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Castles and Birds of Prey in Italy
If your traveling through the lovely Tirolo Valley in Northern Italy and want to visit a castle and see a bird show at the same time… visit the Gufyland Bird Sanctuary in Dorf Tirol near Merano, Italy.
Gufyland, yes that is the name, is a bird sanctuary. Gufo in Italian is owl, hence the name.
The Bird Sanctuary is just that, provides sanctuary to injured birds and also rehabilitation, releasing birds back into the wild. Gufyland has been in operation since 1989 and still has the primary focus of treating injured birds and releasing them if possible and to provide information to the public about birds of prey.
The Gufyland Bird Sanctuary has two shows daily, 11:15am and 15:15pm (15:00 in the winter). The shows create quite a crowd, so arrive early to get a seat. The spectacular setting with the Triolo Valley providing the backdrop, mountains, castles, and small villages, it really is ideal. The shows are given in Italian and German (Austria is just to the North) and even if you don’t speak either language, go anyway! Seeing these amazing birds in flight is not to be missed.
You can also walk through the sanctuary to see all of the birds. Note that seeing the birds requires good walking shoes as the path leads down the side of a steep mountain.
See more photographs of South Tyrol (Tirolo Valley) in Italy by clicking here for my photography which you can also buy as prints, canvas prints, framed photos and more.
Hours & Ticket Prices:
Admission to the Sanctuary is 9 Euros for adults and 7 Euros for kids (ages 9-13). Prices are as of Summer/Fall 2015. Closed on Mondays.
Open 9:00 to 17:00.
For more information click here for the official website: http://www.gufyland.com/en/
How to Get There:
If your visiting Merano, Italy (known as a spa town) this is the closest town to the Tirolo Castle and Bird Sanctuary.
From Merano you can hike up to the castle and bird sanctuary. Since I drove up to the castle, I do not know how the long hike would take. However, once your in the town of Tirolo, you have to park and walk to the castle – takes about 20 to 30 minutes and you pass through apple tree groves and have impressive views of the castle all along the way. Once you reach the castle the bird sanctuary is to the right, you’ll see signs.
Merano, Italy is slightly hard to reach as it is in a valley… but from Milan you would take a train to Verona (an hour and a half train ride) and then take a train to Bolzano (another hour and half) and then a 45 minute train ride to Merano. You can also reach Merano from Munich, Innsbruck, Bressannone, and Salzburg with train transfers along the way.