Two women hiking the Meraner Höhenweg (Alta Via di Merano)

Alta Via di Merano

Meraner Höhenweg

About the Alta Via di Merano

100 km(62 mi)
Type of trail
Hut to hut, Long-distance

Difficulty is highly personal. Be aware of the weather conditions as bad weather turns easier trails in difficult trails especially in the mountains.


Lodging means a mix of hotels, hostels or AirBnB’s.

Lodging, Mountain huts
Elevation gain
5100 m(16732 ft)
Mountains, Forest, Hills
Some of the time
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The Meran Alta Via stands out as one of the most breathtaking circular hiking routes in the Alpine region. Marked with the number 24, this trail was crafted by the AVS mountain guides Robert Schönweger and Helmuth Ellmenreich and was inaugurated in 1985. The Meran Alta Via is divided into a northern and a southern section, circling the Texel Group Nature Park at a relatively consistent elevation.

The Meran Alta Via is a more accessible alternative to crossing the Alps or any other mountain tour in the Dolomites with wonderful inns, occasional mountain huts for refreshments, and stunning panoramic views. And that’s exactly how you can describe the journey – except for one alpine stage over the Eisjöchl, it’s a delightfully pleasant gourmet tour with a continuous, gentle undulation. Each day is entirely different, and it’s a fantastic feeling when you turn into a new valley, and the entire landscape transforms before your eyes.

women climbing mountain

Silvie Asler

Silvie Asler was born in Berlin with no mountains far and wide. However, as soon as she moved to Switzerland for a job, she immediately fell in love with the country and its mountains. She spends her free time  in the Alps or the Dolomites, whenever possible with her family. She particularly likes multi-day hut-to-hut hikes and her life goal is to visit every of the official SAC mountain huts in Switzerland. You can follow Silvie on her blog, on Facebook or on Instagram.

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The Trail

In five to eight-day stages, experienced and sure-footed hikers cover nearly 100 kilometers, exploring the Texel Group Nature Park. Along the way, you’re treated to panoramic views – on clear days, the Dolomites and the Ortler Massif are visible. Particularly in the southern section, there are fantastic views of the city of Merano, the Adige Valley, and the Vinschgau.

The Merano Alta Via offers a glimpse into the world of South Tyrolean mountain farmers who, through centuries of hard work, have shaped and preserved this mountainous cultural landscape.

The lowest point of the trail is at 839 meters, and the highest point reaches almost 3,000 meters. The trail keeps the same elevation throughout the majority of the days making it a beautiful high route.

Throughout the route, you’ll find quite a few places for refreshments and overnight stays. Quality is highly valued at all establishments along the trail, and typical South Tyrolean dishes turn the hike into a culinary experience as well. The Alta Via is a proper culinary trail that will make you want to come back to this region again and again, always with a stomach hungry for more.


The trek can be divided into 6 main stages. They all waver between 13-18 kilometers with roughly the same elevation gain each day.

6 stages of the tour

Stage 1:

Hochmuth – Giggelberg, 13.4km | 8.3 mi (6:30h)

Stage 2:

Giggelberg – Katharinaberg, 14.1km | 8.7 mi (5:30h)

Stage 3:

Katharinaberg – Eishöfe, 13.4km | 8.3 mi (4:50h)

Stage 4:

Eishöfe – Pfelders, 16.8km | 10.4 mi (6h)

Stage 5:

Pfelders – Matatz, 18km | 11.2 mi (5h)

Stage 6:

Matatz – Hochmuth, 18.3km | 11.4 mi (6:30h)


Plenty of accommodations along the route so that you can plan the route according to your fitness level and the number of stages you want to plan. You can either stay in luxurious mountain huts, farm stays, hotels, or pensions that all serve amazing food. You cross through little villages so that you can stock up on snacks along the route. Make sure to book about 6 months in advance if you want to get hold of private rooms. Other rooms can be booked on short notice since there is plenty of accommodation.

Best time of the year

The southern part of the trail can be done between May and October. The northern part, particularly the crossing over the Eisjöchl, should only be done without snow, which is still possible until the end of June.

Safety & Gear

Before you start hiking, download maps and guidebooks to familiarize yourself with the route, including any potential hazards and emergency exit points.

Check the weather forecast before you start to hike because mountain conditions can change rapidly. Be prepared for different weather, including sudden changes in temperature, rain, and strong winds. Dress in layers and wear appropriate hiking gear, including sturdy boots with good traction.

Bring at least 2 liters of water and plenty of snacks to stay hydrated and fueled throughout your hike. Pack a first aid kit, emergency shelter, and communication devices such as a mobile phone or satellite communicator. Consider bringing a GPS device or compass for navigation, especially in remote areas with limited signage.

Hiking in groups is recommended for safety, especially if you’re less experienced in the mountains. Stay on marked trails and avoid straying off-path to avoid getting lost.

Be mindful of your surroundings and watch out for potential hazards such as steep drops, loose rocks, and unstable footing. Take breaks when you need to rest and rehydrate, and listen to your body’s signals to avoid injury.

Good to know

The trek can be done in both directions with the majority of hikers going clockwise.

Numerous access and descent points along the Meran Alta Via make it possible to start the hike at various locations or descend to the valley. Approaches are easily accessible via cable cars, public transportation, cars, or taxis. Certain sections along the trail require surefootedness, a head for heights, and caution. At exposed points, safety features such as chains, ropes, or railings are in place. However, the trail can be done with kids and dogs as well and does not pose too much of a challenge.

You can refill your water along the route if you cross through villages or pass by restaurants. Always carry 1.5L to be on the safe side and refill at every opportunity.

As for remoteness, the Meran Alta Via is very popular with hikers of all ages and also big hiking groups. All stages are also done by day hikers, so you will never be alone.

Highest point
2879m (9446 ft)

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Terms of Use: important to all visitors on this website. We strive to publish high quality content and information on this website. However it’s always possible that we’re missing out on some crucial information. In spite of the fact that this route, associated GPS track (GPX and maps) were prepared under diligent research by the specified contributor and/or contributors, the accuracy of such and judgement of the author is not guaranteed. Therefore, and contributors are in no way liable for personal injury, damage to personal property, or any other such situation that might happen to individuals hiking or following this route. Should you choose to hike this trail, this is always at your own risk. Check out our guidelines for safety hiking and Leave No Trace principles at the hiking 101 page.

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