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The High Alpine Way

South Tyrol’s sublime Venosta Valley
 
A challenging and rewarding journey through the spectacular mountain scenery of the Val Venosta – a hiker’s paradise. This is a combination of exhilarating self-guided walking (with luggage transported) and stays in well-located, family-run guesthouses and small hotels.
 
The High Alpine Way . 7 nights
The High Alpine Way . 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday in the Venosta Valley

The Val Venosta (Vinschgau in German) is nothing short of a wonderland for walkers who love great views of the mountains. Snaking down from the Reschen Pass, just a stone’s throw from where Italian South Tyrol meets the Swiss and Austrian Alps, this sublime valley provides a truly magnificent setting, with the snow-capped peaks of the Ortler range rising up to almost 4,000 metres from a neat patchwork of fields, apple orchards and pretty towns and villages far below.
On this holiday, you traverse the sun-soaked, south-facing slopes of the Weisskugel, walking across flower-filled Alpine meadows where cattle, sheep and goats quietly graze, through shady pine forests where birdlife abounds, and alongside ancient water channels (waale). The walk takes you high above the valley before descending through vineyards and orchards towards the busier valley floor. As you walk from one welcoming hotel to the next, you pass tiny romantic chapels, wayside shrines, isolated bars with panoramic terraces and farms that proudly maintain their age-old traditions amid this beautiful landscape. Although this is northern Italy, it is very much a Germanic region – in language, customs, culture and cuisine.
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 2 1 3 7 13 17 19 19 16 12 5 2
    mm 30 31 44 63 97 112 117 120 80 58 56 33
  • Arrival in Reschen
    Night 1: at Hotel Edelweiss (where you spend one night).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Reschen to Planeil: 21km; 6hrs; ascent 700m / descent 550m
    Before setting off, enjoy a leisurely breakfast and take in the far-reaching views from the hotel's panoramic terrace. Once fortified, you set off along the 'Vinschgau High Alpine Trail', an extremely well-waymarked long-distance footpath. After a short climb up the hillside passing through small isolated farms, you descend to the lake shore at the village of Graun im Vinschgau where you will be greeted by the sight of a church tower emerging from the blue waters of the lake. The next section of the walk is relatively flat, taking you along the side of Reschensee, before the route diverges away from main road and valley floor as you slowly begin to ascend rough forestry tracks through pine forests and meadows overlooking another, smaller lake. The views down the valley of the River Adige grow in majesty with every step as you pass through small villages lying along the upper slopes before reaching the picturesque farming village of Planeil and the charming Gasthof Gemse.
    The route from Reschen to Planeil
  • Choice of walks from Planeil to Matsch: 10km or 15km (then bus to Malles)

    High-level option: 10km; 4hrs; ascent 750m / descent 750m
    Though shorter, this is the more strenuous of the two options and takes you up to the summit of Spitzige Lun (2,324 metres), which boasts some of the best views in the entire Otztaler Alps, making it a perfect place to stop for your picnic. You can then follow a fabulous high-level route across the slopes of Ochsenberg, before slowly descending to the village of Matsch.

    Low-level option: 15km; 5hrs; ascent 650m / descent 625m
    This more leisurely route leads around the flank of the mountain via the farmstead of Lechtl, though there are ascents that take you high enough for far-reaching views. Contouring along wide tracks through more pine forests and steep meadows above the valley you reach the village of Matsch.
    On arrival in Matsch, you take the bus for the short transfer (10mins) to the Hotel Greif in Malles where you stay the night.
    Near Spitzige Lun on the route from Planeil to Malles
  • Malles to Tanas (starting by bus): 21.5km; 5.5hrs; ascent 850m / descent 900m
    You catch the bus back to Matsch to begin today's walk. It's a long route with ascents and descents through the forest, but does include one of the loveliest sections of waale (water channels) on the entire route. Leaving Matsch, you wind up through shady pine forests along wide forestry tracks to Marseilhof where you follow one of the many centuries-old man-made waal that contours round these steep slopes. Slowly beginning to climb (it's steep at first), you are soon passing across high Alpine pastures where herds of cattle graze nonchalantly by the edge of vertiginous slopes. There are plenty of places to stop and admire the tremendous views of Mount Ortler – the highest in South Tyrol – across the valley, before continuing through the forest and mountain farms to reach the Gasthof Paflur, set above the village of Tanas.
  • Tanas to St Martin-im-Kofel: 28.5km; 8hrs; ascent 1330m / descent 1140m; shorter option: 19km; 6hrs
    Today you have a lengthy, challenging, yet hugely rewarding walk (you enjoy panoramas of snow-covered glaciers), following a route through woodland and Alpine pastures, skirting the Litzer Spitz and Schafberg mountain ranges before reaching the tiny hamlet of Talatsch. Staying on the high route, you then drop into a deep wooded gorge before climbing steeply through forest to reach the high meadows. Here you follow a section of old Waal before a long but gradual ascent along farm tracks to reach St Martin-im-Kofel and the Bio Bauernhof Oberkaser, just below the cable-car station.
    Alternatively, when you get to Talatsch you can choose to descend steeply to the town of Schlanders and take the train (or bus) along the valley to Latsch, and then take the cable car up to St Martin-im-Kofel (pay locally for transport).
    Views on the route from Tanas to St Martin-im-Kofel
  • St Martin-im-Kofel to Tschars: 11km, 4hrs; ascent 70m / descent 1000m
    After the rigours of yesterday, today's walk is far more gentle, though there is a short section that descends steeply through a rocky ravine. You begin with a gradual descent that takes you from the high pastures towards the flat valley floor that you have been looking down on all week. You initially follow quiet lanes and wide tracks through meadows, then descend along a steep, rocky path through a wooded gorge before contouring across a rocky hillside (with some short sections of scree) which gradually gives way to gentler woodland and neat vineyards to reach picturesque Tschars, where you make your way to the Hotel Himmelreich set among the vineyards just outside the village.
  • Circular walk from Tschars: 6km, 3hrs
    After a short ascent up to the waal, it's a relatively gentle stroll alongside the water channel to Schloss Juval, a medieval castle built in 1278 and now owned by world-famous mountaineer, Reinhold Messner (the first man to climb the 14 highest mountains in the world). Pay a visit to his museum, which houses a wonderful collection of mountain paintings and many Tibetan and other ethnic artefacts from around the world; or take the chance to buy organic farm products nearby and admire the views before returning to your hotel, via a different waal, for a final delicious dinner. Even when the museum is closed (Wednesdays, and all July and August), it is well worth doing the walk to see the castle in its lofty, imposing position above the valley.
    The 'waal' that you follow on the route around Tschars
 

Accommodation

You stay mostly in guesthouses and small mountain hotels offering far-reaching views, before finishing in a hotel with a spa and pool.
 

Extend your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter.
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  • 7 nights: 11 May - 12 October 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    11 May - 14 June £1075 £140
    15 June - 31 August £1098 £140
    1 - 30 September £1075 £140
    1 - 5 October £1045 £140
    3rd & 4th person discount -£35
    Single traveller supplement £95

    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Gasthof Gemse, Planeil (with dinner) Double room Single room
    11 May - 12 Oct 2019 £100 £120
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Innsbruck or Verona

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly to an airport not listed. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Innsbruck Charter (contact us) 
    Birmingham - Verona Charter (contact us),  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Birmingham - Verona (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Innsbruck Charter (contact us) 
    Bristol - Verona Charter (contact us),  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Cardiff - Verona Flybe 
    Outward route Airline
    Nottingham East Midlands - Verona Charter (contact us),  jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Innsbruck Charter (contact us) 
    Edinburgh - Innsbruck (via Gatwick) British Airways 
    Edinburgh - Innsbruck (via Heathrow) British Airways 
    Edinburgh - Verona Charter (contact us),  jet2 
    Edinburgh - Verona (via Paris CDG) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Verona TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Innsbruck Charter (contact us) 
    Leeds Bradford - Verona Charter (contact us),  jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Innsbruck Charter (contact us),  easyJet,  Thomas Cook 
    Gatwick - Verona British Airways,  easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Innsbruck British Airways 
    Heathrow - Innsbruck (via Vienna) Austrian Airlines 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Innsbruck easyJet 
    Luton - Verona Wizz Air 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Verona jet2,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Innsbruck Charter (contact us),  easyJet 
    Manchester - Innsbruck (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Manchester - Verona Charter (contact us),  jet2,  TUI 
    Manchester - Verona (via Munich) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Verona Charter (contact us),  TUI 
    Newcastle - Verona (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Southampton - Verona Flybe 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly to an airport not listed. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Innsbruck

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Innsbruck HB to Landeck-Zams (1h), taxi Landeck-Zams to hotel (1h) £82 1600
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Merano (0h40), rail Merano to Innsbruck (3h) £58 1400

    Connecting travel options - via Verona

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    rail Verona Porta Nuova to Merano (2h30-3h), taxi Merano to hotel (1h20) £109 1545
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Merano (0h40), rail Merano to Verona Porta Nuova (2h20-3h) £55 1300
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 6 dinners
    5 picnics
    7 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
 
Reviews

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We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • Absolutely! We are experts in tailored rail travel. Making use of sleeper trains or stopovers in cities along the route, we can get you from London to virtually anywhere in mainland Europe. We can even make arrangements to Mallorca, Sicily and Norway with a combination of ferries and rail. Please contact Abi to discuss your plans.
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • The principal official language is Italian, though some regions have a second official language, such as South Tyrol, where German is widely spoken. The currency is the Euro. Italian time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Italy, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it’s been confirmed that flights will continue as normal and that you won’t need a visa to go on holiday (the limit on stays is 90 days). What you will need if there’s no deal is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival (extra months added because you renewed your passport early do not count) and adequate travel insurance to cover you for accidents and illness in case reciprocal health deals are suspended. If you are driving while on holiday, you will probably need an International Driving Permit (plus a Green Card if you are taking your own car to Europe). More information >
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 9/17/2019 9:22:06 AM