Yoga Retreat – The Yin & The Yang – An Iceland Adventure 27Sep – 3Oct 2020 (Twin Occupancy)
Iceland, a Nordic island nation that sounds familiar yet seemingly remote. This juvenile land is still in her growing phase, with volcanoes, glaciers, raw landscape and harsh elements constantly reminding us how it is to feel alive. It’s striking contrast of ice and fire may help you find balance both on and off the mat.
This winter, Arctic Advanced and Andrea Wingelaar are connecting your yoga practice with what Iceland’s nature has to offer.
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- Vacation Style Holiday Type
- Activity Level Challenging
- Group Size Medium Group
We will explore the geyser area, snorkel between tectonic plates, hike in the highland area, bathe in geothermal hot springs, feel the spray at spectacular waterfalls, set foot on dramatic black beach, get some pampering time at the Blue Lagoon and of course, some wholesome yoga practices. Setting our base in both Geysir geothermal area and Reykjavik, this retreat gives you a well rounded experience to unravel in the spacious countryside (and a chance to catch the northern lights!), without losing touch with the northernmost capital in the world.
The Northern lights is a natural phenomenon and is weather dependent, sighting is therefore not guaranteed.
In Iceland all itineraries are designed to be flexible (in line with our practice?), taking weather conditions into account.
Our driver guide would make changes where needed as your safety is very important to us.
The Northern lights is a natural phenomenon and is weather dependent, sighting is therefore not guaranteed.
Minimum size of the retreat is 12.
Key Facts of the Retreat
Date: 27September – 3October 2020
Twin / Double Occupancy: ISK 378,543 (Early Bird Price ISK 359,616 , reference USD price $2,900 per exchange rate on 20Sep 2019. Valid until 31Dec2019)
Single Supplement: ISK 91,400
Deposit Amount: ISK 55,000 (non-refundable and non-transferrable)
About The Teacher
Andrea Wingelaar focuses on mindful, creative and intelligent movement practices. Trained from an early age as a competitive dancer, classical singer and theatre performer, her practice is rooted in the depth of feeling into the body and the liberation of energy through movement and self study. As a yoga teacher she is known for her purposeful sequencing that is both intelligent and fun, she herself practices to support this crazy and beautiful life. Her yoga mat is her favorite place to be, seeing her through so many transitions and adventures.
With well over 500 hours in trainings including studies that began in Ashtanga, and then expanded towards Restorative and Yin, Andrea is most moved by her discovery of Prana Vinyasa Flow with her core teacher Shiva Rea, and recently by Tiffany Cruickshank’s Yoga Medicine. Andrea artfully weaves her deep knowledge of traditional yoga practices with contemporary biomechanics awareness, and therapeutic applications of holistic movement. Off the mat her greatest passions are music and movement, which she has translated into a performing career that has taken her across the globe. With a grounded education in opera and classical music studies her yoga training and teaching mirrors the same; a practice that is based in a solid foundation and respect for the roots of yoga complemented by “the improvisations of life”; yoga that is in rhythm with our own individual lives, the seasons, nature as well as a style that blurs the boundaries of technique and play. Her students have been as varied as performers, physicists, at risk youth, and with a very special place in her heart, newbies of all backgrounds.
A Canadian girl at heart she currently makes her home in Seattle, Washington with her partner and love Ryan, her son James, and their furry beast Seamus the golden retriever. She isn’t sure which of the three is her greatest teacher.
- 5 Morning vinyasa practices
- 3 Evening restorative practices
- Six nights of accommodation (4 nights at Hotel Geysir, 2 nights at Hilton Nordica)
- Four nights of opportunity to catch the elusive northern lights at hotel Geysir
- Guided tours to the Golden Circle, South Coast
- Private guided super jeep tour to Kerlingarfjoll highlands
- Blue Lagoon Comfort Entrance Package
- Silfra drysuit snorkeling
- Soup lunch at Fridheimar Tomato farm with greenhouse visit
- Secret Lagoon Entrance
- Daily Breakfast
- Four dinners
- Roundtrip group transfer to Keflavik (KEF)
- Airfare to Iceland
- Travel insurance (recommended)
- Individual airport transfer
- Two dinners
- Drinks & beverages
- Additional excursions
- Gratuities (optional)
- Day1 Welcome to Iceland
Good morning and welcome to Iceland’s Keflavik (KEF) Airport! we will have a group pick-up at the airport (around 7:30am). We will stop by Blue Lagoon where you can get some much needed pampering after a long flight. Here you will have the opportunity to literally be submerged in Iceland’s geothermal power – peacefully enjoying soaking in the famous Blue Lagoon in open space. The Blue Lagoon’s warm water and natural active ingredients: mineral salts, silica and blue green algae help you relax and unwind while the Blue Lagoon white silica mud gently cleanses and exfoliates the skin. The mineral salts balance and relax body and soul. After having enjoyed all the amenities of the Blue Lagoon, we will take you to Hotel Geysir where you can enjoy some free time and relax in the surrounding nature or in the comfort of the hotel where you will stay for 4 nights. Make use of the evenings out in the countryside with minimal light pollution for a northern lights hunt! Welcome dinner will be served.
- Day2 Gullfoss Waterfall & Secret Lagoon
We start the day with a morning vinyasa practice, followed by a hearty breakfast.
We will then head out to Gullfoss waterfall, which many consider to be the queen of Icelandic waterfalls, as it is both high and mighty and stumbles in a deep gorge. Gullfoss is in fact 2 separate waterfalls, the upper one has an 11m drop and the lower one with 21m beautifully angled creating a dramatic cascade.
We will stop by Fridheimar Tomato Farm where you can enjoy some delicious tomato soup with bread for lunch and take a short tour at Fridheimar tomato farm. We will head over to Secret Lagoon, the oldest swimming pool in Iceland. Its natural and rustic charm have been preserved for guest to enjoy an Icelandic natural hot spring experience.
We will have a late afternoon restorative practice back at the hotel before dinner.
- Day3 Kerlingarfjoll Highlands
After morning practice and breakfast, you will be taken to Kerlingarfjoll highlands on a modified super jeep. Kerlingarfjoll is the second largest geothermal area in the interior of Iceland, Kerlingarfjoll. This young range of mountains is nested between Langjokull and Hofsjokull, the second and third largest glaciers in Iceland. They are mainly made from rhyolite and both dark and tuff stone giving it unique contrast of colors. Coupled with the eerie array of colors in the geothermal area, the ruggedness and vastness of space, it makes you feel like you are on a different planet!
After a short hike in the area, we will head over to Hveravellir geothermal area, located 650m above selevel, where you can take a dip, which will be a nice treat after exploring some of the most unique landscapes of highlands of Iceland. We will have dinner as we get back to the hotel after a long day of excursion.
- Day4 Silfra Snorkeling & Thingvellir National Park
After morning practice and breakfast, gear up for some more adventure! We will snorkel in the protection of dry suit in one of the top dive sites of the world – Silfra Fissure, it exists as the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are drifting apart about 2cm a year, and glacier water from Langjokull glacier that has been filtered through lava fields for decades fill the rift. While you swim through the fissure, remember to taste the crystal clear water!
Aftering coming out of the water and dry suit, your guide will take you to the viewpoint of Thingvellir National Park where you can not only take a different view of the park, but also see where the oldest parliament was founded in the world over 1000 years ago. Many crucial events in Icelandic history took part here and it is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
We will head back to the hotel for some relaxation and restorative breakfast. Dinner will be served after practice.
- Day5 South Coast Waterfall & Black Beach
After morning vinyasa practice and breakfast, we will be back on the road to explore the South Coast. Starting off at Reynisfjara, not only will we get to set our feet on the black beach, but also admire the basalt rock columns, sea stack and watch the waves crash upon the cliffs.
We then head on to Skogafoss Waterfall and Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. Skogafoss is one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland. Also measures around 60m in drop, it boasts a width of 25m. On sunny days it’s not unusual to see a double rainbow through the spray created by the waterfall. Seljalandsfoss is just over 60m surrounded by beautiful cliffs and slopes. There is a footpath behind the waterfall where depending on road conditions we can actually take a walk behind the waterfall for a different view.
We will move our base to Reykjavik where we will stay at Hilton Nordica hotel for 2 nights. Dinner is at your own arrangement.
- Day6 Free Day to Explore Reykjavik
We start off our last full day in Iceland with a morning vinyasa practice and breakfast. You will have a lot of free time to further explore Reykjavik, the northernmost capital in the world with it’s quirky shops, cafes and museums at your leisure. We recommend checking out Hallgrimskirkja church, sun voyager sculpture, Harpa concert hall and Laugavegur walking street.
After a full day of exploration around the city, come back for our final restorative practice at the hotel in the late afternoon. Dinner is at your own arrangement.
- Day7 See you soon, Iceland
On this lazy morning you are free to have a later breakfast and a stroll around Reykjavik. We will have a group pick up from the hotel in the afternoon (around 1:00pm) and take you to Keflavik Airport for departure.
Hotel Geysir is the newest addition to the family-run hotel on the doorstep of the geothermal area of Geysir and Strokkur in the historic Haukadalur Valley. The hotel was designed to harmoniously blend the building with the surrounding environment through the use of materials that reflect the surroundings and the architectural design of the building. The hotel’s rooms and suites are bright and light and all have views of the stunning scenery.
Hilton Nordica Hotel is a stylishly designed hotel set in Reykjavik’s business district, this hotel offers a 5-star gourmet restaurant, popular breakfast buffet and helpful, knowledgeable staff. The rooms are bright, many rooms offer views of the Akrafjall and Esja Mountains or Faxaflói Bay. All guests enjoy free gym access. Other spa facilities accessible for a fee includes 2 spa baths, an outdoor hot tub, a relaxation pool, 2 aroma steam rooms and a sauna.
The validity of passport must exceed 3 month of the proposed stay. Travel between countries participating in the Schengen cooperation is allowed without formal passport control. For information on passport and visa requirements see Icelandic Directorate of Immigration website http://www.utl.is/index.php/en/
Thanks to the gulf stream, the climate here is more temperate than would be expected for its latitude, with the southerly lowlands averaging 32F in the winter. That said the weather here is notoriously variable, it is not an exaggeration that it can change from a calm sunny moment to blistery snow storm in matter of minutes. It is therefore important that you are well dressed for the ever changing elements. See packing list for more details.
The Icelandic currency is the Krona (ISK or Kr.). Most shops, restaurants and service providers (including us) accept payment in local currency only. Major credit cards (e.g. Visa, Master) are very widely accepted. Money exchange can be done at the Airport, banks and currency exchange. ATMs (Hradbanki) can be found in most banks if you wish to have some spare change for emergencies.
Travel insurance is not included in the tour price. It is important for clients to arrange this ahead of travel.
The minimum size of the retreat is 12 and capped at 14. So it is a pretty intimate group size, enough to have some group fun and not too many names to remember!
With the harsh weather conditions in Iceland, a local’s meal is usually more protein based. A typical main dish would be fish like trout and cod, lamb, pork or chicken. And a desert would usually be dairy based. We do provide vegetarian meals upon request, if you are not sure just drop us a note and let us know.
The electric current in Iceland is 220V. Electrical plugs are of the rounded, European two-pin type.
While this list is not exhaustive, it is a good reference to start with
- Mat: As it is a personal item and most yogis would prefer to practice on their own, we only have a very small number of mats available for rent, so it is advised to bring your own mat.
- Waterproof and windproof outer layer (both jacket and pants)
- Insulated Jacket
- Warm and comfortable base layers
- Warm mid layers
- Scarf, beanies / ear warmer, gloves and socks
- Walking shoes with sturdy soles, waterproof hiking boots are great
- Swimwear for hot springs like the Blue Lagoon
- Valid travel document
- Valid driver license for snowmobile if you are going on one
- Camera, with tripod too if you are into night (aurora!) photography
- Charger / adapter for your camera and gadgets