Embrace the natural world in Valsugana
10 reasons to choose a sustainable vacation by Lakes Levico and Caldonazzo
Take life slowly and savour every moment: travel by bike, eat wholesome food, breathe in the fragrant mountain air and take a refreshing, revitalizing dip in the lake. If this sounds like your perfect holiday, Valsugana is the place for you. Located just a few kilometres from Trento, the valley is the first sustainable tourism destination to be certified in accordance with the criteria of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
There are lots of factors behind this achievement: from the Blue Flag designations of Lakes Levico and Caldonazzo, to the long cycle path that makes it easy to get around without a car, to the vast network of trails you can explore on foot in the Lagorai mountain chain. And that’s before we mention the zero-km produce, like cheese and salumi from the mountain dairies or the Trentodoc wineries.
In short, there are lots of reasons to enjoy the natural rhythms of a holiday in Valsugana.
Because Valsugana takes first place in sustainability
Valsugana is the first destination to achieve sustainable tourism certification under the criteria of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. This is thanks to the sustainable lifestyle of its inhabitants, its environmental policies, and the clean waters of Lakes Levico and Caldonazzo, both holders of Blue Flags. But that’s not all: the Legambiente environmental association and the Italian Touring Club have awarded the Green Flag to the area, while the town of Borgo Valsugana won the 2020 Green Town Award from the Weekend Premium web magazine.
Harness the wind in a sailing boat
Sailing is a magical experience. The wind fills the sails and sends the boat racing across the lake, with the water lapping against the sides and refreshing spray occasionally cooling your face. If you have never tried it, a holiday in Valsugana is the perfect time to do so. The local sailing instructors will introduce you to the joys of one of the oldest ways of travelling across the waves.
Go stand-up paddleboarding around Blue Flag lakes
One of the best ways to explore Lake Caldonazzo and Lake Levico is to go stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). Paddle along slowly, basking in the warm energy of the sunshine and the cool vitality of the water in the lake. Valsugana is home to some of the warmest lakes in Southern Europe, providing the ideal conditions for swimming for many months of the year. The facilities and services on the beaches help to ensure that the water is always safe for swimmers.
Riding on the shore
Valsugana is home to a cycle path that is hugely popular with cyclists not only because it stretches out over an impressive 80 km but also because it goes through some spellbinding scenery, first by the lake and then through apple orchards and picturesque villages. On top of all of this, in 2020 it won an Italian Green Road Award: the most prestigious Italian accolade in the world of bicycle touring. Every year, the prizes are presented to the most outstanding eco-friendly routes in Italy, which must offer an outstanding blend of local character, culture, food and wine.
Listen to the sound of nature
Coots, mallards, reed warblers… there are all sorts of interesting creatures to spot on the shores of Lake Levico, especially for keen birdwatchers. There is an 8 km circular route with lots of benches where you can stop and admire the lake as you listen to the birds singing.
Strolling among trees and works of art
If you like walking and wandering in beautiful surroundings, make sure you go to Arte Sella during your stay in Valsugana. Technically it is an open-air gallery for natural works of art that constantly interact with the natural world, but when you get there you will see that there is much more to it than that. It will take you on a journey into a peaceful realm where you can lose and then find yourself once again.
Experience Lagorai in pink
“Lagorai in rosa” (Lagorai in pink) takes you high up into the wild nature of the Lagorai mountains, amid meadows and rocky cliffs. Discover the mountain huts, experience moments of mindfulness, yoga and fitness along the way. The treks are all free and will be led by a qualified female mid-mountain guide, and can be booked throughout summer.
Collect the season’s first wild plants
'Foraging', or walking in nature with the aim of getting to know and collecting wild plants. The art of "foraging” is as old as humans themselves, and closely linked to respect for the land, and a philosophy on life: don’t take from nature more than she’s willing to give you. In Valsugana, you can take part in an organised forage and discover the flavours of wild plants.
Enjoy a high-altitude performance
Where theatre and mountains meet: leave seats and curtains in the valley and immerse yourself in nature: this is Teatrekking. A theatrical mountain hike during which your mid-mountain guide’s explanations will be blended with music and theatre performances. Teatrekking is a not-to-be-missed summer event in the mountains of Valsugana.
Visit the hamlets of Valsugana
Did you know that Valsugana boasts two villages included on the list of The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy? These are Borgo Valsugana, traversed by the Brenta river, and Pieve Tesino, famous as the birthplace of Alcide De Gasperi, one of Italy’s most prominent 20th-century politicians. A great opportunity to spend a relaxing day sightseeing and enjoying bygone times.