Iceland: Nature’s Treasures
7 Days | Oct 2018-April 2019
Starting At $Custom
See the best-known natural treasures tucked along the rugged coastline of Snæfellsnes Peninsula, famous for its mystical glacier and ties to the ancient Sagas. Each day brings unique encounters with local traditions, such as meeting Viking horses and enjoying homemade ice-cream at a dairy farm. Sample freshly caught seafood, walk among geological wonders of the Golden Circle and take in the magnificence of the world-renowned Blue Lagoon. At day’s end, relax in the Icelandic countryside for optimal viewing of the Northern Lights.
Prices Per Person
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Day 1 – Depart for Iceland – Today, you depart for Iceland on a flight from your airport of choice.
Day 2 – Reykjavik – Arrive in Reykjavik, the capital and largest city of Iceland. You will be met by a professional tour director who will be with you for the entire trip. A motorcoach will then transfer you to your Reykjavik hotel for an overnight stay. Tonight, enjoy a free evening to explore Reykjavik on your own. From a vibrant art and music scene to a treasure trove of world renowned cultural and historical attractions, Reykjavík boasts endless opportunities for fun and adventure.
Day 3 – Reykjavik, Akranes & Borgarnes – After breakfast at your hotel, you will discover first-hand the colorful capital of Reykjavik with a sightseeing tour aboard your motorcoach. Catch the city’s energetic vibe through the visually stunning Harpa Concert Hall and the Parliament on bustling Austurvöllur Square. Enjoy panoramic views from the city’s main landmark, Hallgrimskirkja Church. Uncover a wonderful mix of old and new exploring the Scandinavian charms preserved in the colorful buildings of the old town centre and the modernity of the trendy Old Harbour district.
Next, you travel northwest via an undersea tunnel through Hvalfjörður (Whale Bay) to the friendly town of Akranes. Here you visit the local Museum Centre, which preserves a comprehensive collection of geological and maritime exhibits. Afterwards, climb to the top of a lighthouse to enjoy a spectacular view of the wild coastline. You also make a stop at Deildartunguhver, Europe’s most powerful hot spring. This spring provides heating for most of the area homes and businesses.
Then nourish your thirst for culture at Reykholt, which holds an important role as the home of renowned Icelandic Saga writer and medieval scholar Snorri Sturluson. Next visit a duo of exceptionally beautiful and unique waterfalls at Hraunfoss and Barnafoss. Each waterfall has a mysterious secret to reveal.
This evening scan the skies for the Northern Lights. Due to the location in West Iceland away from light pollution, you will be in a prime position to hunt for the luminescent green light show that Vikings believed were Valkyries riding across the sky. Note: The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon and sightings, therefore, cannot be guaranteed. Continue travel to Borgarnes where you will be staying the next two nights. Dinner is included this evening at a local restaurant. (B,D)
Day 4 – Stykkisholmur & Snæfellsnes Peninsula – After breakfast, you head to the delightful town of Stykkisholmur. Here you’ll embark on an adventurous cruise in Breidafjordur Bay (UNESCO nominee) to encounter thousands of tiny islands and experience “Viking Sushi,” a sampling of sea scallops, urchin and crab drawn onto the boat straight from the pristine Icelandic waters.
Along the rugged coastline of Snæfellsnes Peninsula, you will encounter secluded fishing villages like Grundarfjörður with its landmark Kirkjufell Mountain and surrounding fjord teeming with herring and orca whales, and Hellnar with a year-round population of less than ten residents. The picturesque harbor village of Arnarstapi offers the opportunity to walk among columnar basalt rock formations and cliffs, swarming with colonies of seabirds.
Throughout the day, savor the remote tranquility of Snæfellsjökull National Park, which exhibits an astounding variety of natural landscapes from moss-blanketed lava fields and pebbled beaches to the imposing cliffs and the palpable force of Snæfellsjökull glacier-volcano (last eruption: 250 AD). Returning to your hotel this evening dinner is included. (B,D)
Day 5 – Iceland’s Golden Circle & Hveragerði – Enjoy breakfast at your hotel this morning prior to checking out. Start the day by touring Iceland’s Golden Circle which showcases a trio of celebrated natural attractions, including the dramatic Gullfoss waterfall and the Geysir Hot Springs Geothermal Area, alive with boiling mud pits, steam vents and exploding geysers. Its centerpiece is Þingvellir National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site), where Viking settlers established an annual assembly in AD 930, which has become the world’s oldest ongoing parliament. Þingvellir is also a geological masterpiece, as it marks the visible site of the mid-Atlantic Ridge where the North American and Eurasian continental plates meet.
Stop to enjoy a taste of local flavors at Efstidalur dairy farm, which specializes in homemade skyr, an organic Greek-style yogurt that has been enjoyed as a breakfast staple and dessert treat in Iceland since Viking times.
Next, you visit Hveragerði, the charming gateway to South Iceland set in a highly active geothermal area where pillars of steam rise up from the ground year-round. Hveragerði has the largest concentration of greenhouses in Iceland; residents provide the country with much of its home-grown produce, including exotic papayas and bananas. In the evenings, the lighted greenhouses give the town a distinctive glow. Today’s activities include a visit to a local greenhouse and horse stable.
Then this evening check into to a Hveragerði area hotel for the night. Dinner is included tonight at a local restaurant. (B,D)
Day 6 – Lake Kleifarvatn, Grindavik & Reykjavik – Following breakfast this morning, you will check out of the hotel. Travel along the breath-taking seacoast of Reykjanes Peninsula, visiting Strandarkirkja en route, a small wooden church widely believed to radiate special powers for increased luck and success. Although the church is typical of rural Iceland, it is built right into the coast with amazing views of turbulent ocean waves meeting volcanic rocks and black sands. Look for a quaint set of painted elf houses nestled in the church grounds.
Next, you visit Lake Kleifarvatn, set in fascinating, stark, moon-like surroundings. Near the lake’s southern end lies Krýsuvík, where powerful jets of team escape from deep below the earth’s crust and sulphurous steam rises from numerous geothermal vents. You can see numerous small hot springs, mud pots, boiling pools and other types of geothermal activity. Continue under low mountains along the shoreline to stop by the craggy cliffs rising sheer from the sea. You then stop in the town of Grindavik, with its sizeable fishing fleet, and enjoy time for lunch on your own.
The afternoon features a visit to the world-renowned Blue Lagoon. Set in a black lava field, this geothermal spa is a lagoon filled with warm mineral-rich seawater that provides the ultimate interaction and relaxation with Iceland’s raw nature. Bathe in the lagoon and enjoy a sauna with lagoon views, a cozy steam bath carved into a lava cave, and an energizing geothermal massage waterfall. Be on the lookout for white buckets located throughout the lagoon which contain the famous silica mud. Rub some onto your skin to soften it, an essential part of the Blue Lagoon spa experience.
You then return to Reykjavik for the night. Enjoy another free evening and dinner on your own in downtown Reykjavik. (B)
Day 7 – Departure Day – After breakfast at your hotel this morning you will be transferred to Keflavík International Airport for your return flight home. (B)