Places of Interest

Outdoor holidays in one of the most stunning hiking areas in South Tyrol

Saltaus is where the rural Passier Valley meets the chic urban environment of Merano and its environs. Just a five-minute walk from the Apple Hotel, the cableway takes you up to the Hirzer Plateau in a matter of minutes. This recreational area is for visitors of all ages and was rated one of the best hiking zones in the German-speaking region by the HolidayCheck online travel portal. The best months to visit the plateau are April and May, during which time we issue our guests with cableway tickets to help them discover the rich variety of destinations and hiking trails each day during their stay with us.

Excursions around the area
A picturesque rural hamlet with a rich history, St. Leonard in the Passier Valley is only a 20-minute drive by car from the hotel. The local museum illustrates how Andreas Hofer, the Tyrolean patriot, led the rebellion against the Bavarian occupation in the early 1800’s. A 15-minute drive to the south, there’s the ever-fascinating spa town of Merano with its porticos, thermal baths, magnificent Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle and Tyrol Castle.

The Hirzer hiking region

The Hirzer hiking region winds around the highest mountain of the Sarentine Alps - Mount Punta Cervina. Thankfully there is a cable car to take you up to the summit more than 1,500 metres above sea level.

From the valley station in Saltusio you travel up to Prenn, the half-way point. From here you continue to Klammeben, the station on the summit. Numerous hiking routes ranging from easy to difficult take you over the mountains, through alpine meadows and along forest paths, past farms and guesthouses up to the summit where you are rewarded with an impressive panoramic view of the Venosta Alps, the Gruppo di Tessa and the Dolomites, all laid out majestically before you.

The Andreas Hofer Museum in Passeier

Although the legendary Tyrolean freedom fighter Andreas Hofer died over 200 years ago, his memory lives on. At Hofer's birth place in St. Leonhard in Passeier, you can find out how he grew up and retrace his footsteps as he became one of the most significant figures in Tyrolean history. Supreme Commander of Tyrol, escape to the Pfandler Alm, betrayal and execution in 1810 in Mantova: at the Andreas Hofer Museum history comes alive. Take a trip to the Passeier Valley and discover the birthplace and the life of Hofer!

The home of Andreas Hofer

St. Leonardo, the cultural and touristic centre of Val Passiria, is most famous for being the birthplace of Andreas Hofer. A museum in the town is dedicated to his memory. The Passeier Museum can be found in Sandhof, where Hofer was born. The museum features exhibitions about Hofer and tells the story of the Tyrolean Rebellion. In the historic village centre there is a sleepy Gothic church with a Baroque interior and above the village is the medieval Giovo castle. There is also a wide range of physical activities to try out: mountain tours, hikes, skiing and tobogganing - St. Leonardo always has something to offer.

The mountain range with its own natural park

The mountain range in the Central Alps is an abundant source of natural beauty, but the Gruppo di Tessa is much more than lofty heights. The Gruppo di Tessa Natural Park is the largest of its kind in South Tyrol and provides gentle hiking opportunities thanks to the High Merano Trail. Along the route there are numerous old mountain guest houses which provide food and accommodation along the 80 kilometre trail.

The European Long-Distance Path E5 from Brittany in France down to Verona in Italy also takes in the Gruppo di Tessa. After all it is one of South Tyrol's most beautiful nature hiking trails.

The spa town of Merano

After the predominantly Italian Bolzano, Merano is the second biggest town in South Tyrol and is heavily influenced by the German-speaking majority. The spa town is wonderfully located in the middle of an awe-inspiring mountain region. The year-round mild climate with over 300 days of sunshine attracts visitors from all over the world - not just hikers and skiers but also admirers of the remarkable old town.

In the town centre of Merano many traditional shops and modern chains are hidden amongst the medieval arcades providing visitors with a unique shopping experience.

Trauttmansdorff Castle

The botanic gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle are irrefutably some of the most beautiful gardens in Europe. More than 12 hectares accommodate 80 landscaped gardens, which are split into four garden worlds: The Sun Gardens, Forests of the World, Water and Terraced Gardens and Landscapes of South Tyrol.

But don't forget to pay a visit to the wonderfully restored castle with its permanent exhibition on the history of Tyrolean and South Tyrolean tourism. A multimedia exhibition in the "Touriseum" vividly presents the development of tourism in this Alpine region.

Merano 2000 - A name for every time of year

Merano 2000 is a leisure region with two different faces. In the winter, when the snow covers the mountains, skiing and tobogganing are the things to do. In the summer the landscape becomes a beautiful hiking region which can be accessed from Merano directly via the cable car. From here you can look down on the "mountain roller coaster" which was the first in South Tyrol and is also the longest in Italy. Add to this the top hospitality found in the local hotels and restaurants and things just couldn't get better.

Charming Bolzano

Would you like to leave the quiet village life behind for a few hours? Then take a trip into nearby Bolzano! A varied programme of cultural events and lots of shopping opportunities await you there. A place of contrasts, South Tyrol's capital city will seduce you with its "small big city" feel. There is a charming mix of new and old and the romantic winding alleys of the Bolzano arcades invite you to explore them with a leisurely stroll. You also have the opportunity of marvelling at "Ötzi the Iceman" in the archaeological museum.