The cycling trail of the Val Venosta
A sunken city, a journey back in time to the Middle Ages and world-famous white gold: Vinschgau Valley has more to offer than it might at first seem.
Vinschgau cycle path or Etsch cycle path from Lake Reschen to Merano along the Etsch river

The cycling trail of the Val Venosta

A sunken city, a journey back in time to the Middle Ages and world-famous white gold: there is a lot to discover on this cycling trail

The starting point of the Cycle Path of the Venosta Valley is Curon at the Lake Resia at over 1,500 m above sea level. From here, the cycle path runs for around 80 kilometres, mainly along the Adige River, slightly downhill to the spa town of Merano.

The submerged steeple in Resia Lake
Lake Resia, with its church tower rising gracefully from the lake, is already the first highlight along the route. The striking church tower tells a very special story: the famous postcard motif of the Venosta Valley is the visible remnant of the village of Alt-Graun. In 1950 a reservoir was created to generate electricity, Curon and parts of Resia were flooded for this purpose. The picture of the church tower in the turquoise blue water reminds us of the sunken city on our way downhill to San Valentino alla Muta.
The church tower of Resia

Break in the smallest city in the Southern Alps

With a view of the mighty Ortler massif we pass the Haider Lake and the villages of Malles, Burgusio and Laudes and arrive in medieval Glorenza. With just under 900 inhabitants, it is the smallest town in South Tyrol and is still completely surrounded by a ring wall.
A visit to Glorenza is like a journey through time. Here everything is just as it once was. Massive city walls, defence towers, magnificent town houses and picturesque alleys wherever you look. Situated directly on the Via Claudia Augusta, Glorenza was once a flourishing hub for trade. During the Battle of Calven in 1499 the town was plundered and completely destroyed. The curtain wall, on the other hand, which was erected during the reconstruction of Glorenza in 1580, is still completely preserved - as are many other things. A stroll through this fascinating town makes it clear that hectic life is a foreign word here. Relaxed, we swing ourselves onto the saddle and leave Glurns behind us on the cycle path.
The medieval town of Glorenza

The marble village Lasa

The route continues through the upper Venosta Valley, past Spondigna and Prato on the Stelvio Pass to Lasa, which is famous for its marble - here even the pavements are paved with the white gold. From the cycle path we can see the inclined railway that transports the white gold down into the valley. In huge blocks it is transported from here to big cities like Vienna, London and even New York. The Lasa marble is not only known in Europe but even overseas. The Pallas Athene Fountain in Vienna, the Queen Victoria Monument in London or the underground station Ground Zero in New York: Lasa marble adorns them all.
Lasa with its Lasa marble

From Coldrano via Naturno to the spa town of Merano

Via a small descent our tour leads us further to Silandro and Coldrano. Here the idyllic lake invites us to take a break. We continue via Laces, the apple orchards on the left and right of us become more and more extensive, and the vines spread out on the slopes. On the barren Montesole (=sunny mountain), near Castelbello, the castle of the same name is set in the panorama, and just before Naturno there is Juval Castle, summer residence of the famous South Tyrolean mountaineer Reinhold Messner.
Via Naturno with the small Prokulus Church, Plaus with its famous Dance of Death and Rablà we continue to Tell, where we cross the state road and follow the cycle path. On the way to Lagundo we pass the Trauttmansdorff throne chairs, two oversized wooden chairs with a magnificent view of the Burgraviato and further on to the end point, the spa town of Merano, where Empress Sissi once visited.
Juval castle and the church of San Procolo in Naturno

Facts of the Venosta cycle path

Start: Curon at the Lake Resia
    accessible with the Vinschgau Railway / Bikeshuttle from Naturns
Destination: Spa town Merano
              return by bike / Vinschgau Railway / Bikeshuttle to Naturno
Length: approx. 80 km 
Difference in altitude: approx. 1,250 hm (downhill) / approx. 100 hm (uphill) 
Route characteristics: Largely asphalted cycle path, but partly also field and forest paths (gravel), with few cars or tractors 
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