STEP INTO WONDER ~ NORTHERN ICELAND
YOGA & NATURE RETREAT
DATES: October 19 - 26, 2024 | TEACHER: Checka Antifonario | PRICE: $3695 - $4895
Journey with us to where the sea and the sky are brewing magic to behold! Away from the hustle and bustle, we will step into life-affirming wonder. This will be a week to renew your energy and nourish you long after the closing circle!
If you are ready to travel off the beaten path and into true exploration and adventure, this is the retreat for you.
Important travel note: Those traveling from the U.S. and some other countries will be leaving their home airports on Friday, October 18th (the night before the retreat begins) - unless flight schedules significantly change. More info below, but just a heads up!
Our home base for this retreat will be in the town of Akureyri, the gateway to northern Iceland's spectacular beauty. Though it is still known as Iceland's hidden gem, Akureyri has been listed as the number one destination in all of Europe by Lonely Planet multiple times. With a population of only 18,000, a mild climate on the longest fjord in the country, and close proximity to the Arctic Circle (meaning the potential for Northern Lights!), this is one of the MOST special Yogaway destinations yet. We will be hosted by Iceland Yoga Retreat and their tour partner Inspiration Iceland, who work together to offer epic group experiences such as this.
OVERVIEW & DAILY RHYTHM
I have chosen this particular week in October to balance good excursion weather during our active, nature-packed days with darkening skies at night to optimize our chances of seeing the Northern Lights! Each day will begin with breakfast at your apartment / hotel, followed by one yoga session per day (each between 1 and 2 hours) in our beautiful yoga and wellness center overlooking the mountains and water. Classes will be in a variety of styles and welcoming to all; the center also has a relaxation room, dry sauna and jacuzzi available to our group. Our friendly and knowledgeable guides live on site, giving this space a personal touch. After class, we’ll be transported to lunch, and then on to the day’s activities! The abundant professionally guided excursions included in your retreat package will give you a chance to experience the powerful and healing vibrations in this special part of the world.
When evening arrives, it is time for dinner, community, relaxation (the apartments all have backyard geothermal jacuzzis) and reflection on the day's adventures. There will be four group dinners and three dinners on your own to allow you to explore the many local dining options in Akureyri. The food in northern Iceland is local, fresh and largely organic - we are in for a treat! Allergies and firm dietary restrictions can be accommodated. There will be a maximum of 26 folks on this retreat and plenty of time to nurture friendships new and old.
NATURE EXCURSIONS GALORE!
You will have 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. Our professional guides will share details of each site along with local folklore and personal stories. Your included excursions will be:
HRISEY ISLAND - A lovely ferry ride will take us to an afternoon of exploration and hiking on picturesque 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.
ICELANDIC HORSE RIDING (or whale watching alternative) - 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 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. *For those unsure about horse riding, whale watching can be arranged instead!*
FULL DAY ADVENTURE TO GEOTHERMIC MYVATN - On this amazing journey we will explore the fjord, the mountains, the Godafoss waterfall and the lava fields. You’ll experience the rolling meadows of Icelandic sheep contrasted with the barren lunar landscapes that the astronauts used to train for the first lunar landing in the 1960’s! The day will conclude with a visit to the thermal baths of the north. In the 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. With a high concentration of natural minerals, Icelanders often credit these waters with their above-average health and longevity.
LOCAL ADVENTURE AND GENTLE HIKE AROUND AKUREYRI - We will learn about the local history, architecture and folklore of Akureyri and drive along the fjord, making several stops to visit special places and hidden waterfalls. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time, or onto the most spectacular movie set ever!
NORTHERN LIGHTS VIEWING, CONDITIONS PERMITTING - This one is up to Mother Nature - but with seven full nights our chances are good. Think lights! :)
There will also be two free afternoons with optional activities. You may decide to explore town on your own, have a massage, or walk to the fjord and take a boat to see the humpback whales. With enough interest, we can add a 1/2 day excursion to Husavik and the amazing GoeSea baths (about $150 / pp).
A full itinerary and packing list will be provided to all attendees well in advance of the retreat. Long story short, we will be doing and seeing a lot!
There will be more details to follow as the retreat gets closer - but here are the key points:
Those traveling from the U.S. and some other countries will be leaving their home airports on Friday, October 18th (the night before the retreat begins) - unless flight schedules significantly change. You will arrive early on Saturday morning, the 19th, at the international airport in Reykjavik (KEF = Keflavik International). Next, you will take a second, smaller flight from a different airport in Reykjavik (RKV = Reykjavik Airport) up to Akureyri (AEY = Akureyri Airport). You can take a taxi or bus between KEF and RKV. Your flight into Akureyri should arrive between 11:30 am and 2:00 pm on Saturday the 19th. There you will be picked up by our retreat hosts. At the end of the retreat you will depart Akureyri in the morning on Saturday the 26th, reversing these steps.
Some of you may choose to add extra days on your own in Reykjavik or elsewhere before or after the retreat dates, which offers more travel options. As long as you reach Akureyri during the pick-up window, you will be all set!
Given the early launch of this retreat, precise flight schedules and bookings will not be available for several more months - so there is plenty of time to sort out the details and I am here to answer any questions.
LODGING AND PRICING
Your Akureyri lodging will be either in a modern, fully equipped shared apartment, or a hotel in the town center. The apartments and hotel are in walkable proximity from one another. All lodging will be a short drive to the yoga and wellness center; daily transportation to yoga is included each morning.
The shared apartments (reserved only for our retreat group) will house a total 4-6 folks in each apartment. The following apartment options are available:
Double Occupancy with SHARED Bath - $3695 per person. Two people occupy one room (either two twin beds or a king bed) in shared 3-bedroom apartment with shared kitchen, living room, large bathroom, clothes washer/dryer and outdoor Jacuzzi. Please note: you do NOT need to register with another person in order to reserve this lodging - I will match you up with a roomie!
Double Occupancy with PRIVATE Bath - $3995 per person. Two people occupy one room (either two twin beds or a king bed) and have their own private bathroom within shared 2-bedroom apartment with shared kitchen, living room, clothes washer/dryer and outdoor Jacuzzi. Please note: these rooms DO require two people registering together in order to be reserved.
Single Occupancy with SHARED Bath - $4195 per person. Small single room in shared 3-bedroom apartment with shared kitchen, living room, large bathroom, clothes washer/dryer, and outdoor Jacuzzi.
For those interested in a traditional hotel accommodation with more privacy (Hotel Kea or equivalent), a limited number of rooms are available. Here are the options:
Double Occupancy Hotel Room with Private Bath - $4395 per person. You can request two twin beds or one large bed. Please note: you do NOT need to register with another person in order to reserve this lodging - I will match you up with a roomie!
Single Occupancy Hotel Room with Private Bath (one bed) - $4895 per person.
I am launching this retreat early, with an extended payment plan built in, because I recognize and respect that it is a big investment to budget into your life plans. Iceland is an expensive place to visit, but this experience is a smart way to take this trip of a lifetime. As a comparison, an independent a la carte seven-night vacation to northern Iceland with everything included in this retreat would typically cost $6000-$8000 per person. There is great benefit in joining a curated retreat like this - both for the warm community and the relative savings!
REGISTRATION, PAYMENT & TRAVEL GUIDANCE
1. Please email Checka Antifonario at firstname.lastname@example.org with your room request. I will respond to confirm.
2. Next you will receive an electronic invoice for a non-refundable deposit of $500 to secure your spot.
3. The remainder of your cost will be split into three non-refundable payments due 10/15/23, 2/15/24, and 6/15/24. Invoices will be sent two weeks before the due dates.
Purchasing travel insurance is recommended for ALL retreats. I personally recommend and partner with Wanderwell due to their excellent customer service and commitment to environmental responsibility as a Certified B Corp, 1% for the Planet business member, and Transformational Travel Council ALLY.
Please check that your passport is valid for three months beyond the final day of your trip, as this is required by the Icelandic government for international visitors.
I would love to answer any questions you may have about this trip. I am SO excited to share this journey to a place that so many describe as one of the most magical places on Earth! Please reach out any time, and hope to see you in Iceland!
Seven nights accommodation in Akureyri
Transfers to and from the Akureyri airport and daily transportation to classes and excursions
All breakfasts and lunches & four group dinners in Akureyri
Daily yoga with Checka and use of the wellness center amenities
Four epic professionally guided group excursions (plus northern lights excursion if conditions permit!)
Roundtrip international flight to Reykjavik and domestic flight to Akureyri
Optional extras (massage or additional excursions)
Three dinners in Akureyri
Pricing timeline and discounts!
Early bird pricing is in effect until October 19, 2023, with $150 increases for all accommodations thereafter.
Current members of my Anyday Yogaway virtual yoga and meditation membership (with two or more months of membership at time of registration) will receive an additional $50 DISCOUNT on any price!