Being in nature, doing sports but without too much effort. An impossible combination? Not at all: it is very possible. To guarantee the activity without too much effort, you can choose one of the most beautiful cycle paths in theSouth Tyrol. We are talking about the cycle path of Venosta Valley that from Resia Pass, so practically at Austrian borderreaches up to Merano. The length does not scare: they are, in all, over 80km but it can easily be broken up using the little train (which also carries bikes) that allows you to get on and off along the way. But above all it is practically all downhill. And this makes it suitable for everyone.
The route largely follows that of the ancient Roman road Claudia Augusta but today it is mostly on asphalt with small stretches of dirt but always very smooth and there are several along the way bike rentals. The original route starts from Resia pass and allows you to admire the bell tower that comes out of the water of the lake, the symbol of Venosta Valley, but we start from Mals which can be easily reached by train.
Here, after a dutiful walk among the Romanesque bell towers and towers that stand out on this town surrounded by orchards and framed by Ötztal and Ortles groups we start along the cycle path in the direction of Glorenza which can be reached in a few minutes. And in this which is one of smallest cities in the world we must stop. Glorenza has seven centuries of history800 inhabitants, an ancient statute, in fact, of “city” and a circle of medieval walls. Beyond the doors everything has remained as it was, at the time of Mainard of Tyrolwhen it was a fortress that housed a rich market.
After a taste of canederli al Restaurant Steinbock we start again following the river in the direction of Prato allo Stelvio. Athletes might think they’re tackling the pass but not us: ours Val Venosta cycle path instead it always remains in the plain, with a slight descent, skimming long expanses of apple trees a stone’s throw from the river and meets different villages where you can rest perhaps even discovering other gems such as Chur Castle to Sludernoa medieval manor with a rich armory, or by discovering the production of Lasa marble and its apricot trees.
We continue pedaling along the Val Venosta cycle path to the center of the valley or rather Schlanders from where do we continue to laces where you could, if you wish, make a detour for the Val Martelloa valley within the Stelvio National Park where the view extends from the peaks of Mount Cevedale to the pastures and fields where the strawberry is the protagonist here. Not in a manner of speaking: here between June and July the Strawberry Queen.
Continuing on the cycle path instead, you realize that the peaks are getting closer and the valley narrows so much that our bike path touches the road and the railway. But let’s continue and arrive at Castelbello which offers two castles: the first is the symbol of the country and a cultural center while Castel Juval is the summer home of Reinhold Messner and home to one of its museums: the one dedicated to Mountain myth which houses works of Tibetan art and a collection of masks from around the world.
Here the view expands on theOrtler and around there are expanses of vineyards through which you descend more steeply through the villages of Plaus And Partschins from where do you let go up to Algundthe municipality at the gates of Merano and which has the characteristic of ranging from vineyards to peaks.
And in fact its territory, however small, ranges from 300 to 1500 meters. And if you want to walk in this space, you’ll be spoiled for choice since they unravel from here over 160 km of trails. Again, before pointing to Merano but there is a detour and a stop. Here is in fact the plant of forst beer, one of the famous brands ofSouth Tyrol where to drink a beer but also discover the magical world of blondes. And for those who can’t resist there is also a restaurant specializing in typical products of the area.
The road clears now. Merano and its center are now very close and we can think of how to spend the evening among his arcades and the long Passirio or perhaps give us a break in the relaxing warmth of his spa. We have now arrived. And the best part is that we are not even tired. But definitely very satisfied.