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Alta Via di Merano

The Tessa Group is a mountain range belonging to the Venetian Alps, to the northwest of Merano with several peaks of over 3,000 metres. The Alta Via was created in the early 1980s through the connection of several trails and is considered one of the greatest long-distance routes in the Alps. The itinerary, along a total of 90 km, can be completed in 4-6 days and does not present any major difficulty. However, due to long distances, high altitudes and some exposed stretches, it requires walking skills, no sense of vertigo, and experience in long distance hikes. The total altitude difference is 5,000 metres. The circular tour can be started at several points - if desired, you can limit yourself to specific stages. Of course, you can reach every stretch of the Alta Via from Marlena on a full day hike.

The starting point is the upper station of the modern Texel cable car at the Giggelberg farm. The valley station is between Rablà and Parcines.

Stage 1: Giggelberg - Monte Santa Caterina
From the upper station of the cable car at the Giggelberg farm (1,535 m), walk towards west through trails, hills and slopes, up to the Unterstell farm (1,282 m). From there, go downhill with the cable car or continue along the eastern slopes outside of Val Senales until you reach the vllage of Monte Santa Caterina (1,245 m), in the valley.
Duration: approx. 6 hours. Return is by bus from Monte Santa Caterina.

Stage 2: Monte Santa Caterina - Plan
From Monte Santa Caterina, climb higher up to Casera di Fuori, at 1,693 m, in the placid Fosse Valley. The mountain pastures were once inhabited all year by mountain peasants. Take the path through the valley to the Eishof farm (2,076 m) before facing the long climb to the Gelato Pass (2,895 m). After another short walk, you reach the Rifugio Petrarca (2.875 m).
Duration: 8-9 hours. For this tour you can return to Merano by bus or overnight in the Rifugio Petrarca.

Stage 3: Plan - Montaccio
From Plan (1.628 m), you reach the village of Capanne di Fuori and cross paths in the woods, passing through Ulvas (1,328 m) and Cresta (1,132 m) until reaching Montaccio (1,055 m). Along the way, there are several mountain inns, ideal for a stopover.
Duration: approx. 8-9 hours. Return to the hotel by taxi.

Stage 4: Montaccio - Masi della Muta (Tyrol)
From Montaccio, cross the Valclava to the mountain village of Magdfeld (1,102 m). Continue through the small and steep Saltusio Valley, passing through Vernurio and Gaveis (around 1,100 m) until reaching the bottom of the Valle di Sopranes and the Longfall farm (an inn at 1,075 m). From there, go towards the Masi della Muta and the Gasthaus Hochmuth restaurant at the upper station of the Alta Muta cable car.
Duration: approx. 7 hours. By cable car, you can comfortably reach Tirol and, from there, take the bus to Marlena.

5th stage: Alta Muta - Rifugio Casa del Valico (Hochgangshaus)
From the Gasthaus Hochmuth, take the Vellauer Felsenweg trail, also called Via Hans Frieden (partly exposed, partially protected), (è una via dove advancing through very steep slopes, up to the Malga Leiter (1,522 m, from here, if you wish, you can go downhill with the cable car) and finally reach the Rifugio Casa del Valico, through a wooded section (1,839 m).
Duration: 2.5 - 3 hours

Final stage: Hochganghaus - Giggelberg
From the Rifugio Casa del Valico, advance along a steep slope under the Cigot to the Malga Tablander (1,788 m). Go down to the Nasereit hut in the Val di Tel (1,523 m) and reach the upper station at the Giggelberg farm. From here, go downhill with the cable car.
Duration: 4 hours (alternatively, you can take on the evocative descent along the Parcines waterfall)