Wellness - in the Dolomites

Wellness - in the Dolomites


We have all read about the wonders of cold water, but if you really want to treat yourself, the next dip needs to be in the Italian Alps.

The Dolomites had simply never been a destination on our radar when visiting Italy countless times before, our gaze always drifted further south towards the Mediterranean. Also since I'm not much of a hiker, summer in the mountains hadn't held much interest for me and the delights of that whole region were therefore a complete unknown.

The Dolomites offer a unique blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventure, and serene wellness experiences. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its dramatic peaks, lush valleys, and enchanting alpine meadows, is the perfect destination for those seeking to rejuvenate both body and mind. Here’s how to make the most of your wellness retreat in the Dolomites.

We chose the stunning village of San Cassiano and stayed at Surega Farm Idyllic Farmhouse.  And Idyllic it was. Dreamy, green valleys,  roads with hairpin turns in the mist, and heavenly hiking trails lined by wildflower, with the most spectacular mountain cliffs in the background. Each mountain in the Dolomites is like a piece of art

— Reinhold Messner

We had the most picturesque view from every room in our apartment.  Our hosts were delightful and lived behind the hotel in a farm where the family grow everything we ate. Breakfast which was served on the terrace, with drop-dead views over the mountains was delicious and the start to the day was surreally stunning; like you are living in a story book. This feast of goodness sets you up for a day of activities. Fresh laid eggs ordered to your liking served with the most creamy whipped butter, fragrant home made jams, all made on site. Fresh juices, infused with local flowers and my favourite was the "balance drink", which combined mint syrup (so refreshing), apple juice for energy, mineral water for cleansing and lavender for relaxation. Our days were planned with physical activities in the morning and pampered wellness in the afternoon.

 

Mornings

E-biking - Brand new bikes were provided and maps of the local areas were discussed but the Italians like a "just follow your nose" attitude, that we completely embraced. So it was up, up and up.... literally we followed the ski lifts to the top of the mountains.  It was surreal, we had the Dolomites to ourselves.  The flower fields were just magical. 

 

 

 

Hikes - Hiking in the Dolomites is not just a physical activity, it’s a journey into tranquility. The region boasts a variety of trails suitable for all fitness levels. Whether you embark on a gentle walk through flower-strewn meadows or a challenging ascent up rugged paths, you’ll find that the fresh mountain air and stunning vistas provide a natural form of therapy. Popular trails like the Alta Via 1 and Tre Cime di Lavaredo offer unforgettable experiences. We were surprised at the number of hotels and other tourist-facing businesses that had not reopened between the Winter and Summer Seasons.  Towns feeling like they were yet to fully emerge from their winter hibernation, most rifugi's were closed. Rigugis history comes from small places across the alps for hikers to seek refuge and now they are a place to enjoy life through eating and drinking delicious local dishes. 

My Hiking outfit....

 

 Golf - Get ready to hike up hill.  The course was straight up a t-bar ski run. 

Afternoons 

3 steps to wellness. Cold plunge, sauna, the bucket shower - repeated 3 times.

Cold water plunges. At 10C this was the coldest water that I have dipped into and it took me a few attempts to get in.  If you do it slowly your feet start to burn, so I opted for dive.  It was exhilarating but the escape out of the water was quick.  I lasted about 2 minutes. I did sort of cheat too as I had donned my Ruby long-sleeve wetsuit to help against the cold.

Experts say this kind of  therapy triggers various physiological responses in the body and the tingling you feel is release of norepinephrine or the body's “fight-or-flight” response to the cold shock. 

Followed by Sauna with a view.

then the old cold water bucket.

and finally a relax with a view.

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