It’s a surprising, even astonishing land; one of massive glaciers and rumbling volcanoes, bubbling mud holes and powerful waterfalls; hugely abundant bird life and just 340,000 people; and where the sun never sets for six splendid weeks. It’s also perfect for exploring in a small group, as we discover traveling the breadth of the country and getting an up-close view of this natural “wonderland.”
- Pricing from
Discounted Airfare Available!
- Trip Type
- Group Travel Tour, International Land & Rail Voyages
- Departure Dates
Jun 27, 2023 - Jul 7, 2023
9 nights’ accommodations in First Class hotels
July 9-11, 2023
Reykjavik – On Your Own
3 days/2 nights for $495 total price
Single Supplement: $295
Cancellations and Refunds
You will receive a full refund for any cancellations made up to 95 days before departure. If you must cancel your tour, the effective date of cancellation will be upon our receipt of your notification.
Upon our early morning arrival in Iceland’s capital, we meet our tour director, have breakfast at a local restaurant, then enjoy a scenic drive east. We stop to view the geothermal exhibit at the Hellisheidi Power Plant, Iceland’s largest geothermal power plant, sitting on the slopes of Hengill volcano. Mid-afternoon, we reach pastoral Selfoss, and our hotel. Tonight: a briefing on the journey ahead followed by a welcome dinner. B,D
Our first stop today is at picturesque Seljalandsfoss, Iceland’s most visited waterfall, followed by nearby Skogafoss, another popular waterfall, known for its rainbows on sunny days. We continue on to lovely Vik, Iceland’s southernmost town, where we’re free to explore and shop for items of locally produced wool. This afternoon, we walk along the black-sand beach at Reynisfjara, lined with columnar basalt-filled caves. En route to our hotel, we stop by the Solheimajokull “sliding” glacier.
We transfer to Reykjavik this morning for the one-hour flight to Akureyri, Iceland’s “northern capital,” where, upon arrival, we travel to beautiful Lake Myvatn. One of the world’s natural wonders, Lake Myvatn and its environs of bubbling mud flats, lava fields, and lunar-like volcanic craters comprise a stunning national park. We stop to explore the bizarre lava formations at Dimmuborgir, and also see the region’s unique “pseudo craters,” the boiling mud pots at Namaskard, the explosion crater at Viti, and the flat volcano system at Krafla.
Lake Myvatn/Husavik/Vatnajokull National Park
This morning we travel to Husavik, where we embark on a bird-watching cruise to Puffin Island. We may see thousands of seabirds here, including puffins, black guillemots, fulmars, and Arctic terns. This afternoon, we visit Vatnajokull National Park, yet another of Iceland’s natural wonders. Here we see Asbyrgi, a huge canyon enveloped by towering walls; in the middle of the partially wooded canyon sits a hoof-shaped rock called “The Island.” Next, we visit Hljodaklettar Echo Cliffs, where we explore the labyrinth of “echoing rocks” created by the spiral basalt formations of the arches and canyons here. Our last stop: jaw-dropping Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall and Iceland’s “Niagara.”
This morning, we stop at Godafoss, the “waterfall of the gods” named for the carvings of Norse gods discarded here when the country was declared Christian a thousand years ago. Mid-morning, we arrive in Akureyri, where we have free time to explore and for lunch on our own. We travel on to Siglufjordur, where we visit the unique Herring Era Museum then arrive at our hotel in time for dinner there tonight.
We travel towards the southwest corner of Iceland today, passing through more incredible natural scenery. En route, we visit Glaumbaer, featuring exhibits on rural Icelandic life from the 18th and 19th centuries, including authentic turf houses. Later we stop at a Gauksmyri farm to see the famed Icelandic horses first brought here by the Vikings in 800 ce – small, hardy, and with long manes. We also enjoy scenic views at Grabrok Crater, and stop to view the thermal areas of Deildartunguhver and Hraunfossar Falls.
Today we encounter the stunning Snaefellsnes Peninsula. We begin with a walk along the shell sand beach at the abandoned fishing village of Budir, surrounded by a vast lava field. We also explore the caves and bizarre rock formations along the rugged shore at Arnarstapi, site of thousands of nesting cliff birds. After a lunch of a traditional fresh seafood soup at a rustic oceanfront restaurant, we see the haunting remains of abandoned coastal farms at Djupalonssandur.
En route to Reykjavik today, we visit Thingvellir National Park, known both for its historic import and as the place where the fissure between the geological plates of North America and Europe is most evident. It’s also a gem of nature, with canyons, caves, waterfalls, and ponds surrounded by snowcapped mountains. We learn about the historic parliament founded here in 930 ce, and walk along a gorge into the rift valley itself. Then we depart for famed Great Geysir and Gullfoss, Iceland’s immensely popular “golden” waterfall. We continue on to Reykjavik, arriving in time for dinner on our own in this stylish city.
This morning we embark on a tour of the Icelandic capital. Then the remainder of today is at leisure to explore and enjoy Reykjavik as we please; those who wish can join in an optional tour to the Blue Lagoon, a natural geothermal spa which offers a soothing bath in waters rich with silica, sulfur, and other minerals. Tonight, we celebrate our adventure over a farewell dinner.
Depart for U.S.
Today we depart for the airport and our return flights to the U.S.
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