July 15-23, 2018
Welcome to the adventure of a lifetime! Join us for our one-of-a-kind retreat to “The Land of Ice and Fire.” This 8 night, 9 day retreat is packed with waterfalls, hikes, hot springs, horseback riding and much more. Experience a world like you have never seen before. Around every corner there are breathtaking views. The Icelandic culture is warm and inviting and we will have plenty of opportunities to experience it through food, artisans and storytellers.
Imagine amazing dramatic landscapes with volcanoes, geysers, otherworldly geological formations, charming villages, geothermal hot springs around every corner and beautiful Icelandic horses. It does not get any better than this if an outdoor adventure is at the top of your Bucket List!
This beautiful country is brimming with contrasts: fire meets ice, rugged mountains meet cascading waterfalls, and the isolated people from this secluded Northern Island radiate the warmest vibrant “LIVE LIFE FULLY” super hip culture of anywhere in the world. From the lively Reykjavik city center which runs on geothermal power to the rural fishing villages, the unique Icelandic culture with its blend of old and new can be experienced at every turn.
And despite the country‘s name, Icelandic summers are surprisingly mild and green, with nonstop daylight around the midsummer thanks to the phenomenon known as the midnight sun. So we can play all day and all night and experience the same awe as the Vikings did hiking in Iceland’s dramatic landscapes!!!
For many people, the mention of Iceland evokes images of volcanoes with difficult names to pronounce or maybe the hip Reykjavík music scene that spawned famous exports like Björk, Of Monsters and Men, Sigur Rós and our guide Porlaug’s son’s band KALEO www.officialkaleo.com/video. We listen to this music the whole trip so download it now.
What to Expect:
Every morning we will awaken in one of our hand-picked hotels and guesthouses to breathtaking views. We will start the day with a gentle Qi-Gong and yoga practice followed by a healthy and hearty Icelandic breakfast. During the first half of our retreat we will enjoy hikes to the top of waterfalls, to hot springs where you can bathe in the 104 degree river and tours to the numerous sites around the famous Golden Circle including geysers, exploring the Thingvellir National Park and secret spots along the way. Our days horseback riding will consist of 2-4 hour rides near our farm near the the Snaefellsnes peninsula. This truly is the land of new soul-enriching, breath-taking, life-affirming natural sights! We will conclude our days with inspirational talks, heart felt discussion and sharing.
*Must be intermediate to experienced rider.
• 3 nights at Frost and Fire Hotel with amazing “Slow Food” meals prepared by professional chef
• 4 nights at Breiðabólsstaður farm, 4 days of guided horseback trips
• Tour of Reykjavik
• Private showing at Kirsuberjatréð Vesturgötu 4 www.kirs.is. Arndís Jóhannsdóttir, is the owner of this magnificent hidden jewel in Reykjavik. This is a co-op of 11 female artists which handmake amazing local arts and crafts
• Amazing culturally and locally sourced meals with cooking class
• Locally guided tour of the Golden Circle, Great Geysir, Gullfoss waterfall and Thingvellir National Park, plus lunch at Friðheimar tomato farm and horse riding demonstration
• Beautiful hikes with waterfalls and along river hot springs, explore parks filled with obsidian fields, blue lakes and volcanoes
• Relaxation time at the Blue Lagoon
• Daily relaxation practices including yoga, meditation, and Qigong, designed to center and empower
• Lifelong friendships and memorable experiences
Included in the Price:
• 8 nights, 9 days at three different Icelandic hotels and guesthouses (see “Frequently Asked Questions” for more details on lodging and transportation)
• Delicious food at every meal with sack lunches for our day excursions, one lunch in Reykjavik and one dinner are on your own
• Tour of Reykjavik with professional guide
• Tour of Golden Circle
• Geysir, Thingvellir National Park – The park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and Gullfoss Waterfall
• 4 days of guided horseback trips
• Organized a cooking lesson at Breiðabólsstaður farm with local Icelandic ingredients and medicinal herbs
• Entry to the Blue Lagoon and Secret lagoon with face mask
• Transportation during the week with a professional driver. Airport arrival and departure shuttle is on your own
• Professional instruction and guidance, safe supervision of all activities
* Airfare and transportation to and from the airport is not included in the cost.
What are the accommodations?
- 3 nights at Frost and Fire Hotel with amazing “Slow Food” meals prepared by professional chef
- 4 nights at Breiðabólsstaður farm with a cooking class from local herbs, with many daily surprises with hot springs on the Snaefellsnes peninsula 4 days of guided horseback trips
- Last night close to Reykjavik
We will be staying at my favorite specialty hotel “Frost and Fire” with the BEST breakfast you will ever have. Frost and Fire is located on the Varma river, a warm river fed by the many hot springs in the area. In addition to a dip in the river, we can enjoy hot tubs from the same thermal aquifer and relax in this beautiful setting. The hotel’s restaurant is very well known in the area as specializing in traditional Icelandic dishes all prepared in a Slow Food kitchen (www.frostogfuni.is/)
They boast colorful rooms and outdoor hot tubs, an outdoor pool and a steam room powered by the nature hot springs that are abundant in the area.
Breiðabólsstaður farm will be our home near Snaefellsnes for our horseback riding adventures. Family owned and operated, this is a great place for us to experience the local culture! We are staying on this farm with Oli and Beta. We will overtake the whole place and we get to be immersed in Icelandic home culture for the next 4 nights. The best part is that Beta is an amazing chef and will lead us in a cooking class prepared with fresh medicinal herbs and veggies from her garden.
Single rooms are available for an additional $500 for the week. Most nights we will be able to accommodate singles, but 4 nights at the farm we will have only shared rooms are available.
What will the food be like?
Throughout the retreat we will experience Icelandic cuisine based on locally sourced ingredients. Seafood, lamb and dairy are very common in Icelandic meals, so please let us know if you have any dietary restrictions. We make sure the food is VERY GOOD!
What is a typical day?
Days will be full of hiking, horseback riding and touring the local attractions and hot springs in both the north and south of Iceland. Day trips will include the famous Blue Lagoon, Glymur Waterfall, the Golden Circle and Thingvellir National Park, and Friðheimar, a local tomato farm. We will also spend a day exploring the capital, Reykjavik, learning about the culture and maybe stopping to grab a world famous hot dog for lunch. Yoga and Qi Gong practice will be weaved into our daily activities.
When does the retreat begin and end?
Please arrange to arrive at least one day before the retreat. The retreat will begin the morning of the 14th. The retreat will end after breakfast and a hike on the 22nd.
What is Iceland like?
Unlike it’s name, Iceland in the summer is green and full of life! There are waterfalls and breathtaking views around every corner. The food is rich with history and the locals are friendly. We will see a great deal of the country on our retreat including horseback riding in the north and waterfalls, hiking and and hot springs in the south. We promise, there will be no shortage of stunning views, local food and culture.
“The problem with driving around Iceland is that you’re basically confronted by a new soul-enriching, breath-taking, life-affirming natural sight every five minutes. It’s totally exhausting.” ~Stephen Markley
What will the weather be like?
The weather in Iceland is unpredictable and completely dependent on location. It may be sunny in the south and cloudy and windy in the north. Think high 50’s for the high and mid 40’s for the low. Strong winds are possible as well as rain and snow.
Do I have to do all of the activities?
No! All activities and outings are optional. This is YOUR retreat. We encourage you to do what feels most nurturing and right for you. You will be fully supported in doing as much or as little as you choose. All of our activities will be guided by expert staff, and instruction and support will be offered for every activity according to your experience level.
What will the hikes be like?
Iceland is known for hiking and the trails are maintained very well including ropes and rails to help on steeper sections. We will be hiking to amazing spots including the Glymur Waterfall (a steeper but safe and impressive hike) and to a river full of hot springs located outside of Hveragerdi, our home town for several nights. Hiking shoes or shoes with “4 wheel drive” are a must since the trails can be rocky and muddy.
What is the average age on this retreat?
We have a wide range of women who attend our retreats, from 15-70 years young. Each retreat will vary but Iceland is for EVERYONE.
What if I am coming alone?
The majority of the women who attend our retreats come by themselves. Iceland is a safe and easy country to travel as a single female. 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!
How do I change money in Iceland?
The Icelandic króna is the local money in Iceland. You can travel with US Dollars and exchange them at the banks either in the airport or in Reykjavik or any other major city. ATM’s may be the best option as they may give you a better exchange rate and allow you to travel with less cash in hand. Make sure to let your card company know where and when you will be traveling so they do not put any holds on your account for unusual transactions.
What about communications?
Wifi is everywhere in Iceland. The best way to communicate with home is with an online communication program (we recommend either Skype or WhatsApp). You can also buy minutes with Skype and make calls to US phones through Wifi. Please check with your cell phone provider if you choose to use your phone. They will most likely charge foreign use fees (either a flat rate or by use).
Cancellation policy for international camps:
Payment in full is due 90 days before the retreat.
This is a wonderful trip but it takes a lot of planning and all of our accommodations, guides and services are non-refundable
So please get trip insurance
• If you must cancel, a $500 deposit is NOT REFUNDABLE*
• Full refund, less deposit, will be given with at least 91 days notice *
• Within 90 days of your camp, sorry but absolutely no refund will be given
*no exceptions will be granted to the above policy.*
Please note: We are sorry but injury and illness do not disqualify you from any of the above cancellation policies. We are UNABLE to transfer deposits or any payments from one year to the next.
We reserve the right to cancel retreats with inadequate participant interest, in which case all money paid to Women’s Quest will be refunded. Women’s Quest CANNOT be held responsible for any personal expenses, such as airline tickets due to changes in itineraries or tour cancellations.