The thorny Italian Dolomites. These young and dramatic mountains, which feel so far away from the round and weather-beaten Swedish mountains. But not all hiking in the Dolomites is actually surrounded by steep cliffs and peaks. Just outside the city of flowers Merano takes the big cable car Merano 2000 quickly up to high hiking heights. Here, among the lush hills, you will find wide and easy walking paths, surrounded by cows and kaiserschmarrn.
It is easy to find Merano 2000. On the highway between Bolzano (where we stayed) and Merano you will find large, hard-to-miss signs to Merano South. Then just follow the brown signs with another cable car Merano 2000.
We were lucky and found a parking lot right at the cable car entrance. In and of itself, one can debate whether we were lucky and whether we actually found a parking space. It simply became a very Italian parking lot. But it didn't seem like anyone thought we were standing oddly. Back home in Stockholm, some forum on Facebook had probably raved about our parking lot.
There were quite a lot of people in the queue for the cable car, even though by Italian standards we were here early in the morning. The line was full of Italian hikers of all ages with hiking poles and sturdy hiking boots. Enough because we were well equipped, but not at all of the same caliber as most of the hikers here. What kind of place were we going to anyway?
During the summer months, the large gondola runs in 15-minute traffic and swallows 120 people at a time, so despite a long queue, we only had to wait half an hour.
Once at the top, we were greeted by nice, wide hiking trails. And cows. Lots of cows in all colors and shapes. Some cows were a bit curious about us hikers, most ignored us completely. Merry Romario in the picture below was a bit unsociable. But it wasn't 4748. She was more like Ferdinand and was calm and nice and smelling the flowers.
The hiking trails went over bare green hillsides, with a few occasional trees. The hike didn't feel particularly steep, but it was a very easy hike. One could easily walk here with a three-wheeled pram with slightly larger wheels.
We were a bit unlucky with haze over the mountains, but the views were still magnificent. Maybe it was because we were at an altitude of 2000 meters that we didn't feel surrounded by sharp mountain peaks. We rather hiked on the slope of a mountain peak.
There were plenty of huts along the hiking trails, we went up to first Kirchsteiger Alm (not connected to Ernst, although it was cozy…) and then turned down to Waidmann Alm for lunch. When the daughter saw Waidmann Alm in the binoculars, she ran all the way down. No wonder what a few parmesan dumplings and a kaiser schmarrn can do for motivation.
A lovely lunch in the sunshine later, we started hiking back to the cable car. While I didn't think it felt that steep on the way up, it did in my legs on the way down. There was probably a few hundred meters difference in height, although it was a constant slow climb.
Who is suitable for a hike at Merano 2000?
Merano 2000 is an easy walking and well-marked area suitable for all ages. It is close between the huts and there is ice cream, food and even a beer for those who want to take it easy and comfortable in the sun. Many of the cabins offer overnight stays, which I regret we didn't book. Imagine waking up to cowbells and fresh alpine air in the summer sun! What a dream vacation! It's almost like I'm just yodeling at the thought!
Merano 2000 fits want to for hikers who are afraid of cows. The cows are everywhere and usually run free. They have no decency either, but they like to block the hiking trail and ignore the right-of-way rule. So these cows…
Do you want to read more about hiking in the Dolomites?
Look into my Italy page! In addition to the fact that I am stocking up on more hiking trails around Bolzano, we are soon going to Italy on a road trip! Then there will be a lot of Italy on the blog, let me tell you! 🙂
Read more about Merano 2000 on it official site
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Have you been here? What did you think of the destination?
Travel blogger, gastronaut, photographer and family adventurer with over 55 countries in his luggage. Eva loves trips that include beautiful nature, hiking boots and well-cooked food. On the travel blog Rucksack she takes you to all corners of the world with the help of her inspiring pictures and texts.