Lana – a slice of paradise in the heart of South Tyrol

Gorgeous sunny weather, stunning nature, incredible food, luxurious hotels, friendly locals. I’d say these are the five pillars that any wonderful holiday is based on. Added bonus points for great wine and lots of things to do. South Tyrol is exactly that to me which is why I keep going back nearly every year. It’s Europe at its best because it effortlessly combines the top aspects of so many destinations, most notably two of my favorites being the Austrian Alps and Italy. The latter for its delectable pizzas and pastas and the Alps for always taking my breath away, be it summer or winter.

South Tyrol as a whole is not incredibly large in size but there are various towns and places you may wish to stay in. I have introduced the likes of Merano or Bolzano before, but today I’d like to tell you a bit more about a charming small town called Lana, a mere 10 minute car ride from Merano which has recently won me over and secured itself a spot amongst my favorite places to stay when traveling to South Tyrol. Here is why.

It’s easy to get to

Heading to South Tyrol from Berlin is not super easy, because the closest airports still require a good 2-4 hours of land travel to physically reach any part of South Tyrol. This time around I was given a hot tip to take a Flixbus which connects Innsbruck and Lana, costs less than €10 per trip and is a convenient and comfortable way to travel, Wifi included. In the past I usually traveled by cars and trains but the Flixbus option was my favorite one yet! More good news – Innsbruck airport is easily reached via cheap easyjet flights from Berlin, so my total spendings of getting to Lana and back were less than €150 round trip.

Beautiful design hotels

“Oh my god, will you be staying at the Schwarzschmied?”, my best friend gasped when I told him that I was planning a trip to Lana. He had stayed at Schwarzschmied before and was gushing over how lovely it was. And boy, was he right about that! Is it the impeccable design? The incredible light? The stunning location overlooking a small vineyard? Could it be the delectable food? The big-hearted staff? The unbelievably comfortable beds? I could go on and on.

We were lucky that we had perfect weather otherwise I most likely would never have wanted to leave my room, that actually happened to be a 2-bedroom apartment with the largest terrace I have ever see. I mean there was a dining table and 2 sun loungers on it, it felt like a South Tyrol version of a presidential suite!

And the pool! My god, that pool. Heated outdoor pool magic which I could have spent many hours at. Who am I kidding, I DID spend many hours here. Sipping on regional wine…reading…breathing clean air and enjoying that tingle of mountain sun on my face.

On a previous trip to Lana I stayed at the Reichhalter 1477, another really beautiful boutique hotel with a highly recommended restaurant that is not to miss on a trip to Lana!

It’s super walkable

Something I really appreciate about any place I visit is if it’s easy to explore it by foot, that’s an advantage of most places in Europe compared to many other corners in the rest of the world. Lana is no exception. Within 10 minutes from the Schwarzschmied guests will have walked to the center which just so happens to evolve around a charming pedestrian zone.

If you’re feeling lazy, grab one of the Schwarzschmied’s many rental bikes (some have childrens’ seats!) and have a cycle around. Always a great way to explore a new place and not overly tiring!

Erlebnis Kränzelhof

Now this place totally blew me away. I couldn’t believe I had not heard about it sooner! What is the Kränzelhof? It’s a garden, actually 7 gardens,  which each feature something special. There is the labyrinth that symbolises life and the importance of which road we are choose to walk. Then you’ll fine a large pearl necklace the earl had made for with wife, a room made of bushes, a Chinese tea house… each piece is essentially an art installation and is inviting guests to reminisce on life and its deeper meaning.

The entire project is the brainchild by its owner Franz Graf von Pfeil, an actual Earl, who lives here with his family and was looking to create something that constantly grows, transforms and changes. Everything in the gardens has a story behind it, although visitors are encouraged to find their own meaning in each of the  many installations. I recommend purchasing a picnic basket and a bottle of grape juice at the winery located here and planning on spending an entire afternoon, it’s well worth it.

Also be sure to try out the adjacent restaurant Miil which is part of Kränzelhof and operating on the highest standard. Food here is as innovative as it is delicious, our lunch here was my favorite meal during our time in Lana.

Family Alm Gampl

I can’t say I’m much of a hiker but many people coming to South Tyrol are. And who could blame them? Near perfect weather conditions, beautiful scenery and very manageable hiking routes. In fact, the hiking paths around Lana are more than suitable for families with younger children and I have seen tons of those here!

My son is a fairly lazy walker but the views, the cows, the forest and opportunities to collect sticks and stones kept him interested enough so our trip up San Vigilio was a lot more fun than I had anticipated it to be. Especially taking the chair lift up was super fun, something I’d say is a definite must-do if you’re in the area. Check this website for schedules, pricing and more info.

Once you’re up on San Vigilio, commit to the 20 minute hike to the Family Alm Gampl because not only are the views spectacular, there is some really great lunch to be had here, alongside a lovely glass of wine. Kids will enjoy the trampoline and the play park while sun-seekers will surely appreciate the lounge chairs next to the restaurant.

Reichneggerhof Distillery

You may have heard of the delicious wines coming out of South Tyrol, but did you know about the destillates made here? If like me you have never attended a Schnappstasting, make Lana your first port of call. The Reichneggerhof is an awesome first address for trying your way through 18 different types of brandies and liqueurs (from classic apple or pear to pepper, honey or coffee liqueur), all for an amazingly of deal of just €7 per person.

The family-run business decided to turn to distilling when they accidentally discovered that the craft of making liqueurs had been in their family for many years prior – 500 to be exact! So you really are in good hands if you’re interested in the subject. During a quick tour of the property you will learn how the liqueur is made and you can purchase a few bottles to take home. They do make amazing gifts for your loved ones (provided they are old enough) and don’t break the bank. Just don’t make my mistake of coming here on an empty stomach though…

Walks and Views

As a passionate photographer catching some epic views is among my favorite things to do when traveling to a beautiful place. If mountains are involved it is essentially a must-have for my trip! In the case of Lana, I was lucky enough to be taken for a walk up to St Hyppolyt, a hill that also lends its name to an old church stemming from the 12th century, for an incredible view over the Etschtal and the Tisner High-Mountain-Range.

Simply walking up here was so easy (even for a lazy butt like myself) and the views were beyond rewarding. I definitely recommend bringing a picnic with you or even a bottle of wine, if you’re around in the evening hours to enjoy the incredible sunsets one can catch here.

Even though it’s been my 5th time to South Tyrol in general, I have to admit that my time in Lana has really given the other parts of the area a run for their money. That said, I have never not had a beautiful time coming here and would highly encourage you to read through some of our last posts about the region to make up your own mind of where and what you wish to experience for yourself. Finally, should you have any questions regarding things to do in the region, do not hesitate to post them in the comments.

 

Disclaimer: Destination Lana has kindly invited me on this trip and is sponsoring this blogpost. That said, my enthusiasm is 100% real <3 

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