Trentino | Adventure Travel Guide
After an adventure that can truly claim to have something for everybody? Trentino could well be the spot for you...
Sitting in the mountainous north of Italy is the stunningly beautiful province of Trentino. Nestled among the iconic Dolomites, the Adige river flowing through its heart, and many lakes including Lake Garda, it’s hardly a surprise to discover that Trentino is an Unesco World Heritage site. Indeed, it’s this variety of landscapes on what the locals lovingly call “the sunny side of the Alps" that make Trentino truly special.
You can fly to the nearby city of Verona direct from numerous London airports. Trento, in the centre on Trentino is then roughly an hour drive or train ride away.
Set in an incredible location, Trentino is home to some of the most amazing nature and breathtaking landscapes you’ll see anywhere on the planet. Exploring this lavish countryside can be as easy or as taxing as you want, genuinely offering something for everybody.
There are 1165 official hiking trails and trekking trails in Trentino that cover an incredible 5843 kilometres (3630 miles) of terrain. Whether you’re taking a young family on a hike, a professional level climber, or anything in between, you’ll find plenty of options.
To make your time in the mountains truly special,why not stop for a bite or even stay overnight in one of the many refugios - charming traditional mountain huts that are scattered among the region. Each has it’s own unique characteristics, some famous for their food, others for their warm hospitality. Seeing the sun set in the Dolomites, and rise again in the morning will be a truly magical experience.
For a really native-feeling hiking trip in Trentino, you can hire a guide for either a three or a six-seven day trek among the mountains. There are 211 guides working in Trentino, all of who were born walking the trails there, and who can be hired to show you the secrets of the mountains, while ensuring you remain safe, and are at a level suited to your ability and experience.
If music is more your thing, during July and August, Trentino welcomes The Sound of The Dolomites. Over 20 concerts will take place across four incredible natural locations in the mountains, encompassing world music, jazz, classical, and more.
If you’re in your element on a mountain bike, Trentino is an absolute must. The province hosts some of the best riding in the Dolomites, from the slippery stone of Lake Garda in the south up to the higher peaks in the north.
There are actually over seven bike parks in the Trentino region, including the world famous Val di Sole, so you’ll always have plenty of options. Most of them are fairly new so don’t yet attract the big crowds of the French Alps.
Lake Garda is likely to be the star of the show when it comes to enduro riding, its stunning views and challenging trails have long been worthy of a place on any mountain biker’s bucket list – there’s a reason so many brands ferry journalists over there every year for bike launches. But don’t overlook the Brenta National Park just fifty miles north that offers everything from bike park blasts to 171 kilometre, three day tours.
With almost 300 lakes, including the majestic Lake Garda, Trentino also offers some incredible water sports. The picturesque towns of Riva del Garda and Torbole are amazing spots for windsurfing and sailing.
If you like your water flowing a little faster, the Noce River in Val di Sole is incredible for kayaking and rafting, winning plaudits from National Geographic for its rafting courses. Val del Chiese and Ledro are excellent places to try canyoning, if you like your water sports with a more adventurous edge.
The best part? Once you’ve spent a day on the water, be that kite surfing, swimming, kayaking, or whatever else takes your fancy, you can kick-back and enjoy an aperitivo in the warm sun, before enjoying dinner and a glass of wine in one of the many restaurants that sit on the shore of Trentino’s gorgeous lakes.
Where To Stay
There are plenty of options in Trentino that will suit every budget, group size, and requirement, making narrowing the selection down to just a couple pretty tricky.
However, if you want an experience that captures life in the Dolomites that’s also rich with rustic Italian charm and hospitality, Chalet nel Doch in Lozen is an excellent choice. Set in dense woodland, these former barns have been renovated into breathtaking chalets, combining traditional touches such as log fires, with modern designer comforts. Located in the hills, it does require a bit of a walk, but the hosts have been known to come out and meet guests find it’s tranquil location.
On the Southern bank of Lake Caldonazzo is Camping Mario, which offers both camping spaces, and mobile homes if you, or one of your group, isn’t quite ready to take the leap and sleep in a tent yet. It’s ideally located for water sports, with easy access to the mountains as well. With prices starting from just €12 (around about £10) per night, it’s an excellent option if you’d budget is geared more towards getting among the outdoors.
Where To Eat
If you’re looking to treat a special somebody - even if that special somebody is yourself - Malga Panna, in the north west of Trentino, is about as good as you can get. The restaurant is a charming mountain hut set just off a road some distance from the nearby village, guaranteeing you tranquility.
Malga Panna won its first Michelin Star back in 1993, and has continuously been awarded them since, so you know you’re in for something special when you sit down to eat. With a six course taster menu that starts from €65 (about £58), as a treat for a special occasion, it’s actually reasonably priced when compared to similar standard cuisine in major cities.
Of course, eating in a Michelin Star restaurant every day may be a little hard on the wallet. Happily Trentino has so many options to suit every budget and taste, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Where To Drink
It’s fair to say that Italians know a thing or two about fermenting grapes, and in Trentino, they’ve been making wine since 3000BC. However, it’s sparkling wine that the region is now famous for, and Trentodoc is their signature tipple. For those with a penchant for bubbles, a trip to Trentino without sampling the famous Trentodoc is, well, it’s simply not on.
Abate Nero (literally translates as Black Abbot) produce some of the finest Trentodoc you’ll sample. Pay them a visit in Trento and discover how they make this delicious nectar.
Of course, nothing quite beats a post ride beer, whether you’ve been in the hills on your bike, or hitting the water on your SUP board. Trentino produces a whole host of craft ales, the likes of which would make a Shoreditch hipster green with envy. You’ll be spoilt for choice, but you’ll be safe in the knowledge that whatever you put in your day pack for that post-ride drink will be a winner.
What The Locals Say
"Trentino is one of the best places in Italy for wine - and I come from Tuscany originally, so that's saying a lot. Try the Gewurztraminer from this region, it's one of the best."
- Andrea Azzolini, longterm Trentino resident, wine and mountain sports enthusiast