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Travel report: Cycle tour from Lake Reschen to Bolzano

Hannah tells us about her tour in South Tyrol
View of the Ortler massif

In order to get to know the region, the cycle paths and our South Tyrolean partners, I was allowed to get out of the office for a few days in October 2019 to hit the pedals. Although my tour was only part of the Lake Reschen – Lake Garda cycle tour, I saw a lot, experienced a lot and had a completely new experience. So, together with a friend, I made my way to Italy, where luckily good weather was already waiting for us.

View of the Ortler massif

The arrival

‘Hoi!’ We were greeted in Reschen by our station manager Peter. With a cappuccino he gave us valuable tips and important information on how we could get the best out of our trip to Bolzano.

We made the journey by car. Since there was no other way due to time constraints, we left Salzburg at 4.45am towards Vinschgau. Including a couple of short breaks, we were on the road for about four hours and we headed closer into the mountains. As we headed up the Reschenpass we knew we were in for a wonderful trip – by the way, we weren’t disappointed!

First impressions

As soon as we arrived we were immediately impressed by the mountain range around us. The Adige is also a constant companion on this cycle tour and rushes gently and sometimes wildly towards the valley – we didn’t want to leave!

South Tyrol is really beautiful and there is always something to discover! The first stage led us through some small, charming villages such as St. Valentin, Burgeis and Mals. The route almost always runs along the Adige on well-marked cycle paths – getting lost here is really difficult, even for us! Most of the cycle paths are paved, but occasionally small parts are on gravel. The more altitude (downhill) we left behind, the more apple orchards were on our way and the climate became milder. Again and again we cycled past dreamy lakes and the Adige almost invited us for a swim.

Cyclists on the cycle path on their way to Bolzano

The stages

The stages were all between 40 and 50 kilometres long. The first, somewhat longer stage led us almost 1,000 metres downhill and contained only a few, hardly noteworthy climbs. We always cycled along the Adige towards the valley. Although a ‘valley’ in South Tyrol is relative.

We were able to tackle the second and third stages without climbs, but also without major declines. Only before Merano, after a really beautiful viewpoint, is a steeper downhill and before Bolzano you still need to use a few remaining reserves of energy to master a small climb. On the whole, I would say this tour is really suitable for everyone, because even with the more strenuous parts, you are always rewarded with a great view.

View of the apple orchards in South Tyrol

The sights

Starting with the apple orchards and vines, which are constant companions of the cycle tour, to world-famous buildings, such as the sunken church of Graun. You actually want to stop every 10 minutes to capture the beauty of South Tyrol in photos. There is an imposing castle on every mountain, a beautiful church in every town – South Tyrol has a lot to offer both culturally and in terms of landscape! There is definitely no boredom. The gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle in Merano are definitely a must for all plant and landscape lovers. Since my friend is a gardener and florist, we naturally did not miss the wonderful gardens. The gardens are definitely worth a visit for the view they offer. Cities like Bolzano and Merano also have a beautiful old town with many things to see. The shorter stages are a benefit here, as it gives you enough time to explore the stage locations.

View at the castle Juval

The cuisine

What is more important and, above all, nicer than food? In South Tyrol everyone will definitely get something to suit their tastes! From Schlutzkrapfen, which taste much better than they sound, to the famous South Tyrolean speck, for which a speck museum in St. Martin was built, there is everything your heart desires. We always had breakfast in the hotel before we started the new stage. At lunch time we looked for a nice spot on the Adige to eat our previously bought snack. It was perfect for us! We could enjoy nature even more, soak up the sun and just take a nice break. In the evening we either ate in the hotel or went to look for a small restaurant – luckily we never had to search long. We ended the evening with a glass of wine and then set off again the next day.

Snack on the cycle tour from Reschen to Bolzano

Departure and conclusion: After exhausting but beautiful days in South Tyrol, we made our way home after a short visit to our station in Bolzano. We are both happy to have had this experience and can only recommend this tour to everyone!

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