Day trip destination
Larch meadows on Salten: Unique cultural landscape
Salten, located south of the Tschögglberg mountain, is Europe’s highest larch plateau and true paradise for nature lovers.
Alongside Ritten and Regglberg, Tschögglberg is one of the most beautiful high plateaus around Bozen. A winding road leads from the Bozen valley basin to Jenesien on the southern part of Tschögglberg. If you want to leave your car behind, you can take the cable car to Jenesien and reach Salten from there: Here you will be met with an incredible wide open space, not often found in the middle of the South Tyrolean mountains. The Salten high plateau can also be reached via Mölten, a village above Terlan. At 1,300 to 1,400 metres and between the villages of Jenesien and Mölten, the Salten is interwoven with meadows and rolling hills. It is dotted with Alpine pastures, larches and the odd Haflinger horse. Wherever you look you have unique views of the wonderful world of the Dolomites, the Etschtal valley to the Mendel Pass and the Ortler Mountains.
A sea on the mountain
Did you know that you can see a sea in the Sarntal Alps? A sea of blossom that spreads over the high Alpine meadows of the Tschögglberg. Every year after the snow melts between the end of April and the beginning of May, this sea of white and purple crocus blossom delights hikers on Salten once again, not far from the Möltner Joch. An annual crocus blossom festival celebrates this spectacle of nature. The crocus blossom is one of many popular photo opportunities which the landscape of the South Tyrolean Tschögglberg has to offer, not only in spring but all year round. In summer a sea of lush green mountain meadows, in autumn yellow and golden shimmering larch trees as far as the eye can see, in winter a sea of fine powdery snow.
Legends and natural monuments
No matter what time of year: a hike over Salten on the Tschögglberg is always well worth it. The high plateau is especially popular with families. The wide hiking trails suitable for pushchairs, the extensive larch meadows with their small huts known as "Schupfen'', the inviting Alpine pastures with their horse paddocks and flawless nature, don’t fail to appeal to even the youngest members of the family. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll no doubt discover something exciting along the way. For example, the Saltner primeval larch at 24 metres high, which differs from the other larches on Salten with its candelabra-like formation of the lowest branches and magnificently developed crown. Its exact age is unknown, but it is widely believed to be the oldest of its kind on the plateau. The larch is deeply rooted in South Tyrolean culture. The atypical conifer, which sheds its needles in autumn, has always been valued by farmers for its strong and weather-resistant wood and resin. Shingles for the Alpine huts or ointments for deep-seated wood splinters under the skin are just a few of its well-known uses. You can also marvel at the ‘legend trail’ on the Saltner Höhe, not far from the village of Jenesien. Along the one-hour panoramic hike there are 14 stops, at which well-known sagas of the Salten are retold, all created by the pupils of Jenesien elementary school.
Saddle up on Salten
The numerous hiking trails of the Salten don’t have to be traversed on foot. Exciting alternatives such as a riding excursion or mountain bike tour are just as suitable for exploring this unique cultural landscape. The riding stables on Salten offer riding excursions on Haflinger horses. These blonde, extremely good-natured horses known all over the world have their origins on the Tschögglberg, a fact the locals are particularly proud of of course. Those who prefer to pedal can easily cycle over the vast larch meadows. The hiking trails and forest roads cater to young and old and different abilities. In winter, snowshoe hikes and horse-drawn carriage rides over Salten are also possible. Regardless of what type of excursion you choose, your itinerary absolutely must include a pit-stop in one of the Alpine eateries.