From Barbian to the waterfalls
The starting point of the tour marks the center of the village of Barbian. Firstly, walk a short while towards the Keschtnwegs trail and make sure to turn right at the first possibility to reach the so called “Wasserfallweg”, the path of the waterfalls. Of course this path is named that for a reason: It will guide your way to the famous Barbian waterfalls. The theme trail starts off pretty flat here, but you will notice the rapid elevation uphill once getting near the Gonderbach stream. Not long beside the stream you will reach the Barbian waterfalls directly before crossing the Gonderbach. After a decent hike upwards don't hesitate to take a first break to gaze at the spectacular natural sensation that is a waterfall at this special spot. On the highest point the water drops at approximately 279 feet (85 m).
A sanctuary amidts the Dolomites
After this optical highlight of the tour continue towards Briol while hiking path number 34 before changing to number 27 that will get you up to 4288 feet (1307 m). If wanted you can get food here, but if you have enough energy just take a right at the junction in Briol and start hiking on trail number 4 to the Dreikirchen churches. The Dreikirchen (German for “three churches”) amongst the Dolomites are a flagship of the Gothic architecture in the region and definitely make another great highlight of the tour.
Downhill: Back to the beginning
After a detailed tour of the sanctuary continue your hike on trail number 6, which will lead your way back continuously downhill. You will reach a junction shortly behind the Gertraudlbach stream, which by the way is also named Dreikirchen-stream because of the sanctuary. Switch to trail number 3 here and continue forward to spy the first signs of the Barbian. Lastly, following the Ketschnweg path will get you back to the center of the village and the starting point of the hike.
Where to eat
Amongst the places to get food worth mentioning is Briol on 4288 feet (1307 m), where it is beneficiary to take a break in order to get enough power for the rest of the hike. While walking a little further by the Dreikirchen sanctuary on path number 27 you will get to the Messnerhof, another great place to get something to eat and drink. Alternatively, you may eat something before and/ or after the trip in Barbian, which is not only a popular traveling destination because of the landscape around it but also has many gastronomic highlights to offer.
- You're traveling a distance of 6 miles on this moderate trail. The hike is therefore not too long. The average length of all hikes in South Tyrol is 7 miles.
- You're facing an uphill climb of 672 vertical meters on this hike. The hike takes you to an elevation of 4386 ft.
- You shouldn’t forget to bring your hiking boots. There are some sections on the trail where sturdy footwear is required. There are places to buy beverages and food along the track. However it’s always recommended to bring enough water and food along with you.
Highlights of the tour
The first highlight of the tour is definitely the Barbian watterfalls. The so called cascade-effect make them especially beautiful to look at. This effect describes the fall of the water over numerous steps above the rocks, a natural spectacle dropping a total amount of 656 feet (200 m). Since the tour leads your way directly beside the bottom of the waterfalls be sure to take a closer look at the magnificent rinses and rock formations that were shaped by the water over thousands of years. You can really see the course of time here, which makes this place a great attraction for hikers from everywhere.
Moreover, you shouldn't miss the Dreikirchen sanctuary. In the equally named village you will find the three historic churches St. Nikolaus, St. Magdalena and St. Gertraud. The St. Gertraud church was first mentioned in 1237 and is not only the oldest but the biggest of the three churches. The other two churches were added in 1422. If you are looking for further architectural highlights of the region, consider planing in a stop at the Gasthof Briol, a guesthose were Hubert Lanzinger built a construction very similar to the Dreikirchen. The building used to be a refuge which was renewed after months of meticulous work by the artist.
There is lots to see at the starting point of the tour Barbian, as well. This village is very popular for visitors because it offers many sights like the historic parish church. The church attracts attention not only because of its colorful bell tower and twelve glass windows, but also because of the leaning position of the tower. Barbian is one of the most popular holiday spots in South Tyrol not for nothing: There are many attractions to explore here.
You'll get to the SS12 with the Via Dante Street. Follow the SS12 to Waidbruck and turn right onto the Barbianer street until you have to take another sharp right to Heiliggrab. Next take a left at the Zargenweg to get directly to Barbian.
It is easiest to reach Barbian over the SS12 from Bolzano as well. While getting to Waidbruck take a left turn onto the Barbianer street until you have to take another sharp right to Heiliggrab. Next take a left at the Zargenweg to get directly to Barbian.
Leave Wolkenstein while taking the SS 242 in the direction of St. Ulrich. While getting to Waidbruck take a left turn onto the Barbianer street until you have to take another sharp right to Heiliggrab. Next take a left at the Zargenweg to get directly to Barbian.
With public transportation
Take the train to Bologna Centrale from Bolzano to get to Barbian within a half an hour. Exit the train at the Ponte Gardena stop. From here it will only be a 15 minute walk to Barbian, the starting point of your hike.
You can reach the Ponte Gardena station within 15 minutes from Brixen, too.