The Sonnenberg / Monte Sole
The Sonnenberg, the mountain flank to the north of Naturno, literally "soaks up" the sun, storing its energy and heat, thus creating an extraordinary landscape that combines contrasts: the lush and fertile valley floor, the steppe vegetation and the mountain farms with their barren, steep fields on the mountain and the rugged, high-alpine landscape in the summit region.
Characteristic of the Sonnenberg are the many mountain farms
that seem to literally stick to the steep slopes. The origin of many farms lies in the Middle Ages and was also an expression of freedom, as the pioneers on the mountain farms were exempt from paying dues to the authorities. To this day, fences, stone-walled alleys, whales, wayside shrines and sundials bear witness to the centuries-old mountain farming culture and how man has left his mark on the landscape. In addition, you can discover pre-Christian settlement sites, mystical shell stones and ancient paths on the Sonnenberg.
The Sonnenberg is a hiker's paradise on "3 levels":
The first begins just above the centre of Naturno. This is where the Vogeltennpromenade (bird promenade) and the Panoramaweg (panorama trail) run.
Halfway up, along the Waal paths around Juval Castle
and from the Wallburgweg up to the farms on Naturno's Sonnenberg and Fuchsberg, the 2nd
And finally on the "last floor", the alpine high mountains from the Merano High Mountain trail
up to the surrounding mountain peaks. And because stopping for a break is at least as important on a hike, numerous snack stations on the Sonnenberg offer traditional South Tyrolean farm dishes, a hearty Marende or typical desserts such as Kaiserschmarrn or apple strudel.
Hikes in the Texelgruppe Nature Park
and on the Merano High Trail are best started with the Unterstell Naturns cable car
. From the village of Kompatsch, it takes just a few minutes to reach the Unterstell mountain station at 1,300 m above sea level.
The much-travelled and climatically favoured Sonnenberg leaves the densely forested Nörderberg, which lies opposite it, literally "in the shade". The shady valley side
with its idyllic alpine pastures, lush hills and romantic mountain lakes stands in stark contrast to the warm, dry Sonnenberg with the mighty, angular three-thousand-metre peaks of the Texelgruppe. On the Nörderberg, everything is a little more leisurely. There you will find more peace and quiet, cosy spots for a picnic, or secluded clearings to simply pause, switch off and recharge your batteries. The wooded Nörderberg is mainly covered with spruces and larches, with pines in the lower areas. At altitudes above 2,000 m, mountain pines grow. The extensive forests of the Nörderberg are the realm of deer. In the high, lonely cirques above the forest line, the quiet, attentive hiker may encounter whole herds of chamois.
The highest peak on the Naturnser Nörderberg is the "Naturnser Hochwart
" (2,608 m) - a wonderful panoramic mountain with 360° views from the Dolomites over the Sarntal Alps to the Ortler and Brenta groups. Many a mountain enthusiast, big or small, has made his first entry in the summit book there. Starting from three alpine pastures, the path to the summit can also be walked as a circular route. In the direction of Merano, the Naturnser Nörderberg passes into the Vigiljoch. This wooded hilltop forms the end of the Nörderberg, a spur of the Ortler group. You can reach the high plateau of the Vigiljoch with the two cable cars Aschbach from Rabland or Vigiljoch from Lana.
Of course there are also numerous places to stop for refreshments on the Nörderberg. Only here it is not the mountain inns, but several alpine pastures that invite you to a Brettlmarende, dumpling soup or apple strudel. And to make the alpine idyll perfect, cows, sheep, goats, highland cattle and horses graze on the lush meadows during the summer months. The alpine pastures on the Nörderberg can be reached comfortably by hiking taxi or with your own car. From the Kreuzbrünnl car park, you can choose between forest paths (suitable for buggies!) or narrow paths that take between 30 minutes and 1.5 hours to reach the alpine pastures. A hike from one alpine pasture to the next is particularly varied - you can take several culinary refreshment breaks along the picturesque alpine pasture trail.