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Farm Holidays in Sarntal

Farm Holidays in Sarntal - holiday flats and rooms in South Tyrol

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A Farm Holiday in Sarntal valley means exploring a valley that has kept its rustic nature.

South Tyroleans sometimes like to poke fun at Sarntal locals: these rustic farmers with their strong dialect used to be a rare sight in Bozen. This valley was, in fact, a microcosm until a main road was built in the 1930s connecting it with the town. Before this, the way south to Bozen used to lead through a dangerous gorge or over the Ritten plateau, both routes requiring a lot of effort.

A Farm Holiday in Sarntal valley: art from feathers
The remote nature of the valley forced the locals to produce daily objects that they needed themselves. That's why they enjoy a long rural tradition that is still visible today, especially from their wonderful local costume. Agriculture still relies mainly on livestock farming and tradition has it that cows spend the summer on the mountain pastures. Anyone hoping to see vineyards or orchards here meet with disappointment. The Sarntal locals are renowned for their artisanal skills and there are a few quill embroiderers here carrying out a craft that farmers used to earn a little extra income with. Farmers use quills from peacock feathers for their artistic work, which have to be split in order to have the right strength and flexibility. These embroiderers conjure up patterns on the leather of belts, shoes, satchels, bags and lots more. Belts decorated like this are typical of the Sarntal costume. Anyone looking to take a traditional souvenir home with them can have their initials embroidered onto a wallet or purse. These are very popular items with South Tyroleans, too.

The highest place of pilgrimage in Europe
Anyone staying in a holiday flat in Sarntal valley, should keep a day free for hiking, as there are lots of rewarding destinations here. The easy 'Sagenweg' path at Aberstückl, for example, is lined with lots of info points displaying nine legends, or 'Sagen', of Sarntal. If you wish to head a little higher, Latzfonser Kreuz refuge could be a good goal. Here, at 2,305 metres above sea level, the highest church of pilgrimage in Europe may be found bearing the same name. The 'Stoanernen Mandln' are a mystical destination above Sarnthein. Hundreds of small cairns rise up here at this spot with fantastic views. Legend has it that witches used to dance with the devil here.

A dip in the water or a ride on a horse after a motorbike tour?
Sarntal valley is particularly popular with motorcyclists in summer, as there is a fantastic winding route up to Penser Joch pass. Keen swimmers should stop off at Durnholzer See lake, while the water shy can jump into another saddle: in Sarntal there are several riding farms offering treks out into the beautiful countryside. The road over the pass is closed in winter, but Reinswald ski slopes are open. As well as a sledge run, there are pistes for skiers, snowboarders and cross-country skiers. Ice-skaters can do rounds of frozen Durnholzer See lake.

When bells ring out through the valley
Taking a Farm Holiday in Sarntal valley in winter does not mean getting out on the ski piste every day, however. In Advent, bell ringers go from door to door singing old carols on 'Klöckelnacht'. This custom comes from a German fertility ritual, when, shortly before the winter equinox, the way had to be cleared for the weather and fertility god, Donar. That's why, on the first three Thursdays in Advent, scary tones, bells and strange noises ring out into the night sky. In summer, on the other hand, the Sarntal village fete takes place, and the first Sunday in September sees not only the occasion of the cattle being driven down from their mountain pastures, but also marks the end of summer. This folk festival is throroughly celebrated with traditional 'Krapfen' pastries and 'Strauben' funnel cake as well as rustic music from oompah bands.

Why take a holiday in Sarntal valley?

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