The majestic mountain world surrounding King Ortler has far more to offer than crystal-clear air and breathtaking scenery. You need to breathe very deeply and every peak that you climb – however small – reveals the unique nature of these mountains. Towering above all others and showing us his best side this is, at 3,905 m, the highest mounain in the Eastern Alps.
Around Ortles, you can immerse yourself wholeheartedly in the interplay of nature’s colours, starting with the abundance of summer green in the foot of the valley and stretching right up to the glittering white peaks of the giant glaciers. Between 900 and 3,250 m, winter sits easily with us.
We begin where others have already left off. Magnificent scenery dressed in its winter finery. A winter spent in this magical mountain world will be an unforgettable experience.
The Stelvio National Park is one of the largest and most interesting national parks in Europe. Situated in the heart of the Central Alps, it covers an area of approximately 135,000 ha. It includes the entire mountain region of Ortler-Cevedale and its adjoining valleys, extending in the north as far as the Swiss Engadine National Park and in the south as far as the Adamello Regional Park in Lombardy. In 1935, this area was declared to be a national park with the aim of preserving the region’s scenery, flora and fauna. From the glacier capped mountain (the Ortler - 3905 m) across pasture land and sloping terraces right down to the floors of the valley (Latsch - 650 m), the Stelvio National Park displays the entire gamut of Alpine features.
The Ortler-Cevedale mountain range with its innumerable peaks rises almost 4,000 m into the sky and is breathtakingly impressive with giant glaciers and towering sheer rock faces. In the lower lying areas, the landscape is dominated by expansive woodland and cultivated fields together with farms, hamlets and villages that are inhabited right through the year. Our guided tours will lead you into the heart of this mountainous world, where you will marvel at the different facets of nature. We take you to crystal-clear glacier lakes and bubbling mountain streams. You will be accompanied by experienced National Park guides, who will explain to you the different flora and fauna.
The most beautiful aspects of the National Park are not only found naturally. They are also displayed at 3 visitors’ centres in Trafoi "naturatrafoi" (Life on the Border), Prad "aquaprad" (Life in the Water) and in Martell "culturamartell" (Rural Culture).
Alpine Curiosa (Reinhold Messner)
The former mountaineers’ hostel next to the Hotel Post at the foot of the Ortler, also known as the 'Flea house', is now the site of a museum of Alpine sports curiosities, created by the top mountaineer Reinhold Messner. A collection of thirteen legendary mountaineering tales, ranging from Yogi Milarepa to Reinhold Messner himself, provides an informal history of Alpine sports.
Museum for the Ortler Region (Konrad Knoll)
The "Museum for the Ortles Region" is an outpouring of passion and love of the Ortler region; it is a place where people are reminded of their roots and where the lives of both the great and the lesser pioneers of this part of the country are celebrated. A stroll through the history and the culture of the Ortles region, together with a special exhibition commemorating the 1915-1918 World War and also a rare and beautiful collection of minerals from the area. The museum will transport you back through 100 years of tourism in the Ortles region with its Alpine refuges, its sponsors and its pioneers from the history of this Alpine village at the foot of the Ortler. The greater part of the work of setting up these displays was carried out and financed by volunteers from the local Association and in particular by Konrad Knoll, who had undertaken the laborious task of finding, sorting and repairing many of the exhibits where necessary and who had also invested a considerable amount of his own money in the venture.
„The Sparkassen Cultural Walk“
A stroll through the history of a mountain village. Twelve separate stations form a bridge from the early beginnings of a remote mountain village right up to the present day. A gentle walk around Solda along the new Panoramic Path, which is also suitable for prams and buggies, gives an insight into the emergence of a tourist resort and which, at the same time, acknowledges its patrons and visionaries.
„The three Holy Wells of Trafoi“
... are pure magic. This little place of pilgrimage is located in splendid isolation at the end of a small valley carved out in between the glaciers. The long valley has the effect of a tunnel and at the end of this tunnel a wide belt of spruce trees forms an entrance. The three peaks of the Madatsch and the Ortler encircle and seem to stand guard over the surprisingly wide end of the valley. These dark sentinels seem to be protective yet at the same time menacing. They represent the forces of nature and at the same time highlight the crests of the surrounding peaks. Unexpectedly you will come across a waterfall, rushing down the mountainside. This is nature’s playfulness or possibly a sign of liveliness and a sign of life "below" the level of our awareness. It is easy to visualize the tongues of the glacier way up between the craggy rock formations.
A romanesque construction with a contrasting round apse and a flat roofed, elongated building. Along the northern wall of this building remains of romanesque frescoes can be seen, while the apse contains paintings dating from around 1420 from the Venosta School. Information on guided tours and advance bookings from the Tourist Information Bureau of Prad, the holiday destination in the Ortler region, Tel. 0473 737062.
The Castle Ruins at Lichtenberg
Until 1513, this extensive castle was in the possession of the Counts of Tyrol and after that ownership passed to the Counts of Khuen – Belasi, to whom it still belongs (the castle fell into ruin in the 19th century). The magnificent series of frescoes (1400) was almost completely removed in 1912 and rehoused in the Ferdinandeum Museum in Innsbruck. Information on guided tours and advance bookings from the Tourist Information Bureau of Prad, the holiday destination in the Ortler region, Tel. 0473 737062.
The Pilgrimage Church of St. Georgen in Agums
During the years 1303-1958, the Church of St. George was the parish church of Prad - Agums. Early parts of the building, mentioned in 1303, are in the romanesque style while the remainder was rebuilt around the year 1500 in the gothic style. In 1705 the side chapel was added and nowadays, a large "Figure of Our Lord" stands at the altar together with a life-size miraculous crucifx from the 14th century. Information on guided tours and advance bookings from the Tourist Information Bureau of Prad, the holiday destination in the Ortler region, Tel. 0473 737062. Opening times: Spring (Easter – 31 May) open on Sundays between 14.00 – 16.00 h., Summer: (June-September) Mondays to Fridays between 16.00 – 18.00 h., Saturdays and Sundays between 15.00 – 18.00 h., Friday services at 18.00 h. October daily between 14.00 – 16.00 h.
The „Stelvio Pass Road“ (2760 m)
was constructed in 1822 to provide the quickest route between Veltlin and Venosta. Today, the Stelvio Pass Road still numbers among the most impressive mountain roads in the Alps. On the South Tyrolean side there is a height difference of 1870 m with 48 hairpin bends and on the Veltlin side, the height difference is 1530 m with 34 hairpin bends to manoeuvre.
The „Fortress at Gomagoi“
This is the symbol of Gomagoi, a remembrance of earlier imperial and royal times. Car drivers making the journey from the Stelvio Pass to Trafoi, or in the opposite direction, have to travel concealed from view between the two parts of the fortress. The fortress at Gomagoi was built in 1860 in the southern part of the locality at a height of 1400 m above sea level. During the first World War, it served as a defended road to prevent hostile incursions across the Stelvio Pass. It was armed with four 9 cm M.42 cannons, 9 cm M.751 cannons, 9 cm M.755 casemate cannons and M.7 machine guns. There are no records of the numbers of occupants. At the start of the war, the weapons were all removed from the fortress and moved to field positions and into caves. In 1915 the adjoining houses were demolished in order to give unimpeded vision on all sides. In 1963/64, during road straightening work, the fortress was divided into two parts and until a few years ago it was used as a depot for the regional highways administration authorities. There are currently plans for the fortress to be renovated and converted into a war museum to be open to the public.
Stelvio nestles along the slope of the mountain and seems to reach right up into the sky, with the furthermost farmhouses seemingly perched precariously at a height of almost 1800 metres. From time immemoriam people have sought refuge here, far away from the bright city lights and from outside influences. Today, things have changed, although the roads and the alleyways are still narrow and the people are welcoming and open. A scattered romanesque village with a particular charm.
MMM Ortles Reinhold Messner
The MMM Ortles is one of the four offshoots from the MMM Mountain Museum of Firmian: At Solda in Ortles, at the start of the village, there is an underground site with an area of 300 square metres housing an exhibition on the subject of Ice and Ortles. Using descriptions, historical records and examples of graphic arts, Reinhold Messner introduces such topics as glaciers, the ice, the South Pole, the North Pole, abominable snowmen and above all the great mountains of ice. Symbolically, the Ortler is at the heart of this exhibition. The location – the farm with its yaks, the Ortler as the highest peak in southern Tyrol directly above and the ice of the glacier almost within touching distance – is ideal. Further information can be found at www.messner-mountain-museum.it, or telephone +39 335 6081205 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
The Vinschgau Valley stretches from the Reschen Pass to Kastelbell/Tschars. The whole valley covers an area of 1.441 square kilometres and it bounders with Switzerland and Austria. The Vinschgau Valley has about 800 hotels and inns offering accommodations ranging from plain rooms in farmsteads to rooms in 4-star luxury hotels.
Winter in the Vinschgau valley
A natural paradise waiting to be discovered. A boundless valley stretching from 400 to 4000 m above sea level. A marvellous landscape with cypress trees and Swiss stone pines, vast expanses covered with vineyards and blossoming orchards, the steppe-like slopes of Mount Sonnenberg, green woods, valleys blanketed in snow and landscapes of matchless beauty. A valley rich in fascinating contrasts. Marvellous summer days: fresh, clean air, crystal-clear lakes and plenty of sun! A corner of paradise where you can feel yourself at ease offering a wide array of opportunities to spend an unforgettable vacation.
Italy, the country of art and history
Italy is a synonym for culture, art and history. Artistic wonders can be found everywhere, and every corner of the country holds countless and wonderful.
Italy, the country of lakes
Italy has over a thousand of lakes, renowned for their incomparable beauty and characterized by peculiar features. Lakes Garda, Maggiore, and Como are now recognized throughout the world and have become ideal destinations for spending some time in the sun and in close contact with nature.
The “Riviera” country
Italy is the ideal destination for a seaside vacation, it boasts around 8,000 km of coastline.
Italy, the country of peaks
From the Dolomites Alps of Trentino-Alto Adige to the Alps of Piedmont, Aosta Valley and Lombardy, from the Alps of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia to the Apennines of Emilia Romagna and Toscana.