You will find more than a lifetime’s worth of stunningness within the expansive mountain ranges of South Tyrol — a lush and breathtaking travel destination in Northern Italy. A forceful pull is persistently drawing me back, restless until I return.
This is my alpine guide to South Tyrol in the winter.
Before you go to South Tyrol
As the weather can turn quickly in the mountains, it’s best that you take warm clothes and good hiking boots with you. The boots are important because cold feet can be such a burden if you are outdoors for hiking or enjoying the view.
The boots are especially important if you think about going up the mountains to sleep in a Mountain Igloo (read below) and see the sunset in the morning at 2400 meters height. The wind can be cold up there and regretted not taking better boots with me. Also, don’t forget your swimming wear if you want to take a bath in a
Hotel Bühelwirt in Ahrntal
In South Tyrol, there is a boutique hotel that’s a perfect sanctuary for coming to rest after a day filled with winter activities like hiking, skiing, sledding, ice climbing, skiing or snowboarding. Hotel Bühelwirt is
The front part of the hotel is the most authentic part with an alpine facade, dark wood touches, and traditional feels. The backside of the building and hotel rooms in the contrary has recently been redesigned in a completely different way. You’ll find light local wood touches there in the interior and large windows and a certain touch of minimalism. Architecturally it’s very well done.
The rooms in hotel Bühelwirt are perfect for a long or short stay in Ahrntal. There is a nice bathroom in every room, with a large rain shower and soap and body lotion made of local alpine herbs. Every room has one or more large windows with a cozy sitting space. Perfect if you want to read a book or if you want to gaze outside at the alpine landscape of Ahrntal. There are private balconies in every room and the beds are comfortable. Some of the rooms also feature a bathtub in a side room next to the bedroom, the bathtub sits in a corner of the room and opposites a large window.
The South Tyrol heart of the alps
The endless expanses of mist with tinted shadows of rugged peaks and lush alpine forests create a certain type of pleasing beauty. A beauty that is featured throughout the countless valleys of the Southern heart of the Alps, South Tyrol.
When you combine the best things you can think of regarding both Italy and Alpine traditions, then you’ll get what you experience in South Tyrol. It’s a totally different travel experience in Italy compared to Tuscany or Rome.
There is both the Italian and Alpine cuisine integrated into most local restaurants. And, there are lush mountains that are snowy in the winter and perfect for t-shirt hiking in the summer. Speikboden and Ahrntal in S
South Tyrol is a peaceful place for a holiday. You’ll probably have a hard time leaving this stunning northern province of Italy on the last day of your holiday, so make sure you enjoy to the fullest.
Sleep in a Mountain Igloo high up in the alpine mountains
Like I mentioned above in this article, there is a (literally) cool place where you can sleep at Speikboden in South Tyrol. There are little Mountain Igloo caves completely made out of snow and ice located higher up the ski slope. Each of them has a little door and a comfortable bed inside with very cozy sleeping bags. To get there, you’ll either have to walk up the ski slope at Speikboden or you can go up with the ski lifts using a ski pass.
The dinner and lunch are included in the price. And, so is the sauna and the hot tubs, which are made out of wood. You pay for the total experience, not only for the accommodation. Probably one of the best things about making a booking here is that you’ll get the chance to jump on the back of a snowcat mobile in the morning and go up in the mountains to watch the sunrise.
I didn’t feel cold at all during the night and neither did my companions as the sleeping bags inside the igloos are of good quality. And, I must say it was one of the most memorable and special accommodations I ever experienced.
A memorable sunrise in Speikboden
Holding on tight to the metal bars of the rear end of an impressive snowcat was how I got to the sunset point at Speikboden. What an experience.
The ride didn’t take long at all, and when I arrived at the point higher up in the ski area, I could already catch a glimpse of the sun rising behind the dark moody clouds in the peaky background.
I was able to get some quite exquisite shots, although I didn’t want to stay up there for
Snowshoe walking, skiing, ice climbing or sledding?
When you have your accommodation located in a ski area, it makes sense to think about all the opportunities for activities you have around you.
Snowshoe walking for example. You rent a couple of ski sticks, get some snowshoes attached to your boots, and you go up the mountain for a short or long hike off the ski slope.
Or why not rent ski equipment a spend a day skiing? Or sledding down the ski slopes can also be a lot of fun. And, for the adventurous types there is also an option to go ice climbing close to the Speikboden ski area.
Snow in Ahrntal at the end of March
When I visited Ahrntal, on my way to the Bühelwirt hotel, I could only see little snow in the valleys below. Spring was leaping around the corner.
Later that night when I arrived at the hotel I went for a short walk in the Ahrntal Valley and when I returned and looked through the glass of the windows it began to snow. And, it snowed like madness until the day after in the afternoon.
I was lucky that day because we went for a short hike in the Ahrntal Valley and everything was covered with a thick layer of powdery snow. What a blessing!