Are you looking for the perfect holiday location that is only a few short hours drive from Munich? I believe we may just have found it! Recently, we had the opportunity to discover the spectacular holiday region of Kronplatz, South Tyrol Italy. No matter what the season, this lovely, most northerly part of South Tyrol, has something to offer for everyone!
This epically beautiful area of South Tyrol or Südtirol or Alto Adige as it is known in English, German and Italian respectively, is famous for spectacular ski vacations. However, as we discovered, it has so much more to offer. We spent one wonderful week here in mid-October and it was truly unforgettable! Not only did we luck out with the weather, but there was so much to do, that we plan on going back as soon as we get a chance!
The holiday region of Kronplatz derives its name from the mountain Kronplatz, which is famously known for the best winter sports resort in South Tyrol. However, the holiday region itself consists of the western part of Val Pusteria-Pustertal, through the Valle Aurina-Ahrntaland, the Valle Anterselva-Antholzertal, the Valle di Casies-Gsieser Tal, and then reaches to the south as far as the Val Badia-Gadertal.
The beautiful landscapes of the mountains, valleys, rivers, and lakes create the perfect holiday for skiing, mountain climbing, cable climbing, hiking, mountain biking, cycling, or just strolling through the culturally traditional villages.
Location: Puster Valley-Val Pusteria-Pustertal
As one can see, the holiday region of Kronplatz is so vast, that we decided to focus our trip in the Puster Valley, or Val Pusteria-Pustertal (English-Italian-German names). Beautiful valley fields and meadows, aligned on all sides by mountains, with the main road known as the Sun Road or Sonnenstraße, connecting you to the medieval town of Bruneck-Brunico, provided a fantastic home base for our autumn vacation. Find out more about Puster Valley-Val Pusteria-Pustertal here.
Home Base in the Puster Valley: Sand in Taufers (Campo Tures)
Located directly in the heart of the Puster Valley-Val Pusteria-Pustertal, is the historical little town of Sand in Taufers – Campo Tures. This picturesque village lies directly at the foot of the beautiful, medieval Taufers-Tures Castle. It proved to be the ideal backdrop and “home base” for our trip.
The town itself provided all the amenities one would need for our holiday retreat. Ideal, not only for summer/autumn hiking, but also conveniently located for winter sports enthusiasts, to the Speikboden, Klausberg, and Rein in Taufers ski resorts.
More importantly, the small town has several little shops, a great grocery store (a decent selection of Gluten-Free, Lactose-Free Items), yummy restaurants, hotels, spa facilities, bike rentals and an informative Visitor Center. It is also conveniently situated to access various levels of trailheads for hiking and mountain biking. Read on for more details on activities below in “Things to Do”.
Accommodation in Sand in Taufers (Campo Tures): Villa Calluna
We love staying in vacation rentals or Ferienwohnungen when we travel. It is a great way to discover the culture and live like a local. We also enjoy the flexibility it provides. We hit the jackpot when we stayed at Villa Calluna, located in the heart of Sand in Taufers-Campo Tures. The service is impeccable, as well as having other outstanding facilities including an underground car park, sauna, steam bath, indoor pool, and a fully equipped kitchen just to name a few. It really felt like home with luxuries! Most importantly, it was so ideally located, that we could walk to restaurants, the castle, stores/grocery stores and trailheads within minutes. Great for short or long term stays!! Inquire about availability here.
Where to Eat:
South Tyrol overall is a culinary delight! The Puster Valley-Val Pusteria-Pustertal is no exception. There are so many excellent restaurants that serve amazing traditional Tyrolean dishes and don’t forget the wines. Also, you can find several Alm and Schutzhüttenalpine (alpine meadow cabins) that serve food, which makes the perfect place to stop and refresh while on a hike.
Along one of our hikes, we stopped in and had refreshments before continuing at the Schnaidaleachn. Such a dreamy location and with a lovely South Tyrolean atmosphere inside.
Furthermore, we also found it extremely easy for those suffering from food intolerances to navigate eating out in Sand in Taufers-Campo Tures. Here are two places in town we can recommend:
Drumlerhof: Located in the center of Sand in Taufers, this is an amazing eco-friendly hotel that includes a highly rated restaurant with a gluten-free and lactose-free menu. One does not have to be a guest at the hotel in order to dine here. The food is amazing and waitstaff accommodating, even for those with multiple intolerances. Even if you don’t suffer from food intolerances, this restaurant serves seasonally, fresh and local south Tyrolean dishes you will want to try!
Spanglwirt: Also a beautiful hotel located in town, the Spanglwirt does not have a specific gluten free menu, but the staff and chefs were very accommodating in providing substitutions and alternatives to items on the menu. Delicious food and fantastic service, this restaurant should be on your list!
Tip: Many alpine huts and restaurants close during the low tourist season, so we recommend calling ahead to make sure they are open.
Things to Do
Besides the Taufers-Tures Castle, the Val Pusteria-Pustertal is full of many castles. It seems everywhere we looked, we weren’t far off from another beautiful castle to tour. On this trip, we were only able to fit in two castle tours. No biggy though, because that leaves plenty more to see for future trips. Click here for more information about castles in the Puster Valley.
Tip: We always recommend checking ahead for opening times and tour times as they can vary each season.
If you love to hike, there are so many wonderous trails and routes to discover, no matter your fitness level. On our trip, we had the opportunity to hike along the Rio Bianco, relax next to waterfalls, discover castles, and take in the panoramic summit views of Speikboden. Here is another great resource to plan your epic hikes!
Visit the town of Bruneck-Brunico
A castle, river, shopping, cafes, culture, and history…What more could one ask for while spending a day in the historical, medieval city of Bruneck-Brunico? It is only a 30-minute drive from Sand in Taufers-Campo Tures. Better yet, you can also cycle there! There is a fantastic bike route from Sand in Taufers-Campo Tures to Bruneck.
So much to do in so little time! There are so many activities left on our list, including horseback riding, cycling, river rafting, fly lining, cross-country skiing, and a visit to the Spa Cascade, that already have us making plans for our next trip! To help you plan your trip here is more information about upcoming events and activities in the Puster Valley-Val Pusteria-Pustertal area.
Tip: During low tourist season, activity availability, opening times and/or tour times may vary, especially, so we planning/calling ahead!
We hope you enjoy your next vacation to the Holiday Region of Kronplatz!
Read our first post on South Tyrol: Visit Caldaro South Tyrol – Italy’s Alpine Gem