Monte Sole – the Sunny Side of the Alps
The Venosta Valley is one of the most fascinating valleys in the Alpine area. Embedded between high altitude mountain ranges reaching almost 4000m in height, the valley runs from east to west and has its own micro-climate
. As a result it possesses special and characteristic climatic conditions: it is the valley with the least amount of precipitations in the entire Alps, boasting peaks with 320 days of sunshine. Due to its unique weather
and east-west position, it offers two complete different sides: the sunny, arid Montesole (in German, Sonnenberg), and the green, tree-lined Monte Tramontana (Nörderberg).
The sunnier side, Monte Sole, is not only dry, but is usually quite warm and free from snowfall even during the entire winter season, making it a beautiful location for a relaxed sunny winter hiking
tour. The flora and fauna in this area, which can reach soil temperatures of 70°C in the summer, are unique for the Alps. The plant life consists of a dry grassland community with steppe grass, downy oaks and dwarf shrubs, which are in turn home to many insects and rare reptiles, such as green lizards, as well as eagles, hawks and falcons.
Monte Tramontana – Cool and Green
On the opposite side from the arid, warm Monte Sole extends the green, lush landscape of Monte Tramontana. This cooler side of the east-west Venosta Valley is an ideal place in the summer for hiking
and MTB. Characterized by its steep mountain ranges, it leads up to the Ortles mountain massif and the Stelvio National Park
, the biggest natural park in Italy.