Akureyri, NORTHERN ICELAND
An Inner and Outer Exploration
with Rachael Hunter and Kristin Page
November 3 – 10, 2018
Join Kristin and Rachael in Northern Iceland to explore one of the most beautiful and peaceful places on earth. This is a trip-of-a-lifetime will be both an inner exploration through yoga and meditation, and an outer exploration of a wonderland of moonlike lava fields, snow capped volcanic peaks and geothermal hot springs at 66 degrees North, just south of the arctic circle.
Fairytale Icelandic winter whites will be the backdrop for this spectacular week with sun during the day and bright moonlit nights providing fascinating light shows–including a possible mystic dance of the Northern Lights. The cold outside is balanced beautifully by the hot geothermal baths and Jacuzzis that is a national past-time of the warm and adventurous Icelandic people.
In this majestic and tranquil landscape, morning yoga classes will be followed by group excursions and explorations.
We’re heading North! Iceland is one of the planet’s true gems. With a total population of only 330,000, Iceland has struck a perfect balance between a warm, welcoming culture and the raw, untamed beauty of its vast mountainous landscapes. While most toursist groups and cruise lines visit the southern capital city Reykjavik (where the majority of population is), we’ll be heading to 66°North Iceland to the town of Akureyri–one of Iceland’s best kept secrets.The cultural capital of Iceland, Akureyri has been voted the number one destination in all of Europe by Lonely Planet on more than one occasion (including 2015). 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 amazing Northern Lights!), Northern Iceland is truly THE place to visit. One Yoga Global is in an exclusive partnership with the only yoga and wellness center in Northern Iceland. Enjoy your daily yoga practice in a newly-built, one-of-a-kind studio with majestic views of the fjord and soaring mountains that will warm your body and soul. This wellness center is complete with massage rooms, dry sauna, Jacuzzi, showers, changing rooms, and all the amenities, and our friendly and knowledgeable guides live on site, giving this space a personal touch. Guests of our retreats have a choice of staying in local private apartments complete with geothermal Jacuzzis or at a local hotel in the city center. These comfortable and modern accommodations serve as a launching point for exploring some of most powerful places in Iceland and diving into the island’s rich traditions. You’ll have the opportunity to ride Icelandic horses, see the humpback whales that live in the fjord, visit a nearby island and hike its mountaintops, work with a team of champion Huskies, and possibly even experience the Aurora Borealis.
This special week in Northern Iceland is open to all and offers 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.
OUR ITINERARY: Each morning, after breakfast, we will all have the option to participate in an all levels group yoga / movement class. 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. Classes will be welcoming to all, and if you prefer, the center has a relaxation room, beautiful views, a dry sauna and jacuzzi available to our group. After class, we’ll be transported to lunch, and after this, we’ll head out for our day’s activities! If you decide any morning to sleep in and skip a class, you can simply meet us at lunch which is just a couple blocks walk from your home. Our afternoon and evening adventures together will include:
- Hrisey 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.
- Special hikes (on snowshoes as needed!) to various panoramic vistas around Akureyri and the fjord
- A 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!
- 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!
- 2-3 afternoons of optional activities. On these afternoon, your teachers may offer additional yoga classes, 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. If weather permits, horseriding may also be an option. 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.
Please feel free to email us directly at email@example.com with questions.
Travel, Additional Information & FAQ’s
Most of you will depart your home city on Friday to arrive Saturday early morning in Reykjavik (KEF = Keflavik International) then take a smaller flight from the Reykjavik smaller domestic airport to Akureyri. Your return will be the following Saturday morning from Akureyri – Reykjavik domestic, then a transfer to the International airport (Keflavik) and back home.
Some of you will choose to add extra days on your own in Reykjavik before or after the retreat dates.
Everyone will need to book 2 tickets to get to Akureyri, Northern Iceland (unless you decide to rent a car in Reykjavik and enjoy a picturesque 6 hour drive to Akureyri!) The first flight will be from your hometown to Reykjavik (Keflavik International). From here, you will either drive, or book an easy 45 minute flight from Reykjavik Domestic Airport to Akureyri. This is a different and smaller airport than Keflavik International.
If you add extra days on the front or back end in Reykjavik, the city center is only 10-15 minutes to the domestic airport for the shorter inland flight. For those of you arriving and departing on Saturday and flying all the way to Akureyri and then home on the last Saturday (no extra time in Reykjavik) – The international airport (KEF) is 45 minutes away from the smaller inland airport (RKV), so you will need a minimum of 3.5 hours between the flights to ensure you make it through customs, luggage and take the transfer to the domestic airport.
For this: ARRIVALS the first Saturday – Look at the overnight flights that depart on Friday night and arrive Saturday morning. DEPARTURES on the last Saturday – Most flights (ex. Iceland Air is recommended) leave between 5 and 6pm. If you are flying home on Saturday, do not book a flight that leaves KEF before 2pm.
The short inland flights can be booked at: www.airiceland.is and most of you will book:
To Akureyri: arriving between 12 noon and 2pm From Akureyri: morning flight that arrived by 11am
For more detailed advice, links and details on booking travel, we have created a Google document that any of you can access. CLICK HERE for that document.
Upon arrival to Akureyri, we will be transferred to apartments or hotel rooms (available between 2 and 4pm), settle in, then enjoy dinner together at a local cafe in the town center. The apartments will be stocked with breakfast foods so each participant can manage their own breakfast routine before we head to daily morning yoga classes. Lunches and 5 group dinners are also included (2 dinners in Akureyri are open for the group to explore). Our hosts do their best to accommodate various dietary restrictions (such as dairy free, gluten free, and vegetarian needs); please let us know these needs in advance if possible.
Each morning at a designated time, you’ll be picked up from your apartment or hotel and transported just a few minutes across the fjord to the beautiful yoga studio and wellness center. After class, we’ll head to lunch and then out on our daily adventures to experience the majesty of our surroundings.
Once you are registered, we’ll be in touch about your travel plans!
What to Pack:
- winter clothes and several layers
- thermals (top and bottom)
- winter pants (wind- and/or water-resistant are recommended)
- winter gloves / socks and waterproof boots / hiking shoes
- an outer shell that is warm, and wind- and rain-resistant
- warm headgear
- a buff or balaclava for the neck and face
- we recommend “ice treads” for show / walking around town in case of icy roads
- a bathing suit for the Jacuzzis and springs
- yoga clothes (compression pants make for a nice underlayer)
- adapters for electronics (Iceland uses the round 2-pin style common throughout Europe)
This retreat is open to people at various levels of fitness, with the understanding that some group activities require snow shoeing and hiking. All activities are optional, including the morning yoga classes.
If you have any burning questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be several group communications along the way as well
Kristin is passionate about living life to the fullest. She inspires others to live fully and passionately through her teachings of yoga, meditation and her unique ability to create and cultivate community. Kristin works with individuals, private and public corporations, sports teams, and leads transformational international yoga and meditation retreats. She was named “Best Yoga Teacher” on the Main Line and is a regular contributor to the online magazines MindBodyGreen and WomenForOne. Kristin is also the founder of Dan’s Down Dog and Dash, a local yoga and run community event that raises money for families dealing with cancer. Dan’s Down Dog and Dash draws over 700 participants and has been named one of the top 10 things to do in Philly by Philadelphia Magazine. (read more about Kristin)
A former scientist, and now full time yoga teacher Rachael loves to travel with her husband and kids, to hike with her dog and to seek out the best coffee wherever she lands. Born in the United Kingdom and now based in suburban Philadelphia, she is grateful to share the openness, focus and clarity that yoga provides, and the calmness and stillness it inspires.
Using mindful movement and breath awareness to explore body mind and soul, Rachael emphasizes clear instruction to build a proper foundation of alignment for “every” body, empowering students to dive deeper into their own practice and discover the elements that speak to their heart. Teaching and practicing a range of styles from hatha and vinyasa to yin and restorative, she is passionate about guiding students to find their own path on this lifelong journey.
Rachael received her 200h teacher training in 2009 and completed her Yin Yoga training in 2012. Learning from wonderful local and national teachers alike over the years, Rachael is studying towards the Pranakriya School of Yogic Healing Arts 300h certification with Yoganand Michael Carroll and has begun her 300h certification with Mark Nelson and Nikki Robinson at the Yoga Garden, Narberth.
Using clear instruction to build a proper foundation of alignment for “every” body, her classes aim to empower students to dive deeper into their own practice and discover the long term benefits of uniting body, mind and breath. http://www.rachaelhunteryoga.com
Your home base in Akureyri will be in some of the most modern apartments in the city, or in a centrally located hotel. The apartments provide comfort and privacy, and they are just a short walk from the city center. Each apartment has several rooms, some with a shared bath and some with private bath, and each has a kitchen, living space, and backyard geothermic water Jacuzzi. We will place female travelers together and couples together. When you reserve, we will be in contact with you directly to confirm your housing placement. A limited number of private hotel rooms are also available for those who desire this option.
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 persons total in the apartment. One shared room with KING bed still available.
Cost: $3295 per person
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. 1 private room still available.
Double Occupancy room (Private Bath)
Private room in 2-room apartment with private bath, kitchen, living room, backyard jacuzzi and access to washer/dryer.
Hotel KEA Akureyri or equivalent. Breakfast included. In the city center. ONE hotel room still available.
Double Occupancy: $3995
Single Occupancy: $4495
7 nights accommodation in Akureyri
Transportation from airport, to classes and excursions
Breakfasts, Lunches and 5 dinners in Akureyri
Flights to Akureyri
Optional Extras (massage, special excursions)
2 dinners in Akureyri
RESERVATIONS, PAYMENTS AND POLICIES:
A $595 deposit will hold your spot and we can divide your payments through Aug 1, 2018. OYG will contact you regarding your payment plan.
Refunds and Cancellations: Refund less deposit ($595) before May 1, 2018. No refunds after May 1, 2018. In case of cancellation, you may transfer your deposit or your reservation to another person as long as you notify One Yoga Global 21+ days in advance. Due to arrangements made with our vacation hosts, there can be no exceptions to this policy.
If you place a deposit, the balance due will be set to charge in equal installments starting the month after deposit through August, 2018, unless other arrangements are made.
In the unlikely case of cancellation by One Yoga Global due to insufficient enrollment or logistical problems (acts of God, war, strikes, etc.) that may impede trip operations, please refer to the policies outlined in the more detailed application and liability waiver provided upon reservation. Participants will be required to sign the application and liability waiver to participate on this trip.
We 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 to weather & travel delays, personal property loss and emergency travel medical. Please review policies carefully to choose the coverage you need.
We recommend that you consider purchasing trip insurance in case you need to cancel your trip and/or flights AND for travel / Medical insurance. Travel Guard is one provider of this insurance. Please note that travel insurance may need to be purchased within a limited window of reserving your trip or purchasing airline tickets. Please click for details.