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The attractions along the Via Transalpina: Listen to the stories the Alps have to tell

Explore the pulsating life in the mountains

A large variety of different attractions in the Alps, which are just waiting to be explored by passionate hikers, convey deep insights about the pulsating life along the entire Via Transalpina. These range from physical sites, such as natural sites, cultural sites, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and sites connected to the First World War, to places containing an immaterial patrimony within which unforgettable experiences can be lived, such as stages, sites and paths where the themes Alpine Crossing and Alpine Lifestyle are strongly present. Discover the attractions along the Via Transalpina and design the route fitting best to your interests and passions!

The alpine crossing along the Via Transalpina: Over the Alps by foot

The unforgettable experience accessible to everyone

Leading through scenic valleys, picturesque forests, beautiful alps and breathtaking ridges, the Via Transalpina includes all the elements for an unforgettable alpine crossing, during which you will immerge within the marvelous landscape characterized by the unique alpine flora and fauna. Amidst the peace and serenity along your route, you will also have the possibility to meet other fellow hikers, since the trail partly overlaps with the Alp Crossing Trail E5, facilitating pleasant encounters, the change of valuable information and experiences and even the creation of lasting friendships.

The Via Transalpina also connects the past and the present, leading you sometimes on old paths, which had been used even in ancient times, during which the Alps were still an untapped, unforgiving area. During these times, the only ones who could attempt crossing the mountain range were experienced travelers and locals, such as Ötzi the Iceman, whose remains were discovered in the Schnalstal Valley 5.300 years after his disappearance.

Experience a truly unforgettable Alpine crossing and collect all the relevant digital information before your trip by accessing the map section, by downloading the GPS Coordinates and by downloading the Via Transalpina App. Please note that, since the Via Transalpina is a new trail, it has not yet been equipped with the physical signage along the way.

The natural sites in the Alps: Untouched nature and pristine wilderness

The natural theme of the Via Transalpina

The Alps are on one of the last remaining areas in central Europe with truly pristine nature and hikers from all around the globe travel often great distances in order to experience the idyllic places which can be found throughout the region. On your hike along the Via Transalpina you will find a multitude of different natural sites which make the heart of every nature lover leap, such as lakes, gorges, mountain peaks, nature reserves, waterfalls, ridges, marvelous forests, alpine pastures, mountain massifs and the fascinating rock formations, which originated from alpine erosion.

Consult the map about the natural points of interest and discover all the natural sites along the Via Transalpina.

Discovering man’s history in the Alps: The cultural sites along the Via Transalpina

Relics from an ancient past

Traces of mankind’s past have been found all over the alpine area, with its most prominent example being Ötzi, the Iceman. The cultural sites along the Via Transalpina are numerous and include sites dating even back thousands of years, such as archaeological excavations from the Paleolithic Age close to Vent. Furthermore, within the different stages, you will find relics and buildings from ancient times and the Middle Ages such as castles, churches, temples and cloisters, which confer precious insights about the man’s cultural evolution in the Alps to its visitors.

For example, Schloss Tirol, its museum and its homonymous town, which are located in close proximity to Merano, is a valuable possibility to experience the history and the present situation of Tyrol as a cultural and political entity, such as the marvelous castle Schloss Juval, the gardens of Castle Trauttmansdorff and the Messner Mountain Museum Firmian, which are located along the second section of the Via Transalpina.

Discover the map about the cultural points of interest and explore all the cultural sites along the Via Transalpina.

The UNESCO World Heritage Sites along the Via Transalpina: Places worth protecting

Along your hike you will have the unique possibility to visit two UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The first of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites along the Via Transalpina are the impressive Dolomites, which have been listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009 due to their geology and geomorphology, being composed of fossilized coral riffs and marine sediments, and the aesthetic value of their landscape. Aesthetically the Dolomites (or “Pale Mountains”) are recognizable immediately due to their unusual colors and are often defined as the most beautiful mountains in the world.

In 2011 another site along the Via Transalpina was awarded with its listing within the UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The city of Cividale with its significant symbol of Lombard power in Italy, the Lombard Temple. The Lombard Temple, which probably has been built during the 2nd half of the VIII century, is one of seven groups of important buildings located over the Italian Peninsula and includes elements of the Classicism, the Longobard art and the Carolingian art.

View the map about the UNESCO World Heritage Sites along the Via Transalpina.

The First World War in the Alps

Discovering relics of a recent and dark past along the Via Transalpina

One century ago one of the great tragedies of mankind commenced: The First World War. This war, so different than all the armed conflicts which were waged before, changed the perception of war among nations forever. Never before confrontations were conducted so intensely, so sanguinary and in such different locations, from the trenches, to the bottom of the sea, from the air to the mountain peaks. The latter were the setting of the most unimaginable confrontations, giving birth to a terminology, which is hard to imagine for posterity: Mountain warfare.

Starting in 1915, the war between Austro-Hungary and Italy stretched along their respective borders, which included the Alps. Here the war was like nowhere else, including a third, most treacherous adversary who joined the confrontation: the rough environment of the mountains. A race in order to occupy the higher positions began. Old mountain paths had to quickly be adapted, heavy war material had to be transported and heaved to the newly built or hastily renovated old fortifications and trenches were dug in the earth, snow and ice and blasted through rocks.

Along the Via Transalpina you have to opportunity to explore many of the remains of the First World War, especially within the area of the Dolomites, close to the city of Gorizia and within the high plains of the Carso. Furthermore, you will find many memorial sites, museums and monuments, which were erected in order to represent the atrocities of this era and exhort posterity, never to forget the horrors of war.

View the map about the First World War Sites along the Via Transalpina.

Experience the alpine lifestyle along the Via Transalpina

Unique insights about the traditions, the spirituality and culinary delights of the Alps

Traces of mankind have been found all over the alpine area, sometimes dating back even thousands of years. Today the Alps are a livable and populated region which stretches throughout six European countries, within which the alpine lifestyle, composed by the captivating traditions, the particular customs and the culinary arts, is just waiting to be discovered.

Although the trail is popular between hikers, along the Via Transalpina you will experience moments of spirituality and absolute tranquility, connected on the one hand to man-made facilities, such as churches, temples and cloisters and on the other to the picturesque natural setting which will accompany you throughout your hike. For example, by following the theme trail “Via Monachorum” and visiting the village Karthaus, located along the second section of the Via Transalpina, you will discover the spirituality of its monastery through dedicated tours, and experience the meditative atmosphere of the living environment of the monks.

Glimpses of serenity and wellbeing can also be found in the multitude of villages located along the Via Transalpina, within which local traditions are often even lived today, bestowing its visitors with cultural impressions during religious processions, traditional parades, concerts and folklore festivals.

During your hike you will also have the opportunity to taste home-made local specialties based on traditional recipes and innovative creations, served with delicious beverages. The area of the Via Transalpina includes 4 countries with their respective culinary traditions. From the traditional “Gasthaus” in Germany and Austria, over the “Buschenschanke” in South Tyrol and the Italian “Osteria” to the “Osmizza in Italy and Slovenia: There are plenty alternatives to choose from!