Iceland Yoga Retreat

The land of fire and ice

OCTOBER 13 - 20, 2018 (Saturday to Saturday, 8 Days / 7 Nights)

Join Pura Vida in the land of fire and ice for this unique chance to practice yoga surrounded by one of our planet’s most dramatic and inspiring landscapes.   Deepen your yoga practice while immersing yourself in the culture, customs and myths of the Iceland and its people.

Retreat Details

Away from the tourist bustle of Reykjavik, our retreat will be based in Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest city and the location where legend holds the Vikings first landed in Iceland.

Our yoga practice will be held at Knarrarberg, a newly built yoga and wellness center overlooking the fjords and soaring mountain of Northern Iceland.  After practice, soak in the centers’ outdoor geothermal Jacuzzi or relax sore muscles in its dry sauna or massage.

Retreat guests have the option of staying in local apartments or at a local hotel in the center of the city.  These modern and well-appointed accomodations will serve as our home during the retreat.  From there we will venture forth and explore the culture, history and geography of Northern Iceland.  We will hike its soaring mountains, experience the majesty of its waterfalls, soak in its volcanically heated baths and experience the transformative energy of this magical country.  Mother nature permitting we will have also have a chance to see the northern lights! 

This special week in Northern Iceland is open to all and requires no prior yoga experience.  The retreat offers participants the opportunity to learn about the culture, history and unique geography of Iceland while experiencing some of the most magical sights of this amazing country.  Each day will be accompanied by a professional guide who will share details of each site along with local folklore and personal stories.

Frequently Asked Questions

The retreat will begin at the group dinner on October 13 and end with Breakfast on October 20.

International flights should arrive and depart from Keflavik airport in Reykjavic, Iceland.  You will then take a short 45 minute flight from Keflavik airport to Akureyri airport.

Yes.  You will need a valid passport to travel to and from Iceland from another country.  Whether you need a visa depends. At this moment (March 22, 2018) individuals with a US passport do not require a visa. For others, learn more here.

  • Daily yoga classes/workshops
  • Double or single occupancy accommodations for 7 nights
  • 5 group dinners*, all breakfasts and all lunches. (*Two dinners will be on your own).
  • All inland transfer to and from apartments to wellness center and all group excursions
  • Ferry ride and tour/hike to Hrisey Island
  • Myvatn full day excursion with spa entrance fee
  • Akureyri tour with local waterfall excursion
  • Northern lights tour
  • A wide open day for you to chill or go out and explore.
  • Airfare to and from your home to Akureyri Iceland
  • 2 dinners will be on your own. 
  • Health or travel insurance.

 

It is highly recommend that you consider purchasing Travel Insurance. Travel insurance companies like Travel Guard offer policies that insure your investment in case you need to cancel (including “cancel for any reason” coverages), coverages for expenses incurred due to weather & travel delays, personal property loss and emergency travel medical.  Please review policies carefully to choose the coverage you need.

Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Iceland isn’t as cold as it sounds. Temperatures are moderate year-round. In the winter, temperatures may be just below 32°F and in the fall, spring and summer, can range from 40 to 60°F

Always be prepared for both cold and wet weather at all times of the year. The weather can change on a dime. Icelanders often say, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait 15 minutes.” Layers are always important. We recommend thermal layers as a base, then pants or jeans, a warm jacket or coat, and warm hat, scarf or balaclava.  Also recommended is a water and wind resistant outer layer (jacket and pants) and warm shoes or boots that can get wet. For winter, appropriate winter boots and winter outer layer for activities like show shoeing. Outfitters are available in the main square of Akureyri for any items you may forget or realize you need.

Finally, always bring a bathing suit, whatever time of the year you visit. Bathing in the geothermally heated pools and backyard Jacuzzis is a favorite Icelandic pastime, whether to to gather with friends or to gaze at the stunning northern lights overhead.

Summer visitors arrive to a bright midnight sun sky. The sun barely sets in the summer and at the peak of summer it is round-the-clock in the north. Starting September, fall and winter guests will find the evenings growing longer with only a few hours of daylight during mid-winter (December / January). The sun increases against the winter whites February – April, as spring arrives growing into fairly even nights and days before summer.

Contrary to popular belief, the food in Iceland is abundant and delicious. The cafe where we’ll have most of our lunches and dinners typically offers two fresh soups, fresh breads, a salad bar and hot entrees at every meal.  Locally grown potatoes, fresh-caught white fish and the famous Icelandic lamb rotate on the menu as well.

Icelandic farmers take pride in their connection to the land, and many of the dishes that guests enjoy are made with locally grown, farm-to-table ingredients. Iceland has amazing greenhouses, so you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the variety and quality of the food which includes vegetarian and vegan options.  Should you wish to venture out on your own, Akureyri is home to several cafe’s, coffee houses, juice bars, wine bars, and several other more formal restaurants for a special night on the town

The shared apartments are some of the nicest in Akureyri. They feature modern design, central temperature control, comfortable beds with down comforters, full kitchens and common living areas, and natural, pristine drinking water straight out of the tap.  Piping hot water for the showers and Jacuzzi’s is tapped from below, heated by the earth itself. An array of common breakfast items, fruit, coffee and selection of teas are also provided. The apartments are just a 10-12 minute walk to the town center, where we’ll have many of our meals together.

Uniquely situated on a mid-oceanic ridge, the geology of Iceland known as “the land of fire and ice.” It is home to several volcanos and glaciers which have, over time, carved an epic landscape unlike any other in the world. Breathtaking mountains, dramatic waterfalls, turf homes, rolling farms and hills, natural geothermic springs, local wildlife, and of course the Northern Lights await discovery.

Just as unique are the Icelandic people, who proudly share a deep connection to the land, their native language, and traditional folklore. On our tours led by knowledgeable, local guides dedicated to preserving the wonder and integrity of the island, you will get the insider’s view of geological formations, Icelandic history, secret waterfalls, and legends of trolls and elves that inhabit this storied land.

The main square of Akureyri is home to several locally owned shops selling outdoor gear, garments made of Icelandic wool, an artisan co-op, clothing shops, and bookstores. It is also home to a number of bars and clubs featuring live local music. The capital city of Reykjavic is both welcoming and cosmopolitan, and home to some stunning architecture, artist workshops, fine dining, and nightlife.

Pricing

>>> Apartments

Option A - Double Occupancy Room (shared bath)
Larger private room in a 3-bedroom apartment complete with kitchen, living room, backyard jacuzzi and access to washer/dryer. Family bathroom shared with 4-5 persons total in the apartment.

Cost: $3395 per person

Option B - Single Occupancy Room (shared bath)
Private room in a 3-bedroom apartment complete with kitchen, living room, backyard jacuzzi and access to washer/dryer. Family bathroom shared with 4 persons total in the apartment.

Cost: $3695

Option C - Double Occupancy room (Private Bath)
Private room in 2-room apartment with private bath, kitchen, living room, backyard jacuzzi and access to washer/dryer.
Master bedroom with larger space and bath
Second bedroom with private bathroom and shower

Cost: $3795 per person

 

Hotel Room

Option D - Hotel KEA Akureyri or equivalent. Breakfast included. In the city center.
Double Occupancy: $3995 per person
Single Occupancy:  $4495

Discounts and Deadlines

Early Bird is $200. Register prior to or by April 30, 2018

Members get an additional $100 discount. That's a $300 total discount if you place your deposit prior to or by April 30.

Deposit: $500. The deposit is not refundable nor transferable. 

Payments: When you place your deposit, the balance will be scheduled in monthly auto-payments through August, 2018 unless other arrangements are made. 

Half Balance: 50% of the balance is due by June 12, 2018

Full Balance: 100% of the balance is due by August 12, 2018.

Refunds and Cancellation: Refund less deposit ($500) before August 12, 2018. No refunds on or after August 12, 2018. In case of cancellation by Pura Vida Yoga, you will receive a full refund of all funds received by Pura Vida Yoga. Due to arrangements made with our retreat hosts, there can be no exceptions to this policy.

In case of cancellation by Pura Vida Yoga, you will receive a full refund of all funds received by Pura Vida Yoga. Due to arrangements made with our retreat hosts, there can be no exceptions to this policy.

Our Itinerary

Each morning we will greet with day with asana practice.  These will be all-level classes with options available for both more experienced yogis and those that are just beginning their yoga journey.   The classes may explore different themes, yoga philosophy, Icelandic mythology and even music.  Our hosts will pick us up at each domicile (all within a few blocks) and we’ll be transported across the fjord to our beautiful yoga and wellness center that overlooks the mountains and water.   After class, we’ll be transported to lunch, and after this, we’ll head out for our day’s activities.  Our afternoon and evening adventures together will include:

Hrisry Island-A lovely ferry ride to spend an afternoon picturesque exploration and hike of Hrisey Island. Situated at 66 degrees North, just a stone’s throw from the Arctic Circle, Hrisey is considered one of the “Power” places in Iceland. This can’t be easily explained, so we’ll offer some moments of pause to sit and feel this special planetary vortex energy.

A walking tour of Akureyri, learning about the history, architecture and folklore. We’ll drive along the fjord and make several stops including visits to some special places and hidden waterfalls,  You’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time, or onto the most spectacular movie set designed by mother nature herself!

Icelandic Horseriding!  the Icelandic Horse is truly unique to Iceland and even boasts a unique gait called the “tolt”.  Beginner riders will be in one group and enjoy a breathtakingly beautiful experience of the autumn fields of Iceland.  More experienced riders will have the opportunity to trot, canter and tolt through the countryside!  We’ll learn about these beautiful animals and be treated to hot beverages and Icelandic treats afterwards.

A full day adventure to Myvatn – an amazing geothermic region that will take you from the fjord, through the mountains, to the lava fields.  You’ll experience the rolling fields of Icelandic sheep contrasted with the barren lunar landscapes that the astronauts used to training for the first lunar landing in the 60’s!   Our day concludes with a visit to the thermal baths of the North.  In this front is a modern cafe, showers and lockers  … when you exit the back, you enter large natural pools of geothermic waters bubbling from mother earth herself.  With a high concentration of natural minerals, Icelanders often credit these waters with their health and longevity that is much higher than the norm.  We’ll watch the sun set, and the galaxies of stars arise.  A sight to behold!

The Northern Lights! This is a great time of year to witness the dance of lights, but of course, Mother Nature has her own agenda. However, with a timeframe of 7 days, the odds of sightings are high and our skilled hosts are experts at tracking the best times and locations!  be prepared on any evening at dinner for our hosts to offer a pick up time to go chasing the lights!  Perhaps we’ll even get show while lounging in our backyard jacuzzis or floating in the hot springs in Myvatn!

An afternoon of optional activities.  On this afternoon, you’ll be given several options. You may decide to explore the little town on your own, have a massage or walk to the Fjord and go take a boat to see the humpback whales.  With enough interest, a small group can be taken on a jeep tour to Detifoss – the most powerful waterfall in all of Europe.  Also, our hosts have a beautiful pack of huskies (the only ones in Northern Iceland) which includes one of the country’s champs) These beautiful pups LIVE for dogsledding in the winter.  During the fall, they get exercised with dog scootering!  This experience is also an option!

Each evening after our excursions, we return to Akureyri for dinner, then relax in our apartments and the backyard Jacuzzis to enjoy the fresh air and excellent company.

 

Teacher

Xenia Guido - My teaching style is simple. We all have different bodies and we carry very unique biographies in these bodies, therefore one pose will look and feel different from one person to the next. I use alignment cues to encourage each person to explore the fullest expression of a pose while honoring their edge. I consider yoga to be a very personal practice and I welcome the challenge of teaching group classes.  Besides awareness on the physical body I enjoy weaving yoga philosophy and mythology into my yoga classes.

I began teaching in 2002 while working a “regular” full time job in Sacramento.  After 10 years of State work I moved to San Diego and opened Pura Vida Yoga. Today, teaching yoga and running a yoga studio is, without doubt, my life’s passion.

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  • "The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands."

    - Sir Richard Burton

  • "I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world."

    - Mary Anne Radmacher

  • "The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page."

    - Saint Augustine