Explore many of the Iceland's natural wonders and its unique Nordic history and culture. Hike through amazingly green countryside, across steaming rivers, around waterfalls, into volcanic craters and even through rift valleys (not to mention ferry boat rides and natural hot springs!) Optional activities include horseback riding, rafting, and whale watching. Arrive a day or two early to join Reykjavik’s gay pride celebrations!
- Volcanic Craters & Lava Tubes +1 Plan an early morning arrival in Iceland and be ready for a hike up the Burfell Volcano Crater and into Leidarendi lava tube, led by our native Icelandic guide, a descendant of the Vikings with an infectious love of his homeland. During our hikes we will enjoy a picnic lunch and then have our welcome dinner this evening.
- Landscape Reminiscent of the Moon +2 Travel over a pass and into a completely different landscape! Near Hveragerdi, thermal activity warms year-round greenhouses to grow much of the food that Icelanders eat during the winter. Take an invigorating hike past bubbling springs like The Mankiller, Blue Hot Spring, and Garbage Hot Spring (where residents used to dump their garbage, before the earth rumbled and dumped it all back out!).
- Pompeii and Puffins on the Westman Islands +3 Catch a ferry to the Westman Islands. Options include: Witness the effects of the 1973 Eldfell volcano that buried half the town of Heimaey (“Pompeii of the North”); Visit the Natural History Museum; Hike up Heimaklettur for amazing views of the island, lava flows, and cove; Look for puffins nesting at Storhofdi and hear about puffin traditions; and, weather permitting, circle the island by boat to see birds, caves, and other geologic formations. Return to the mainland and continue east into the Highlands.
- Exploring Colorful Landmannalaugar +4 Head to Landmannalaugar, a mysterious land created by fire and ice. Half hell, half Garden of Eden, with steam vents whiffs of sulphur coming from deep within the Earth. Hike through richly colored rhyolite mountains and craters with fantastical shapes. Later, soak in one of Iceland’s best natural hot springs.
- Wonderfalls, Ruins, and the Central Highlands +5 Explore the pristine secrets of the Highlands region, hiking through forests and farm ruins to waterfalls and Mt. Hekla Volcano. See the ruins and modern replica of an 11th century Viking long-house called Pjodveldisbear.
- Where the Continents Divide +6 Visit the spot where the North American tectonic plate is pulling away from the European tectonic plate, creating rifts in the earth’s crust – sheer cliffs pulling from each other creating gorges and canyons that get wider each year. Watch how water flows, falls, and gushes across such a varied landscape, with yet more and larger waterfalls, sparkling clear rushing streams, turbulent glacier rivers, steam and mud pots and geysers. Head to Iceland’s most historic spot: Thingvellir, where the rowdy Vikings formed the world’s oldest true parliament, in A.D. 930. Hiking trails criss-cross the park. After our lessons in geology and history, return to Reykjavik for our last two nights in Iceland.
- Free Day in Reykjavik +7 Explore Reykjavik, a working harbor and a cultural center. It’s easy to fill a whole day strolling the streets, plazas, and waterfront of Reykjavik. Outdoor, naturally-heated pool complexes are a mainstay of Icelandic social life. Other options include whale-watching trips, horseback riding, a visit to Blue Lagoon (a naturally blue mineral hot pool touted for its therapeutic value). Tonight, our last evening together, a tasty seafood dinner awaits our whole group. Then, Reykjavik’s gay disco awaits those who still have some energy!
- Departure +8 Most North American flights leave mid-afternoon, so you still have a half day for shopping, the pool, or other activities you may have missed.
- Important Notes
based on a shared room
for solo travelers who wish to enjoy a private bedroom and bathroom
“Friends asked me before the trip, “Why Iceland?” After they saw my pictures, they answered their own question.”Alan Meyer, Lincoln, NE
“I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. It turned out to be one of the best vacations I’ve ever had."Jimmy Halpin, New York, NY
“I liked that we were able to go to many places off the beaten path and get away from the huge crowds of tour bus operators. The hotels were all very nice, and I liked the company of the other guys on the tour.”Brian M., Boston, MA
You’ve heard about Iceland’s unique geology and landscapes: Now you can experience it! If you can comfortably hike for half a day, you’re ready for this trip; those eager to do more will have plenty of opportunities.
All group transportation within Iceland; All accommodations; Tour guide accompanying the group at all locations; Breakfast every day, 2 lunches, and 4 dinners; Hiking, boat ride to Westman Islands (weather permitting), and other outdoor activities. All HE Travel tours include complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance.
What’s NOT Included
Airfare; Airport transfers on arrival and departure; Souvenirs, snacks, admissions; Meals not listed here; Alcoholic beverages; Optional activities (horseback riding and whale-watching are available.); Gratuities for guides.
* Hike up lava flows to the top of a volcanic crater and later explore a lava tube. * Enjoy a ferry ride to the Westman Islands, among the earth’s newest places, where the island of Surtsey emerged from the sea in 1963, visiting Pompeii of the North, puffins, and sea caves. * Explore the beautifully-sited national reserve known as Landmannalaugar. * Hike to the edge of America, through the rugged chasm where the continental plates of Europe and America are slowly drifting apart. * Stroll across a landscape so moonlike that NASA sent astronauts for practice walks before the first Apollo moon landing. * Swim in warm-water rivers whose source lies miles below the earth’s crust. * Climb around, behind, and into waterfall wonderlands. * Savor a plate piled high with lobster tails at our favorite cafe by the sea.
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