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Something Different

Iceland Discovery Tour

From €2475pp
Departure Date
Regular departures throughout the year
Duration
10 Days
Destination
Iceland
Price
From €2475pp
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Visit Iceland and see glaciers, geysers and geothermal hot springs

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 artists, poets and musicians for centuries. The ancient, untamed beauty of Iceland will stay with you forever.

Why you'll love this trip

  • 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. And on top of that all our vehicles in Iceland have complimentary Wi-Fi.
  • 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
  • Discover Iceland's fascinating history on a tour of Reykjavik, which includes a visit to the astonishing Lutheran church of Hallgrimskirkja
  • The Eurasian and American tectonic plates may now be pulling apart in Thingvellir National Park, but over a thousand years ago this was the site where Iceland's first parliament came together
  • Hike to the tongue of Europe's biggest glacier in Skaftafell National Park
  • Southern Iceland is a world of striking contrasts. Glide past blue-white icebergs on a boat tour of Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, and soak up the silence of the surrounding grey sand desert

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 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.
  • 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 either twin or multi share, single travellers will share a room with other travellers of the same sex. Hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together/apart. Please also be aware that most hotels and 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. Please note that a single supplement is not available on this trip.

Day 1: Reykjavik

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.

Accommodation

Guesthouse (1 night)

Meals Included

There are no meals included on this day.

Special Information

Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm today – see reception for more details. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early. 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. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand. You can check in at the joining point hotel anytime after 2pm. While early check-in is not guaranteed, feel free to store your luggage until needed. Please note that the guest rooms may be spread across a number of buildings all situated along a quiet street in central Reykjavik, a 5-minute walk from each other.

Day 2: Golden 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.

Accommodation

Guesthouse (1 night)

Included Activities

Golden Circle (Thingevellir National Park, Strokkur Geysir, Gullfoss Waterfall)

Responsible Travel Tree Planting Activity

Meals Included

Breakfast

Special Information

Total driving distance approximately 300 kilometres / 4-5 hours. Please note that the tree planting activity is only possible during the summer months from mid-May to mid-September, and depends on weather conditions. Today is a full day of activities, so our arrival at the guesthouse will be at around 8pm.

Day 3: South 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 walk on the mottled blue, grey and black face of Skaftafellsjokull, one of the tongues of Vatnajokull, 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.

Accommodation

Guesthouse (1 night)

Included Activities

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon Boat Tour

Skaftafell National Park

Skogafoss Waterfall

Rocks of Reynisfjara

Optional Activities

Vatnajokull Glacier Walk - ISK9500

Meals Included

Breakfast

Special Information

Total driving distance approximately 300 kilometres / 4 hours

Day 4: East Fjords / Seydisfjordur

Take a scenic drive along the rugged coast of the East Fjord’s. 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 twon of Egilsstadir, home to the mythic Lagarfljot Wyrm – a serpentine monster that allegedly lives in the lake the town sits beside. Journey further through this black and green wonderland, to Seydisfjordur, a bohemian and quirky town filled with multi-coloured houses that sit beaneath steep, towering mountains. 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.

Accommodation

Guesthouse (1 night)

Meals Included

Breakfast

Special Information

Total driving distance approximately 400 kilometres / 5-6 hours. Today's drive is all about the stunning scenery, with plenty of scenic stops for photos.

Day 5: Modrudalur Valley

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.

Accommodation

Guesthouse (1 night)

Meals Included

Breakfast

Special Information

Total driving distance approximately 200 kilometres / 3 hours.

Day 6: Lake 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.

Accommodation

Guesthouse (1 night)

Included Activities

Lake Myvatn

Dettifoss Waterfall

Namaskard Boiling Mud Pools, Dimmuborgir & Skutustadir Crater Group

Optional Activities

Myvatn Nature Baths - ISK4300

Meals Included

Breakfast

Dinner

Special Information

Total driving distance approximately 200 kilometres / 4 hours.

Day 7: Akureyri / 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.

Accommodation

Guesthouse (1 night)

Included Activities

Godafoss Waterfall

Akureyri Walking Tour

Meals Included

Breakfast

Dinner

Special Information

Total driving distance approximately 300 kilometres / 4 hours

Day 8: Snaefellsnes 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 say hello to the cute Icelandic horses that are grazing on the fields nearby. In the evening look forward to a homecooked dinner which is included. If you are up for it you can also join in a cooking class with the host lady and help prepare tonight's meal.

Accommodation

Guesthouse (1 night)

Included Activities

Snaefellsnes National Park

Optional Activities

Lysuholslaug Thermal Pool (seasonal) - ISK1000

Cooking Class - ISK1500

Meals Included

Breakfast

Dinner

Special Information

Total driving distance approximately 400 kilometres / 5 hours. Please note that much of today's drive is on an unpaved road which may be rough in places.

Day 9: Reykjavik

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.

Accommodation

Guesthouse (1 night)

Included Activities

Reykjavik Walking Tour

Meals Included

Breakfast

Special Information

Total driving distance approximately 200 kilometres / 3 hours

Day 10: Reykjavik

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.

Optional Activities

Blue Lagoon - ISK11000

Whale Watching (Seasonal) - ISK9000

Volcano House - ISK1790

Whales of Iceland Museum - ISK2900

Saga Museum - ISK2200

Settlement Exhibition - ISK1700

Perlan Museum - ISK3900

Harpa Concert Hall - Free

Maritime Museum - ISK1700

Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths - ISK3800

Nauthólsvík Thermal Beach - Free

Fludir Secret Lagoon - ISK3000

Meals Included

Breakfast

Special Information

The Blue Lagoon has limited availability, and during peak times tickets sell out far in advance. We recommend you book your time slot online in advance if you would like to be sure of a certain time/date for your visit: bluelagoon.com.

*Itinerary is subject to change at all times

Price is based on an adult sharing and includes:

Meals

  • 9 breakfasts, 3 dinners

Transport

  • Private minibus with free Wi-Fi

Accommodation

  • Guesthouse & Farm Stay (8 nights), Hostel (1 night)

Included activities

  • Golden Circle (Thingevellir National Park, Strokkur Geysir, Gullfoss Waterfall)
  • Responsible Travel Tree Planting Activity
  • Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon Boat Tour
  • Skaftafell National Park
  • Skogafoss Waterfall
  • Rocks of Reynisfjara
  • Lake Myvatn
  • Dettifoss Waterfall
  • Namaskard Boiling Mud Pools, Dimmuborgir & Skutustadir Crater Group
  • Godafoss Waterfall
  • Akureyri Walking Tour
  • Snaefellsnes National Park
  • Reykjavik Walking Tour

Please ask us about adding great value

  • Flights- we'll find the best fares based on your chosen departure dates
  • Travel insurance
Subject to availability. Terms & conditions apply.

For more information please call us on 021 427 7094, email us at info@shandontravel.ie, request a call back using the red button or submit an enquiry through the form below.

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