Sustainability and Alpine sometimes rhyme. Perhaps because the mountain puts you immediately in front of the immense power and fragility of nature, where there are limits to be respected and environments to be protected: that nature that is generous and welcoming, but if badly treated, it can become dangerous and hostile. That must be why the Alps are now home to some of the most interesting and innovative projects of Sustainable Tourism in Europe. Among them, the Alpine Pearls. We’ll travel to see some of these green destinations between the Alps starting from Alto Adige and Val Passiria.

Alpine Pearls: best examples of sustainable tourism in the Alps

Small villages set among the highest mountains in Europe, amazingly beautiful and fragile natural environments: what more suitable place for a holiday on tiptoe?

Here respect for the environment is often rooted in culture, and becomes almost naturally innovative and sustainable holiday offers: from the use of electric vehicles, to the many alternatives for mobility, from the enhancement of local culture, to the innovative and eco-friendly holiday ideas.

For several years these gems of sustainability in the Alps networked, under the name of Alpine Pearls: because promote their destination together is easier, but also to facilitate the contaminations of good environmental practices among the various alpine resorts.

Alpine Pearls Map
Alpine Pearls Map

Destination Val Passiria, to find out what a sustainable holiday and car-free means

Our journey to discover the Alpine Pearls will start from the Val Passiria (German: Passeiertal), northeast of Merano, between the Ötztal and Stubai Alps. Here we were invited by the tourist association to discover the Alpine Pearl of Moso in Passiria.

A long cycle path starts from Merano and links the various villages of the Val Passiria, winding along the valley of Passirio river. It seems the perfect place for a sweet holiday, perhaps by bicycle.

The small village of Plan (Pfelders in German), in the municipality of Moso in Passiria, seems to be the ideal starting point to discover what a holiday in an Alpine Pearl means.

Plan is a car-free village at 1,627 meters above sea level, surrounded by the scenic mountains of Texelgruppe, including the peak of Altissima.In Plan the cars are not allowed, they are blocked due to the access gates, that only through a code you can overcome. “No cars, no stress and lots of nature!” is the motto of the inhabitants of this small Alpine village. In winter from Plan you go skiing without a car: the Dorfexpress train and two citybus have a fast connection between the center of the village and the ski slopes.

Slow mobility in Plan, Val Passiria (South Tyrol) during winte
Slow mobility in Plan, Val Passiria (South Tyrol) during winter: the Dorfexpress train in the snow

Val Passiria isn’t only an alpine destination where mobility is sweet and emissions-free, but also a rich valley with original tourist attractions and activities. From the horse-drawn carriage ride, to the tour of rural shops, from rock climbing, to mountain biking or walks from farm to farm. Plan is primarily a children’s paradise, with many initiatives and events throughout the summer.

That’s why we decided to start our journey to discover the Alpine Pearls from here  and to do it with our children. Follow us and you will discover the taste of a holiday in an Alpine Pearl. We look forward to getting on the road!

Cover photo: Val Passiria, South Tyrol, photo by Barbara, via flickr

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