Iceland Expedition route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $5495  
Length: 8 days
Arrive: Reykjavik, Iceland
Depart: Reykjavik, Iceland
Lodging: 7 nights hotels
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: 8 hiking days on moderate to strenuous trails, some steep sections, 3-8 hours a day, optional glacier walking, van support
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Highlights

  • Hike in an unearthly landscape of fjords, iceberg-filled lagoons, geysers, and moss-covered lava fields
  • Skaftafell and Thingvellir, with their glaciers, waterfalls, and chasms
  • Soak in Reykjavik’s famous Blue Lagoon
  • Enjoy the “midnight sun” of the north, savory cuisine from fresh local fish to marinated lamb
  • Relax in small intimate lodges in remote settings


This was an amazing trip. I feel like I am still walking the fjords! The beauty of Iceland will never leave me. Thank you!Linda A.—Minneapolis, MN

Recent Photo Blog Posts

A Natural Beauty, Paul Kaplan

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Iceland is an untamed world of fire and ice, of spouting geysers, blue lagoons, massive glaciers, and multicolored valleys stretching to the sea. We designed this spectacular adventure to immerse you in the full realm of Iceland’s extraordinary landscapes, with fantastic coastal and mountain hikes (and plenty of summit options). The glacier kingdom of Skaftafell National Park, the geologic wonders of Thingvellir National Park, the high valleys and brooding heaths of ancient “saga” country where the rich history of Viking clan warfare played out in the Middle Ages—they’re all on this journey. Along the way, you’ll savor local treats from arctic char to freshly-caught salmon and revel in the surreal scenery of a magical country unlike any other on earth.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-2
Reykjavik / Hofn / Vatnajokull Glacier

The icecap of Vatnajokull, Europe’s largest glacier, is the backdrop for our hikes between mountain and shore. One hike on a rarely traveled path alongside fascinating geologic formations brings you to the base of the prominent peak of Ketillaugarfjall for spectacular glacier and coastal views. The soft northern light adds a mystic glow to this ethereal landscape.

Days 3-6
Jokulsarlon / Skaftafell National Park / Vik / Skogar

After a hike along stunning Jokulsarlon Lagoon, cross Skaftafellsheidi Heath, passing the beautiful Svartifoss waterfall and skirting the massive Skaftafellsjokull Glacier. In Skogar, enjoy a sampling of beers from a nearby microbrewery, visit the seaside village of Vik, then explore the famed Great Geysir.

Days 7-8
Thingvellir National Park / Blue Lagoon

Explore trails in the Reykjadalur Valley, with its green hills and natural hot springs, and magnificent Thingvellir National Park, a World Heritage Site, then enjoy a soak in the milky blue waters of the Blue Lagoon, a famed geothermal spring, before departing on Day 8.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 3+, Moderate to Strenuous. It features daily mountain hikes and hotel accommodations throughout. The hikes can be considered strenuous because they are on undefined, steep trails or through some rugged terrain. The terrain can be very wet. There are many short but steep parts on our hikes, and much up and down. Sturdy, well-broken-in hiking boots are essential. Gaiters are not required but will protect your pant legs from getting wet when we hike through boggy areas. Hiking poles are highly recommended.

Temperatures should be in the mid 50s, perfect for hiking. The weather can provide spectacular clear days but can also be very wet and changeable, and we want you to be well prepared for all that you may encounter. Icelandic weather is always unpredictable, so you must come prepared for at least some rain and bring appropriate rain gear. It is unlikely that it will be hot. Please note that in Europe, the dinner hour is considerably later than what it is in the US. We do our best to secure early reservations for our groups, but most often the evening meal will be at 7:30 PM.

Getting in Shape
For your own enjoyment, we recommend you make a special effort to be in good physical condition. Daily brisk walking and/or regular hiking (or using a stair-climbing machine at your gym) are excellent preparatory exercises.

Life on the Trip
We drive to a starting point for our hike and our vehicle picks us up at the end of the hike to drive us to our night’s lodging. Some days combine sightseeing and hiking, but we usually don’t spend more than a couple of hours in the van at one stretch. Where possible, those who are not up for hiking can usually opt out and spend time on their own exploring the small villages where we stay.

Accommodations and Meals
Our nights will be spent at comfortable hotels and inns. Please keep in mind that on this trip we are crossing rural Iceland. The rooms in our hotels and inns will not always conform to international hotel standards and sizes. Please note that in Europe, the dinner hour is considerably later than what it is in the U.S. We do our best to secure early reservations for our groups, but most often the evening meal will be at 7:30 pm.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures & Leaders

2015
Jun 19-26, 2015  Gunnar Bjorgvinsson
Jul 17-24, 2015  Gunnar Bjorgvinsson
Aug 21-28, 2015  Gunnar Bjorgvinsson

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015
$5495 (13-15 members)
$5795 (10-12 members)
$6195 (8-9 members)
Single supplement: $890
Forced single supplement: $690
Internal airfare: $280 (subject to change) Reykjavik/Hofn
more on pricing

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations
  • All meals included
  • Land transportation, airport transfers for passengers, and sightseeing as noted in the Full Trip Brochure

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, transfers for independent arrival or departure, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessary due to airline schedule changes or other factors, expenses such as medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20% of trip cost
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

More than 90 days prior to departure: No charge!
46-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Hotel Hofn

Hotel Hofn

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights), Hofn, Iceland

The Hofn has a peaceful location in the town of Hofn with a great view of massive Vatnajokull, at 3,300 square miles Europe’s largest glacier. ...
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Hotel Skaftafell

Hotel Skaftafell

Days 3 to 4 (2 nights), Oraefum, Iceland

This lodging is truly in “the middle of nowhere,” near the tongue of the huge Vatnajokull Glacier on the edge of spectacular Skaftafell ...
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Hotel Ranga

Hotel Ranga

Day 5 (1 night), Hella, Iceland

Halfway between Reykjavik and Vik along the south coast, the Hotel Ranga has a wonderfully isolated setting. The Ranga offers spacious, ...
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Hotel Ion

Hotel Ion

Day 6 (1 night), Thingvellir, Iceland

With a remote wilderness setting amid lava fields, the Ion offers comfortable guest rooms and tasty meals, mostly locally sourced. Views from the ...
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Radisson Blu 1919

Radisson Blu 1919

Day 7 (1 night), Reykyavik, Iceland

The Radisson Blu 1919 is a modern, well-run hotel with a pleasant staff. Its position in central Reykjavik, between the old harbor and the shopping ...
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Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Gunnar Bjorgvinsson

Gunnar Bjorgvinsson, a graduate of the University of Iceland, spends his summers guiding sea kayaking trips and hiking trips in his native Iceland and in the winter teaches classes in wilderness skills. He has a vast knowledge of Icelandic culture and history, from its famous mountain trolls to the stories of its Viking seafarers.

Upcoming Trips:

Iceland Expedition, June 19-26, 2015
Northern Iceland Expedition, June 29-July 6, 2015
Iceland Expedition, July 17-24, 2015
Northern Iceland Expedition, July 27-August 3, 2015
Iceland Expedition, August 21-28, 2015

Client Testimonials:


Gunnar is a great guide. He knows the trails very well, has a great personality, a good sense of humor, and is a great storyteller. Elaine H., Medford MN
Iceland Expedition
Gunnar is a true gentleman, aware of everyone's concerns. Robert V., Virginia Beach CA
Iceland Expedition
Gunnar’s knowledge and passion about not only the land but also the politics of the country were outstanding and deepened my appreciation of the trip. His expertise in mountaineering was evident and created a safe environment. Elaine R., Santa Barbara CA
Iceland Expedition
Quiet-spoken, highly knowledgeable, confident, and an excellent leader. Kevin O., Albany CA
Iceland Expedition
Gunnar was great--you are very lucky to have him. He has a great combination of experience, dedication, care, attentiveness, and personality. Ellen S., El Paso, TX
Iceland Expedition
Gunnar was a terrific leader, with a very understated, wry, but terrific sense of humor. Stunningly well-qualified in terms of outdoors experience, capability and judgment. David L., Manchester, NH
Iceland Expedition
One of the best guides I've ever had. Bob B., Chevy Chase, MD
Iceland Expedition
I enjoyed having Gunnar as a leader. He loves his country and is genuinely happy to share it with visitors. Ken G., Orlando, FL
Iceland Expedition
A fabulous leader. Excellent combination of knowledge, organization, and people skills. Burt R., New York, NY
Iceland Expedition
Gunnar had a vast and deep knowledge of Iceland geology and culture and was a wonderful leader. Bill W., Menlo Park, CA
Iceland Expedition
It would be tough to beat Gunnar for his expertise and willingness to share his own experiences. Walter S., Tucson, AZ
Iceland Expedition
Gunnar was excellent! Very kind, thoughtful, knowledgeable, good sense of humor—a wonderful person. Carol K., Cincinnati, OH
Iceland Expedition
Gunnar is simply wonderful. He represents his country beautifully and is such a soft-spoken man with a great sense of humor and so much knowledge. He works very hard, is a true mountain man. and we all loved him. We were sad to say goodbye to him. Diana W., Chicago, IL
Iceland Expedition
I really enjoyed Gunnar and his deep knowledge of Iceland and its history. Nick F., Akron, OH
Northern Iceland Expedition
Gunnar had a soft-spoken style with great leadership skills and confidence. He was always positive and willing to share his knowledge and perspectives. David A., Evanston, IL
Northern Iceland Expedition
I really enjoyed having Gunnar as a guide—knowledgeable, accessible, and sensitive to the concerns of participants. Craig S., San Francisco, CA
Northern Iceland Expedition

Client Comments

This was an amazing trip. I feel like I am still walking the fjords! The beauty of Iceland will never leave me. Thank you! Linda A., Minneapolis, MN Iceland is one of the most beautiful and natural places we’ve ever been. Robert V., Virginia Beach, VA This trip gets my highest rating in terms of leadership and management of details. Iceland is a delightful and surprisingly beautiful pace to visit. Dennis S., Oakland, CA This was our first WT adventure and our first attempt at an active (hiking) vacation. It was a great success on all counts. Lynne F., Hastings, NE A wonderful trip in a beautiful place! Jeff L., Sioux Falls, SD Well conceived and well run trip. Iceland’s a fantastic place. Gail L., Chicago, IL Superior trip, excellent leadership. Edgar G., Syracuse, NY Loved the trip, loved the challenge of the hikes, the scenery, and getting to know Iceland and its culture. Would love to go back and see more. Margie C., Lake Forest, IL A very well balanced trip with excellent guides. I felt safe and comfortable the entire journey. The hiking was excellent, as was the variety of locations and scenery. Ellen R., Santa Barbara, CA
The trip far exceeded our expectations in beauty. The moss-covered mountains, waterfalls, gorges, and glaciers were truly gorgeous. Ellen and Harvey F., Los Angeles, CA We were both very pleased with the trip. We loved having everything organized for us leaving us free to just enjoy the scenery and relax! Michelle H., Sunnyvale, CA I loved Iceland. The geographic diversity from day to day made each hike so different, from glaciers and icebergs to swimming in a hot river. Ken G., Orlando, FL We fell in love with Iceland. It was really hard to leave such a beautiful country and people. Joyce N., Fort Mohave, AZ Iceland is a marvelous country and the itinerary was really, really good—from seaside, through glaciers, waterfalls, then geothermals. It didn't hurt that the weather cooperated mightily. Walter S., Tucson, AZ One of the best trips we've ever taken. The beauty of Iceland cannot be surpassed. Paul and Joy K., Phoenix, AZ

Recent Photo Blog Posts

A Natural Beauty, Paul Kaplan