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Iceland Discovery

Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland Discovery

Hiking
·
Start: Reykjavik
·
End: Reykjavik

Travel through Iceland's desolate lands, so mysterious and ethereal

Activity
Hiking
LocationReykjavik, Iceland
Duration10 days
Start / EndReykjavik / Reykjavik
Tour operatorIntrepid Travel

Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland Discovery

Hiking·
10 days·Intrepid Travel
Start: Reykjavik
·
End: Reykjavik

Description

Travel to Iceland and delve into the ancient land of Vikings and volcanoes on this 10-day Icelandic adventure. Marvel at geothermal hot springs, witness the steamy eruptions of a giant geyser, touch the tongue of Europe's biggest glacier, see lava that's still warm after 20 years and scale giant waterfalls. Travel through Iceland's desolate lands, so mysterious and ethereal that they have inspi...

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Itinerary

Day 1Reykjavik
Hallo! Welcome to Iceland. The world's northernmost capital of Reykjavik lies just below the Arctic Circle. The city sees around four hours of sunlight a day in winter and 22 hours or more in summer. Surrounded by volcanic peaks and crystalline ocean, and boasting a vibrant arts and nightlife scene, Reykjavik's contrasts are utterly beguiling. Why not arrive early and head to the National Museum, which depicts the history of Iceland from the 9th century (when the first Vikings from mainland Scandinavia arrived and settled) to the present day, or join locals who gossip and chatter in the Laugardalslaug Geothermal Pool.
Day 2Golden Circle / Hvolsvollur Valley
Make an early start to beat the crowds on the 'Golden Circle' route. Head first to Thingvellir National Park, home to the Parliament Plains and location of Iceland's first parliament. Thingvellir also contains the Silfra fissure, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates slowly pull apart. The resulting gap is partly filled with fresh water and is clearly visible. From here head to the Geysir geothermal area, checking out the Strokkur Geyser – get a thrill as the geyser swells with blue water before erupting and shooting a cloud of water some 20-30 metres in the air. Be spellbound by the immense beauty and sheer power of the Gullfoss (Golden) double waterfall on the Hvita River, before proceeding to a remote farm the Hvolsvollur region. Since the arrival of the first settlers to Iceland, deforestation has taken place in order to make space for pastures. Join the effort to counteract this and head out into the hills surrounding the property to plant trees. Later, pay a visit to the immense Seljandsfoss waterfall, where a you can trek behind the 65-metre high cascade showers moss covered rock. Continue to our guesthouse for our first night out in the countryside.
Day 3South Coast / Skaftafell National Park / Jokulsarlon
Begin the day with a visit to the breathtaking Skogafoss waterfall. At 25-metres wide with a 60-metre drop, this waterfall roars. You can feel it’s power up close with a strenuous walk up a windy set of stairs up to a stunning viewpoint. The black sands and bizarre, rectangular rock formations of Reynisfjara are up next. Then, travel to Skaftafell National Park, where you have the option to traverse the mottled blue, grey and black face of Svinafellsjokull, one of the tongues of Vatnajokull. If you would prefer, you can take a visit to the Skaftafell Visitor Centre and the Skaftafell Glacier Lagoon, where icebergs jut from the still water. Cap off a busy day by cruising between jagged icebergs in an included boat tour of Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. From here it is not far to our overnight stay, picturesquely located on another lagoon sheltered by a black sandbar.
Day 4East Fjords / Egilsstadir
Take a scenic drive along the rugged coast of the East Fjord’s, making stops along the way. Enjoy spectacular views of high mountains, deep fjords, spectacular waterfalls, glaciers, and quaint fishing villages. Make stops along the way at small but notable towns like Faskrudsfjordur, where historical ties have resulted in street signs written in French. Stop at the wooded village of Egilsstadir, home to the mythic Lagarfljot Wyrm – a serpentine monster that allegedly lives in the lake the town sits beside. You’ll have a free evening to do as you please in this charming little spot, perhaps head out for dinner in town – local specialties include reindeer and mushrooms.
Day 5Seydisfjordur / Modrudalur Valley
Journey further through this black and green wonderland, making a stop in Seydisfjordur, a bohemian and quirky town filled with multi-coloured houses that sit beaneath steep, towering mountains. Continue along mountain roads into the Icelandic interior and the highland village of Modrudalur. At 469 metres (1,539 feet) above sea level, Modrudalur Valley is the highest inhabited place in Iceland, and snow can be seen almost year round. You’ll arrive around lunchtime, and the rest of the day is free for you to explore the surrounding countryside. Make sure you visit the farm's church, built in 1949 by farmer Jon Adalsteinn Stefansson in memory of his wife. Its inner decorations and altarpiece were made by him as well. As a relatively flat valley, it’s the perfect place to break out your hiking shoes. Various nature walks are marked throughout the area, with wide panoramas, deafening silence and majestic Mount Herdubreid looming in the distance.
Day 6Lake Myvatn
From Modrudalur you will drive to the magnificent Dettifoss waterfall, Europe's mightiest waterfall. It’s so powerful that the vibrations can be felt in the nearby rocks. The falls are 100-metres wide, with a 45-metre drop down into the craggy shores of Jokulsargljufur canyon below. Then, continue to Lake Myvatn, where recent and old volcanic activity has shaped the landscapes of the area, making it one of the most interesting geological regions in the northern hemisphere. Watch steam rise from the red, sulphuric terrain of Namaskard and its hard to believe you’re on Earth and not Mars. Take a walk around the lava stacks and caves of Dimmuborgir and then observe the massive pseudo craters of Skutustadir. If you like, you can even take a soak in the hot blue waters of the Myvatn Nature Baths. Later, enjoy an included dinner at your guesthouse for the evening, nearby Narfastadir.
Day 7Akureyri / Gauksmyri
This morning, drive to the impressive Godafoss waterfall (the Waterfall of the Gods). It’s said that into this 30-metre-wide, gently curving waterfall, a pagan priest symbolically threw the idols of the Norse gods in the year 1,000, signifying Christianity becoming Iceland’s official religion. From Godafoss continue on to Akureyri. Situated at the head of Iceland's longest fjord, Akureyri is the nation's second largest city. Embark on a short guided tour of the town, taking in the striking church and other local sights. If you’re travelling between May and December, you might have the option to partake in a whale watching excursion. Otherwise, there is plenty more to see, including museums and botanical gardens. In the afternoon, journey on to Gauksmyri, where you'll spend the night.
Day 8Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Continue your journey into Snaefellsnes National Park, home to the magnificent Snaefellsjokull Glacier, which played a starring role in Jules Verne's 1864 novel 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth'. Ditch your luggage at your family-run guesthouse and then head to the basaltic pebble beach Djupalonssandur. Visit a rural church and the white beach at Budir, and Arnarstapi, where a short stroll along the coastal cliffs exposes you to rich bird life and other wonders of nature. If you’d like, you could bath in the natural pools of Lysuholslaug (open seasonally only), or perhaps explore the land on horseback with a short ride around Lysuholl. In the evening, you may wish to partake in an optional cooking class, learning the art of Icelandic fare. A homecooked dinner tonight is included.
Day 9Reykjavik
Today head back towards Reykjavik to complete your circuit of Iceland, passing beautiful Hvalfjordur (Whale Fjord) along the way. Upon arrival at midday, enjoy a one-hour guided walking tour of the city, through the pedestrian zone and the Hallgrimskirkja church – intended to resemble glaciers and mountains. The rest of the evening and afternoon are yours for the taking with pleenty of sights to choose from. Later in the evening you may wish to have a final dinner with your fellow travellers.
Day 10Reykjavik
Today is departure day and time to say 'sjaumst'. As there are no activities planned, you are able to depart the hotel at any time. Check out time is at midday. If you are departing later, you can arrange to store your luggage at the hotel. As limited time is spent in Reykjavik on this trip, it’s recommended to stay a few extra days. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Please ask your booking agent for details.

More info

Trip title

Iceland Discovery

Trip code

BMSI

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 10-day Icelandic adventure. Marvel at geothermal hot springs, witness the steamy eruptions of a giant geyser, touch the tongue of Europe's biggest glacier, see lava that's still warm after 20 years and scale giant waterfalls. Travel through Iceland's desolate lands, so mysterious and ethereal that they have inspired... Read more

Style

Original

Themes

Explorer

Transport

Private minibus

Physical Rating

2

Joining point

Guesthouse Aurora

Joining point description

Guesthouse Aurora is a family-owned property, located in a quiet street, yet right in the centre of Reykjavik. It's a 2-minute walk from the highest building in Iceland, the wonderful church Hallgrímskirkja, and a short walk from the main shopping strip Laugavegur Street. Please note that rooms are small, have shared bathroom facilities, and at times you may be accommodated in a neighbouring build... Read more

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 air... Read more

Finish point

Guesthouse Aurora

Finish point instructions

If you are making your own way to Keflavik Airport the guesthouse 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-... Read more

Important information

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT A single supplement is not available on this trip. 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 superm... Read more

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 particu... Read more

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 upd... Read more

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 ... Read more

Why we love it

There's a lot more to Iceland than ice (and Bjork). Ford the fjords, glaciers, volcanoes, black sands and thermal springs of this magical land in the world's far north

Is this trip right for you

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. Please stock up on food at a supermarket prior to arrival if you would like to opt out eating at the guesthouse's... Read more

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/o... Read more

Food and dietary requirements

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 enabl... Read more

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... Read more

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. S... Read more

Climate and seasonal

Iceland can be cold throughout the year, especially at the start and end of the summer season, and at night. Rain is possible at any time of year. Please familiarize yourself with what climate to expect and bring appropriate clothing for adverse weather conditions, including base layers, hat, rain coat and anything else that you think may be applicable.

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... Read more

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 nega... Read more

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/responsible... Read more

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 mo... Read more

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/multisha... Read more

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... Read more

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 th... Read more

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... Read more

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 weat... Read more

Accommodation

Guesthouse & Farm Stay (8 nights),Hostel (1 night)
10days
€3,258per person
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Apr 19
Reykjavik
Apr 28
Reykjavik
€3,430
Seats left: 5
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Apr 22
Reykjavik
May 1
Reykjavik
€3,430
Seats left: 8
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Apr 26
Reykjavik
May 5
Reykjavik
€3,430
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Apr 29
Reykjavik
May 8
Reykjavik
€3,430
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