Curiosity and freedom are a strong duo and make a very good compass. Just open the door and walk, stroll, hike – or even go sailing. The beauty of the Senales Valley’s constantly changing natural landscape sets (almost) no limits amidst crackling ice, deep-green meadows, pristine countryside and ancient farms.
Light-green larch forests. Austere farmhouses. Migrating sheep. The archaic cosmos is omnipresent in the Senales Valley, set against the backdrop of towering glaciers.
The beauty of our valley lies in its authenticity. It has carefully opened itself to tourism and still has not lost its identity. As if the mountains would preserve and store inside themselves all that constitutes us and our homeland: stunning authenticity and living traditions.
The Senales Valley has personality. And unique personalities call it home. International names in skiing train on our slopes. The best-conserved Stone Age mummy to date, known as Ötzi, was found further up, on Mount Similaun. Juval Castle, owned by mountaineer Reinhold Messner, stands guard at the entrance to the valley, watching over every expedition.
The Via Monachorum begins in Certosa, right at our doorstep. Just follow signs that say “Silentium” and walk to Unser Frau im Schnalstal (Madonna di Senales in Italian). Stop off at the pilgrimage church or at ArcheoParc for an up-close-and-personal experience of what life was like in the Stone Age. Beyond the farms and the sparkling blue Lake Vernago, you can explore lush mountain meadows and, if you are visiting in the spring or fall, watch the flocks of sheep passing through Hochjoch and Niederjoch, a biannual transhumance to the summer pastures of the Ötztal Valley and back.
When it comes to Merano, the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle and the splendid spa-resort town itself are sure to entice you. At the Termo Merano spa complex, spring water gushes out for the bathers; golfers meanwhile can improve their handicap at Lana Golf Club. Merano’s verdant surroundings can be explored via the Meraner Höhenweg (Alta Via di Merano) trail. The panoramic view from the Knottnkino near Vöran is spectacular enough warrant driving there.
Winter enthusiasts are happier longer here because the 17 lifts – reaching a total of 40 kilometers of slopes, some on the glacier itself – seem too beautiful to be true. Because of this, countless national teams have been training here for decades.
Beginners can try out skiing for the first time under the expert guidance of the Schnalstal Ski School; skiers of all levels will improve their technique here.
Winter here can also be an amazing experience for cross-country skiers, sledding enthusiasts, ski tourers and ski hikers: as you cross snow-covered meadows and make your way through white forests, the sound of snow crunching is exactly as it should be. Everyone finds his or her own individual winter dream fulfilled, immersed in white beauty.
Bella Vista Mountain Refuge is the “summit station” of the Golden Rose, and the cornerstone of our entire philosophy. Everyone – including us – returns to a humanity that understands the qualities of simplicity, cordiality and openness when surrounded by towering three-thousand-meter peaks. Because what is essential is actually extremely simple.