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Meran Travel Guide, Italy

Meran 2000 ski resort and Hafling, home of the famous Halfing horse and the year-round mountain sport resort offer easy access to mountainous wilderness, a wide range of great outdoor activities, relaxation opportunities and fantastic views being located in a valley in the Dolomite Mountains, the Italian Alps. Just half an hour west of Bozen, the resort enjoys a perfect location with mild microclimate that ensures mild winters and summers the temperatures not going towards the extremes. This way the perfect weather will make your stay even more enjoyable.

Being a year round resort you will find plenty of activities for both cold and warm seasons. In summer you’ll enjoy the fresh air and views while practicing your favorite outdoor activity: mountain biking, Nordic walking or just hiking. Taking a cure is also something Meran is famous for. People flock here to take advantage of the mineral-rich springs coming from beneath the town. The place where you can have all the treatments is called Terme di Merano, a place where you can really relax while having natural treatments like: mud bath, mineral wrap and hydrotherapy.

But this is not a new discovery, Meran has long been known as a spa and cure town since the 19th century when the Austrian nobility and bourgeois were coming here for their famous grape cure.

If you you’re not planning take a cure and have just one or two days to spare, Meran can still offer all you need for a two days relaxation: riverside promenades that invite you to stroll, hiking, cafes and restaurants, shop-lined streets with speciality shops and galleries. The main shopping street is Via Portici, beautifully lined with Tirolean-style houses making it the preferred place to stroll in Meran. There are other nice streets to stroll like the Passeggiata d'Inverno favored for winter walks and the Passeggiata d'Estate favored for summer walks.

If you don’t mind long walks you can reach Castel Tirolo which is 5km from Merano, one of the town’s attractions where you can see the throne room, a beautifully frescoed Romanesque chapel and other enchanting features including beautiful views. But you can get there by bus too from Merano's train station or center. Any way you decide to get here it is definitely worth the effort.

If you are a history and architecture buff, Meran has much more to offer. There’s the old town centre of Meran, a vestige of Merano's noble past offering numerous art history treasures. It is located around the Piazza del Duomo near a beautiful 14th-century cathedral. Close by is the little castle of Castello Principesco or Landesfürstliche Burg built in 1470. It makes for a nice visit as the inside is kept just as it was.

If you want more action and adrenalin there’s the year-round bob sled run to be found at an elevation of 1900 meters and it is 1.1 kilometers long. Everybody who’s young at hearth loves it and once they have tried it they will definitely want to be on the track again.

For an activity that takes a bit longer, there are two national parks to roam. Parco Nazionale della Stelvio and Parco Nazionale di Tessa. The first lies on 520,000-hectare of wilderness and offers year-round skiing, hiking and wildlife watching. Among the animal you can see here are the elk and chamois. The second park provides hikers with easy tracks. You can find information on what you can do there at the visitor centers within the parks.

Meran is truly a gold mine of opportunities and a visit here will light up both your body and your spirit.

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