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Relax & Wellness

South Tyrol

Free Kneipp trails in South Tyrol where you can enjoy wellness in complete freedom

11 August 2022

4 minutes

In the early 1800s, the German priest Sebastian Kneipp was able to cure himself of tuberculosis simply by immersing himself in the freezing waters of the Danube. Because the young 28-year-old could not resign himself to the words of the doctors who were giving him up for dead, he began to independently research an alternative method to end his illness, and the book "Lectures on the Wonderful Healing Power of Fresh Water" by Johann Sigmund Hahn particularly inspired him.
Impressed by what he read, Kneipp combined the knowledge he had gained and decided to dive into the icy river and then run back to the monastery, subjecting his body to a thermal shock that would soothe the feeling of cold. Within six months, he was completely recovered from tuberculosis: he had reactivated his circulation in an optimal way, speeding up his recovery.
Thus, hydrotherapy and its method, which is also based on rules related to diet and lifestyle, took shape.

Today, the Kneipp trail is a very popular way to restore wellness, especially if done in nature: just walking barefoot in cold water or alternating between water of different temperatures is enough to reawaken your body. Contact with naturally uneven terrain such as a river bed will then be very stimulating for the muscles and circulatory system.
A very simple activity with incredible beneficial properties – and what better place to practise it than at one of the natural spas in South Tyrol?
In this special status region, which is strongly influenced by German and Austrian influences, you can find several Kneipp trails and free spas along walking routes and in natural parks, which are well worth a visit.

Visit some Kneipp trails in South Tyrol to try to restore your balance and well-being. 

1. The Anterivo Kneipp trail

the anterivo kneipp path

We are in Val di Fiemme and in the picturesque village of Anterivo, on the border between South Tyrol and Trentino, you can find a Kneipp trail that is accessible to everyone. It consists of a cold shower, a tub to soak your feet in, a tub for your face and another one for your arms – everything you need to experience the effectiveness of cold water on your body for yourself. It’s the perfect way to combat the summer heat and feel light on your feet again after a walk in the woods.

2. The Rio Scaleres Kneipp facility in Varna

rio scaleres kneipp installation

We now take you to Varna, near Bressanone, to recommend the very first Kneipp trail established in South Tyrol, where you can try hydrotherapy for free in the crystal-clear waters of the Rio Scaleres river. You can then relax in the adjacent meadow or exercise with the equipment provided, for a total reactivation of your body, in full accordance with the Kneipp method.

3. Lago di Fiè

fle lake

The lake at Fiè is located within the Sciliar-Catinaccio natural park. As well as a place of myths and legends, it is one of the essential destinations for those who want to relax in contact with nature in South Tyrol. After all, wellness is a serious matter here: the tradition of the hay bath was born in this area. You can also find a short Kneipp trail on the shore of the lake, to activate your immune and circulatory systems, but also to regenerate your body after a summer walk.

4. Kneipp in Magrè sulla Strada del Vino

kneipp magre wine road

Magrè sulla Strada del Vino (Magrè on the Wine Road) is the full name of this South Tyrolean village which the Favogna stream flows through. Once wild, this torrent is now tamed and has been used since 2018 to feed the three Kneipp pools here, designed for your feet and arms. Definitely worth a try after a long walk or bike ride through the surrounding woods and trails.

5. The Ratschings barefoot trail

racines barefoot trail

If you love Kneipp trails, make sure you don’t miss the Ratschings trail in the Upper Isarco Valley, which you have to follow barefoot. To reach it, start near the Hotel Larchhof on Innerratschings and follow the path towards Flading. Once there, it’s shoes off: the barefoot trail is about 400 metres long and will let you get in touch with nature to the fullest, feeling and perceiving different textures and surfaces under the plants. A unique sensory experience that is both pleasurable and educational for the body, all at an altitude of 1,400 metres surrounded by the beauty of South Tyrol. An experience you absolutely must try.

6. Kneipp trail and playground in Trodena in the natural park

kneipp trodena

South Tyrol is the ideal place for family holidays: there are plenty of activities for children and just as many places suitable for them. One example can be found in Trodena, in Val dei Molini, where there is a newly built, well-maintained Kneipp trail, equipped with a cold shower, a foot bath, a face bath and an arm bath, right next to a beautiful playground divided into themed areas dedicated to forest animals, offering fun and relaxation for everyone.