Explore Iceland - National Geographic Journeys Tour
November 9-17, 2020
This fall, join Grace Cular Yee, Pineapple7, to explore Iceland with National Geographic Journeys!
At the place where two continental plates brush up against each other is Iceland, land of fire and ice. Get up close to this unique country on a nine-day exploration of its natural highlights. Walk atop a glacier. Watch the living Earth in action at some of the island’s volcanoes. Explore the rocky, mountainous landscapes of the stunning Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Relax in incredible hot springs and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife. Find your element in a place of extreme elements. You'll gain insider access, greater exploration, and have the freedom to roam -- without sacrificing comfort.
We'll Tour the Golden Circle and see the geological wonders here, head to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and view the icebergs floating by, hike in Skaftafell National Park, and explore the beautiful Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
I will be on-hand to take care of the details, so all you have to do is enjoy Iceland with me and fellow like-minded travelers. The pace of this small group tour is busy and active. To reach the remote areas, the drives can be lengthy. This type of tour is ideal for travelers who are interested in nature, travel photography, sightseeing and is designed for groups of friends, solo travelers, couples. Our tour has limited availability, so reserve your spot today.
For more details, please call Grace at 571.338.0408 or email.
Explore Iceland: Tour Itinerary
Welcome to Iceland!
Arrive in Reykjavík at any time. There is a lot to do in and around Reykjavik - should you wish to take advantage of the many optional activities, such as the Blue Lagoon thermal pools, consider booking a pre- or post- night stay.
Hotel accommodation in Iceland is very limited and rooms/facilities can be fairly simple with few amenities. Hotels are chosen for their location and access to the wonderous landscapes and natural wonders of Iceland. Hotels are often remote, all the better to enjoy the beautiful natural setting.
Our adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. Check for the meeting time on the welcome note at the hotel. After introductions, you will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.
We'll enjoy breakfast and then head in our private vehicle to discover the beauty of Iceland’s south shore, catching views of the infamous Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Its eruptions in 2010 produced massive clouds of ash that disrupted air travel throughout Europe for several days. See the stunning Seljalandsfoss waterfall (196 feet tall), and follow a hidden path through a canyon to the secluded falls of Gljúfrabúi. Stop in Hveragerði, a hot spring village, where we will have the chance to taste bread baked in a hot spring! Next, we'll visit the Lava Center for an overview of how Iceland’s volcanoes and earthquakes shaped this island.
Today, we'll continue exploring the south shore, passing sandy plains and moss-covered lava fields and stopping along the way at historical and geological sites. Visit Crystal Beach, scattered with icebergs that wash up on the black sands, and see iridescent ice formations in the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. We'll enjoy a hike in Vatnajökull National Park to Svartifoss waterfall, aka the black falls, a stunning site framed by basaltic lava columns. Stop at the historic farmstead Hof in Öræfi, home to one of Iceland’s best-preserved turf churches.
Ready to walk atop a glacier? Strap on a pair of crampons because today we're embarking on a glacier hike in Skaftafell National Park. We'll get up-close views of intriguing ice formations, deep sinkholes, and rugged crevasses. This preservation area in the southeast is now incorporated into the larger Vatnajökull National Park. The diverse landscape here is often compared to certain parts of the Alps but, like most of Iceland's incredible landscape, the region was created by rivers, glaciers and volcanoes.
Later, we will stroll along the black sands of Reynisfjara Beach, just outside of Vík. Its black sand and ominous rock formations offshore make for stunning photos. Take some time to watch the foaming white waves crash over the black sand (but don’t get too close, the waves here can be extremely powerful), explore the shallow cave if weather and time permits, and get a photo of the basalt sea stacks.
This morning, learn about Icelandic cultural heritage at the Skôgar Folk Museum which houses 15,000 regional folk craft artifacts exhibitred throughout 6 historical buildings.
Next, we'll visit one of the largest and most recognizable waterfalls in Iceland, Skogafoss. It's 200 feet high and the falls forms a constant mist in the air. Make sure to look for rainbows. Opt to climb 400 steps to the top of the falls for spectacular views.
Then we'll set out on a tour of the celebrated Golden Circle. Visit the mighty Gullfoss waterfall, and then check out Geysir, one of the oldest geysers recorded in the world and the hot spring for which all other geysers are named.
We'll visit Solheimar Ecovillage, a sustainable community of over 100 people dedicated to helping people with disabilities. Nestled beautifully amongst the countryside, take in the panoramic views as you support this non-profit community by touring the village to learn about the various workshops, businesses, and programs followed by a meal at the local community restaurant.
We'll begin the day with a walk in Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site, to see the tectonic faults created by North American and Eurasian tectonic plates shifting apart. The Oxara river cuts through the largest rift in the valley, Almannagja, and leads to the Oxarafoss waterfall. Iceland’s parliament was also established in the area in 930. The park was later created to protect the remains of the open-air assembly grounds. This is our last stop on our Golden Circle tour.
Next, we'll visit a traditional Icelandic farm located in the narrow fjord of Hvalfjörður. We will learn about local farming practices and daily life then sit down for a local lunch from the farmers‘ own produce, including Icelandic lamb.
Then we'll continue to the stunning Snæfellsnes Peninsula in western Iceland.
Spend the day exploring the peninsula, including Snæfellsjökull National Park and its mystical glacier-topped volcano, which Jules Verne wrote about in his novel Journey to the Center of the Earth. See Búðir Church, the Lóndrangar sea stacks, Djúpalónssandur pebble beach, and the iconic peak of Kirkjufell. We’ll also visit the Eldfjallasafn Volcano Museum, founded and run by world-renowned volcanologist and National Geographic grantee Dr. Haraldur Sigurðsson.
The Eldfjallasafn Volcano Museum features the unique collection of Professor Haraldur Sigurðsson, who received grants from the National Geographic Society. His research spanned 40 years, studying volcanoes around the world publishing 160 articles in scientific journals, numerous books and winning many scientific awards. Later in life, he developed an interest in volcano art, the representation of volcanic eruptions in artworks. An outcome of that is the collection that is exhibited at the Museum.
We will continue by visiting Snaefellsjokull National Park. Established in 2001 to protect the area's unique landscape, indigenous plants and animal life as well as the important historical relics, the park is the only Icelandic national park that stretches to the sea. Within the park is the Snæfellsjökull Glacier, a 700,000-year-old glacier-capped stratovolcano which Many believe is one of the seven main energy centers of the earth. Surrounded in myth, the glacier also plays a big role as "the Center of the Earth" in Jules Verne’s famed novel Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Today, we will continue onto Borgarfjörður, where many Icelandic sagas have taken place. The area's landscape, nature, and culture heritage seemingly bring history to life. We will get to see the Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls and step into Reykholt, the homestead of the 12th-century writer Snorri Sturluson. We’ll also visit Deildartunguhver, Europe's most powerful hot spring whose water heats most buildings in western Iceland. Continue to Reykjavík for our final evening in Iceland.
After breakfast, depart Reykjavik at any time.
Interested in experiencing the Blue Lagoon? We can book a 1-night post tour extension.
8 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
Icelandic Farm Experience, Hvalfjörður
National Geographic Journeys Highlight Moment: Eldfjallasafn Volcano Museum, Snæfellsnes
Solheimar Eco Village Visit including Lunch
See Seljalandsfoss waterfall.
Visit the LAVA Centre and Hveragerði geothermal garden.
Visit Jökulsárlón Lagoon.
Take an ice walk on a glacier in Skaftafell National Park.
Visit black sand beaches.
Explore Vatnajökull National Park.
Golden Circle tour: Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir Hot Springs.
Explore Snæfellsnes Peninsula including Snaefellsjokull National Park, Sagaland and Deildartunguhver Hot Spring.
All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
$3,949 per person. Solo travelers will be matched in same-sex room for duration of trip.
$5,399 for a solo room
$500 deposit required to reserve space. Contact Grace for more details or to reserve your spot.
See you in Iceland!