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Iceland Trail Running + Wellness Retreat

Experience Arctic trail running and geothermal springs in the land of fire and ice

 

 

Hotels & Huts | Mountains + Valleys | Glacier Volcanoes | Geothermal Hot Springs | Black Sand Beach | Giant Waterfalls

Explore Southern Iceland and the Highlands in a way that leaves you plenty of time to tune in to what drives you in running and in life. Indulge in a week of things that are sure to feed your soul: travel, adventure, fun, education and great food.

During this fully supported seven-day, six-night women’s trail running retreat, you’ll run each day in a different location and is as inspiring as it is breathtakingly beautiful. Rather than finish this week feeling tired, you’ll come away rejuvenated and refreshed, thanks to Iceland’s incredible wild natural beauty, fresh Arctic air, pristine water and warm hospitality.

You’ll walk its world-famous black sand beach, run within view of its fiery volcanoes and (if the weather permits) see its gleaming glaciers. Part of this retreat is set in the Highlands, where you stay in a private lodge at the Volcano Huts, nestled deep in a glacier-carved river valley. And finally, cap your week in Iceland with a luxurious soak at the world-famous Blue Lagoon geothermal hot springs, whose mineral-rich waters will soothe your muscles and joints.

Become a durable, strong, motivated runner using these tools and techniques that will keep you healthy and injury free. Immerse yourself in the powerful healing energy of this vibrant, wild landscape as you run scenic trails at a pace that is playful, relaxed and social.

Participant Photos + Testimonials

Most Incredible Trail Running

“Hopefully, we all have a few of those really big life experiences that we look back on and say ‘that was one of the best things I’ve done.’ This retreat is one of them! I am an experienced trail runner and can say this is some of the most incredible running I have ever done.”
–Amanda S., Golden CO

Luxurious To Run Every Day

“The retreat was epic! The scenery, comradery, and beautiful trails exceeded my (very high) expectations. The beautiful weather certainly helped but I think that the spirit of the retreat–including that of Elinor, our amazing guides, and my fellow retreaters–was what made it so memorable and meaningful. It felt luxurious to be able to run every day, eat delicious meals, and have plenty of time for recovery and fun. It was a true “retreat” for me, an experience that has been imprinted on my soul (and soles!).”

–Leah M, Chandler, NC

Built my Running Confidence

“I can’t imagine running in a more beautiful place. The trails were simply fantastic, as were the guides and the group was really fun to be with. The retreat build my confidence about my running. It was the best trip I can remember.”
–Ingrid J, Vermont

Jaw-Dropping Scenery

“We ran through jaw-dropping scenery on terrain ranging from spongy tundra to technical trail. We saw everything from beautiful forests to scenic vistas. And since we had the rare opportunity to run with local guides, we not only learned a little of the culture, we could split into groups so we could be as challenged or relaxed as we’d like. What a great way to run in a unique location, with amazing women!”
–Amanda S., Golden, CO

Most Magical Trip

“I’m back home from the most magical trip to Iceland ever. This trip was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience based on the company (Run Wild Retreats + Wellness) and the weather. So grateful for the ability to travel and trail run, but also for my home, dogs, and family that I get to return to. So inspired to keep running and refreshed and ready to tackle the second half of the second training cycle!”
–Lauren N, San Jose CA

Impactful Experience

“Bravo, Elinor and Run Wild Retreats for hosting a really excellent retreat! I thoroughly enjoyed myself, loved the spectacular scenery, the people and food; and gained more confidence in my abilities as a runner. Makes me want to be better because it was such an impactful experience.”

–Isabella F.

Nothing But Spectacular

“If any of you women have wanted to go on a trail running retreat, Run Wild Retreats + Wellness has been nothing but spectacular. Well worth the money and time! Not only will you experience the beauty of a completely different landscape, eat local gourmet food, and run miles and miles, you will also make lasting friendships with some amazing women around the world.”

–Wasatch Sole Sisters, Salt Lake City, UT

I Remember Why I Love to Run

“I did my first run today since coming home from the retreat. I tried to be very mindful and counted my breathing… I paid attention to my posture and breathing. The result was a run that felt good. I felt lighter on my feet and was even smiling. And I ran significantly faster than any runs before I went on the retreat, when I’d still believed the negative voice in my head. Today I was able to keep that voice in check! Thank you for everything and the support at the retreat. I remembered why I love to run and that it truly makes me happy!”

Krista B., Renton, WA

Rekindled My Joy in Running and Life

“My trail running retreat in Iceland was one of the most powerful and memorable experiences of my life. Thank you Charlotte and Elinor for helping me rekindle my joy not only in running but also in life! And for helping me remove some of the self-inflicted pressure!”

–Judy B.

Now My Runs Feel Effortless

“Since the retreat, my runs are full of happiness and, dare I say, feel effortless with my adjustments in form and mental approach! I hope I can remember this feeling forever. I’ve never used a hashtag before… This trip was worthy of my first! #runwildretreats”

–Sarah M.

Just the Right Mix of Everything

“The Iceland Trail Running + Wellness Retreat is an absolutely amazing, transformative experience. You get to meet incredible women and really find the joy in trail running. You’re truly able to disconnect and immerse yourself in mindful running. The itinerary is thoughtfully curated to progress your running form, relax and connect. Just the right mix of everything!”

Inga M. Chicago, IL

Immersive and Beautiful

“My favorite part of the retreat was only having to focus on running, eating, playing, and sleeping for a whole week and getting to do that in several beautiful locations. It was so immersive that I forgot about my life and stresses outside of the retreat.”

Maria O., Oxford, UK

Equipped to Run With Ease

“In the natural running form clinics, we learned about alignment and forward momentum during our runs. The methodology makes running easier for me, more effortless and is helping to address many of the challenges around feeling tired and not energized about running, which I’d felt before the retreat. Now, I approach each run thankful to just be out no matter the distance or pace. I use my form to breathe easier and staying in alignment just makes running easier on my body.”

Katie M., Houston, TX

Unforgettable

“Since I’ve been home, I’ve noticed my runs are full of happiness and….dare I say….feel effortless with my adjustments in form and mental approach. I hope I can remember this feeling forever.

I also want to say to my newest tribe of running sisters – this experience with you was unforgettable, made better by each and every one of you. You helped me realize I love running for the ezercise, views, experience, and stress relief, but more importantly for the companionship! I’m glad you are in my life and look forward to our next shared adventure. Love you ladies!”

Barb H., Rapid City, SD

7-Day, 6-Night Retreat Itinerary

Day 1   |   Reykjavik

When you arrive at Reykjavik International Airport, catch a Flybus to our downtown hotel (check in time is 3 p.m.), the Hotel Midgardur by Center Hotels. (Please note that Iceland is only admitting fully vaccinated travelers at this time. You must bring your vaccination card with you as proof of vaccination.) At 5 p.m., meet your retreat leader for the official Retreat Opening and Meet + Greet. From there, we’ll walk to a nearby restaurant for dinner in downtown Reykjavik.
Time on trail: no run today

Day 2   |   Reynisfjara: Black Sand Beach

After breakfast, we’ll start our morning run that will take us past some of Reykjavik’s most iconic landmarks, including the Hallgrimskirkja cathedral, on our way the Perlan (“The Pearl), a museum perched on a small hill surrounded by woodlands. We’ll have our first Natural Running Form clinic on the lawn outside the Perlan, then continue our run through the forest, along an ocean inlet, then loop our way back to our hotel. After freshening up and check out of our room, we’ll enjoy a light lunch before embarking on a three-hour drive to the southern coastal village of Vík í Mýrdal. Along the way, we’ll stop at Reynisfjara, known as the world’s most beautiful black-sand beach, where we’ll see the iconic Reynisdrangar and columnar basalt rock formations. From there it’s a short drive to the über-modern Icelandair Hotel in Vík, where we’ll have a relaxing dinner.
Time on trail: 2 – 2.5 hours (including breaks) on mostly city streets and dirt pathways

Day 3 Vik black sand beach

Day 3   |  Vík í Mýrdal

After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll meet our guides for today’s spectacular trail run along the bluff overlooking Vik’s black-sand beach. At today’s mindful running form clinic, your retreat leader will offer some valuable tips on pacing that will help make the most of today’s run. Today’s run begins in Vik and then head up to the top of a plateau overlooking Reynisfjara. If the weather is clear, we’ll get spectacular views of Dyrhólaey peninsula to the west and glacier-covered volcanoes to the north. Our looping route (with a short and longer option), eventually takes us all the way back to our hotel in Vik, where we’ll have a casual lunch followed by some free time. This evening is dinner at Sudurvik, a cozy, traditional restaurant situated in an old house serving their own family recipes. 
Time on trail: 2.5 – 3.5 hours (including breaks) depending on the options you choose

Day 4  |   Þórsmörk

 After breakfast, we check out of our hotel and begin the two-hour drive to drive Þórsmörk, stopping at the famous Seljalandsfoss, the southern coast’s most photographed waterfall. We’ll have time to walk the loop trail that passes behind the waterfall, where you’ll experience up close it’s sheer power and scale. Then we’ll continue our drive into  Þórsmörk Nature Reserve, a green oasis surrounded by (very active) glacier-covered volcanoes. Our driver will drop us on the valley’s south side, where we’ll start our run in the Krossa river valley bottom before doing a short, hilly loop run before crossing the Krossa river and finishing at the Volcano Huts. Upon arrival, we’ll enjoy a hot soup lunch in the main lodge before settling in to our group’s private mountain hut. Enjoy a couple of free hours to shower, relax and enjoy this beautiful place.
For the next two nights, we’re staying in a mountain hut that sleep all members of our group in two dormitory-style rooms. The hut has a bathroom, running water and small kitchen, with hot showers located in a separate building. 
Time on trail: 2 – 3 hours (including breaks) on well-worn dirt trails that include some steep hiking sections and short area that are exposed to steep slopes and cliffs. 

Day 5  |  More in the Land of Thor

After making breakfast in the hut, we do some pre-run warm-up exercises before beginning an adventurous trail run right from our the Volcano Huts in Þórsmörk (“The Land of Thor”). Today’s run is on the Tindfjöll Circle, which begins with a gentle ascent through a native birch-tree forest, then above treeline. After passing the Trollakirja (“Troll Church”), we reach the Tindafjöll Plateau, from which we’ll enjoy amazing views of Myrdalsjökull glacier. We make a thrilling descent along Stangarhals Ridge to the Krossa river bed, and enjoy an easy run back to the Volcano Huts. Or, if you’re up for more, add on a few more miles to the top of Valahnúkur, a 1500-foot high hill overlooking the valley. We’ll have lunch in our hut followed by some free time to go for a hike, take a nap or soak in the on-site springs. Dinner is a traditional Icelandic BBQ featuring fresh-caught, local seafood prepared by our guides.
Time on trail: 3 – 4.5 hours (including breaks) on well-worn dirt paths that at times includes exposure to steep side slopes, narrow ridges and scree (loose rock). 

Day 6   |   Goðaland

After making breakfast and packing up our belongings in the hut, we begin our most rewarding run yet. We’ll head out-and-back along the popular Fimmvörðuháls trail that passes between two of Iceland’s most famous glaciers. Opt for the short-and-sweet option of this run that still gives you all the views (weather permitting), or if you’re feeling adventurous, traverse the tricky Kattahryggur or “Cat’s Spine” trail that takes you way up high to a plateau with a fantastic views over the surrounding river valleys (and–if we’re lucky– the Merkurjökull and Eyjafjalljokull glaciers). After retracing our route back down to the Krossa River Valley, we’ll rendez-vous with our driver for a BBQ lunch at Basar Huts before departing for the drive back to the capitol city of Reykjavik. After checking into our hotel in the heart of downtown, we head out for dinner at one of Reykjavik’s best restaurants.
Time on trail: 2 – 3.5 hours (including breaks) on an out-and-back route that includes lot of uphill on the way out and lots of (really fun to run!) downhill on the way back.

Day 7   |   The Blue Lagoon

We’ll get an early start to our final day of the retreat with a relaxed, pre-breakfast run past the famous Harpa opera house and along the waterfront for about 30 minutes. After breakfast, we’ll depart for The Blue Lagoon, a natural geothermal hot springs of milky-blue, mineral-rich waters surrounded by stark, black lava fields. After our luxurious soak and silica- and algae-mud mask treatments, we’ll have lunch in the Blue Lagoon’s fine dining room. Then it’s time for farewells and transportation either to the airport or back to downtown Reykjavik. The drop off at the Keflavik Airport is 2 p.m. Allow at least 3 hours for check in before your flight home.
Time on trail: 30 minutes on city streets and paved waterfront path

The total run distance for this retreat will be between approximately 38 and 45 miles. Each day’s run in this itinerary is represented by time spent on the trail rather than miles run because the mileage covered will depend largely on your run pace. Faster runners will cover more mileage than slower runners on some days. These run times include breaks to enjoy the views, take photos, eat and drink. The precise route and trails run may change due to changes to trail routes, weather conditions, guide recommendations and other safety considerations.

Note that trail running in Iceland can be challenging at times. Your retreat leader will provide mindful running tips and techniques for managing your pace and navigating the uneven terrain. 

Start Planning Your Retreat

Iceland Trail Running + Wellness Retreat

• Two nights’ shared accommodation in a 3-star hotel in downtown Reykjavik (double occupancy)
• Two nights’ accommodation at the 3-star Hotel Vik (double occupancy)
• Two nights accommodation in the Volcano Huts of Húsadalur Valley (dorm-style sleeping in a mountain cabin for our group).
• Daily breakfasts, lunches and dinners
• Daily guided runs with professional Icelandic guides
• Private ground transportation during the retreat
• Dedicated Retreat Leader
• Natural Running Form Clinics
• Trail snacks/energy food
• Blue Lagoon Geothermal Hot Springs Comfort Package
• Run Wild Retreats gift bag
• Transportation from the Blue Lagoon to Keflavik International Airport on the last day (arrive at 2 p.m.)

⚠️ Proof of Covid-19 vaccination required to enter Iceland

Depsit: $900

Balance Payment Deadline: 120 days before retreat begins

Max Group Size: 16 women

Shared Room Package (per person): $5,100

*Shared room packages have two or three beds. Solo travelers may choose this option and will be paired with another retreat participant.

If traveling with a friend, you may list your friend as your preferred roommate on your Retreat Participant Intake Form.

Single occupancy rooms aren’t available for this retreat.

 

This retreat is rated Level III. This means it’s suitable for you if:

  • You’re comfortable running six days in a row. Our shortest run is 1 hour, but most are between 3 to 4 hours (including hiking sections, water breaks and photo ops).
  • You have some experience running on trails and have the fitness to run at least 9 miles on the road.
  • You’re OK with running/hiking on trails with loose dirt, rocks, mud, and wading through streams.
  • You’re OK with getting your shoes wet in small streams.
  • You’re comfortable on high and exposed, and at times narrow, trails.
  • You can run or hike steep uphill and downhill trail sections for up to a half-mile in distance
  • You’re game for running in the rain! (Don’t worry about what to wear; we provide you with a comprehensive packing list).
  • You have (or are willing to acquire before the retreat) trail running shoes.

Learn more about how we manage run pacing here: https://runwildretreats.com/about-the-run-wild-retreat-experience/levels/

About the Run Distances

The total run distance for this retreat will be between approximately 38 and 45 miles. Each day’s run in this itinerary is represented by time spent on the trail rather than miles run because the mileage covered will depend largely on your run pace. Faster runners will cover more mileage than slower runners on some days. These run times include breaks to enjoy the views, take photos, eat and drink. The precise route and trails run may change due to changes to trail routes, weather conditions, guide recommendations and other safety considerations.

Note that trail running in Iceland can be challenging at times. Your retreat leader will provide mindful running tips and techniques for managing your pace and navigating the uneven terrain.