Iceland: Adventures in the Land of Fire and Ice

Trip Overview

In mid July 2017, head to the magical island of Iceland on a multi-activity adventure in the land of "fire and ice". As the Iceland summer sun skims the midnight horizon, sunset melts into sunrise in this country of lush meadows and snow-capped mountains, hot springs and geysers, braided flood plains, frozen lava fields, and glaciers on top of volcanoes.

AdventureWomen's 2017 Iceland Adventure is a multi-activity adventure vacation that showcases this unique and fabulous island as the Icelandic people know it. You'll hear stories of the Saga ages and the island’s Viking history, learn about Icelandic traditions and way of life, and see where the world’s first parliament was held. You will also get to see life in today’s countryside, and view homesteads of the “hidden people”— the elves, trolls, and ghosts, who have set their historic mark on this fascinating and surreal landscape.

From elves to geysers to free-roaming horses, Iceland presents so much to see and do! Your diverse activities include visiting geysers and boiling mud pots; sailing among the islands of Breidafjordur Bay; jetboating on one of Iceland’s broad and beautiful rivers; horseback riding on the famous, smooth-gaited Icelandic horse; and driving a snowmobile on top of a magnificent glacier to explore ice tunnels in the glacier. You will visit a goat farm, and have special meals inside a hydroponic tomato farm, a lobster feast, and Farewell Dinner in a spectacular restaurant in the architecturally amazing Harpa Concert Hall. End your adventure at the world-famous “Blue Lagoon”, soaking in its warm, mineral-rich waters.

Many travelers, for the most part, know little about Iceland although this extraordinary country is only a 4½-hour flight from Boston. Even with its chilly name, Iceland has become one of the hottest destinations in Europe. It sports the greatest wilderness area in all of Europe, along with the largest waterfall and glacier, and is the most active volcanic area in the world. The country has a sparse population of approximately 333,000 folks who have a passion for the outdoors. Due to its abundant geothermal energy, Iceland is pristine and unpolluted. The city of Reykjavík has been judged the cleanest capital city in the world.

In a feral land of earth, fire, and water—with the North Star close at hand - join AdventureWomen for our 10th adventure to Iceland, an exciting cultural and multi-activity discovery of a pure, natural, and unspoiled land. There’s no place like it on earth!

Main Attractions

  • Experience all the BEST outdoor activities that Iceland has to offer! Hike, snowmobile on a glacier, visit an ice tunnel, horseback ride, cruise to view whales and seabirds, relax in mineral hot springs, and MORE!
  • View homesteads of the “hidden people,” the elves, trolls, and ghosts of historic Iceland, the “hottest” destination in Europe.
  • Stay in wonderful hotels, eat fabulous food, and see life in today’s countryside.
  • Travel by comfortable mini-bus with Solveig, our Icelandic driver-guide, to view dramatic landscapes born of volcanic eruptions and carved by glaciers.
  • Explore a pristine country that Americans know little about, and that’s only a 4.5 hour flight from Boston!

What You'll See and Do

  • ATV Ride
  • Boat Cruising
  • Cultural Exploration
  • Glacier Exploration
  • Hiking
  • Historical Sites
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hot Springs
  • Jetboating
  • Natural History
  • Photography
  • Sightseeing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Walking

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Iceland: Adventures in the Land of Fire and Ice

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Saturday, July 15, 2017 - Depart for Reykjavík, Iceland
Tonight you depart on your flight to Reykjavík, Iceland.
Meals Aloft

Day 2

Sunday, July 16 - Arrival in Iceland - Reykjavík Sightseeing, ATV Tour, Markets and the “Hidden People”
All flights on Icelandiair from the U.S.A. arrive at Keflavik Airport at approximately 6:30 - 6:45  a.m. If you arrive at a different time, you will have a voucher to get from the airport to the hotel.

After meeting as a group for the first time at the airport, you will be met and welcomed by your Icelandic guide Sólveig, and transferred to the northern-most capital in the world, Reykjavík.

Since you can’t check into the hotel until later in the afternoon, you'll spend today doing lots of activities (to keep you awake!), beginning with a sightseeing tour on the Reykjanes peninsula, with its vast lava fields and geothermal activity. You'll go from the Reykjanes Lighthouse, situated on the breathtaking coastline, to the bridge between the continents, the boiling mudfields of Krýsuvík, and a stop at Sólveig's hometown Grindavík for a visit to the Saltfish & Earth Energy Exhibition.

Breakfast is at a cozy small cafe at Grindavík harbor, followed by a thrilling (one hour) ATV ride through the rugged terrain of the volcanic peninsula. Quad biking in Iceland is a fun activity, and the ATVs are automatic and easy to drive, so no experience is needed. The ride takes you through various lava-fields and the old harbor, which is now a recreational area that contains dramatic old shipwrecks. Ride through rocky mountain paths towards the summit of Mt.Hagafell, with 360 degree panoramic views and be able to see the Blue Lagoon, volcanic craters, and Mt.Fagradalsfjall - where a historic US. military airplane crashed during WW2! Bring your camera!

After this adrenaline kick (and you're still awake!), go by bus to Hafnarfjörður town, one of Iceland’s most important ports long before Reykjavík was even a village. It is picturesquely located among craggy lava fields, and has a thriving port and fishing industry. Learn about the “hidden people", the elves and dwarfs, who are so closely knit into traditional Icelandic history.

Continue your tour to Reykjavík, Iceland´s capital. After a city sightseeing tour by bus, head off to a local food walk through the Old Harbour area, tasting Icelandic delicacies and take a short tasting  course at a local Icelandic cheese shop. Of course, you will also visit the Farmer´s market, an Icelandic design company and clothing brand, connecting heritage and modernity.

Check-in at the hotel in the afternoon for a well-deserved rest after a busy day! Dinner is on your own tonight in the hotel, or in one of Reykjavik’s many restaurants.
Breakfast and Lunch

Overnight Skuggi Hotel, Reykjavik
Hverfisgata 103, 101 Reykjavik
Phone (+354) 590 7000 / Fax (+354) 590 7020
email: skuggi@keahotels.is
http://www.keahotels.is/en/hotels/skuggi-hotel

Skuggi Hótel is a brand new hotel in Reykjavik's city center. Its timeless, modest and clear-cut design reflects the style of the hotel. All rooms are well designed and equipped with standard amenities for a comfortable stay.

The hotel is perfectly located near one of the oldest streets in Reykjavik, Hverfisgata, and is within walking distance from Iceland’s main shopping street Laugavegur, which is home to a variety of designer shops, cafés, restaurants, gift shops and exciting nightlife.

Day 3

Monday, July 17 - From Reykjavík to Stykkishólmur – Sagas, Ghosts Trolls, and Cruise on Breiðafjörður Bay
Europe’s second largest island, Iceland is not just an expansive wilderness landscape. It is a proud country, rich in history, literature, and folklore tradition. Its first inhabitants were Irish monks in the 5th century, who were then followed by the venerable Vikings from Norway in the 9th century. The first literary tradition to emerge was poetry. The epic dramas of early Viking settlement, romance, and dispute were recorded during the Saga Age. The Sagas, Iceland’s cherished historic tales, provided a strong sense of cultural heritage for Icelandic commoners and entertaining yarns to pass the long bitterly cold nights of winter. Today’s Icelanders are captivated by their history, and the sagas play a key role in maintaining the strength of the national psyche. The sagas are symbols, not only of the nation’s heroic past and of its literary achievements, but also of its survival.

Today you will drive past places of importance in the Egilssaga (Egill’s saga). This saga, the tale of the rogue warrior-poet and hero, Egill Skallagrímsson, is generally acknowledged to have been written by the chieftan Snorri Sturluson, one of the greatest of the early Icelandic poets. The bulk of the story tells of his often bloody and unforgiving adventures as a Viking, how he saves his life by reciting a poem called “Head Ransom,” and how he is persuaded by his daughter at the end of his life to put his grief into the composition of a poem, Sonnatorrek, one of the greatest poems of early modern times in Europe.

On the way to Stykkishólmur, one of Iceland’s most picturesque villages and the principal town on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula—a rugged yet beautiful arm of the Icelandic west coast that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean—visit Bjarnarhöfn Farm, where shark meat is processed. Here you are greeted with the “specialty” of the house, fermented shark and homemade Icelandic schnapps, called “the Black Death”!

Just outside Stykkishólmur, stop to hike up Mt. Helgafell. According to local folklore, those who climb Helgafell for the first time will have three wishes come true, provided a few conditions are observed: you must not look back or speak on the way; you must make your wishes facing east, and tell no one what they were. Also, only benevolent wishes are allowed. Even if your wishes are not fulfilled, Helgafell is worth the climb for the views of Breiðafjörður Bay and the mountains of the west fjords.

After check-in at the Hotel Stykkishólmur, board a boat for an unforgettable trip on Breiðafjörður Bay where you will cruise between countless islands populated by millions of birds. On the way back to shore, we see fishermen returning with their catch of the day.

Before dinner, you may take a dip in the swimming pool near the hotel. A “swimming pool” in Iceland is usually heated by the nearest hot springs, and almost always has an attached outdoor spa or “hot pots”. Swimming pools are a great Icelandic institution, and extremely popular year-round. This area of Iceland is also known for its stories about heroes, villains, ghosts, and trolls, who are an extremely important part of the Icelandic heritage.

This evening is at leisure, or off to bed early. We have plenty of suggestions for good restaurants for dinner.
Breakfast and Dinner

Overnight at the Hotel Stykkisholmur

Hotel Stykkisholmur
Borgarbraut 8, 340 Stykkisholmur
Tel: +354 430 2100 Fax: +354 430 2101.
www.hringhotels.is/hotel-stykkisholmur

This comfortable hotel on the water has great views of the islands.

The Icelandic Saga

The Icelandic saga is one of the world’s most astonishing literary achievements. The anonymous 13th-century saga authors were the first Europeans to write prose in their own language rather than in Latin. No one knows why the sagas were written, whether they are history or fiction, and who composed them. Icelanders will tell you that the greatest of the sagas contain everything you need to know about life. No other ancient literature can match them for gripping, laconically-told tales of individuals caught in inexorable, often terrible fates. Getting acquainted with them also reveals more about the Icelandic people, their culture, and the history of Iceland.

Day 4

Tuesday, July 18 - Lava Fields, Snæfellsjökull Glacier, Europe’s Biggest Hot Spring, Reykholt, and Haafell Goat Farm
Begin this morning with a drive through the fishing villages of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Heading west, marvel at the fantastic landscapes of Arnarstapi and Búðir and their unique rock formations, lava fields, and craters.

Búðir is a romantic, windswept location at the head of a sweeping expanse of white sand along the bay. The town, consisting of only a church and a hotel, is surrounded by the Budahraun lava field, rumored to be home to countless leprechauns.

While traveling, your guide tells you stories about the major focus of the peninsula, the Snæfellsjökull Glacier, and how it affected people’s lives through the ages. When you reach the town of Arnarstapi we view the magnificent glacier-covered cone volcano, Snæfellsjökull in the distance. Its mythical atmosphere became well known through the legendary French writer Jules Verne's characters, who started their Journey to the Center of the Earth at this volcano.

Many of the famous Icelandic sagas also unfolded in this spectacular area, home to elves, trolls and ancient sorcerers of Icelandic lore. Today rich bird life attracts visitors from all over the world. The Snæfellsnes Peninsula itself is often called "Iceland in a nutshell" because of its diversity of landscape.

Then you head to the small settlement of Reykholt, stopping on the way at the largest natural hot spring in Europe, Deildartunguhver. Drawing on the geothermal reserves of the area, it pumps out a staggering 180 liters of boiling water each second, and the billowing clouds of steam created by this mighty fissure are truly impressive. Hot water from the hot spring is piped about 35 miles away to heat nearby towns. The water is also used to speed up the growth of plants and vegetables by heating up surrounding greenhouses.

Stop for a visit with Johanna Bermann at her Icelandic goat farm. In the year 2000, Johanna secured the last 4 hornless goats in Iceland, then on the brink of extinction, and bred them back to a sustainable population. She established the Icelandic Goat Conservation Center, and there are now over 800 Icelandic goats in the country! Her farm also has a large and beautiful garden, and many goat products. Learn from Johanna about the Icelandic goat preservation center and the story about how she has brought back this rare species.

Arriving in Reykholt, you will visit the Snorrastofa Museum, named after Snorri Sturluson, a poet and historian, and one of the most important characters of the 13th century Sturlunga Saga. This fascinating and excellent museum is the best place to learn about Iceland’s rich history of saga events, characters, and writing.

The town of Reykholt—a little hamlet set in the wide open spaces of a fertile, pastoral valley—is a highlight of any visit to the west coast.

Your accommodation tonight is the lovely new Húsafell Hotel with adjoining pool and jacuzzis!  Dinner tonight is at the hotel.
Breakfast and Dinner

Hotel Húsafell
Husafell 311, Borgarbyggd
Tel: +354 435-1551
http://hotelhusafell.com/?langID=en

An interesting fact about Iceland: It has been estimated that fully one-third of all lava that has erupted on earth in recorded history has come from Iceland.

Day 5

Wednesday, July 19 - Snowmobiling on a Glacier, Into the Glacier, From the Kaldidalur Valley to Thingvellir
Start today with a thrilling experience, going by snowmobile at the top of  Langjökull glacier and into a man made ice tunnel, which takes you right into the blue ice. A once-in-a-lifetime experience! After you gear up, a local guide accompanies the group on the journey and gives you fascinating information about glaciers, their formation and build-up. After exploring the ice tunnel, you'll snowmobile back to basecamp on the glacier, with fabulous views all around. Two women share one snowmobile, so one person can drive to the ice tunnel, and the other can drive back.

You next drive through the haunting and barren beauty of the Kaldidalur Valley along the “notorious” mountain road. Pass four glaciers, then travel through a vast grey desert where ferocious sandstorms can appear in seconds, transforming what was once a clear vista of majestic ice caps and volcanic sands into an impenetrable cloud of grit and dirt. As the route climbs along the ridge, it affords spectacular views of the glaciers. Through the ages, this route has been known as a graveyard, haunted by the people who tried to cross it in bad weather.

Your destination from here is historic Thingvellir National Park, where the first Viking Parliament (the world’s first parliament) was held in the year 930 A.D., and then remained the seat of Iceland’s government for the next eight centuries. Almost every important moment in Iceland’s history has taken place here, in this spectacular natural amphitheater. When Iceland declared its independence in 1944, the field of Thingvellir was the obvious place for the ceremony. Today Thingvellir is still regarded with reverence by Icelanders, its historical weight reinforced by a serene natural beauty.

Thingvellir sits right on top of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and we can clearly see the dividing plates and the lake-filled-valley that has developed between the plates.

Continue on to the Great Geysir hot spring area and Gullfoss Waterfall (the Golden Waterfall), two of Iceland’s most famous sights. Although the Great Geysir itself has been inactive since the 1960s, its neighbor geyser, Storokkur, fires off a 30-meter-high spout every few minutes. “Geysir” is the namesake for all “geysers” found around the world. Gullfoss waterfall is where the River Hvítá tumbles 105 feet into a 1½-mile ravine—an awesome flow by any standards.

Dinner tonight is at the hotel, with local slow food specialties!
Breakfast and Dinner

Your next 2 nights are spent at the Icelandair Hotel Fludir

Icelandair Hotel Fludir
Vesturbrun 1, 845 Fludir
Tel: +354 486 6630 / Fax: +354 444 4001
www.icelandairhotels.com/en/hotels/fludir

Icelandair Hotel Fludir is located in the quiet and charming village of Fludir, with its rolling hills, streams, geothermal springs, greenhouses and mild weather. It’s the ideal location for our explorations of the Golden Circle, and to simply enjoy this area's beauty.

Day 6

Thursday, July 20 - Horseback Riding, Secret Lagoon, Jet Boat, and Lobster Feast
Today you will go on a riding tour to the Secret Lagoon! After breakfast, head off to the farm Syðra-Langholt, where the young couple Arna and Steini and their team await us for a super ride on the famous, gaited Icelandic horse!

The members of this family breed and train their own horses, and they have a great selection available. Steini studied Horse Training at the Hólar University College (a very prestigious horse training school in Iceland) and is a very accomplished trainer. The family and their international staff will make everybody feel right at home. You can be a complete novice rider to a highly skilled competition rider, and they will find the perfect horse for you!

After thorough introduction to the Icelandic horse and its famously smooth gait, the tölt, the ride will take you through rolling hills and idyllic farmland, where young horses, sheep, and cattle graze on endless green fields. If you can imagine a vision of the typical Icelandic farm life – this is it!

Your destination is the natural hot springs, the Secret Lagoon, which is about a 2.5 hour ride. The pool's steam rising into the air gives it a magical feeling, and the temperature of the hot springs water stays at 100 - 104 F all year round. Nearby there is even a little geyser that erupts every 5 minutes, showing off for all guests relaxing in the hot springs.

Changing rooms with showers are on site, and a light lunch served at the premises. After a long and relaxing bath, saddle up again and ride back to the farm for a coffee and a last hug for your new four–legged furry friend! For those who would rather go back to the hotel after the Secret Lagoon, transportation is offered. For all others who want to ride, you will take a different route to the farm (approx. 2 hour ride).

After the ride and hot springs soak, you'll go to a sweet little ceramics studio that also has a café specializing in slow food and organic produce. While sipping coffee (or tea) and cake, you'll meet the artist, Erna Skúladóttir, and have a look at her wonderful ceramics. You can see her Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/bragginn/?fref=ts

As if today wasn't exciting (and relaxing) enough, you rev it up again and continue to your next activity, a thrilling 40 minute high speed and adrenaline-charged ride in a jet boat on white water rapids of Hvita River below Gullfoss waterfall. Speed through a narrow basalt canyon, be exhilarated by 360 spins on the “milky white” river, and jump the rapids like James Bond! While onboard, you also get to enjoy amazing scenery, all from open deltas, dramatic canyons and white water rapids to rich bird life.

End this wonderful day with an amazing lobster feast at Restaurant Mika, where they specialize in "... a culinary journey of famous lobster dishes and handmade chocolate." Too good to be true?!

Tonight you return to our accommodation at Hotel Fludir, after an exciting day in this great area.
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Overnight Hotel Fludir

The Icelandic Horse

Selective breeding for over 1,000 years, free of genetic influence from outside blood lines, has produced one of the purest breeds of horses on earth. Due to Iceland’s harsh environment, only the fittest horses have survived over the centuries. That is why today’s Icelandic horse is strong and sure-footed, has great stamina, and possesses a friendly temperament.

The Icelandic horse has been bred as a five-gaited horse. It has three basic gaits—walk, trot and gallop—and two additional gaits, the tolt and pace. The tolt, a natural gait, is the most popular, and enables riders to comfortably travel 18-30 miles per day!

The tolt is an extremely smooth, four-beat gait that is much like a running walk or rack, and it offers a virtually bounce-free ride at speeds of up to 20 mph. The freedom the Icelandic horse enjoys also helps to explain its special capabilities, temperament, and behavior traits admired by riders. Herds are kept on very large tracts of land, where the horses run unhindered. They are, therefore, attentive and closely attuned to their environment.

Day 7

Friday, July 21 - Horse Show, Hydroponic Geothermal Tomatoes!, and Back to Reykjavík
This morning you begin your journey back to Reykjavík. After breakfast and check-out from the hotel, go by bus to Friðheimar, a charming farm where tomatoes are grown in geothermally heated greenhouses, and the farm also breeds and raises prize winning Icelandic horses!

Here you'll see a beautifully arranged Icelandic horse show with music and Icelandic flags! The show provides an insight into the story of this remarkable horse breed, which was brought to Iceland by the first settlers from Scandinavia around 900 AD. Then after the horse show you are invited to have homemade soup in the cozy Greenhouse restaurant! "At Friðheimar we strive to grow the tastiest tomatoes we can, while respecting nature. Our tomatoes are cultivated all year round using the latest technology, in an environmentally-friendly way: green energy, pure water and organic pest controls combine to produce fresh, healthful tomatoes." You will see why this place is amazing.

Have you ever had a meal in a geothermal greenhouse? "Come and enjoy a unique food experience at our restaurant, with tomatoes growing all around! Tomato soup and fresh-baked bread, as well as other goodies, in a charming environment among the plants."  Lunch AND a horse show? What more could you ask for!

http://fridheimar.is/en/

After lunch and the horse show, drive just one hour back to Reykjavik and check into the hotel. For the afternoon, you can either relax, or choose to continue your adventure with various optional tours (at an additional cost) that you can do on your own from the hotel:

A visit into a volcano: https://insidethevolcano.com/
Whalewatching: http://elding.is/
Bike tours: http://icelandbike.com/classic_reykjavik.html
Helicopter tours: http://www.reykjavikhelicopters.com/
Shopping and Museums – both easily reached by foot from the hotel!

But you better be back for the celebratory and festive Farewell Dinner at Kolabrautin Restaurant at the beautiful *Harpa Concert Hall! An evening at Kolabrautin is truly a feast for all the senses, where Icelandic freshness meets Italian tradition. Says the chef... "We consider ourselves lucky Icelanders, to live amongst such abundance of fresh produce that nature provides. The constant supply of fish swimming in clear sea and pure freshwater all year round, lamb grazing on herbs in the highlands and seasonal wild game are among the things we almost take for granted. We also pride ourselves of one of the city’s best bars, voted the best cocktail bar in Reykjavik by the Reykjavik Grapevine magazine."

* The Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center stands out as a unique landmark in continuous interplay with its surroundings. The design was influenced by Iceland‘s exceptional and dramatic nature. Situated on the boundary between land and sea, the building is a gleaming sculpture reflecting both sky and harbor, as well as the vibrant life of the city.
Breakfast, Lunch, and Farewell Dinner

Overnight Skuggi Hotel, Reykjavik
Hverfisgata 103, 101 Reykjavik
Phone (+354) 590 7000 / Fax (+354) 590 7020
email: skuggi@keahotels.is
http://www.keahotels.is/en/hotels/skuggi-hotel

Day 8

Saturday, July 22 - The Blue Lagoon and Departure
This morning you will have plenty of leisure time to shop, walk, and sightsee in Reykjavík. At noon, you will depart Reykjavík and spend the rest of your afternoon at the famous Blue Lagoon, for a soak in the warm, mineral rich waters of this surreal outdoor spa. (For those on Icelandair flights, which leave early evening, you will be transferred to the airport late afternoon from the Blue Lagoon Spa. If you are on a Delta flight, which departs in the morning, you will be transferred to the airport from our hotel in Reykjavik on the morning of July 22, unless you decide to stay longer in order to do the Blue Lagoon Spa experience).

Lunch is available at the Blue Lagoon, optionally served in the lagoon on floating tables, or in the dining room. The pale blue geothermal waters are known for their healing effects, and smoothing the white silica mud on your body is said to gently cleanse the skin. You can also book a massage. Now THIS is a great way to end our adventure before boarding our international flight back to the US!

Late afternoon transfer from the Blue Lagoon to the airport for Icelandair flights, with arrival home this same day. (Delta flights must transfer to the airport in the morning, so you may miss the Blue Lagoon).
Breakfast

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Iceland: Adventures in the Land of Fire and Ice

Traveling to Iceland


Our Professional Guide

Your wonderful and knowledgeable Icelandic driver-guide is Sólveig Jónsdóttir, who has been our fabulous guide on this trip for over ten years. We look forward to you meeting her!

Travel Documents and Health Requirements

Citizens of the United States must possess a valid passport. Iceland does not require a visa. If you do not have a valid passport (which must be valid 6 months after your intended stay), APPLY NOW!

You MUST have your own health insurance, and not have any physical problems or conditions that would be adversely affected by participating in any of the planned trip activities and the rigors of international travel.

This trip is rated as MODERATE, which means that you must be in very good physical condition. This trip offers moderate physical challenges, and you should be able to hike from 5-8 miles, in rolling terrain.

Traveling to Iceland: Arrival and Departure

You will be traveling on Icelandair from Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, New York (JFK), Boston, Denver, Orlando or Seattle to Reykjavík, Iceland. Icelandair also flies out of the cities of Vancouver, Edmonton, Halifax and Toronto, Canada. You should plan to depart the US from one of the Icelandair gateway cities on the evening of July 15, 2017. All of these flights arrive into Reykjavík within minutes of each other, early on the morning of July 16, 2017. Please call us to coordinate your flights from your hometown to and from Reykjavik, Iceland.

If you choose to travel on an airline other than Icelandair (most likely Delta Airlines, which departs out of New York, JFK), please coordinate your schedules with the beginning and end of our trip in Reykjavik. You need to be in Iceland by early in the morning on July 16, because we have a full day of activities that is based on arriving by 6:30 - 6:45am.

If you are not part of the group pick up on arrival (July 16) and departure (July 22), we will get you a voucher for transport to and from the airport, based on your arrival and departure times.

Once we know everyone’s arrival time into Reykjavík, we will organize a time and place to meet at the airport in Reykjavík on the morning of July 16, 2017. We will let you know this in the final letter, which is sent to everyone approximately three weeks prior to the trip.

For your departure on July 22, 2017: for those on Icelandair flights (which leave early evening), you will be transferred to the airport late afternoon from the Blue Lagoon Spa. If you are on a Delta flight (which departs in the morning), you will be transferred to the airport from our hotel in Reykjavik on the morning of July 22, unless you decide to stay longer.

Making Travel Arrangements to Reykjavik, Iceland

We are happy to help you make your flight and travel arrangements. Please contact us for more information.

NOTE: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible booking last minute registrants, we must often relinquish hotel space and air reservations up to 6 – 12 weeks prior to departure!

Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.

Final Payment

Final payment is due to AdventureWomen, LLC in a cash form (check, money order or wire transfer) on or before April 17, 2017.

Money

The unit of currency is the Icelandic króna (ISK), plural krónur, divided into 100 aurar. Iceland’s three banks, Íslandsbanki, Landsbanki Ísland, and Búnaðarbanki, all offer foreign exchange facilities and are found in even the tiniest villages. Most have ATMs on their premises, available after banking hours, which are usually Monday to Friday from 9:15am to 4:00pm. Credit cards are widely used in Iceland for purchases and cash advances, and travelers checks are accepted by all banks and most hotels.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Iceland: Adventures in the Land of Fire and Ice

What's Included:

  • 7 days/6 nights, fully guided Iceland Discovery Adventure tour with an English-speaking Icelandic driver-guide
  • All airport and luggage transfers throughout the trip
  • All minibus transportation
  • Excellent hotel accommodations in Reykjavík and in the countryside (twin-bedded, double occupancy, private baths)
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary
  • All activities throughout our trip: Sightseeing tour of Reykjavík; ATV ride; local Reykjavik food walk; boat tour from Stykkisholmur; goat farm visit; snowmobiling to glacier and Ice Tunnel; horseback ride to Secret Lagoon with orientation and introduction to the Icelandic horse ; jet boat tour; guided hiking; horse show; entrance fee to Blue Lagoon; and all admissions and entrance fees
  • One AdventureWomen Associate throughout

What's Not Included:

  • Round-trip airfare to Reykjavík, Iceland
  • Alcoholic beverages and drinks with meals
  • Optional gratuities to our Icelandic driver-guide (we suggest $100/person)

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Iceland: Adventures in the Land of Fire and Ice

What to Bring:

Weather in Iceland

Iceland’s summer is from mid-June to mid-August, with average daily temperatures of 58 degrees F in July. (It can be warm enough to wear a light shirt, or cold enough to send you looking for your down jacket!!) During this time, almost continual daylight illuminates the land, and occasional rain and drizzle can be common in the south. Light woolens, polypropylene fabrics and wind- and rain-proof clothing are essential. Dressing in layers works best in Iceland’s changeable weather. Casual clothes are ideal for all parts of our trip.

  • Rain gear. Weather in Iceland can be extremely variable, and you should be well prepared for whatever conditions occur. Therefore, it is very important to bring a good rain suit (including a jacket and pants). A rain jacket or poncho will not keep your legs and feet dry, and it is important that ALL of you remain dry in a downpour. Your rain jacket can also act as a lightweight wind jacket.
  • Medium-weight hiking boots. It is best not to wear shoes, even if they are walking shoes, because ANKLE support is absolutely essential in mountain terrain. Please do not buy heavy, leather boots as there are numerous, medium-weight, quality hiking boots on the market. Asolo, Garmont, Merrill, Vasque, and other makes are widely available and designed especially for women. Since they are waterproof, Gore-tex boots, although a bit more expensive, are our first choice. Other boots should be waterproofed with one of the excellent waterproofing products available such as Nikwax. MAKE SURE your boots fit properly and are well broken-in. Wear them around town to thoroughly break them in. PLEASE DO NOT COME ON THIS TRIP WITH A PAIR OF BOOTS YOU HAVE NEVER WORN BEFORE!
  • One wool (or fleece) sweater, one wool cap, and gloves. The wool sweater or fleece jacket can be layered under your rain parka to act as a warmer jacket.
  • Extra pair of comfortable shoes such as tennis shoes or sport sandals to wear in the evenings.
  • Day pack that is water resistant for carrying rain gear, camera, water bottle, etc., on day trips (you can use this for your carry-on bag). If not waterproof, bring a garbage bag to line the inside of the pack.
  • One 1-quart plastic water bottle. We prefer Nalgene bottles that are unbreakable and don’t taste of plastic in warm weather.
  • Long pants and hiking shorts, several pairs.
  • Long-sleeve shirts and T-shirts, underwear, sleepwear.
  • Bathing suit(s) for all the swimming pools and hot springs we’ll be visiting.
  • Socks. It is best to wear 2 pair of socks inside your hiking boots, a pair of wool socks, and a thin pair of liner socks underneath the wool socks. We  like Thorlo hiking socks and polypropylene liner socks which wick moisture and reduce blistering. Bring plenty of socks!
  • Bandanas. Bring 2 or 3 (100% cotton) for instant sweat bands and other uses too numerous to mention, some of which you have never even dreamed! Besides, it’s a tradition at AdventureWomen!
  • Pre-moistened towelettes or baby wipes.
  • Hand sanitizer (alcohol based).
  • Sun hat and sunglasses with securing strap.
  • A spare pair of glasses (if you wear glasses).
  • Sunscreen, sunburn relief products, and lip balm with SPF - all fragrance free.
  • Toiletries.
  • Ziplock bags in various sizes. For wet, dirty clothes and shoes, or to pack anything that might leak.
  • Washcloth.
  • Lightweight flashlight (small but has a good beam for spotlighting) with extra batteries and bulb and/or small headlamp for reading in bed.
  • Swiss army knife or equivalent with scissors (very handy for cutting duct tape or moleskin if you get a blister on your feet). Be sure to pack this in your checked luggage.
  • Small travel alarm clock.
  • Earplugs. We recommend Mack's Pillow Soft White Moldable Silicone Snore Proof Earplugs, which you can buy at most drugstores, or www.earplugstore.com. Good to 22 Decibels!
  • Extra clothes for evenings. Casual clothes for relaxed dinners out.
  • For foot care: Although we won’t be doing difficult hikes, you might consider bringing foot care items. To prevent blisters, many hikers use moleskin. However, we recommend bringing a small roll of ordinary duct tape as an alternative. Applied when you feel a “hot spot”, before a blister forms, it reduces friction much better than moleskin. If you develop a blister, Spenco “2nd Skin” is a very comforting necessity. Also bring foot powder for moisture absorption, and your own personal “foot care kit” which should include: cloth (not plastic) Bandaids, about 10 individually wrapped alcohol pads, and a small tube of Neosporin or other antibiotic cream.
  • Optional: lightweight binoculars, journal, a book to read.

First Aid Kit

  • Foot powder for moisture absorption; cloth, not plastic Bandaids; about 10 individually wrapped alcohol pads; and a small tube of Neosporin or other antibiotic cream.
  • Aspirin/ibuprofen, etc.
  • Cold-symptom relief tablets, antihistamine, cough drops.
  • Tweezers.
  • Ace bandage.
  • Systemic antibiotic (prescription)/optional (but not a bad idea to always take this on international trips.)
  • Prescription medicines in their original bottles.
  • Acidophilus enzyme (available in capsules in health-food stores). This often helps your digestive system get in shape for “new” flora.
  • Immodium, Lomotil, or similar anti-diarrhea medicine.
  • Pepto-Bismol tablets and/or liquid (in leak-proof bottle).
  • Laxative tablets.
  • Visine or similar eye drops.
  • If you are only going to read one guide on Iceland, we recommend reading, The Insight Guides: Iceland

Camera Equipment

For many women, photography will be a very large part of this trip. The opportunities are endless, and the scenery spectacular! We suggest that you bring many more memory cards and batteries than you think you could ever use!

  • Digital camera, memory cards, battery chargers. You will be able to charge all of your batteries in hotels.
  • Any camera gear you carry during the trip should be in a backpack or in a bag that will leave your hands free. It is also recommended that a tight sealing camera bag be used to protect your camera equipment from moisture, dust, sand and dirt. Large Ziploc bags are especially handy.

Last Minute Reminders

  • Make photocopies of your airline tickets and the first two pages of your passport, and put them in different locations (suitcase, carry-on bag, etc.).
  • Bring 2-3 extra passport size photos to use in emergencies.
  • Your valuables should be insured for the duration of the trip, but better yet, leave them at home.
  • Remove extra credit cards, driver’s license, and personal items from wallet or purse.
  • Make sure passport and airline tickets are valid and in the correct name.
  • Check with airline to reconfirm reservations and departure time (most airlines want to hear directly from the client for confirmations).

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.