PACKAGE 1: 8D/7N GUIDED ICELAND CIRCLE USD 2,521+ per person
- January to December 2018 (Every Tuesdays and Fridays)
- 7 nights hotel accommodation with daily breakfast
- Roundtrip airport transfers
- Visit to natural history & seal museum in Hvammstangi
- Visit to Víðimýri turf church
- Entrance with towel at Mývatn Nature Baths
- Admission to Petra’s Stone and Mineral Collection in the East Fjords
- Multimedia presentation at Eyjafjallajökull Volcano Information Center (or movie at Lava Center in Hvolsvöllur, after April 2018)
- Visit to Icelandic horse stables & geothermal greenhouse
- Use of snow & ice gripper spikes and a flashlight for winter departures
- English-speaking guide
- International Airfare with taxes
- Travel Insurance
- Visa fees
- Other meals
- Nature Fees
- Porterage fee, personal expenses and other services not mentioned.
DAY 1 WELCOME TO ICELAND
- Individual transfer by Flybus shuttle bus from Keflavik Airport to Icelandair Hotel Natura in Reykjavík or similar, where you will spend the night. We will provide ideas how to explore Iceland’s capital on your own.
DAY 2 VOLCANO CRATER, SEALS, FJORDS & MOUNTAINS (B)
- At 09:00, meet our tour guide and depart from Icelandair Hotel Natura. We travel west, along the scenic Hvalfjörður fjord and the town of Borgarnes. A 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 a superb view of the beautiful landscape. In the afternoon, visit a natural history & seal museum in a small fishing village in Northwest Iceland and stroll around the local harbor. Further north, we stop at the turf church of Víðimýri, which has been extensively restored to its original form and is widely considered one of the purest and most beautiful examples of traditional Icelandic architecture. We continue along the scenic fjord landscape and over several mountain passes until we reach Akureyri, the capital of North Iceland. The overnight location is Icelandair Hotel Akureyri or similar.
DAY 3 THE CAPITAL OF NORTH ICELAND, LAKE MÝVATN & GEOTHERMAL BATHS (B)
- In the morning, we explore Akureyri, a charming town of 17000 inhabitants, visit the botanical garden and enjoy the panoramic view over Eyjafjörður fjord. In the afternoon, we travel to a prominent spot in Iceland’s history, Goðafoss, the waterfalls of the Gods. We continue to Lake Mývatn which is known for its geological wonders and active bird life during summer. 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 stop at the bizarre lava formations at Kálfaströnd followed by a walk around the many pseudocraters. We stroll through the mysterious lava field of Dimmuborgir, see the tephra cone Hverfjall, and end an exciting day with a relaxing soak at Mývatn Nature Baths that contains a unique blend of minerals, silicates, and geothermal microogranisms. The warm, soothing waters benefit both skin and spirit alike. The overnight location is either at Sel-Hotel Mývatn or a hotel in the Húsavík area.
DAY 4 LAVA LABYRINTH, HOT SPRINGS & TRAVEL EAST (B)
- In the morning, we hike in a lava labyrinth at Dimmuborgir “the dark castles,” hoping to get a glimpse of the trolls who are said to live there. After an optional lunch, we visit the hot spring area of Námaskarð with bubbling mud pools and steaming solfataras. We head through the uninhabited highlands and moon-like surrounding to East Iceland. With some luck, we might spot an Arctic Fox or see a reindeer. From June to August, the tour includes a detour to Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall in the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park. The overnight location is either at Icelandair Hotel Herað or Álfheimar Guesthouse in Borgarfjörður – Eystri.
DAY 5 FJORDS, GLACIER, AND ICE
- It’s a day to admire the dramatic fjord landscape and its tiny fishing villages at the end of twisty roads in the East Fjords and on the route we visit Petra’s impressive stone and mineral collection. In the afternoon, we see Vatnajökull – Europe’s biggest glacier that is visible all over Southeast Iceland. Past the town of Höfn, we stop at Jökulsárlón, a glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs, and we explore the extraordinary site and might see seals swimming in arctic waters. You can walk on the black sandy beach, where often large icebergs get stranded. Depending on the season, optional boat trips are available. We travel along the southern part of glacier Vatnajökull and spend some time at Europe’s second largest national park, which has Iceland’s highest mountains, an alpine environment, and Europe’s largest glacier. The overnight location is either at Icelandair Hotel Kirkjubæjarklaustur or Hotel Höfn.
DAY 6 SOUTH COAST (B)
- A beautiful drive with many natural wonders await us today as we head across the Eldhraun lava field, cross the sandy desert of the south coast, overlooked by rugged cliffs, glaciers, and waterfalls. The world-famous Reynisfjara shore, near the village Vík, 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. Out in the sea are the spectacularly shaped basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar. In the small village of Skógar, there is the Skógafoss waterfall which is 62 meters high and is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. Further west, we stop at the Eyjafjallajökull Information Center and learn about living next to a glacier and an active volcano. We continue to the 65-meter high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall which plunges over the mountain. There is an interesting trail that goes behind the fall – if you are prepared to get wet! The overnight location is either at Icelandair Hotel Flúðir or Hotel Eyjafjallajökull or Hotel Fljótshlíð.
DAY 7 THE SOUTH COAST & REYKJAVÍK (B)
- We explore classics today as we travel the route of the Golden Circle sights. We start the day at Friðheimar, where you will learn about the Icelandic horse, its unique qualities, and history and visit a geothermal greenhouse. Later on, we see steam from the Geysir geothermal fields as we arrive. There is a variety of hot springs and bubbling pools. The original geyser is now dormant but has been replaced by Strokkur, “the Churn,” which erupts at 5-10 minute intervals. We continue to Gullfoss, “the golden falls,” which is a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river and attracts travellers all-year round. We venture inland to Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and an area of exceptional geological and historical interest. the Þingvellir area is part of a fissure zone running through Iceland, situated on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The faults and fissures make evident the rifting of the earth’s crust. As we return to Reykjavík, we take you for a short city tour to show highlights of the world’s northernmost capital. Overnight is Icelandair Hotel Natura or similar.
DAY 8 DEPART ICELAND (B)
- Individual transfer by Flybus airport shuttle to Keflavik Airport.