Fire and Iceland!

July 9 - 15, 2014


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 clockwise 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, take a hayride to see puffins, ride the gentle Icelandic ponies and soak in the famous Blue Lagoon.  We’ll stay on 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!

Nancy F, WI - 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.” 

Sam P, NJ - 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.

Judy M, TX - I appreciated the extra effort to enlist local women to provide insight on Iceland and its people. Thanks for a great time.

Carin R, CA - I felt like I was on Discovery Channel when we went to see the puffins on the cliff.

Yolande S, AZ - 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!

Joanne C, SC - 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.

Jennie + Katherine K, MS - As we say in the Gulf Coast "Laissez le bon temp roule" Let the good times roll - and you did! Coming from the deep south, the cool weather was grand.

Meet our local guides Runa and Heidrun singing this Icelandic folk song at our final dinner in 2007
Airfares are NOT INCLUDED in Canyon Calling trips. It is your responsibility to get yourself to the assembly point of a trip and home afterwards. There are many reasons for this policy including customers wanting to use their air miles, people wanting to go early or stay on after the trip, some wanting to drive etc. Jane at Jane’s Travel in Phoenix has helped our customers with booking their flights for the last 17 years. You can phone her at (480) 755-1388 or send an email to  Internal flights are included in trip prices when they fall inside a tour like on our Costa Rican, Peruvian Andes, Australian and Hawaiian Islands trips.

Tuesday July 8
Your Icelandic Air flight will leave about 8.30pm from one of three North American departure cities - New York, Boston or Toronto. The flight is approximately five hours.

Day 1
There is a five-hour time difference between Iceland and the east coast of North America so all these flights arrive within minutes of each other around 6.30am at Keflavik Airport.  Your trip leader will meet you in the arrivals lounge.  We’ll gather our luggage, change some spending money into Icelandic kronas and board our van.  We’ll drive into Reykjavik, home to a large portion of the 280,000 people who inhabit Iceland.  Breakfast while the town is waking-up. Our local guide will accompany us on an introductory trip around Reykjavik. Drive north to Reykholt and check into our accommodations. Visit a local Saga museum where we'll develop an appreciation of the importance of literature to Icelanders. You may then want to catch up on a few hours sleep before dinner.  

Day 2
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 new cabins up in the hills then eat lunch in town. Pull on drysuits and helmets for our afternoon of white water rafting on the class 3 rapids of the West Glacial River. It’s a 30-minute 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 soak in the hot pot (thermal pool) and watch the midnight sun on the horizon. Dinner at a nearby hotel.

Day 3
A short drive brings us to the port town of Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest city. There’ll be time for shopping and strolling 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. After a seafood dinner we'll head to our farm accommodation. Even though the sun doesn’t seem to want to go to bed, you surely will!

Day 4
Today we drive from the north coast to the south coast of Iceland! It’s a stimulating day of ever changing scenery. 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 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.

Day 5
After breakfast it’s an hour’s 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. A few miles down the road is Ingolfshofdi, an isolated headland between black sands and the Atlantic Ocean where thousands of seabirds nest. We’ll travel on a hay cart to see the colorful puffins up close. The tractor-drawn cart pulls us across 10km of marsh, water and sand to this bird-watching haven. This is the most scenic afternoon of the whole trip, as we see myriad fingers of ice from Vantnajokull. Accommodation in Skogar.

Day 6
Today we take a guided hike for two hours on the Myrdalsjokull glacier.  Crampons tied to our boots will keep us nice and secure. The views are amazing!  Lunch in Skogar where we'll visit the Folk Museum, one of the treasures of Iceland.  A guide will show us how the people of Iceland lived in old turf houses and will incorporate the importance of the sagas.  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.

Day 7
After a lazy breakfast we’ll stroll to the barn and 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. Later 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. On the way home we'll visit Thingvellir National Park and learn why this is the most sacred land in Iceland. Drive into Reykjavik and check into our guesthouse. We'll drive to the famous Blue Lagoon.  Soaking in these pale blue mineral laden waters is incredibly luxurious.  Spreading the white silica mud over you is fun and cleansing and makes for great photos! Farewell dinner at a seafood port restaurant.

Wednesday July 16
After breakfast transfer to the airport for our mid-morning flights to the US.

For those who have traveled with Canyon Calling before you know that we pay for EVERYTHING on our tours.  However, Iceland is THE most expensive place in Europe.  In order for us to offer all the best activities yet still keep this trip affordable, we are making two changes on this trip:  You’ll need to buy your own lunches and we’ll be using sleeping bag accommodation.  No we WON’T be camping!  We’ll still have comfy beds and a roof over our heads.  The money saved by supplying our own bedding in Iceland allows us to include activities that would normally be outside the budget.



Iceland Vacations for Women

Women Only Vacations to Iceland

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