finish up at the Kirchberg. About 700 kilometres of marked paths await hikers and mountaineers. This is the hiking world of Ulten.



Some hamlets look as if they're hanging onto the side of a mountain. Set in steep terrain and magnificently isolated, old farmhouses cling onto their meadows. Kindling is stacked neatly and every house is next to a farm garden full of flowers and geraniums brighten up weather-beaten balconies.

The wonderful 'Ulten Farmstead Trail leads from farm to farm, going gently up and downhill from Kuppelwies guest house to St. Gertraud and to the famous 'Ulten Ancient Larches'. There are a number of inviting inns to stop at along the way, as a real walk has to involve 'Speck', cheese, smoked sausage and a glass of wine at the end. The delightful 'Ulten Farmstead Trail leads from farm to farm.

A mountain stage

Hikers are swept upwards in the cable car and, with every metre, their eyes get to see a bit more of the wonderful green Meraner Land valley basin with its mountains. Just as the cabin rises in altitude, their excitement as to what will come next increases.

8 minutes of panoramic views through the cabin window. Then the gravel scrunches under your shoes and brings you to the starting points of the most beautiful tours of Vigiljoch. The Vigiljoch is Völlan’s local mountain. The garden of Lana, a natural park, wild hiking territory. A nearby zone for relaxation. But most of all, the set of a natural spectacle all year round. Yellow primroses, anemones and blue gentian adorn the meadows in spring. In summer, the fresh green coniferous forests cast a cooling shadow on hikers. Lush and fragrant alpine roses spread across the area like a carpet. And even more colourful is the autumn, when the larches are covered in a golden veil.

A scene of magic

Quiet. Reverent listening. Something must be missing: cars. The Vigiljoch is car-free all year round and can only be reached by cable car. Here, everything is about man and nature. And hiking builds the bridge between the two worlds.

The Vigiljoch near the DolceVita Hotel is a very special place. A powerful spot steeped in history. A mystical mountain. Many things are fairytale-like. For example, the small forest lake with the slightly eerily-sounding name of 'Schwarze Lacke' (black puddle). On your way there, you encounter the myth-enshrouded little church of Vigiliuskirchlein, Tyrol’s highest sanctuary with its impressive frescos.

Another hiking route brings you to the Bärenbad (bear bath), a source of healing spring water. There are plenty of family-friendly, diverse, panoramic trails with different routes and lengths. There's also something to conquer for sporty explorers – the Hochwart (2,607 m) takes a whole day to ascend.

Winter wonderland and hiking country

What Meran 2000 is to skiers in winter, it is in summer to hikers: an invigorating spot for relaxing in with a striking rural beauty and offering lots of chances to engage in various sporting activities. Walkers cross paths with mountain bikers, hikers come across horse riders, climbers meet paragliders – all united in their wish to enjoy the great outdoors and indulge their passion for activities in the open air.

Meran 2000 near the ALPIANA – green luxury Dolce Vita Hotel has long had a name as a ski resort. In the meantime, it has established itself as a sunny ‘leisure park’ in harmony with nature. An intricate network of walking paths spread their white lines across the ochre and green landscape. Sporting challenges await before a unique mountain backdrop, with the granite Ifinger mountain as the centerpiece.

The walking paths on Meran-Merano’s ‘sun terrace’ are of easy to medium difficulty, including circular walks and panoramic paths, pushchair-friendly walks across mountain pastures and more challenging tours to mountain peaks. Meran 2000 has an extensive and well-signposted network of paths. There are also mountain huts and pastures offering a spot to rest your legs and treats for your tastebuds – usually in the form of steaming ‘Knödel’ dumplings, home-made elderflower cordial, oven-fresh cakes. Not forgetting the terraces for sunbathing.

Meran 2000 sports zone

Yellow-green, granite-grey, the blue of mountain lakes. The colours of the landscape around the DolceVita Hotel merge together in passing. Mountain bikers manoevre themselves expertly down the rough trails, while riders on the backs of native Haflinger ponies trot along, sometimes galloping down the steeper paths. Paragliders look down from above, as speedhikers stride upwards at a brisk pace.

UNESCO World Heritage Dolomites: South Tyrol's natural treasure!

The Three Peaks, the Rosengarten, the Pragser Wildsee - in the Dolomites, one highlight follows the next! And they are by no means the only sights that the UNESCO World Heritage Site has to offer: Bizarre mountains and spectacular rock formations inspire hikers from all over the world.

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