Iceland In Summer
July 17 – 27, 2020
Price: from $4,607 to $4,894 – Single + $1,190
Includes International Airfare
This tour is designed and organized by Icelandic travel professionals who reside in the United States. The group is led by Gudrun Erla Gisladottir, the renowned quilt designer who was also born and bred in Iceland. Aside from being able to guarantee the true Icelandic flavor, every effort is being made to feature the best and most genuine Icelandic experience, both in the capital City of Reykjavik, as well as in the countryside.
A rare opportunity to join a fun group on a visit to Iceland lead by actual Icelanders. This is a unique country where the word “pristine” has not lost its meaning. From the colorful City of Reykjavik to impressive waterfalls, boiling hot springs, glaciers and volcanic landscapes – friendly Iceland offers some incredible sights.
UNITED STATES – ICELAND
Departures from: Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, Newark, Los Angeles, Toronto, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Dallas Airports for your nonstop/overnight flight to Keflavik Airport via Icelandair, American Airlines or Delta Airlines.
KEFLAVIK – REYKJAVIK – HROARSLAEKUR
Arrive at Keflavik Airport in the early morning. Clear customs then take a short drive to Viking World, a museum that features exhibitions about the times of the Vikings – Breakfast is served at the museum. Depart from the museum for Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, located just 32 miles north from the airport. Once in Reykjavik head directly for Hallgrimskirkja, the tallest and largest church in Iceland. A statue of Leif Eiriksson is aligned directly in front of the church, a gift from the U.S. commemorating the 1,000 anniversary of the Icelandic parliament and a tacit acknowledgement that Leif beat Christopher Columbus to North America by almost 500 years.
Your tour will include the Parliament Building, the National Theater and the main seat of government. Visit the harbor area, where older buildings have been retrofitted as boutiques and restaurants. Depart Reykjavik for the fertile regions of southern Iceland, arrive at Thingborg, the Wool Center, one of the best sources of the genuine Icelandic woolen products. Another short ride takes us to Hella and Hroarslaekur.
Check in at the cozy Hotel Laekur, a refashioned barn. Here you will have breathtaking views of volcano Hekla as well as glacier Eyjafjallajokull. This is our base of operations and exciting excursions for the next 3 days.
THORSMORK NATIONAL PARK – GLACIERS – VOLCANOES – THE WILDS OF ICELAND
Rise and shine-enjoy breakfast before taking an exciting tour to Thorsmork, a hidden valley located between three glaciers. You reach this verdant reserve by crossing lava fields and glacial rivers in a “Monster Truck”. Your experienced driver will keep you safe during this exhilarating drive of a lifetime.
Enroute to Thorsmork you will pass Eyjafjallajokull, the 6th largest glacier in Iceland. Beneath its cap hides the volcano that erupted in 2010 and disrupted air traffic throughout the northern hemisphere. Upon arrival at Basar in Thorsmork you can take an easy hike of the “Ring of Basar” or just relax and enjoy the beautiful birch forest with the awesome views of the highlands and glaciers.
After a buffet lunch proceed further into the valley for a stop at the giant icicle ravines of the glacier Gigjokull. This excursion today serves as a fitting introduction to the “Land of Fire and Ice.”
Return to Hotel Laekur for dinner, and if you wish, the outside hot pot or the sauna.
WATERFALL GULLFOSS – THE HOT SPRINGS AT GEYSIR – THE ICELANDIC HORSE – NJAL’S SAGA TAPESTRY
Breakfast at Hotel Laekur then depart for a full day’s excursion to include some of the major natural attractions in Iceland.
Drive north to “Gullfoss”, a majestic waterfall known as one of the world’s most beautiful gorges. A short drive west takes us next to the spectacular phenomenon the “Geysir Geothermal Area”, where you will see bubbling, spouting, and boiling hot springs. Visit “Geysir”, the first geyser ever mentioned in text – it rarely erupts – but the nearby “Strokkur” keeps the show alive, erupting every 4-8 minutes.
Continue on to Fridheimer Farm, an amazing greenhouse and horse breeding complex. Tour the greenhouses to gain insight into the uses of geothermal heating in Iceland. With tomatoes growing all around you, have a lunch of tomato soup and fresh baked bread. After lunch enjoy a horse show that provides insight into the story of the remarkable Icelandic horse breed. Next, have a “meeting with the horses” in their stables.
The final destination today is Hvolsvollur, a small historical location. The region is called Rangarvellir and is the scene of “Njal’s Saga.”, the masterpiece of the famous Icelandic Sagas. The Njal’s Saga Tapestry is an ongoing project where the goal is to sew Njal’s Saga into tapestry form using the Bayeux stitch, a special type of stitch that was used in the Viking age. Visitors can participate for $10 and receive instructions on how to sew this stitch.
Return to Hotel Laekur and dinner.
SELJALANDSFOSS – SKOGAFOSS – JOKULSARLSON – SKAFTAFELL NATIONAL PARK
Depart after breakfast through south Iceland. First on the agenda is the beautiful Seljalandsfoss waterfall – 130 feet high as it drops over cliffs where the former coastline of Iceland was. Proceed to Skogar and enjoy the view of the next majestic waterfall “Skogafoss” – millions of gallons of glacial water thunder down flowing directly from two separate glaciers.
After a lunch break in Vik I Myrdal, the southernmost village in Iceland, you will continue driving east to the vast Myrdalssandur glacial plain. The largest glacier in Europe is here, “Vatnajokull”, offering spectacular views. Next take a 30 minute amphibian boat excursion on a glacial lagoon. If you are lucky you might spot seals sunning themselves on the floating ice. Overnight in Skaftafell National Park at the Hotel Skaftafell.
SKAFTAFELL NATIONAL PARK – WESTMAN ISLANDS – NATURE WALK OR GLACIAL HIKE
Your hotel is located literally on the doorstep of Skaftafellsjokull Glacier. Spend the morning in this environment enjoying nature, walking or hiking. You can take a 90 minute easy walk with an expert tour guide to the edge of the Skaftafellsjokull. A refreshing and easy task for anyone in decent health. The more adventurous can take a 3 hour glacial hike.
Depart for the short drive to Kirkjubaejarklaustur, a small village of about 160 people. This region has been shaped by catastrophic geological events, including the volcanic eruption in nearby Lakagigar (1783-84) which killed 25% of the Icelandic population. All of this turbulent natural activity has created a stunning landscape.
After lunch proceed to the black sand beach of Reynisfjara, one of the most visited and photographed attractions in the area. Next drive to Landeyjahofn and board the ferry “Herjolfur” for a 35 minute sail to Heimaey, the largest of the Westman Islands. Arrive in Heimaey, your home for the next 2 nights. Dinner at Einsi Kaldi (Einar the Cool One) – the beginning of another great experience.
VESTMANNAEYJAR – WESTMAN ISLANDS
Some say you have not been to Iceland if you have not been to the Westman Islands, an archipelago of 15 islands located off the south coast of Iceland. Start exploring Heimaey by bus or foot. Visit the amazing puffin colony at Storhofdi then proceed to Herjolfsdalur to see the famous elephant rock. Heimaey is called the “Pompeii of the north.” Your tour ends at the “Beluga Whale & Puffin Sanctuary”.
Visit the unique Volcano Museum then lunch at Canton Restaurant. The afternoon is at leisure without a program. Optional horse ride on Icelandic horses at Lyngfell farm.
Early evening visit Brothers Brewery for a fun lecture and beer tasting. Good beer, good cheer, and welcoming atmosphere. Dinner at 900 Grillhus.
REYKJAVIK – FREE DAY
You will cherish a full day in Reykjavik without regimentation to pursue your own interests. Reykjavik is a lively, colorful city with plenty to do to keep you busy. Here is a couple of ideas:
Visit the Whale Museum – Followed by a 3 Hour Whale Watching Tour. Largest whale museum in Europe. Exhibit of 23 life size whales.
Visit the National Museum of Iceland – Excellent museum located in University area giving a comprehensive history of Iceland.
Visit Harpa Concert Hall – The cultural and social center located in the heart of the city.
Reykjavik Hot Dogs – You absolutely must try one! A unique secret recipe that contains pork, beef and lamb.
Reykjavik features many more museums and attractions, such as the National Gallery of Iceland, the Saga Museum and the Settlement Exhibition.
DAY 9 & 10
REYKJAVIK – FREE DAYS
These are your last days in Reykjavik – free without a program. You have many choices, it’s difficult to pick and choose how best to spend your time, but here are some ideas.
When the weather is decent explore downtown Reykjavik starting with a walk around and the pond (Tjornin), one of the cities defining landmarks. Avid bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts find Tjornin teeming with over 40 different species of birds, including terns, ducks, geese and swans. Next visit City Hall where the Tourist Information Center is located to get your bearings and decide how best to spend the day.
If you are a lover of history a visit to the National Gallery oflceland is well worth the $19 admission showcasing the culture of the land of “Fire and Ice”.
The city has an animated nightlife that continues into the wee hours of the morning. With 24 hours of daylight during the summer months it truly is the city that never sleeps.
REYKJAVIK – BLUE LAGOON – RETURN TO UNITED STATES
Have a leisurely breakfast then depart your hotel to Reykjanes peninsula where both the Blue Lagoon and Keflavik airport are located. Spend two hours at the lagoon. You can have lunch and drinks if you like before departing for the airport and your return flight home to the U.S.
The Blue Lagoon is a gorgeous geothermal spa that is one of the most visited places in Iceland. At an average temperature of around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the lagoon’s nutrient rich waters are reported to fix all sorts of skin ailments, from psoriasis to eczema. People travel thousands of miles to bathe in these nutrient rich waters, others simply come to relax. Besides swimming you can have a drink at the in water bar, pamper yourself with a massage or skin treatment, or relax at one of the exclusive lounges.
BOOK YOUR “ICELAND IN SUMMER” TOUR NOW
July 17 – 27, 2020
Price: from $4,607 to $4,894 – Single + $1,190
Includes International Airfare