Sports cycling

The Berghotel Franzenshöhe is closed, we are renovating!

Thank you all for a great season Karin &Team.

Not only for ambitious cyclists

Whether on a racing cycle or mountain bike, with or without baggage, the Stilfserjoch will always present a challenge. The 48 switchbacks on the Stilfserjochstraße are an absolute must for any ambitious cyclist.

The hotel terrace offers a lovely view of the remaining 21 bends that lead up to the pass summit. For many cyclists, especially mountain bikers, the Berghotel Franzenshöhe serves as an intermediate stage after a long day on the bicycle.

They value the chance to recuperate in the indoor swimming pool and sauna, a good evening meal, breakfast, clean laundry for a small fee, and the camaraderie around the fireplace in the bar. The next morning, the remaining stretch to the head of the pass can be tackled before the daily traffic sets in.

A special day on Stilfserjoch is the one day entirely free from car traffic set aside by the Nationalpark service. On this day, the queen of Alpine roads is only left open to cyclists. On the most recent car-free day, nearly 6,000 cyclists took advantage of the opportunity - a sight to be seen. The Franzenshöhe tennis court is converted into a bicycle parking lot for the day. Cyclists swap stories of their experiences on the site in front of the hotel accompanied by music, good food, and small talk.

Whoever prefers a less hurried pace can travel by bicycle or public bus down into the valley, rent a bicycle, and ride along the Via Claudia Augusta through the Vinschgau region. The new Vinschgau train has prepared an attractive offer for families. For around 14€, one can rent a bicycle, and then return by train.

Because of its location and excellent regular public bus connections, Franzenshöhe is ideally situated for a wide range of bicycle day trips.

Some recommendations

The classic Stilfserjoch - a little bit different

Departing Franzenshöhe, trek up the 21 turns until you reach the head of the pass, then ride down approximately 3km to the Swiss border, where you reach Santa Maria by way of Umbrail, and then ride on through Taufers in the direction of Glurns. From here, continue through Trafoi and back to Franzenshöhe. Given the relatively low gradient, the climb is not too difficult, though because of the high-altitude air, it will demand a certain degree of fitness.

Mountain biking: Furkelhütte

Follow the Stilfserjochstraße from Franzenshöhe to Gomagoi, then turn left in the direction of Stilfs. Before reaching the village, take the path heading in the direction of the sports field, which will lead you past the last houses, at roughly 1700m, finally arriving at the Prader Alm at 2050m. It is another few minutes from here to the Furkelhütte. The return trip to Franzenshöhe takes you over the Tartscheralm. At turn number 25, you have once again arrived back on the Stilfserjochstrasse.

Mountain biking: (227) Stilfser Joch, Forcola, Lago Fraele - Val Mora

Departing Franzenshöhe, cycle the short distance to the pass summit; from there, continue until you arrive at the Umbrailpass crossing. Before reaching the border, a small, inconspicuous trail to the left heads off to Bocchetta Forcola at 2700m.

Here one may explore remnants of old positions from the First World War. The soldiers had to build out their positions at heights well above 3000m, lay down trails, and wait out the icy winter cold. Many parts of the Alps were opened up in this way for the first time. The trails are still accessible today for hiking and bicycle tours.

On the other side, there is a descent into the valley to Lago di Fraele. Riding straight ahead will take you in the direction of Val Mora; across a green border, and you will reach Val Mora in Switzerland. Val Mora is an long, high-mountain valley very reminiscent of the landscapes seen in cowboy movies. When temperatures reach oppressive highs, the cool mountain water in the cattle troughs or mountain streams will be most welcome. Water in the Alps does not present a problem; you may drink it without hesitation. Next, a descent over shattered rock into the Münstertal. The way back takes you over the Müstairtal to the Italian border until you reach Laatsch and Prad, and then back up to Franzenshöhe, either still riding the bicycle, or by regular service bus, depending on your condition.

Mountain biking: (222) an easy orbit around Upper Vinschgau

The tour starts in Prad at the northern entrance to the village, although you can already begin the tour by cycling from Franzenshöhe to Prad. You reach Glurns, the smallest hamlet in Europe, by riding along Via Claudia Augusta, the Vinschgau bicycle path. At the main village square in Glurns, you turn right, leave the town and head in the direction of Schluderns. Before reaching the train underpass, make a left turn, then follow the connecting bicycle path in the direction of Prader Sand. Before the train station, take a right over the bridge to the Prader Fischer Seen, Upper Vinschgau's recreational facility. Through the Prader Sand - once, long ago, a fluvial landscape - you returns to Prad, and then back up to Franzenshöhe.

By train and bicycle through Vinschgau:

The bicycle and mountain biking program of the Vinschgerbahn (Vinschgau train service) is a special attraction for young and old. The combination of train and bicycle is perfect. The fundamental idea animating the bicycle friendly program of the Vinschgerbahn is a design to increase the use of the Vinschgau bicycle path, while at the same time connecting cyclists to the new train.

As is widely known, Vinschgau can justly claim one of the most beautiful bike paths in South Tyrol. The Mals-Meran stretch is not only characterized by an ideal gradient (gently downwards), but also offers a rewarding scenic, gastronomic, and cultural journey of discovery. The general philosophy envisions the main train stations equipped with bicycle rental outlets. A special Erlebnisticket (adventure ticket) can be purchased there that gives you a train ticket for the stretch Meran-Mals/Mals-Meran with a rental bicycle. In this way, combined train-biking excursions can be undertaken in both directions, with the possibility - at any time - of heading for the next train station in order to cover portions of the tour by train.

For further information