6, 8 days
Full board
Luggage transfer

Trail running adventure in the Maira Valley, Italy: Unveil the untamed beauty of Piedmont

Nestled in the southwest of Piedmont, Italy, the Maira Valley, also known as Val Maira or Valle Macra, beckons trail runners to experience a unique holiday that harmonizes unspoiled scenery and unpolluted fresh air. As one of Italy’s well-kept secrets, this valley is a testament to natural beauty and historical charm, making it an unparalleled destination for self-guided trail running.

Maira Valley: A gem of Piedmont

Maira Valley is a true reflection of Italy’s traditional spirit. With its ancient welcoming Occitan atmosphere, the region pulsates with traditional festivals, delightful Italian food, and the distinction of being a leading producer of confectionery, coffee, and white truffles in Italy. Beyond its gastronomic wonders, the valley is a sanctuary for nature lovers, where untamed landscapes blend seamlessly with the rhythm of life.

Tour Highlights:

  • Breathtaking trails: Traverse a network of trails that weave through lush forests, serene meadows, and rugged mountain terrain. Runners can select routes that range from short, scenic journeys to longer, more challenging expeditions, each offering stunning views of pristine natural landscapes.
  • Local expertise: Each trail is meticulously designed by local trail runners who possess an intimate knowledge of the terrain. This ensures an exhilarating trail running experience tailored to all levels, from beginners to experienced runners.
  • Maira Occitan Trail: The Maira Valley annually hosts one of Piedmont’s most prestigious trail races, the Maira Occitan Trail. This event provides the opportunity to tackle meticulously crafted trails and embrace the challenge, further enhancing the allure of the Maira Valley as a premier trail running destination.

Unleash your inner trail runner

Whether you’re an experienced trail runner or a first-timer seeking to conquer the mountains, the Maira Valley’s diverse terrain ensures an unforgettable experience. You can explore mountain paths, tackle demanding routes, or meander through ancient trails that wind past picturesque villages. The trails not only offer a great way to explore the area but also provide stunning vistas, fresh mountain air, and glorious landscapes. Moreover, the Maira Valley offers a safe environment for runners to challenge themselves and push their limits, thanks to its diverse terrain catering to all skill levels. The village of Elva and the enchanting hamlets of Marmora await your exploration.

Trail running crafted with local expertise

Every trail in the Maira Valley is meticulously designed by local trail runners who possess an intimate knowledge of the terrain. Each year, the Maira Valley hosts one of Piedmont’s most prestigious trail races, the Maira Occitan Trail. This event ensures that the trails are expertly crafted to offer an exhilarating trail running experience that transcends ordinary adventures.

Embark on this extraordinary self-guided trail running journey in the Maira Valley, Italy, where the raw beauty of nature converges with rich culture and history. Discover the untamed paths, indulge in local cuisine, and unveil hidden gems in this mesmerizing landscape.

Included Services

  • 6 days
  • Full board
  • Double room
  • Welcome briefing
  • Maps and GPX files
  • Transfer
  • Support line
  • Transport to start
  • Travel insurance


What is your refund and cancellation policy?

If you cancel your tour 60 days or more before the departure date, you will lose your deposit. If you cancel your tour between 60 and 45 days before the departure date, you will lose 50 per cent of the total tour price. If you cancel your tour within 45 days of the departure date, you will lose the full amount. If you fail to turn up on the first day of your tour, Outdoor Italy may not be able to make arrangements for you to join the rest of the tour, and you will lose the full payment. If, for any reason, Outdoor Italy has to cancel your tour, you will be offered an alternative tour or a full refund.

How do I book my tour?

You can book your tour directly on the Outdoor Italy website. Choose the tour from the dropdown menu, select the date you would like to start, and the number of participants in your group. You can either pay a deposit (60 days or more from the start of your tour) or pay the full amount. Click ‘book’ and follow the instructions. Once we have confirmed your payment, you’ll receive your confirmed tour itinerary within 10 days. There may be seasonal variations in the time it takes us to arrange everything. Please note that programmes on the tour pages are only examples — there may be several differences in the final programme you receive.

How do I pay for my tour?

When booking your tour, you can choose to pay by credit/debit card or direct bank transfer. Direct bank transfers will generally take longer to process, while credit and debit card payments are processed instantly. You are, by default, asked to pay a deposit of 25% of the total cost of the tour. If you choose this option, you will be asked to pay the remaining 75% one month before your tour. Please be sure to follow the payment links you receive in your invoice or reminder email, which we will send you when the second payment is due.

Do I get my own room?

This depends on the individual tour and when you book it. When hiking in the Alps, most people stay in dorms or shared rooms as the availability of single, double and family rooms are limited. We can only guarantee your own room on certain tours such as in the Lys and Ayas Valleys — but only if you book in time. If this is your preference, we will do our best to ensure you get your own room, but please expect to spend some nights in shared accommodation if there is limited availability.

Is baggage transfer included with all your Alpine tours?

Unfortunately, we are not able to offer this service with all our packages. Often, the huts or hotels we work with are in locations that can only be reached by foot or helicopter. Indeed, when choosing a tour that includes baggage transport, there may be one or two exceptions depending on the route. This will appear clearly on the tour page and in the program you receive when your booking has been confirmed.

How many days do your tours last?

All our tours include the day of arrival and the day of departure. This means that a six-day tour will include five nights of accommodation, a seven-day tour will include six nights, and so on. On the first day, guests are usually expected to arrive in the afternoon. And the program does not include any activities except for a briefing by our representative on the first evening. On the day of departure, guests are free to decide if they want to leave directly after breakfast or go on a shorter tour before their journey home.

What meals are included in your Alpine adventure tours?

Most of our tours will include Half Board (HB) services, which means breakfast, a three-course dinner, and a light-packed lunch. Please check the individual tour page for details, however, as variations occur with certain tours.

What is a self-guided tour?

We specialize in self-guided tours. These tours are designed for travelers who love the independence of hiking, skiing, or running on their own but want to know that everything else is taken care of. In some cases, we are able to offer luggage transport to lighten your load as you enjoy the Great Outdoors.

Do you offer group tours?

Whether you’re already a group of friends, business colleagues or a sports club looking for an active mountain adventure, we can design and organize your Alpine tour for you. We also offer guided group tours for individual participants on fixed dates.

Can you create a tour just for me and my friends?

Yes, absolutely! Outdoor Italy can design the perfect mountain adventure for you and your friends or colleagues. Whether you want to hike, ski, run, cycle or climb, we have the expertise and experience needed to create a bespoke package for any level of experience or physicality. Please contact us if you would like us to create a customized package for your group.

Are your outdoor adventure tours family-friendly?

There are few better ways to spend time with your children than with an active holiday in the mountains. Sharing a mountain adventure with your child is a memory that will last a lifetime. We try to design child-friendly variations (marked ‘family’) of all our Alpine tours. Children can hike, ski or bike a lot longer than you might expect, as long as you make it entertaining for them. However, they will respond instantly to the way you behave, so please consider whether you are able to create a safe environment for your children when faced with the many different challenges of an alpine environment.

Do you offer discounts for children?

Yes, we are able to offer a discount for children on most of our tours, provided they are not yet 13 years of age on the first day of the tour. Please see the individual tour page for our child discounts.

Can I travel on my own?

Many single travellers chose Outdoor Italy due to our high level of service and our expertise in self-guided mountain tours. And the safety of one of our representatives will only ever be just a phone call away. However, please expect additional costs, as our prices are based on two persons — the industry standard for outdoor tours of this nature. Private rooms and other services are often more expensive for individual travellers. You can find information about any additional costs for individual travellers on the tour page.

Will I manage?

We are all different. Some of our clients are 70+ and have lived an active lifestyle all their life. Others may be twenty years younger and have barely left their office chair. It is very difficult to judge the physical and mental ability of a person on the basis of a phone conversation. If you are in doubt, each tour is rated for level of physicality, which you can learn more about here. You are of course welcome to call us and we will do our best to advice you. Find your level of physicality here (link to Find your level page).

What if I get lost?

Our local partners know every square inch of this beautiful Alpine region. During the introductory briefing, you will receive an app, physical maps and a phone number to call if you need advice. In some cases, you’ll be able to forward your location to a local guide with the press of a button. This may prove helpful if you become lost.

Do I need travel insurance?

We recommend that you speak to your insurance provider to ensure your existing policy covers mountain-based activities such as hiking, skiing, and mountain biking. Please note that any costs relating to emergency situations and the potential need for evacuation are the sole responsibility of the client.

Will I be able to cope with the physical challenge?

We are all different. Some of our clients are more than 70 years old and have lived an active lifestyle all their life. Others are twenty years younger and have barely left their office chair. It is very difficult to judge the physical and mental capabilities of a person on the basis of a phone conversation. If you are in doubt, each tour is rated for the level of physicality involved, which you can learn more about on our Find Your Level page. You are, of course, welcome to call us, and we will do our best to advise you.

Can I bring my dog?

Enjoying the mountains with your best friend can be a joyful experience, which is why we try to make our tours dog friendly wherever possible. Unfortunately, it is not always possible due to local rules. Selected tours are marked ‘Dog Friendly’ on the tour page. This means that your dog can stay with you in your private room or, in a few cases, the hut will have a separate or external room for dogs. Please refer to the individual tour page for more information.

*This tour is based on a minimum of two participants. Only the services mentioned above are included in the price.

Valle Maira

This is an example of a tour on this route. Your final itinerary may be different depending on availability of rooms at the time of your booking.


Total distance: 81,1 km (6 days)
H+: 5623
H-: 5623
Level: Medium to experienced


Day 1: Arrival in Elva

Once you arrive at Dronero, the main village of the Maira Valley, our local guide Valentina Scigliano (a passionate trail runner) will welcome you and explain all the tours and paths to you. A welcome pack will be given to you with lots of information including a detailed map of the valley as well as a Maira Valley t-shirt.

Your guide will always be available during your stay in the valley for any information, questions, concerns or other support that you may require.

Following a briefing at the Tourist Office, you will drive in the direction of Elva.
As you drive along the winding mountain road up to Elva you may begin to feel as if you are going nowhere. It’s exactly at that very moment, after the last turning, that you finally get to see it: a beautiful pearl, set under a breathtaking crown made of 3.000m-high mountain peaks surrounding it.

Upon arrival Lorella your host at the Locanda di Elva will welcome you in the central hamlet, where the pelassiers (hair gatherers) used to perform their trade. After a short relaxing warm-up walk to the panoramic “Fremo Cuncunà“, you will taste some typical Occitan recipes in the Locanda.

  • 5.36 km
  • 245 m
  •  245 m

Day 2: Borgata Chiosso of Elva

You will start running in Borgata Chiosso of Elva, 5 minutes by car from the Locanda.

8km and 1.500m of altitude are worth the effort because from the 3.000 m high top of Mount Chersogno you will feel on top of the world! The view from there is amazing and the path is completely suitable for running to the very top. 

The return route follows the same track.

The dinner at the Locanda will be the icing on the cake following this first day of your trail running holiday!

  • 13.4 km
  • 1310 m
  •  1310 m

Day 3: Elva to Marmora

You will drive from Elva to Marmora (it is about 45 min by car).

After checking in, and leaving your baggage at the beautiful Locanda Lou Pitavin, you will start running directly from the front door up the hill in the direction of Mount Buch and Costa Chiggia.

The track goes through hamlets of incredible beauty, ridges and hills and goes down back to Locanda Lou Pitavin.

  • 18 km
  •  1168 m
  • 1168 m

Day 4: Around Rocca La Meja

After driving a further 15 min journey you will park your car at Grange Selvest (parking costs are 5€/day), across the bridge on the left side and your next trail run of Rocca La Meja will start from here. You will experience the best of Maira Valley running around one of the most iconic mountains of The Maira Valley, the Rocca La Meja. 

A lengthy trail around the area provides you with the opportunity to explore the heights of 2,500 meters above sea level and the stunning Lake Nero.

  • 18 km
  •  1050 m
  • 1050 m

Day 5: Lakes, waterfalls, hills and peaks

A 30-minute drive brings you to the parking place on the small square of Chiappera, the very last village of the Maira Valley.

Here you will start running in the direction of Stroppia Waterfall, 

Lake Niera, Lake Auto Vallonasso, Lake Nove Colori, and then back on the long round track of the Dino Icardi trail

This trail run is stunningly beautiful, the perfect finale to your incredible journey.

  • 18 km
  • 1300 m
  • 1300 m

Day 6: The final taste of Occitan

On the last day of your journey in Maira Valley you’ll have two options:

1. Experience Celle di Macra’s wild area and its anchovy sellers – a short run and a visit to the anchovy makers museum are recommended.

View the details of the trail running track by clicking here. 

2. Take the opportunity to visit the heart of the Occitan culture and history at the Occitan Museum in Dronero. You’ll be given a guided tour of the museum by their friendly staff.

  • 9 km
  •  550 m
  •  550 m

Do you like this tour?

Share it with your friends

Tour Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Leave a Review