Hiking in Northern Italy: Merano

Dec 12th, 2001, 12:02 PM
  #1  
Jane
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Hiking in Northern Italy: Merano

I am thinking of visiting Merano next year. I've heard it's a good central spot for hiking. Has anyone hiked in that vicinity? Any suggestions?
 
Dec 12th, 2001, 12:31 PM
  #2  
BOB THE NAVIGATOR
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Hello Jane, Merano is lovely but too big to suit me. If you want the best of Tyrolean hiking I suggest the village of Castelrotto and the Alpe Suisi area.
That is where the locals hike and it has a whole network of defined trails.
Fabulous region--right out of a Disney movie set. There are several good hotels in the village. Do a search on the town name and you should find their site. The Val Gardena site is also good.
 
Dec 12th, 2001, 01:01 PM
  #3  
Barb
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Depends on how good of a hiker you are but I enjoyed Cinque Terre in Italy. We drove down from Verona and it only took 3 hours and was such a beautiful drive. We stayed in a private apartment that we rented for a song in Riomaggiore. I thought Cinque Terre was challenging but certainly not back breaking.
 
Dec 13th, 2001, 08:58 AM
  #4  
Jane
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Thanks for the feedback. We are pretty avid hikers, so we like to be in locations that offer a wide choice of trails.

Castelrotto sounds good - what would it be like at the end of March? Still pretty cold? Will the trails still be snowed in?

We stayed in Cortina last year and enjoyed it - but it was a little hard getting to the trails. We needed a car and the roads really scared us - one in particular was one lane, winding mountain road and we met a truck head on. He had to back up to a tiny turnout. We had four people in the car familiar with mountain driving in California. Everyone got out of the car fast (except for the driver, of course). The trails we reached were wonderful but we wouldn't go back just for the terror factor. Is access to trails easier from Castelrotto? Public transport possible?

Cinque Terre might be a better choice for the end of March - we've always wanted to go there. But I think a week might be too much? I believe there is a very nice trail that connects the villages but I don't get the impression it would provide a week's worth of hiking. Is it well located for day trips to other places such as Siena or Assisi?

Again, thanks for the input.
 
Dec 13th, 2001, 10:18 AM
  #5  
Nicole
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I spent several days in Cinque Terre last year. I've traveled quite a bit through Italy and this is by far my favorite! As someone else mentioned, it's not going to be your most challenging hike - but it is a good distance and so beautiful!! You can stop in each of the small villages for a bite or drink along the way. I'd recommend 2 or 3 days at the most. We traveled by train from Rome to Cinque Terre to Florence and it worked just perfectly! If you stay in Cinque Terre, I recommend you stay in the first town. Have fun! Nicole
 
Dec 13th, 2001, 11:06 AM
  #6  
Mariarosa
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Hi Jane! The Dolomites, including the Alpe de Suisi area is one of those areas in Europe where people spend a week hiking.

We were in Castelrotto from March 11-16 this year and while Castelrotto itself didn't have any snow, the Alpe de Suisi was still covered in snow (not that that stopped the hikers, they hike in the snow with their walking sticks). Castelrotto is a small, very cute town where the Ladin influence is still very stromg today.

If snow doesn't deter you, you may want to contact the Sud-tirol Office about getting the hiking guide. Last year, they sent me a wonderful color hiking guide brichure with 66 hikes in the South-tirol. The guide includes trails, refugis (alpine huts to stop and have a hot chocolate or grappa) and what to see along the way. Good luck!
 
Dec 13th, 2001, 11:07 AM
  #7  
Mariarosa
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Ooops, forgot to say that there's a free bus from Castelrotto to Alpe de Suisi. Depending on your itinerary, you may/may not need a car.
 
Dec 14th, 2001, 01:04 PM
  #8  
Barb
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You are right, we did Cinque Terre in a day and a half...if you are an avid hiker you might find this a little dull. But I did like the fact that you were walking through the vinyeards and people's yards. Kind of interesting to see what people are doing. We went to dinner in Varnasse (spelling is bad) in the stone castle that was at the end of the bay/breakwater - what a meal and they let us hang out in the kitchen and watch them cook.
 

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