Italy, South Tyrol
On nice and lively Haflingers, you go on new rides each day. Your hosts Anna and Erich owns the farm and the hotel which has been passed down from generation to generation since the seventeenth century.
The Vinschgau Valley is surrounded by the towering and majestic peaks of the Alps and you can hear the water as it gurgles its way along streams and rivers from the top of the nearby glaciers. The rides take you along the river valleys, up to the snow covered mountain peaks and through medieval alpine villages and lush gardens. The sunny climate, together with cooler nights, is perfect for pears, apricots strawberries and especially apples. More than 20 000 tonnes (22,000 tons) of apples are harvested in the Vinschau Valley every year.
Despite the rural location, the hotel is situated in the middle of the medieval city of Schlanders with shops, pools and much more. This is also the stating point for several hiking trails and bike paths, so it is ideal if you want to travel with your family or friends who are not riders. In the evening, everyone gathers around the dinner table to share the day’s adventures.
Accommodation and Food
You will stay in hotels in double or single rooms, all with spectacular views of the mountains and the valley. The rooms are equipped with TV, hairdryer, safe and several rooms have a balcony (a supplement will apply for room with balcony). There is a bar / restaurant and several nice lounges at the hotel and beautiful spots to sit outdoors in the garden. The hotel is located right in the middle of the farm and next door to the stables with its horses, pigs and hen house and a beautiful garden.
The farm has been passed down from generation to generation since the seventeenth century. When Anna and Erich took over the farm, they decided to make the farm completely organic and it is now Demeter Certified. All the food served in the hotel is organic and locally produced and much of the produce comes from the farm itself, which is self-sufficient in many areas.
Haflingers are a small but strong horse, about 140-155 cm (55-61 in) high and are known for their friendly nature. They are both energetic and excellent family horses and are suited to most disciplines.
In the cozy stables, one of the farm's oldest buildings, there are about 13 horses and you can also find some pigs there too, at times. Most of the horses are Haflingers, a breed originally from South Tyrol. It is a beautiful little horse that is perfectly adapted to the mountainous terrain with its muscular build and is strong yet easy and willing. The ride on a Holflinger is smooth and comfortable. There are also a number of larger horses as well as some well-trained ponies for younger riders.
The horses are in pasture further north in the mountains from November to April.
Preliminary day-by-day program
Saturday - Arrive at the farm. Take the chance to have a look around the beautiful city, take a walk along one of the hiking trails or even just take a nap in your hotel room. In the afternoon, you will have an hour's ride to get familiar with the area and to test ride the horses. Arrival at 4 PM at the latest to be able to ride in the afternoon. This is the first time you will get the chance to see the beautiful city of Schlanders from horseback. Returning to the farm in the golden rays of the sun that bathe the valley, a good Tyrolean dinner awaits, made with local organic ingredients.
Sunday - After a breakfast of Italian coffee and the valley's delicious cheeses, yogurt, organic breads, juices, eggs, you head out on a half-day ride. You will ride across the green valley to the village of Morter and then up the hill past the beautiful ruined castle of Untermontani. You will enjoy a lovely lunch overlooking the valley. On the way home, you ride past another ruined castle, Obermontani. You arrive back at the farm in the early afternoon for a delicious lunch in the garden. Take the opportunity to have a refreshing swim in the city's large wellness / pool area or take a hike along the valley’s streams after lunch!
Monday - After breakfast, you will prepare for your first full day's ride. The day ride in the spring and the late autumn is on the sunny side of the valley. You start in Schlanders and ride to Kortsch, from there to Allitz up in the mountains to Eyrs. In Eyrs you have lunch and after lunch you ride to Tschengls. From Tschengls you ride on the north side of the valley back to Laas and from there to Schlanders.
Tuesday - Today you have the opportunity to explore on foot some of the well-marked, beautiful hiking trails, ride on the hotel's bikes, take the train for a bit of shopping in Meran or just lie around and take it easy, including at the sauna at the Aqua Forum in Lasch.
Wednesday & Thursday - Today you will start a two-day ride. You go from Schlanders to Laas, Tschengls, Eyrs and further to Tanas (Guesthouse Parflur) .
The second day you ride to Allitz on the sunny side of the valley back to Rimpfhof and to Schlanders along the Venosta Valley High Mountain Trail
Friday - Half-day ride about 4 h; you start in Schlanders along the sunny side through the apple fields to Vetzan, and from there to the castle “Annaberg” There will be a short break; afterwards you will continue to Goldrain and back to Schlanders.
Saturday: Breakfast and departure.
Note - this is a preliminary program only and is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances.
In the Vinschgau Valley there are a number of world-class bike paths that run all the way to Austria. These are well maintained and paved and without motor traffic and are suitable for the whole family. There are more challenging cycle paths that are suitable for both mountain biking and racing. You can borrow a bike, if needed.
You can get a Travel Card for the bus and Tyrolerbana (train). This gives you the opportunity to hike / bike / discover other trails, towns and the mountains in the valley.
You have free admission to the leisure facilities in the community including tennis courts, mini golf, billiards and table tennis.
You have free admission to the modern outdoor pool in the town and also to a larger pool in the neighboring town. You can travel to the neighboring town by train.
You can also walk on the area's well-marked trails.
Ability description: Trail Ride Level 2-3 >>
Included in the price: 7 nights accommodation, 6 days riding, full board excl beverages. A ‘Valley Card’ can be purchased which is valid on buses and trains in South Tyrol, bike rentals, and for the water park, Aqua Forum, in Latsch.
Not included: Flights, train / bus to the riding center, insurance, drink other than mentioned above.
Travel: Book flight/rental car >> We help you book your flight if you wish.
Fly to Innsbruck (158 km, 100 miles away from riding center.)
Verona (210 km, 130 miles away)
Bergamo (290 km, 180 miles away)
Milan (319 km, 200 miles away)
Venice (328 km, 205 miles away)
Train/bus: You can go with bus och train from Verona, Milan, Venice or Innsbruck with TrenItalia or AltoAdiegebus to Silandro/Schlanders.
Innsbruck airport is closest to the riding center, this is how you go:
Innsbruck airport to Silandro with direct bus www.suedtirolbus.it. If the times do not suite you can also take train from Innsbruck trainstation to Silandro but with several changes for example in Merano. Times at www.trenitalia.com and www.sii.bz.it
From Silandro/Schlanders train station it's only 1 km (0,6 miles) to the riding center, you will find the adress at the booking confirmation. If you wish to be met at the train station, inform on transfer information.
Season: March-June and September-November.
Credit card: All accepted by riding center except American Express.
Wifi: Yes, in reception, bar and restaurant.
Group size: Minimum of 1 rider and a maximum of 8 riders.
Age limit: None
Closest village: The hotel is in the city Schlanders.
Pool: Yes, outdoor pool within 5 minutes walk, open June-August.
Riding equipment to borrow: Helmet
Special diet: Inform when booking.