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What People Are Saying About Us

All that was advertised was delivered. Consider this tour to be a real value as to sites visited, itinerary, hotels, and travel between sites.

Susan & Paul Krupp
Georgetown, TX
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6-time honoree Travel + Leisure's World's Best Tour Operators awards

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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Accommodations in well-located, atmospheric small hotels
  • Stunning, unique natural scenery
  • Touring the beautiful Snaefellsnes Peninsula
  • Godafoss, “waterfall of the gods”
  • Visit to Icelandic Breed horse farm
  • Lake Myvatn’s mud flats, lava fields, and volcanic craters
  • Dettifoss, Iceland’s “Niagara”
  • Glacial River Canyon National Park
  • Thingvellir National Park
  • Dramatic bird-watching coastal cruise
  • Popular Skogafoss waterfall
  • Sophisticated Reykjavik
  • Hellisheidi geothermal power plant
Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Reykjavik, Iceland

Day 2: Arrive Reykjavik/Borgarbyggo Upon our early morning arrival in Iceland’s capital, we meet our Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director and enjoy a scenic drive north, stopping for breakfast along the way. Then we take an excursion to the thermal areas of Deildartunguhver and Hraunfossar Falls; and visit the Settlement Center, an interactive museum detailing the story of Iceland’s earliest settlers, including that of famed 10th-century Viking Egil Skallagrimsson. After reaching our hotel mid-afternoon, we have time to relax before this evening’s briefing on the journey ahead followed by a ­welcome dinner. B,D

Day 3: Borgarbyggo/Snaefellsnes Peninsula Today we encounter the stupendous scenery of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. We begin with a walk along the shell sand beach at the abandoned fishing village of Budir, surrounded by a vast lava field. We also explore the caves and bizarre rock formations along the rugged shore at Arnarstapi, site of thousands of nesting cliff birds. After stopping for lunch – a traditional fresh seafood soup – at a rustic oceanfront restaurant, we visit Djupalonssandur where we see the haunting remains of abandoned coastal farms. B,L,D

Day 4: Borgarbyggo/Siglufjordur We travel towards the northeast corner of Iceland today, through the beautiful Norourardalur Valley. Along the way we stop at Grabrok Crater for scenic views, and at a Gauksmyri farm featuring famed Icelandic horses – small, hardy, and with long manes. We also tour Glaumbaer, a folk museum featuring authentic turf houses. We reach this small fishing village and our hotel in time for dinner there tonight. B,D

Day 5: Siglufjordur/Lake Myvatn/Jokulsargljufur National Park Today we travel to beautiful Lake Myvatn. One of the world’s natural wonders, Lake Myvatn and its environs of bubbling mud flats, lava fields, and lunar-like volcanic craters comprise a stunning national park. Our explorations begin with a stop at Godafoss, the “waterfall of the gods” named for the carvings of Norse gods discarded here when the country was declared Christian a thousand years ago. We continue with a walk to view the fascinating Hverfjall crater, a local landmark. Later we see the region’s unique ”pseudo craters,” the boiling mud pots at Namaskard, the bizarre lava formations at Dimmuborgir, the explosive crater at Viti, and the flat volcano system at Krafla. Our last stop is at the incredible Glacial River Canyon National Park (Jokulsargljufur), yet another of Iceland’s natural wonders, where we walk to jaw-dropping Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall and Iceland’s “Niagara.” After this day of stunning scenery, we arrive at our hotel in time for dinner together tonight B,L,D

Day 6: Lake Myvatn/Husavik This morning we visit Hljodaklettar Echo Cliffs, where we explore the labyrinth of “echoing rocks” created by the spiral basalt formations of the arches and canyons here. We travel next to Asbyrgi, a huge canyon enveloped by towering walls; in the middle of the partially wooded canyon sits a huge hoof-shaped rock called “The Island.” Then continue on to Husavik, where mid-afternoon we embark on a bird-watching cruise to Puffin Island to see the thousands of seabirds here (based on seasonality): puffins, black guillemots, fulmars, and Arctic terns. B,D

Day 7: Lake Myvatn/Reykjavik/Selfoss This morning we fly to Reykjavik; upon arrival we coach to Thingvellir National Park, known both for its historic import and as the place where the fissure between the geological plates of North America and Europe is most evident. It’s also a gem of nature, with canyons, caves, waterfalls, and ponds surrounded by snowcapped mountains. We learn about the historic parliament founded here in 930 CE, and walk along a gorge into the rift valley itself. After lunch at a local restaurant, we depart for famed Great Geysir and Gullfoss, Iceland’s immensely popular “golden” waterfall. Then we drive down to the southern coast to the beautiful agricultural area of Selfoss. B,L

Day 8: Selfoss/Vik This morning we walk along the black-sand beach at Reynisfjara, lined with columnar basalt-filled caves. Next we visit picturesque Seljalandsfoss, Iceland’s most visited waterfall. From here we walk to nearby Skogafoss, one of Iceland’s most popular waterfalls, known for its rainbows on sunny days. After lunch on our own in lovely Vik, Iceland’s southernmost town, we are free to explore on our own and to shop for items of locally produced wool. En route to our hotel, we stop by the Solheimajokull “sliding” glacier, so named for its rapid advance in the 1990s. B,D

Day 9: Selfoss/Reykjavik Heading back to Reykjavik today we travel through “saga” country, the setting of one of the country’s famous medieval stories. We stop along the way to see the geothermal exhibit at the Hellisheidi Power Plant, Iceland’s largest. Upon arrival in Reykjavik, we have lunch at a local restaurant then embark on a city tour of the Icelandic capital. Home to more than half of Iceland’s population, Reykjavik ranks as one of the world’s safest and cleanest cities. Later, we check in at our hotel. Dinner tonight is on our own in this stylish city. B,L

Day 10: Reykjavik Today is at leisure to explore and enjoy Reykjavik as we please; those who wish can join in an optional tour to the Blue Lagoon for a soothing bath in geothermal waters rich with silica, sulfur, and other minerals. The city is a sophisticated European urban center with museums and galleries; theater, symphony, and dance; boutiques and restaurants. Tonight we celebrate our adventure over a farewell dinner. B,D

Day 11: Depart for U.S. Today we depart for the airport and our return flights to the U.S. B

Please note: This trip involves considerable walking on uneven terrain in a natural environment. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy this tour to the fullest.

Iceland’s Northern Lights

Although many factors, including local weather conditions, contribute to the chances of seeing this natural phenomenon, generally the best opportunities for witnessing the Northern Lights in Iceland occur between mid-September and mid-April. Our September and October tour dates offer a good combination of touring conditions (still warm enough for outdoor activities/excursions) and shorter daylight hours with darker nights (prime elements for the aurora borealis).

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities; flight within itinerary
  • 9 nights’ accommodations in First Class hotels
  • 21 meals: 10 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all ­entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next ­Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after 3 tours; $300 after 10 tours)
Tour Dates & Prices

2019 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

May 4
May 7
May 9+
Oct 1+
Oct 8+
Oct 15+
Oct 22+
Oct 29
May 16+
May 23
May 28+
May 30*+
Sep 19
Sep 21
Jun 6+
Jun 11*
Sep 3
Sep 7
Sep 10
Jun 18
Jun 25
Jul 2*, 9*
Jul 16*
Jul 30*
Aug 13*
Aug 20*
Aug 27
Boston, New York,
Washington, DC
$4,997$5,297$5,897$6,097
Balt, Den, Minn,
Phil, Seattle
$5,297$5,597$6,197$6,397
Atlanta, Char, Chi,
Cincinnati, Cleve,
Detroit, Miami,
Orlando, Tampa
$5,397$5,697$6,297$6,497
Dallas, Houston,
Los Ang, Phoenix,
Port (OR), San Fran
$5,497$5,797$6,397$6,597

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $302, which are subject to change until final payment is made.

Single travelers please add $995 May, Oct; $1,395 all other dates. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days prior to departure. All 2019 tour prices above (excluding airline taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

Accommodations: Days 5-6: *Fosshotel Husavik (Husavik); Days 9-10: +Hotel Centrum (Reykjavik)

Business Class upgrade (subject to availability) on roundtrip international flight: $1,495 per person from Boston, Newark, New York, Wash, D.C. (Dulles); $2,195 per person from Chicago, Minneapolis; $2,395 per person from Denver, Seattle

A visa is not required for this tour.

Accommodations
    Hotel Husafell, Borgarbyggo / Days 2-3 / First Class

    Situated at the edge of Iceland’s central highlands, this luxury hotel offers stunning views.  Hotel Husafell is located in the heart of Husafell, and offers a restaurant and bar, laundry service, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Each of the 36 guest rooms has a private bath with hair dryer, mini-refrigerator, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

    Hotel Siglo, Siglufjordur / Day 4 / First Class

    Additional information to come.

    Fosshotel Myvatn, Lake Myvatn / Days 5-6 / First Class

    Additional information to come.

    Hotel Selfoss, Selfoss / Days 7-8 / First Class

    This bright, modern 99-room lodging is located on the banks of the Ölfusá River amidst the stunning natural beauty of South Iceland.  The hotel offers a restaurant; bar and lounge with fireplace; café; spa with steam room, sauna, thermal hot pool, and massage services; laundry and dry cleaning services; and internet access.  Guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

    Grand Hotel Reykjavik, Reykjavik / Days 9-10 / First Class

    Additional information to come.

Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
Tour Directors for this Journey
Margret Einarsdottir

“A wonderful tour director who is so proud of her country. She is very articulate, knowledgeable and has a fantastic sense of humor.”
Audrey Brady
Huntington Beach, CA

Guðný Margret Emilsdottir

“Guðný was an excellent guide and really enhanced our enjoyment of Iceland.  Bravo!!”
Andy Shaw & Mindy Van Meter
San Rafael, CA

Steingrimur Gunnarsson

“ ‘Steine’ was a superb guide – at the very top of all the guides we’ve had in some 15 overseas tours. A really delightful man, a font of information … Absolutely the best!”
Janet Bedell & George Nelson
Adams, MA

Oskar Guolaugsson

“Oskar’s daily commentary covered every aspect of living in and touring Iceland. This is why we love Odysseys! We can look around with someone describing everything rather than having one eye on scenery and the other in the guide book!”
Carl & Elaine Martin
Denver, CO

Sigridur Guomundsdottir

“Our Tour Director, Sigrid, was outstanding, knowledgeable, helpful, and great fun. Her extensive knowledge made every place we visited come alive. One of our best Tour Directors, ever!”
Alan and Denise Federoff
Tustin, CA

Ragnar Hauksson

“Our director/guide was excellent! Very friendly, personable, and accessible. He paid attention to the numerous small details along with the big ones.”
Audrey Adrezin
Kerrville, TX

Hrafnhildur Helgadottir (“Raven”)

“Raven was exceptionally good – best I have experienced.”
Karen Gundel
Temecula, CA

Helga Kristjansdottir

“Helga was knowledgeable, intelligent and communicated her love of Iceland.  She gave us a lot of information, which we appreciated.  She is one of the best!”
Gail & Norman Glenn
Aiea, HI

Olafur (“Oli”) Magnusson

“‘Oli’ is the ‘best of the best’ tour leaders. He loves his country and shows it in as broad and balanced a spectrum as humanly possible. He is exceptionally knowledgeable and personable. Fortunate, indeed are persons who travel with Oli.”
Joanne & C. LeRoy Anderson
Missoula, MT

Sigrun Sol Olafsdottir

“Sigrun was fantastic! She enhanced our trip with many personal stories that made the trip come to life. She’s a keeper!”
Peter and Debra Johnson
New Berlin, Wisconsin

Soffia Alice Sigurdardottir

“Soffia was the best!! Her love for the country and knowledge were genuine. She is a lovely person and knew how to relate to everyone on the tour.”
Mark Tenenhaus
Oceanside, NY

Arngunnur Yr

“Outstanding tour director!! Best we’ve had.”
Corinne Kiriluk
Inverness, IL

Destination Insight

Suggested Reading

Terry G. Lacy
Ring of Seasons, Iceland, Its Culture and History
A longtime resident of Reykjavik, Lacy weaves tales of family life, anecdote, lore and history into this illuminating personal portrait of Iceland.

Halldor Laxness
Independent People, An Epic
Rich in local color, this great mock-epic by the Icelandic Nobel Prize-winner features the indelible Bjartur of Summerhouses, a hard-headed, independent-minded sheep farmer.

Jeff Kanipe, Alexandra Witze
Island on Fire: The Extraordinary Story of a Forgotten Volcano That Changed the World
Two science writers discuss the political and natural ramifications of the 1783 eruption of Iceland’s largest volcano, Laki, which led to global death, famine and even revolution. Great for the geologically minded but accessible to all with an interest in volcanoes.

Insight Guides
Insight Guide Iceland
This guide emphasizes culture and history, with wonderful photographs, maps and essays from experts.

National Geographic Maps
Iceland Adventure Map
A detailed map at a scale of 1:465,000, printed on handy tear- and water-resistant paper.

Evan Sung (Photographer), Jody Eddy, Gunnar Gislason
North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland
Catering to a rising interest in Nordic cuisine, this cookbook celebrates Iceland’s food alongside its haunting landscapes, portrayed in starkly beautiful, full-color photos.

Karen Oslund
Iceland Imagined
This cultural and environmental history explores the geography, literature, language, culture, politics and symbolism of Iceland, Greenland, northern Norway and the Faroe Islands.

John Haywood
Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings
The history of the Vikings told through a series of innovative maps and excellent photographs. This book traces the routes of 9th-century Viking merchants and explorers throughout Europe and the New World.

Gunnar Karlsson
The History of Iceland
A history of Iceland from the Viking era through colon-ization, independence and the 20th century. Karlsson draws on the sagas and rich literature of Iceland in presenting this comprehensive history.

Yves Cohat
The Vikings, Lords of the Seas
An indispensable reference that fits in your pocket, this slim volume is packed with maps, archival photographs and illustrations.

William Fitzhugh (Editor), Elisabeth Ward (Editor)
Vikings, The North Atlantic Saga
An extensively illustrated volume of Viking culture, history and exploration that focuses especially on voyages to North America. Published in conjunction with a Smithsonian exhibit, it features essays and 400 color photographs.

Nancy Marie Brown
The Far Traveler, Voyages of a Viking Woman
Brown’s intriguing account of the life of the young Viking woman Gudrid sheds light on early Norse settlements in Iceland, Newfoundland and beyond. It’s an archaeological mystery, a history of ancient seamanship and a biography all rolled into one.

Lawrence Millman, Paul Theroux (Introduction)
Last Places, A Journey in the North
Millman explores the culture and history of the Faroes, Iceland and Greenland in this hilarious account of his travels in the wake of the ancient Vikings.

Sarah Moss
Names for the Sea, Strangers in Iceland
A stranger in a strange land, British novelist Sarah Moss captures the spirit of Iceland in this tale of a year in the island nation with her husband and two children.

Bill Holm
The Windows of Brimnes, An American in Iceland
In these provocative essays, Minnesotan Bill Holm writes about the fate of America from his fisherman’s cottage on the shore of a creek in northern Iceland.

Jon Krakauer (Photographer), David Roberts
Iceland, Land of the Sagas
Krakauer and colleague Roberts hike and climb around Iceland in this classic travel narrative, reissued as a paper-back and featuring Krakauer’s color photographs. The book interweaves the natural and cultural history of the island with the authors’ own adventures.

Arnaldur Indridason
Jar City
Indridason’s first moody police procedural translated into English finds Reykjavik detective Erlendur Sveinsson investigating the brutal murder of a lonely pensioner and the man’s connection to the deaths of a number of young women. Made into a darkly superb film.

Snorri Sturluson, Jesse Byock (Translator)
The Prose Edda
A new translation of one of the most influential and entertaining medieval Icelandic sagas, the source for much of what we know of Norse mythology.

Jane Smiley (Editor), Robert Kellog (Introduction)
The Sagas of Icelanders
Nine sagas and six tales composed between the years 1000 and 1500, including an account of Leif Eriksson’s voyage to North America, all newly translated. With an introduction by Jane Smiley.

E.C. Pielou
A Naturalist’s Guide to the Arctic
Our bestselling book on the Arctic, this guide covers the geography and climate, plants, birds and wildlife of the Circumpolar North.

Richard Fisher
Volcanoes, Crucibles of Change
A complete primer for the volcano lover, this heavily illustrated book covers types of volcanoes and eruptions, worldwide distribution and the physics of their formation.

Carl Christian Kinze
Marine Mammals of the North Atlantic
A guide to the marine mammals of the North Atlantic featuring 250 color illustrations.

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