Sud Tirol – North Italy! Or South Austria, or Tirol, or… well they speak German and Italian, have great food and some pretty nice mountains called the Dolomites and some awesome mountain bike trails that you can get to with a Gondola! Its also pretty inexpensive here… A note – every sign for every town has a German and Italian name. This can get confusing but you will find that one name is used more than the other.
Sud Tirol has the Bike Hotel concept DIALED. All accommodations include Breakfast, option of half board and all hotels must offer guided rides. The hotels also have laundry and a Wellness center which Lee needed to use after dislocating his shoulder. We stayed at four of the hotels in Sud Tirol – Hotel Innerhofer***, Kronplatz,Tauferer Ahrntal, Gais, Goldene Krone Vital Bikehotel****, Eisacktal/Valle Isarco, Bressanone/Brixen, Hotel Steineggerhof***S, Rosengarten Latemar, Collepietra/Steinegg, Dolce Vita Hotel Jagdhof****S, Vinschgau/Val Venosta, Laces/Latsch.
The hotels are all run by mountain bikers who also guide their guests. Most are from the area and have been riding here for 20+ years. Their passion for riding and this area offers a truly unique experience when you come to ride here. Not only that, they say Sud Tirol has 300 sunny days per year, 315 in Latsch…
Travelling in Sud Tirol is almost as easy as travelling in Switzerland but not all the busses have bike hangers in the back. The newer trains were wider and easier to load then the SBB trains, the older ones had one bike car and regular seats. It was harder to hear the announcements on the older trains so it’s wise to know your stop before you need to get off. The newer trains have the stops on a screen that you can watch as you are approaching.
First Stop – Bruneck or Brunico.
Waiting for the bus from Switzerland to Italy.
The Hotel Innerhofer in Gais, just north of Bruneck. The Bike room and Agnes at Reception.
We only had time to do one ride in Bruneck. After looking at the map we could easily have done 3-4 days of riding. With the help of the guides maybe even more. We had a meeting with our guides – Peter Rabensteiner, Markus Irschara, Michaela Zingerle who work for Kronplatz, and Wolfgang Toechterle who works for Sud Tirol Tourism, we decided on a ride that would have us on one gondola, one big climb and a nice single track trail with amazing views.
After the first trail we took a cab back to Olang and another Gondola that took us back up to Kronplatz, then we rode down their Freeride trail that Markus helped build the Herrnsteig – http://www.freeride-kronplatz.com/eine-seite/
They had an event today on the Herrnsteig. Here the riders amass.
We continue on and ride along the ski area to our descent and take in the views.
We then make our way towards Furcia Pass
And the big climb up the loose dusty Dolomites road
Snow fell three days ago. Smells like winter, but summer hangs on
The top of the pass.
Looking down towards Trail 24 ( great names guys! )
A short knoll we rode
Checking out the map
Then we go on Trail 24
We head into a valley of views!
And start the descent on loose Dolomite trails.
To a meadowy pumptrack
And Kasa Knodel at the Hutte
Lee drinking a Hefeweizen!
Big horned Chue
Then we cruised down to the Pragser Wildsee or Lego de Brales in German or Italian…
Then back up another Gondola to the Kronplatz for coffee before riding down the Herrnsteig Freeride trail.
Awesome work by Markus on this trail. Definitely the best mountain bike park trail we’ve ridden so far in Italy and Switzerland!
Then back to the Hotel Innerhofer to say goodbye and go to the next hotel.
Did I mention the food?
StatisticsLength: 26 km ( not included the second gondola ride and ride down Herrnsteig.
Duration: 5 hours, 23 minutes, 13 seconds
Vertical up: 2231.7 m
Vertical down: 1667.9 m
Average Speed: 4.8 km/h