Hiking, Hotsprings and Horses Adventure Retreat in Iceland

Jul 15 to Jul 22, 2024

Hiking, Hotsprings and Horses Adventure Retreat in Iceland
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Women Only

We will hike, ride Icelandic horses and kayak 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 Colleen Cannon and Jacqueline Stanford, you are joined by our very own amazing guide, Vilborg Halldorsdottir, who is an incredible storyteller, actress, horse rider, singer, and 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 on our Iceland retreat 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, Kaleo.

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. We will begin our journey by a day discovering the world famous Golden Circle.  Our home for the first 3 nights will be at the Hotel Vatnsholt – a working farm converted into a quaint little hotel that hosts their guest like family. Our adventures during these first 3 days will include The Golden Circle, hikes to a hot river, a visit to a wool shop, our philanthropic project supporting the wetlands and a kayak trip through the wetlands. We have an awesome dinner at a restaurant on the beach with the best lobster on the Island. Our third day hike will be two very special waterfall areas:  A drive west to the waterfall SKÓGARFOSS where we will trek up along the river Skógá that creates the waterfall. This trekking path is called FIMMVÖRÐUHÁLS.  Then we will go to our hike enjoying the beauty of up to 13 small waterfalls cascading down this mountain like pearls on a string. Lunch will be enjoyed outdoors somewhere along the hikes.

On the second half of our Iceland retreat we drive to our amazing guesthouse at Breiðabólsstaður farm.   

For our last afternoon we will head back to Reykjavik and also visit Soley– the natural beauty collection developed and made by our friend Soley.  We will stay in the Hotel Borg that evening for our closing.  Before heading to the airport on our last day, we will visit the world renown Blue Lagoon.

Highlights

7 nights of lodging:  3 nights at Hotel Vatnsholt and 4 nights at Breiðabólsstaður guesthouse and farm, Delicious food at every meal, minus two lunches and two dinners that are on your own, allowing you to experience the wide variety of food in Iceland.

Incredible lobster dinner at a quaint little restaurant on the beach – Fjorubordid Stokkseyri.

4 days of guided horseback trips for beginner to intermediate riders, described as the “BEST HORSE RIDING OF YOUR LIFE” or you can do less riding and more hiking.

A 3 hour kayak adventure exploring the small winding tributaries in the wetlands of Southern Iceland.

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 waterfalls. 

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.

Hike the beautiful Reykjadalur valley and soak in the thermal hot spring river near Hvergherdi.

Option for adventure minded people, INTO THE GLACIER hike near Husafell.

Hike to Svartifoss waterfall known for its glistening basalt columns.

Skogafoss Waterfall and part of their FIMMVÖRÐUHÁLS hike – one of Iceland’s most iconic hikes passing up to 26 waterfalls.

Hike the highest waterfall in Iceland – Glymur – with it’s challenging water crossings and spectacular views.

Colleen’s favorite day: *Afternoon with Bjork Ingadottir “Into the Fairy Realms of Iceland” Go to GLANNI waterfall, said to be the biggest Vortex to the hidden fairy world.

Tour of REYKHOLT –  a visit to the museum Borgarfjörður which is rich in cultural and history of the sagas, music, geology and the life story of SNORRI STURLUSON that lived in the valley near our far.

 Evening of sound meditation.

“Awakening the Senses Yoga” for centered riding at the horse farm.

Amazing culturally and locally sourced meals and cooking class with Beta our culinary expert for the week at Breiðabólsstaður farm with local Icelandic ingredients and medicinal herbs..

Soak and swim in the local hot pools after exhilarating days of activities.

KRAUMA HOT SPRINGS and SPA.

Yoga and Qigong every morning.

Transportation during the Iceland retreat.

Lifelong friendships and unforgettable experiences.

Professional instruction and guidance.

2 lunches, 2 dinners are not included in the price.

Blue Lagoon is not included in the price (around $90).

Golden Circle – 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 Geysir is a hot spring geyser 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 located 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.