PWk: Prod, Tlk: GS2, Datacash: Live
Once upon a time, the Tyrolean capital of Merano was renowned for its spa resorts and was a firm favourite with Austrian emperors, aristocrats and Italian nobility. The town originally gained popularity for its impressive number of thermal baths, now housed within a modern spa. Located in the gardens at the centre of the town, visitors can enjoy 25 pools, eight saunas and steam baths, as well as a medical spa.
With a pretty promenade running through the town, and a medieval centre rich with history, Merano is perfect for exploring on foot. There are plenty of walking trails in the surrounding mountains, too, plus opportunities for cycling and (in the winter) skiing. A visit to the town wouldn't be complete without a trip to its famous castle, Trauttmansdorff. The castle building itself is a huge attraction; however, its gardens are what draw visitors from afar. Thanks to the region’s mild winters and warm summers, they showcase plants from all around the world, colourfully displayed across 80 individual gardens.
The 11th-century Castle Tyrol is also worth visiting and is located just outside of Merano. The former home of the Counts of Tyrol, it's now used as the South Tyrol Museum of Culture and History. Learn about the first human settlements in South Tyrol, right through to the history of the castle itself.