East Iceland Highlands, Fjords and Heritage

Northern LightsIceland


From $1,745 USD
October 3, 2017 - April 3, 2018
6 Days / 5 Nights

East Iceland, a scenic region of vast reindeer-filled highland wilderness and rugged fjords. Explore East Fjords fishing heritage at quaint local villages.

Overview

East Iceland is a stunning region of reindeer-filled highlands and fjords. Breath-taking wilderness, fjords and glaciers are enhanced by quaint villages with intriguing history and traditions. Experience pioneer history and nature at the award-winning Wilderness Center. Enjoy mountains, coastal scenery and colorful villages along the rugged Eastfjords and around Vatnajokull. Marvel at powerful waterfalls, and Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO site.

Operation

October 3, 2017 - April 3, 2018

Departure

2017 October 3 & 10 November 7 2018 March 20 & 27 April 3

Price

  • from $1,745 per person in double room
  • from $2,045 single room

Included

  • 2 nights at hotel in Reykjavik with private bathrooms
  • 3 nights in hotels in the countryside
  • Breakfast buffet daily
  • 2 Lunches, (Day 2, 4)
  • 1 Dinner, (Day 2)
  • 4 days guided small coach from day 2 until day 5
  • One way flight between Reykjavik and Egilsstadir, including airport taxes (Day 2)
  • Admission to the interactive exhibit at the Wilderness Centre (Day 2)
  • Admission to Randulf's Sea House Museum (Day 2)
  • Admission to the Aurora Iceland Center (Day 2)
  • Admission to the French Museum in Faskrudsfjordur (Day 3)
  • Admission to Petra's Stone Collection (Day 3)
  • Admission to the interactive new Lava Centre (Day 4)

Not Included

  • International airfare & airport taxes
  • Airport/hotel transfers, Keflavik airport and Reykjavik hotel
  • Beverages, snacks, lunches, dinners unless otherwise noted in itinerary
  • Guaranteed early check-in or late check-out (check-in time is usually 14:00)
  • Any service not specifically listed under "included"
  • Personal items, travel insurance
  • $25 Service fee

Please note

  • All departures are guaranteed with minimum of 2 participants
  • Maximum group size: 17 participants
  • Prices may change without prior notice

Tour Options

  • Additional nights in Reykjavik
  • Optional excursions/day tours

Day 1 ARRIVAL REYKJAVIK

Welcome to the Land of Fire and Ice! On your own, transfer to Reykjavik. We recommend the easy and convenient FlyBus Plus transfers, which can be booked through Iceland Travel. If your flight lands early in the day, a great suggestion is to explore Reykjavik, the largest municipality in Iceland. Ingolfur Arnarson, the first settler of Iceland, built his farm on the peninsula where Reykjavik stands today. The town got its name "Smoky Bay" after the columns of steam that rose from the hot springs in the area and made such a deep impression on the first settlers. Dinner is on your own. Highlights: Reykjavik | Perlan | Reykjavik City Museum | Hallgrimskirkja

Day 2 EGILSTADIR - HALLORMSSTADUR - WILDERNESS CENTER (B)

Iceland's Largest Forest - Highland Wilderness - A Trip Into the Past - Fjord Villages - Local Fishing History and Heritage Breakfast at hotel. Be in the hotel lobby with your luggage for group transfer to Reykjavik Domestic Airport and check-in for your flight to Egilsstadir, (population approx. 2,257) the largest town in the Eastfjords region. Meet your local guide and tour vehicle and start off on your adventure! Follow along the Lagarfljot River, keeping an eye out for its legendary sea monster, as you head into Hallormsstadarskogar National Forest, which is Iceland‘s largest. From the forest the road climbs towards the starkly beautiful highlands. This uninhabited wilderness is home to wild reindeer, the symbol of East Iceland. (Keep an eye out for them during your trip). The interactive new Wilderness Center is located just where the road ends and the highlands begin. Walk over a bridge taking you more than one years into the past. The Wilderness Center has carefully recreated the homes of Icelanders who settled in and around the remote highlands. You'll get a glimpse of what daily life was like for these brave frontier families. Afterwards, enjoy a delicious lunch prepared at the Wilderness Center's historical farmhouse. The Wilderness Center uses locally-sourced ingredients and historical area recipes. After lunch, it's time to visit the ancient eastern fjords. Head to Nordfjordur fjord, passing through Fagridalur (the Beautiful Valley) and a tunnel en route. The destination is Eskifjordur a fjord town with a beautiful view to the sea. As in many of the area towns, Eskifjordur’s heritage is based on fishing. Visit Randulfshus, 19th-century red wooden Norwegian-style building where herring was once processed. Today it holds many artefacts of the area‘s fishing heritage and is also a restaurant. Here you can sample some Icelandic traditional harðfiskur. Head east, passing the town of Reydarfjordur, which had an Allied Forces base during World War II. The final destination is Faskrudsfjordur town, an Icelandic town with a very interesting historical connection with France. Keep an eye out for the street signs: they are both in Icelandic and French. The town has a gorgeous view over the fjordlandscapes. Enjoy dinner at a restaurant inspired by both French and Icelandic influences. Afterwards, walk over to the nearby Auroras Exhibition, where you will learn about Northern Lights. An area photographer who is an expert at taking pictures in all sorts of weather conditions will show you how to photograph northern lights. If luck and weather are on your side, you might have the chance to use these skills during the trip! Overnight in Faskrudsfjordur. Approximate distance: approx. 120km / 75mi Highlights: Egilsstadir | Lagarfljot | The Wilderness Center | Eskifjordur

Day 3 FASKRUDSFJORDUR - STODVARFJORDUR - HOFN (B)

Iceland's French Connection - Ancient Stone Collection - Fjord Village Life - Harbour Walk Breakfast at hotel. Today visit the French Museum located near your hotel. Originally a 19th century hospital that treated French sailors who worked in Iceland, the museum depicts the often difficult lives of the French seamen who fished off the coast of Iceland. Faskrudsfjordur was their Icelandic outpost, and they influenced much of the culture and buildings in the town. Next thread your way south along steep fjords with unbelievable views. The trip takes its time so that you can savour the majestic views. This is a route where reindeer sometimes come for winter grazing; hopefully your group may see some of these magnificent creatures as they wander through the winter terrain. Geologically, East Iceland is one of the nation's oldest areas; over 140 types of minerals have been found in this area, many created by hot water and lava. Discover the variety at a stone collection created by a local woman to educate visitors about Iceland’s formation. Enjoy lunch (on your own) in Djupivogur, a pretty town that marks the southernmost point of the East Fjords. The pyramid-shaped Bulandstindur mountain is an impressive backdrop. Keep an eye out for the environmental sculpture, Eggin i Gledivik, a collection of stone eggs lined along the harbour. Each egg represents one of the 34 species of birds found in the area. Head into Southeastern Iceland, a landscape dominated by the massive Vatnajokull Glacier. Your destination is the village of Hofn in Hornafjordur. Overnight stay in Hofn. Dinner is on your own. Several restaurants offer langoustines, a specialty of the area. If nature cooperates, you might also see some Northern Lights in the region. Approximate distance: approx. 120km / 75mi Highlights: Faskrudsfjordur | Petra's Minerals | Hofn | Djupivogur

Day 4 HOFN - JOKULSARLON - SOUTH SHORE - HVOLSVOLLUR (B)

Glacier Filled Lagoon - Vast Lava Flow - Powerful Black Sand Beach - Amazing Waterfalls Breakfast at your hotel. Today travel the Ring Road, heading into the region near Vatnajokull National Park, the largest national park in Western Europe. The park is named after Vatnajokull, Europe's largest glacier, and you'll see views of the glacier throughout today's drive. Continue to the stunning Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon to see the birthplace of iceberg. Take some time here to enjoy the views of icerbergs floating and grinding against each other in the fantastic 180 m (591 ft) deep Glacial Lagoon. The tour passes by the Skaftafell glacier area of Vatnajokull National Park. Continue over the vast black sands of Skeidararsandur to Kirkjubaejarklaustur town, former site of a 12th century Catholic convent. Enjoy a country lunch in this village before crossing over Eldhraun, the largest flow of lava recorded on Earth in history. Visit Reynisfjara Beach and take a walk on the black sands, admiring the extraordinary rock formations and thundering waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Head onwards, passing by the coastal town of Vik and Myrdalsjokull Glacier. Visit two spectacular waterfalls: Seljalandsfoss, which is possible to walk behind (based on trail conditions) and Skogafoss, one of the most photographed falls in the country. Overnight stay Hvollsvollur town. Dinner is on your own. Keep an eye out for Northern Lights, often visible on cold, clear nights. Approximate distance: approx. 370km / 230mi Highlights: Vatnajokull National Park | Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon | Skaftafell National Park | Dyrholaey | Reynisdrangar Cliffs | Skogafoss | Myrdalsjokull | Seljalandsfoss

Day 5 HVOLSVOLLUR - GEYSIR - GULLFOSS - THINGVELLIR - REYKJAVIK (B)

Exciting Volcano Exhibit - Explosive Geysers - Queen of Waterfalls - National Park with Geological Wonders (UNESCO) Breakfast at your hotel. Today visit the famous Golden Circle region of South Iceland. But first start with a visit to the Lava Centre, an interactive, high-tech educational exhibition depicting volcanic activity, earthquakes and the creation of Iceland over millions of years. Head through the peaceful volcano-framed farmland of South Iceland, glimpsing fields of horses. Visit to the geothermal fields of Geysir. Here you'll see steam and boiling water in the bubbling mud pools and spouting hot springs, including the high-shooting Strokkur geyser. A short drive away is the dramatic two-tiered Gullfoss waterfall, a spectacular sight in winter when frozen mid-cascade. Then it's onwards to Thingvellir National Park (UNESCO), where the world's oldest parliament met for centuries on the shores of Iceland's largest lake. Tour ends in Reykjavik. The evening is at your leisure. Approximate distance: approx. 230km / 137mi Highlights: Eyjafjallajokull | Thingvellir National Park | Geysir | Gullfoss | The Sun Voyager

Day 6 DEPARTURE REYKJAVIK (B)

After breakfast, transfer to the Keflavik international airport (not included).
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