Cycle Iceland Iceland, Europe

Cycle Iceland

Iceland, Europe

Biking
9 days

Overview

Travel to Iceland and delve into the ancient land of Vikings and volcanoes on this 9-day Icelandic cycling adventure. Marvel at geothermal hot springs, witness the steamy eruptions of a giant geyser, touch the tongue of Europe's biggest glacier and scale giant waterfalls. Travel through Iceland's desolate lands, so mysterious and ethereal that they have inspired artists, poets and musicians for centuries. The ancient, untamed beauty of Iceland will stay with you forever.

Map

Itinerary

Day 1Reykjavik
Welcome to Reykjavik, where colourful houses and striking expressionist buildings are set against a backdrop of blue-grey mountains. Your tour begins at 6 pm with a welcome meeting at your hotel. It’s important you attend this meeting, as we’ll be collecting your next of kin and insurance information. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive in time for today's meeting you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. With that out of the way, you’re free to spend your evening how you like. Reykjavik has a lively food scene, so perhaps ask your leader for recommendations on where to grab a bite. Modern Icelandic food is hearty and steeped in Viking tradition, meaning it’s designed to sustain and keep you warm during periods of physical activity – perfect considering the first leg of your cycling tour starts tomorrow.
Day 2Golden Circle
Today you begin your cycle around the Golden Circle, and the scenery is just as likely to get your blood pumping as the ride. Head out of Reykjavik through valleys of green and gold shrubbery. Your first stop is Thingvellir National Park, the historic spot of Iceland’s first parliament and the location of the Silfra Fissure, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are slowly pulling apart. You can see the water pooled in the gap between the plates and cycle between craggy cliffs that sprung from the earth because of the grand geological shift. Then, peddle to Laugarvatn, a shallow lake kept warm year-round by hot springs. This is the last stop on today’s 90 km journey, so you might want to soak your muscles in the natural pools or spa. Spend the evening at Efstidalur II, a comfortable farm hotel.
Day 3Gullfoss & Geysir
Today you continue riding along the famous Golden Circle. There’s no better way to appreciate the immensity of this ancient environment than from your bike, close enough to see the often black volcanic ground around you and guided by giant mountains. Pull up at Geysir, where the ground is alive and geysers spurt water high into the air. Bike between the various bubbling mud pools and spitting earth in this geothermal hotpot. Then, ride about ten kilometres to nearby Gulfoss, a mighty waterfall that spills down two tiers into a 70-metre-deep canyon. Breathe the crisp Icelandic air on the tail end of your 76 km ride, hunkering down for the evening in a campsite in the tiny town of Brautarholt. Tonight is camping.
Day 4Waterfalls of the South
Today you’ll be biking 104 kilometres, so ease into it with a ride in the support vehicle, alighting to peddle along the side of vast (and partially active) Eyjafjallajokull. You might remember it as the source of much panic and grounded flights after it erupted in 2010, spewing ash far and wide. This towering, glacier-capped strata volcano will be your silent guide as you ride past some of the spectacular waterfalls that dot the south of the country. As you’ll remain close to the coast today, there might be an opportunity to park your bike and hike to the wreck of a US Navy plane that lies on the black sands of Solheimasandur Beach. Even if weather or time doesn’t permit that little venture, the views along the South Coast are stunning, and you’ll spend the evening in at a guesthouse in Solheimahjaleiga – close to the black shore that the country is famous for.
Day 5Reynisfjara / Kirkjubaejarklaustur
The columns of basalt rise like small skyscrapers from the ashen sands of Reynisfjara, your first stop today on a 92 km journey. From the shore, you can see staggering rock pillars that jut from the ocean. Next, you’ll hop on your bike and cycle near the fire-lava field of Eldhraun, weaving between bizarre lumps and bumps created by an eruption hundreds of years ago. At 565 square kilometers, this vast, moss-covered terrain is an endless source of wonder. Later, get some well-deserved rest at the Klausturhof Guesthouse, nestled in the hamlet of Kirkjubaejarklaustur beneath picturesque mountains.
Day 6Skaftafell National Park
Hit the road again and cross the vast, arid sand plain of Skeidararsandur. The most extensive of its kind in the world, this desolated plain was formed by glacier meltwater post-eruption. Skeidararsandur announces the proximity of Vatnajokull – the largest ice cap in Iceland. The runoff from this epic glacier has created a river that splits the giant sand plain in two. Ride further into the wilderness of Vatnajokull National Park, taking in the brown and white peaks and perhaps stopping at Svartifoss Waterfall, where black basalt columns frame a narrow cascade. Setup camp in Skaftafell, completing today's 71 kilometre ride. Tonight is camping.
Day 7Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
The icy crown jewel of Iceland, the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon awaits after a morning of cycling along rocky coast. This glacial lake has only existed for less than 100 years, and continues to swell as temperatures rise. If you’d like, you have the option to explore the lagoon via the water. Board an amphibious vehicle (half car, half boat) to get the most awe-inspiring views of the jagged icebergs floating in this natural lagoon. If you’re lucky, you might even see sea seals swimming gliding through the water or resting on icebergs. Otherwise, you are free to bike or walk along the shore, taking in the majestic views of blue and white waters. Today you’ll travel just 67 kilometres, and your guesthouse for the evening – Reynivellir – is close to the lagoon, meaning you can get the most of this feat of nature.
Day 8Reykjavik
It’s time to sit back and relax on the long return drive to Reykjavik. The 400 km drive will take about six hours, so you might want to have a book or podcast ready to pass the time. It’s also a good opportunity to soak up the scenery you’ve come to know and love over the past week. Upon arrival in the capital, you can choose to attend an optional group dinner to bid farewell to your leader and cycling pals.
Day 9Reykjavik
Your journey comes to an end today.

Trip title

Cycle Iceland

Trip code

BMXI

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

Introduction

Travel to Iceland and delve into the ancient land of Vikings and volcanoes on this 9-day Icelandic cycling adventure. Marvel at geothermal hot springs, witness the steamy eruptions of a giant geyser, touch the tongue of Europe's biggest glacier and scale giant waterfalls. Travel through Iceland's desolate lands, so mysterious and ethereal that they have inspired artists, poets and musicians for centuries. The ancient, untamed beauty of Iceland will stay with you forever.

Style

Basix

Themes

Active Adventures,Cycling

Transport

Bicycle,Support vehicle

Physical Rating

3

Physical preparation

This is an active trip, requiring a reasonable level of physical fitness. While there is flexibility in the distance you can elect to cycle each day, the cycling on this trip can be challenging at times, with the heat and terrain adding to the physical effort. It is also important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle. As a general rule, the more preparation you can do for this type of trip, the more you will enjoy it. Prepare for the trip by doing aerobic type exercises before travelling - jogging or swimming are some options, though cycling is best. If possible take some extended day rides before travelling, or spend time on exercise bikes in the gym. The more your muscles (and bottom) are prepared for the riding on this trip the more you will be able to enjoy the wonderful countryside and people you meet while riding. Note that an enthusiasm for bike riding and adventure is essential! CYCLING DISTANCES: The information listed in the itinerary is a guide to the approximate distances and terrain cycled each day. However, this may vary depending on the physical capabilities of the group, and changes to local conditions. For safety reasons we only cycle during daylight hours, so there may be some early morning starts. We take regular rest breaks throughout cycling days.

Joining point

Hotel Klettur

Joining point description

Hotel Klettur is a stone's throw from downtown. The hotel’s look and interior get their inspiration from Icelandic nature, and its name is derived from the rock that bursts through the wall on the first floor. It is said that the rock has been integrated into the building in order to keep the elves happy that live within the rock. From Hotel Klettur it is a short walk to the main shopping area of Laugavegur street, and Iceland's highest building, the magnificent Hallgrímskirkja church, is a 10-minute walk away. The hotel offers modern brightly decorated guest rooms with free Wi-Fi, TV and private bathrooms. A continental breakfast is available in the mornings.

Joining point instructions

Keflavík International Airport (airport code KEF) is located about 50 kilometres southwest of the capital. Taxis are readily available outside the terminal. Gray Line and Flybus both offer regular coach transfers to the BSÍ Bus Terminal in Reykjavik, where you can change to a shuttle that will drop you at your hotel. You are able to purchase single or return tickets in the arrivals hall at the airport. From the BSÍ Bus Terminal it is a 20 minute walk to Hotel Klettur. Pre booked arrival transfer from Keflavik Airport (KEF): If you have pre booked an arrival transfer, your transfer driver will be waiting in the arrivals hall, holding a board with the Intrepid Logo or your name. In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly on +354 497 8000 or go to the Airport Direct transfer counter where someone will assist you.

Finish point

Hotel Klettur

Finish point description

Hotel Klettur is a stone's throw from downtown. The hotel’s look and interior get their inspiration from Icelandic nature, and its name is derived from the rock that bursts through the wall on the first floor. It is said that the rock has been integrated into the building in order to keep the elves happy that live within the rock. From Hotel Klettur it is a short walk to the main shopping area of Laugavegur street, and Iceland's highest building, the magnificent Hallgrímskirkja church, is a 10-minute walk away. The hotel offers modern brightly decorated guest rooms with free Wi-Fi, TV and private bathrooms. A continental breakfast is available in the mornings.

Finish point instructions

If you are making your own way to Keflavik Airport the hotel will be able to help you book an airport shuttle or taxi. Please ask at reception. Alternatively you can use the airport coach transfer buses operated by Flybus and Gray Line. They have frequent departures from the BSÍ Bus Terminal in Reykjavik and also offer hotel pick-ups. Tickets are available online or at the bus terminal. Pre-booked departure transfer to Keflavik Airport (KEF): If you have pre booked a departure transfer, you will be collected from your hotel 3 hours prior to your flight departure time. Please reconfirm your departure transfer with your tour leader. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not to able to find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +354 497 8000.

Important information

NEW TRIP This a new trip for 2019. While we have thoroughly researched every detail of the itinerary we sometimes find it's necessary to make small changes after the first few trips have run. Changes are always based on feedback from past travellers and our ground staff. For Cycling trips these changes are usually around finding even better roads to ride on, which can alter the distance/time we spend riding on a day to day basis, but can sometimes even extend to accommodation or included activities if needed. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker. This trip involves 2 nights camping with shared facilities Due to the remote locations we visit, there are a few long drives on this trip. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the scenery and spend some time getting to know the other members of your group. Out in the countryside you will be camping near local farmhouses, and all amenities (such as showers) are provided. We will provide the tents and sleeping mats, however you will have to bring your own sleeping bag and pillow. A single supplement for a private tent is not available on this trip. Participatory camping means that you are expected to chip in with chores such as cooking, washing dishes, setting up and dismantling camp, etc. SINGLE SUPPLEMENT Please note that a single supplement is not available on this trip, as many of the properties we use on this trip have only a limited number of rooms. If a single room becomes available at check-in for any of the nights, there may be the option to upgrade to a single room and pay the surcharge locally for that night. COSTS & PRICES Iceland can be an expensive destination in many ways, from museum entrance fees to outdoor activities, but especially in terms of eating out. Your leader will be able to advise on how to save money. In remote areas the only option for dinner will be at the guesthouse we are staying at. Stock up on food at a supermarket prior to arrival if you would like to opt out eating at the guesthouse's restaurant. Please make sure you read the trip notes carefully in order to know what is and what isn't included in the trip price.

Group leader

All Intrepid group trips in Iceland are accompanied by one of our group leaders, who will also be the driver. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.

Safety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

Visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. Visas for Iceland are not required for passport holders of the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada. All other nationalities should check with the relevant authorities.

Why we love it

Cycle the famous Golden Circle, where the scenery is just as likely to get your blood pumping as the ride

Is this trip right for you

On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker. Iceland can be an expensive destination in many ways, from museum entrance fees to visiting a cafe, but especially in terms of eating out. Your leader will be able to advise on how to save money. In remote areas the only option for dinner will be at the guesthouse we are staying at. Please stock up on food at a supermarket prior to arrival if you would like to opt out eating at the guesthouse's restaurant. The destinations visited on this trip can be cold throughout the year, especially at the start and end of the season and at night. Please bring appropriate clothing for adverse weather conditions. There may be the rare occasion where your leader has to alter the itinerary and activities due to the weather. In this case an alternative will be offered. Just as a heads up before you book: this trip is new to our range this year. While we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’. Due to the remote locations we visit, there are a few long drives on this trip. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the scenery and spend some time getting to know the other members of your group. As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travellers will share a room with other travellers of the same sex. Twin share, quad share and multi share in bunk accommodation are possible depending on the season and the make-up of the group. A single supplement is not available to be booked on this trip. Please also be aware that many guesthouses in Iceland offer shared bathrooms rather than en-suite facilities. Rooms in Iceland can be small, and at times you may be accommodated a short walk away from the main building.

Health

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

Food and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though. Vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own. There are some basic breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar). While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in Iceland. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try in Reykjavik. To give you maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally meals aren't included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though. In remote areas outside of Reykjavik the only option for dinner will be at the guesthouse we are staying at. Some guesthouses have kitchen facilities that are free to use if you wish. Stock up on food at a supermarket prior to arrival if you would like to opt out eating at the guesthouse's restaurant. Your leader will be able to advise on the facilities available at the guesthouses used on your trip departure.

Money matters

CURRENCY The official currency in Iceland is the Icelandic Krona (ISK). CASH Please note that credit cards are virtually accepted everywhere throughout Iceland, and you can get by without withdrawing any cash. However if you do need an ATM, they are available in most towns. Please check with your bank about overseas withdrawal fees before you depart. Some banks will allow a cash advance against a major credit card which will incur a service charge of 5% or more. Currency exchange is available at major banks and some hotels. The easiest foreign currencies to exchange are USD and EUR, however please be aware of the security risk of carrying large amounts of cash. SPENDING MONEY: When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document). BUDGET Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. We suggest ISK 30,000 for meals not included on this trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less. Please remember that Iceland can be an expensive destination in many ways, from museum entrance fees to visiting a cafe, but especially in terms of eating out. Your leader will be able to advise on how to save money. In remote areas the only option for dinner will be at the guesthouse we are staying at. Please stock up on food at a supermarket prior to arrival if you would like to opt out eating at the guesthouse's restaurant. TIPPING If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. You may consider tipping your tour leader/driver for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline 300ISK-600ISK per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. Tipping is not a way of life in Iceland for meals, hotels or taxi drivers though. CONTINGENCY FUNDS: We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved.

What to take

PACKING On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete. For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Iceland Operations Team can be reached on the number listed below: Peak Iceland: +354 865 9221

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller WHALING Intrepid Travel is a big supporter of the protection of endangered species around the world. Although a global ban on commercial whaling came into effect in 1986, approximately 1,000 whales are still being killed every year, as Iceland, Norway and Japan ignore the ban. We strive not to visit places that serve whale on any of our trips, however often this is unavoidable and there is a likelihood that you will come across whale meat on a menu or at a market stand. TREE PLANTING Smaratun Hotel Fljotshlid, a beautiful family run operation connected to a farm, are the leaders in responsible tourism and sustainability in Iceland. They produce almost all food locally, practice recycling, and hold seminars to teach other farmers and guesthouses on how to be more environmentally friendly. Since the arrival of the first settlers to Iceland, deforestation has taken place in order to make space for pastures. Overgrazing over the centuries has then led to soil erosion. With this in mind, the owners of Smaratun Hotel Fljotshlid had the idea to start a tree planting project on their land to contribute to lowering their carbon footprint and counteract soil erosion. Our groups have the opportunity to join the effort and head out into the hills surrounding the property to plant trees themselves.

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched by Intrepid Group dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/ Intrepid and Bicycles For Humanity At Intrepid, we know a bike can changes lives. Provide a person in the developing world with a bike and it means they can travel twice as far, twice as fast and carry four times the load. The extra mobility and distance gained from using a bike can make all the difference when seeking medicine or trying to find work. This is why we’ve partnered with Bicycles for Humanity to help provide bikes to communities in Namibia, Africa. Bicycles for Humanity takes bikes we no longer use, repairs them, packs them up and ships them off to the African continent in 40-foot containers. These containers then become bike workshops on arrival – a place of employment, education and business for the communities who receive them. Each of these Bicycle Empowerment Centres are self-sustaining, micro-financed small businesses and a massive step towards financial independence for the community. We also help by donating a portion of each booking of our cycling trips directly to Bicycles for Humanity, as well as using our network of contacts to bring greater exposure to the amazing work the volunteer team do every day at Bicycles for Humanity. We are also proud to have Bicycles for Humanity as a partner of The Intrepid Foundation, where our financial support will go directly towards purchasing containers and shipping bikes to Namibia. Every donation to The Intrepid Foundation from our travellers is matched by us dollar for dollar. To find out more or to make a donation, visit The Intrepid Foundation website.

Accommodation notes

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own. CHECK-IN TIME Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination. PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. FACILITIES Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges. Out in the countryside you will be camping near local farmhouses, and all amenities (such as showers) are provided. We will provide the tents and sleeping mats, however you will have to bring your own sleeping bag and pillow. A single supplement for a private tent is not available on this trip. Participatory camping means that you are expected to chip in with chores such as cooking, washing dishes, setting up and dismantling camp, etc.

Transport notes

On this trip we are travelling in our own private minibus as this allows us to reach some more off the beaten path destinations and gives us flexibility which would not be possible by public transport. Please note that there are some long travel days and some rough stretches on gravelly and windy roads. On some days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time. All our vehicles in Iceland have complimentary Wi-Fi. Due to the remote locations we visit, there are a few long drives on this trip. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the scenery and spend some time getting to know the other members of your group. BRINGING YOUR OWN BIKE While we’re confident in the quality and suitability of the bikes we include, we do recognise that sometimes you just need the comfort of your own bike to enjoy the ride. If you are thinking of bringing your own bike on this tour please advise us at time of booking and take note of the below information. If you do choose to bring your own bike please note that we will not being carrying a spare bike for you. SUITABLE TYPE OF BIKE Although the surfaces of the roads we travel on is generally good there are occasionally gravel or potholed sections of road/track. As such, we recommend a 'mountain' or 'hybrid' style bike with plenty of gear selections for easy cruising. Please note that we usually cannot accept tandem bikes on our tours as often they are too large for our transport. In some destinations we are able to make an exception. Please ask your booking agent. For more details on the type of roads we’ll be riding on see the ‘Physical Rating’ information. Please contact your booking agent if you have any questions about the suitability of your bike. BEFORE THE TRIP We recommend that you have a full service of your bike performed by a trained mechanic, to help minimise any issues you may have during the trip itself. Please also ensure that you have specific and adequate cover for loss, damage or theft for your bike under your travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. DURING THE TRIP Your bike will be transported in the same way as our included bikes, usually in the bike support vehicle or on the bike trailer. While we endeavour to take the best care we can, you should recognise that transported bikes do get the occasional bump or scratch along the way. The same applies when we take other forms of transport, such as a train, where we are unable to pack the bikes ourselves.Your bike will also be secured in the same way as our included bikes. Please note this can occasionally be outside (where the bikes are locked together). While our mechanics can usually assist with minor repairs, you are responsible for the safety and upkeep of your own bicycle. This includes conducting regular safety checks of your bike during the trip and cleaning your bike. In addition, any parts that require replacing are your responsibility. Most destinations have access to only limited spares along the way, and access to bike shops can be days apart. Therefore, please ensure you bring any spare parts that you may require (especially specialist parts). In order to reach our destination it is necessary for us to travel via various modes of transportation, including planes and trains. Please be aware that any extra costs involved with transporting personal bikes are your responsibility. This includes (but is not limited to) additional transport costs and customs/import fees. TRANSPORTING YOUR BIKE TO/FROM THE DESTINATION Your preferred airline should have no problem carrying your bike, but many will charge an extra fee. Contact them before departing to discuss their arrangements for transporting bikes. A well-padded bike box obtainable from a bike shop is usually the best method of plane transportation. We recommend that you accompany your bicycle on the flight. Unaccompanied bicycles have been known to spend some extra days in the hands of customs authorities. Please also note that many taxis are not large enough to transport a bike box/bag so you may be delayed waiting for a suitably sized vehicle.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SINGLE TRAVELLERS: Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis. SINGLE SUPPLEMENT Please note that a single supplement is not available on this trip, as many of the properties we use on this trip have only a limited number of rooms. If a single room becomes available at check-in for any of the nights, there may be the option to upgrade to a single room and pay the surcharge locally for that night.

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Accommodation

Guesthouse (6 nights),Camping (2 nights)

Map

Itinerary

Day 1Reykjavik
Welcome to Reykjavik, where colourful houses and striking expressionist buildings are set against a backdrop of blue-grey mountains. Your tour begins at 6 pm with a welcome meeting at your hotel. It’s important you attend this meeting, as we’ll be collecting your next of kin and insurance information. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive in time for today's meeting you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. With that out of the way, you’re free to spend your evening how you like. Reykjavik has a lively food scene, so perhaps ask your leader for recommendations on where to grab a bite. Modern Icelandic food is hearty and steeped in Viking tradition, meaning it’s designed to sustain and keep you warm during periods of physical activity – perfect considering the first leg of your cycling tour starts tomorrow.
Day 2Golden Circle
Today you begin your cycle around the Golden Circle, and the scenery is just as likely to get your blood pumping as the ride. Head out of Reykjavik through valleys of green and gold shrubbery. Your first stop is Thingvellir National Park, the historic spot of Iceland’s first parliament and the location of the Silfra Fissure, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are slowly pulling apart. You can see the water pooled in the gap between the plates and cycle between craggy cliffs that sprung from the earth because of the grand geological shift. Then, peddle to Laugarvatn, a shallow lake kept warm year-round by hot springs. This is the last stop on today’s 90 km journey, so you might want to soak your muscles in the natural pools or spa. Spend the evening at Efstidalur II, a comfortable farm hotel.
Day 3Gullfoss & Geysir
Today you continue riding along the famous Golden Circle. There’s no better way to appreciate the immensity of this ancient environment than from your bike, close enough to see the often black volcanic ground around you and guided by giant mountains. Pull up at Geysir, where the ground is alive and geysers spurt water high into the air. Bike between the various bubbling mud pools and spitting earth in this geothermal hotpot. Then, ride about ten kilometres to nearby Gulfoss, a mighty waterfall that spills down two tiers into a 70-metre-deep canyon. Breathe the crisp Icelandic air on the tail end of your 76 km ride, hunkering down for the evening in a campsite in the tiny town of Brautarholt. Tonight is camping.
Day 4Waterfalls of the South
Today you’ll be biking 104 kilometres, so ease into it with a ride in the support vehicle, alighting to peddle along the side of vast (and partially active) Eyjafjallajokull. You might remember it as the source of much panic and grounded flights after it erupted in 2010, spewing ash far and wide. This towering, glacier-capped strata volcano will be your silent guide as you ride past some of the spectacular waterfalls that dot the south of the country. As you’ll remain close to the coast today, there might be an opportunity to park your bike and hike to the wreck of a US Navy plane that lies on the black sands of Solheimasandur Beach. Even if weather or time doesn’t permit that little venture, the views along the South Coast are stunning, and you’ll spend the evening in at a guesthouse in Solheimahjaleiga – close to the black shore that the country is famous for.
Day 5Reynisfjara / Kirkjubaejarklaustur
The columns of basalt rise like small skyscrapers from the ashen sands of Reynisfjara, your first stop today on a 92 km journey. From the shore, you can see staggering rock pillars that jut from the ocean. Next, you’ll hop on your bike and cycle near the fire-lava field of Eldhraun, weaving between bizarre lumps and bumps created by an eruption hundreds of years ago. At 565 square kilometers, this vast, moss-covered terrain is an endless source of wonder. Later, get some well-deserved rest at the Klausturhof Guesthouse, nestled in the hamlet of Kirkjubaejarklaustur beneath picturesque mountains.
Day 6Skaftafell National Park
Hit the road again and cross the vast, arid sand plain of Skeidararsandur. The most extensive of its kind in the world, this desolated plain was formed by glacier meltwater post-eruption. Skeidararsandur announces the proximity of Vatnajokull – the largest ice cap in Iceland. The runoff from this epic glacier has created a river that splits the giant sand plain in two. Ride further into the wilderness of Vatnajokull National Park, taking in the brown and white peaks and perhaps stopping at Svartifoss Waterfall, where black basalt columns frame a narrow cascade. Setup camp in Skaftafell, completing today's 71 kilometre ride. Tonight is camping.
Day 7Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
The icy crown jewel of Iceland, the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon awaits after a morning of cycling along rocky coast. This glacial lake has only existed for less than 100 years, and continues to swell as temperatures rise. If you’d like, you have the option to explore the lagoon via the water. Board an amphibious vehicle (half car, half boat) to get the most awe-inspiring views of the jagged icebergs floating in this natural lagoon. If you’re lucky, you might even see sea seals swimming gliding through the water or resting on icebergs. Otherwise, you are free to bike or walk along the shore, taking in the majestic views of blue and white waters. Today you’ll travel just 67 kilometres, and your guesthouse for the evening – Reynivellir – is close to the lagoon, meaning you can get the most of this feat of nature.
Day 8Reykjavik
It’s time to sit back and relax on the long return drive to Reykjavik. The 400 km drive will take about six hours, so you might want to have a book or podcast ready to pass the time. It’s also a good opportunity to soak up the scenery you’ve come to know and love over the past week. Upon arrival in the capital, you can choose to attend an optional group dinner to bid farewell to your leader and cycling pals.
Day 9Reykjavik
Your journey comes to an end today.

Trip title

Cycle Iceland

Trip code

BMXI

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

Introduction

Travel to Iceland and delve into the ancient land of Vikings and volcanoes on this 9-day Icelandic cycling adventure. Marvel at geothermal hot springs, witness the steamy eruptions of a giant geyser, touch the tongue of Europe's biggest glacier and scale giant waterfalls. Travel through Iceland's desolate lands, so mysterious and ethereal that they have inspired artists, poets and musicians for centuries. The ancient, untamed beauty of Iceland will stay with you forever.

Style

Basix

Themes

Active Adventures,Cycling

Transport

Bicycle,Support vehicle

Physical Rating

3

Physical preparation

This is an active trip, requiring a reasonable level of physical fitness. While there is flexibility in the distance you can elect to cycle each day, the cycling on this trip can be challenging at times, with the heat and terrain adding to the physical effort. It is also important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle. As a general rule, the more preparation you can do for this type of trip, the more you will enjoy it. Prepare for the trip by doing aerobic type exercises before travelling - jogging or swimming are some options, though cycling is best. If possible take some extended day rides before travelling, or spend time on exercise bikes in the gym. The more your muscles (and bottom) are prepared for the riding on this trip the more you will be able to enjoy the wonderful countryside and people you meet while riding. Note that an enthusiasm for bike riding and adventure is essential! CYCLING DISTANCES: The information listed in the itinerary is a guide to the approximate distances and terrain cycled each day. However, this may vary depending on the physical capabilities of the group, and changes to local conditions. For safety reasons we only cycle during daylight hours, so there may be some early morning starts. We take regular rest breaks throughout cycling days.

Joining point

Hotel Klettur

Joining point description

Hotel Klettur is a stone's throw from downtown. The hotel’s look and interior get their inspiration from Icelandic nature, and its name is derived from the rock that bursts through the wall on the first floor. It is said that the rock has been integrated into the building in order to keep the elves happy that live within the rock. From Hotel Klettur it is a short walk to the main shopping area of Laugavegur street, and Iceland's highest building, the magnificent Hallgrímskirkja church, is a 10-minute walk away. The hotel offers modern brightly decorated guest rooms with free Wi-Fi, TV and private bathrooms. A continental breakfast is available in the mornings.

Joining point instructions

Keflavík International Airport (airport code KEF) is located about 50 kilometres southwest of the capital. Taxis are readily available outside the terminal. Gray Line and Flybus both offer regular coach transfers to the BSÍ Bus Terminal in Reykjavik, where you can change to a shuttle that will drop you at your hotel. You are able to purchase single or return tickets in the arrivals hall at the airport. From the BSÍ Bus Terminal it is a 20 minute walk to Hotel Klettur. Pre booked arrival transfer from Keflavik Airport (KEF): If you have pre booked an arrival transfer, your transfer driver will be waiting in the arrivals hall, holding a board with the Intrepid Logo or your name. In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly on +354 497 8000 or go to the Airport Direct transfer counter where someone will assist you.

Finish point

Hotel Klettur

Finish point description

Hotel Klettur is a stone's throw from downtown. The hotel’s look and interior get their inspiration from Icelandic nature, and its name is derived from the rock that bursts through the wall on the first floor. It is said that the rock has been integrated into the building in order to keep the elves happy that live within the rock. From Hotel Klettur it is a short walk to the main shopping area of Laugavegur street, and Iceland's highest building, the magnificent Hallgrímskirkja church, is a 10-minute walk away. The hotel offers modern brightly decorated guest rooms with free Wi-Fi, TV and private bathrooms. A continental breakfast is available in the mornings.

Finish point instructions

If you are making your own way to Keflavik Airport the hotel will be able to help you book an airport shuttle or taxi. Please ask at reception. Alternatively you can use the airport coach transfer buses operated by Flybus and Gray Line. They have frequent departures from the BSÍ Bus Terminal in Reykjavik and also offer hotel pick-ups. Tickets are available online or at the bus terminal. Pre-booked departure transfer to Keflavik Airport (KEF): If you have pre booked a departure transfer, you will be collected from your hotel 3 hours prior to your flight departure time. Please reconfirm your departure transfer with your tour leader. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not to able to find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +354 497 8000.

Important information

NEW TRIP This a new trip for 2019. While we have thoroughly researched every detail of the itinerary we sometimes find it's necessary to make small changes after the first few trips have run. Changes are always based on feedback from past travellers and our ground staff. For Cycling trips these changes are usually around finding even better roads to ride on, which can alter the distance/time we spend riding on a day to day basis, but can sometimes even extend to accommodation or included activities if needed. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker. This trip involves 2 nights camping with shared facilities Due to the remote locations we visit, there are a few long drives on this trip. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the scenery and spend some time getting to know the other members of your group. Out in the countryside you will be camping near local farmhouses, and all amenities (such as showers) are provided. We will provide the tents and sleeping mats, however you will have to bring your own sleeping bag and pillow. A single supplement for a private tent is not available on this trip. Participatory camping means that you are expected to chip in with chores such as cooking, washing dishes, setting up and dismantling camp, etc. SINGLE SUPPLEMENT Please note that a single supplement is not available on this trip, as many of the properties we use on this trip have only a limited number of rooms. If a single room becomes available at check-in for any of the nights, there may be the option to upgrade to a single room and pay the surcharge locally for that night. COSTS & PRICES Iceland can be an expensive destination in many ways, from museum entrance fees to outdoor activities, but especially in terms of eating out. Your leader will be able to advise on how to save money. In remote areas the only option for dinner will be at the guesthouse we are staying at. Stock up on food at a supermarket prior to arrival if you would like to opt out eating at the guesthouse's restaurant. Please make sure you read the trip notes carefully in order to know what is and what isn't included in the trip price.

Group leader

All Intrepid group trips in Iceland are accompanied by one of our group leaders, who will also be the driver. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.

Safety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

Visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. Visas for Iceland are not required for passport holders of the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada. All other nationalities should check with the relevant authorities.

Why we love it

Cycle the famous Golden Circle, where the scenery is just as likely to get your blood pumping as the ride

Is this trip right for you

On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker. Iceland can be an expensive destination in many ways, from museum entrance fees to visiting a cafe, but especially in terms of eating out. Your leader will be able to advise on how to save money. In remote areas the only option for dinner will be at the guesthouse we are staying at. Please stock up on food at a supermarket prior to arrival if you would like to opt out eating at the guesthouse's restaurant. The destinations visited on this trip can be cold throughout the year, especially at the start and end of the season and at night. Please bring appropriate clothing for adverse weather conditions. There may be the rare occasion where your leader has to alter the itinerary and activities due to the weather. In this case an alternative will be offered. Just as a heads up before you book: this trip is new to our range this year. While we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’. Due to the remote locations we visit, there are a few long drives on this trip. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the scenery and spend some time getting to know the other members of your group. As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travellers will share a room with other travellers of the same sex. Twin share, quad share and multi share in bunk accommodation are possible depending on the season and the make-up of the group. A single supplement is not available to be booked on this trip. Please also be aware that many guesthouses in Iceland offer shared bathrooms rather than en-suite facilities. Rooms in Iceland can be small, and at times you may be accommodated a short walk away from the main building.

Health

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

Food and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though. Vegetarians might find the menu selection less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own. There are some basic breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar). While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in Iceland. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try in Reykjavik. To give you maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally meals aren't included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though. In remote areas outside of Reykjavik the only option for dinner will be at the guesthouse we are staying at. Some guesthouses have kitchen facilities that are free to use if you wish. Stock up on food at a supermarket prior to arrival if you would like to opt out eating at the guesthouse's restaurant. Your leader will be able to advise on the facilities available at the guesthouses used on your trip departure.

Money matters

CURRENCY The official currency in Iceland is the Icelandic Krona (ISK). CASH Please note that credit cards are virtually accepted everywhere throughout Iceland, and you can get by without withdrawing any cash. However if you do need an ATM, they are available in most towns. Please check with your bank about overseas withdrawal fees before you depart. Some banks will allow a cash advance against a major credit card which will incur a service charge of 5% or more. Currency exchange is available at major banks and some hotels. The easiest foreign currencies to exchange are USD and EUR, however please be aware of the security risk of carrying large amounts of cash. SPENDING MONEY: When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document). BUDGET Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. We suggest ISK 30,000 for meals not included on this trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less. Please remember that Iceland can be an expensive destination in many ways, from museum entrance fees to visiting a cafe, but especially in terms of eating out. Your leader will be able to advise on how to save money. In remote areas the only option for dinner will be at the guesthouse we are staying at. Please stock up on food at a supermarket prior to arrival if you would like to opt out eating at the guesthouse's restaurant. TIPPING If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. You may consider tipping your tour leader/driver for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline 300ISK-600ISK per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. Tipping is not a way of life in Iceland for meals, hotels or taxi drivers though. CONTINGENCY FUNDS: We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved.

What to take

PACKING On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete. For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/ In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Iceland Operations Team can be reached on the number listed below: Peak Iceland: +354 865 9221

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller WHALING Intrepid Travel is a big supporter of the protection of endangered species around the world. Although a global ban on commercial whaling came into effect in 1986, approximately 1,000 whales are still being killed every year, as Iceland, Norway and Japan ignore the ban. We strive not to visit places that serve whale on any of our trips, however often this is unavoidable and there is a likelihood that you will come across whale meat on a menu or at a market stand. TREE PLANTING Smaratun Hotel Fljotshlid, a beautiful family run operation connected to a farm, are the leaders in responsible tourism and sustainability in Iceland. They produce almost all food locally, practice recycling, and hold seminars to teach other farmers and guesthouses on how to be more environmentally friendly. Since the arrival of the first settlers to Iceland, deforestation has taken place in order to make space for pastures. Overgrazing over the centuries has then led to soil erosion. With this in mind, the owners of Smaratun Hotel Fljotshlid had the idea to start a tree planting project on their land to contribute to lowering their carbon footprint and counteract soil erosion. Our groups have the opportunity to join the effort and head out into the hills surrounding the property to plant trees themselves.

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched by Intrepid Group dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/ Intrepid and Bicycles For Humanity At Intrepid, we know a bike can changes lives. Provide a person in the developing world with a bike and it means they can travel twice as far, twice as fast and carry four times the load. The extra mobility and distance gained from using a bike can make all the difference when seeking medicine or trying to find work. This is why we’ve partnered with Bicycles for Humanity to help provide bikes to communities in Namibia, Africa. Bicycles for Humanity takes bikes we no longer use, repairs them, packs them up and ships them off to the African continent in 40-foot containers. These containers then become bike workshops on arrival – a place of employment, education and business for the communities who receive them. Each of these Bicycle Empowerment Centres are self-sustaining, micro-financed small businesses and a massive step towards financial independence for the community. We also help by donating a portion of each booking of our cycling trips directly to Bicycles for Humanity, as well as using our network of contacts to bring greater exposure to the amazing work the volunteer team do every day at Bicycles for Humanity. We are also proud to have Bicycles for Humanity as a partner of The Intrepid Foundation, where our financial support will go directly towards purchasing containers and shipping bikes to Namibia. Every donation to The Intrepid Foundation from our travellers is matched by us dollar for dollar. To find out more or to make a donation, visit The Intrepid Foundation website.

Accommodation notes

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own. CHECK-IN TIME Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination. PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. FACILITIES Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges. Out in the countryside you will be camping near local farmhouses, and all amenities (such as showers) are provided. We will provide the tents and sleeping mats, however you will have to bring your own sleeping bag and pillow. A single supplement for a private tent is not available on this trip. Participatory camping means that you are expected to chip in with chores such as cooking, washing dishes, setting up and dismantling camp, etc.

Transport notes

On this trip we are travelling in our own private minibus as this allows us to reach some more off the beaten path destinations and gives us flexibility which would not be possible by public transport. Please note that there are some long travel days and some rough stretches on gravelly and windy roads. On some days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time. All our vehicles in Iceland have complimentary Wi-Fi. Due to the remote locations we visit, there are a few long drives on this trip. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the scenery and spend some time getting to know the other members of your group. BRINGING YOUR OWN BIKE While we’re confident in the quality and suitability of the bikes we include, we do recognise that sometimes you just need the comfort of your own bike to enjoy the ride. If you are thinking of bringing your own bike on this tour please advise us at time of booking and take note of the below information. If you do choose to bring your own bike please note that we will not being carrying a spare bike for you. SUITABLE TYPE OF BIKE Although the surfaces of the roads we travel on is generally good there are occasionally gravel or potholed sections of road/track. As such, we recommend a 'mountain' or 'hybrid' style bike with plenty of gear selections for easy cruising. Please note that we usually cannot accept tandem bikes on our tours as often they are too large for our transport. In some destinations we are able to make an exception. Please ask your booking agent. For more details on the type of roads we’ll be riding on see the ‘Physical Rating’ information. Please contact your booking agent if you have any questions about the suitability of your bike. BEFORE THE TRIP We recommend that you have a full service of your bike performed by a trained mechanic, to help minimise any issues you may have during the trip itself. Please also ensure that you have specific and adequate cover for loss, damage or theft for your bike under your travel, home contents or a specialist insurance policy. DURING THE TRIP Your bike will be transported in the same way as our included bikes, usually in the bike support vehicle or on the bike trailer. While we endeavour to take the best care we can, you should recognise that transported bikes do get the occasional bump or scratch along the way. The same applies when we take other forms of transport, such as a train, where we are unable to pack the bikes ourselves.Your bike will also be secured in the same way as our included bikes. Please note this can occasionally be outside (where the bikes are locked together). While our mechanics can usually assist with minor repairs, you are responsible for the safety and upkeep of your own bicycle. This includes conducting regular safety checks of your bike during the trip and cleaning your bike. In addition, any parts that require replacing are your responsibility. Most destinations have access to only limited spares along the way, and access to bike shops can be days apart. Therefore, please ensure you bring any spare parts that you may require (especially specialist parts). In order to reach our destination it is necessary for us to travel via various modes of transportation, including planes and trains. Please be aware that any extra costs involved with transporting personal bikes are your responsibility. This includes (but is not limited to) additional transport costs and customs/import fees. TRANSPORTING YOUR BIKE TO/FROM THE DESTINATION Your preferred airline should have no problem carrying your bike, but many will charge an extra fee. Contact them before departing to discuss their arrangements for transporting bikes. A well-padded bike box obtainable from a bike shop is usually the best method of plane transportation. We recommend that you accompany your bicycle on the flight. Unaccompanied bicycles have been known to spend some extra days in the hands of customs authorities. Please also note that many taxis are not large enough to transport a bike box/bag so you may be delayed waiting for a suitably sized vehicle.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SINGLE TRAVELLERS: Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis. SINGLE SUPPLEMENT Please note that a single supplement is not available on this trip, as many of the properties we use on this trip have only a limited number of rooms. If a single room becomes available at check-in for any of the nights, there may be the option to upgrade to a single room and pay the surcharge locally for that night.

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Accommodation

Guesthouse (6 nights),Camping (2 nights)

Prices from

€4,135

Duration

9 days
Overview
Itinerary
Trip title
Trip code
Validity
Introduction
Style
Themes
Transport
Physical Rating
Physical preparation
Joining point
Joining point description
Joining point instructions
Finish point
Finish point description
Finish point instructions
Important information
Group leader
Safety
Visas
Why we love it
Is this trip right for you
Health
Food and dietary requirements
Money matters
What to take
A couple of rules
Feedback
Emergency contact
Responsible travel
The Intrepid Foundation
Accommodation notes
Transport notes
Travel insurance
Your fellow travellers
Itinerary disclaimer
Accommodation