Dolomites Trail Running – Cortina
|Sep 15, 2024 - Sep 22, 2024
|8 days - 7 nights
Welcome to a brand new Run the Alps tour! After several years of research, we’re pleased to announce this new trail running adventure in and around Cortina, Italy, in the very heart of the Dolomites.
The Dolomites is a trail runner’s paradise. Run the Alps has been trail running here for years, exploring trails on and off the beaten path. Our trip starts and finishes in one of our favorite towns in the region, Cortina D’Ampezzo. And in between? You’ll experience Dolomite villages, great cuisine, and no shortage of beautiful trails in one of the world’s most dramatic alpine environments.
This region is perhaps best known for the iconic Tre Cimes di Lavaredo, the Three Peaks of Lavaredo. The UTMB® Lavaredo Ultra Trail races takes place here every June, taking its name from this towering range. For us, however, the jewel in the crown is the Senes-Fanes range. Here, we’ll explore secluded valleys and remote mountain passes. It is not uncommon to run long stretches and have the trail all to yourself – just perfect trail running!
Cortina D’Ampezzo is a well-known Italian resort town and a center for both summer and winter sports – in fact, it will host the 2026 Winter Olympics. It’s a small yet lively place with a selection of shops, cafes and restaurants. Nestled amongst impressive Dolomitic peaks and with easy trail access, it’s a memorable village from which to start and finish our tour.
We’ll explore the surrounding mountains on a multi-day loop with trails and scenery to rival any mountain area in the world. The Dolomites are famous for their pale, jagged peaks, cathedral-like spires and rocky ridgelines. These features are juxtaposed against mellow green pastures and a diverse forest neatly laid out below the sheer cliffs. Along the way are exquisite mountain lakes to admire and plenty of refugios, or huts, where we can fuel up on local delights like apple strudel, pasta and strong Italian coffee.
We’ll spend nights in comfortable hotels in the alpine villages of Cortina, Misurina, San Vigilio and San Cassiano. We’ll also stay one night at the stunning Rifugio Lagazuoi mountain refuge. Perched on a mountain summit with a 360° view surrounding peaks, the hut also features hot showers and great food. We’ll have our luggage transported to each hotel, and we’ll “fastpack” with a few extra overnight items for our special night at Lagazuoi.
This region is steeped in culture and history. Because of its proximity to Austria, we’ll be passing through areas where Italian, German and even Ladin– a language unique to this area– is spoken. During World War I the region was hotly contested, and Lagazuoi was the site of battles between the Austrian and Italian mountain troops. On our runs through this area, we’ll witness some of the tunnels and other structures from this wartime period. Today, one very pleasant result of this historic clash is the delicious, varied cuisine where you can detect both Italian and Germanic influences.
This tour is a notch more challenging than our Val Gardena Dolomites trip. This tour is well suited for trail runners looking for a more challenging experience and as well those who’ve already been enchanted by the region on our Val Gardena Dolomites tour and are ready for more!
(Top images: PatitucciPhoto, Cortina/giuseppeghedina.com, Milo Zanecchia, Bruno Yates)
Book this tour
$1,050 single supplement
Typical Dolomites trails – with a welcoming rifugio not far away! (Photo: Doug Mayer)
A shared Run the Alps shuttle will take you from Venice airport to Cortina d’Ampezzo, about a two-hour drive. Before a group dinner, we’ll have a trip orientation, including a chance to get to know everybody in the group and talk through the tour.
The three peaks of Tre Cime de Laveredo. (Photo: Ian Mills)
From Cortina, we’ll catch a cable car up to Mount Faloria, then run trails with great views of the impressive Mount Cristallo and the famous Tre Cimes di Lavaredo. A long, fun descent takes us back to Cortina.
Südtirol gastronomy. (Photo: Alta Badia/ Armin-Terzer)
We’ll take the main trail directly below the iconic three peaks of Tre Cimes di Lavaredo, then pass beautiful Lago di Cengia before arriving at Rifugio Zsigmondy to enjoy coffee and fresh apple strudel. A long and fun forested descent brings us to Lago di Misurina and our hotel for the evening.
Autumn in the Dolomites. (Photo: Alta Badia/ IDM Suedtirol – Alex Moling)
We’re heading for the beautiful Senes plateau, a large expanse of alpine pastures that’s wild feeling, yet also dotted with several rifugios where we can stop for refreshments.
Easy running alongside a river brings us to the village of St Vigilio and our stop for the night.
Smooth trails through the meadows. (Photo: Doug Mayer)
Today we’ll start with a filling breakfast before the biggest day of the tour! We’ll run through forest and open alpine pastures and up towards Sant Antone pass. The view of the Fanes region at our high point is a more than worthy reward for the climb.
A quick descent leads to two rifugios from which to choose for a trailside treat!
Rifugio Lagazuoi. (Photo: Bruno Yates)
Today we run more technical trails below the cliffs of Setsas, with impressive views of the Marmolada, the highest peak in the Dolomites.
We’ll pass through an area of Austrian trenches and fortifications from World War I, and then refuel at a refuge before we start the steep and rugged climb up to Rifugio Lagazuoi.
Sassongher. (Photo: Alta Badia/ Paola Finali)
A quick traverse around the rocky mountainside brings us to the Travenanzes pass before descending into the Val de Travenanzes, a wild, remote-feeling and memorable corner of the Dolomites.
We’ll celebrate our big adventure and all that we have experienced with a farewell dinner at one of the many fine restaurants in Cortina.
The locals enjoying breakfast! (Photo: Milo Zanecchia)
We’ll enjoy a final breakfast together at our hotel before saying our farewells as our tour comes to a close. Those who have opted for the shared transfer to Venice will head off together after breakfast.
What's includedGuided trail runs over six days with an experienced International Mountain Leader, accommodation for six nights at 3 or 4 star hotels, one night at a well-appointed mountain rifugio, buffet breakfasts and multi-course dinners each day, light lunches, and trail nutrition from premium partners, taxi and cable car transfers to and from trailhead that are included on our planned itinerary, a month of free coaching with Run the Alps partners Vert.run, transfer to and from Venice International Airport at the start and finish of the tour, Run the Alps Guide to Trail Running in the Alps.
We recommend arriving in Venice by mid-afternoon on the day your tour starts and taking the group taxi to Cortina d’Ampezzo. Direct flights from the US usually depart the day before and arrive early in the morning.
Other options for arrival are Verona, Milan, Innsbruck or Munich. For any of these options we would recommend a private transfer, which we can help to arrange.
A group taxi is scheduled to leave Cortina after breakfast to travel to Venice airport. From here, you can continue on to your departure destination. Private taxis can be scheduled upon request, at an additional cost. You may have to plan on one night at a hotel in your departure city. We can assist with transportation and lodging recommendations, if you like. If you want to extend your visit with additional trail running, we can help with self-guided run descriptions for other regions of the Alps, or trail race options.
Self-guided option: Everything but the guide… custom tour design, trail runs, and all the details.
Private: Make it private! Your companions, your dates, your tour– we do the rest. Contact us for details.
Run the Alps Stories: Bruno Yates: My Recon for Run the Alps’ Dolomites Trip
All Run the Alps guests receive a copy of our Guide to Trail Running in the Alps to assist in preparing for their trip.
Terms and Conditions: Read up on Run the Alps’ Terms and Conditions and travel insurance.
Concerned about being ready? We can help! We’ve teamed up with the wonderfully supportive team at Vert.run to offer customized training plans tailored to each Run the Alps trip. Once you’ve signed up for a trip, we’ll email you all the details and your unique code for your FREE first month of training! In the meantime, you can start exploring the plans here.
Tour Balance: Your tour balance is due 90 days before your tour starts. We will send you an invoice about a month before that due date. However, you can pay your balance at any time. If you’d like the simplicity of paying in full sooner, or would like to pay in installments, please contact us.
Guides for this Tour
Book this tour
$1,050 single supplement