Adventure in the Heart of Italy’s, The Dolomites. Hike through a fairy-tale tableau of stunning mountain scenery in a multicultural mosaic. Let the picture-perfect Italian Alps spoil you for life.
This special designed Mountain Hiking Retreat in the beautiful Dolomites is for you, who would like to experience hiking in the Alps, surrounded by uplifting mountains, fresh air, spectacular nature, top class Italian food, and likeminded people.
This adventure combines and connects body, mind and nature. A unique concept, of the highest quality.
About The Dolomites
Northeastern Italy’s Dolomites spill over with grandeur. In arguably the most beautiful mountain range in the world. Magnificent views of limestone pinnacles, alpine lakes, massive rock towers and green valleys below, provide an awe-inspiring spectacle during your journey in the Dolomites.
In 2009, these mountains were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Dolomites were the front line between Austria and Italy during World War I, the region is still scattered with abandoned bunkers and fortifications, the history of which will be covered by our local guides. You will experience a blend of Austrian and Italian culture.
About the Mountain Retreat
The days on our Dolomite adventure are filled with hiking through surreal mountain landscapes. Soak up the alpine glow while you’re sipping espresso at mountain Rifugi and indulge at the hotel spa after a long day on the trail.
Having lunch at a classic Rifugi, also called mountain huts in the Alps is a true experience we don’t want you to miss. They are set in spectacular locations high in the Dolomites, and are accessible only on foot. Our guides will take us to some of their favourites.
This Mountain Retreat offer a powerful, unique, and memorable mountain experience and is a truly rewarding adventure.
We will be staying at a real mountain jewel in the heart of the Dolomites – Armentarola – your hotel in Alta Badia!
True luxury consists of enjoying a fantastic adventure offering total peace and quiet, whilst being swept away by incomparable panoramic views.
Hotel Armentarola is situated to the west of Alta Badia, in the little village of San Cassiano. Idyllically placed at the foot of the imposing Lavarella, Conturines and Lagazuoi rock faces, San Cassiano is a popular holiday destination for mountain climbers and hikers in summer and skiers in winter. The position of the beautiful, sun-drenched patch of earth, where your hotel in the Dolomites is located, alone offers you the prospect of an unforgettable experience.
In the pool and sauna area you will be able to relax and recharge your batteries in complete peace and quiet. In the heart of the mountains, alpine natural products form the basis of the spa area and are used in beauty treatments and massages. Let go and feel the energy streaming back into your body and enjoy staying at your wellness hotel in the Dolomites.
In the spa you will find a Finnish sauna, bio sauna, tepidarium, steam room, Kneipp grotto, salina lounge, relax zone, indoor swimming pool and a fitness room with technogym equipment. You can book massages and beauty treatments in the Beauty Spa La Flu de Munt.
As you gaze at the spectacular panorama of the Dolomites from the hotel Armentarola, the finest culinary creation will be served to you, to guarantee the height of pleasure. The chef de cuisine, Franz Castlunger celebrates local, regional and international top-class cuisine with organic ingredients from the farms in our neighboring area and with fresh herbs from our own garden.
Meet your adventure tour leader and
the local guides
Maria, native Swede living in California and with the world as her working area. She is driven by her passion for the great outdoors and connecting people with nature and themselves. She believes in the transformative power of travel and find the highest joy in leading people on adventures that inspire personal development.
We are so excited to team up with the local Italian adventure company, Dolomite Mountains, based in the Dolomite. They are professional and experienced local mountain/hiking guides. They have an incomparable knowledge and expertise of the area. The passionate and expert guides not only hail from and live in the region, but hold the highest international certifications (UIAGM/IFMGA), and love sharing their insights. We have crafted the ultimate hiking itinerary for each day together with Dolomite Mountain, to make sure we get the best out of the Dolomites.
Note from Maria:
In September, 2018, I led “The Ultimate Adventure Retreat” in the Dolomites, and fell in love with the spectacular nature. Driving through the small picturesque, villages felt like a fairy tale. The Dolomite is part of the Alps but with its own, unique geology and landscape. This original and varied landscape offers world class hiking for everyone. We hiked to one of the Rifugi where everyone enjoyed the most tasty cappuccino and probably with the most stunning views anywhere on the planet… After a full day hiking, it felt so good to join the beautiful spa, swimming in the pool, followed by yoga. At night, we gathered around a family style dinner, with amazing food, top class service and interesting conversations.
2:00pm Our local guides will welcome you at the international airport, Marco-Polo in Venice.
We will be transported in minibuses to the hotel.
Briefing of the Itinerary by one of our guides
Rich breakfast buffé
Hiking day 1
Puez-Odle Nature Park
At the heart of the Dolomites you will find the Puez-Odle Nature Park. The park is extremely interesting from a geological point of view. Here you can find all the rock strata and erosion forms which are typical of the Dolomites.
We will follow the legendary Alta Via 2 that leads through the area of the Puez natural park and starting with several hairpin turns uphill for 1½-2 hours, surrounded with the sheer pinnacles of Pizzes da Cir on either side of you. We will continue hike up to the Passo Cir (2,470m / 8,100′) and from there do a ridge hike to the Sass Ciampac (2,673m / 8,770′). From the summit, there is a fantastic panorama of the Eastern Dolomites with the Sella Massif right in front of you! Descend to the Forcella de Ciampei. We continue to Rifugio Puez (2,475m / 8,120’) where we will stop for lunch.
In the afternoon we will hike downhill on a rocky trail that brings you to the town of Colfosco, from where we will have a 10 minutes private transfer back to our hotel.
Hiking day 2
Today’s hike goes to the beautiful and interesting mountain area, Lagazuoi and the stunning Cinque Torri that simply means Five Towers. Thanks to their infinite variety of shapes and sizes, the marvellous Cinque Torri ideally represents the entire Dolomites. It also belongs on the list of photographers’ favorite in this part of the Alps. The characteristic profile isn’t comprised of just 5 towers, but by a mass of secondary boulders, fractured towers and peaks sprinkled liberally across the entire area. You will enjoy a loop around the towers and take a chance to explore the WW1 remnants along the route.
The Lagazuoi – Cinque Torri area is the perfect combination of hiking and history. The mountains of the Lagazuoi marks one of the most tragic events of the twentieth century, the First World War and, in particular, of the bloody battles in the Alps. You can see relics of Italian army shelters that have been restored, creating the Grande Guerra open air museum of WWI, offering insights into the war and fighting through interpretive panels.
After the “museum,” you will hike through the middle of the rock towers, where you will likely see climbers high up on the walls, finally arriving at Rifugio Cinque Torri (2,137m / 7,011’).
Hiking day 3
Santa Croce Sanctuary
Today we’ll hike to the Santa Croce Sanctuary. The trail situated at the foot of the majestic Sasso della Croce, allows to admire the natural splendour and variety of the Dolomites.
We will hike to the village centre of San Cassiano and begin walking uphill on a paved road, passing through a number of closely-knit hamlets formed of clusters of ancient shingle-roofed timber farmhouses and barns, known as viles. These small communities are characteristic of Val Badia. In medieval times, they were grouped together for protection, forming self-sufficient units with their own collective oven and well. Along the way there are a couple of steep ascents.
As we get closer to Santa Croce, you will discover stations of the cross lining the trail of this pilgrimage walk. It takes about two hours from San Cassiano to reach the church and sanctuary of Ospizio S. Croce (2,045m / 6,710′).
From the Santa Croce Sanctuary, we will continue to the Armentara meadows which is one of the most charming and romantic hikes in the Dolomites. The Armentara plateau is characterized by sloping pastures covered in wildflowers and wooden huts. We will follow the loop and have lunch at the beautiful Ranch dÁndré.
In the afternoon, we hike across woods and pastures to reach Malga Pasciantadù. The journey continues on a road way, through a larch tree wood, up to the Castalta farm (1,705m / 5,594’).
10:00am Travel to Venice
- Transportation from and to the airport
- Daily Breakfast
- Daily Dinner
- Snacks at the retreat
- Welcome gift – a healing lava stone bracelet from forUjewelry
- Use of the hotel premises (spa, pool etc)
- Daily hiking excursions
- Local international cerficitated hiking/mountain guides (UIAGM/IFMGA)
- Hiking maps
- Massage (book in advance)
- Travel insurance
- Airfare, Nearest airport: Marco-Polo international airport, Venice
How to say yes to a journey of a lifetime…
Step 1: Learn all about the trip; the theme, the teachers, the venue, the location, our policies etc.
Step 2: Register online.
Step 3: You’ll get a confirmation email + 2 emails leading up to your trip preparing you for an amazing adventure.
Policies and terms – get clear before your purchase
We strive to maintain a balance between offering our programs to the widest range of participants and running a sustainable and thriving company so that we can continue to create and share our experiences with you.
By reserving your space through placing your deposit with us, you are agreeing to the stated policies in our Agreement. Please read in full and please note:
All prices are per person in Euro. All bookings include a deposit that is 20% of the total trip cost. Final payments are due 60 days before the start date of the trip to keep your spot secure.
Deposit is due upon registration!
Additional transaction fees might be added to international payments.
You will receive payment information upon registration!
Airline tickets – Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip is confirmed with the minimum number of participants required to operate.
If you wish to cancel your retreat you must notify us in writing. Once we’ve received your notice, cancellation will take effect subject to the following: If cancellation takes place more than 60 days prior to your departure date any payments made will be refunded minus your deposit.
Maria Söderholm reserves the right to make any changes deemed necessary by our team, trip leaders, teachers or partners. In the rare case of a cancellation on the part of Maria Söderholm (due to political unrest, dangerous weather, or low sign-ups), we require all participants to purchase travel insurance and highly encourage them to purchase “cancel for any reason” to protect them against the rare chance of cancellation.
Should you be unable to travel to Italy because Covid-19 restrictions, you will not incur any penalties and we will send you a Voucher equal to the amount sent for the deposit, which you can use within Summer 2022.