7 nights/ 8 days

Discover Iceland’s South Coast as you inhale fresh Icelandic air and tap into the country’s natural restorative powers. You’ll discover spouting geysers, lava tube caves, thundering waterfalls, and icy glaciers. You’ll also hunt for the elusive Northern Lights! On this adventure, spend a week getting acquainted with this land of fire and ice and see nature in action.

Note: Understandably, there is no promise of viewing the Northern Lights. We will hope for the best and be prepared if luck smiles on us. We will pay close attention to the cloud cover and the aurora forecast and our guides will keep us informed of the best chances of seeing the Northern Lights. The Aurora Borealis are usually green, though white, red and purple colors may also appear. According to ancient Icelandic religion, the dancing northern lights are the fierce Valkyrie riding into battle in Valhalla.  

  • Travel to the southern coast of Iceland in private transportation
  • Search the night skies for multicolored displays of the Northern Lights
  • Go trekking on a glacier
  • Ride a snow mobile on Iceland’s second largest glacier
  • Snorkel in the clearest water on earth, between two continents
  • Explore a lava tube cave
  • Be mesmerized as you explore an ice cave with it’s striking, glassy-blue cathedral
  • Explore Thingvellir National Park, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its history as the oldest existing parliament in the world, first assembled in 930 A.D.
  • Visit Geysir hot spring area and the Gulfoss waterfall
  • Explore the South Shore waterfalls including Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss
  • Take a soothing dip in the waters of the geothermally-heated hot springs
  • Learn about Iceland’s high-temperature geothermal areas and how they provide electricity for the entire country.
DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION Reykjavik to Reykjavik
TRIP LEADER(S) Asdis
PLACES VISITED Reykjavik, Thingvellir National Park, Landmannalaugar, Hrafntinnusker, Alftavatn Lake, Emstrur, Thorsmork, Skogar
ACTIVITIES Hiking
GROUP SIZE Min. 8 Max. 16
TRAVEL STYLE Basic
PHYSICAL RATING Moderate to Difficult
WHAT’S INCLUDED
2 nights hotel All meals indicated in the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L= Lunch, D=Dinner)
5 nights mountain huts All transfers listed in the itinerary
Bilingual, local guide National Park Fees
Luggage, Gear transport from hut to hut (hikers carry daypack)
NOT INCLUDED
Airfare to/from Reykjavik (KEF) Airport taxes & excess baggage fees
Travel Insurance Beverages & meals not specified
Personal Expenses Gratuities
Optional Activities
1

Reykjavik

Today is arrival day, so there are no activities planned. Our hotel is located in the heart of Reykjavik, close to a variety of shops, galleries, restaurants, coffee houses and bars to suit all tastes. Once you get settled in, get your bearings by visiting the observation deck of Hallgrimskirkja, or “the big white church.” Visit the church and take the elevator to the top floor for the best view in the city. Afterwards, take a stroll down to the Solfar (Sun Voyager) sculpture on the waterfront and then continue down to the harbor for lunch or dinner.

Overnight at City Center Hotel or similar

2

Reykjavik/ Raufarholshellir/ Eyrarbakki/ Hvergerdi Geothermal Park (B)

In the morning, our guide will pick us up from the hotel for a day trip to Raufarholshellir, the historical village of Eyrarbakki and Hveragerdi where we will enter the geothermal park and boil an egg in one of the hot springs.

After a 50-60 minute drive from Reykjavik, we’ll arrive at Cave Raufarholshellir, Iceland’s 3rd largest lava tube cave. More than just “scratching the surface” during your Icelandic experience, this cave adventure is surely off the beaten path. Raufarholshellir is one of the better known lava caves in Iceland and is easily accessible. The length of the tube is estimated to be 1360 meters (about .8 miles). There are four entrances, all in easy reach of each other. In the backward section, the cave forks into 3 tunnels, the lava flow from those tunnels probably joined in the Raufarholshellir cave 5000 years ago. Lava falls and other spectacular lava formations can be seen deep in those tunnels. There are large chambers in Raufarholshellir lava tube and the walk around the cave is an exciting journey as there are many things to see.

Upon leaving Raufarholshellir, we’ll make our way to the fishing village of Eyrarbakki, one of Iceland’s best kept secrets situated on the south coast of Iceland with a population of about 570 people, not including inhabitants of the prison located there.

We’ll end the day in the town of Hveragerdi, known for its intense geothermal activity. This friendly little community sits on top of a highly active geothermal field and there is a geo-park inside of the town with some of the biggest and best known hot springs. The geo-park is one-of-a-kind as nowhere else in the world is a populated area so close an active high-temperature geothermal area.

INCLUDED:

–Meals: Breakfast
–Reykjavik city orientation tour
–Visit to Raufarholshellir Cave (45 min)
–Hveragerdi Geothermal Park
–Visit to Eyrarbakki

Estimated travel time: 2.5 hours 
Overnight at City Center Hotel or similar

3

Thingvellir National Park/ Gullfoss Waterfall/ Geysir/ Secret Lagoon (B, D)

Today, we’ll travel to Thingvellir National Park, one of the country’s most historical sites and most frequently visited sites in the country. Thingvellir was declared a National Park in 1930 and nominated to the UNESCO World Heritage List in July 2004.

You’ll have some free time to go hiking in the park or possibly one of the many optional activities such as horseback riding or snorkeling in the Silfra fissure, world famous for its crystal-clear water and amazing shades of blue.

After enjoying the beautiful surroundings of Thingvellir we’ll head for the Geysir geothermal hot spring area to observe the hot spring after which all other spouting hot springs on earth are named. Although the great Geysir is not active at the moment, its nearby neighbor, Strokkur, will erupt every 5-7 minutes, so have your camera ready!

From here, we’ll explore Gullfoss (the Golden waterfall), where your proximity to its edge is so great you will feel the spray of the glacial water on your face.

Tonight, we’ll spend the night in one of the most beautiful farming districts in Iceland, located in the region of Fljotshlid. We’ll end the day with a soak in the Secret Lagoon, Iceland’s oldest swimming pool! This is actually a natural hot spring that was adapted to bathing over 100 years ago.

If conditions are good, hopefully we’ll see the Northern Lights tonight!

INCLUDED:

–Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
–Free time in Thingvellir National Park
–Gullfoss Waterfall
–Geysir Geothermal Area
–Soaking in the hot springs of the Secret Lagoon

Estimated travel time: 3 hours
Overnight at Hotel Fljotshlio or similar

4

South shore waterfalls/ Myrdalsjokull Glacier/ Reynisfjara black beach/ Vik/ Lava Fields of Eldraun (B, D)

Today, our journey takes us east along the Eyjafjöll mountain range to the Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls. Along the way, we’ll see the infamous Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which shut down Europe’s air space for a few days in 2010, and we’ll drive through the vast sand flats of Myrdalsjökull glacier and the vast lava fields of Eldhraun.

Our first stop is Seljalandsfoss waterfall, unique because you can walk behind the falling water. Stand behind the 60-meter-high waterfall and make a secret wish as you view the world through the watery wall.

Then, we kick the action into higher gear to get even closer to Iceland’s nature and go for a snowmobiling tour on Myrdalsjokull Glacier, the second largest ice cap in Iceland after Vatnajokull. The highest point of the ice cap is about 1,450 meters above sea level.

Close by is another beauty, Skogafoss Waterfall with water running from Eyjafjallajokull. It plunges from the cliffs of the former coastline. At 18 stories high, this majestic waterfall is one of the most visited sites in Iceland and for good reason, legend says that a treasure is buried beneath it.

As we continue our journey towards the Eldhraun Lava Field, we’ll explore the world-famous Reynisfjara shore near the village of Vik, ranked in 1991 as one of the ten most beautiful non-tropical beaches in the world. The black sand beach also features an amazing cliff of regular basalt columns resembling a rocky step pyramid, which is called Gardar. Out in the sea are the spectacularly shaped basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar. Legend says that the stacks originated when two trolls dragged a three-masted ship to land unsuccessfully and when daylight broke they became needles of rock. (WARNING: Do not turn your back at the sea. The waves are bigger and more powerful than they look.)

The flat, sandy coast will be our companion for a while, but soon we’ll start driving through lava fields… one after another. You may want to try practicing the pronunciation of “hraun” (which means lava) with your guide, as we’ll pass by several.  First, we’ll pass through the Eldgjárhraun lava field, located east of Vik, and then the vast Eldhraun lava field, created from the eruption at Lakagigar in year 1783. This eruption lasted eight months and affected climate change over all of Europe. It is one of the greatest eruptions in recorded history and is the largest of its kind in the world.

Our journey ends today in the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur (Icelandic for “church farm cloister”), a small village with about 120 inhabitants. Even before the time of the first Norse settlement in Iceland, Irish monks are thought to have lived here. Folk tales illustrate the history with stories about good and sinful nuns. The Systrastapi (sister’s rock) is where two of the convent’s nuns were buried after being burned at the stake. One of the nuns was accused of selling her soul to the Devil, carrying Communion bread outside the church, and having carnal knowledge with men; the other was charged with speaking blasphemously of the Pope. After the Reformation, the second sister was vindicated, and flowers are said to bloom on her grave, but not that of the first nun. Systravatn also has a legend relating to the convent. The nuns traditionally bathed in the lake, and one day two nuns saw a hand with a gold ring extending from the water when they tried to seize the ring, they were dragged below the water and drowned.

Our hotel tonight is also the perfect location for viewing the Northern Lights, if conditions permit.

INCLUDED:

–Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
–Snowmobiling
–Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
–Skogafoss Waterfall
–Reynisfjara Black Beach
–Lava Fields of Eldhraun

Estimated travel time: 3 hours
Overnight at Hotel Geirland or similar

5

Svinafellsjokull Glacier/ Skaftafell National Park (B, D)

Today, we’ll continue our journey along the coast eastwards through the vast sand flats south of Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier and one of Iceland’s most outstanding areas of natural beauty. We’ll visit Vatnajökull National Park and take a short hike to Svartifoss waterfall, known as the black waterfall, located in a valley in between the Vatnajökull outlets. Svartifoss is known and admired due to its fantastic lava formations. The area is dominated by spectacular views of the glacier.

After lunch (not included), we’ll enjoy a one-hour hike on the Svinafellsjökull glacier. Enjoy fabulous views all around as we explore this glacier where the movie, Interstellar, was filmed.  At locations where the glacier flows more rapidly, giant cracks called crevasses are formed, so it would be dangerous to walk on a glacier without a specialized tour guide.

Note: Crampons are provided, but you will need to have good hiking shoes. The crampons cannot be fitted onto sneakers or other light walking shoes.  If you do not have good hiking shoes, they can be rented from a local outfitter. 

Afterwards, we’ll continue our drive to the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon for our overnight stay and search the night skies for the illusive Northern Lights, if conditions permit.

INCLUDED:

–Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
–Glacier Hike (1 hour)
–Hike to Svartifoss Waterfall (1.5 hours)

Estimated travel time: 3 hours
Overnight at Country Hotel Smyrlabjorg or similar

6

Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon/ Vatnajokull Glacier Ice Cave (B, L)

After breakfast, we’ll spend some time at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and look out for the seals which can often be spotted in the lagoon. The lagoon is situated at the south end of Vatnajokull glacier in the Skaftafell preservation area in Vatnajökull National Park. Jokulsarlon is the most famous glacier lagoon in Iceland with a depth of about 250 meters and 18 square kilometers. Due to glacial retreat, huge pieces of ice break loose from the glaciers and end up floating in the Jokulsarlon lagoon.

During winter months (through March), we’ll visit an ice cave at Vatnajokull glacier, often called the Crystal Cave. We’ll have an expert local glacier guide take us in a modified Super Jeep to this spectacular cave made completely of ice. This is truly a mesmerizing wonder of nature. On the outside of the cave, the Vatnajokull glacier’s white crust is UV-bleached and scuffed, but on the inside it is transformed into a striking, glassy-blue cathedral, thanks to the tremendous weight of ancient ice pushing air bubbles out for a thousand years. In the spring, the caves melt and buckle, and in autumn local glacier specialists set out in search of new hidden chambers to explore. This impermanence makes Iceland’s crystal caves all the more magical.

During summer months, we’ll take a boat ride across the Glacier Lagoon. Sailing slowly among the majestic icebergs on the glacial lagoon, we take in the power of this magnificent natural phenomenon. Contrasting colors of blue and white ice on the bluish green water is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Our knowledgeable guides will tell us about the formation of the deepest lake in Iceland and the enormous forces of the glacier that have formed it. We’ll taste 1,000-year-old ice and enjoy the company of curious birds and seals that might glide nearby.

Afterwards, we’ll take a stroll on the sand shore where the lagoon empties out to the Atlantic Ocean. Here on the shores, small and large icebergs wash ashore when the conditions are in our favor, giving the beach the well-deserved name of “Crystal Beach.”

We’ll return to Reykjavik late this evening with short stops and dinner (not included) along the way.

INCLUDED:

–Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
–Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
–Vatnajokull Glacier Ice Cave (winter months)
– Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon Boat Tour (summer months)

Estimated travel time: 4.5 hours
Overnight at City Center Hotel or similar

7

Reykjanes/ The Blue Lagoon (B)

Around mid-morning, we’ll visit the Reykjanes peninsula to experience a few highlights.  The Reykjanes peninsula is a geothermal wonder, where lighthouses outnumber villages. The area is a veritable hotbed for recreational activities. The dramatic, rugged landscape features volcanic craters, caves, lava fields, geothermal waters and hot springs.

After a short drive from Reykjavik, we’ll arrive at Lake Kleifarvatn, also the setting for a popular Icelandic crime novel which is named after it. A unique feature of this incredibly deep lake (318 feet at its deepest point) is that it has not visible surface drainage, meaning no rivers run to or from it. Because of this, the water level only changes with the ground water, which has varied almost 13 feet in a few decades. After the earthquake of 2000, a fissure formed below the lake and it started to drain quickly. The fissure has since refilled and the lake has returned to its previous levels.

A little further on, we’ll stop at the geothermal area at Seltún giving you the chance to walk amongst the hissing steam vents, solfataras and bubbling mud pots with the unmistakable smell of sulfur hanging in the air.

We’ll end our adventure at the famous geothermal spa of the Blue Lagoon. The warm waters are rich in minerals such as silica and sulfur and bathing in the Blue Lagoon has many health benefits and is perfect for relaxing and re-energizing. The Blue Lagoon is recognized as one of the wonders of the world according to National Geographic and has also been named one of the Top 25 Spas in the World.

We’ll return to Reykjavik in time for a final group dinner as a group or on your own. We’ll return to Reykjavik in the evening in time for dinner and a bit of free time. Be sure to take advantage of Reykjavik’s nightlife or “jammith” as the local’s refer to it. It’s certainly gaining a reputation for being one of the hottest places to party in the world today!

INCLUDED:

–Meals: Breakfast
–Reykjanes Sightseeing Tour
–The Blue Lagoon

Estimated travel time: 2 hours
Overnight at
 City Center Hotel or similar

8

Reykjavik (B)

Today is departure day and a free day to knock off those last minute bucket list items and possibly do some shopping.

DATES & RATES

The earlier you book, the better. Sometimes we reach capacity months prior to departure. Booking your flights early will also save you money! You can always change your mind and you won’t be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due.

Not finding what you’re looking for? We can tailor your adventure to fit your travel style, time frame, budget, and interests. From different styles of lodging to your favorite adventure activities, we’ll create the best custom itinerary for you. Feel free to call one of our travel specialists for information on custom trips. Let us plan your next adventure of a lifetime! Contact us today!

2017 SMALL GROUP DEPARTURES

  • March 22-29  $2750 (single supplement $550) SOLD OUT
  • Sept 20-27  $3025 (single supplement $750)

RECOMMENDED TRAVEL MONTHS

Experts say the most auroral activity happens around the Spring and Fall Equinox.

Ready to book? Use the form to the right to submit your information along with a deposit to secure your spot. Need assistance? Call us at (800) 953-5538 or email travel@adventurepeople.net and one of our tour consultants will be happy to help.

Is This Trip Right For You?

About Our Accommodations Experience and Fitness Requirements
Itinerary Disclaimer Weather/ Seasons in Iceland
Local Food and Costs Solo Travelers

Essential Trip Information

What to Bring Laundry
Visas and Passports Health and Vaccinations
Travel Insurance Currency and Foreign Exchange
Spending Money Gratuities
Local Time and International Calling Codes Plugs and Adapters
Medical History and Abilities Safety and Security
General Rules Local Laws and Customs

Other Things You Should Know

Shopping in Iceland Useful Words and Phrases in Icelandic
Volcanic Activity Visiting the Blue Lagoon

ABOUT OUR ACCOMMODATIONS

Our hotel accommodations are 3-4 star quality that are simple, clean and centrally located. They offer great value, reasonable prices, and quality experiences.

EXPERIENCE AND FITNESS REQUIREMENTS

This itinerary is rated Easy. It is intended for those who are comfortable being active approximately 2-4 hours a day. Includes walking and/or hiking for 4-6 miles/day on rolling to hilly terrain with short ascents up to 600 feet. This trip also includes snowmobiling, glacier trekking, cave exploring that includes crawling and/or rolling on the ground, and other activities that require an average level of fitness to enjoy.

You should understand that days in the cold can be very tiring, especially when taking part in activities, and so a better level of fitness may increase your enjoyment of this trip.

ITINERARY DISCLAIMER

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However, it is subject to change, and does not form a contract between parties. While it is our intention to adhere to the route described, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. Occasionally our itineraries change due to weather or other circumstances that are beyond our control. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary.

WEATHER/ SEASONS IN ICELAND

The climate of Iceland is cold oceanic near the southern coastal area and tundra inland in the highlands. Iceland is located just south of the Arctic Circle, but thanks to the Gulf Stream, temperatures are cool in the summer and remarkably mild in the winter (New York’s winter lows are normally lower than Reykjavik’s). Icelandic weather is unusually volatile, however. The Gulf Stream brings mid-Atlantic air in contact with colder Arctic air, resulting in frequently abrupt weather shifts. You could well encounter four seasons in one day.

Daylight hours in Iceland decrease greatly in the winter months and increase during the summer months. Please visit http://www.timeanddate.com/sun/iceland/reykjavik to find out sunrise and sunset hours for your dates of travel.

LOCAL FOOD AND COSTS

Eating is a big part of traveling, so we choose to not include all meals as part of the trip price to give you a choice of eating options. This allows for maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility. Our groups tend to eat together, of course there is no obligation to do this. Our guides will be able to suggest favorite restaurants in Reykjavik. Outside of Reykjavik, most lodgings have a prix fixe menu. Please let us know at the time of booking if you have any dietary restrictions or food allergies.

Icelandic cuisine consists primarily of lamb, dairy, and fish, due to Iceland’s proximity to the ocean. Much of the taste of the traditional country food is determined by preservation methods such as pickling, drying and smoking. Animal products dominate Icelandic cuisine, but there are some vegetarian options in Reykjavik. These options might be limited outside of the city, however.

You should be aware that costs in Iceland are very high, especially when it comes to restaurants and alcoholic drinks, so you should bear this in mind when you are planning your budget. In Reykjavik, it is also mandatory that you make restaurant reservations ahead of time.

SOLO TRAVELERS

We believe single travelers should not have to pay more to travel, so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation, unless you prefer your own room, in which a single supplement fee will apply. 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.

WHAT TO BRING

Our advice is to pack as lightly as possible as you are expected to carry your own luggage. We recommend the use of a duffel bag, soft bag or backpack (whichever you find easiest to carry). Smaller bags with wheels are convenient if your bag has carry straps. Suitcases or heavy luggage are not recommended. A good size day-pack (25-35L) is also necessary for the trek to carry extra clothing, water, in addition to cameras and other electronics while exploring the different places we will visit. Luggage locks are also recommended.

Packing Checklist

Travel

– Passport (with photocopies) & Visa (if required)
– Travel Insurance policy (with photocopies)
– Driver’s License
– Flight Information & Boarding Pass
– Money and credit or debit card (please see the section on Currency & Foreign Exchange)
– Travel packet w/ pre-departure info & itinerary
– Any vaccination certificates

 Clothing and Footwear

– Windproof/waterproof jacket & pants, preferably of breathable fabric such as Gore Tex or similar
– Long Sleeve underwear made of wool or synthetics, not cotton
– Moisture Wicking Shirts/ T-Shirts
– Wool or Fleece Sweater/ Jacket
– Hiking pants/ track pants
– Swimwear
– Winter gloves
– Scarf/ neck warmer
– Warm hat
– 3 to 5 pair of hiking socks (synthetic or wool)
– Undergarments (synthetic, not cotton)
– Waterproof Hiking Boots (good, sturdy boots that cover your ankle – these may also be rented from the local outfitter)
– Gaiters
– Slippers and warm comfy clothes for lounging in the evenings

Personal Items

– Shampoo, conditioner, soap (biodegradable)
– Toothbrush & Toothpaste
– Razor
– Brush/comb
– Biodegradable laundry soap
– Eyeshades/ earplugs
– Sunglasses
– Sunscreen (biodegradable & waterproof)
– Lip Balm
– Fingernail Clippers
– Sanitary napkins or tampons (women)
– Hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes
– Rain cover or plastic bags for daypacks
– Plastic bag for wet items
– Small, quick dry travel towel
– Dry bag
– Headlamp or flashlight
– Camera and extra memory card
– Binoculars (optional)
– Water bottle
– Watch or alarm clock
– Power Adapter (please see the section on Plugs & Adapters)
– Extra Batteries
– Chargers for electronics
– Luggage lock(s)
– Reading/writing material
– First-aid kit (should contain Aspirin, Ibuprofen (for anti-inflamation), Band-Aids, anti-histamines, motion sickness remedy, imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, and re-hydration powder)
– Personal prescription drugs , contact lenses, glasses w/ backups

LAUNDRY

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a small fee. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry, so we also suggest you bring a biodegradable laundry soap.

VISAS & PASSPORTS

All countries require a valid passport (valid for a minimum of 6 months after the date of departure). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements. It’s your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Please visit https://adventurepeople.net/passport-visas/ for links to helpful websites.

HEALTH & VACCINATIONS

You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC Website and World Health Organization for information on the recommended vaccinations for Iceland, but you should always consult your physician for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure.

Medical care in Iceland is of high quality, but limited services are available outside of large urban areas. For emergency medical assistance anywhere in the country, dial 112. For non-emergency medical assistance in the Reykjavik metropolitan area dial 544-4114 during business hours. Outside of normal business hours, dial 1770. Nonresidents are expected to pay their own medical costs and you should be prepared to pay your bill in full before leaving the hospital or clinic.

It is recommended that you carry a First-Aid kit and hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons, our guides are prohibited from administering any type of drug.

Please visit https://adventurepeople.net/travel-resources/ for links to helpful websites.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Travel insurance is mandatory to participate on any of our trips. You will not be permitted to join a trip until evidence of travel insurance has been presented. The minimum requirement must provide coverage of $200,000USD for medical expenses including repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some credit card companies offer travel insurance, but proof of coverage will be required. Contact your provider for details. To receive a free quote, please visit http://adventurepeople.net/travel-insurance/.

CURRENCY & FOREIGN EXCHANGE

In Iceland, the local currency is the krona, abbreviated as ISK. As currency exchange rates fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for the most up to date daily exchange rates, www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. Coins come in denominations of 1, 10, 50, and 100 ISK denominations. Banknotes come in denominations of 2500, 1000, 2,000, and 5,000 ISK. Major credit cards and debit cards are accepted at most hotels, airlines, restaurants and upscale merchants, but you should advise your card issuer of your travel plans in advance. Banks and credit card companies are safe, convenient, and generally offer good exchange rates, but will charge a fee for overseas transactions. You should check with your bank before departure.

Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are found in most villages around Iceland, though not all ATM’s are accessible 24 hours a day. Icelandic ATM’s generally accept all major debit, credit, and cash-only cards. Cirrus and PLUS are most accepted. Foreign debit and credit card withdrawals from an ATM usually incur a fee levied by the local ATM owner, in addition to any fees added by your financial institution. Note, however, that many banks now assess a 1% to 3% foreign transaction fee on all charges you incur abroad.

SPENDING MONEY

When it comes to spending money on a trip, every traveler is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It’s always better to bring more than you think you’ll need as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds. Also, make sure you’ve read the trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier.

GRATUITIES

Unlike in the US, tipping service providers such as waiters, is not a widespread custom in Iceland. The tax and gratuity are already included in your bill. We do recommend tipping your guide at the end of the trip, as a gesture of appreciation for their efforts on your adventure. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline the equivalent of $5-10 USD/day per person can be used.

LOCAL TIME & INTERNATIONAL CALLING CODES

Iceland is on GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) all year and does not observe daylight saving. The time difference is eight hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time in the United States.

The country calling code is +354. To call Iceland from the US, dial 011 354 + area code and phone #.  To dial the US from Greece, dial 001 + area code and phone #.

PLUGS & ADAPTERS

power plugs

Iceland uses the standard European non-grounded type C outlet and the voltage is 220 volts/ 50Hz. In the US, we use types A and B, 120 volts/ 60Hz. For using your electronics in Iceland, you will need a voltage converter in addition to a plug adapter. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit. For more information, click here and also see our blog post for Essential Travel Gear.

MEDICAL HISTORY & ABILITIES

Our trips bring together people of all ages. It is important that you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake any of our trips. Travelers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage. You must inform us at the time of booking if anyone in your party has a disability, medical or behavioral condition which could affect their participation in the trip or other people on the trip.

Travelers with pre-existing medical conditions are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travelers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen adventure. While your group leader and guides work hard to make sure that all our travelers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided.

SAFETY & SECURITY

Iceland is considered among one of the safest countries in the world with a very low crime rate, but we recommend that you check your government’s advice for the latest travel information before departure. You should also enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so you are kept up to date with important safety and security announcements. We also strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while traveling, for safe keeping of your passport, credit cards, cash, and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelry at home – you won’t need it while traveling. In addition, a lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Only carry with you the money and documentation that you need for the day and always keep an eye on your belongings.

Adventure activities and water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in activities when accompanied by guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any of our planned activities, have a balanced approach to safety. Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

While most of the cities we visit are generally safe, there can be risks when wandering through a major city at night and it is our recommendation that you stay in small groups and take taxis to and from restaurants or other night time excursions. We also advise staying away from any protests and demonstrations. Even those that are well intended have the potential to turn violent with no warning.

GENERAL RULES

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy and therefore prohibited. The trip leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS

The use and/or possession of illegal drugs of any kind is strictly prohibited on any of our trips. Possession of even small quantities in Iceland can lead to heavy fines and/or imprisonment.

While it will not be required for you to drive during this tour, should you decide to spend extra time in Iceland before or after the tour, please be aware that alcohol limits for drivers are far stricter than US levels. Submission to a breathalyzer test is mandatory. Penalties for driving under the influence are severe.

Smoking in restaurants, bars, public transportation and public building is prohibited. Anyone caught smoking will initially be asked to leave the premises. Failure to do so will result in arrest and a fine.

You are not required to carry your passport with you at all times in Iceland, but it is sensible to keep some form of ID on you and ensure that next of kin details are entered in the back of your passport.

Whale meat is available in Iceland but tourists should be aware that importation into the US is illegal under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Any importation of whale meat to the US will result in seizure of the goods, and possibly a fine of up to $10,000.

SHOPPING IN ICELAND

In Iceland, look for merchants displaying “Tax Free” shopping signage in the window. If you have purchased items for 6,000ISK or more, be sure to ask for a tax free form. After filling out the form and submitting it at the airport with the original purchase receipt, you will receive a refund of the VAT total, minus an administration fee.

VOLCANIC ACTIVITY

Iceland is volcanically and seismically active. There is always the possiblity that another volcano could erupt, although constant monitoring by Icelandic authorities means that there should be notice of an imminent eruption. Up to date information on seismic activity can be found on the Icelandic Meteorilogical Office website at http://www.vedur.is/.

VISITING THE BLUE LAGOON

When visiting the Blue Lagoon, it is recommended that you make restaurant reservations and massage appointments in advance as they do fill up. Also, be sure to wet your hair before entering the lagoon and applying a thick coat of the provided hair conditioner. For more info, please visit http://www.bluelagoon.com/

USEFUL WORDS AND PHRASES IN ICELANDIC

We always encourage our travelers to respect the lives of locals and their language by learning a few important words, such as hello, goodbye, please, thank you etc. It may also be helpful for you to download the Google Translate app on your phone along with Greek language to your phone so that it is available offline when you are not in an area with WiFi.

Click on any of the phrases that are links to hear them spoken. (source: omniglot.com)

English Icelandic
Welcome Velkomin (>f)
Velkominn (>m)
Good morning Góðan daginn
Góðan dag
Good afternoon Góðan daginn
Góðan dag
Good evening Góða kvöldið
Good night Góða nótt
Thank you Takk
Takk fyrir
Þakka þér fyrir
Kærar þakkir
Reply to ‘thank you’ Það var ekkert
Goodbye Vertu blessaður (>m)
Vertu blessuð (>f)
Bless á meðan
Bless bless (inf)
Við sjáumst
Sjáumst síðar (see you later)
Hello (General greeting) Halló
Góðan dag
Góðan daginn
Sæll (>m)
Sæl (>f)
Sorry Því miður
Fyrirgefðu
Mér þykir það leitt
How are you? Hvað segir þú?
Hvernig hefur þú það?
Reply to ‘How are you?’ Allt gott
Allt fínt
Allt ágætt
Bara fínt
Pleased to meet you Gaman að kynnast þér
Gaman að hitta þig
Long time no see Langt síðan við höfum sést
Good luck! Gangi þér vel!
Cheers! Good health! (toasts when drinking) Skál!
Have a nice day Eigðu góðan dag
I understand Ég skil
I don’t understand Ég skil ekki
Yes
No Nei
How do you say… in Icelandic? Hvernig segir maður … á íslensku?
Please speak more slowly Gætirðu talað hægar?
Viltu tala svolítið hægar?
Please say that again Gætirðu sagt þetta aftur?
Gætirðu endurtekið þetta?
What is your name? Hvað heitir þú?
My name is______ Ég heiti ______
Where are you from? Hvaðan ertu?
Hvaðan kemur þú?
I’m from _____ Ég er frá ______
How much is this? Hvað kostar þetta?
Excuse me Afsakið!
Fyrirgefðu!
Where is the toilet? Hvar er klósettið?
Famous volcanoes Eyjafjallajökull
Hekla
Katla
Askja
Surtsey (Vesturey)
Vestmannaeyjar
blue lagoon
blue lagoon
crystal cave
glacier trekking
glacier trekking
northern lights
northern lights
latjokulsarlon glacier lagoon
latjokulsarlon glacier lagoon
snorkeling silfra
snowbiling
strokkur geyser
super jeep
waterfalls
Black sand beach

Tour Reviews

There are no reviews yet.

Leave a Review

Rating