Autumn here: four days with @MichaelKagerer

A journey among the colours of nature in Trentino

  • 4 days
  • September, October
  • Trekking and Hiking, Nature and Wellness, Art and Culture

This tour brings you to Trentino at a special and intimate time of year, when the autumn colours and aromas abound. Content creator @Michael Kagerer from Germany put it together for us, and his photos bring out all the scarlet and amber beauty of the places he discovered in these four days.

Lingering in the west and concluding in the east, his route takes in both Stelvio National Park and Adamello Brenta Nature Park. His images feature the majesty of Castel Valer, lakes seen from close by or up above, and one of Italy’s loveliest villages in San Lorenzo in Banale.

Now you can follow in his footsteps. Start when you like, take as long as you please, and check out these hints from the man who did it first!


Day 1: Lake Covel in the Val di Pejo


The first leg takes you to the atmospheric Lake Covel. It nestles in the Val di Pejo, a lateral limb of the Val di Sole, a land of lakes, woods and streams. You’re in Stelvio National Park, straddling the Ortles, Adamello and Brenta ranges in north-western Trentino.

A walk up to Lake Covel at this time of year is a total immersion in a palette of reds, tans and golds. Park the car in the San Rocco neighbourhood of the village of Pejo and take the forest road. It’s a lovely route and manageable too (about a 3-hour round trip), and the lake that greets you at the end is a gem.

Covel plateau lies at an altitude of about 1,800 metres, wreathed in golden larches. The weather is still mild enough to enjoy an al fresco packed lunch: you could ask your host to prepare you one, ideally with some local cheese or sausage. The walk is a real pleasure on these peaceful paths. Not far from the lake, there’s another beauty spot in the form of Rio Vioz falls, aka Cascata Covel.

Nature is incredibly beautiful during autumn days. (Michael Kagerer)

After a good night’s sleep, your alarm goes off at dawn. For day two begins with a guided tour in Stelvio National Park and a spot of animal watching. You’ll need to organise this with the park guides; their encyclopaedic enthusiasm will help you appreciate the natural world about you all the more.

Stelvio is one of the largest national parks in the country. In Trentino, it spans the Pejo and Rabbi valleys, where the woods are home to 180 documented species. With a little luck and your guide’s expert tips, you’ll have a good chance of seeing a stag, marmot, golden eagle or bearded vulture. In September and October, the air often echoes with the bellowing of the stags, their love song to seduce the females.

Enjoy the culture and these amazing colors. (Michael Kagerer)

After a morning in the park, your itinerary continues into the neighbouring Val di Non. This is Italy’s apple valley par excellence, home to numerous agritourisms where you can sit down for a nourishing lunch. You simply must try the famous potato tortel with mortandela salami and farmhouse cheese; it’s divine with mountain cranberry jam.

To aid the digestion, your afternoon starts gently at the gorgeous Lake Tovel. Its banks are quieter in autumn; its beauty, even more spectacular. Right under the watchful gaze of the Brenta Dolomites in the heart of Adamello Brenta Nature Park, the lake is just a 10-minute stroll from the car park. The walk around the banks is a feast of pristine white beaches lapped by crystalline water.

As a change of pace from the natural wonders hereabouts, you can round off your afternoon with a trip to Castel Valer in Tassullo, a 20-km drive from the lake. The castle enjoys a superb panoramic position surrounded by apple orchards. The fabulous frescoes by Evaristo Baschenis inside St Valerius’ chapel are an unmissable treat. Castel Valer is part of Il Trenino dei Castelli, a special train tour to discover the castles of the Val di Sole and Val di Non.

Insider tips

Another new day, another new discovery: today, it’s Paganella plateau. You’re still in western Trentino, between the Brenta Dolomites and Paganella summit. This corner of Trentino vaunts one of Italy’s loveliest villages, by the name of San Lorenzo in Banale. It came into being as the union of seven historical fiefs, and there’s lots to see from its old stone houses to its chapels and cute streets. You must try the ciuìga, a pork and chopped-turnip sausage that’s earned Slow Food presidium status.

After starting the day among the village’s courtyards and lanes, you can head for a splendid natural viewpoint at an altitude of 1,600 metres – an alpine garden with views of Lake Molveno. It’s in the hamlet of Prada, and the way there begins at the Alpenrose refuge just above San Lorenzo in Banale.

Don't miss the ancient views of the village. (Michael Kagerer)

Then a relaxing afternoon beckons by the banks of Lake Nembia just over 2 km from San Lorenzo. This little oasis in Adamello Brenta Park is fun to explore on an easy level amble that’s barely 3 km long.

Day three ends in a place that’s a tonic for body and mind. To get there, drive towards Andalo, skirt Lake Molveno, and continue to Fai della Paganella. And here you are – at “Breathe Park” (Parco del Respiro), the only wellness park in Europe. It’s open for everyone to work on their wellbeing, a kind of open-air gym with no walls and no machines but forest bathing and park therapy amid its tranquil tree-lined paths.


Day 4: the Val Campelle in the Valsugana

Things to see

Your autumn journey culminates among the golden colours of the Val Campelle in eastern Trentino. The easiest way to get here is via Strigno and then Spera, following the signs for the Crucolo refuge until you reach the car park in Tedon; the drive across the region is well worth it.

The Val Campelle is one of the most stunning parts of the Lagorai range. Crystal-clear streams and high mountain lakes circled by larches and beeches in their fiery autumn finery make a striking setting for a leisurely walk or a more ambitious hike. (@Michael Kagerer went as far as Lake Nassere at an altitude of just over 2,000 metres.)

If you come and explore this valley, you’ll also see the clear signs of the battles that scarred the land here during World War I.

I love this mountain view and the crispy air. (Michale Kagerer)