Tips: excursions and attractions

The Bird Care Centre at Tyrol Castle
On a wonderfully designed educational nature trail in the great outdoors, visitors can learn about the fascinating lives of birds of prey and their important role in the natural cycle. The centre aims to take in injured and defenceless birds and nurse them back to health so that they can be released into the wild. If this is not possible, the centre will rehome the animals.

Burglehen Park on the outskirts of Dorf Tirol was opened in June 2002. The park is surrounded by orchards and grapevines and offers a glorious 360° panoramic view of the surrounding area. Visitors love to relax and unwind here. When the park was planned, the emphasis was on “pure, unadulterated” nature, so the park’s original flowering meadow is still untouched. A nature pond was also installed in the centre of the park with benches facing the water offering a one-of-a-kind view of the surrounding valley and mountain landscape. A children’s playground has also been built in the park. In addition to various playground apparatus, there is a very special attraction: Jakob the rocking horse. Made of steel, this horse was designed by famous Ritten-based artist Franz Messner and dedicated to every child in the world. The combination of art and play makes Jakob a priceless and unique eye-catcher as you enter Dorf Tirol.

The Touriseum, a museum of tourism
Surrounded by beautiful gardens, the Touriseum is housed in Trauttmansdorff Castle near Merano. Empress Elisabeth of Austria spent two extended stays here in the castle on winter getaways. The Touriseum is the first museum in the Alps which is fully dedicated to past and present tourism. 7,000 exhibits on two floors showcase 200 years of the history of tourism in South Tyrol from two varying perspectives: that of the visitors and that of the locals. The museum has found an entertaining and exhilarating way to showcase the historical development of tourism in South Tyrol. While holidaymakers and travellers are confronted with their motivations for going on holiday as well as their behaviour, illusions and expectations in the Touriseum, locals reflect on their feelings and behaviour towards tourists.

Tips for excursions
To get even more out of your holiday, a number of bus companies offer excursions to Venice, Lake Garda or the Dolomites:

  • A grand tour of Merano and environs
  • A tour of Lake Garda and boat ride
  • A medium tour of the Dolomites
  • Trento & Lake Molveno
  • Venice
  • Stelvio Pass
  • Alpe di Siusi – Kastelruth/Castelrotto
  • A grand tour of the Dolomites
  • A trip to Limone & Malcesine and boat ride
  • St. Moritz – Livigno
  • Verona
  • Bolzano – Penegal
  • Schloss Trauttmansdorff bei Meran

    The Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle

    The most popular destination in South Tyrol boasts more than 80 landscaped gardens with a unique combination of art and nature, an array of attractions, multiple blooming seasons throughout the year and stunning views of Merano and the South Tyrolean mountains. When art dabbles in nature, plant life becomes an experience for all senses. Eleven artists’ pavilions explain natural processes in a playful yet informative way. As visitors go on a voyage of discovery through the gardens, they find a number of fascinating highlights: star architect Matteo Thun’s spectacular viewing platform, the aviary with its colourful parrots, the multimedia show in the grotto, the geological mosaic, the dragonfly clock, the forbidden garden and so on.

  • Naturpark Texelgruppe

    The Texelgruppe Nature Park

    Spanning 33,430 hectares, the Texelgruppe Nature Park is the largest nature reserve in South Tyrol. The park encompasses the entire Texel Group - the sprawling mountain landscape between the Val Senales side valley in the west and the Passeier Valley in the east and parts of the Stubai and Ötztal Alps - as well as the Schnalser and Gurgler Kamm mountain ridges. The excellent location in the Burggrafenamt district, the safe and well-signposted trails and the easy-to-reach access paths transform the region into a hiking paradise, particularly in the summer months. Hikers can roam the entire Texel Group on the 100 km Meraner Höhenweg trail. As the largest group of high elevation lakes in South Tyrol, the nine Spronser Lakes – each with its own unique shape and size – are one of the region’s major attractions.

  • Schloss Tirol

    Tyrol Castle

    The ancestral castle of the Counts of Tyrol... The South Tyrolean Museum of Culture and Provincial History. The archaeological museum offers an overview of the first settlements in the Alps from the 7th century BC. Visitors can marvel at the pristine Bronze Age smelting furnace. The circular wall, constructed in around 1100, is one of the oldest ever preserved castle walls. Some of its battlements are even still intact. The two 12th century marble portals also shine in their original glory. They feature a wealth of symbolic sculptures and are some of the first creations of Romantic art in Tyrol. The chapel with 13th century frescos also features the oldest stained glass windows in Tyrol and a mighty wooden carved crucifix dating back to the 14th century.