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In this article, we’ll be taking you on an adventure in the South Tyrol (Alto Adige in Italian) region of northern Italy. The jagged peaks of the Dolomite range are the backdrop of one of the most picturesque protected areas in the country, the Puez-Odle Nature Park.
Some Facts About the Park
The South Tyrol region is home to the major city of Bolzano and to the Dolomite mountain range. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since the year 2009, the Dolomites continuously rank as one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the entire world. Seeing is believing! The jagged peaks of this particular area were named Odle in the native Ladin language because of their resemblance to pine needles. The Puez-Odle (also called Puez-Geisler) Nature Park includes over 10,000 hectares of protected land that was set aside in the late 1970s. Today, people from all over the world come to breathe in the fresh mountain air, hike its trails, and climb its 600 million-year-old peaks.
A Typical Day in the Puez-Odle Park
So if you’re asking yourself what you can do in this park, the question should be, what can’t you do here? If you love the outdoors, then the possibilities are truly endless.
First of all, it is a family-friendly experience because the park provides countless hands-on activities for children as well as hiking trails that are appropriate for all ages and abilities.
A day in the park may look something like this: enjoying a wholesome breakfast at your agriturismo with ingredients that have been locally sourced, followed by a hike on the Adolf Munkel trail. The entire family will be in awe of the larch forests, alpine pastures, and the majestic Geisler peaks. If you are lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the park’s native chamois, a mountain goat-antelope. Stop at the Geisleralm mountain hut to recharge your batteries and enjoy a delicious lunch of exclusively local specialties.
In the evening, in just about any of the mountain villages located within the park (Badia, Corvara, Funes, San Martino in Badia, Ortisei, Santa Cristina and Selva Gardena) you can enjoy live entertainment in true Tyrolese fashion with traditional folk music and dancing.
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What You Should Know
The Puez-Odle Nature Park is stunning throughout the entire year and if you are more of a winter sports enthusiast, there is plenty to do here from cross-country skiing to snowshoeing. For hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing, late spring to early fall is the ideal time to visit keeping in mind that even in the peak of summer, nighttime temperatures can drop to almost freezing, and daytime temps hover around 20°C and below with summer rain being common.
There are three official languages in the region: German, Italian, and Ladin. English is widely spoken as well.
South Tyrol is one of Italy’s best in regard to public transportation, both trains and buses. The region also encourages tourists to leave their cars at home and has numerous incentives making it much more cost-effective and convenient to travel sustainably.
Don’t forget that you’ll also be able to visit the large, cultural city of Bolzano which is only an hour away by car.
The Puez-Odle Nature Park truly has it all and will provide you and your traveling companions with memories that will last a lifetime.