Iceland – Northern Lights & Golden Circle

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    Iceland – Northern Lights & Golden Circle 2019-09-28T17:29:50-05:00

    Project Description

    Iceland – Northern Lights & Golden Circle

    5 Full Days, Round-Trip Reykjavik to Reykjavik

    Small on the map and enormous in person, Iceland barely feels like Earth at all. Isolated in the frigid North Atlantic and forged through centuries of volcanic upheaval and tectonic shifting, Iceland is staggering to look at and otherworldly to explore. The outdoors provides all the action you need: towering mountain peaks scratch the sky, massive glaciers scrape the earth, sprawling icefields stretch beyond the horizon, and gorgeous fjords dazzle the eye.  Prepare to be awed!  Camera ready?

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    Iceland – Northern Lights & Golden Circle

    ICELAND: Small on the map and enormous in person, Iceland barely feels like Earth at all. Isolated in the frigid North Atlantic and forged through centuries of volcanic upheaval and tectonic shifting, Iceland is staggering to look at and otherworldly to explore. The outdoors provides all the action you need: towering mountain peaks scratch the sky, massive glaciers scrape the earth, sprawling icefields stretch beyond the horizon, and gorgeous fjords dazzle the eye. And when you’ve had enough, head inside in weirdly wonderful Reykjavík and discover how the people lucky enough to live here full-time live.  Most people who visit Iceland go in the summer, but there’s a whole other side to this iconic, beautiful place in the winter months. It is called “Iceland,” after all. Spend five days doing cool things like exploring Þingvellir National Park, visiting Icelandic horse farms, reflecting on life under the Northern Lights, hiking glaciers, and warming up in hot springs, exploring glaciers and waterfalls and the famous Golden Circle.

    Duration: 5 days

    Start/Finish City: Reykjavík to Reykjavík

    Service Level: Standard – Comfortable accommodations with character; mix of public and private transport.

    Physical Grading: 3 – Average – Some tours may include light hiking, biking, rafting, kayaking and walking.

    Travel Style: Classic – All the culture, access, and I-can’t-believe-we-did-that moments at a great price.

    Trip Type: Small Group – Small group experience; Max 14, avg 12.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 – ReykjavíkArrive at any time. Make your way to Reykjavík today to start your tour. If you are traveling with a group, you’ll have some time before the welcome meeting. Make sure to explore the Reykjavík harbor, or visit the Harpa museum.  There are pre-tour, bookable activities available for this tour. Check out the information on these activities, and cost-saving bundles. Ask TravelKatz for assistance.

    Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your Tour Director and the rest of the group:  Your opportunity to meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers and learn more about your tour. Opt to join the group for a local meal afterwards.

    Accommodation:  An example of the hotel we may use in this city. For the actual hotel your specific departure will be using, please check your travel voucher.   Hotel Cabin (or similar)

    Private Vehicle Transport:  Most all of the transportation provided for your group will be Private Vehicle Transport.  Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of this Private Vehicle Transport.

    Day 2 – Reykjavík/ÁlftröðTravel from Reykjavík to explore a lava cave in the Bláfjöll Mountains followed by a visit to a supported, sustainable community for a tour and optional lunch. In the afternoon stop at an Icelandic horse farm before returning to Álftröð. In the evening, head out near the guesthouse in search for Northern Lights.  The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, and sightings will be dependent on weather conditions. There is no guarantee that travelers booked on this tour will experience the Northern Lights.

    Private Vehicle Transport

    Lava Caving by the Blue Mountains:  Þingvellir – Go beneath the earth’s surface to discover how Iceland was created. Walk and crawl through the cave that was carved out by flowing volcanic lava, and marvel at the multi-colored rock formations left in its path.

    Private Vehicle Transport

    For a Good Moment – Solheimar Ecovillage Visit – Stop to 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 and opting to enjoying a meal at the local coffee house.

    Horse Farm Visit:  Hveragerði – The Icelandic horse is a unique breed. Although small and at times pony-sized, Icelandic horses are long-lived and hardy. Tour this working farm and learn all you need to know about the Icelandic horse, with a focus on its gait and unique character.

    Private Vehicle Transport

    *Optional Activities – Day 2:  Horseback riding:  Hveragerði1h-11500ISK per person:  Saddle up and journey along the longest river in Iceland, Thjórsá. You will take the route once travelled by Vikings. Prepare to be awed by nature as you witness abundant and diverse birdlife and rugged Icelandic landscapes as far as the eye can see. Helmets and warm overalls are provided and will be contingent on the weather.

    Accommodation:  Alftrod Guesthouse (or similar) – Meals included:   Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 3 – ÁlftröðHead to Þingvellir National Park. Visit sights like the Geysir Hot Spring and Gullfoss waterfall. Opt to visit a natural hot spring. In the evening, embrace your inner chef and prepare dinner together at the guesthouse. Afterwards, head out for another Northern Lights hunt around the guest house.

    Private Vehicle Transport

    Thingvellir National Park Visit: Þingvellir   Stop at 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. One of the most-visited sites in Iceland, the park is an excellent spot for camping, hiking and snorkeling between the tectonic plates.

    Private Vehicle Transport

    Gullfoss Waterfall Visit:  Gullfoss   Discover one of the most impressive waterfalls in Iceland, Gullfoss and complete the circuit known as the Golden Circle. This massive waterfall cascades over three “steps” before spilling into a large crevice. Fed by a glacier lake, the water passing through the falls can be a dark grey depending on how much sediment gets pushed through the river.

    Geysir Visit:  See a variety of geothermal pools and the erupting hot spring Strokkur. Geysir is one of the oldest geysers recorded in the world but is most often dormant. Strokkur erupts a spray of boiling hot water straight into the air about every ten minutes.

    Private Vehicle Transport

    *Optional Activities – Day 3:  Secret Lagoon Hot Spring – Fludir:  3000ISK per person:  The Secret Lagoon natural hot springs are the Golden Circle’s best kept secret. The pool’s natural surroundings and steam rising into the air gives the place a magical feeling. Warm water stays at 38-40 Celsius all year. There are several geothermal spots and a little Geysir which erupts every 5 minutes. Swimsuit and towel rentals are available.

    Accommodation:  Alftrod Guesthouse (or similar) – Meals included:   Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 4 – Álftröð/ReykjavíkTravel to Sólheimajökull glacier and take some time to explore the area or opt for a stunning hike. Drive the scenic southern coast and visit the Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls on the way back to Reykjavík.  Opt to pre-book the “Glacier Hiking on Sólheimajökull” or “Glaciers and Whales Bundle -Solheimajokull and Reykjavik” activity ahead of time, to include this optional on your tour. Please note if you opt to pre-book the “Glaciers and Whales Bundle”, the Glacier Walk will take place on this day, and Whale Watching will be scheduled for the next day of this tour.  Check with TravelKatz for availability and booking.

    Private Vehicle Transport

    Free Time:  Sólheimajökull – Discover what the Sólheimajökull can tell you about the effects of climate change in Iceland. Opt to take a hike around this beautiful area.

    Private Vehicle Transport

    Seljalandsfoss Waterfall Visit:  Seljalandsfoss is a 196 ft. tall waterfall located along the popular ring road. Behind the flow of water is a path, allowing visitors to peek behind the curtain of water cascading over the rocks above.  Beautiful photo op!

    Private Vehicle Transport

    Skógafoss Waterfall Visit:  Skógafoss, one of the largest and most recognizable waterfalls in Iceland. The 200 ft. high falls forms a constant mist that floats in the air, if viewed in the sunlight the mist can create rainbows. The sound and view of the thundering water cutting through the green hills make the falls a must-see on any trip to Iceland.

    Private Vehicle Transport

    Accommodation:  Hotel Cabin (or similar) – Meals included:   Breakfast

    Day 5 – ReykjavíkDepart at any time.

    Meals included:   Breakfast

    Highlights:  Explore Iceland’s glaciers and waterfalls, keep your eyes peeled for dazzling displays of the Northern Lights, explore the famous Golden Circle and visit an Icelandic horse farm.

    Important Notes:  If you wish to visit the Blue Lagoon, please know that this activity must be done before or after your tour. As this activity is very popular, we recommend booking it in advance.  The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, and sightings will be dependent on weather conditions.

    Solo Travelers:  Single travelers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip.

    Visas and Entry RequirementsIt is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. For this requirement, see TravelKatz or contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date info.

    Money Exchange and Tipping:  The currency is the Icelandic Krona (ISK). It is recommended to bring a combination of cash, credit and debit cards.  Notify your CC bank of your overseas travel.  Tipping in Iceland is not customary. In many cases, a service charge is added to the bill. If you wish to express your satisfaction with the service in a bar or restaurant, a gratuity of 10% or to round up the amount of the bill is acceptable.

    Optional Activities included:  Reykjavík:  Whale Watching from Reykjavik Harbour, Harpa Concert Hall, Glaciers and Whales Bundle – Solheimajokull and Reykjavik; Hveragerði:  – Horseback riding; Fludir:  – Secret Lagoon Hot Spring; and Sólheimajökull:  – Sólheimajökull Glacier Hike

    What to Take:  TravelKatz recommends using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on most all the transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to the hotels.  Dressing in layers is also recommended as weather can change dramatically, without notice.  Note: The landscape of Iceland is unique and unlike most things you’ve seen. Hiking boots with ankle support are required and are available for rental.  So is the weather unique. It’s not uncommon to experience rain, sun wind and snow all in the same visit. An Icelandic summer can get quite cold.

    Travel Insurance:  Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of the trips to Iceland and proof is required; your policy will be reviewed by the Tour Director.  When selecting travel insurance, we require a minimum coverage of USD$200,000 for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation is required. We strongly recommend that the policy covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage; please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. TravelKatz can provide you with the appropriate coverage. 

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    TravelKatz® Vacation Testimonials

    I accompanied a group of 12 to Alaska this past summer.  We flew into Seattle, saw some of the sights, and then flew to Juneau to start our Adventure Cruise.  What a wonderful Adventure. We saw glaciers, hump-back whales and other fascinating things...we would do this again. Thank you for such a great time!

    Sandy H, St Petersburg, FL

    I cannot begin to tell you what a wonderful job you did organizing our trip. It absolutely was the best vacation I have ever had. This was my first time over seas and what a wonderful experience. Thank you so much for all your hard work. I am going through “James” withdraw today. He was an amazing tour guide and fit in so well with our group. I will definitely recommend you if I know of anyone thinking of going over to Ireland. Your country is so beautiful and everyone is so friendly. I can’t thank you enough for everything.

    Jack & JoAnn Douglass, Miami, FL

    I appreciated all the information that was given before I left on the trip. Our Guide, Jerry filled in all the other interesting information on what to expect. I felt safe, well feed and learned so much from a trip 45 mins from USA…I want people to see the beauty of the country, the people and their wonderful culture. I so loved the music. I am playing the CD’s often that I bought from the musicians. A trip I would like to do again. Thank you.

    Susan Peterson, Spring Hill, FL

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