Völs am Schlern (Italian: Fiè allo Sciliar) is a historic farm- and tourist-village at the foot of the Sciliar mountain in South Tyrol. Perched at about 900m above sea level in the Dolomites, this 3.500 inhabitant-village is a good place to stay while exploring the nearby Sciliar, Seiser Alm (Italian: Alpe Di Siusi) alpine meadow and the surrounding peaks. Mild winters and pleasant summers are the hallmark of the climate here. Thanks to the vast plateaus and the location, on the southern side of the Alps, Völs is exceptionally lucky with the sun, which shines down 300 days a year.
Local people have two major sources of income – tourism and agriculture. There are two tourism seasons – Summer season (for hiking, biking, wellness and culinary) starts in May and closes in November and Winter season (for skiing, cross country skiing, luge) starts in December and ends in April. Culture has a big place here. Every year in May, the Schlern Music festival invites international classic musicians to host concerts in special places in and around the village, the “Völser Kuchlkastl” has been a culinary program in October for well over 40 years and offers special dishes for gourmets. in Summer, countless events like concerts, theatre plays, cinema-evening and the classic festivals with the local marching bands get hostet in the village centre. Like most towns in South Tyrol, there is a dual cultural and culinary identity: German and Italian. Natives are fluent in both languages, and especially the younger generations and people involved in tourism know a fair bit of English.
The town is 30 minutes by bus from Bolzano along a very winding and scenic view. The 170 bus stops at Völs but continues onto Kastelruth and Brixen. The bus timetables are accessible via the internet and should be consulted before finalizing plans. Buses are fewer in frequency on a Sunday. The bus stop, in Bolzano, for the 170, is 5 min (by foot) away the train station. When leaving, just follow the main road to the East. Tickets can be purchased from the bus driver. Other train station stops close to the town are the Intercity and Eurocity stops at Brixen (Italian: Bressanone) and Klausen (Italian: Chiusa).
The town itself is quite small and very walkable. Tourists staying in town and in the region can get (for free, from their hotel / lodging establishment) the “Live” / “MobileCard”. This may not be provided automatically, so ask! This card allows one free travel on the regional buses from / to Seiser Alm and below. The card cannot be purchased from Bolzano. So one will have to buy the bus tickets to get into town, from Bolzano, but once one gets the “Live” card, one can return to Bolzano for free.
- Prösels Castle: The castle was built in 1200 by the masters of Völs, the noble servers of the bishop of Brixen. In the early 16th century, the head of the provincial government, Leonhard von Völs, turned the castle into a Renaissance residence. The castle as it looks today is almost entirely the work of Leonhard von Völs. In the year 1981, the company KURATORIUM SCHLOSS PRÖSELS Ltd. purchased the castle.
- Laghetto di Fiè Lake: The Lake is classed as one of the cleanest swimming lakes in Italy: in 2017, Legambiente, the largest environmental association in Italy, awarded Italy’s best ecosystems with the “5 vele”. Among the 3 top exemplary lakes we find the Laghetto di Fiè. Due to its intact ecosystem and outstanding water quality, the lake at the foot of the Sciliar is an extremely popular destination with swimmers. The Laghetto di Fiè is one of eight swimming lakes in the Dolomite region and is situated in the Sciliar-Catinaccio Nature Reserve at the foot of the emblem mountain of the Dolomites, the Sciliar.
- Sciliar: Thanks to its peculiar shape, the Sciliar (2,563 m asl) in the South Tyrolean Dolomites is the emblem of South Tyrol and always worth a hike.