Join us for the Iceland Readers Retreat!


At the Iceland Readers Retreat, avid readers gather to listen to small group lectures and talks by renown authors while learning about the rich literary heritage of this Nordic, book-loving nation. Our 2020 event features award-winning writer Adam Gopnik, who will share reflections on his work as well as his own encounters with Iceland. Between intimate discussions, we’ll enjoy bespoke literary-themed tours of the countryside, hear from a panel of Icelandic writers, and discover some of the magnificent cultural artifacts in Reykjavík’s museums. Running concurrently with the popular Iceland Writers Retreat (IWR), participants will have the opportunity to join readings and other programs with IWR faculty, who for 2020 include: Maria Semple, Ariel Levy, Gretchen Rubin, Will Ferguson, Kamila Shamsie, Elnathan John, David Chariandy, Ivana Sajko, Dan Kois, Kristín Helga Gunnarsdóttir, and Patrick Gale.

The perfect place to discover literary inspiration.”

– The Daily Beast

 Literary Tours

Literary-themed Golden Circle Tour

A unique variation on Iceland’s most popular excursion that includes stops at Geyser geothermal fields, Gullfoss waterfall, and the UNESCO-listed Þingvellir National Park (Thingvellir), as well as a visit to Iceland’s ancient seat of learning, Skálholt.


Literary Borgarfjörður

This trip travels west to the Borgarfjörður region, setting of the famous Egil’s Saga, as well as numerous other Icelandic sagas. We’ll circle the picturesque Hvalfjörður “Whale” fjord and visit the cultural centre Reykholt, where chieftain and writer Snorri Sturluson lived in the 13th century. Natural wonders on this tour include Europe’s largest hot spring, Deildartunguhver, and the waterfalls Barnafoss (“Children’s Falls”) and Hraunfossar (“Lava Falls”).

Reykjavik Literary Walking Tour

During the retreat, all participants are also invited to join a literary walking tour of Reykjavik, sponsored by the UNESCO City of Literature.



Museum Tour

We’ll discover some of Iceland’s magnificent cultural treasures on a special tour of one of Reykjavik’s top museums.




 Lectures & Panels

Panel Discussion with Icelandic Authors

Meet some of Iceland’s top authors at a panel discussion sponsored by Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature. The panel will include writers from various genres and introduce participants to Iceland’s vibrant literary scene.


Lecture & Interactive Discussion led by the Featured Author

Our featured author will give a talk about his latest book and the body of his work in general. Discussion to follow. Limited only to IRR participants.


Participate in Select IWR Sessions

In addition, the IRR includes sessions with the Iceland WRITERS Retreat, including:

  • A welcome drink, dinner, and reading with IWR and IRR faculty
  • Evening receptions
  • Pub Night with readings from local authors and live music
  • A closing Question and Answer Panel with IWR and IRR featured author
  • An opportunity to extend with the Relax, Read, and Write program

Advanced Reading

Participants will be provided with a short list of suggested books to read in advance that will be discussed during the event.




Adam Gopnik

Adam Gopnik will be our featured author to lead the 2020 IRR. He taught at the second Iceland Writers Retreat in 2015.
We will announce the names of the Icelandic authors on our author panel later this year.

Adam Gopnik has been writing for The New Yorker since 1986. His books include Paris to the Moon (2000), The King in the Window (2005), Through the Children’s Gate: A Home in New York (2006), Angels and Ages: A Short Book About Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life (2009), The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food (2011), and Winter: Five Windows on the Season (2011). Gopnik has won the National Magazine Award for Essays and for Criticism three times, and also the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting. In 2013, Gopnik was awarded the medal of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters. He lectures widely, and delivered the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Massey Lectures in 2011.


Venue & Booking Information

The Venues

Lectures and panels will take place at Veröld – House of Vigdís. Accommodations are adjacent to Veröld at the Radisson Blu Saga Hotel.

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Why Iceland?

Iceland has a rich literary tradition dating as far back as the nation’s settlement 1100 years ago and offers an unforgettable setting.

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How Do I Book?

Simply visit our registration page to get started.

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Need Help?

Browse our Frequently Asked Questions or contact us via email.

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Iceland Readers Retreat 2020

April 29 – May 3, 2020

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Stack Entry


Per Person

  • 1 Free Entrance
  • Regular Seating
  • Custom Swags
  • Free Wifi
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Student Pass


Bulk Order

  • 20x Free Entrance
  • 20x Regular Seating
  • Custom Swags
  • Free Wifi
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VIP Pass


VIP's only

  • VIP Entrance
  • VIP Seating
  • Custom Swags
  • Free Wifi
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