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This is my first all-women’s trip and I will definitely do it again. The farm stays and down-home cooking were wonderful. If forced to pick a favorite experience it would have to be the ride through the icebergs. Thanks for a brilliant week in the “Land of Fire and Ice. – Nancy F, WI
|Iceland, Europe||July 11-17, 2015||$3,995|
Iceland is home to some of the most dramatic geography in the world – volcanoes, glaciers, geysers, bubbling mud pools, fjords, waterfalls, glacial rivers and hot springs. Canyon Calling takes you on an amazing trip around this stunning island to experience it all! Walk a glacier, white-water raft grade 3 rapids, whale-watch at one of the best viewing locations in the world, cruise beside icebergs in a glacial lagoon, ride the gentle Icelandic horses and soak in the famous Blue Lagoon. We’ll stay on some “holiday” farms and meet the proud locals, learn of their sagas and how they’ve adapted to this harsh land. Lava fields and lakes, mountains and moonscapes, volcanoes erupting beneath glaciers – join us in this unforgettable land of fire and ice!
It is highly encouraged that you arrive in Iceland the day before the tour starts if possible, in an effort to lessen your jet lag and enjoy the city of Reykjavik.
Your Canyon Calling Tour Guide will meet you in the arrivals lounge around 7am at Keflavik Airport. We’ll change some spending money into Icelandic kronas, and board our van. We’ll drive into Reykjavik for an introductory city tour, home to a large portion of the 300,000 people who inhabit Iceland. Then we will drive north to Reykholt and check into our lovely farmhouse accommodations. You may then want to catch up on some sleep if you’ve arrived this day, or explore our Icelandic surroundings a bit before dinner.
After breakfast it’s a scenic drive north through rich farmland to the town of Varmahlio, the rafting capital of Iceland. We’ll settle into our beautiful new cabins up in the hills then eat lunch in town. Pull on dry-suits and helmets for our afternoon of white water rafting on the class 3 rapids of the West Glacial River. It’s a short ride to the put-in and we’ll spend 2 hours on the water paddling 10km through a scenic gorge. Back at our cabins we can enjoy a cold beverage and soak in the hot pot (thermal pool) right on property, then enjoy dinner at a nearby hotel as we watch the midnight sun on the horizon.
This was like two experiences in one – the experience of the country and the camaraderie and friendship of the group. People at home will be amazed that we put our cup into a stream and made instant hot chocolate! – Yolande S, AZ
After breakfast, a short drive brings us to the port town of Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest city. There’ll be time for shopping and strolling in this quaint and colorful Icelandic town before lunch. Godafoss waterfall is a nice stop on the way to the port of Husavik. This afternoon we’ll join a whale-watching trip in an area that has a 98% success rate seeing whales. Minke and Humpbacks are the most common whales sighted. We’ll pass by Puffin Island and learn more about these unique creatures. After a delicious seafood dinner at a restaurant that is ‘whale friendly’, we’ll head to our comfortable accommodations for the night.
Today we drive from the north coast to the south coast of Iceland! It’s a stimulating day of ever changing scenery with many stops for photographs. We’ll wander through the volcanic field of Hverarond watching the boiling mud pools and steaming vents. Close by we’ll view the colorful Viti crater. It’s a wonderful journey across moonscape of stark beauty, lush waterfalls and lupines along the landscape to lunch in Egilsstadir. South through farmland, the road leads us around scenic fjords to Hofn and a restaurant dinner before heading to our cozy accommodations. This evening we’ll get our first glimpse of Vantnajokull, Europe’s largest glacier.
The past few years have taken a bite out of my self worth and this trip went a long way to restoring that. I felt like I could do anything when I returned. – Joanne C, SC
After breakfast it’s a short drive to Jokulsarlon. We’ll board a small boat and cruise beside icebergs on this glacial lagoon. The icebergs have calved off Vatnajokull. This is a quiet, surreal experience and an opportunity for some marvelous photography. We’ll stop on black sand beaches and if we are lucky, see blue icebergs on land and on the shore for terrific photos. This is the most scenic afternoon of the whole trip, as we see myriad fingers of ice from Vatnajokull. Then it’s off to Skogar to check into our Iceland accommodations and enjoy a delicious dinner.
Today we take a guided hike for two hours on the Myrdalsjokull glacier. Crampons tied to our boots will keep us safe and secure. The views are amazing and the photo opportunities are plentiful. Back in Skogar, we’ll enjoy our lunch and then visit the Folk Museum, one of the treasures of Iceland, enjoying the old turf houses while we take a journey back in time and experience the life of old Iceland. An extra treat here is Skogarfoss, a dramatic 180′ waterfall. Our drive this afternoon is along the lush south coast and we spend the night at a working farm where a delicious dinner awaits.(Sample menu:cream of broccoli and cauliflower soup with home made 9 grain bread; roast lamb with oven potatoes, vegetable en croute, tossed salad with dressing & beets; berry strudel with vanilla cream; tea and coffee. We often pick up some nice wine to accompany this fabulous meal.)
Thanks again for taking the worry out of travel. What fun tolting on a horse and making all these new friends. The final dinner was wonderful, singing our made-up song to the Icelanders. I’ll never forget that moment. – Sam P, NJ
After our fabulous home made breakfast, we’ll saddle-up for a two-hour Icelandic horse ride. These small, gentle yet sturdy horses are famous for their gait known as a “tolt” which is a sort of half run, half walk. The ride will take us through rolling hill country, across a river and along a riverbank. These are such enjoyable horses to ride. Back on the road, we’ll visit two of Iceland’s most famous natural attractions – Geysir hot springs and Gullfoss waterfalls. Geysir gave its name to all other geysers around the world but is generally inactive. However Strokkur geyser will likely send a 60’ spout into the air during our visit. The River Hvita tumbles 100’ into a ravine at Gullfoss and a short trail allows us to feel the power of the falls up close. Then we’ll drive into Reykjavik and check into our accommodations for the night. We’ll drive to the famous Blue Lagoon and soak in these incredibly luxurious blue mineral laden waters. Spreading the white silica mud over you is fun and cleansing and makes for great photos! Farewell dinner at a local favorite restaurant.
After breakfast transfer to the airport for mid-morning flights to North America, or if you choose to extend or have a later flight, you are on your own to get to the Keflavik airport.