tranquility, recreation and relaxation

About 10 km from Merano lies the beautiful village of Hafling. With its 700 inhabitants it is located on a sunny high plateau above the Merano basin from where a wonderfully scenic road, that is also accessible in winter, begins.

In both summer and winter Hafling offers a variety of activities, promenades, hikes or challenging mountain tours as far as your feet take you. Explore the country by bicycle or on horseback. Enjoy the magnificent panorama of the Texel-, Brenta- or Ortler Group. Even the Dolomites and the Oetztaler Alps are visible.

Places of interest in Hafling:

  • The Romanic St Kathrein church with its Gothic apse dating from the 13th century, displays a well-preserved fresco from the 14th century and has a late Gothic Tyrolean winged altar – which can be seen only through an aperture in the portal. Guided tours for groups are possible on demand.
  • St John parish church, with its prehistoric stone carving on the outer walls, is situated in the village of Hafling
  • Small (freestanding) Gothic ambry at the "Locherweg" path access leading to the "Nusserhof" farmstead.
  • Sulfner riding stables in Hafling – St Kathrein – breeding stables for the "Haflinger" horses in Hafling and surroundings. Open all day.

Hafling and the horses

Where the name "Haflinger" originates is still somewhat of a mystery.
In the second half of the 19th century Merano became a renowned spa town, and in that time this resilient fine little horse caught some noblemen's eye, while farmers from Hafling used it to carry things up and down the steep roads. Many of these gentlemen, who came to Merano from all over Europe, were interested in this special horse and began calling it a „Haflinger“.

The organised breeding of the Haflinger horses started only in the second half of the 18th century. The foundation stallion "Folie", son of the half-caste oriental El-Bedawi and a refined mare was born in 1874 in Schluderns. Nowadays the Hafling horse association has the responsability of promoting the stimulation and the breeding of the Haflinger horse.

The adaptability of this modest and good natured, dependable and tenacious mountain horse is generally admired, and this light-footed, bay, brilliant white crested lean horse is becoming more and more popular. The former working animal has developed into a leisure horse. On the Tschoegglberg range, according to a centuries old tradition, a large part of horses are still held as single animals, in pairs or in small groups on local farms.

Thermal Baths Merano

The new Merano Thermal Baths are situated in the heart of the city in Merano, just a few minutes’ walk from Merano’s old town centre and the Kur Promenade. They offer a rare combination of contemporary design by the famous architect Matteo Thun and traditional South Tyrolean expertise in the art of wellbeing. The glass cube at the heart of the Thermal Baths is all the more impressive for its harmonious interaction with the natural environment – complete with breathtaking views of the majestic Texel Mountains.

The spa facilities, including 25 indoor and outdoor pools plus eight saunas, offer all you need to relax and have a good time. And in summer the Spa Park with its romantic water lily pond and various pools is definitely the place to be. The more energetic can push themselves to the limit in the Fitness Center.

Or you might prefer to spoil yourself in the Spa & Vital Center with a whey bath, apple cream massage, grape-seed peeling and much else besides – with regional produce used for all the ingredients for the applications and for the Merano Thermal Baths line of bodycare and beauty products. At the heart of South Tyrol there is a paradise for body and soul – Merano Thermal Baths.

The Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle & The Touriseum

The 12 hectares of land sourrounding Trauttmansdorff Castle are cultivated with a collection of plants from all over the world divided into 4 different sections: the Sun Gardens, Aquatic und Hanging Gardens, Forest Gardens und South Tyrolean Landscapes.

11 pavilions designed by artists illustrate the main strategies used by plant life. Attractions: Grotto with multimedia show, geological mosaic, orchid greenhouse, Japanese garden. Restaurant and Picnic ground.
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Castle Schenna

Petermann from Schenna built the castle in 1330, and in 1844 Archduke Johann acquired it. Even though the castle was in the public spotlight at the time when Prince "Friedrich with the empty pockets" tried to besiege the castle, the Archduke's purchase attracted even more attention: His liaison with a postmaster's daughter created a great fuss in Viennese society, but was finally resolved by mutual consent. Indeed Archduke Johann, who was and is very popular, renounced  his dynastic rights and his descendants, who were born to his now ennobled wife, were allowed to carry the title of "Earl of Merano".

Evidence of Johann's stay in Schenna is to be seen in the marvellous interior decoration of the castle: fantastic coffered ceilings, richly decorated wainscotings and a considerable collection of paintings will delight every visitor not just enthusiasts of interior design. Furthermore a presentation on "the art of war", a weapons collection  and a torture chamber can be visited.
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Tyrol Castle

From the family seat of the Counts of Tyrol to the history museum of the country
A history museum placed in a historically important castle that is not to be missed. The majestic walls of the former place of the Counts of Tyrol rise above the basin of Meran as a vivid representation of history.
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