Luxury Alpine Inns | Mindful Running | Challenging Mountain Trails | Meadows and Wildflowers | Spa + Pampering | Gourmet Italian Food
Be prepared for some of the most breathtaking trails you’ve ever run (due to their beauty and elevation) while being pampered in some of the most luxurious four-star hotels of Sud-Tyrol. You’ll run the trails of the Pale Mountains, as the Dolomites are known, a UNESCO World Heritage Site preserved for its stunning natural beauty with an amazing group of women who, like you, run because of how it makes them feel.
There’s something about running the mountains that feeds the soul. Perhaps it’s the grandeur of soaring peaks or the vastness of the landscape that can shift your perspective about things that are happening in your life. In a place like the Dolomites, those seemingly big problems become minuscule when compared to these vertical limestone mountains.
Every run will be completely different as we explore different natural parks within the Alta Badia region of the Dolomites. At times, we’ll use gondolas to access the valley’s upper elevations in order to maximize our rewards (and views!) while running sections of the area’s most famous trails, the Alta Via 1 and 2. This is a challenging retreat best suited to those with some trail-running experience.
What to Expect
Natural Running Form Clinics
Discover how simple modifications to your running posture and technique can make running feel easier, more comfortable and improve your overall efficiency.
Daily Guided Runs
Enjoy daily guided runs (ranging from 5 to 9 miles per day) on established singletrack trails. These trails will involve significant uphill ascents and long downhills, sections of trail that may be rocky and rooty, involve stream crossings and other mountain elements.
Gourmet Italian Food and Local Wine
Just as important as great running is great food! Lucky for us, this region of Italy is home to fantastic Italian cuisine that will keep our energy high for our long days on the trail, including Italian wine, pasta, cured meats, fresh vegetables and delectable desserts.
Dolomites Wellness Resorts
We’ll stay at some of the top Wellness Resorts found in the Dolomites, with luxurious spas and services to sooth your muscles after each day’s run.
Spa and Relaxation
Enjoy free time each afternoon to explore the alpine village or relax and unwind the on-site spa available at each property. Therapeutic spa services are available for an additional fee.
Italian Dolomites Trail Running + Wellness Retreat Itinerary
Day 1 | Venice Arrivals and Retreat Opening
We ask that you book your flight to arrive before noon, otherwise arrive the day before. We will rendez-vous at the Venice Marco Polo Airport at 1 p.m., then meet our driver for the 3.5-hour drive to San Vigilio di Marebbe. Arriving at around 4:30 p.m., we will check into our rooms and have some time to freshen up before we convene for the Official Retreat Opening Meet and Greet at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner. After dinner, one of our guides will give us a briefing about what to know about trail running in the Dolomites.
Overnight in San Vigilio di Marebbe.
No run today.
Day 2 | San Vigilio Forest Run
After breakfast at the hotel, we will meet for our first group trail run of approximately 7 miles on a mix of trail types around San Vigilio, from forested paths to rolling singletrack. We’ll have our first Natural Running Form Clinic that will cover key postural tips that you can practice throughout the week. We’ll finish back in the village in time for lunch and in the heart San Vigilio, followed by free time to enjoy the spa, following by our first Wellness Workshop before dinner at the hotel. Overnight in San Vigilio di Marebbe.
Run: 7 miles
Day 3 | San Vigilio to Corvara (Alta Via 1)
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll check out of our rooms and set aside the luggage for transfer to our next hotel. At 9 a.m., we’ll take a 15-minute bus ride to Pederü, where we’ll have our first trail running technique clinic, then begin an adventurous 9.6-mile point-to-point high alpine run along the Alta Via 1 trail through the Fanes Plateau. Most of our uphill gain is in the first 1.5 to 2 hours of today’s run, so we’ll hike sections of it until we reach the plateau’s gently rolling terrain. After descending a series of switchbacks, our run finishes in San Cassiano, where we can enjoy a light lunch before riding the bus 35 minutes to our hotel in Corvara. We’ll arrive at mid-afternoon, at which time you are free to explore the village before dinner. Overnight in Corvara.
Run: 10 miles (2,800 feet of elevation gain + 2,234 feet of elevation loss)
Day 4 | Corvara to Pralongia
After breakfast at the hotel, we walk a short distance from our hotel in Corvara to the gondola that will whisk us up to the Utia Col Alt, the starting point for today’s point-to-point run of 8.4 miles. Today’s run is at a lower elevation on relatively smooth footpaths, so we can gaze out at the mountains without having to watch the footing so closely. From the top of the Piz La Ila, we’ll enjoy a rolling route that takes us to Utia Pralongia before the long descent to Corvara, finishing at our hotel. After lunch in the village, enjoy some free time to explore the town or rest. We’ll reconvene for our second Wellness Workshop at 5 p.m., followed by dinner. Overnight in Corvara.
Run: Choose the 6-Mile or 10-Mile option (the longer option features 1,670 feet of elevation gain + 2,990 feet of loss)
Day 5 | Corvara to Val Gardena (Alta Via 2)
After breakfast, pack your luggage and set it aside for transfer to Val Gardena. From our hotel in Corvara, we’ll do a short warm-up run to the gondola for a 15-minute ride to the Jimmy Hutte, where we can grab an energizing espresso on the sun-soaked deck before starting today’s 10-mile run along the Alta Via 2 trail. This high-alpine singletrack trail takes us through a barren rocky landscape surrounded by limestone peaks and features a long, steep descent down a narrow rocky trail to the beautiful, lush green Val Lungia (Vallunga Langetal). The last portion of today’s run is a beautiful descent through the Val Lungia along a smooth, easy trail that will take us straight to our hotel in Selva. After checking into our rooms, enjoy some free time to explore the village and relax before dinner. Overnight in Selva.
Run: 10.65 miles (2,400 feet elevation gain + 4,201 feet elevation loss)
Alternate run: Take the gondola down to Selva and do an easier out-and-back run along the flat, gravel path trails of the Vallunga Langetal with relatively little elevation change.
Day 6 | Parco Natural Puez-Odle
After breakfast, we’ll board the bus and have a 15-minute bus ride to St. Christina where we take the gondola to Col Raiser. Here we enjoy a 5-mile loop through the beautiful green pastures of Parco Nautral Puez Odle. At the 5-mile point, you can choose to take the gondola back down and hop on the bus to the hotel, or run down the mountain for 3 miles, finishing at our hotel. We’ll enjoy a pizza lunch followed by some free time to relax, enjoy the spa or shop before our final Wellness Workshop followed by dinner. Overnight in Selva.
Run: 5 or 8 miles (The longer option features 1,503 feet elevation gain + 3,258 feet of elevation loss)
Day 7 | Retreat Closing and Transfer to Venice
This morning we have an optional recovery run of about 3 or 4 miles along the valley floor (no big climbs today!), followed by breakfast from 8 to 9 a.m.. After breakfast, we’ll have our official Retreat Closing Meeting. After checking out of your hotel room and loading your luggage into the van, at 11 a.m. we board the van for our private transfer to the airport, arriving at the Venice Marco Polo Airport around 3:30 or 4:00 p.m.. From the airport, check in for your flight departure, or if you booked additional hotel nights in Venice, take a shuttle, bus or taxi to your hotel.
Optional Run: 3 – 4 miles along valley floor
Transform Your Running
Learn not only how to run more consistently, with more ease and flow, but also reconnect with how running feeds your SOUL. During the retreat’s wellness workshops, we’ll explore what it exactly you need to breathe new life into your running and daily life. Don’t have a running routine? No problem! After our week together applying the principles of mindful running, you’ll return home with a renewed love of running, sky-high confidence in your ability to pursue lofty dreams and goals, and brimming with energy and vitality.
WELLNESS WORKSHOP – Part I
Where does your energy go? Do you ever feel too tired to run? Do you ever feel so overwhelmed at the prospect of starting a training plan that you give up before you’ve begun? Do you want to run with others but fear you won’t be able to keep up or be the slowest in the group? Do your long runs or hard workouts so wiped out that you’re pretty much useless the rest of the day? Discover what feeds your energy and what depletes your energy and how to stop the energy leaks.
WELLNESS WORKSHOP – Part II
How well does running fit into your life? How often do you lack time to run, feel you should be running more, or feel guilty when you do “slip out” for a run. Reclaim your right to put your self-care at the top of your priority list. Discover how time it actually takes to develop the fitness you need to reach your goals without risking overtraining, under-recovering or cutting into your other obligations like family time or work. Using the tools we provide, you’ll design your own mindful running practice that will allow you to fulfill your goals and run with confidence.
WELLNESS WORKSHOP – Part III
Create goals with soul. Fearlessly step into your highest potential. No, this doesn’t mean becoming a super athlete (who needs that kind of pressure?!). Rather, our mindful intention-setting exercises allows you to bravely become the runner (and woman) you want to be on your OWN terms. Forget trying to fit into society’s, the media’s or your running partners’ idea of what it means to be runner and be the runner you know you already are.
What People Say
“I didn’t quite realize how pampered I would be on this retreat. Everything was taken care of; we could just relax and take it all in. Staying in the wellness hotels and eating amazing gourmet food was wonderful. It’s not very often that I feel pampered in that way.”Kristin S., Washington, D.C.
“I really enjoyed our Wellness Workshops as they provided time to reflect on our day, as well as the running advice, writing intentions, and running techniques demonstrated in the moment.”Amy H., Washington D.C.
“This retreat taught me that I can do anything I set my mind to with the right support. The Italian Dolomites were beautiful and I so enjoyed our group’s companionship. Overall the retreat was excellently organized and I’m definitely considering doing another one!”Muneesha G., New York, NY
“I loved everything about this retreat! It was challenging, well planned, beautiful, fun and we had wonderful guides.”Cynthia R., Sandpoint, ID
“This retreat taught me to be more compassionate with myself! I actually had to practice that within several days after the retreat and continue to look back on the retreat to help me do that.”Julie U., San Francisco, CA
“This retreat will change your life. Don’t over analyze the decision; go and you will not regret it. I am not being dramatic when I say that this was a life-changing experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. It has already encouraged me to alter my lifestyle, to continue to travel and to attend more retreats.”Kristin S., Washington, D.C.
About Your Retreat Leader, Elinor Fish
Her personal health challenges fueled her commitment to support women’s journey of self discovery through running, travel and mindfulness. Since founding Run Wild Retreats + Wellness in 2010, the company has grown to offer premier trail running retreats in five countries.
Over her 18-year career in running and wellness, her articles, programs, workshops and retreats have helped thousands of runners make their running a mindfulness practice to reduce their stress and bring their best selves to their roles as parents, professionals, caregivers and leaders. Elinor’s work and ideas have been featured in major running, outdoor and active lifestyle magazines across the country including Runner’s World, Yoga Journal, Women’s Health, Los Angeles Times, Outside and many more.
The Dolomites, also known as the “Pale Mountains,”, are a mountain range in the northern Italian Alps covering an area that is shared by the provinces of Belluno, Bolzano, Trento, Udine, and Pordenone. The Dolomite region is characterized by jagged peaks and ridges with scenic valleys nestled in between. The Dolomites is comprised of several natural parks and protected areas that collectively became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009 to officially recognize it as “among one of the most beautiful mountain landscapes in the world.”
Our runs take place generally between 5,000 feet and 9,000 in elevation on well-established trails. All runners–not only those coming from sea level–find it necessary to adjust their running pace to account for the elevation. We have accounted for this slower pace in our allotted run times, giving you plenty of time to run and hike at the speed that suits you best.
July is the warmest month of the year here, with daytime temperatures usually between 50 and 70 degrees. However, since we’re in the mountains, weather can change rapidly, so we’ll want to have light rain jackets with us in case of some precipitation.
We’ll dine daily on traditional Ladin/Italian dishes that showcases the Italian’s passion for fresh, delicious food. Some local favorites include Tris di Canederli (three different flavors of farm-style dumplings), speck, a type of cured ham similar to prosciutto specific to South Tyrol, polenta, the “bread of the Dolomites,” and of course, apfelstrudel, an Italian-style apple strudel. Even though menus are heavy on breads, pastas and meat, gluten free and vegetarians will find satisfying alternatives.
Local residents speak different languages: German is spoken in the north and northwest; Italian in the south; and Ladin in the central area – in the four valleys that branch off the Sella Massif (Val di Fassa, Val Gardena, Val Badia and Livinallongo) – and in Ampezzo. For this reason, you’ll notice the villages, mountains and other landmarks have three or more different names.
Your 7-Day, 6-Night Retreat Package Includes:
• Six nights’ accommodation in luxurious Four-Star hotels
• Daily breakfasts and gourmet dinners
• Some lunches
• Daily trail runs with professional guides and retreat leader
• Private van transportation to/from the Venice Marco Polo Airport
• Wellness Workshops
• Natural Trail Running technique clinics
• Trail snacks/energy food
• Lifts, gondolas and ground transportation to trails
• Luggage transfer between hotels
• Run Wild Retreats souvenirs
• Introduction to Mindful Running online course
• Comprehensive Retreat Planning Guide
*We will match you with a roommate if you are traveling alone and choose a double occupancy room.
Max. Retreat Group Size:
|Price Per Person*|
(Double Occupancy Rooms):
|Price Per Person|
(Single Occupancy Rooms):
Balance Payment Due Date:
*See below for more information about this retreat’s running level.
July 7 - 13, 2019
Save your spot with a deposit of $900
Only *1* spot remaining!
July 6 - 12, 2020
Save your spot with a deposit of $900
Save $150 when you book before August 1, 2019
This Retreat is Right for You If:
- You’re comfortable running/hiking six days in a row for around 4 to 5 hours (including hiking sections, water breaks and photo ops).
- You are physically able to hike long uphills and steep downhills on rocky terrain.
- You have experience running on mountain trails.
- You’re OK with running/hiking on trails with loose dirt, rocks and some muddy sections.
- You’re comfortable on high and exposed, and at times narrow, trails.
- You’re game for running in the rain (don’t worry about what to wear; we provide you with a comprehensive packing list).
- You don’t mind sharing a room (single travelers are matched with roommates).
- You have (or are willing to acquire before the retreat) trail running shoes.
Is trail running experience necessary?
What are the accommodations like?
The retreat package includes single- or double-occupancy rooms (two beds) in luxurious four-star hotels. All of the hotels include private bathrooms, free wifi, on-site restaurants and spa access. You may purchase spa treatments for an additional fee. You may request a roommate (if you are traveling with a friend), otherwise we will pair you with another solo traveler. We spend two nights in each hotel, and rotate roommate assignments.