The "stony men" in Sarntal
From Bozen a road leads through a deep gorge to the South Tyrolean valley of Sarnal. The street continues through wildly rugged steeps and seemingly endless tunnels, until the valley opens up, framed by green meadows and forests. In the center lies the village of Sarnthein. Despite its location in the immediate vicinity of Bozen, visitors may feel as if they are entering another world. Here farming traditions and customs are still alive. Nature reigns and invites for wholesome walks, hikes and mountain tours. During winter the ski area Reinswald offers sleigh-riding evenings and excursions on skis, snowshoes or snowboard.
The only lake in Sarntal is situated at the end of the valley of Durnholz: the mountain lake of Durnholz. Many trouts live in the crystal-clear water of the lake, which makes it a popular destination for fishermen. An especially popular walk leads via Aberstückl: the Path of Fairy-tales.
More tales rank around Mt. “Hohe Reisch” with the mystical “Stony men”. The ascent to the peak is easily manageable in 1, 4 hours starting from the farm “Auener Hof” leading over the saddle “Auener Joch”. Over 100 gigantic stone-men stand on this spectacular look-out. This is believed to have been a ritual place for Celts, hosting a variety of celebrations. Today merely the arrival to the peak is celebrated here as is the fantastic view over the surrounding mountains and the Dolomites.
A festival for all senses
In September the „Sarner Kirchtag“ is celebrated here, the largest South Tyrolean people’s open air festival. Then the valley experiences three days of party, laughter, dance, meal and drinks. Those who are in the mood for wellness are well advised to take a “mountain pine-bath” and soak up the power of the mountains via a body-wrap.
In the evening the days in the valley end with South Tyrolean specialties in the hotels of Sarntal, where the genuine hospitality, the humor and the wittiness of the locals springs into action. Particularly traditional is the art-craft in the valley and as alive as it was hundreds of years ago; today the traditional professions of weaver, pipe-carver, basket and quill maker are still seen in the valley. Those who visit the region are best advised to acquire souvenirs such as the “Sarnar Toppar”, the wonderfully warm traditional slippers, or the “Sarnar Janggar”, the equally warm traditional jacket. If you would like to discover this particular valley in the environs of Bozen, find here the best hotels in Sarntal.