Photo: Hotel Plan Murin
Berliners unfortunately, spent most of the winter either with firmly cemented gray clouds in the sky or with abstruse squalls. The meteorological situation was honestly more desolate than usual. And after two years of lockdown, we felt the desire for a Berlin escapism even more. But where to? So where do you actually have snow, fresh air and almost always good weather? In the Dolomites!
Visit Südtirol invited us to explore the skiing and hiking region, and we have summarized our main highlights for you.
The Dolomites, located in the southern part of South Tyrol, are known for their sunny days, for the mostly trilingual town signs (German, Italian, Ladin) and probably even more known for the so-called Enrosadira, the Alpenglühen, which puts the landscape into a mystical state and around which many legends entwine, such as that of King Laurin and his rose garden.
Image: Giovanni Castellaz (CC BY-SA 4.0)
In addition to traditional alpine skiing, which is very popular in the Dolomites, alternative sports such as winter hiking, snowshoeing and ski touring, which do not require lifts, have become more and more popular during the pandemic. We took advantage of this opportunity to go on a guided hike from Corvara through the snow-covered forest up to the mountain hut La Marmotta. This is known for its particularly good dumplings, which we highly recommend.
The second winter hike took us from La Val across the idyllic Armentara meadows to the pilgrimage church of La Crusc, which has been standing under the rock face of the Sas dla Crusc in the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park since the 15th century. The neighboring hospice has existed since the beginning of the 18th century and used to accommodate pilgrims in the past. Today, the listed building is used as a mountain hut, and you can enjoy local delicacies there, too.
Reaching the summit & experiencing history
The next morning, our journey took us two valleys further: to Arabba. So, we strapped on our skis and headed for the Marmolata, the so-called Queen of the Dolomites. At a dizzying 3343 meters, it is the highest mountain in the Dolomites and part of the Marmolata group, home to one of the largest glaciers in the Dolomites.
This, like many other places in the region, has been important in recent history. During the First World War, the Marmolata was also a border mountain between Austria-Hungary and Italy, where tunnels were blasted into the glacier for food supplies and a veritable “ice city” was built.
The so-called “First World War Ski Tour” also commemorates this dark chapter of history, with its many victims on the Italian as well as the Austro-Hungarian side. The tour leads around the summit of the Col di Lana, which was brought down by blasting, along the former front. Traces of the war, such as tunnels and embrasures, can still be seen in many places. Probably the most spectacular and longest descent of the tour is the slope that leads from the Lagazuoi mountain to Armentarola in the valley.
Dinner—from rustic to elegant
A tour like this can make you very hungry and if you make a reservation in good time, there is no better place to enjoy local food than at Maso Runch Hof, a typical Ladin inn in Badia. The traditional menu consists of barley soup, Tutres (deep-fried dumplings filled with spinach and ricotta), Schlutzkrapfen (spinach and ricotta ravioli), pork knuckle, ribs, or goulash with homemade dumplings or polenta, and apple strudel with ice cream. Of course, you also have vegetarian options. But the inn isn’t fascinating only in the evenings with its rustic parlors; the family-run farm can also be visited during the day and holiday flats can be rented.
As a contrast to this, there is the modern and minimalist Guide MICHELIN restaurant L’ostì in Corvara, which impresses with its extravagant Italian cuisine and biodynamic wine selection. Vegan dishes are prepared on request and are truly delicious. The chefs and staff really do credit to their star.
Observing the stars
If you are interested in more than Michelin stars, you can join the torchlight walk that takes place regularly in all Alta Badia valleys. Due to the low light pollution, this is an opportunity to admire the stars, planets, and constellations that will be explained by an astronomy expert. With the help of a professional telescope, the stars or, depending on the phase of the moon, the moon and its craters can be seen very clearly. In August of this year there will be the Dolomites Star Party again, a festival where stargazing takes place in the context of concerts. So be sure to make a note for this summer.
While the sun has already set in other valleys, you can still enjoy the evening sun in La Val, especially in the spa area on the roof terrace of the recently renovated Hotel Plan Murin. The panoramic view of the mountains makes this place a true oasis of tranquility.
by Guest Author | Feb 8, 2023 | Accommodation, City Guide, Places, Travel, Wellness
When the founders of Berlin-based massage therapy platform Soulhouse reached out to me a while ago to ask me if I would be interested in trying out their new massage service, they probably had no idea that this would be such a dream opportunity for me. I’m somewhat a massage fanatic and to get offered to try out such a premium service is like Christmas and my birthday is coming together on the same day.
I really love to get massages and I will jump at any opportunity to get one. Whenever I book into a hotel that offers massages, the first thing I’ll do is book one at the earliest time possible. When I discover a new massage studio in my neighborhood, I’ll be the first one to try it out. And pretty much all of my previous and current partners have come under pressure to give me massages. So, clearly, I’m an expert now in the field of receiving massages and I won’t shy away from sharing my qualified opinion 😉
by Frank | Apr 6, 2022 | Wellness
Would you believe that even after 20 years in a city you would still be able to discover something you’ve never seen before? I am very confident in my knowledge about Berlin, but this weekend I was again surprised to stumble onto something that has always been there, but I never came by nor heard of it. I’m talking about the English Garden in Tiergarten. I know this park is very big and there are probably many things in it, that many of you might not have discovered yet, but I’ve been there so many times, how on earth did I miss this incredibly charming garden?
I’m glad that I discovered it now, with the beautiful colors of Autumn making it look even more magical. I think I haven’t been to an enchanting place like that in quite some time! It felt almost like in a completely different part of the world. And there are a few things to find there: A cafe and restaurant called Teehaus that looks quite nice, a classical flower garden, a part that looks a bit like a botanical garden with lots of different bushes and plants, a big pond with a mystical weeping willow tree.
by Frank | Oct 26, 2020 | Tiergarten, Wellness
For me, the success of the Berlin summer is measured by the number of lake visits that I managed. I’ve come to learn to take immediate advantage of good weather no matter if I have time or not, because you never know how many good lake days you gonna get. This year has been not great. Not been to the lake at all. So I have a lot of catching up to do in the remaining weeks of the summer. Let’s hope for some good weather, right?
We already published a big lake guide a while ago which you can find here. For this year we decided to make a smaller, updated version for you guys that reflects a bit more which lakes we personally actually frequent. Enjoy!
by Frank | Jul 31, 2020 | Wellness
Especially in winter when the days are short and the light is gloomy, every Berliner wishes to hop on a plane to Bali or at least to South Europe. But all the plane-hopping is surely not so good for our planet and not the best choice if you have a fulltime job and a family here in Berlin.
Exactly 11 years ago on a really hard winter night, a friend of mine brought me to my first SUNYOGA class in Kreuzberg. Afterward, I felt completely exhausted but in the nicest way. Like you had spent a whole day at the ocean. Back then I had never heard of the concept of Hot Yoga and did not know anything about the health benefits and how it would change my life for good.
by Claudio | Feb 14, 2020 | Wellness
Turns out that despite our extensive city exploring, there is still one particular green area we’ve never written about. And that is Berliner Wiese – not a meadow in the literal sense, but surely a portal into a more plant-based lifestyle. Keep on reading to find out more about this Berlin-based grower, manufacturer, and distributor of CBD and hemp products.
Berliner Wiese was founded by two Dennis and Julien – two Ur-Berliners who pride themselves on growing their business locally in an environmentally friendly way. As they explain: ‘’We feel sustainability and regionality are both very important. Almost all our products come from the vicinity of Berlin and are grown on organic farms.’’
by Michalina | Oct 8, 2019 | Products, Wellness
After running his first marathon our guest writer Laurent sat down to share his experience at the run with us, as well as the program that Nike hosted in their Home of Running where he lead a panel talk with the founders of some of Berlin’s biggest running communities.
“Are you running the Berlin marathon?” This is probably the question I have been asked the most in the last 3 months. When you are a runner, running a marathon is already one big thing. Living in Berlin and running the Berlin Marathon is THE thing!
This is not just another race. It is the race! It is incredible to see how the city changes from the week prior to this big event. Runners from all countries are invading the city and bring it to life in a different way! Streets, parks, cafés, runners are everywhere, getting their last kilometers before the big day! The atmosphere and enthusiasm around running have been growing so much in the past years. And Berlin has definitely played an enormous role in shaping the running culture.
by Guest Author | Oct 4, 2019 | Misc., Stories, Wellness
The big Berlin Marathon is upon us later this week and as a special treat, Airbnb has invited the international marathon icon Kathrine Switzer to Berlin for a Fearless Fitness Experience that you can participate in now!
Switzer has become famous as the first official female runner in the Boston Marathon back in 1967. Until that time it was an unwritten rule that women could not participate in marathons because they were physically not capable of it. That was until Switzer broke the rules and took part in the 67’s marathon anyway as part of a team with two guys. While most other men in the race were impressed by Switzer it was the race director Jock Semple that ran after her and tried to stop her, only to be pushed off the race track by Switzer’s boyfriend and athlete Tom Miller.
by Frank | Sep 22, 2019 | Events, People, Wellness
photo: Hendrik Thul.
I am more than happy to notice our society’s new obsession with self-development, mindfulness and general mental hygiene. “Self Care” is not a niche anymore, it has become more of a common need. Even in Berlin, where our generation rather used to give in to pleasure and partying than nurturing thoughts on self-reflection. Now, practicing morning meditation daily with the Headspace App or going for a healthy breakfast has become a trusted routine for many.
Yoga – the mother of physical and mental self-care – is now more in demand than ever. So we thought we’d encourage you to take care of your wellbeing and bring you closer to some of Berlins most amazing Yogis. Their expertise about the yoga scene will give you an insight of which yoga studio to visit and who to follow online for more information on meditation practice and the mindset that comes with it.
by Franziska | Sep 19, 2019 | Wellness
Today we want to introduce you to a very special event that will tickle the interest of both street art lovers and runners alike: The On Art Run.
Our new guest writer Laurent has already introduced himself to you as a running enthusiast who likes to combine this sport with other activities and also compiled a list of the best running routes in Berlin for us. To our big delight this week there is a chance for all of you to go out running with him for the On Art Run that will take place on Thursday starting in Kreuzberg and going all the way Friedrichshain past some of the most iconic street art murals of the city including the cosmonaut by Victor Ash that was recently illuminated by a spectacular video mapping.
by Frank | Sep 17, 2019 | Events, Wellness