South Tyrol: Italy’s best-kept secret

Welcome to a land of contrasts, where the Mediterranean meets the Alps and adrenalin meets relaxation

By South Tyrol
Published 8 Apr 2019, 23:39 BST
Hiking in South Tyrol
Photograph by IDM, Andreas Mierswa

Nestled amid the majestic Dolomites in northern Italy is South Tyrol. Welcome to a land of contrasts, where the Mediterranean meets the Alps and adrenalin meets relaxation. Explore the peaks by foot or bike, and bask in the region’s glorious sunshine. Hike high Alpine trails and crisscross Italian meadows, before winding down to enjoy the perfect remedy for aching muscles: a gutsy Italian red and a Michelin-starred meal with mountain views.


A cuisine of contrasts
Any adventure in South Tyrol can be paired with truly excellent food and wine, the Alpine-Mediterranean cuisine unique to the region. Rustic, down-to-earth tastes are spiced with Mediterranean flair, and no matter the meal — be it a pleasing aperitif, a zesty antipasto, homemade pasta, or a caffè macchiato — southern influences seep into the gastronomy. Germanic touches, meanwhile, can be glimpsed in dishes like spinach dumplings and apple strudel — South Tyrolean classics.

Starry skies
With 26 Michelin stars strewn across 19 local restaurants, South Tyrol features the highest density of top-honoured chefs in the country, and is the most decorated region in all of Italy. Whether it’s hearty South Tyrolean fare or classic cucina italiana (Italian food), you can enjoy both.

A local’s touch 
The tempting aromas of traditional kitchens beckon hikers to stop for a meal in the mountains and in the valleys. High-quality, traditional cuisine is served in mountain huts called rifugi, using fresh local ingredients such as bacon, milk, eggs, vegetables and herbs. Find out more about South Tyrol’s cuisine

Cycling in South Tyrol
Cycling in South Tyrol
Photograph by IDM, Andreas Mierswa


On two wheels 
Whether you’re looking to set a new personal best or just get closer to nature, you’ll find a journey to remember. Whether it’s a short riverside cruise or a challenging day-long tour through mountain passes, South Tyrol’s huge number of roads and trails have plenty to offer cyclists of every ability. Those up for the challenge can tackle the Sellaronda MTB tour, a mountain merry-go-round comprising 36 miles of winding roads, trails and breathtaking views. But cycling doesn’t have to be all hard work, so what better way to break up a leisurely ride than with a few wine tastings? Cycling the South Tyrol Wine Road is a truly memorable experience that takes in quaint villages with plenty of wineries along the way. Find out more about South Tyrol’s cycling trails

Best foot forward 
Located amid the soaring peaks of the Dolomites, wide valleys and vineyards, South Tyrol’s unique landscape is rife with possibilities when it comes to hiking. Whether in the Ortler region, the wine regions or Dolomites themselves, South Tyrol offers walking and hiking for all levels, from leisurely strolls to trekking amid glaciers and Alpine lakes. The region is home to no fewer than eight nature reserves, and there are over 8,000 miles of natural paths to explore.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Dolomites also offer varied challenges for rock climbers and mountaineers. Vertical rock faces and steep towers guarantee the ultimate in adrenalin sports. Find out more about South Tyrol’s hiking regions


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