Solo travel guide to Merano
Suit yourself with some ‘me time’ in a Tyrolean paradise
“O sad the soul who passes by Merano” – what a great line from the song Merano in the hit musical Chess, written by Sir Tim Rice, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson from ABBA. If ever a sentiment sums up this Italian spa town, that’s it. Maybe you’ve seen the place mentioned in travel brochures or websites but gave it a wide berth in favour of the big hitters like Venice or Verona, but now’s the time to give Merano a whirl. By the way I love Venice and Verona and you’ll find no judgement here for booking a trip to these magnificent cities either.
However, if you’re planning a break away from it all and you want to spend some time alone, try Merano, especially if well-being and rejuvenation figure in your plans. The scenic spa town’s therapeutic traditions and clean, mountain air are big draws and wellness is high up on the agenda.
Mind, body and soul treats aside, Merano is just gorgeous; It’s very close to the Austrian border and feels more German than Italian but regardless of cultural identity, it is simply one of the most beautiful places on earth. If I were to do nothing else except gaze at the pretty scenery, being at one with the world, it would be suit me just fine.
However, there are other things you can do besides lap up mountain views all day and flying solo doesn’t mean you need to miss out on anything either.
For a start, your first stop should be the blissful Terme Merano. Soak away any aches pains or worries at the town’s thermal bath complex. Here you can just zen out in one of 10 pools with lush greenery and mountain peaks as a backdrop to the whole experience. This place is perfect for an instant mood lift. Well-being is the buzz word here in what you could describe as an alpine garden of Eden. It’s a refuge for those in need of peace, relaxation and healing.
Guests can also book a pool suite where you can enjoy a little privacy. For your pleasure, there are treatments and massage available to book in combination with the pool suite packages.
If that’s not your thing and you’d rather be out and about, it won’t come as a surprise that Merano is ideal for walkers, hikers and nature lovers. There are some beautiful routes and with a choice of easy promenades, walking paths or more challenging mountain hikes, you’ll easily find one to suit your fitness and ability level.
So far it’s been all about spas, sparkling streams and mountain air but if your soul is searching for something more spiritual, a visit to St Nicholas Cathedral is a must. The church is dedicated to Saint Nicholas, patron saint of merchants and entrepreneurs and stands in what used to be the commercial trading centre. This beautiful place of worship is perfect for some quiet contemplation. Mass services take place daily.
And who doesn’t love a bit of retail therapy on holiday? If you fancy treating yourself or want to buy some pretty souvenirs from your trip, you’ll love browsing the shops in Merano. You’ll find everything from fine boutiques to traditional arts and craft outlets among the arches and there’s plenty of inviting cafes to stop off and refuel with a cappuccino and a slice of apple strudel before your next purchase!
If you’ve maxed out your credit card and fancy an afternoon tipple, you could book yourself onto a wine trip. One that comes highly recommended is the wine-tasting tour at Rametz Castle, one of the best-known wineries in Merano. You can either chat to other wine enthusiasts on the tour or simply enjoy the trip in your own little bubble, savouring the taste of the delicious wines you’ll sample. Ask your hotel for details on how to book or if you’re on a package holiday, ask your resort rep.
If you’re not sure on where to stay, Merano has some delightful hotels and a couple of real star turns in terms of luxury. It’s important to find somewhere you’ll feel happy with on your own and a hotel that has singles in mind.
Villa Eden from Kuoni and Wellbeing Escapes might be ideal for you as there are only 29 rooms and solo travellers will like how small and intimate this hotel is. Villa Eden was established in 1982 as Italy’s first ever destination sap and there’s an on-site medical and therapeutic care team. To book visit Kuoni or call 0800 540 4801.
Alternatively, you could try the Hotel Adria. The hotel offers a free guided walk every week and might be good for solo travellers to explore the area with other guests if they fancy a little company for a day. A low single supplement does apply. To book, visit Inghams or call 01483 938 418.
Whether you take a short break for a couple of days or extend your stay in Merano for a week or two, you’re bound to come back feeling fresher and happier than you did when you first arrived. To quote from my favourite musical again, “O light the heart that lingers in Merano”, maybe you’ll want to stay a bit longer and keep that happy feeling going.
On that note, I’m away to check my diary and see when I can squeeze in a quick getaway to this little piece of Heaven on earth. See you there!
I love travel. I’ve been fascinated by other countries and cultures since my first foreign trip in 1985 and I’ve had serious wanderlust ever since.I also love to write about where I’ve been and tripsology lets me indulge that passion. I’m thrilled to be a regular contributor and editor. When I’m not writing I also run my own PR and publicity company.