|Profile: Meran (Italy) + Soglio (Switzerland), Apr 20 - May 5, 2018|
Meran is truly the jewel of the Sud Tirol — that portion of Italy that belonged to Austria until 1919. It is a cosmopolitan city — complete with ancient churches, castles and museums, a spa, a horse racing track, an arcaded shopping district, a promenade along the Passer River which flows through the center of town. Only 300 meters above sea level, in a valley which opens to the South, Meran has a tropical flavor, with palm trees and gardens filled with exotic flowers. The region is known for its huge apple production (70,000 tons annually!), and it also boasts fig stands, vineyards and apricot orchards. German and Italian are spoken by virtually all the inhabitants, and the dual cultures give the area a great interest.
The Meranerhof is simply a splendid 4-star, superior hotel in the traditional style, with beautiful public rooms, spacious guest rooms with balconies overlooking the surrounding mountains or the hotel's lovely gardens. It is located on the Passer River in a conveniently center part of town. It has been in the Eisenkeil family for generations, and you will be pampered there with a swimming pool and spa to supplement the days' activities.
"If they asked me, I could write a book....." really applies here. There are literally hundreds of beautiful walks in and around Meran and its side valleys. These valleys include the Nonstal, Ultental, Passeiertal and Schnalstal. While Meran lies at less than 1,000 feet above sea level, it is possible — with the help of buses and a wide variety of lifts — to reach trail heads that lead to 10,000 foot peaks with 3–5 hours of walking! With 10,000 vertical feet of hikable terrain, whatever the weather and at any season, it is always possible to choose from a wide variety of hikes. A favorite peak is the Iffingerspitz. There are numerous walks along the aqueducts which enable the hiker to enjoy the cultivated zone (and choose from among the many fine restaurants). Some of the old villages feature churches from the Carolingian period as well as museums, castles, etc. We normally take at least one walk along the renowned Meraner Hohenweg. The Spronsertal with its beautiful lakes offers unique landscapes. And with tropical and Alpine zones in such close proximity, all the walks have a special character.
When You're Not Hiking
While all that we've said about the fabulous hiking is true, most of the visitors to Meran don't even try it! The town is well known for its spa, and many come to take the waters. There's a large outdoor pool, as well as the medicinally prescribed baths. The horse racing season is also popular. However, most come to enjoy the Mediterranean climate, shop and see the sights. You'll want to visit the Schloss Tirol (from whose founding duke the entire region takes its name) as well as the Schloss Brunnenburg — Ezra Pound's castle, now a fascinating agricultural museum. The gardens, parks and promenades all encourage leisurely examination. It is possible to take bus trips to Bolzano, the nearby Dolomites or even Cortina d'Ampezzo. There are often concerts, just a minute's walk from our hotel. The nearby village of Schenna and its castle are well worth a visit.
Come Join Us
If you are intrigued by our "small is beautiful" philosophy and would like to receive additional information or make reservations for Meran, or any of our upcoming trips, please email Sheila Duigan or call her direct at 800-291-8126.
|Meran (I) + Soglio (S)||Apr 20 – May 5||$4,600|
|Courmayeur (I) + Zermatt (S)||Jun 23 – Jul 8||$4,800|
|Sils Maria (S)||Jul 27 – Aug 11||$5,800|
|Sulden (I) + Vent (A)||Aug 25 – Sep 9||$4,000|
(A) = Austria (I) = Italy (S) = Switzerland|
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