UNESCO describes the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as “being among the most attractive mountain landscapes in the world. Their intrinsic beauty derives from a variety of spectacular vertical forms, such as pinnacles, spires and towers, with contrasting horizontal surfaces including ledges, crags and plateaux, all of which rise abruptly above extensive talus deposits and more gentle foothills. A great diversity of colours is provided by the contrasts between the bare pale-coloured rock surfaces and the forests, lakes, and meadows below. The mountains rise as peaks with intervening ravines, in some places standing isolated but in others forming sweeping panoramas. Some of the rock cliffs here rise more than 1,500 m and are among the highest limestone walls found anywhere in the world… The quantity and concentration of extremely varied limestone formations is extraordinary in a global context, including peaks, towers, pinnacles and some of the highest vertical rock walls in the world.” Read more.
We’ll stay in a beautiful, comfortable, highly hospitable family-owned and -managed hotel just outside the downtown area of Cortina d’Ampezzo. It has all the amenities you’ll need and then some for a pleasurable stay. Each room is spacious by European standards and includes its own ensuite modern bathroom. On the outside you’ll find barrels bursting and pots overflowing with vivid and radiant flowers all over the place, and a tranquil, spacious, green private park. Trees sprinkle the park providing softly shaded areas, while simultaneously allowing sunshine to beam through. Lounge chairs are scattered throughout for your relaxation and enjoyment in the quiet and peaceful surrounding environment with the Alps floating above. There is also an illuminated pedestrian walkway that leads to the downtown area of Cortina. The interior boasts several delightful pleasures, including: a wellness center with sauna, Jacuzzi, Turkish baths and treatment rooms; cozy social spaces, reading room, tavern with fireplace and wine cellar that houses 160 labels from Italy and abroad; and an elegant dining room. Furnishings are a mix of elegance and coziness, and combine elements of Cortina’s traditional style with modern and practical features, like WiFi.
The charming Cortina d’Ampezzo, located in a gorgeous valley in the heart of the Dolomites, is Italy’s most esteemed alpine town. It’s dazzling, elegant and classic. Its pedestrian-only streets are lined with novelty, sports, luxury and glamour shops, little boutiques, restaurants, cafes, pasticcerias and pizzerias. Cobblestone streets, enjoyable piazzas and church spires fill its center, and the hovering and alluring Italian Alps frame it. You may recognize it when you see it, as it’s been featured in a number of films, most recognizably Cliffhanger, For Your Eyes Only, and The Pink Panther.
A large European breakfast will be served each morning in the tasteful dining room and will include fresh fruit, yogurt, muesli, cereal, eggs and bacon, ham and cheese, an assortment of bread, toast and pastries, and juice, coffee and tea. The delicious 4-course dinners range from local to international cuisine. They begin with the fresh salad bar. The first and second courses present choices of pasta, soup, vegetables and meat or fish dishes. Choices could range from native homemade pasta or asparagus in crepes, to veal shanks or filet mignon. Each night is different. Dessert introduces tempting cakes, pastry, gelato and fresh fruit. All is served by the friendly staff who seem to cater to each individual. Lunch will be a special treat at the rifugios.
Each day will include a Dynamic Form Hatha Yoga class led by Laura Christensen in a peaceful and picturesque private park with alpine peaks towering overhead. Laura focuses on creating and maintaining equilibrium between strength and suppleness and how it relates to good alignment and form, not just in the asanas (postures), but also in our moment-to-moment posture, and life itself. She aims to help students learn how to listen to their bodies and find a harmonious balance that can only be understood by the unique feeling of being in one’s own unique body. Each class is one part strengthening and one part opening. We go deep into each of these spectrums and allow our breath to be our guide. Laura encourages the exploration of one’s own body, mind and heart and how they all fit together. Classes during the retreat will be customized to help recover and restore balance throughout the body after hiking. Dynamic Form Hatha Yoga is a description of what Laura teaches. It is non-dogmatic and the goal is for students to find a deeper sense of self-awareness, balance, harmony, strength, suppleness, ease, peace, and freedom from pain. Learn more about Laura Christensen.
Prepare to be completely enchanted by the exhilarating landscapes you will see each day. The vast and diverse Dolomites (see above) offer magnificence everywhere you turn. Even from the road, they bless the viewer with captivating panoramas. Our excursions will be structured so that you will be immersed into the most dramatic and impressive scenes of the Dolomites. You will be able to choose from one of two hike options each day. The easier hikes are approximately 6 miles or less and have more limited elevation gain, and the more advanced hikes are 6-9 miles with elevation gains of 1500-3000 feet. Cable cars and ski lifts can transport you to the soaring peaks with little of no climbing. At the top of the lifts, you’ll be entranced by striking 360 views that are so stupendous, you’ll feel as if you’ve been boosted up to heaven. You may choose to take a leisurely walk from there and drink in even more of the breathtaking vistas, and/or enjoy lunch at the rifugios (see below). If you love to hike, these colossal jagged peaks and pinnacles, soaring cliff walls, lunar landscapes, otherworldly green meadows, stunning alpine lakes and unexpected wild flowers are happy to indulge you even beyond your wildest dreams. We’ve scouted it all out and chosen the best trails for you to witness this mysterious and glorious land! We’ll all visit the most thrilling peaks, structures, valleys and meadows and spend an afternoon at a jaw-dropping, luminous lake and take a swim, walk its perimeter, or hike its peaks. Many of the hikes recommended are about 6-9 miles long with elevation gains between 1200- 4000 feet. Some of them can be made shorter as an in and out option.
During the day, we’ll also stop off at the rifugios (mountain huts) to savor their majestic setting. These mountain refuges are a part of the rich history of the Dolomites and they’re special gems of the area. They are each located in an exquisite alpine setting, and some are perched atop mountain peaks, seemingly at the edge of the world, while others sit at a lake’s shore, or smack-dab in the middle of a pristine meadow. The sauna pictured on the left sits in the clouds at 9000 feet and belongs to a very famous rifugio. You’ll be able take a cable car or hike up to it and enjoy lunch, a sauna and the heavenly views. All of the rifugios have sweeping panoramas. They allow us to commune with nature while experiencing the comforts of a hot cooked meal, cup of tea, glass of wine or beer or slice of cake. These unique rest stops serve as great venues to gather and meet interesting nature lovers from all over the world.
On the days you might prefer to "chill", there are many things to do in town. But you may prefer to relax with a book in the private hotel park, or luxuriate in the hotel’s wellness center. In the revitalizing wellness center, you may enjoy the sauna, soak in the Jacuzzi or Turkish Bath, or savor one of their treatments or massages.
Passport to Magnificence
A Hiking & Yoga Retreat
in the Dolomites (The BEST of the Italian Alps)
with Laura Christensen
July 11 - 18, 2020
Get your passport to the magnificence of the Self, and the magical UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Dolomites! We’ll reside in the heart of the Dolomites, in a lovely family-run hotel in the beautiful town of Cortina d’Ampezzo. Laura’s Dynamic Form Hatha Yoga classes will bring you more deeply in tune with the magnificence of who YOU are. The adventure will continue as we take daily excursions into the uniquely splendid landscapes of the most extraordinary parts of the Dolomites, arguably the most stunning and distinct mountains in the world. There will be two daily hiking options for you to choose from so that you can savor the astonishing views with some work and grit, OR take an easier hike option and sometimes use the help of cable cars, ski lifts and shuttle rides. It will be a nature lovers and hikers dream with phenomenal daily hikes through the most breathtaking landscapes and afternoon yoga classes geared towards recovery and balance. The diverse and dramatic topography of the Dolomites offers vistas galore for everyone!
Save your spot soon.
Scroll down to see prices and more information.
Double Room Share: $3095.
Single Room in single room (only one available): $3395.
Single in a double room: $3595
All prices are per person. You do not need to find your own roommate.
We can pair you up with someone if you are coming solo.
7 nights accommodations at a lovely 3-star hotel in Cortina d'Ampezzo (see above for hotel description.)
7 breakfasts. The large European breakfasts will include fresh fruit, yogurt, muesli, cereal, eggs and bacon, ham and cheese, an assortment of bread, toast and pastries, and juice, coffee and tea.
3 delicious 4-course dinners ranging from local to international cuisine. They begin with the fresh salad bar. The first and second courses present choices of pasta, soup, vegetables and meat, fish or vegetarian dishes. Choices could range from native homemade pasta or asparagus in crepes, to veal shanks or filet mignon. Each night is different. Dessert introduces tempting cakes, pastry, gelato and fresh fruit.
Daily Dynamic Form Hatha Yoga Classes led by Laura Christensen and yoga space rental.
Daily hiking or touring excursions. There will be two hiking options per day.
Ground transportation for scheduled excursions.
Lift tickets for scheduled excursions.
Free Wi-fi at the hotel.
Does not include:
Massages or Sauna use.
Any extra activities, lifts or ground transportation not included in the itinerary.
Deposit due to hold your space and payment schedule:
Double Share: $3095
Deposit to hold your space: $1200
Balance due February 1: $1895
No Yoga Price in Double: $2695 (not eligible for early registration discounts.)
Deposit to hold your space: $1100
Balance due February 1: $1595
Single in Single Room (only one available): $3395
Deposit to hold your space: $1300
Balance due February 1: $2095
Single in Double Room: $3595
Deposit to hold your space: $1400
Balance due February 1: $2195
View more on Laura Christensen.