Völs am Schlern
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Völs am Schlern (Italian: Fiè allo Sciliar) is a historic farm- and tourist-village at the foot of the Sciliar mountain in South Tyrol. Perched at about 900m above sea level in the Dolomites, this 3.500 inhabitant-village is a good place to stay while exploring the nearby Sciliar, Seiser Alm (Italian: Alpe Di Siusi) alpine meadow and the surrounding peaks. Mild winters and pleasant summers are the hallmark of the climate here. Thanks to the vast plateaus and the location, on the southern side of the Alps, Völs is exceptionally lucky with the sun, which shines down 300 days a year.
Local people have two major sources of income - tourism and agriculture. There are two tourism seasons - Summer season (for hiking, biking, wellness and culinary) starts in May and closes in November and Winter season (for skiing, cross country skiing, luge) starts in December and ends in April. Culture has a big place here. Every year in May, the Schlern Music festival invites international classic musicians to host concerts in special places in and around the village, the "Völser Kuchlkastl" has been a culinary program in October for well over 40 years and offers special dishes for gourmets. in Summer, countless events like concerts, theatre plays, cinema-evening and the classic festivals with the local marching bands get hostet in the village centre. Like most towns in South Tyrol, there is a dual cultural and culinary identity: German and Italian. Natives are fluent in both languages, and especially the younger generations and people involved in tourism know a fair bit of English.
The town is 30 minutes by bus from Bolzano along a very winding and scenic view. The 170 bus stops at Völs but continues onto Kastelruth and Brixen. The bus timetables are accessible via the internet and should be consulted before finalizing plans. Buses are fewer in frequency on a Sunday. The bus stop, in Bolzano, for the 170, is 5 min (by foot) away the train station. When leaving, just follow the main road to the East. Tickets can be purchased from the bus driver. Other train station stops close to the town are the Intercity and Eurocity stops at Brixen (Italian: Bressanone) and Klausen (Italian: Chiusa).
The town itself is quite small and very walkable. Tourists staying in town and in the region can get (for free, from their hotel / lodging establishment) the "Live" / "MobileCard". This may not be provided automatically, so ask! This card allows one free travel on the regional buses from / to Seiser Alm and below. The card cannot be purchased from Bolzano. So one will have to buy the bus tickets to get into town, from Bolzano, but once one gets the "Live" card, one can return to Bolzano for free.
- Prösels Castle: The castle was built in 1200 by the masters of Völs, the noble servers of the bishop of Brixen. In the early 16th century, the head of the provincial government, Leonhard von Völs, turned the castle into a Renaissance residence. The castle as it looks today is almost entirely the work of Leonhard von Völs. In the year 1981, the company KURATORIUM SCHLOSS PRÖSELS Ltd. purchased the castle.
- Laghetto di Fiè Lake: The Lake is classed as one of the cleanest swimming lakes in Italy: in 2017, Legambiente, the largest environmental association in Italy, awarded Italy’s best ecosystems with the “5 vele”. Among the 3 top exemplary lakes we find the Laghetto di Fiè. Due to its intact ecosystem and outstanding water quality, the lake at the foot of the Sciliar is an extremely popular destination with swimmers. The Laghetto di Fiè is one of eight swimming lakes in the Dolomite region and is situated in the Sciliar-Catinaccio Nature Reserve at the foot of the emblem mountain of the Dolomites, the Sciliar.
- Sciliar: Thanks to its peculiar shape, the Sciliar (2,563 m asl) in the South Tyrolean Dolomites is the emblem of South Tyrol and always worth a hike.
The Hike on the Sciliar is always worth it (intermetiate). It is reachable from the Laghetto di Fiè lake or the Seiser Alm and offers great views on the Rosengarten and Latemar
- Hike around the Laghetto di Fiè lake (easy): It is a wonderful destination to take a dip on hot summer days, and also doubles up as an ice skating lake in winter: Whatever the season, this spot in the deep green forests at the foot of the Schlern never fails to offer visitors an idyllic experience.
- The Aica di Fiè Höfeweg farm trail is a beautiful hiking route through ancient farmsteads, mountain restaurants, vineyards and chestnut groves. This trail can be seen in all its glorious beauty in springtime when the mountain meadows are blossoming all around, and in autumn when the trees are decked in vibrant hues.
- From Fiè to Castel Prösels: This relaxing hike leads to the historic Castle Presule/ Prösels, built in 1200 by the Lords of Fiè in the year 1200. Take a trip back to bygone days on a guided tour of the Knight’s Hall, the castle chapel and other parts of the Renaissance castle and grounds. There’s no chance of getting bored!
- The cable car at the nearby town of Seis (Italian: Siusi) - which is reachable by the 2 bus service - will take one up to Compatsch (Italian: Compaccio), from where there are numerous hiking trails on the Seise Alm. There are "huts" to be found along many of these trails - which can in many cases be a restaurant that provides hot food.
- Agriturismo Stangler Hof Via H. - Mumelter 44, Fiè allo Sciliar 39050. Very hip farm in the middle of nature €€
- Pizzeria Tschafon Boznerstraße 11, Fiè allo Sciliar 39050 Excellent pizza at Paolo, the Italian host €
- Restaurant Hotel Heubad Via Sciliar 12, Fiè allo Sciliar 39050 Chique restaurant with a varied á-la-carte-menu €€
- Restaurant Binderstube Via del Paese 10, Fiè allo Sciliar 39050 Culture has a home in this artsy restaurant with familiar atmosphere €€
- Tuffalm hut Via Laghetto 31, Fiè allo Sciliar 39050 Classic alpine hut with tyrolean cuisine €
- Umser Mühlele Via Umes 47, Fiè allo Sciliar 39050 New restaurant. The host cooks himself and his wife serves the phenomenal dishes, therefore a very familiar atmosphere €€
- Romantik Hotel Turm Piazza Chiesa 9, Fiè allo Sciliar 39050 Pleasurable experiences are guaranteed in this historic-modern design-Hotel €€€
The Seiser Alm is, of course, the big attraction. But there are other nearby towns and villages that have their own charm. The nearest village - Seis am Schlern (Italian: Siusi allo Sciliar) is at the foothills of the Schlern, and which lends its name to the Seiser Alm. It has a couple of interesting churches and castles which are worth exploring. The nearest towns that could be a next visit destination are Sankt Ulrich, and Klausen. A little further to the north, is Brixen, and much further to the north, is the Austrian city of Innsbruck. To the south-west, lies the closest city: Bolzano - where there are museums and other city attractions.