Iceland's Wild Wonders

Destination: Iceland

| Activities: Hiking, Horseback Riding, and Culture

Iceland's Wild Wonders is a visit to the land of fire and ice and so much more! As one of the most geologically active areas on earth, this small country has big sights to see. With super friendly locals, jaw-dropping scenery, and hot springs galore, a trip to Iceland is always a delight. Our eight days will be packed: we'll tour Reykjavik, walk amongst glaciers, ride Icelandic ponies, feast on Icelandic specialties, and see evidence of Iceland's geothermal activity in all its many forms, from geysers to volcanoes. We will spend time in both the wonderful capital of Reykjavik as well as many days in the countryside, so we get the best of both worlds with this trip!

Highlights

  • Exploring Iceland's stunning landscape, including volcanoes, waterfalls, black sand beaches, and deep fjords
  • Experiencing almost constant daylight as we are right below the arctic circle at midsummer
  • Visiting two unique hot springs lagoons - Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon
  • Staying in small towns whose fishing heritage goes back hundreds of years
  • Sailing through the unique landscape of a Glacial Lagoon

Departures and Prices

June 19 to June 26, 2023
$5595.00 - Available
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Inclusions

  • A local, English speaking guide and an AGC guide (depending on group size)
  • 7 nights double occupancy lodging
  • All meals from dinner the first day to breakfast on the last, except for one dinner in Reykjavik on Day 6
  • Blue Lagoon and Sky Lagoon entrance fees
  • All transportation (private bus, ferry, private boat) within Iceland
  • Lava Show in Vik
  • All entrance fees and activities as described in the itinerary

Not included: Transportation to/from Reykjavik (KEF), meals excluded from the itinerary, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities and travel insurance.

Trip Documents

Trip Info

This trip is designed for active women in good physical condition who want to combine hiking and sightseeing off the beaten track in Iceland; learning about its history and local culture, visiting glaciers and natural areas, all while savoring the local cuisine. A rating of 2 is suitable for any woman who regularly walks at a brisk pace 3 to 4 days a week for 35 - 45 minutes. These trips typically involve 3 to 5 hours of daily activity on hilly terrain. Rating: 1 [2] 3 4 5

This multi-sport trip is a combination of adventurous activity with learning about history and culture. You can expect hiking, horseback riding, hot springs soaking, and a leisurely sail in a protected lagoon. All activities are at an easy to moderate level and suitable for both those with and without experience.

While in Reykjavik, we will be staying in a centrally located hotel, with ensuite bathrooms. While traveling the countryside, we will be staying in smaller, locally run hotels ensuite bathrooms.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

DAY 1
Welcome to Iceland! Arrive in Reykjavik anytime today. Flights from North America typically arrive early in the morning, so you may have some free time before we meet. Our trip officially begins at 5:00 PM at our hotel in Reykjavik. After a welcome orientation and introductions, we will head to our first dinner together. We will use this time to get to know one another, and try some Icelandic delicacies.

Overnight: Skuggi Hotel, or similar, Reykjavik (D)
DAY 2
After a full night's sleep, we will work off the rest of our jet lag with a trip to the famous Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is a modern wonder, tucked away in a black lava field just outside of Reykjavik. Iceland is known for their geothermic activity, and the Blue Lagoon is an effect of this natural marvel. The milky blue and mineral rich waters are known for their skin healing properties. After a long soaking session, we will return to Reykjavik for a sightseeing tour, including the landmark Hallgrímskirkja church. Enjoy the view from the vantage point known as the Pearl (Perlan), a science and cultural center built on hot water storage tanks, and take a look at Reykjavík’s new city hall among other highlights.

Overnight: Skuggi Hotel, or similar, Reykjavik (B, L, D)
DAY 3
Today, we leave Reykjavik for 3 nights in the countryside. We start with a visit to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the location of Iceland's Parliament between the years of 930 and 1798. Thingvellir is also one of the few places in the world where you can see the effects of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates pulling apart, clearly visible in Almannagja or Everyman's Gorge. At lunch time, visit a family-run geothermal greenhouse farm. Enjoy lunch made from the produce grown at the farm. After lunch explore the erupting hot springs area Geysir, the place giving its name to the phenomenon worldwide. From here, a 10-minute drive takes us to Gullfoss, or Golden Falls, Iceland’s most famous waterfall. In the afternoon, visit a ranch for an introduction to the Icelandic Viking horse. Learn about this unique breed brought to Iceland by the original settlers in the 9th century. Then enjoy an easy riding tour in the beautiful surroundings with views towards Hekla, one of Iceland's most famous volcanoes.

Overnight: Hotel Stracta (B L D)
DAY 4
This morning, we pack a picnic lunch and head into the highland nature reserve of Landmannalaugar, one of Iceland's most dramatic areas. Landmannalaugar features the largest geothermal field in Iceland and the area derives its magnificence and diverse nature from Iceland’s active volcanic zone. Landmannalaugar´s spectacular landscape features stupendous ravines, steep rhyolite screes, rocky slopes, mountains with boiling hot springs, cold and clear springs, lush valleys with delicate wildflowers, light colored alluvial plains and sculptural peaks sporting all the colors of the rainbow. Your guide will pick a hike that fits your interests and abilities. In the afternoon continue across the vast Eldhraun lava fields from one of the world's largest volcanic eruptions dating back to the 18th century. In the late afternoon, check into your hotel located in the remote south east. We will be staying here for the next two nights.

Overnight: Hotel Laki (B L)
DAY 5
Today we'll explore the area beneath Vatnajökull glacier, Europe's largest ice-cap. We'll begin by heading to Skaftafell National Park, where we hike and enjoy the amazing alpine surroundings of waterfalls, glacier tongues, mountain peaks and the black desert sands stretching out to sea. After one or two other stops, we'll head to the spectacular Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, where icebergs drift out to sea. Two James Bond movies were filmed in this fantastic location and floating among the ice you may spot seals, eider ducks, and even witness the glacier calving into the crystal turquoise waters. Go on a boat tour in the lagoon. Explore the nearby black sand beach, nicknamed the Diamond beach, where large chunks of ice cover the sands for a dramatic contrast.

Overnight: Hotel Laki (B L, D)
DAY 6
Today we will explore the south coast of Iceland, taking in some of its most dramatic scenery, visiting waterfalls and black-sand beaches along the way. Stops include the dramatic cliffs of the south populated by puffins and other seabirds, Skogafoss waterfall and Seljalandsfoss waterfall, a waterfall that you can walk behind the cascading water. We'll stop for lunch in the small village of Vik. Nestled amid the Katla UNESCO Global Geopark, Vik is magnificently surrounded by volcanoes, glaciers, and black sand beaches. Learn about Iceland’s unique geology and the lava that created much of it at the Lava Exhibit and enjoy a unique Lava Show. Arrive back in Reykjavik for you to enjoy a night on your own. You may choose to walk around town and eat dinner on your own, or call it an early night.

Overnight: Hotel Skuggi (B L)
DAY 7
Hot Springs are part of Icelandic heritage, so today we will start the day with a visit to our second bathing experience at the Sky Lagoon. The oceanside hot spring offers amazing views of the ocean, and will be very refreshing for you, as you soak away the activities from our week together. After you have had your fill of soaking, lunch will be in a small fishing village. In the afternoon, sail out from the old harbor in Reykjavik through Faxaflói Bay to look for puffins as well as Minke, Humpback, and other types of North Atlantic whales. We will returnb to Reykjavik for our Final Dinner, reminiscing about a fantastic trip to the Land of Fire and Ice!

Accommodation: Hotel Skuggi (B L D)
DAY 8
You are free to leave anytime this morning. We'll arrange shuttles to the airport based on departure times. (B)

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  1. Where do we eat?

    Your breakfasts will be buffets at the hotels where you're staying. Dinners will be in restaurants with primarily set menus. If you are a vegetarian, you may want to pack additional protein rich snacks. Lunches may either be picnics or in restaurants.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    If we know well in advance, we can accommodate vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-sensitive diets. We cannot guarantee a completely gluten-free diet and we cannot provide a kitchen guaranteed to be free of cross-contamination. If you are vegan, we ask that you bring some additional protein bars; and if you are gluten-sensitive, please bring some gluten-free snacks. If you have severe allergies, Celiac disease and/or other significant dietary restrictions, please call the office before you register.
  3. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    You only need to pay a single supplement if you want to guarantee you have your own room. Otherwise we’ll pair you up with someone and then switch roommates every time we switch lodging.
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