Val di Valles in summer
Val di Valles in summer is a little jewel to be explored, less famous than other more renowned locations but certainly no less splendid: it rises in the heart of the Eastern Alps, on the side of Val Pusteria and is surrounded by peaks such as Picco della Croce, Cima Grava, Cima di Valmata and Cima della Vista.
The main center of the Val di Valles is the homonymous village of Valles, a very small fraction of Rio di Pusteria located at an altitude of 1353 meters which represents the perfect base for exploring the many beauties of the valley.
What to do and what to see
Val di Valles is the ideal destination for holidays all year round, from winter when you can have fun on its ski slopes in the nearby Gitschberg Jochtal ski area, to summer, the ideal season for living in the open air between excursions, walks on foot or by mountain bike and tours of the villages between parties and tastings.
The landscapes that accompany the tourists who choose the Val di Valles are enchanting, with alpine huts and green pastures which in summer are colored by rhododendrons, mountain gentians, pulsatillas and violet crocuses.
Valles it is a village inhabited by a few hundred people, offering peace of mind to those seeking a relaxing holiday in contact with nature.
During a walk through the streets of Valles, however, a visit to the beauty is recommended Church of Sant'Andrea, dating back to 1341: the late Gothic style immediately stands out, with the windows in the shape of a pointed arch, the soaring stone bell tower and the characteristic octagonal dome.
Then there is just over 8 km from Valles Mühlbach, inserted in the Gitschberg Jochtal ski area: among its symbolic monuments is the Rio di Pusteria lock, a sort of barrier built in 1270 at the behest of Mainardo II to mark the border between the two counties of Gorizia and Tyrol. In reality, this structure built with river stones has never had a defensive function, first becoming a residence and then a customs post.
From Rio di Pusteria a series of routes start, such as the Finther trail: connects the small hamlets of Villa and Gifen, crossing a bucolic landscape with a small stream that flows in the shade of ash trees, complete with a drawbridge, water wheels and locks.
One of the most beautiful excursions to do in the summer in Val di Valles is the one to the Fane mountain hut: it is a real mountain village, born to welcome people suffering from cholera and the plague, made up of a small church from the end of the 800th century, barns, huts and shelters. To reach the Malga di Fane da Valles you have to take path no. 17, skirt a stream and pass the rocky Schramme gorge, pastures and pine and fir groves, complete with signs in the shape of hay bales, goats and cows.
Continuing beyond the malga you can also reach the Brixen refuge, with the possibility of meeting even a few families of nice marmots along the way.
From the Malga di Fane you can then take another two paths, towards the Marble lake and the Jochtal, or in the direction of Lago Selvaggio.
In the latter case, you must take path no. 18 which first reaches the Labeseben Alm at 2138 meters high, considered one of the most beautiful in all of South Tyrol.
Overcoming quite exposed points, you reach the Wilder See, the Wild Lake, i.e. one of the deepest and highest lakes in South Tyrol, as it is located at an altitude of 2138 meters. It is located at the foot of the Alps Zillertal and in its fresh emerald waters the mass of the Peak of the Cross, the highest mountain in the Fundres Mountains.
From the lake you can reach the summit of this mountain fairly easily, where the visit on clear days extends over the entire Western Tauern Alps.
The more trained ones, on the other hand, can take an excursion towards the summit of the Cima Volmata (3022 meters high), otherwise known as Engspitz (name of clear Celtic derivation which means Little Alder): the summit is only 700 meters from the Bressanone Refuge and from the top of the mountain you can enjoy a wonderful panorama of the Bernina, the Karwendel and, on the clearest days, even the Venice Lagoon.
Just as spectacular they are the Fundres High Trail, a spectacular high-altitude route that offers unique views of the The Dolomites and on the Zillertaler Alpen, but also there'Circular excursion of the huts which, starting from the Gitschjoch mountain station, allows you to reach the Gitsch hut, the Zassler hut, the Moser hut up to the Kiener Malga.
From Rodengo, about ten kilometers from Valles, you can instead reach the Starkenfeld Refuge and the adjoining dairy: you start from the Zumis car park and walk along a forest road through woods and flowery meadows, until you reach the Rastner Refuge, located in a scenic basin in the shadow of the Fundres Mountains, surrounded by the Glaciers of the Zillertal Alps and Vedrette di Ries.
Finally, see the Castel Rodengo, located precisely between Sciaves and Rio di Pusteria: it is one of the most important manors in South Tyrol and dates back to the year 1140. Today the castle houses a museum, full of original furniture from the Renaissance period.
However, the real gem kept in the manor is the valuable cycle of frescoes depicting the deeds of Iwin, one of the knights who sat at the Round Table of the legendary King Arthur.
Holidays in Val di Valles
What makes the Val di Valles enchanting is its great naturalistic heritage, made up of mountains to climb, lakes to visit and mountain huts to reach to taste the typical dishes of the area, from polenta to dumplings to speck.
It should not be forgotten that the Val di Valles is also a place rich in traditions, such as for example the transhumance which sees the cows descend from the mountain pastures with their deafening bells and garlands of flowers.
Then there is the inevitable Milk Festival which animates the Malga di Fane every summer, a unique opportunity to discover the dairy art of South Tyrol: unmissable demonstrations such as milking and product tastings (from butter to cream up to fresh milk "Latte Fieno" and Vallergold cheese).
Although Val di Valles is quite small, there is no shortage of accommodation facilities, including family-run pensions, B&Bs, elegant hotels and holiday homes. Then there is always the possibility of staying in the many refuges present, resting at high altitude, amidst enchanting sunsets and the peaks that seem close enough to touch.
photo credits: shutterstock
Val di Valles summer holidays
If you are considering a summer holiday in Val di Valles, below you can find some useful links to find hotels and holiday apartments.
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