Fire & Ice
June 9-16, 2019
Iceland is a place that feels otherworldly. Tectonic plates ripping North America away from its European neighbor-continent. Glaciers chewing mountains down to crumbs. Volcanic blasts giving birth to new mountains. You too will feel reborn into a landscape you don’t recognize as your own.
The Arctic Circle.
Waterfalls by the hundreds.
Wild expanses of volcanic rock & lava fields.
Fog, rain & wind.
Coastal cliffs & beaches.
Midnight sun. Rainbows galore.
Great conversations with remarkable people.
A curriculum rooted in wonder and exploration.
And, without a doubt, some of the most beautiful trail running & hiking on the planet.
The strategy of our adventure will be two-pronged. We will invoke two primordial forces, or totems. Both are powerfully constructive and destructive energies. One is cold, patient, meticulous, and heavy = ICE. While the other is hot, consuming, bright and wild = FIRE.
We will know them intimately, embrace them, and study them on a daily basis. We will internally confront these potentialities within ourselves, as well as externally on such a diverse and beautiful selection of trails, it’s hard to believe they have any relation to the same island.
We will push our bodies each day with some form of enjoyable but strenuous hiking or running. Not at any obligatory breakneck speed, but strongly and steadfastly. We will put our adventure clothing and layering skills to the test. We will immerse ourselves in the capricious mountain and coastal weather patterns for which Iceland is famous. At the end of each day we will be rewarded like champions with the comfort and celebration of a delicious hot feast that will feed the soul.
The Location: Western & Southwestern Iceland
Iceland is a small unpopulated country whose terrain feels vast and magical. Our trip will include diverse types of trail running or hiking along scraggly volcanic-rock coasts, up dormant & active volcanoes, alongside thunderous waterfalls, through lush valleys and next to geothermal vents bubbling with life.
The Lodging: Icelandic Hotels, Modern Cottages & Volcanic Huts
We will have four different locations for our stay. Each one will have all of the modern comforts you are used to but set in some of the most spectacular backgrounds (often plus hot tub). One highlight of our adventure will be spending a night in a glamour-yurt in Thorsmork, a valley of idyllic beauty only accessed by special 4x4 river-forging vehicles. At the end of the retreat, we will also pamper ourselves at the iconic Blue Lagoon geothermal pools and spa.
The Inclusions: Basically Everything
We want you to be able to dive deeply into the adventure of Iceland, so we've taken care of the details. As experienced professional running and wellness coaches, we are excited to help you discover a new level of physical power. Not only will we coach you through the adventures, but we will make sure the following is covered: airport transportation, welcome reception, 7 nights of lodging, all breakfasts, lunches & dinners, shuttling for our adventures, unique spa experience at The Blue Lagoon and all retreat content.
The Exertion: Moderate-Challenging
Though everything will be OPTIONAL, physical movement is a MAJOR aspect of this adventure. We expect to have a thorough mix of adventurers who are interested in either daily hiking or trail running. We will provide various options for exertion each day, including for our physical climax = full day trail exploration in the breathtaking Thorsmork region.
Most of our guided trail excursions will be done with time blocks instead of absolute mileage requirements. But, expect to be moving at least 5-10 miles per day with the option to do double digits each day, if desired.
What to Expect: General Itinerary
Sunday—Our week-long journey begins in the afternoon with a group gathering in central historic Reykjavik. We will wander down the old streets and then join together with new friends to kick off our adventure.
Monday—travel north-westward to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula along a dreamy coastal route in the shadow of looming black mountains and the grins of lazy sheep. There will be a substantial detour of adventure to Glymur, where we will hunt for the mythical whale bones at the top of Iceland’s highest waterfall, which sometimes flows upward! We will set up camp in the tiny coastal village of Arnarstapi where views from our rooms fix our gaze either on the stunning jagged shoreline or the black mountains of the national park.
Tuesday—all-day trail adventure in Snaefellsjokull National Park, lorded-over by the perfectly symmetric cone of a volcano that Jules Verne plunged into as the gateway to his Journey to the Center of the Earth. This nearly-empty jewel of a park hosts many personalities of trail, from enchanted fields of gigantic bouncy broccoli-like florets, to sea-pounded cliffs and bays that are playgrounds to fearless seals, and black sand beaches.
Wednesday—medium trail run or hike between rustic fishing villages, through caverns, and coves; plus optional guided glacier/cave experience in Snaefellsjokull National Park. This region naturally lends itself to soothing feelings of contemplation and peace.
Thursday—travel day to the southern coast with an interlude of a trail adventure to Reykjadalur hot spring thermal river. This winding hilly trail will take us past awe-inducing thermal vents that bubble at 212 degrees before dropping us down to the “hot river” where we’ll take an exhilarating mid-adventure dip. We’ll end our day in Hella and get some good rest for our big weekend adventure.
Friday—all-day pinnacle adventure, spent gallivanting in the scrumptious valley of mega-beauty in Thorsmork (home to the “thunder god”). There are many trail options of various levels, but the challenge laid out and recommended to all our crew will be to circumnavigate the best-of-best that the valley has to offer. Lodging will be quite unusual and glamorous (as far as camping goes), as we commandeer the village of yurts into our own Lobo basecamp, recharge in the sauna, toast our victory, pillage the buffet like Viking heroes, and sit around the campfire regaling each other with our personal sagas.
Saturday—after one more medium-sized trail adventure in Thorsmork, we will make our way back to Hella. But not before stopping at the mighty Skogafoss waterfall. The end of the day will bring Fire & Ice Retreat capstone moments and a ceremonial dinner.
Sunday—On our way back to the airport in Keflavik, we will take a hefty pit-stop to re-treat-ourselves at the luxurious Blue Lagoon geothermal hot springs & spa. The lagoon’s bright blue waters are a sight to be seen, set against the desolate lava bareness. After lazing in the steaming waters with mud masks, we will dine together at the LAVA Restaurant in our fresh white bathrobes--as is the tradition.
Your Tribe: Connected & Personal
We are keeping our journey to Iceland very small (max of 15 participants) to ensure personal attention with each adventurer. On a week-long trip like this one, we appreciate the power of a group connection as well as the need for alone time. We believe unique fruits can come from a tribe that coalesces, but we also want this adventure to fill you up personally. We promise to provide a balance of both.
Your Responsibilities: Getting There & Extras
Flights--We know everyone has their own timing for travel so we think it's best to meet us in Reykjavik. We’ve designed our adventure to start on Sunday afternoon so that you could use the weekend ahead of time to explore the city if you like. We will be arranging airport pick-up in Keflavik (closest airport) for Saturday and Sunday morning. We also recommend buying travel insurance.
Personal Extras--alcohol, additional tipping, activities before/after programming, personal purchases
Trail Hiking & Running Gear---We will send gear list of recommended and required (safety first) items to bring for our trail adventures.
Take the Next Step:
Fill out the registration form on our Reserve page or email us with questions.
8 days, 7 nights (more details on what's included above)
$4500 double occupancy, per person (or inquire for pricing on single occupancy)
$500 non-refundable deposit to reserve your spot, remaining balance due 30 days prior to trip start
Roommate requested on registration form. Full return policy on our FAQs page.