My travel bucket list only seem to get bigger and bigger on every take off and landing. Its an exhilarating experience and a complicated emotion to feel all at once, then you get lost in between the questions you have in your head. Are you a city person, beach lover or would you survive in a town far far away between the border mountains of two countries. For me, I was and always will be a beach kind of person… but, this was different. Have we become lost in our identity and yearn for the opposite of where we are?
Where is your magic place? Mine is where I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people and the adventure. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy”.
Travel Junkie Diary
A plane, train and a drive away to South Tyrol
I’ve used pinterest for too long now to have dreamed of South Tyrol. It was early 2000 when I pinned that first picture. I remember thinking to myself that if I ever feel like I needed a place to go to when I am feeling burnt out or confused, then this is it, 5 years later… here I am.
In 2014, Colin Service from Alpen Palace in South Tyrol got in touch with me. That was my first sign of the far away land, or magic land I like to call it. I kept writing about it and trying to plan flights and days off, but failed.
In 2015, last month, I had a last run on exhaustion and had to take bed rest. That was my second sign. I booked a family ticket to Vienna with flydubai and phoned Colin, booked in our dates and it took a 6 hour plane to Vienna from Dubai with flydubai, a 4 hour train to Innsbruck and a 90 minute drive into South Tyrol to find my new world.
South Tyrol is where Austria and Italy collide. You wonder what they may have in common but the truth of the matter is…nothing. What once was land in Austria, before world war 1 was now Italian territory. Still, today, 75% speak german and only a few prefer to speak to you in Italian. Confused between a ‘Grazie’ or ‘Danke’, it’s the identity crisis to live in Italy but feel Austrian is very transparent here, but it doesn’t ruin the image or take away the magic of what South Tyrol has to offer.
Made with medieval castles, magnificent red roof tower churches, farm lands, vineyards, lakes and rivers, the Alpine region of South Tyrol is a hidden gem.You are surrounded my mountains with peaks over 2800 meters. All around you, acres of farms and lands that spread the whole town. It’s an overdose of green and blue skies and every morning you can’t help but feel grateful and very far from where you would originally come from. Whatever the reason is that brough you here, you will feel content but always wanting more.
4 days in South Tyrol left is never enough to explore, but always a great place to start in the Dolomites.
Here is your mini guide to South Tyrol
Where is South Tyrol?
South Tyrol or Sudtirol, is located on the southern side of the Alps and it is Italy’s northernmost province and Autria’s south borders. South Tyrol is divided into eight different districts. Bolzano (in German, “Bozen”) is the capital and largest town it is accessible from Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
How to get there?
The three major ones are:
From Innsbruck in Austria
You can travel by train or by car.
Alto Adige’s only airport is outside of Bolzano, and serves only domestic flights. Daily flights run from Rome to Bolzano.
The nearest international airport is in Verona, situated 90 miles (150km) from Bolzano. From Verona’s Villafranca airport, a bus runs every 20 minutes to the main train station in Verona (Porta Nuova), and from there, you can catch the train to Bolzano.
From Verona, it’s only a 90-minute train ride to Bolzano; there are also direct trains from Rome and Florence (Campo di Marte). From Milan or Venice, you’ll need to switch trains in Verona, but it’s still a relatively easy trip.
From Vienna, it’s a 4 hour train to Innsbruck and a 90 minute drive to South Tyrol.
Where to stay?
Alpen Palace Deluxe Suite, an award-winning spa and a 5 star luxury hotel, travel in the direction of “Ahrntal” to St. Johann (ca. 20km). The hotel is on the right side after the town of Luttach. Ahrntal Valley, the valley of the three-thousand metre mountains, a paradise for activities and a region of culture, is located in the northern part of South Tyrol – right where the south side of the Zillertal Alps meets the foothills of the Dolomites, where the adventure mountains of the region are inspiring, entertaining events characterize the Alpine year and a wide variety of activities lure you out into the fresh air.
Things to do?
South Tyrol is all about adventure, nature, family, lovers, hiking, food, walks, lakes, mountains, heated pools and top luxury spas! There are endless things to do, places to see and we only covered 20% in 4 days! You can get a better idea here
South Tyrol is a Disney land and a hidden gem for most, a place for everyone! If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. This is South Tyrol.
We flew with flydubai to Vienna. Took the OBB train to Innsbruck and Alpen Palace Deluxe Suite Resort & Spa picked us up from the station and we took a 90 minute breathtaking drive to South Tyrol.
flydubai are currently operating 2 flights to Bratislava, from end of October it will be increased to 3 flights a week on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.