Day trip destination
Frühlingstal valley near Montiggl: Vivaldi's muse
Taking a valley through Frühlingstal valley near the village of Montiggl, you can imagine Vivaldi having composed his 'Spring' in this place.
Fabiontal valley lies in a wooded hollow between Kalterer See lake and the large Montiggl lake around ten kilometres west of Bozen and joins the basins containing the two lakes formed by Ice Age glaciers. Yet, it is better known by another name: Frühlingstal, or 'Spring Valley'. This name is thanks to the thousands of plants that flower along its slopes in early spring and make it one of the best-loved destinations for excursions in South Tyrol.
The cradle of spring
While the grey-brown hues of winter continue to dominate elsewhere, spring will already have sprung in 'Frühlingstal' valley. This sheltered valley gets the mild air from the south, which creates a favourable microclimate. In addition, the Angelbach stream flowing through it, the effluent of the large Montiggl lake, provides a sufficiently moist environment. This is why the buds of a variety of early bloomers open in February and create a springlike sea of colour. The springflake, yellow primula and blue liverwort open the dance, before the interplay of colour reaches its peak with anenomes, violets and lesser celandine. But if you start to get carried away by spring fever and would like to take a little of this splendour home with you, be warned: Frühlingstal valley is a protected biotope and you are not allowed to pick the flowers. In return, Mother Nature's abundance is no object here. A wide variety of deciduous trees – lime, beech, black alder and lots more – line the path. Yellow brimstone butterflies leave their winter quarters early and fire salamanders creep out of their hiding places when it rains. Ornithologists, too, should keep their ears open: tits, robins, wrens and nuthatches tweet in the treetops, while the cuckoo keeps time.
The way to paradise
Of course, there is not just one way to get to the floral paradise of Frühlingstal valley. You can approach Frühlingstal from several directions and totally different starting and finish points. A few walks begin at Kalterer See lake. For example, you can start on the western shore at Gasthof Geier restaurant and can reach the opposite bank in around ten minutes on the circular walk around the lake. By turning left into the street on the eastern shore, you then go northwards until you get to the sign for 'Frühlingstal'. You leave the street there and follow a forest path going past vineyards. Frühlingstal opens up after the last vineyard and you can walk through a sea of flowers. If you'd like to make your walk last a little longer, you can go around the Montiggl lakes or start in Kaltern or Tramin.
Hungry for more?
The floral splendour and easy accessibility of Frühlingstal valley are not the only reasons for its popularity. The path through the valley ascends only gently and is therefore ideal for families with children or less surefooted walkers. Yet, a good pair of walking boots are an advantage. Adventurous types may be able to do the stretch in their Sunday shoes or heels, but the muddier bits will leave their traces on footwear.
The best time for the walk is the beginning of March. It's worth setting off early if you prefer to do the walk undisturbed. The twittering of the birds is particularly harmonious in the early morning. If you have time, it's a good idea to leave your walk to a working day during the week to avoid the Sunday ramblers.