Tour details | Departures 18 October, 15 November 2017, 14 February 2018 & 21 February 2018
Intrepid Travel and New Scientist take you on an amazing seven day tour across Iceland's majestic landscape.
Our itinerary (full details below) explores many varied aspects including exploring a lava cave and a tunnel into a glacier, visiting a geothermal power plant and relaxing in the blue lagoon. Travelling across the country you’ll encounter numerous waterfalls, lava fields and of course, many volcanoes. Our expert local guides will inform and enlighten you as you travel.
This unforgettable tour of Iceland’s majestic landscapes, includes days filled with adventure and night-time opportunities to see the Aurora Borealis. Away from the capital, the hotels are located in remote regions with minimal light pollution and, during new moon, the dark Icelandic skies will be further optimised for viewing the aurora.
Intrepid Travel has been running tours around the world for over 25 years and its astronomy team can draw on decades of experience in the planning and execution of tours to Iceland.
To book your place please call our specialist travel consultants on +44 020 3308 9763 or fill in the interest form below.
Iceland Tour 2017
Prices from £1,790 for 7 days (land only) | Single supplement £280 per person
Meet and greet at the arrival hall at the Keflavik International Airport. Your guide will welcome you to Iceland and escort you to your private coach. The route leads you to Borgarfjörður area.
Overnight: Fosshotel Reykholt in Borgarfjörður
Your guide and driver will meet you at your accommodation. We drive from Reykjavik to Borgarnes and onwards to Snæfellsnes peninsula. The main attraction of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is with no doubt Snæfellsjokull glacier, a beautifully shaped strato volcano at the very end of the peninsula. The glacier and the unspoiled natural wonders surrounding it, is the scene of Jules Verne’s novel “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” and one of seven most energetic sites on Earth according to New Age beliefs. Búðir is a very impressive area, where you can have a great walk in a unique landscape with mixture of sandy hills, black lava and yellow beach. Arnarstapi offers a great opportunity for a walk along the sea cliffs and strange holes in the ground reaching to the sea with spectacular columnar rock formations where seabirds nest. On to Vatnshellir cave exploration. Inside the lava tube there are two main sections. The upper section has great features and unique formations of lava statues curved on the sides of the lava tube. The lower part of the lava cave which can be reached by a long and narrow staircase takes us deep down underground to a place which was hidden from the outside world for thousands of years. Vatnshellir was created in volcanic eruption some 8,000 years ago. Visiting this beautiful cave offers a unique experience. In the total darkness of the lava cave most sense shut down and the sense of smell becomes dominant, deep underground there is absolutely no sound. From Vatnshellir cave we continue to Djúpalónssandur, before the tour continues around the peninsula passing mountain Kirkjufell and from there on towards Húsafell.
Overnight: Fosshotel Reykholt
After nearly five years of studying, planning, and modelling by top engineers and world- renowned geo physicists and glacier specialists, the Langjokull Ice Cave, located high on Europe’s second largest glacier, is now open to the public!
Today's adventure starts with a drive around Borgarfjordur to the edge of Langjokull glacier. Along the way, you‘ll explore the magical landscape, such as the Hraunfossar and Barnafossar waterfalls, and Deildartunguhver, Europe‘s most powerful hot spring.
When you reach Langjokull glacier, it's time to board an 8-wheel glacier truck that will take you on an adventurous journey to the entrance of the ice cave. During the excursion within the glacier itself you'll see colors of blue you never knew existed, and learn how glaciers hide the secrets of history. After an approximately 50-minute visit within the glacier, your will reach Húsafell area.
From there we drive straight to your accommodation in Hveragerði where you stay the next 2 nights.
Overnight: Hotel Örk in Hveragerði
We drive to the ice capped volcano Eyjafjallajökull, last active in 2010. Continuing we drive through the region where one of the best known of the Icelandic classical sagas, Njál’s Saga is set. The South Shore is one of the most popular region of Iceland for a number of reasons: The waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógarfoss tumbling over high rock escarpments; The stone arch Dyrhólaey with its sheer cliffs; The picturesque setting of Vík village; A row of glaciers towering over the scenery and the Reynisdrangar rock pillars (some say they are petrified trolls) decorating the black beach of Reynihverfi. Late in the day we head back to Reykjavík after a memorable day.
Our first stop of the day is at Gluggafoss waterfall (Window falls) he upper half of the cliff is palagonite or tuff rock and the lower ledge is basalt. The river has formed tunnels and grooves through the soft rock and a series of 'windows' in the tunnels, thereby earning the name 'Gluggafoss'. At the very top of the falls, the river passes under a stone arch. As the rock is rather soft, the waterfall has changed over time. We drive to the gorgeous Seljalandsfoss waterfall. This waterfall is about 60 m high and it is relatively easy to walk all the way around it. The mud behind it is rather slippery. From Seljalandsfoss we continue to Þorvaldseyri farm. Þorvaldseyri has been in the same family for over a century. Though mainly a milk and cattle farm, since 1960, it has become noted for grain crops, not usually found in the sub-Arctic. We begin at Þorvaldseyri Visitor Centre opened on April 14, 2011, exactly one year after the Eyja- fjallajökull eruption started. As a family-run facility, their goal is to give visitors a personal look at what it’s like to have a volcano at your back door. Colourful graphics, incredible photos and clear text explain the local volcanic system and the frequency of eruptions in Iceland. The highlight of the visit is the dramatic film, which shows the incredible power and scope of the eruption as well as how they met the challenges of clean-up and recovery. After the exhibition at the visitor center you will drive to Skógafoss waterfall, Skoga Folk Museum and a lunch. After Skogar you will enjoy a Glacier walk on Solheimajökull Glacier. Glacier walk is a great glacier adventure where you can try for yourself how it feels to walk on ice. We walk on Sólheimajökull glacier (a part of the Mýrdalsjökull ice cap) on the south coast of Iceland. We walk through the varied landscape on our way, formed by the glacier for the past thousands of years. There you will see how fast the glacier has been melting for the past 15 years. After safety briefing and a lesson in ice walking we will head onto the glacier to experience this unique environment with some amazing terrain with crevasse, sink holes and ice ridges. Drive past Dyrhólaey, a magnificent rocky headland with sheer cliffs before stopping for lunch in the charming village of Vík famous for its volcanic black sand beaches. After the break we head for the sea shore which is flanked by steep bird cliffs rising above the black, wave pounded sands. In the sea just outside the village of Vík are Reynisdrangar rocks - 66 meters (215 feet) above sea level. From Reynisfjara we drive back to your accommodation in Hveragerði.
Overnight: Hotel Örk in Hveragerði
Today we begin with a short drive to Friðheimar tomato greenhouse and horse farm. You‘ll visit the greenhouses and then enjoy a taste of the crop. The 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, juicy tomatoes. After enjoying some greenhouse visit you continue the drive until you are treated up close and personal to one of Iceland‘s largest personalities: Gullfoss (Golden Falls). Majestic and thunderous, the force and beauty of this two tiered waterfall will be something your camera wants to linger on. Lunch break is usually at Gullfoss Cafe near Gullfoss waterfall, but in some cases a stop is made for lunch at the Information Center by Geysir geothermal area. Next up is Geysir geothermal area, home of the famous Geysir and Strokkur hot springs. The Strokkur hot spring erupts every 5 minutes or so, making it one of the most active geyser. From Geysir we continue further to Lake Laugarvatn area.
Last stop of today will be at the UNESCO-listed Thingvellir National Park, where you'll encounter amazing scenery. At Þingvellir National Park is where the tectonic plates of Europe and North America meet and one of the world's oldest parliaments was founded in 930 AD.
Then we drive to Reykjavik where you stay at the same hotel for the next 2 nights.
Overnight: Grand Hotel Reykjavik (or similar)
Your private driver and guide will meet you again at your accommodation. We begin the day by driving to Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant. The Geothermal Energy Exhibition at Hellisheiði Power Plant is a state-of-the-art look into the utilization of geothermal energy in Iceland. The Hellisheiði Power Plant is a striking example of how geothermal energy can be utilized in a sustainable manner and is a showcase for geothermal’s global role in a renewable and sustainable future. Experienced guides are on-hand to provide informative presentations and lectures backed by multimedia exhibitions about geothermal energy as a global energy source. From Hellisheidi Power Plant we continue to the geothermal town of Hveragerdi. There you will enjoy lunch at Kjöt & Kunst Restaurant. (Lunch to be paid on spot). At the restaurant they offer something that they call “Earth cooking”. Kjot & Kunst is located in the center of Hveragerði, near the Geothermal Park. This enables them to have access to the steam from hot springs deep down in the earth which they pipe directly to their inside and outside kitchen. *** ( THIS CAN BE MOVED AS THE GROUP WILL STAY IN HVERAGERÐI. Can also be a dinner option )
There you can experience food, pastry and cakes cooked by using steam from hot springs. After enjoying earth cooking and exploring the geothermal town of Hveragerdi we drive to Krýsuvík via Sudurstandarvegur. The main geothermal areas in Krýsuvík are Seltún, Hverahvammur and Hverahlíð. The banks around the hot springs are coloured green, yellow and red. Columns of steam rise skywards and the bubbling mud pools play their rhythmical symphony. From Krýsuvík we continue to Gunnuhver which is a highly active geothermal area of mud pools and steam vents on the southwest part of the Reykjanes Peninsula. From Gunnuhver we drive top the tip of Reykjanes peninsula past Reykjanesvita lighthouse, Iceland’s oldest lighthouse dates back to 1878 and was located at Valahnukur until earthquakes and erosion threatened to wash it away to sea. We end our day by driving to Blue Lagoon for a late afternoon experience. The world-renowned Blue Lagoon is filled with pleasantly warm mineral-rich geothermal water in the middle of a black lava field. The high natural levels of silica, algae and minerals give the Lagoon its rich blue color. The silica and minerals are also given recognition for the healing powers of the Lagoon, which help cure skin diseases such as psoriasis. A visit to the Blue Lagoon promotes harmony between body, mind and spirit, enabling bathers to soak away life’s daily stresses. The modern facilities have been developed into a wellness complex including saunas, a warm flowing waterfall, and in-water treatments and massages using the all-natural Blue Lagoon skin care products. After some refreshment and relaxation we head back to your accommodation in Reykjavík.
Overnight: Grand Hotel Reykjavik (or similar)
Airport transfer from your accommodation to Keflavik International Airport.
If you're interested in joining our Iceland trip with New Scientist please leave your details below, we will be in touch with you shortly. Or to speak to one of our specialist travel consultants, please call us on 020 3308 9763.