Iceland Country Life Small Group Tour
ESCORTED - 9 GUARANTEED DEPARTURES
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Reykjavik | Borgarnes | Reykholt | Skagafjörður | Eyjafjördur | Akureyri | Husavik | Lake Mývatn | Hallormsstaður | Djúpivogur | Höfn | Skaftafell | Hveragerdi | Reykjavik
Tour begins in Reykjavik on Saturday
Guaranteed Departures: June 01 - September 21, 2019
This 20-person max small group tour of Iceland shows you the highlights of Icelandic nature, geological wonders, and historical and cultural sites: the ideal tour for those who want to experience the whole variety of Iceland in only nine days. We introduce you to life in the countryside where you learn about the Icelandic horse, experience fish angling, visit a folk museum with turf houses, and explore the natural habitat of whales on a whale watching tour – right below the Arctic Circle!
Bathe in a pool of geothermal water rich in minerals and silica at the Mývatn Nature Baths, visit two of Iceland's three national parks, and take a leisurely walk for an hour or two nearly every day in the beautiful countryside throughout the tour. Join us!
Day 01: Arrive Reykjavík
You arrive in Iceland today, where a scheduled Flybus shuttle brings you from Keflavík International Airport to Reykjavík. Check in to your 3-star hotel and spend your first night in Iceland; the afternoon and evening are free to explore the city on your own.
Overnight in Reykjavik; dinner is on your own tonight.
Day 02: Reykjavik - Borgarnes - Grábrók Volcano Hike - Reykholt
After breakfast and a short Reykjavík city tour this morning, we head north from Iceland's capital to West Iceland. The settlement center in Borgarnes introduces us to the Icelandic sagas where we learn about their impact on Iceland through the ages. The afternoon is filled with fascinating natural spots. A short 40-minute round-trip hike takes us to the rim of Grábrók volcano crater, formed about 3400 years ago. For anyone interested in geology, this is a must-see. The crater is in the middle of a vast lava field and from the top, you have superb views of the beautiful landscape.
We’ll also stop at the nearby Deildartunguhver, one of the most voluminous hot springs in Europe. The water that flows here is boiling and sizzling. Soon after we explore Hraunfossar, the unique waterfall that drains from under vast lava fields into a glacial river. A 10-minute walk takes us to Barnafoss, ‘the Children's Falls’, with strange rock formations carved by the river Hvítá. Enjoy Icelandic history at the cultural site in Reykholt, which was the home of the 13th-century writer, scholar, and chieftain Snorri Sturluson, who wrote many sagas. We’ll see Snorri's pool, one of Iceland's most important cultural and archaeological sites. Dinner and overnight is in West Iceland.
Day 03: Reykholt - Skagafjörður - Eyjafjörður - Akureyri - Húsavík
After breakfast today, a long drive takes us over mountain passes, through lava fields, green pastures, fertile farmlands and along fjord landscapes to North Iceland. We pass Skagafjörður, known as the ‘valley of horses’. We arrive in north Iceland in the early afternoon and go whale watching and sea angling for 2-3 hours at Eyjafjörður, Iceland's longest fjord, right below the Arctic Circle. The most common species seen on the tour are humpback and minke whales, harbor porpoises, and dolphins. The success rate to spot whales is about 98%! The tour also includes about 30 minutes of sea angling.
Finish out the afternoon in Akureyri—Iceland's second-largest city and the ‘Capital of the North’—before we reach the picturesque town of Húsavík in Northeast Iceland where we stay for the next two nights.
Dinner and overnight.
Day 04: Húsavík - Goðafoss - Lake Mývatn - Dimmuborgir - Mývatn Nature Baths - Húsavík
The day begins with breakfast and a visit to Goðafoss – ‘the Waterfall of the Gods’ – one of the country's most spectacular waterfalls and a prominent spot in Iceland's history. We tour the Lake Mývatn area, considered as one of the most fertile regions in the world so close to the Arctic Circle and also known for its abundant bird life and amazing volcanic lava landscapes. The lake's unique features are shaped by nature - strange lava formations, any kind of volcanic craters, beautiful bays filled with thousands of birds and ducks.
We stroll through the mysterious lava field of Dimmuborgir, look at pseudocraters and see the tephra cone Hverfjall. Our last stop is the Mývatn Nature Baths, where we soak in 96.8-104°F warm geothermal water, which contains a lot of minerals, is alkaline, and is well-suited for a relaxing and rejuvenating bath.
Dinner and overnight in Húsavík.
Day 05: Húsavík - Námaskarð - Krafla - Dettifoss - Möðrudalur - Fljótsdalshérað - Hallormsstaður
We start the day with breakfast, and then by exploring the geothermal area of Námaskarð with hot springs, fumaroles and bubbling mud pools. At Krafla we see the impacts of volcanic activity, and you can smell the sulphur. Víti is a circular explosion crater filled with blue water which boiled for 100 years – until the early 19th century – and is surrounded by volcanic landscape and colorful mountains. The name Víti means ‘Hell’, and the area is quite surreal. The water, colorful mountains, and the steam hissing out of vents create an eerie atmosphere. We continue our journey to the 44-meter-high Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall, located in the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park. The round-trip walk takes about an hour.
From there we head through the uninhabited highlands to East Iceland. Along the way, we stop at Möðrudalur, an all-year residence at the highest altitude in Iceland (469m above sea level). In the summertime they run a service center, which is the perfect place to enjoy the view of Herðubreið, the queen of the Icelandic mountains. We visit the church at the farm, built by hand in 1949 by the former farmer in memory of his late wife. We continue through a fascinating barren landscape and through a long valley called Jökuldalur.
In the evening we reach the fertile region of Fljótsdalshérað with its narrow glacial lake, Lögurinn. Keep your eyes open for the giant "Lake-Worm"! Dinner and overnight in East Iceland.
Day 06: Hallormsstaður - East Fjords - Djúpivogur - Höfn - Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon - Skaftafell
The Icelandic ring road takes us toward the southeast. It's a day to admire green valleys, high mountains, dramatic fjord landscape and its tiny fishing villages at the end of twisty roads in the East Fjords. We stop at the charming village of Djúpivogur. Soon we see Vatnajökull - Europe's biggest glacier that is visible all over Southeast Iceland.
Past the town of Höfn, we stop for a boat ride among the floating icebergs on the Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon, considered one of the highlights on tour around Iceland. Huge pieces of ice calve from the glacier and end up floating in the lake and out to sea. We round out our journey today by walking along the black sands of the so-called Diamond beach.
Dinner and overnight is spent near Skaftafell in the southern part of Vatnajökull National Park.
Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon
Day 07: Skaftafell - Vatnajökull National Park - Eldhraun - Reynisfjara - Skógar Folk Museum - Skógafoss Waterfall - Seljalandsfoss Waterfall - Hveragerði
We explore Vatnajökull National Park which covers about 14 % of Iceland, making it Europe's second-largest national park in terms of area after Yugyd Va in Russia. The park offers amazing contrasts in landscape with glaciers, moors, mountains, birch forests, glacial rivers, brooks and sandy outwash plains. We explore the region of Skaftafell that is nestled below Iceland's highest peak and the second-biggest stratovolcano in Europe, the 2,110-meter high Hvannadalshnjúkur.
We walk close to one of the many glacial tongues in the area. We’ll cross a sandy desert and drive along the south coast, traveling between the sea, rugged mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls. We see the now moss-covered Eldhraun (meaning ‘fire lava’), an enormous and incredibly beautiful lava field which was created by the year-long Laki eruption in 1783. This eruption was devastating for Iceland. The years that followed are referred to the "misty times", due to the volcanic ash lingering for a long time in the air.
We continue on to the world-famous Reynisfjara shore near the village Vík, which is widely regarded as the most impressive black sand and pebble beach in Iceland and features an amazing cliff of regular basalt columns resembling a rocky step pyramid. The area also has abundant birdlife, including puffins, fulmars, and guillemots.
Next, Iceland's past comes alive at the Skógar folk museum with its turf houses. Afterward is the 62-meter high Skógafoss Waterfall, often seen harboring a rainbow. We continue by traveling along the famous Eyjafjallajökull glacier and volcano and visiting the narrow, 65-meter high Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, where you’ll find a trail that leads behind the water curtain. Be prepared to get wet!
We continue our journey through the biggest agricultural area of Iceland to our overnight location in Hveragerði, South Iceland.
Day 08: Hveragerði - Friðheimar Farm - Gullfoss - Geysir Hotsprings - Þingvellir National Park - Reykjavik
After breakfast this morning, we experience some of Iceland’s classics starting at Friðheimar farm, where we meet the most prized four-footed player in Iceland's history: the horse. During an educational and entertaining horse show, we are introduced with a professional but also personal display to both the gaits and unique qualities of the Icelandic horse. This peculiar breed has adapted to Iceland's landscape in a way that has made it a full partner in farm and city life! You’ll also learn about greenhouse agriculture.
We follow up with Iceland’s famous Golden Circle sights. Gullfoss, the beautiful double ‘Golden Falls’, tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá River and attracts tourists and travelers all year round. Next stop is the active geothermal area of Geysir, where we can see Strokkur, ‘the churn’, spout up to 25 meters (70 feet) every five to ten minutes. We continue to the ancient Viking Parliament area of Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and an area of exceptional geological and historical interest. See with your own eyes the rift dividing the continental plates of America and Eurasia.
Afterward, we travel back to Reykjavík, Iceland's capital. Dinner and your last night in Iceland is at your 3-star hotel.
Day 09: Depart Reykjavik
This morning after a final breakfast, the Flybus airport shuttle picks you up at your hotel and takes you to Keflavik Airport for your departure back home.
- Arrival & departure airport transfer by Flybus (no guide)
- Fully escorted 7-day coach tour with an English speaking guide
- 8 nights’ accommodation in 3-star hotel (Reykjavik) and country cabins/hotels including (8) breakfasts and (6) 3-course dinners
- Entrance to two national parks (Vatnajökull National Park, Þingvellir National Park)
- Whale watching & sea angling tour (weather permitting)
- Boat trip on Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon
- Icelandic horse show
- Entrance fee and towel to Mývatn Nature Baths
- Admission to Icelandic settlement center
- Entrance fee to Skógar Folk Museum
NOTE: Prices do not include international airfare, extra beverages, extra items, travel insurance, or any services/items not listed in the program above. The first night in Reykjavik dinner is on your own: fine dining and a la carte dining are both available in Iceland's capital. For provided meals stated in the itinerary above, please let us know about any dietary requests or allergies at the moment of booking.
WEATHER NOTE: Several excursions above are dependent on weather conditions. Please note that these may be changed on site if the weather is unpredictable. On September departures there is the potential to see the Northern Lights.
2019 STARTING PRICES | GUARANTEED DEPARTURES
Departure Dates and Information
| =Available =Closed =On Request
Tour dates & availability per 11/16/2018. All departures are guaranteed and in USD. Tour space is not guaranteed until booked and confirmed. All tours are guided in English.
Transfer add-ons available. Please contact us for transfer options.
|Tour Type:||Small Group Tour / Escorted Tour|
|Cities Visited:||Reykjavik - Borgarnes - Reykholt - Skagafjörður - Eyjafjördur - Akureyri - Husavik - Lake Mývatn - Hallormsstaður - Djúpivogur - Höfn - Skaftafell - Hveragerdi|
|Departures:||June - July - August - September|