Iceland Hiking, Hotsprings and Horses
Reykjavik, Iceland – One spot left
July 9-16, 2021
This eight-day seven-night retreat is packed with adventurous activities and stunning sights, from horseback riding and hiking to waterfalls, geothermal hot springs, and charming villages. Ride or hike across the untamed countryside and experience a world like you have never seen before with breathtaking views around every corner. The Icelandic culture is warm and inviting, and we will have the chance to spend time getting to know the local community members and artisans. Along with Jacqueline Stanford, you are joined by our very own amazing guide, Vilborg Halldórsdóttir, who is an incredible storyteller, actress, horseback rider, and singer/musician.
This beautiful country, which is known as the Land of Fire and Ice, is brimming with contrasts: glaciers meet volcanoes, rugged mountains meet cascading waterfalls, and light meets dark. The people from this isolated and secluded Northern Island radiate the warmest, most vibrant energy that screams live life fully. From the lively Reykjavik city center that runs on geothermal power to the rural fishing villages, the unique Icelandic culture blends old and new. And despite the country‘s name, Icelandic summers are surprisingly mild and green, with nonstop daylight thanks to a phenomenon known as the midnight sun. Join us as we play all day and night, exploring Iceland’s dramatic landscapes!
For many people, the mention of Iceland evokes images of volcanoes with difficult names to pronounce or expansive glaciers or the hip Reykjavík music scene that spawned famous exports like Björk, Of Monsters and Men, Sigur Rós and, my favorite, KALEO. We listen to this music the whole trip so download it now: www.officialkaleo.com/video
What to Expect:
Every morning we will awaken at our various guesthouses with breathtaking views. We will start the day with a gentle yoga followed by a healthy and hearty Icelandic breakfast. The first day of our retreat we drive directly to our amazing guesthouse https://skalakot.is that is in the very heart of southern Iceland. Surrounded by the stunning nature in the tranquility of the countryside, it is just under the wide expanses of the Icelandic highlands and in the vicinity of glaciers and volcanoes overlooking the north Atlantic Ocean. We will stay 3 nights with a new adventure every day – including riding their incredible Icelandic horses, visiting glaciers, hiking the highlands and black sand beaches and hiking to many waterfalls. For the next 3 days we will be staying at Skyr guesthouse in HVERAGERÐI – https://www.skyrgerdin.is/skyrgerdin where they still make SKYR which is similar to yoghurt that contains no calories no fat only protein and is made from the ancient recipe that the Vikings brought with them from Scandinavia thousand years ago.
Our next few exciting days will include the Golden Circle, hikes to a hot river, a visit to a wool shop, dinner at the restaurant on the beach with best lobster on the Island and many more activities. Our last two days will be action packed with our hike to the eruption in Fagradalsfjall Volcano, tour of Reykjavik and an optional visit to the Blue Lagoon before our flight home. LIFE IS EITHER A DARING ADVENTURE OR NOTHING Helen Keller
- 7 nights of lodging: 2 nights at Skalakot, 1 night Hotel Anna, 3 nights at SKYR guesthouse and 1 night in Reykjavik
- 2 nights at Skalakot with fine dining using only the best fresh ingredients
- 3 nights at SKYR with amazing “Slow Food” meals prepared by professional chefs
- A half day of guided horseback trips for beginner to intermediate riders, described as the “BEST HORSE RIDING OF YOUR LIFE”
- Tour of Reykjavik with our professional guide, Vilborg
- Private showing of Kirsuberjatréð Vesturgötu, an all-women’s art studio in Reykjavik: http://www.kirs.is
- Beautiful hikes across the beautiful landscapes, past rivers and hot springs, and to waterfalls. We will explore parks filled with obsidian fields, blue lakes, volcanoes and much more.
- Locally guided tour of the Golden Circle, Great Geysir, Gullfoss waterfall and Thingvellir National Park, plus lunch at Friðheimar tomato farm and a horse-riding demonstration
- Entry into the oldest swimming pool in Iceland: The Secret Lagoon-Gamla Laugin
- Fire and Ice: hike to the Fagradalsfjall Volcano and see the lava flow.
- Visit Selfoss and our good friend that founded her own wool shop/ atelier where she shows us how she dyes the wool with natural hand-picked local herbs
- Option for adventure minded people https://www.viator.com/tours/Vik/Glacier-Discovery/d25269-23924P32 Glacier walk
- Glacier Lagoon amphibian boat ride icelagoon.is
- Hike to Svartifoss waterfall ourinfiniteearth.com/svartifoss-waterfall-hiking-guide/ known for its glistening basalt columns.
- FIMMVÖRÐUHÁLS hike – one of Iceland’s most iconic hikes passing up to 26 waterfalls
- Yoga every morning
- Transportation during the week
- Lifelong friendships and unforgettable experiences
- Professional instruction and guidance
- Covid test in Selfoss – mandatory to fly back to USA – not included – around $60
- *Two lunches and one dinner are not included in the price.
- Blue Lagoon – around $60 not included in the price
Golden Circle Day:
We will explore Iceland’s Golden Circle of national parks as our guide, Vilborg, will teach us all about the rich history.
Thingvellir National Park sits atop the Mid Atlantic Ridge in a rift valley caused by the separation of two tectonic plates. The rocky cliffs, canyons, and fissures create an incredibly dramatic and unique landscape. We will get the chance to see where the Althing, the national parliament of Iceland, was founded at Thingvellir in the year 930 and held there till 1798 and is the oldest surviving parliament in the world.
We will start the day off with a beautiful hike in the National Park and then visit the Golden Circle highlights in the afternoon.
Gullfoss Waterfall – one of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland. The dramatic waterfall is created from the Hvítá river cascading before plunging into a deep crevasse. This is a waterfall that will stay with you forever.
Geysir – The Great Geyser is a hot spring geysir that shoots high into the Icelandic sky. Estimates suggest the geysir has been active for 10,000 years and the height of its eruptions are tied to the many earthquakes in the area that are constantly impacting the pressure of the geyser.
Thingvellir National Park – This national park is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and deservedly so. The park is formed from the ancient and ongoing collision of the North American and Eurasian plates. This ongoing tectonic movement has created the amazing geologic beauty of the region!
Lunch at Friðheimar tomato farm – Fridheimar (meaning a world of peace) is a working farm that produces tomatoes year-round in its enormous greenhouses. They use specific lighting to keep production rolling through the long and dark Icelandic winters. And boy, do they produce tomatoes! Friðheimar produces around a ton of tomatoes everyday along with providing us a great lunch — best tomato soup I have ever had. We will also see an amazing Icelandic Horse Demonstration
Secret Lagoon: Gamla Laugin or Secret Lagoon thermal pool is in the small village of Flúðir in the Golden Circle area. The pool’s natural surroundings and rising steam gives the place a magical feeling. Nearby, there is even a little geysir which erupts every five minutes, ?? putting on a show for you as you relax in the hot spring. Changing rooms with showers are available on site.
Our Hikes and Other Adventures:
Fagradalsfjall Volcano – It has been a month and a half since its initial eruption. This volcano on the Reykanes Peninsula continues to be active and because of the gentle nature of the lava flow, we will be able to hike to the site and witness the molten lava up close. People from around the world are visiting Iceland JUST to see Fabradalsfjall and we will be fortunate to hike to this iconic volcano.
Svartifoss waterfall – This waterfall is like no other – its black basalt rock formations that surround it creates a stunning portrait. We will be hiking the ridgeline in our approach to Svartifoss (black falls), and it will take us to a scene right out of Lord of the Rings.
FIMMVÖRÐUHÁLS Hike – We will start our hike at one of Iceland’s most famous waterfalls – Skogafoss. Then our journey will take us through some of the most dramatic scenery in Iceland. We will venture from a series of canyon waterfalls to a volcanic moonscape. It will be a long but rewarding day where we will see up to 26 spectacular waterfalls.
Glacier Lagoon – We will board the amphibian boat and sail amongst the giant icebergs. This ice lagoon is considered one of Iceland’s greatest natural wonders. It has only formed recently due to the warming climates and huge hunk of the glacier are breaking off often making this lagoon a constantly changing body of water.
Riding Icelandic Horses – at our beautiful Skalakot manor. We will be riding through the spectacular green valleys and end at the gorgeous waterfall Irarfoss.
Included in the Price:
- Lodging for seven nights
- Delicious food at every meal, minus two lunches and one dinner that are on your own, allowing you to experience the wide variety of food in Iceland
- Professional guides each day
- Tour of Reykjavik with professional guide
- A half day of guided horseback ride
- Locally guided tour of the Golden Circle
- Geysir, Gullfoss Waterfall, and Thingvellir National Park, plus lunch at Friðheimar tomato farm and horse-riding demonstration
- Entry into the Secret Lagoon-Gamla Laugin, the oldest swimming pool in Iceland
- FIMMVÖRÐUHÁLS hike
- Visit Hepuhúsið in Selfoss: the wool market and shop where we will learn how they dye the wool with natural local herbs https://www.icelandcolors.com/
- Tour or Solfoss and history of the architecture in Iceland
* Transportation to Reykjavik and back, Airfare, swimming pool fees 2 lunches and 1 dinner, are not included in the cost.
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 $1000 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.
As a small company Women’s Quest is unfortunately not able to provide refunds of payments for retreats cancelled due to the COVID pandemic. This is primarily due to our financial commitments with the various retreat venues. As a result, the Women’s Quest policy for Coronavirus cancelations is to apply all payments to next year’s retreat or to any other Women’s Quest retreat of your choosing through the end of 2021. For those facing financial hardship as a result of the virus outbreak, we will work with you to find a solution that works for both you and our venues. Because of the unforeseen and unprecedented circumstances of the outbreak, this policy supersedes earlier policies.
We highly encourage you to purchase travel insurance. It is important to note that there are a variety of options available and there is no one size fits all.
With the onset of Covid19 many travel insurance companies are denying coverage for Covid related losses while others companies are honoring claims for Covid so be sure to verify the company you sign up with does provide Covid related coverage.
When signing up for trip insurance make sure you have coverage for both trip cancellation and trip interruption. Trip cancellation provides reimbursement for losses in the event you cannot attend a trip and trip interruption covers losses in the event you have to leave the trip due to illness. You may want other travel insurance coverage for medical, travel delays, lost luggage, etc.
WorldNomads currently offers valuable coverage as it relates to CoVid19. However, it does not cover everything (example: travel bans/restrictions that impact your travel). Please refer to their CoVid FAQ to ensure it meets your expectations. Additionally, their robust coverage often includes many adventure sports and baggage & gear.
The most comprehensive travel insurance we have discovered at this time is Cancel for Any Reason Travel insurance (CFAR). Cancel For Any Reason allows you to cancel for a reason that is not otherwise covered by your policy. This is a time-sensitive upgrade. Most policies with Cancel For Any Reason can only be purchased within 14-21 days of the first trip payment.
Suggested steps to find the best travel insurance for you:
- Determine what you are looking for in an insurance provider.
- Check with your credit card to see what they offer for travel purchases made with your card. For example: Chase Sapphire Reserve offers comprehensive coverage for trip cancellation and interruption when you contract CoVid19. This includes coverage of a variety of other illnesses and injuries.
- Be sure to understand the options offered by the airline you are travelling with.
- Use Squaremouth to compare travel insurance policies and access valuable resources to determine which policy is best for you. They also feature a SUPER INFORMATIVE FAQ on CoVid and Travel Insurance.
- When opting for an additional travel insurance plan, be sure to review all their policies. We recommend speaking directly with whomever you choose for travel insurance to ensure the coverage will reimburse you in the unfortunate event you get Covid 19 either before or during the trip.
Make sure to read the fine print on when you must enroll in travel insurance in relation to when you book your trip in order to receive coverage.
For all 2021 retreats, a 3% fee will be added to full and balance due payments made using Paypal. Retreat deposits will not have the additional charge applied.