What comes to mind when you think of Trentino? Mountains? Snow? Adventure? You would be right to think that! The mountains, the Brenta Dolomites and surroundings are pretty spectacular. With incredible slopes Trentino in winter is a natural paradise for skiers and snowboarders. But there’s one thing that sticks out the most for me about Trentino – adventure comes naturally and it’s the order of the day. In this vast playground of nature, there are an infinite amount of things to do to satiate anyone’s hunger for adventure, whether it’s the soft or the extreme kind. So to help you plan your Trentino adventure, here are a few ideas that will have you packing your action gear now.
Table of Contents
- 1 Trentino Adventure Activities
- 1.1 Hiking around Lago di Tovel, Val di Non
- 1.2 Wild swimming in Lago di Tret, Val di Non
- 1.3 Immerse yourself into the Rio Sass Canyon
- 1.4 Kayaking the Novella Canyons of Lago di Santa Giustina
- 1.5 Cycle through incredible mountain views in Val di Sole
- 1.6 Hike to Ragaiolo suspension bridge and waterfall, Val di Rabbi
- 1.7 Barefoot Walking and Tree Hugging in Val di Rabbi
- 1.8 Visit Malga Stablosolo for a mountain meal and an incredible view
- 1.9 White Water Rafting down the Noce River
- 2 Where to stay in Trentino
- 3 Planning your trip to Trentino
- 4 Visiting Italy? Check out my other Italy articles
- 5 Like this post? Pin and save for later
Trentino Adventure Activities
Hiking around Lago di Tovel, Val di Non
Let’s start with a gentle hike around Lago di Tovel in Val di Non. Located in the Adamello-Brenta Natural Park, Lago di Tovel is one of the most beautiful lakes in Trentino. It is also known as the ‘red lake’ due to a seasonal change in algae that used to turn the water this colour. This phenomenon hasn’t occurred since the mid-60s, but the name has stuck.
The lake is now famous for its clear waters, and a hike around it is a great way to spend a couple of hours surrounded by pristine nature and a magnificent backdrop of mountains. The walk all the way around takes approximately one hour and a half, but I’m sure you’ll want to make a stop half way to enjoy the beach and even take a dip.
Top tip: Do this walk in the morning and end at Chalet Tovel for lunch. Their risotto with casolet cheese, orange zest, bay leaf powder and coffee powder is spectacular!
Wild swimming in Lago di Tret, Val di Non
There’s nothing like starting the day with a morning spot of wild swimming in one of the most beautiful lakes in Trentino. The beauty of this lake and its surroundings, as well as the cool water, will take your breath away!
Getting to Lago di Tret involves a hike of about an hour. Follow route 512 through the forest and beautiful larch meadows. They will be full of butterflies enjoying the wild flowers. The walk is uphill all the way, so you’ll be thankful for an excuse to cool down when you get to the lake. There’s a wooden pontoon where you can jump from, so the temptation is too big not to.
Once you’ve had your fun in the water and cooled down, you can have a walk around the lake or have a little rest on the grass and take in the beautiful surroundings until you’re ready to go back.
Immerse yourself into the Rio Sass Canyon
Aside from the idyllic lakes and breathtaking mountains of the Italian Dolomites, you will also find dramatic geological formations like the narrow canyon of Rio Sass. This was one of my favourite things to do in Trentino.
Located in the heart of Val di Non there is a town called Fondo that has been built over a deep canyon shaped by water over time. The Rio Sass Canyon divides the town in two sections.
You can go deep into the canyon on a guided visit, where you will be walking on metal platforms through, very narrow at times, sections of the canyon, with the water still shaping the rocks below your feet. You will see things like waterfalls, fossils, and even stalactites and stalagmites in little caves that have formed on the rock face. The whole thing feels very Jurassic or like you’re in the centre of the earth.
The path is made up of platforms built against the rock, with staircases and ladders. There is a 145m-drop at one point, and a total of 348 steps. But remember that you’ll have to go back the way you came, so really it’s twice the number of steps. It’s really worth it though!
Kayaking the Novella Canyons of Lago di Santa Giustina
So we got up close and personal with the Rio Sass Canyon from a platform and now it’s time to explore the Novella Canyons of Lago di Santa Giustina, the region’s largest artificial lake, from the water. This, together with Rio Sass Canyon, was my favourite Trentino adventure.
Many of you may know that I am scared water and doing water activities brings up off the scale levels of anxiety… before I start. It is an irrational fear that I’m trying to deal with, so every time there’s the chance to do a water-based activity I’ll be the first to sign up. Then I immediately regret it, all the way up to the moment when I start. Once I start, I absolutely love it! And this is why I keep doing this to myself.
So with this in mind, I jumped on a kayak feeling a bag of nerves to what I thought was going to be a gentle paddle around the lake. Within a couple of minutes on the water, as always, I loved it! It wasn’t a very gentle paddle though, as the lake is huge and it was windy, but I do love a challenge. After a while the guide asked us to follow him into these narrow crevices in the rock. It was unreal!
We paddled through the narrow canyons of the lake amazed at the rock formations, the shafts of light coming through from the top, and the narrowness at points where we had to use our arms to pull ourselves forward. It’s an experience that will stay with me for a long time and if you are only going to do one thing in Trentino (and I’m sure you will do many), this is the one to do.
To do this activity, contact Novella River Park for availability.
Cycle through incredible mountain views in Val di Sole
I love cycling, but I’m not the most confident person on two wheels. I have a bit of target fixation, so when there’s a bump on the road, I just head for it, and if the terrain is a bit too uneven I tend to panic and end up on the ground. So mountain biking is too big a challenge for me – although you can do it on an ebike easily (or so I’m told). So I was really glad to find out that there is a cycle path in Val di Sole where you can enjoy the mountain views without having to go on mountain tracks.
It may sound like a bit of a cop out on mountain biking, but you still have to cycle up the hills (and down. Wheeee…!) so it’s not as easy as it sounds. But it is easier than going off road on a bike, and it’s ideal for people like me who are not super confident on two wheels.
So yes, get yourself down to Val di Sole Bike and discover some of the most beautiful mountain views and villages you will ever see.
Hike to Ragaiolo suspension bridge and waterfall, Val di Rabbi
If you have been reading my Italy blog posts this may sound familiar. I was in Trentino last winter when I first visited Val di Rabbi. Everything was covered in snow and the waterfall was partly frozen. It was a winter wonderland.
But I was really excited to go back to the same spot in the summer and see the difference. The landscape was just as beautiful all lush green, as it was covered in snow.
Follow the Rabbies stream along the track until you get to a wooden bridge. Stop on the bridge and admire the beauty all around you with the sound of the water roaring down from the waterfall. Before you get to the bridge you will notice a set of steps that will take you to the top of the canyon, where the suspension bridge is. The view of the Ragaiolo waterfall and of the valley below from the bridge is pretty breathtaking. Not for the faint hearted!
Barefoot Walking and Tree Hugging in Val di Rabbi
Ok, barefoot walking and tree hugging… is this really adventure? I think so! And the place to try it has to be Trentino. Adventure doesn’t have to set your pulse racing, it can also help it slow down. I guess what I’m trying to say is that anything you haven’t tried before is an adventure, so why not give this a go?
Val di Rabbi is well known for its curative waters, and here you will find the famous Terme di Rabbi, which uses the local waters to offer a number of wellness programs. One of these programs is barefoot walking and tree hugging. Ok, hear me out.
I’m a skeptic when it comes to the powers of energy and emotion of things, nature included. Saying that, having tried barefoot walking, there is something to be said for the lovely feeling of the grass between your toes and the cold running water of a stream on your feet. It almost feels liberating.
Now, the tree-hugging part I did take with a bigger pinch of salt. It was a fun thing to try but the only thing I got from it was a bit of itchiness on my arms from the bark. Still worth a try though! You never know, nature may talk to you in forms you never even thought.
Visit Malga Stablosolo for a mountain meal and an incredible view
You can combine this activity with a visit to the Ragaiolo suspension bridge and waterfall mentioned above or with a hike in the area. That way, you will feel like you’ve earned your mountain meal.
Malga Stablosolo is located within one of Italy’s oldest national parks, Stelvio National Park. Being at 1,539 metres (just over 5,000 feet), it has a magnificent view over Val di Rabbi and the Brenta Dolomites.
Besides being a mountain lodge serving delicious mountain fare, Malga Stablosolo is a dairy farm with cows, goats, pigs and horses. Here you can taste various dishes made with local produce.
If you are up for a bit of hiking and exploring this area, the Saent waterfalls are a 45-min hike or so from the dairy farm.
White Water Rafting down the Noce River
So we established earlier that I’m scared of water. As you can imagine, this activity was the one that had me worried the most. Add to that the fact that there had been as storm a few days before and the water level of the river was extra high, and you can imagine the anxiety levels.
Still, I went ahead and did it, my first time white water rafting. And wow! I can’t believe I loved it so much! I was actually a bit sad when it ended. And this is the cycle I always go through when water activities are involved.
So would I recommend white water rafting in Trentino? Absolutely! I should also point out that Noce River is a prime spot for this water sport. It has been listed by the National Geographic as one of the world’s top 10 places for river sports, and it’s the only one in this list that’s in Europe. So don’t miss your chance to experience some prime location white water rafting.
For a great experience, choose Rafting Extreme Waves. With their very experienced and knowledgeable team you’ll be in good hands.
Where to stay in Trentino
Trentino has a great choice of accommodation, which comes in all shapes and sizes. From hotels, to alberghi and agriturismi, you will find something for everyone here.
Depending on what you are looking for, an agriturismo may be more suitable for you than a hotel. Check out a range of recommended Trentino accommodation here and the difference between the different types.
Planning your trip to Trentino
Is there anything that caught your eye for your Trentino adventure?
Let me know in the comments!
Visiting Italy? Check out my other Italy articles
- Discovering Val di Sole – 8 Awesome Things to Do in Trentino in Winter
- Accommodation Guide to Trentino – Hotel, Albergo or Agriturismo?
- 15 Awesome Things to Do in Lombardy in One Week
- The Perfect Itinerary for Rome in 2 Days, Including the Vatican City
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Disclosure: A big thank you to Visit Trentino, who hosted on this trip. As always, all views are my own.
Teresa is an award-winning travel blogger based in London. She’s on a mission to explore the world through responsible cultural and adventure travel, and through deeper, more meaningful local experiences. She’s a lover of adventure, the outdoors and everything food related, and she’s always looking for ways to make a positive impact through sustainable travel.