Dolomites Hiking Adventure Retreat
September 2nd – 8th, 2023
Welcome to the adventure of a lifetime in the Dolomites!!
Energize your body and mind in the spectacular Dolomites of Italy with incredible daily hikes, yoga and Qigong plus facilitated artful sessions designed to awaken and enrich your creative life force. Together, we’ll experience the joy and personal power that comes from combining our journeys in nature with positive and supported self-expression.
The Dolomites are famous for their surreal beauty, with rugged white, gray, and pink peaks rising abruptly from rolling green valleys and meadows. Breathtakingly beautiful to behold, the mountains are mesmerizing to hike through as sweeping valleys and craggy peaks give way to flower-filled alpine meadows. The Dolomites really need to be seen to be believed and hiking them truly is an unforgettable experience. We will hike 8-10 miles a day carrying only our day packs and stopping for lunch at rufugios or having a picnic overlooking an incredible vista.
Our journey begins in Val Gardena, where we’ll explore the stunning mountain scenery with guided hikes. This area is renowned for its breathtaking peaks, lush valleys, and crystal-clear streams. After a day of hiking, we’ll indulge in some wellness pampering at the hotel’s spa center and enjoy a delicious dinner featuring local cuisine. Our hotel, the family-owned and run Hotel Dorfer, provides a cozy and welcoming atmosphere with comfortable rooms and warm hospitality.
After three nights we’ll head to Val Badia in Corvara for more invigorating hikes, surrounded by stunning vistas of the Dolomites. We will stay at the luxurious Hotel Marmolauda, Corvara’s Best Hotel.
Join us for a truly transformational travel experience. This 6-night, 7-day tour promises to be a life-changing experience, filled with adventure creative art exercises to expand your life view and new best friends!
What is included:
- 6 breakfasts, One breakfast on Sept 2nd in Bolzano is on your own before pick up
- 4 lunches, at Rufugios, or pic nics that we arrange, two lunches on your own in town
- 6 dinners
*Afternoon tea time with local cakes and snacks
*Guided hiking 8 to 10 miles per day, with 2 WQ guides (Colleen Cannon and Susie Alexander) and 1 local guide to introduce us to the local flair and history of the area.
*Daily Yoga, Qigong and breath work
* Creativity exercises: Creative “Soul Spark” exercises each day with Susie Alexander. We will create a soul collage during our time together and other heartfelt projects. We will also have afternoon journaling to center, connect, reflect, declare our values and FILL OUR JOY TANKS!!
* Afternoon use of hotel spas, with hot tubs, pool, saunas and massages. *extra cost for massages and spa treatments
*On trip transportation, Gondolas and lifts
Daily hiking itinerary: please email firstname.lastname@example.org and she will send you the whole itinerary with maps. Be prepared to hike 5 to 6 hours a day (most days the hikes are around 8 miles and we will be taking the gondolas up and starting our hikes at the top). We will be stopping for lunch at Rufugios and YES they have coffee and local treats as well as a hearty lunch.
Afternoons we have open for soaking in the hot tubs and getting a spa treatment OR if you are not tired you can join Colleen to ride E-Bikes, regular bikes or mt bikes along the beautiful bike trails in the Valleys. (This is also some of the best cycling in the world)
Arrival information: The trip starts with a pick up in the town of Bolzano, Northeastern Italy on September 2nd at 9 am, and ends in Bolzano on September 8th in the afternoon. Bolzano is on the main train route north to Germany and the capital city of South Tyrol, a province of northern Italy. If you arrive at either Munich, Milan or Venice airports, you can take the train to Verona (a great place to visit for a day or two) and change for Bolzano. There is also train service from Munich, another fine place to spend a few days getting over jet lag before the trip starts. Allow about 4 hours for the journey from either the Milan or Venice airports and add an extra 30 minutes if you arrive in Munich.
We will be meeting you on September 1st at a specific hotel in Bolzano and leaving on Sept 2nd to start our trip.
We will be staying at three- or four-star hotels with double-occupancy rooms and each hotel has a spa with hot tub, sauna and steam room. Single supplements are an extra cost A word about Italian hotel beds: typically, a double room features two twin mattresses on adjoining bed frames. We have asked that they split these beds for us and you can push the bed frames apart more if you like. Each mattress is made up individually, but they are generally close to each other or side by side but they will move them apart for our group.
Our first 3 night we will stay in the cozy and charming Hotel Dorfer.
Then we are going to transport ourself to the second hotel for out trip: Hotel Marmolada, right in in Val Badia:
We’ll eat breakfasts and dinners at our lodges. The meals are going to be really good. Breakfast is a buffet, and the dinners are served with several courses.
On some days we will stop at huts along the way for lunch. The huts serve sandwiches, soups, pastas, and stews. On other days, we will carry our lunches and have a group picnic, ideally on the top of a mountain ridge, in a grassy meadow, or some other scenic spot.
For our dinners it is usually a three- or four-course meal with three options for each course. Local specialties abound, including many pasta or polenta dishes, meats (typically veal, pork, fish, or chicken), and tasty desserts such as tiramisu. While vegetarian meals are not the norm in this area, our hosts are willing to make a special effort to accommodate guests. Usually, omelets, cheese dishes, vegetable soup, risotto with mushrooms, or pasta with tomato sauce are available.
This is a moderate hiking adventure and we will be taking the gondola lifts UP every day. It is intended for the experienced hiker who is able to walk five or six hours every day. We have not planning any rest days during the trip, but you can take a day off to enjoy the spa or read a book by the pool. Our maximum daily hiking distance will be 10 miles, with never more than 1,400 feet of elevation gain or 2,000 feet of loss. Our terrain includes pastoral rolling hills, broad meadows, some steep ascents, and rocky paths. Valley elevations are 4,000-5,000 feet and hikes will normally take us no higher than 8,000 feet. Everyone should plan on carrying Osprey or Camelback hydration packs with water, waterproof rain gear, a warm layer, personal items, and room for lunch.
We will get the whole group on a hiking program over the Summer.
Tell me about yoga?
We begin each adventure-filled Women’s Quest day with Colleen’s unique “Awakening the Senses” Yoga. This gentle but powerful practice draws inspiration from Gyrokinesis, Qigong, and Tai Chi, and is a perfect way to prepare the mind, body and senses for the activities of the day.
Do I have to participate in everything on the schedule?
You do not need to participate in everything; you can pace yourself so that it is the perfect amount of activity for you. We fully support you in doing as much or as little as is right for you in the moment. The schedule gives you a sense of the flow of each day. It is subject to change, depending upon the needs of the group, weather, etc. We will go over the schedule each day at breakfast.
What is the average age on this retreat?
We have a wide range of people who attend our retreats, from 15-70 years young. Each retreat will vary. Please contact us if you have questions about the ages on a specific retreat.
What if I come alone?
The majority of the women who attend our Iceland retreat come by themselves. Iceland is a safe and easy country to travel in as a single woman. English is widely spoken, and we are here to answer any questions about travel that you may have. Although you may come alone, you will leave the retreat with new, lifelong friends!
What if I am new to Italy or Europe?
If you’ve never been to Europe, relax! You will love it. If you’ve been many times- you’ll be surprised, refreshed, and delighted by our intimate version of the European experience. We will pick you up and always be available for any questions and with a helping hand.
A deposit is required to hold your reservation at a retreat. Deposits are $500 for domestic and $1,000 for international retreats. Additional deposits may be required to reserve a single room. All deposits are non-refundable.
We cannot hold your reservation until we have received your deposit. If you would like to reserve an available spot in a retreat 90 or fewer days prior to the retreat date, we require payment in full for the retreat to hold the spot. This is in accordance with our payment policy below.
Payment in full for all retreats is due 90 days prior to the retreat date. If you do not provide payment in full by 90 days prior to the retreat you risk losing your reservation.
A 4% payment processing fee will be added to all payments made using PayPal, Stripe or Venmo.
You are welcome to send in a check or pay by Zelle to avoid this fee.
If you must cancel a reservation, a full refund, less your deposit which is non-refundable, will be provided for any cancellation we receive in writing at least 91 days prior to the commencement date of the retreat. We are sorry but we cannot refund any payments for cancellations made 90 or fewer days prior to the commencement of the retreat.
We reserve the right to cancel retreats with inadequate participant interest. Women’s Quest IS NOT responsible for any personal expenses, such as airline tickets due to changes in schedules or tour cancellations.
Cancellations by Women’s Quest: Women’s Quest reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel or reschedule any retreat due to concerns over Covid-19. As a small company Women’s Quest is unfortunately not able to provide refunds of payments for retreats cancelled by Women’s Quest due to the Covid pandemic. This is primarily due to our financial commitments with the various retreat venues. As a result, in the event Women’s Quest cancels or reschedules a retreat due to Covid-19 Women’s Quest will apply all payments to the rescheduled or following year’s retreat, or to any other Women’s Quest retreat of your choosing through the end of the next year after the year in which the retreat was cancelled by Women’s Quest. Because of the unforeseen and unprecedented circumstances of the outbreak, this policy supersedes earlier policies.
Cancellations by You: If you need or desire to cancel your reservation due to Covid-19, or failure to comply with the requirements of a negative test and being symptom free, this cancellation is subject to the Cancellation Policy above. This is why we urge everyone to purchase travel insurance when signing up.
Covid Waiver and Release
This waiver, release and acknowledgement of responsibilities is unfortunately necessary during this unique time of the Covid 19 pandemic. By signing up for and or attending any Women’s Quest retreat you agree to be bound by the terms of this document. We understand these times are challenging, however, these provisions are necessary to protect all attendees and staff members of Women’s Quest.
Testing For and Symptoms of Covid 19. Irrespective of vaccination status you are required to provide a negative test for Covid 19 taken within 3 days of the commencement of the retreat. This test can be either a PCR test or a home antigen test. Also, irrespective of your vaccination status, you agree you will not attend the retreat if you have any symptoms of Covid 19 immediately prior to the beginning of the trip. These symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea (these, along with symptoms outline in the following link and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control shall be collectively referred to as the “Symptoms”.) More information on symptoms of Covid 19 can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
Symptoms During the Retreat. In the event you develop any Symptoms during the retreat you must immediately leave the retreat and follow protocols outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and all local regulations. We understand this may result in you incurring significant expenses associated with separate accommodation and travel, however, you understand these expenses are not the responsibility of Women’s Quest and must be incurred by you. You agree to be fully honest with Women’s Quest staff in regard to any Symptoms you may develop and agree to comply with a request by Women’s Quest staff to depart as determined by Women’s Quest staff in their sole discretion. As provided below, this is why we strongly urge everyone to get travel insurance covering these and other expenses prior to departure.
Procedures During the Retreat. During the retreat Women’s Quest may, but need not, endeavor to practice social distancing and wearing of masks when traveling in close proximity. You agree to comply with all requests of Women’s Quest staff during the retreat related to these procedures. Any such procedures implemented by Women’s Quest are not a guaranty you will not be exposed to Covid 19 and you understand you are responsible for taking any precautions you deem necessary and providing your own personal protective equipment during the retreat. You also agree to comply with any reasonable requests by other attendees to respect their social distancing and other protective measures (“Participant Requests”.) Notwithstanding the foregoing, you are responsible to comply with all laws and regulations of the locality visited relating to protections against Covid 19.
Waiver of Coronavirus Related Illness; Indemnification. You understand that irrespective of protective measures that Women’s Quest or you may or may not take, you may be exposed to Covid 19 by another retreat attendee, a Women’s Quest staff member and or an individual to whom you may be exposed during, or traveling to or from the retreat. You agree to waive and release Women’s Quest, its officers, directors, staff, employees, contractors, and partners from any claims, liabilities or damages you may incur in the event you contract Covid 19 at any time during travel to, attending or after attending the retreat. You further agree to indemnify and hold harmless Women’s Quest, its officers, directors, staff, employees, contractors, and partners from any loss, liability or damages it or they may incur as a result of your failure to receive a negative test for Covid 19 prior to the retreat as provided above, attending the retreat with any Symptoms, not respecting Participant Requests, and not immediately departing the retreat if you develop any Symptoms.
Cancellation. In the unfortunate event you need to cancel your trip, cannot attend due to contracting Covid 19 or developing Symptoms prior to the retreat, or must leave the retreat due to contracting Covid 19 or developing Symptoms, Women’s Quest cannot provide any refund of any amounts you paid.
Travel Insurance. As provided in this document you could incur significant personal expense in the event you contract Covid 19 or develop any Symptoms during the retreat. As such, you are strongly urged to obtain travel insurance that provides adequate protections against these risks.
Additional Waiver. This waiver is incorporated into and made a part of other waivers you agreed to in connection with signing up for the retreat. In the event of a conflict between these terms and the terms of any other waiver, this waiver shall govern.
Purchasing Travel Insurance
We highly, highly recommend you get travel insurance to cover your expenses and losses in the event you test positive or come down with Symptoms prior to the retreat, develop Symptoms during the retreat, or cannot return home due to Covid related issues. We recommend getting insurance that covers the cost of your trip, medical care while at the retreat, and coverage to pay for the necessary quarantine period if you test positive or come down with Covid. Please remember, if you have to cancel your trip in the unfortunate event you come down with Covid, test positive, or suffer Symptoms prior to or during the retreat and need to leave, Women’s Quest cannot provide a refund since we have to pay your trip expenses well ahead of time.
If you are concerned about travel and the changing environment in which we are living irrespective of your Covid status, we recommend getting travel insurance that allows you to cancel for any reason. This coverage is more expensive, however, may provide you with the coverage and flexibility you desire.
We spoke with Allianz Travel Insurance about travel insurance primarily for Covid issues – trip cancellation, medical treatment and delay in coming home due to catching Covid. From our understanding, Allianz does offer policies providing for trip cancellation due to Covid and extended trip interruption coverage for Covid quarantine periods, however, you should talk to them via the phone to ensure you have the coverage you need. Irrespective of the travel insurance you get, please make sure you talk to a travel insurance agent prior to buying any insurance and make sure you have the coverage you desire and that the policy will cover trip cancellation, medical expenses and trip interruption due to Covid. We are providing this only as our understanding after talking to Allianz and not as a representation of what Allianz will cover. You should do your own investigation including directly calling Allianz or any insurance provider you choose, and not rely on this overview to ensure you get the coverage that is right for you.