This is an excerpt from the book “Südtirol and Dolomites”.
No place embodies the cultural diversity and Alpine-Mediterranean lifestyle in the holiday destination Merano and Environs better than the spa town of Merano itself. This is a crossroads between the majesty of the Alps and the allure of the South: a place where the barrenness of high mountain terrain is cancelled out by lush Mediterranean vegetation, a place where town and country interact in unique symbiosis. In addition to a wide array of spa and wellness options, Merano offers a rich array of recreational and cultural activities.
A long tradition as a spa town has left its mark on Merano. Historical and contemporary architecture are in perfect harmony along the Passer River: modern design hotels stand right next to traditional buildings from the Belle Epoque.
Even today, Merano is all about the personal wellbeing of the guests who come to the area in search of rest and relaxation.
Highlights of a feel-good holiday include the new Merano Thermal Baths spa complex and the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle botanical gardens.
Merano Thermal Baths
Though the treatments offered still include radon-containing mineral water (radon spa), the Merano Thermal Baths of today do not have much in common with the traditional health resort of the past. An impressive oasis of well-being has been created in the heart of the city. A transparent cube of glass and steel with warmly accented wooden elements, arches above the thirteen indoor pools. In the 50.000 sq. meter park belonging to the thermal baths, thirteen open-air swimming pools have been added. The overall effect offers pure relaxation in the midst of nature.
Five different ski resorts
In the Merano and Environs holiday region, there are five very different winter sports areas, ranging from an old-style family ski resort to the Glacier Ski Resort of Senales Valley.
Each of the five areas fulfils specific demands: from Meran 2000, which is in close proximity the Merano city centre, to the pristine Schwemmalm in Ulten Valley, and from the romantic Vigiljoch to the idyllic Alpine village of Pfelders. If you are looking for a real athletic challenge, you’ll find it on the Glacier Ski Resort Senales Valley glacier.
This sunny ski area, ideal for families, is situated on a high-plateau above the town of Merano and features 40 km of ski runs suitable for skiers of all levels. Merano 2000 is just minutes away from Merano.
It is a ski and hiking area perfect for those wanting to spend a day in the mountains while in the evening enjoying the beautiful city of Merano. The elegance here is not only in the slopes, but also along the quaint streets in the old town.
With floodlit trails and romantic torch lit descents, it’s possible to ski at Merano 2000 in the evening too. The toboggan run is well prepared and is great fun for young and old.
Snowpark Merano 2000
In the rear part of the skiing area on the Oswald-Slope, close to the Waidmann Alpine Cottage, the Snowpark Merano 2000 waits for brave Snowboarders and Freestylers. The park is structured in two sections. In the upper part, the Easy Lines are perfect for training and improving your skills. On the other hand the 6 Tables and the Easy and Medium Lines of the lower Park allow breathtaking jumps and tricks.
Glacier Ski Resort Senales Valley
The Glacier Ski Resort Senales Valley offers excellent ski runs at altitudes up to 3,212 m a.s.l. In winter the descent to the valley below is 8 km and the cable car returns skiers to the top again in only 6 minutes. There is also a large snow park for freestylers, which is prepared daily.
The season in the glacier ski resort starts in September. At the glacier at 3200 meters already in autumn the snow conditions are perfect and professional ski and cross-country skiing teams lures for training.
For those who prefer back country skiing, there is a wide choice of routes to summits up to 3,700m above sea level, snow shelters and safe snow year round.
The 3.3 km long toboggan run, Tiroli’s Kinderland with free all day support and kids ski school makes this make this area especially family-friendly.
Pfelders the ski area in Passeir Valley with soft slopes
The romantic village of Pfelders is located in the Passeier Valley and features soft slopes among the unspoiled surrounding scenery. Guests at the skiing resort Pfelders, have to walk no more than three minutes from their accommodation to the ski lift. With all of the cars parked in a safe place, kids can safely run around and play without the worry of traffic.
The Pfelders ski slopes vary greatly, meeting the needs of every type of skier. Horse rides through the snowy landscape, horse-drawn carriage rides, ice skating on the natural ice rink, cross-country skiing on floodlit slopes and tobogganing along the 3.5 km long toboggan run are all popular activities.
Schwemmalm ski area
The Ulten Valley is a peaceful place and an ideal destination for families. The Schwemmalm ski resort offers a lot of fun with its 25 km of ski runs where visitors won’t wait for lifts. Here, visitors can meet the locals and enjoy a well earned rest in the old taverns.
The centre of the Schwemmalm ski resort has a self-service restaurant with a large sunny terrace, a ski lift and ski school with daycare for kids throughout the day. Free riders and ski enthusiasts can enjoy endless hiking trips and unique challenges.
The Vigiljoch ski area and mountain are traffic free and can only be reached by cable car from the town of Lana in just seven minutes. The small ski resort is ideal for families and is characterised by its honest hospitality, endless winter hiking trails and four lifts capable of servicing 5 km of slopes and ski runs. It’s a winter adventure just like years gone by.
Vigilius Mountain Resort
San Vigilio is also home to the renowned five star Vigilius Mountain Resort, designed by Matteo Thun. The hotel fits harmonically into the surrounding area – despite or exactly because of its modern architectural style.