Terme Merano, Merano’s Thermal Baths in South Tyrol: Calm and relaxation in the center of town
In the heart of the spa town of Merano/Meran, Terme Merano is a natural oasis, centrally located and a successful example of modern architecture within the Alpine landscape. A transparent cube of glass and steel with warmly accented wooden elements arches above twelve indoor pools. In the 50,000 sq. meter park which is part of the thermal baths, thirteen open-air swimming pools have been added. The overall effect offers pure relaxation in the midst of nature.

In the spacious sauna world, a number of different sauna stations – ranging from Finnish sauna to a caldarium and from the sanarium to fragrant aroma and steam baths – promise pure relaxation and delight for all senses. The health services offered in the Terme Merano range from basic medical checks to allergy and intolerance testing to nutrition counselling, mudpacks, and radon inhalation. Special treatments such as homeopathy or physiotherapy can be tailored to your individual needs.

The Empress of Austria-Hungary Elisabeth, along with many writers including Kafka, Zweig and Morgenstern, visited Merano for spa treatments several times.

Parks and Gardens in South Tyrol: Retreat among nature and culture in Merano and Environs
As a renowned spa and garden town, Merano/Meran won the Entente Florale gold award in 2015. Alongside Alpine fir and larch and birch trees, it is also possible to stroll past cypresses, palm and kiwi trees. Well-maintained public parks bring a green environment to the city even in the winter months.

In the 7 Gärten am Kränzelhof (7 Gardens in the Kränzelhof Estate) in the village of Cermes/Tscherms, there is a maze of vines and sculptures by contemporary artists, among other things. Located behind ponds and resting places for meditation is an amphitheater for outdoor concerts. In the herbal garden on the Tappeinerweg trail in Merano, Mediterranean culinary and medicinal plants thrive. Walkers are free to help themselves.

The Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle in Merano & The botanical gardens of Merano
The Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle, located on the eastern outskirts of Merano/Meran, boast more than 80 garden landscapes from around the world. The Gardens received the coveted International Garden of the Year Award at the Garden Tourism Conference in Toronto in 2013.
Set in a natural amphitheater around a central lily pond, the garden landscapes from around the world add spectacular color to the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle. Viewing platforms with interactive stations and artist’s pavilions serve as lookout points, with the Forbidden Garden (Verbotener Garten) and Botanical Underworld (Botanische Unterwelt) features ideally suited to families with children.

The Touriseum
Trauttmansdorff Castle lies perched above the botanical gardens. Formerly the residence of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, today it houses the South Tyrol Museum of Tourism (Südtiroler Landesmuseum für Tourismus). Known as the Touriseum, the interactive facility at the museum recounts 200 years of visitors in the area.

Texelgruppe Nature Park in South Tyrol: South Tyrol’s largest protected area
The Texelgruppe Nature Park in Merano and Environs is the largest natural park in South Tyrol/Südtirol. Numerous panoramic paths and trails in this mountainous landscape make the protected area a popular destination for hikers. At over 30,000 hectares, the reserve extends from the Val d’Adige/Etschtal Valley in the south, Val Senales/Schnalstal Valley in the west, the Ötztal Alps in the north and the Val Passiria/Passeiertal Valley in the east.

Especially popular with hikers is the 100km Merano High Mountain Trail, which circles the pristine natural area with its mixed forests and mountain lakes.

The Texel Group Nature Park Visitor Center in the village of Naturno/Naturns and the Information Center in the Bunker Mooseum in the village of Moso/Moos in Val Passiria/Passeiertal Valley have information on the diverse range of habitats in the Texelgruppe Nature Park in South Tyrol.

The Flora of the Texel Group Nature Park: the vegetation in Partschins, South Tyrol
The particularly favourable mild climate of the Nature Park encourages the growth of sub-Mediterranean plants, shrubs, flowers and particular oak, beech and ash trees including, for example, the Downy Oak. Unusual flora flourishes on the dry meadows of the high pastures and chestnut trees grow well in the shadow of rock-walls while the mountain slopes are covered with pine forests mixed with juniper trees. Woods withs lower trees and birch, hazel-nut and beech trees fill side valleys and other well-watered places.
The Texel Group Nature Park is home to a good number of protected flowers and plant species including so-called “cowbells”, the Dolomite columbine, the Giant Snowdrop, the Fire Lily, several orchids, Daphne Mezereon, carnations, various herbs, primulas, cowslips and primroses, Alpine violets, enzian, yellow irises, yellow and white water-lilies, reed-mace, crowned rampion, Dolomite yarrow, Edelweiß and many more.

Biotopes in South Tyrol: Protected green spaces and recreation areas
Biotopes in South Tyrol/Südtirol function not only as shelters for flora and fauna, but also as popular recreational areas. The Falschauer Biotope in the village of Lana is easily accessible via walking trails along the Falschauer river. The pond and its delta are an excellent breeding ground for over 220 species of birds, such as the Cetti’s warbler and Kingfisher.

The ecological and recreational zone in the village of Rablà/Rabland near Parcines/Partschins is located directly along the Via Claudia Augusta cycling path. At the center of the biotope is a small lake, at which mallards, dippers and coots cavort.

Biotope Falschauer/Valsura Lana
How much habitat we let nature? Until the mid-20th century, the estuary was a 100-acre natural paradise in the ever more intensively used Adige Valley.

The whole Adige Valley was once a giant natural paradise full of ponds, riverside forests and bogs. People would keep away from the marshlands and its bad smell and instead settled on the elevated plains, hills and mountains of the area - not least because of the many floods. That explains the village development in many modern municipalities like Lana, Postal or Gargazzone.

Yet in the middle of the 20th century about 100 hectares of the lands in the river delta of the Valsura lay fallow. In the course of the German and Italian economic miracles the area experienced an unstoppable industrialisation that nearly upset its natural balance. When people started to rethink this ‘progress' in the 1970's the remains of the river delta of the Valsura were declared a protected biotope.

Today the delta covers about 32 hectares, it is a refuge for many endangered animals and an irreplaceable habitat for more than 230 species of bird, including 50 breeding birds, amphibians, colubrids, fish and water insects, as well as for numerous rare plants.

Visitors who walk around in the accessible part of the mostly untouched delta can take a break at the ponds or bogs and listen to the countless number of birds and frogs.