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A warm welcometo the Waldhof² in Völlan

Experience your dream holiday in South Tyrol


Völlan has a lot to offer! Experience an unforgettable time in the beautiful Merano region with its numerous attractions and impressive natural beauty. Feel exhilarated by the warmth of the people around you and an atmosphere created for your well-being in our Belvita You & Me Hotel. The idyllic Waldhof forest park is one of our highlights. Our award-winning cuisine ensures heavenly delights for the palate from morning until evening. Enjoy the unique combination of modern design, Italian Dolce Vita and traditional South Tyrolean hospitality in our four-star superior hotel...
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Recharge your batteries!
Our Waldhof tip
Of the week!
01. - 07. January
"Genius people are rarely orderly,
orderly rarely genius."
Albert Einstein
Plan / Pfelders A small village in the Hinterpasseier (Passiria Valley)

The idyllic mountain village of Plan (1,622 m), at the end of the Passiria Valley, in the midst of the largest nature park in South Tyrol, the Texel Group, and directly at the foot of the Hohe Wilde (Ötztal Alps - 3,482 m) is full of mysteries and natural beauty.

Plan counts, undoubtedly, amongst the most guaranteed snow and idyllic skiing regions in South Tyrol. Benefitting from the central location on the main Alpine ridge, both the low pressure areas of the south and the north bring abundant snow into the small side valleys of the Passiria region. Therefore, not only skiers, winter hikers and tobogganists, but also free riders and ski tourers get their money’s worth.

08. - 14. January
From the bottom of my soul, my nostrils start to tremble, a giant hunger starts to emerge, for breakfast and for life“. Joachim Ringelnatz
South Tyrolean hard flat bread (Schüttelbrot)

YEAST SPONGE

250 g     rye flour

250 ml   water

20 g       yeast


Dissolve the yeast in warm water and stir into a soft dough with the rye flour; leave to stand for one hour at approximately 30°C.

DOUGH

500 g      rye flour

250 g      wheat flour

850 ml    water 30°C

20 g        yeast

20 g        salt

5 g          fennel seeds

5 g          caraway

alternatively 5 g        fenugreek / trigonella

 

Mix the yeast sponge and all other ingredients and leave to stand for approximately 10-15 minutes. Afterwards, break up 150 g pieces of dough, place on lightly floured cloths and leave to stand for 10 minutes at approximately 85% air humidity. The kneading of the dough pieces requires a particular skill: Place the dough on a pizza sized board and knead it by twisting it in a circular fashion so that the piece of dough becomes thin and spread wide. Bake thoroughly at 210-220°C (upper and lower heat) for approximately 30 minutes.

Tip: The portions of dough can also be left to stand for longer, but then the kneading“ should only be for a lesser period of time.

15. - 21. January
“One recognises a truly good idea by the fact that its implementation appears impossible from the start“. Albert Einstein
Glacier cave in the Senales Valley / Schnalstal

Glaciers in South Tyrol form a fascinating natural space. At the end of the Senales Valley, at the border between Austria and Italy, the Hochjochferner emerges. The glacier extends across a surface area of more than 185 hectares.
The glacier cable car has contributed significantly to the economic development of the Senales Valley. Today, the Senales Valley is a tourist destination, where culture and nature are, to a large extent, preserved.

This image arose at the lower end of the glacier, where with time a large glacier cave opened up which is ideally suited for jumping over.

22. - 28. January
Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Bletterbach gorge

The cold months in South Tyrol offer not only ideal conditions for skiers and snowshoe hikers, but also for ice climbers, who equally get their money’s worth. Of course, during this period, waterways are transformed into frozen ice towers, which are renowned far beyond the Italian border.

The image shows two ice climbers in the Bletterbach GeoParc near Bolzano which is, in summer, a popular and rewarding excursion destination for young and old alike.

29. January - 04. February
“I can resist everything, except temptation." Oscar Wilde
Herb vinaigrette

HERB VINAIGRETTE

100 g             onion

40 g               mustard

4                    egg yolks

10 g               sugar

40 ml             lemon juice

200 ml           vinegar

150 ml           clear vegetable broth

500 ml           sunflower oil

1/2 bunch      of parsley, chive, basil, dill, Cayenne pepper, white pepper, salt

FRENCH DRESSING

100 g             onion

40 g               mustard

4                    egg yolks

10 g               sugar

40 ml             lemon juice

200 ml           vinegar

150 ml           clear vegetable broth

500 ml           sunflower oil

1/2 bunch      of chopped parsley, Cayenne pepper, white pepper, salt

05. - 11. February
“The appeal of life is to not take everything for granted, but to still be ready to be surprised.“ Loriot
At Lake Laugen

The 2,182 m high situated Laugensee can be reached in approximately 2.5 hours walking time from the Palade / Gampen Pass, just beyond Lana. Just below the Mount Luco / Laugenspitze, a resting opportunity is available to the weary walker. Firestone discoveries all around the Laugensee are testament to human presence from the middle stone age.

 

Looking out from the Waldhof to the south-west, the "Kleine Laugen“ (small lake), the neighbour of the "Große Laugen“, is wonderfully visible on the horizon. This image was taken in spring. Although temperatures are already very pleasant during the day, the thermometer can, at such a height, fall to sub-zero temperatures at night, which is why the lake sometimes remains frozen far into the spring.

12. - 18. February
“The art of resting is a part of the art of working.“ John Steinbeck
Schlutzkrapfen (ravioli filled with spinach) For 4 persons

DOUGH

150 g               rye and wheat flour

50 - 60 ml        lukewarm water

1                      egg

1 tbsp.             oil
Salt

 

Mix both types of flour, place it in a circular form on a pasta board and add salt. Whisk the egg together with the lukewarm water and the oil, pour it into the middle of the flour circle and knead it from the inside to the outside into a smooth piece of dough. Leave the dough to stand covered for 30 minutes.

FILLING

150 g           cooked spinach

100 g           curd cheese

50 g             onion

1 tbsp.         butter

1 tbsp.         parmesan

1 tbsp.         chive

1 pinch of    grated nutmeg

1/2              clove garlic, ground pepper, salt, grated parmesan, butter and finely cut chives to serve

 

Chop the spinach finely, steam the onion and garlic clove in the butter, add the spinach and leave it to cool down. Add the curd cheese, the parmesan and the chives and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir well.

 

Spread the dough out thinly with the pasta machine. Prepare the dough as quickly as possible, so that it does not dry out. Cut out pieces of approximately 7 cm diameter with a round, smooth cookie cutter. Insert the filling into the middle with a small spoon. Moisten the rim in water and fold the dough together in a half-moon shape. Immediately press on the rims with your fingers. Cook the Schlutzkrapfen in salty water and dress. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve with brown butter and chives.
Cooking time: 3-4 minutes

26. February - 01. April
“Luck often arises through attention to small things, bad luck often through neglect of small things.“ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Raffeiner Orchid World

The South Tyrol orchid thrives in the 300 sunny days of the year and the mild, almost Mediterranean climate, prospering into a particularly healthy, vigorous and lively beauty. Valtl Raffeiner had already recognised this many years ago. His passion for orchids lead to him taking advantage of the excellent conditions prevalent in South Tyrol to delight people with the outstanding high-quality and colourful diversity of orchids.

 

More than 12,000 plants have been embedded in the jungle at the Raffeiner Orchid World in Gargazzone, covering a greenhouse space of more than 6,000 m². Visitors can expect over 500 different types of orchids showcasing a true natural spectacle of colours, shapes and aromas. At least six visits are needed in a year to truly appreciate all this abundant flowering.

26. February - 04. March
“When you wake up in the morning, remember what a priceless treasure it is to be able to live, breath and be happy.“ Marcus Aurelius
Spring in the Merano region

The first warm rays of sunshine in the Merano region promise only the very best: flourishing apple orchards, sunny water channels, interesting events to welcome the awakening of spring and much more. The Merano spring always brings good spirits. At this time of the year, you should not miss, for example, a visit to the beautiful gardens of the Trauttmansdorff Castle or the Haflinger horse racing at the Merano racecourse. And, of course, the renowned Blossom Festival days at the beginning of April, with numerous events in and around Lana, which can be reached from the hotel by means of public transport.


The farmers' market with regional delicacies in the centre of Lana is one of the highlights of the Blossom Festival. The event offers the opportunity to savour, enjoy and buy quality, local products from countless stands.

05. - 11. March
“To enjoy means to be happy – with yourself and with others.“ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Geeister Kaiserschmarrn (parfait) For 6 persons
6              eggs
125 g       sugar
100 g       Savoiardi (sponge lady fingers)
350 g       cream
2 leaves   gelatine
rum
vanilla
brown sugar for flaming

Soften the gelatine leaves in cold water. Gently beat the cream. Cut the sponge fingers into cubes. Beat the eggs and the sugar until frothy. Dissolve the gelatine and stir it into the egg-sugar mixture. Add the cut up sponge fingers and fold in the whipped cream into the dough. Season with rum and vanilla. Pour into a baking plate or single portions and freeze. Flame with brown sugar 2 hours before serving.
12. - 18. March
"Give every day the chance to be the most beautiful day of your life." Mark Twain
Spring at the Waldhof

As we extended the sunbathing lawns in 2009, we decided to plant this beautiful tree in its place. When the Waldhof gradually opens its gates again in spring, the wild plum tree will soon be showing itself in all its beautiful splendour. The rosy pink coloured blossoms amaze us and our guests every year.

 

The tree serves equally as a valuable shaded area in summer, the clusters of foliage in autumn as a winter quarter for hedgehogs.

19. - 25. March
"All that is against nature cannot last in the long run." Charles Darwin
Speckknödel (bacon dumpling) For 4 persons (around 8 dumplings)
80 g         bacon, cut into fine cubes
1/2           onion
150 g       bread cubes
20 g         butter
40 g         flour
100 ml     milk or water
2              eggs
1 tbsp.    finely sliced parsley
salt

Steam the diced pieces of onion in butter; pour over the bread and mix. Mix in the flour and bacon. Stir the eggs, milk, parsley and salt, pour it over the bread and blend everything well. Leave the mixture to marinate for approximately 15 minutes, form the dumplings and leave to simmer, half-covered in salty water.
26. March - 01. April
“It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.” Molière
The Marlengo “Waalweg” trail

The 12 km-long Marlengo Waalweg is the longest of the “Waalweg” trails, which follow old agricultural watercourses, in South Tyrol. It begins at the Töll bridge and follows a relatively flat course along the channel irrigation over firm ground, past apple orchards, vineyards, chestnut trees and woodlands with their welcome shade. After the medieval Monteleone / Lebenberg Castle, the trails, which was laid over 250 years ago, runs slightly downhill along the mountainside to Lana an der Etsch.


For its entire length, the Marlengo trail along irrigation channels offers hikers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Impressive is the varied cultural and natural landscape with views over the Merano Valley basin and the imposing Texel group. The Marlengo trail is readily accessible by public transport, so no car is needed.

02. - 08. April
“Set aside your fear, have faith in your inner resources, have trust in life, and life will repay you. You are capable of more than you think.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hoachwool via ferrata

You edge your way along the cable, step by careful step, towards the expanse of sky, moving towards your objective, safe in the knowledge that you are always secured. Equipped with a special via ferrata kit, helmet and solid hiking boots, there is nothing stopping you - unless you suffer from vertigo.

 

Although "Hoachwool" is only a valley via ferrata, this tour takes a lot of perseverance; similar to an 8000-metre mountain, the difficult bit does not start until shortly before the finish. The long via ferrata crosses in the middle onto an old irrigation channel (a water conduit for agricultural irrigation in the valley). The old wooden channel system has even been replicated over a short stretch. On the old iron struts, the year 1855 can be read; this must therefore have been a very old irrigation system.

As a mountaineer, if you are planning to use the fixed-rope climbing route, you should definitely also visit Juval Castle, which houses the first Messner Museum.

09. - 15. April
"God sleeps in the rock, dreams in the plant, stirs in the animal, and awakens in man." Ancient Indian saying
Rainguthof animal park

On the road to the Palade / Gampen Pass, about 2 km above the Gfrillerhof inn and the Café Bad Gfrill restaurant, our ex chef Martin Piazzi transformed a rustic mountain farm into an animal paradise in the summer of 2014.The large site, which is divided into individual enclosures, offers not only a snack bar but also seasonal specialities, such as roasted chestnuts in autumn and theatre performances at Christmas.

 

Kamillo the Jersey bull, Reinhard the goat, fallow deer Max and Moritz, the Maremma Abruzzo shepherd dogs Mila and Kunis, old breeds of domestic animal such as Galloway cattle, wool sheep and valais black nose sheep, not forgetting other animals such as squirrels, prairie dogs, pygmy goats and donkeys, have all found a home on the spacious grounds. Some animals are allowed to move freely between the enclosures, which is always great fun for the younger guests.

16. - 22. April
“No pleasure is temporary, because the impression it leaves behind is permanent.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Apple strudel

SHORT PASTRY

250 g butter

100 g marzipan

100 g sugar

1        egg

350 g type 00 flour
a pinch of salt

 

Mix the butter, sugar and marzipan together. Then add the egg and, finally, the flour and salt.

FILLING

8                 cored and sliced apples

50 g            sugar

30 g            sultanas

20 g            pine nuts

1 tbsp.        rum
cinnamon with lemon to taste

approximately 50-80 g         breadcrumbs, depending on how fresh the apples are (fresh apples are juicier, meaning that they need more breadcrumbs)

 

Mix everything together and form the strudel roll (rolled up the apple filling inside the pastry).
Bake in the oven at 175°C for 30 to 40 minutes.

23. - 29. April
"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Albert Einstein
Biking in the Merano region

The virtually Mediterranean climate, the beautiful fruit orchards and vineyards and the surrounding mountains make the Merano region the ideal terrain for leisure cyclists and fit mountain bikers. The Merano basin, the high plateau of Avelengo and the Ultimo Valley / Ultental all form biking areas of their own with very different characteristics. If you throw in a good handful of cable cars with bike transport, what you end up with is a very diverse mountain biking region.

 

You can explore the Foiana low mountain range directly from our hotel, for which purpose we will gladly provide you with mountain or electric bikes.

30. April - 06. May
“It takes a still pond to reflect the sunlight.” Chinese proverb
Gratinated aubergine For 4 persons
800 g         aubergine
400 g         tomatoes
2 tbsp.       flour
120 ml       olive oil for frying
4 pieces     mozzarella
4                basil leaves, cut into slices
salt, pepper

Wash the aubergine and, without peeling it, cut it into 1 cm thick slices; add salt and pepper and dust with a little flour. Heat the olive oil in a pan, quickly fry the aubergine on both sides, remove and lay out on kitchen paper. Cut the tomatoes and mozzarella into slices. Lay alternate layers of fried aubergine slices, tomato and mozzarella slices, and basil on a baking tray; season each layer with salt and pepper. Finish off with a layer of mozzarella, bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 10 minutes and serve.
07. - 13. May
“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Mahatma Gandhi
Vroni our herbs, egg and apple supplier

Vroni has been farming in Foiana for many years and is a good friend of our establishment. On her farm, she looks after Indian runner ducks in addition to dozens of hens. Most of the eggs which our chef Tibor uses in his dishes or Monika adds to her breakfast creations are delivered directly by Vroni. In the autumn, at the time of the apple harvest, we get fresh apples every day which are grown and harvested on the farm by Vroni and her family. We also get fresh herbs from her herb garden, and it is not uncommon for her to provide captivating garlands of flowers from the garden which simply could not be more beautiful.

21. - 27. May
"No one knows the extent of his own powers till he has tested them." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Heini Holzer via ferrata in Merano

Whether you choose the numerous fixed-rope routes or alpine terrain: South Tyrol offers endless possibilities for climbing, not just for professionals, but also for children and families.

 

The 550-m-long climb, which is perfectly secure thanks to a 1000-m length of steel cable, offers medium levels of difficulty and is suitable for less strong Alpine climbers or families with kids who like climbing and walking (ages 10 and up). If you want to go on this fixed-rope climb, you need to set out early and be in good general condition.

 

The picture shows a climber at sunrise who has reached just the end of the via ferrata and is now climbing the last few metres to the summit of the Ifinger Mountain.

21. - 27. May
"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult." Seneca
Bauernbrotnockerln (a kind of farmhouse dumpling) with cheese sauce for 8 persons

DUMPLINGS

500 g      dumpling bread, black

300 g      milk

180 g      curd cheese

1.5          eggs

1.5         egg yolks

100 g     boiled potatoes

50 g       rye flour

 

Mix everything together except the rye flour and allow the flavours to blend for 20 minutes. Then pass the entire mix through a meat grinder. Add the rye flour. (Form dumplings out of it). Briefly boil and drain the Bauernbrotnockerln.

 


CHEESE SAUCE

20 g         butter

150 g       cheese (Emmental, Edam, taleggio)

200 ml     cream

30 g        parmesan

1             clove of garlic, chopped

1 tbsp.    parsley
               salt, pepper


Melt the butter and sauté the garlic. Slice the cheese, add to a pot with the cream and melt. Once the sauce is creamy, add salt and pepper. Add parsley and the parmesan cheese before serving.

28. May - 03. June
"Happiness: the state of quietly laughing oneness with the world." Hermann Hesse
Saltimbocca alla Romana For 4 persons

8             veal escalopes, 60 g each

8             small slices of dry-cured ham

2 tbsp.   flour

2 tbsp.   oil for frying

30 g       butter

30 ml     white wine

200 ml   meat broth (see vegetable risotto)

8            small sage leaves
              salt, pepper

 

If necessary, remove the remaining tendons from the veal escalopes, tap with the meat tenderiser. Season the meat with a little salt, since the ham is already salty, and pepper and top with the sage leaves as well as the dry-cured ham. Sprinkle the meat side lightly with flour and slowly fry in a hot frying pan in a little oil, first on the ham side, then on the meat side. Now add a little butter to the meat, after a short time remove the meat from the pan and keep warm. Douse the cooking residues in the pan with white wine and add the broth. Let the sauce cook for a while and pour over the saltimbocca.

04. - 10. June
“It's amazing what a single ray of sunshine can do for the soul of a human being.” Fyodor Dostoevsky
Spinach spaetzli with ham and cream sauce for 4-6 persons

700 g     fresh spinach

300 g     flour

1 tbsp.   salt

4            eggs

1/8 l      milk

20 g      butter

200 g    cured ham, finely sliced

1/8 l      white wine

1/8 l      cream

2 tbsp.  finely grated parmesan

 

Clean the spinach, wash thoroughly and drain. In a pot, bring plenty of salted water to the boil and cook the spinach in batches for about a minute and drain. Squeeze out the remaining water and pass the spinach through a food mill. You can, if you wish, chop the spinach very finely instead.
In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the flour, salt and eggs with a spoon. Gradually add the milk and beat the mixture until bubbles start to appear. Stir the spinach in thoroughly. Rub the dough through a spaetzli slicer into a large pan of boiling salted water. Boil for about 3 minutes until the noodles rise to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon, shock with cold water and allow to dry.
Melt the butter in a pan, add the white wine and ham, and cook briefly. Pour over the cream and bring to the boil. Add the parmesan and season with salt and pepper.
Add to the spinach dumplings, stir and serve.

11. - 17. June
“If you do not know your roots, you have nothing on which to stand.” Stefan Zweig
Sacred Heart of Jesus Festival in South Tyrol

The tradition of mountain fires goes back to the 19th century and commemorates the pledge given to the heart of Jesus.

 

In 1796, in the face of the danger posed by the troops of Napoleon I, Tyrolean estates promised solemnly to entrust the country to the "Sacred Heart of Jesus" and to renew this pledge annually. The first Sunday after the feast of Corpus Christi (June) was selected as Sacred Heart of Jesus Sunday.
Andreas Hofer renewed the vow before the battle of Bergisel against the French and Bavaria. Hofer's troops won a surprising victory, and Sacred Heart of Jesus Sunday accordingly became a high public holiday. The tradition is kept alive by the mountain fires which are lit on this special Sunday and light up the skies over South Tyrol.

 

The mountain fires themselves also have a historical background: In times of war, mountain fires were kindled as an illuminated sign marking the agreed start of a battle...

18. - 24. June
“There are two things children should get from their parents: roots and wings.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Asfaltart Merano turned upside down

The festival of street artists in Merano is a must for every summer family holiday in Merano and environs.

 

In June, the spa town is turned on its head, making room for clowns, artistes, fire-eaters, dancers, jugglers, tightrope walkers and musicians. During the three-day festival of street artists entitled "Asfaltart", the centre of Merano turns into one huge circus ring.

 

For a short period, this festival makes a mockery of the order that otherwise prevails in the town. Jolly clowns bring a smile to the faces of passers-by and tightrope acrobats at lofty heights cause even stressed business people to pause and look up. Of course, "Asfaltart" is also a special experience for families with children. Where else would you see so many crazy goings-on on the streets?

 

The picture shows slackliner Benjamin Kofler who, with this high line, strung between the Polveriera ruin (Pulverturm) and the tower of the Merano parish church, set a new world record for the longest urban high line at an amazing 159 m!

25. June - 01. July
“Good morning, open your eyes, smile, shine and let the sun caress your face. Life is a gift, enjoy it every day.”
Cream of carrot soup with ginger For 4 persons

1/2          onion

1             clove of garlic

50 ml      white wine

300 g      carrots

20 g        ginger

800 ml    vegetable broth

400 ml    cream

               butter for sautéing
               a pinch of sugar
               salt, pepper

 

Finely chop the onion and the garlic clove and sauté in a little butter. Finely chop the carrot and ginger, and sauté with a pinch of sugar. Douse with white wine and pour in the vegetable broth. Cook gently until the carrots are soft.
Mix everything together, season with salt and pepper and refine with the cream.

 

Here’s a tip from the chef: Cut the carrots into 1 cm pieces so that they get soft faster, otherwise the soup will become too spicy because of the ginger!

02. - 08. July
"Wisdom cannot be communicated. If a wise man tries to communicate it, wisdom sounds like foolishness." Hermann Hesse
Merano high mountain trail

Taking the Hochmuth cable car, you will reach the Muthöfe farms at 1,400 metres above Merano, which are surrounded by a beautiful mountain landscape with unique panoramic views of Merano and the Adige Valley.

 

The farms are located on the Merano high mountain trail, one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the entire Alpine region. It runs for a total of 100 km around the Texel Group nature park and can be walked in 5 to 8 days.

 

The trail is divided into southern and northern circumnavigations. Thanks to the different ascent and descent options, hikes along the Merano high mountain trail can be started or interrupted at numerous points. Lodges and mountain huts provide rest and accommodation en route.

09. - 15. July
“And every beginning conceals its own magic, which protects us and helps us to live." Hermann Hesse
Cheesecake dessert For 4 persons

For the cream

275 g          philadelphia (cream cheese)

1/2 stick      vanilla

20 g            egg yolk

40 g            sugar mix

100 g          egg white

100 g          sugar for whipping

 

2 leaves     gelatine

150 g  whipped cream.

 

Whisk the egg whites until foamy, then add 2 leaves of gelatine.

Gently fold in the cream and store in the refrigerator.

 

ICE CREAM

500 g              philadelphia (cream cheese)

500 g              water

125 g              sugar

83 g                invert sugar

3 leaves          of gelatine

3 pieces          lemon peel and juice

 

Mix and freeze in an ice cream maker.

 

 

CRUMBLE

50 g butter

60 g sugar

75 g hazelnut semolina

75 g flour


Mix everything together and knead, grate onto the baking paper and bake at 110°C. Then allow to dry for 4 hours.

16. - 22. July
“Think not so much of what thou hast not as of what thou hast..." Marcus Aurelius
Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle.

The gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle are undoubtedly among the highlights of the spa town of Merano. They inspire the onlooker with their exceptional diversity and harmonious ensemble. More than 80 colourful garden landscapes from around the world can be seen here on an area of 12 hectares. It is the special climate of the sun-drenched town which makes this possible.

 

The site is divided up into four garden worlds. In the “Forest Gardens”, you find conifers from North America and East Asia, ferns, living fossils, and rice and tea terraces. The area below the castle is referred to as the "Sun Gardens". The sunny slopes are dominated by Mediterranean flair and citrus fruit; cypress trees and the alluring scents of lavender, rosemary and sage are what characterise this part of the site. The “landscapes of South Tyrol” reflect the diverse fauna of our region. Finally, you come to the “Water and Terraced Gardens" with their large lily pond, in which the lotus flower unfurls its blossoms.

 

The picture shows an area that was newly opened in 2016, the “Lovers’ Garden”.

23. - 29. July
“Anyone who knows olive trees venerates them, considers them to be angels who rise up out of the earth.” Willis Barnstone
Olive oil from Sicily

Gaetano, an olive farmer from Sicily and friend of the family, has just started supplying us with fine olive oil from his homeland. The outstanding quality of this olive oil impresses not just our chef Tibor but also our guests.

 

The olive grove is not particularly large, which means that Gaetano can manage to cultivate the olives with the help of his family and without additional staff. Out of love for nature, Gaetano's family grows the olives according to organic guidelines. Then the olives are harvested by hand, cold pressed, bottled and personally brought to us in Foiana by Gaetano.

 

Subject to the availability of stocks and the abundance of the harvest, the olive oil can be purchased from us in the Waldhof.

30. July - 05. August
“To be on the road at night in the open air under the silent sky, following a quietly flowing body of water, is always mysterious and stirs the soul in its very depths.” Hermann Hesse
Martello Valley / Martelltal

The Martello Valley extends from the valley entrance at Laces at 800 m above sea level up to the 3,760 m summit of the Cevedale / Zufallspitze Mountains in the Ortler region. Known for its pristine nature and its rustic character, the Martello is a popular destination for nature lovers and fans of the mountains.

 

The breathtaking mountain scenery which towers up at the end of the valley provides the backdrop for a good few adventures - and the Marteller mountain hut offers the corresponding options for rest and refreshment. Right next to the hut is a small mountain lake which reflects the peaks of the Martello Valley as well as the famous Gran Zebrù / Königsspitze.

 

At the same time, at an altitude of 900 to 1,800 m, Martello is the highest contiguous strawberry-growing region in Europe. The climatic conditions in the Martello Valley are also ideal for the cultivation of different tasty berries, herbs and vegetables.

06. - 12. August
“Hope is the rainbow over the downward gushing stream of life.” Friedrich Nietzsche
Mayenburg Castle (fortress)

The Mayenburg was a castle used by the Court of Merano. Verdicts were handed down in the open air on those whose lot was not to be executed. Once a year, the Court gathered here and adjudicated on various issues (jurisdiction, administrative matters, duties to be paid by the farmers, taxes, military service). Researchers assume that the location of the castle was strategically very advantageous and that it used at one time to belong to the fortification system of the counts of Eppan (Appiano).

 

Parts of the curtain wall complete with battlements surround the palace and further residential buildings. In the chapel, on the other hand, wall paintings from the 15th and 16th centuries can be found. A round tower can also be seen which served as a dovecote and protection for the castle well.

13. - 19. August
"At the beginning they are only mountains. But later on, you start to miss them, and, at some point, you can’t live without them.”
Tre Cime di Lavaredo / Drei Zinnen The symbol of the Dolomites

The three peaks in South Tyrol known as the Tre Cime di Lavaredo / Drei Zinnen are the symbol of the Dolomites as well as a natural highlight of the region. The nature park of the same name was declared a World Natural Heritage site by UNESCO in 2009 together with the other peaks in the Dolomites.

 

Since the first ascent of the Cima Grande in 1869, the summits of the three peaks have been among the most sought-after destinations in the Alps for the climbing fraternity. They are accessible by numerous climbing routes of varying levels of difficulty and have become a centre of Alpine climbing in which many of the important developments in the history of this sport have originated. To name just one example, one of the world's best climbers, Alexander Huber, a member of the "Huber Buam" – was the first person to scale the Cima Grande free solo in 2002. He is the only mountaineer to have made the ascent alone and without ropes.

 

As there are very few sources of light pollution around the three peaks, the sky is full of stars and the Milky Way is stands out clearly on clear summer nights.

20. - 26. August
“Trees communicate with each other. Trees look after and tenderly take care of their children and also their elderly and sick neighbours. Trees have feelings, emotions, a memory.” Fascinating stories from: “The secret life of trees” V. Peter Wohlleben
Ancient Larches of Val d'Ultimo

The nearby Ultimo Valley / Ultental is home to one of nature’s most unusual and special creations:

 

2,000 years old, up to eight metres wide and 35 metres high: The ancient larches in Santa Gertrude (in the Ultimo Valley) are probably the oldest coniferous trees in Europe and together form one of the most famous natural monuments in South Tyrol. These giants, whose profiles have been etched by wind, weather and lightning strikes, stand on the edge of the forest of Santa Gertrude. When one of the larches fell in 1930, it was found to contain over 2000 annual rings; due to the extent of the rot inside the tree, however, it was impossible to determine exactly how old it was.

 

Old trees are a true microcosm of lichens, fungi, algae, mosses and insect larvae. Rotten tree hollows offer shelter to woodpeckers, owls, weasels and bats. In the vernacular, these ancient larches are referred to as "bat larches".

27. August - 02. September
"In order to be an immaculate member of a flock of sheep, one must above all be a sheep oneself." Albert Einstein
Sheep droving in the Val Senales / Schnalstal

For over 1,000 years, farmers in the Val Senales have been droving their sheep every year to the grazing grounds of the Ötz Valley close to Vent. Farmers in the Val Senales own the grazing rights there. In June, over 2,000 sheep and shepherds take this route via the Niederjoch and the Hochjoch in the Ötz Valley, with all its attendant dangers to man and beast alike, returning to the Val Senales in mid-September. This is followed by a traditional shepherds’ festival with all kinds of culinary delicacies from the region of Val Senales.

 

The sheep drive between the Senales and the Ötz Valleys is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage event.

03. - 09. September
"The human soul is like water: water comes from the heavens and falls to earth, only to rise up to heaven. Our souls will rise and fall, only to rise again, like water.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Fanes

The Fanes-Sennes-Braies nature park is one of the largest conservation areas in South Tyrol.

A large part of the forested area consists of spruce forests, which offer an ideal habitat for animals such as grouse, martens and foxes. Very extensive, too, are the mountain pastures and meadows with their great diversity of plant life, including arnica and gentian. At higher elevations above 2,000 m, which are populated by mountain hares and snow grouse, edelweiss, rampion, the dragon’s mouth orchid and dolomite yarrow all thrive.

Near the Fanes mountain plateau is to be found an impressive stone amphitheatre, known as the “parliament of the marmots”, a small part of which can be seen in the picture.

10. - 16. September
“You can build something beautiful even from the stones that are placed in your way.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The earth pyramids on the Renon / Ritten

The highest and most beautiful earth pyramids in Europe are to be found on the Renon / Ritten plateau above Bolzano.

 

Earth pyramids consist of conical heaps of clay and the rocks that cover them, and often make up bizarre landscape forms. They can occur in soils from the late-glacial moraine clay which was left behind on the Renon plateau by the main Isarco Valley glacier and some local minor glaciers. These soils are rock hard when dry but, as soon as it rains, turn into a soft pulp, slip down and form escarpments of 10 to 15 metres in height. 
These escarpments are then washed out by further rainfalls. However, if pieces of rock are concealed in the softer earth, the clay under these rocks is protected from the rain and, as the surrounding material is increasingly eroded by the weather, the majestic earth pyramids literally rise out of the ground.

17. - 23. September
"Remember then that there is only one important time, and that time is now." Leo Tolstoy
The myth-shrouded Lago di Carezza / Karersee

In the Western Dolomites, six kilometres from Nova Levante / Welschnofen, there lies a small, emerald-green mountain lake, in which the Catinaccio / Rosengarten range and the Latemar are reflected: Lake Carezza.

 

Because of its impressive colour, the Lake Carezza is also known in Ladin as the “Lec de Ergobando” (Rainbow Lake). But this is not the only explanation of its name. According to legend, the Lake Carezza was once home to a beautiful mermaid, in whom the wizard Masaré fell in love. To win her favour, the witch Lanwerda encouraged him to dress up as a seller of jewels and to create a magic rainbow spanning the distance from the Rosengarten range to Mount Latemar. He duly followed this advice, but forgot to disguise himself. He was therefore discovered by the mermaid, who disappeared for ever in the lake. The wizard was so angry that he threw all the fragments of the rainbow and jewels into the lake - which is why the lake still glitters in all the wonderful colours of the rainbow even today.

24. - 30. September
“The future interests me far more than the past, as I intend living in it.” Albert Einstein
Tirolo Castle Emblem of the province of South Tyrol

Tirolo Castle, built in the 12th century, is the most important of all the Tyrolean castles and gave the whole region its name. The name of Tyrol was originally used for the village, the counts of Tyrol, and, finally, for the dominion of these counts.

 

The castle is home to some works of art that occupy a significant place in the annals of art history: Works of Romanesque architecture, especially the marble portals, Gothic wall paintings, a Gothic altar and the oldest Tyrolean glass painting. Today, Tirolo Castle is the seat of the South Tyrolean Provincial Museum for Culture and History. The permanent exhibition in one wing which has been refurbished in modern style covers everything from archaeological finds to the history of time. The “Rittersaal” of the castle hosts popular evening concerts in June and July. Ensembles from home and abroad interpret music from different countries and traditions.

On the mound of Tirolo Castle, the sun terrace of Merano with unique panoramic views of the Burgraviato district and the Venosta Valley, visitors can see something which is special and unique to South Tyrol: the Bird Care Centre in Tirolo / Dorf Tirol.

01. - 07. October
When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it's longer than any hour. That's relativity." Albert Einstein
Chestnut soup For 8 persons

400 g       chestnuts

1 tbsp.     diced shallots

1 tbsp.     butter

1/2 l         chicken stock

400 g       cream

50 g         white chocolate

1 tbsp.     butter cubes

                fresh truffles, truffle oil

5 cl          white port to taste

PREPARATION

Fry the shallot cubes in butter until transparent. Pour the chicken stock over the chestnuts and simmer for 20 minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients and season with port wine.

08. - 14. October
"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” Francois de la Rochefoucauld
Sea bream in foil for 1 person

1           sea bream 300 g

50 g     fennel

50 g     potatoes

50 g     tomatoes, peeled and cut into strips

30 ml   olive oil

 

Cut away the fins of the sea bream with a pair of scissors. Descale and clean the fish, remove the gills and wash. Clean and wash the fennel and cut into fine strips lengthways. Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a flat saucepan, add the fennel and cook until soft, and season. Peel the potatoes, cut them into 2-mm-thick slices and boil for 2 minutes in salted water. Brush a piece of aluminium foil with some olive oil.

10 g butter

5      black olives

1      clove of garlic

1      bay leaf

1      sprig of rosemary

1      sprig of fennel
        salt, pepper, aluminium foil

 

Lay the potato slices on the foil in a pattern of scales, season the fish with salt and pepper, arrange it over the potatoes along with the steamed fennel and the raw tomato strips, and add the butter, olives, halved garlic clove, bay leaf, sprig of rosemary and sprig of fennel. Then seal the foil and bake in a hot oven at 180°C for approx. 15-20 minutes.

15. - 21. October
"Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith." Steve Jobs
St. Kathrein Church in Avelengo / Hafling

Like many other mountain churches in South Tyrol, the church of St. Kathrein in Avelengo near Merano was erected in a place which was originally a pagan place of worship. The place where the little church now stands is said once to have been a prehistoric place of worship.

 

According to the legend, the inhabitants of the area wanted to build a Christian church on this spot. Two giants approached them with an offer to collect stones for them. The giants had however also agreed to build the church in nearby Lafenn at the same time. Because they only had one hammer between them, they had to share it from this time on. On one occasion the giants quarrelled over the hammer, with the effect that the master builder of Lafenn picked up a gigantic boulder and threw it as far as St. Kathrein in Avelengo. The boulder missed the target but is still there to this day below the church in the meadow by the Gasthof Sulfner inn.

22. - 28. October
“Man is a universe within himself.” Bob Marley
Alpe di Siusi / Seiser Alm The largest mountain plateau in Europe

Autumn transforms the Dolomites region of Sciliar / Schlern into a majestic multicoloured landscape. The needles of the larches and the expansive Alpine meadows of the largest high plateau in Europe shine in shades of carmine, honey yellow and maroon.

 

The plateau was used mainly for pasture and hay; today the hay serves a different purpose. Local farmers noticed the wholesome effects of the freshly cut grass when sleeping overnight in the hay. These days, the hay bath is offered as a healthy and relaxing treatment in many spa facilities in hotels.

29. October - 04. November
“No landscape other than this one, the landscape around Merano, would have anything other than an indirect effect on me; this is the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen.”    Franz Kafka - letters to Milena
Paella alla Romana for 4 persons

1 1/2           mussels

4                  shrimps

4                  scampi

200 g           monkfish

100 g           fillet of gurnard

100 g           chicken breast

50 g             onion

1                  red bell pepper

250 g           long-grain rice

1 l                fish stock

1/8 l            white wine

30 ml           oil

1 sleeve      saffron or saffron threads

1 tbsp.         curry powder

1                  grated pepperoncino (hot chili pepper)

30 g             breadcrumbs

2 g               finely chopped garlic clove

1 tbsp.         of finely sliced parsley

2 tbsp.         olive oil

                    salt

 

Wash and clean the mussels and heat them in a saucepan with the lid on until they open. Remove the shell from the shrimps and devein them. Halve the scampi along their length and clean. Cut the monkfish and the gurnard into 20 g pieces. Cut the chicken breast into cubes in the same manner. Peel the onions, wash and clean the pepper and cut into slices, sauté in oil in a paella pan, add the rice and cook for a short while, douse with white wine and pour over the hot fish stock or broth. Season with the saffron, curry, pepperoncino and salt; cook for about 10 minutes. Season the chicken, fish and shrimp with salt and pepper, sauté in a second pan and then add to the rice. Remove some of the mussels from their shells and add to the rice. Cover the remaining mussels in their shells and the halved scampi with the mixture of the bread crumbs, garlic, parsley and olive oil, layer over the paella and bake in the oven at high heat (250 degrees) for about 5-8 minutes.

05. - 11. November
“One person sees only trees, problems nestled cheek by jowl. Another sees the space between them and the light.” E. Matani
Lake Vernago / Vernagt reservoir

The Vernagt reservoir in the Senales Valley with its emerald-green to turquoise waters was built in the 1950s at the same time as the 65-metre-high greened dam. Eight ancient farms succumbed to the deluge and, even today, when the water level is a little lower in the spring, the tower of the chapel still projects above the surface of the lake.

In summer and autumn, Lake Vernago is a popular tourist destination. The hiking possibilities are here limitless and varied. An easy path takes you around the lake, for example, and the high-altitude trail to Maso Corto / Kurzras, with its 700-year-old farms, invites the visitor to go on many an unforgettable walk. If, on the other hand, you fancy going a little higher, you can follow in the footsteps of Ötzi the Ice Man by taking the “Archaeological Hiking Trail” up to the Similaun hut at 3,000 m above sea level to the place where he was found.

 

Autumn at Lake Vernago is something special to behold. The larch forests which surround the lake turn bright yellow. And when the sunlight plays on the surface of the lake, what arises is a multicoloured natural spectacle.

12. - 18. November
“It isn't the quantity but the quality of the work you do that matters.” Albert Schweitzer
Salmon tartare for 4 persons

200 g      fresh or marinated salmon

2 tbsp.    olive oil

1 tbsp.    dill tips

1 tbsp.    champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar

               salt, pepper

 

Finally chop the cleaned fresh salmon (having removed the bones and the brown layer of fat). Stir in the olive oil, dill tips and champagne vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.
Shape the salmon tartare with a spoon to form a tartlet and glaze (with jelly).

19. - 25. November
“For the first time, the outside world was utterly in harmony with my inner one - allowing my weary soul time off, making it really worth living.” Hermann Hesse
Rombo Pass / Timmelsjoch a border crossing to North Tyrol
  1. From today's perspective, this age appears slow and tinged with nostalgia. And yet, one thing has remained the same. The feeling of freedom that you get from driving over the Rombo Pass / Timmelsjoch. Especially in our hectic times, this quiet north-south arterial road invites you to rediscover slowness away from the main transport routes. The “secret gap” in the Alps reveals the mountain world to the traveller in an easy-going fashion. For many people, this road opens up nature’s special charms, letting you feel the proximity of glaciers and the wind that whistles over the pass, whilst at the same time showing just a touch of the raw reality of mountain farming.

 

Sometimes, sheep, goats and even ibex cross your path. As you head south, the climate soon assumes a Mediterranean character, and the vineyards unfold their verdant greenery.

26. November - 02. December
“Peace, silence, a sofa and a cup of tea are worth more than anything.” Theodor Fontane
Chocolate brownies

100 g     chocolate glaze

150 g     butter

2            eggs

165 g     sugar

40 g       flour

140 g     salted peanuts

 

Melt the chocolate and butter together. Beat the eggs and the sugar until a foamy consistency is achieved, then stir in the melted chocolate-butter mixture. Finally, add the flour and salted peanuts, and bake at 170°C for 20-30 minutes.

03. - 09. December
“Advent and Christmas - a time of silence and reflection, until someone hit on the idea of giving gifts...”
Advent in Merano with Christmas market

When the temperatures drop sharply, the first snow appears on the surrounding Alpine peaks, and the nose starts to twitch at the seductive scent of delicious hot drinks and fresh pastries, then you know that Advent has begun in beautiful Merano.

 

This town in the west of South Tyrol is known primarily for its Mediterranean flair, the gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle and, of course, for its first-class spas. Adorned with coloured lights, this spa town takes on a unique character for the Christmas season.

 

From the end of November until the beginning of January, visitors experience the real magic of Christmas in a romantic atmosphere: traditional craftsmanship and fine culinary specialities, contemplative moments in intimate togetherness or cosy hours with friends and family - such are the ingredients of the well-known and much-loved Merano Advent.

10. - 16. December
"Dessert is like a feel-good song and the best ones make you dance."
Raspberry parfait

4                                egg yolks

6                                whole eggs

Whip 300 g                sugar to achieve a foamy consistency.

Add 500 g                 raspberry puree

Gently fold in 1 l        whipped cream.

 

Pour into prepared tin and then freeze for at least two hours. Enjoy!

01.01 - 07.01.18
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22.01 - 28.01.18
29.01 - 04.02.18
05.02 - 11.02.18
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Our rooms at a glance
deluxe Bergkristall Double rooms
Approx. 40 m²
deluxe Rosenquarz Double rooms
Approx. 40 m²
Category Burgpanorama Double rooms
Approx. 35 m²
Category Waldstimmung Double rooms
33 m²
Category Laugen Double rooms
23 m²
Juniorsuite Typ suite
Approx. 48 m²
Panorama suite Typ Suite
Approx. 50 m²
Parksuite Typ suite
Approx. 70 m²
Impressions
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