Sometimes I can write something as an “expert”, but this time I just can’t! I had NO IDEA we would be able to go out hiking (which Italians call “trekking” btw!), during our recent visit to the Aurina Valley in South Tyrol, Italy. I honestly thought we would spend most of our time visiting small towns, hanging out at the hotel and taking a few walks. So imagine my surprise when the receptionist at the hotel where we were staying suggested we spend the morning hiking.
I said…. “Well, actually our son is only 3 and a half so I don’t think he can quite endure a hike yet”, and she responded with “Take the stroller! He’ll love the view!”
It is important to remember that when you are up high in the mountains, the altitude can leave some people, and especially kids!, short of breath. So even if you think that your young kid could handle a 1-2 hour (relatively simple) hike, it may actually be a lot for them to handle if they are not used to the fresh, thin, mountain air. Neither myself nor Marco were willing to carry him back to the hotel …. so…stroller it was!!
Every hotel in the area will have a map with the most kid friendly hiking trails marked out, but just in case you want to do the exact same trek that we did, here is the link to the location on Google Maps. – https://firstname.lastname@example.org,12.0682439,726m/data=!3m1!1e3
Basically, looking at this map, we walked South along the road from the Bacher Hotel, passed the cross country ski resort (which I will be returning to!), and then walked along the trail that goes along the river, parallel to the road.
I’m not claiming it was a crazy, mountain peak hiking experience, but it was breathtakingly beautiful and was an experience I would never hesitate to repeat.
What to Do With Kids in South Tyrol
I will be sharing a few of the other kid-appropriate things we got up to over our brief stay in South Tyrol, but one of the things I wanted to do and didn’t was visit an animal farm. There were supposed to be goats at our hotel, but when we arrived it was already too cold and there weren’t any animals, which actually made me pretty sad because my son loves animals and I had promised him a goat milking experience!
Since I plan on going back, since our visit I’ve done a bit more intensive research into useful resources and I just wanted to share what I found!
If you are looking to go hiking in the area with or without kids, Sentres.com is an EXCELLENT website. You can filter the hiking trails according to your level and interest and there is even a filter called “Bambini in Montagna” – “Kids in the Mountains”. The website is translated in Italian, English and German, so you should have no problem finding a trail and different activities that are perfect for your family or group.
Another EXCELLENT resource I found after our trip, was Suedtirolerland.it that actually lists all of the places in South Tyrol with animals, perfect for kids!!! I WILL RETURN! Because I noticed that you can go hiking with LAMAS!! WITH LAMAS PEOPLE!
In an unappolagetic way, I just know deep down in my heart that the Dolomites will become a big part of my life. I wish we could go to the mountains every weekend, so over the next few years I hope you’ll join me as I slowly discover all that this area has to offer.
Have a great Thursday everyone, the sun is still shining here and we’re almost half way through November!!
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