Experiences around every corner
What you experience in the rustic Val Senales valley leaves lasting memories.
The Val Senales is more than a hiker's paradise and glacial ski area. As one of the most traditional holiday valleys in South Tyrol, there are also plenty of cultural things on offer and the versatile Val Venosta is also close by.
Mountain carts can be hired in summer at the mountain station of the Lazaun cable car. You can end your hike on the Lazaun plateau with a four-kilometre, rapid run back down into the valley. The carts can be returned at the valley station in Maso Corto right next to the Piccolo Hotel Gurschler.
The start of the new via ferrata Larix is just a four-minute walk from the hotel, with a parallel adventure hiking trail. So everyone can choose their preferred option. The Marchegg climbing garden where introductory climbing courses for children and adults are regularly offered is also close by.
In 1991, Ötzi was found by a German mountaineering couple on the Tisenjoch at an altitude of 3,210 metres. A full-day guided tour takes those interested to the site and offers the opportunity to try out walking in a rope team and on rock sites secured with wire ropes. Doing this tour alone is only recommended for experienced mountaineers.
Ötzi found his late resting place in Bolzano. It is definitely worth going to the provincial capital to see the glacier mummy in person. The Archaeology Museum offers many insights into the history and present of South Tyrol. But the Iceman will always remain the star of the museum.
In the archeoParc with a direct view of the Ötzi discovery site, you can learn all about the ice man Ötzi and the life of his contemporaries. Stone Age huts and hearths, clay ovens and grain fields transport you back to the Neolithic Age. Various activities such as archery, bread baking or pottery are offered daily.
The village of Certosa in Val Senales has a unique history: It was created on the floor plan of the Allerengelberg monastery, which was founded in 1326. The Carthusian monks lived here in seclusion and tranquillity for more than 400 years. The remains of the monastery have fused with the walls of the town over the course of time.
One of the oldest and most spectacular sheep drives in the Alps takes place in June and September. For many centuries, shepherds with up to 4,000 sheep have made the annual journey from the Val Senales over the snow-covered Hochjoch and Niederjoch passes to the summer pastures in the Austrian Ötz Valley. Then in mid-September, the sheep and shepherds make their way back again.
The Ötzi Rope Park high ropes course close to Maso Corto was created above an imposing gorge. Balance, skill and courage are needed on the 12 courses at a height of between two and 30 metres. Highlights include the giant swing above the gorge and the three ziplines that let you float along the Rio Senales stream to the lake.
Built in 1250 at the entrance to the Val Senales valley, the private castle of extreme mountaineer Reinhold Messner now houses a museum with a collection of masks from five continents, a gallery with images of sacred mountains, a Tibetan collection, a tantra room and an expedition cellar.
The historic old town of Merano with its medieval arcades invites you to stroll and explore. You can immerse yourself in a world of relaxation at the famous thermal baths. And the botanical gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle are indisputably among the most beautiful gardens in Europe.