TRENTINO, AN OUTDOOR PLAYGROUND
The rivers, lakes and mountains of Trentino are perfect for practicing any number of sporting activities in a wonderful natural setting. For water sports aficionados there’s sailing, windsurfing, recreational fishing and even white water rafting
Thanks to a favourable climate, the lakes of Trentino are perfect for water sports. Sailing and windsurfing can be practiced almost all year round. The northern stretches of Lake Garda, the largest body of water in Italy, plays host to prestigious sailing regattas and other events at an international level. Here motorised watercraft are banned and it’s possible to sail or paddle about in a canoe in complete tranquillity while enjoying the view of the surrounding mountains and catching glimpses of the historical town centres along the shoreline such as Torbole. This small town was described by Goethe as a marvel of nature, with its characteristic houses, which form an amphitheatre overlooking the lake. There are numerous sailing centres which offer courses at all levels and give you the chance to practice water sports even at other lakes. Examples are Lago di Ledro, perfect for beginners, or Lago di Caldonzzo, just a few minutes from the city of Trento. Furthermore why not try high-altitude wind-surfing at the Lago di Molveno at an elevation of 864 metres.
Rivers and torrents in Trentino offer yet more options for outdoor sports enthusiasts. You can explore the mysterious gorges of Rio Novella by kayak down to the lake of Santa Giustina. Here, after a short practical lesson from the instructors of “X Raft”, you follow a 10km route down the gorge allowing you to fully appreciate this primitive world and the creative power of flowing water over solid rock. For those looking for a bit more action, there’s always white water rafting down the rapids of the Noce river in the Val di Sole. Indeed, Trentino is known all over the world for its specialised rafting centres and the National Geographic has listed the Noce river in its top ten destinations for this sport. Finally, in numerous areas it’s possible to try out canyoning, where you descend narrow gorges and canyons on foot with the aid of ropes, confronting rapids and waterfalls along the way. It’s quite a challenging sport that combines mountaineering with water sports.
In Trentino there are over 350 sites where it’s possible to practice recreational fishing in an environmentally-friendly way. Along the crystal waters of mountain lakes and streams you can enjoy the unique experience of fishing trout and Arctic char in the silence of an uncontaminated natural environment. The services offered by Trentino Fishing allow you to acquire daily fishing permits, book a stay at any of the lodges located near parks, fishing reserves and “no kill” areas where the principle “catch and release” is applied. It’s also possible to hire a specialised fishing guide to find the best spots.
For those who prefer dry ground, the bicycle is the ideal means of doing sport and exploring Trentino. With over 400 km of cycle paths, anyone can easily get around in a sustainable way and, at the same time, enjoy the marvels of the local countryside to the full. More expert cyclists are free to take on any of the 23 epic climbs that have inevitably become part of cycling history. Furthermore, with a mountain bike you can leave the beaten path and explore the dense network of dedicated trails and forest paths, even in winter by renting a fat bike which, thanks to it wide tires, also allows you to cycle over the snow.
Lastly, the mountains of Trentino, offer countless opportunities for sporting activities in direct contact with nature. Trekking is an obvious choice, with over 5,000 km of marked trails that wind their way through woodlands, past farmsteads and alpine lakes and up to the summits of the Dolomites and other peaks. A mountaineering paradise and a great way to rediscover the silence that dominates nature at higher altitudes and maybe enjoy the vivid night sky before going to bed in a mountain hut. Winter sports enthusiasts have an array of slopes and ski-lift facilities at their disposal, allowing you to practice downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing. For those who prefer the ancient charm of ski-mountaineering, away from the traditional slopes, it’s possible to ascend a mountain slope, step by step through the snow and silence, and then enjoy the well-earned descent, free ride skiing through the fresh snow. If you don’t have the necessary experience it’s always possible to be accompanied by a Mountain Guide. When the snows melt in spring, the free climbing season starts. In Trentino there are numerous climbing sites and routes for both experts and beginners. Upon reaching the top, instead of belaying down again, you can always have a go at paragliding gently down to the valley floor.
This summer, hikers and bikers are advised to plan their routes in advance as some trails may be closed due to adverse weather conditions last autumn. Work to restore the forests and trails began immediately, and will continue throughout the summer so signage will indicate any trails that are temporarily closed. Real-time updates on the various trails will be available on the website at www.visittrentino.info/mca or by enquiring at the local APT offices.