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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 28 – August 4, 2024||$5,195|
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. We depart Reykjavik on Day 1 and if your flight is delayed you’ll have to catch up to the tour! Also, a pre-trip stay in the city of Reykjavik will lessen your jet lag as well as provide some time to enjoy the city of Reykjavik.
Your Canyon Calling Trip Leader 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 350,000 people who inhabit Iceland. Then we will drive north, stopping in Borgarnes then on to Haugar and check into our lovely farmhouse accommodations. You may then want to catch up on some sleep if you’ve arrived this day, enjoy the hot tub, or explore our Icelandic surroundings a bit before our home cooked dinner. Overnight Borgarbyggo.
After breakfast, it’s a scenic drive north through rich farmland to the town of Varmahlio, the rafting capital of Iceland. We’ll have lunch and settle into our cozy guesthouse. Pull on wet 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 enjoy about 2 hours on the water, paddling 10km through a scenic gorge. During the trip, we’ll stop at one of the many geothermic hot springs to enjoy the steam and relax as our rafting guide makes some outbound style cocoa right by the river. Back at our guesthouse we can enjoy a cold beverage and a small heated outdoor swimming pool or the two hot tubs. A yummy dinner near by as we watch the midnight sun on the horizon. Overnight Varmahlio.
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 Hauganes. We’ll suit up, board our sailing vessel and enjoy a whale-watching trip in an area that has a 98% success rate seeing whales. The beautiful Eyjafjörður bay has been the habitat of humpback whales, minke whales, dolphins and more species. We’ll see the odd looking and beautiful Puffins, and learn more about these unique creatures. After this glorious experience, we have a late lunch in town and we’ll stop in Akureyri. There’ll be time for shopping and strolling in this quaint and colorful Icelandic town. Next, we’ll make a stop at Godafoss waterfall before we check in at our lovely farm guesthouse. After a delicious dinner we can enjoy the hot tub. By now, you’ve figured out that hot tubs are a real Icelandic treat! Overnight Laugar.
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 Egilsstadir. South through farmland, the road leads us around scenic fjords to Hofn. Höfn, the capital of South-East Iceland, affords us our first glimpse of Vantnajokull, Europe’s largest glacier. We’ll check into our guesthouse and walk to a nearby restaurant for a delicious dinner. Overnight Hofn.
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 zodiac boat and cruise beside icebergs on this glacial lagoon. The icebergs have calved off Vatnajokull. We’ll go all the way up to the glacier wall, within a safe distance, which is about a 7 km ride from the dock. We’ll sail around huge icebergs in the breathtaking environment which the Jökulsárlón Ice Lagoon is. You´ll have plenty of opportunities to take photographs and enjoy the wildlife. If we’re lucky, we might see seals playing on the icebergs. The passionate guide will tell us all about this magical place and answer any questions you may have about the glacier lagoon. Next, we’ll stop on a black sand beach! Pick up a few pebbles. If we are still lucky, we’ll see blue icebergs on the shore for terrific photos. This scenic afternoon is such a treat as we see myriad tongues of ice from Vatnajokull. Then it’s off to Skogar to check into our hotel accommodations and enjoy another delicious dinner. Overnight Skogar.
After breakfast, we’ll start our day in the Skogar Museum. This folk museum is a cultural heritage collection of regional folk craft artifacts. The Open Air museum is a large site that includes examples of many periods of Icelandic architectural history. 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 where we can walk behind the falls! We’ll have lunch in the bistro, then we’re off to a guided hike on the Myrdalsjokull glacier. Crampons tied to our boots will keep us safe and secure. This is an informative and easy glacier walk with views that are amazing and photo opportunities that are plentiful. Our certified and experienced glacier guide will lead us through a frozen wonderland of different shades of glacier ice. The spectacular colors of the ice can be white, blue or crystal clear. We’ll safely view deep crevasses and water cauldrons, along with other interesting features of the glacier. Our drive this afternoon is along the lush south coast. We’ll have dinner and check into our family run small hotel with yes, outdoor hot tubs to relax in under the midnight sun after an adventurous day. Overnight Selfoss.
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 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. 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! Then we’ll drive into Reykjavik and check into our accommodations before enjoying our farewell dinner at a local favorite restaurant. Overnight Reykjavik.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights to North America. (If you choose to extend, you are on your own to get to the Keflavik airport when you depart Iceland.)