You can travel by public transportation in Alto Adige as much as you like with a Mobilcard.
This travel card is sold for three or seven days and it is valid on local buses, coaches to various places in that region; on regional trains (from Brennero to Trento and from Malles to San Candido) and also on the Renon and San Genesio gondolas.
Mobilcards are on sale at tourist offices and at several hotels.
The lowest ( 1.374 m ) of the Alpine passes, Brenner Pass since roman times is the most important north-south route through the Alps crossing a rare break in the High Alps created by the valley of the river Sill.
There are three ways of traveling through it, a toll free mountain road - SS12, a motorway - A22 and a major railway, the Brenner Railway between the Tyrolean capital of Innsbruck and Venice which has many bends, and trains can travel only slowly.
Most heavy traffic takes the extravagant motorway between Innsbruck and Bolzano constructed in the early 1970s. It has serious traffic problems at peak times, so there is still a lot of traffic on the mountain road. The road itself is fast, not boring, but heavily speed controlled, therefore eagle-eye (!!) for Carabinieri.
Most of the mountain roads of the area, however, are not only very steep but extremely twisty. If you have not driven here before, but you are in a hurry, avoid taking an unknown route through the mountains, in order to save time! In most cases driving on the longer main roads is quicker.
In winter there are 11 lifts available, in summer a few lifts less. There are a few lifts open in summer as well, such as the Laurin chair-lift and the Paolina chairlift at Karersee.
Fares are pretty expensive, but if you hold a guest card, you get a very good discount! If you buy go and return, it is cheaper and you do have the chance to use the second ride within one week form the date of purchase!
The King Laurin lifts (yes, there are two of them, namely the Laurin I and the King Laurin!) are very long lifts, the second one going all the way up to the Kölner Hut in the Rosengarten mountains. Absolutely stunning panorama!!!
Südtirol/Alto Adige is THE place to go hiking. There are hikes with various difficulties usually according to the altitude differences and you can get free brochures about them in the Tourist Office or download them here.
The paths are usually very good and there are signs everywhere so that you can check the correct route. Despite the many signs, do read my warnings and danger tip!!
There is an excellent bus service serving Welschnofen and surroundings. Buses 180 and 181 go to and from Bozen and to Cyprianerhof / Vigo di Fassa via Karerpass. The buses leave every hour and are set up in a way to secure train connections in Bolzano. You can obtain tickets inside the bus or use a bus pass.
For a pdf.file of the timetables of both bus 180 and 181, please click on the link below.
We went to Welschnofen by car - about a 4 hour ride from Munich in Southern Germany. You pass through Austria and take the Brenner pass. If you take the highway (you have to pay toll there), you leave the highway at the exit Bozen Nord and from there it is about 15 more kilometers to Welschnofen. We had a GPS navigation system and only took toll free roads - it took us maybe half an hour longer, but saved us quite a bit of money!
In Welschnofen we parked our car and did not move it even once while there - we either walked or took the bus. Parking spaces are scarce and the public transportation was good!
This wonderful area is best visited by car though there are great bus connections between the towns and this can make multi-day hiking easier logistically. The distances are not great and it's nice to be able to stop off for a photo, or a picnic lunch as many scenic areas are available. Once at your destination, just walk or bike around to avoid the traffic. Seems a very popular option in much congested Bolzano!
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