Nes Writer’s Retreat

 “Retreat To the North”

A Skagaströnd Saga Writer’s Experience

21-30 March 2020

A structured writing retreat + arts/slow tourism experience in the remote north of Iceland.

Photo credit – Alyson Jackson

In this 10-day writing retreat, you will learn from established Icelandic authors and gain an authentic experience of Iceland away from the main tourist routes.

This writing retreat is hosted by the Nes Artist Residency in the village of Skagaströnd, in Iceland’s north-west.  Nes is a well established residency with 11 years experience hosting over 900 artists.

Einar Kárason (author of Devil’s Island) and Björg Árnadóttir (Icelandic non-fiction author and writing teacher) will present seminars and teach masterclasses.

You will learn sagas of the Icelanders, and the storytelling structure of the Hero’s Journey, while experiencing the pristine Arctic natural landscape and rich history of the local region.

As well as workshops and opportunities to share your work, you will have  time for your own writing and a dedicated facilitator Emma Gibson from Nes to support you during your stay in Skagaströnd.

Photo credit – Aaron Palabyab

There will be tourism experiences to inspire your writing. You will have the opportunity to taste Hakarl (fermented shark), learn about the Hidden Folk, meet Icelandic horses, and hear from a fortune teller at the Museum of Prophesies, which is dedicated to the soothsayer Thordis, who founded Skagaströnd in the 10th century.

Depending on weather, the retreat will also include a visit to, the historic turf house at Glaumbær farm, and the Kakalaskali saga trail, which tells the story of Thordur Kakali and the battles during the 13th century, as recorded in the Icelandic stories known as Sturlungar saga.

Photo credit – Alyson Jackson

Your accommodation will be at the Salthús Guesthouse, built in the 1950s for cod salting for the local fishing industry. This historical building is now converted to modern, accessible accommodation for artists, providing views over the township and harbour.

Evening meals will be prepared by international chef and writer,          Susan Herrmann.

You will also have the opportunity to get to know the community, including being hosted for dinner by a local family, where you will gain an authentic experience of the Icelandic way of life.

All communications, presentations and workshops are delivered in English

This retreat is suitable for writers of all types and experience.

Photo credit - Paul Scannell
Photo credit – Paul Scannell


1850€ single. A discounted rate of 2500€ for couples/doubles can be negotiated depending on availability. Immediate full payment secures a 50€ discount or pay a 50% deposit with balance due by 19 February 2020 (non discounted price).

There is the option to extend your stay at Salthús beyond the end of the retreat to continue your writing for an additional fee.

What’s included

  • 9 nights accommodation at Salthús Guesthouse
  • Writing workshops, seminars and exercises
  • Local cultural activities and day trip
  • Pool (and hot tub!) entry
  • Entry to museums during day trip
  • Some meals:
    • Chef prepared evening meals
    • Icelandic style breakfasts and coffee at your accommodation

Not included in the cost

  • Flights
  • Transport to and from Skagaströnd
  • Lunch and other snacks,  etc.
  • Additional activities – for example, at the Museum of Prophesies, fortune readings are available for a fee.

Please advise of your dietary requirements and email us to discuss any accessibility requirements.

Note: Iceland can be expensive, and you may find that certain types of food and conveniences you are used to are not available – this is all part of the experience and we will send you more information to make sure you are prepared for your stay.

Click on the link to read our Terms and Conditions

Find out more and reserve your place by clicking the link below.

Register Now

Questions? Email

Skagaströnd, Iceland