Closed in by the high mountain ranges of the Ortles and the Ötztal Alps, and shielded from bad weather, the Venosta Valley is the driest valley in the Alps
. With around 300 days of sunshine a year, the weather is usually very nice and makes for a very special microclimate.
Monte Sole Mountain
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.
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
. Characterized by its steep mountain ranges, it leads up to the Ortles mountain massif and the Stilfser Joch National Park
, the biggest natural park in Italy.