Return to Wild Wonder

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Summer Camp for the Wild Hearted

Wednesday, August 28 — Monday, September 2 (Labor Day) (6 days, 5 nights) 

 

Your body and mind evolved for a world that no longer exists. Reclaim the nature of your humanity. Join us for six days of nourishing natural movement, forest therapy, and yoga on the pristine eastern side of Iceland. Explore the natural movements of being human as you explore your connection to the more-than-human world. Feel how the landscape breathes life into food you forage and harvest off the land. Receive the nourishment of living food fresh out of the ground. Refresh your mind, free from the clutter of screens and the urgency of modern life. Bask in the wonder of the Northern Lights and star speckled skies. Be called home to the embrace of Mother Earth.

 
 

The earth is your ally. Nature is your playground. Your body  is a compass.

 
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who is this retreat for?

Anyone who loves nature and has a sense of curiosity. Forest bathing and natural movement are suitable for anyone who can walk, regardless of size, shape, age, gender. The retreat is beginner friendly and trauma sensitive. Your hosts have four decades of combined experience adapting practices to suit the needs of the beautiful diversity of humans.

 return to wild wonder at the Icelandic Wilderness Center

The Icelandic Wilderness Center hugs the boundary of eastern Iceland’s rugged terrain and next to an organic farm. The mountainous area is known for its forests and mild climate. The Northern Lights kiss the sky in late August and early September. The Wilderness Center is a living museum, experiencing the rustic traditions of Iceland with modern comfort. Each meal is made from fresh food right out of the ground. Geothermic pools and wild ponies dot the landscape.

Together, we’ll follow the rhythms of nature over six days. Each day we’ll have time for yoga and natural movement, exploring what it’s like to move as a human. We’ll connect to the more-than-human world through the practice of forest bathing, basking in the healing benefits nature offers. Your experiences will be co-created by Yonnie Fung, natural movement guide and Clare Kelley, certified forest therapy guide.  These inspired guides are holding space to allow the medicine of the forest to create a journey of renewal.

You’ll have the opportunity to learn about foraging, and enjoy it along with fresh food off a certified organic farm. Enjoy all vegetarian meals crafted to nourish your body and spirit. We’ll take a field trip to an abandoned farm and ride in one of Iceland’s cable ferries. In your free time you might enjoy taking a mountain bike or hiking along the beautifully rugged terrain -- you might see some of the wild Icelandic ponies or elves. You’ll have ample time to rest -- perhaps in a hammock in front of a cozy fireplace.

 
 
 

Yonnie and Clare combine forest therapy and natural movement to create a safe environment in which you can explore what it means to be a human connecting to the natural world on your own terms. As dear friends, Yonnie and Clare hold the intention of a retreat space that is warm and inclusive.

 
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 WHAT IS NATURAL MOVEMENT?

Natural movement aims to help you reclaim your evolutionary and biological movement behaviors to improve your quality of life. You’ll build skills to help you move with more freedom and ease, while increasing your mind-body connection and your connection and respect for nature. Set aside the stress of needing to burn calories and feed your FitBit. Natural movement explores the movements of humans across landscape, adding in play and discovery. Natural movements include breathing, walking, running, jumping, balancing, crawling, climbing, carrying, throwing, catching, and more. Movements are scaled and adapted to a person’s fitness level to offer options that work for the body you’re in today.

WHAT IS FOREST BATHING?

Forest bathing, also known as forest therapy, comes from the Japanese practice of shinrin yoku, which translates literally as “bathing in the forest atmosphere”. Unlike a hike or a naturalist talk, forest bathing is an immersion into the sensory connection to nature. Over the course of a walk, you’ll slow down, explore how to move naturally through the landscape, open our senses, and nurture our relationship with ourselves and the world around us -- the more-than-human world. Through a series of guided invitations, you’ll find your own ways of connecting to nature, relaxing into the presence of the sights, smells, sounds, textures, and taste of the Icelandic woods. There’s no rush and no right or wrong way to experience forest therapy. Come as you are and witness the beauty of your own relationship to nature.

↓ Continue for details ↓

 

 
 
 
 
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ACCOMMODATION AND COST

A non-refundable 50% deposit is required to secure your space. Balance is due by August 1, 2019.

The Icelandic Wilderness Center is a living museum. Beds are built to give you the experience of Iceland’s traditions with modern comfort.  As is customary in Iceland, bathrooms are shared. Most people will enjoy bathing in the geothermal pools outside.

Price per person: US$2,350.

See right for what’s included in the price.

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Dates:

Wednesday, August 28 — Monday, September 2 (Labor Day)

(6 days, 5 nights)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

PRICE INCLUDES

  • Accommodations at Iceland Wilderness Center, voted best stay in East Iceland 2018

  • Pick up and drop off at Egilstaddir airport (see below for airport details)

  • Two yoga/movement and forest bathing excursions daily

  • All meals, organic and fresh out of the ground

  • Field trip to Abandoned Farm with Traditional Icelandic Cable Ferry

  • Foraging excursions -- berries, mushrooms, and more

  • Onsite sauna, spa, hot spring, outdoor tub

  • Hammock and fireplace cozy room

  • Mountain bikes in free time

  • Stargazing room to see the Milky Way and (if lucky) the Northern Lights

  • Stunning hiking trails with pristine waterfalls

NOT INCLUDED

  • Airfare (see below for recommended flight options)

  • Transportation between Keflavik and Reykjavik airports (see below for details)

  • Travel insurance (highly recommended) & visa (most people do not need one; details are below)

  • Extra purchases at the cafe

CANCELLATION POLICY

If you must cancel your retreat, the required deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable, unless we can fill your spot with another participant, given sufficient time.

  • Full refund, less deposit, will be given before 90 days notice of retreat start date.

  • Cancellations made within 90 days of your retreat: 50% of the total amount (less deposit) will be refunded.

    Cancellations made within 60 days of your retreat: We apologize, but absolutely no refunds can be given, no exceptions.

↓ Continue for details ↓

 
 

 Sun, snow, rain, wind, sun again, all in the same day.

Come prepared for nature.

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Getting to the Icelandic Wilderness Center from abroad

Scroll down for information on getting to our retreat from abroad, managing airport transfers in Reykjavik, and visa requirements. More details are below this page, after the gallery.

Know your airports:

The nearest airport is Egilsstaðir (EGS). This small airport has several flights per day from the domestic airport in downtown Reykjavik (RKV). Iceland’s international airport is at Keflavik (KEF), about 50 km from Reykjavik.

International guests will need to fly into Keflavik (KEF) then make a ground transfer to downtown Reykjavik (RKV) to catch a connecting flight to Egilsstaðir (EGS).

Flying from Reykjavik to Egilsstaðir:

Air Iceland Connect is the only airline servicing Egilsstaðir. It’s a one hour flight in a Dash-8 turboprop. In August/September, the schedule is here. Best connecting flights for our retreats are:

Reykjavik to Egilsstaðir
Tue 27 & Wed 28 August
Egilsstaðir to Reykjavik
Mon 2 September
0730-0830 Flight # NY326 (Tue)
0955-1055 Flight # NY329
1210-1310 Flight # NY330 (Tue)
1340-1440 Flight # NY331
1900-2000 Flight # NY356 (Tue)
2030-2130 Flight # NY357
0730-0830 Flight # NY326 (Wed)
1535-1635 Flight # NY336 (Wed)
1900-2000 Flight # NY356 (Wed)

Fares vary depending on when you book and what fare type you choose. Be careful to choose a fare type that meets your luggage needs. All fares include 6kg of carry-on.

Help with flight bookings:

We can’t book your flights for you, but we will happily help you find a good connection from your city. Just let us know. More details on flights are listed below.

 

Transit between international and domestic airports at Reykjavik:

Coming from abroad, you will land at Keflavik (KEF). You need to transfer from there to Reykjavik (RKV). There are two main options:

  • Flybus: this bus service allows you to reserve a seat online. Your reservation is guaranteed even if your flight is delayed. Cost is around US$30 one way. There is a Flybus scheduled for every arriving flight, including delayed flights. You can select to disembark at Reykjavik airport or one of many Reykjavik hotels, depending on the timing of your inbound and connecting flights. For the return trip, there are 19 scheduled Flybus each day. Allow 45 minutes for the journey and aim to get to Keflavik airport two hours before your departing flight. The Flybus website has more details.

  • Taxi: a metered taxi can cost upwards of US$150 one way.

Visas to visit Iceland:

US, European and Australian/NZ visitors do not require a visa to vacation in Iceland. All visitors require a current passport with at least six months validity.

Check carefully with Iceland’s Directorate of Immigration and make sure you understand whether you require a visa or not. The following is from the Directorate’s website (no responsibility is taken for any inaccuracy):

No visa is needed for citizens of the United States, EU countries (including the UK), Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico and most Central and South American countries, Israel, and most South East Asian countries. Persons travelling with a Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR or Taiwan passport do not require visas.

People traveling on a People’s Republic of China passport and most African, Middle Eastern (except Israel) and Central Asian passports require a visa unless they already hold a valid Schengen visa.

To apply for a visa in China, check the basic requirements and make your application at the Embassy of Iceland in Beijing, the Danish Consulate in Guangzhou or Shanghai, or the Finnish Consulate in Hong Kong SAR.

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Flying from abroad to Iceland:

Iceland is well-connected to North American and European capitals. Here are some useful connections and links to the airlines which fly into Iceland.

From Europe:

Icelandair has direct flights between Reykjavik and many western European capitals including Amsterdam, Copenhagen (also SAS), Frankfurt (also Lufthansa), London (Gatwick and Heathrow (also BA)), Helsinki (also Finnair), Oslo (also SAS and Norwegian), Paris and Stockholm.

EasyJet has direct flights from Edinburgh, London (Gatwick and Luton) and Manchester.

From Asia:

Beijing, Shanghai & Hong Kong: SAS (Scandinavian) connects to Reykjavik through Copenhagen; Finnair through Helsinki, and Air China through Vienna (with Austrian) (not from Hong Kong).

Sydney etc: From Australian cities, the best option is a cheap fare with China Southern, China Eastern, Xiamen or Qantas via Beijing or Shanghai to get the SAS or Finnair connections (no China visa is needed).

Bangkok: Finnair connects from Bangkok through Helsinki. Thai flies to Copenhagen for the Icelandair or SAS flight to Reykjavik.

From North America:

Delta connects US cities through New York, Minneapolis and Dallas. Delta is generally the cheapest. Air France and KLM fares are codeshares with Delta.

Washington DC: Icelandair has direct flights from Dulles (IAD).

New York: Delta, Icelandair and United have direct flights.

Chicago: Icelandair has direct flights.

San Francisco: Icelandair has direct flights.

Los Angeles: American connects through Dallas (DFW). Delta connects through Minneapolis (MSP).

Toronto: Air Canada and Icelandair have direct flights.

From other regions:

From the Middle East, India, and Africa, major airlines connect to major European cities with onward connections to Iceland.