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Natural Wonders of Iceland (Summer 2020)

Natural Wonders of Iceland (Summer 2020)


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Overview

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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Experience a world of natural phenomena: gushing waterfalls, volcanoes and stunning landscapes at every turn. The overwhelming beauty of this country will ensure you will want to return again and again.

Day 1 - The Smoky Bay of Reykjavík.
Welcome to Iceland. On arrival at Reykjavik’s Keflavik Airport, you will be transferred to your hotel on your complimentary Insight shuttle operated by Gray Line. Join your Travel Director and travel companions at 18:15 for a Welcome Drink served with canapés.
Accommodation: Fosshotel Reykjavík.

Day 2 - Hot Springs and Waterfalls to Vík.
Head east to visit Iceland’s newest geothermal and electric power station at Hellisheiðavirkjun. Then travel on to the ancient bishopric of Skalholt and see the historic church set in a remote location amid magnificent natural scenery. Continue to the hot springs at Geysir and the mighty Gullfoss waterfalls, the Icelandic equivalent of Niagara Falls. In the afternoon visit the majestic south coast waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss before continuing to your hotel in Vik.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Accommodation: Hótel Kría, Vík.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 3 - By Glaciers and Icebergs to Höfn.
Travel along the southern coast of Iceland, beside the black sand beaches and basalt rock formations. The highlight of the day is the National Park at Skaftafell where you will see the largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull. Travel on to the luminous blue icebergs of Lake Jökulsárlón, the dramatic setting of scenes in two James Bond films. Arrive in the small harbour town of Höfn, an active lobster fishing hub. Your Travel Director takes you on a short orientation. Dine at your hotel's restaurant tonight and experience what the local produce has to offer.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Accommodation: Hótel Höfn.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 4 - Eastern Fjords to Egilsstaðir.
Explore yet another face of Iceland as you drive through narrow fjords surrounded by steep cliffs past small fishing villages. Catch a glimpse of Friar island, once the home of Gaelic monks settling down before the arrival of the Vikings. Upon arriving to Egilsstaðir you may wish to visit Iceland’s first and only geothermal floating pools.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Accommodation: Icelandair Hotel Herad, Egilsstaðir.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 5 - By Desert, Lakes and Divine Waterfalls to Akureyri.
Journey through the sand desert of Möðrudalur to see Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe. Continue on to the beautiful Lake Mývatn. This area offers a wide spectrum of geological formations and the concentrated geothermal activity produces mud pools and spectacular coloured deposits. Continue to Akureyri, enjoy an orientation of Akureyri, the capital of northern Iceland, first established as a trading centre in 1602. Evening to relax or explore at your leisure.(Breakfast)
Accommodation: Hotel Kea, Akureyri.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 - From the Capital of the North to Borgarnes.
Travel past mountains, waterfalls and green coastal regions to Hvammstangi. Later, continue on to the south-west coast of Borgarnes. Perhaps embark on an optional whale watching experience? (available during whale season)(Breakfast / Dinner)
Accommodation: Icelandair Hotel Hamar, Borgarnes.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 7 - Exploring Snæfellsjökull National Park.
Travel along the Snæfellsnes Peninsula to Snæfellsjökull National Park known as the Jewel of West Iceland and home to the country’s most famous volcano. See the magnificent Snæfellsjökull glacier surrounded by unspoiled natural beauty. On route, admire the impressive landscapes of Búðir offering a mixture of sandy hills, black lava fields and a yellow beach. Next, take a stroll along the sea cliffs of Arnastapi with it's unique columnar rock formations while taking in the beautiful scenery.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Accommodation: Icelandair Hotel Hamar, Borgarnes.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 8 - Thingvellir, Blue Lagoon and on to Reykjavík.
Journey south to Thingvellir, where the first meeting of the Icelandic parliament was held in A.D. 930. This remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site lies on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge line where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet. On arrival in Reykjavík, enjoy an orientation of the city with a Local Expert. See the Old Harbour, National Museum, the Hallgrim church and Höfði House. Pass Althingishusid, Reykjavik’s House of Parliament, and continue to the Hallgrímskirkja Church which can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. Visit Iceland's world-famous Blue Lagoon, where you join your newfound friends and toast to your Icelandic holiday with a drink. Enjoy relaxing in the mineral-rich geothermal waters, surrounded by lava fields and snowcapped mountains. The Lagoon is a wonder of nature and offers a unique experience for both body and soul. This evening, delight in a delicious Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant where you round off your journey through one of the world's most naturally beautiful places.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Accommodation: Fosshotel Reykjavík.
Meals: Breakfast,

Day 9 - Farewell Reykjavík.
Your Icelandic adventure comes to an end, with a transfer to Reykjavík's Keflavík Airport.(Breakfast)
Meals: Breakfast

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Inclusions

Authentic Dining

  • Blue Lagoon: Enjoy a truly indulgent, once in a lifetime experience, at the most visited attraction in Iceland. Its geothermal seawater flows from volcanic aquifers 2000 meters within the earth, emerging at the surface enriched with algae, silica, and minerals. With newfound friends, enjoy bathing in the lagoon in style, as you sip on a celebratory cocktail.
  • Dining Summary: 8 Breakfasts (B), 5 Dinners (D) and 1 Dinner with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Hellisheiðavirkjun: Visit Iceland’s newest geothermal heat and electric power station.
  • Geysir: Visit the famous spouting Geysir which has become synonymous with hot springs all around the world.
  • Höfn: Your Travel Director takes you on a short orientation through this seaside village.
  • Gullfoss: The spectacular two-tiered waterfall, the Icelandic equivalent of Niagara falls, drops a total of 32 metres, while spanning the entire width of the Hvítá River.
  • Skalholt: See the historic church.
  • Skaftafell: Visit the amazing alpine setting of the National Park and experience the might of Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier.
  • Lake Jökulsárlón: See the setting for the James Bond film ‘Die Another Day’.
  • Egilsstaðir: Visit this lakeside town.
  • Dettifoss: Visit the most powerful waterfall in Europe and see the Godafoss, known as The Waterfall of the Gods.
  • Lake Mývatn: Traverse spectacular landscapes of craters, boiling mud pots and geothermal hot springs shooting jets of hot water and steam into the air, at this renowned bird-watching site.
  • Akureyi: Your Travel Director will provide an orientation of the capital of northern Iceland, established in 1602.
  • Snæfellsjökull National Park: Enjoy a fascinating exploration of this magnificent park, home to lava formations, waterfalls and the most famous volcano in Iceland.
  • Búðir: Admire the sandy hill, black lava fields and the yellow beach.
  • Arnarstapi: Walk the sea-cliff and admire the rock formations.
  • Thingvellir: The Parliamentary Plains are the most important historic site in the country, as the meeting place of the Althing, the world’s oldest parliament that was founded in A.D. 930.
  • Reykjavík: Explore the capital during your orientation. See the Old Harbour, the National Museum, the Domkirk church and Höfði House. Pass Althingishusid, Reykjavik's House of Parliament, and continue to the Hallgrímskirkja Church which can be seen from almost anywhere in the city.
  • Scenic Drives: Witness spectacular scenery, like nowhere else in the world, as you travel along the South and East coasts, through the Scenic mountain pass of Almannaskard and the Mödrudal Desert, past Hvammstang, along the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and into the Snæfellsjökull National Park.

Included Insight Services

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

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Questions & Answers

Question: What is max number of people on this tour

The amount of people on tours vary. The max amount of guests on an Insight vacation is 40.

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
3.9
Accommodations
3.5
Itinerary
4.3
Professional Staff
4
Repeat with Operator
3.8
Value for Money
3.8

Ratings based off 21 reviews - currently showing 5 reviews with comments only

I was disappointed with the Reykjavik portion of the tour. I expected a walking tour or bus tour around the city with stops. Only 2 or 3 things were pointed out, but we did not stop at any of them. I was also disappointed that we did not get to see any Puffins. If they have a special nesting place, it could have been offered as an optional tour. There also could have been a pre or post tour add-on for an ice cave adventure.

This is the 6th time we traveled with Insight Vacation. Their quality has noticeably gone downhill. We were staying at the same hotels with Trafalgar and Globus Tours. Our tour guide is not very experienced. She departed the hotel 10 minutes early for the welcome dinner. We ended up taking a cab to the restaurant.

Insight was wonderful. The tour director outstanding. Only one complaint and that was the hotel in Akureyri. The hotel is about a 15 minute ride outside of town and this is not good on a night where we have dinner on our own. Also not good for when there is free time. It's difficult to get to and from the hotel. In addition, the rooms in the hotel were tiny as were the bathrooms. I had a room with two beds and, if I hadn't had the extra bed, I wouldn't have known where to put my suitcase. In addition, the hotel is near a small airport and I heard planes taking off/landing all night. Others in the group said that they heard nothing. In my opinion, this is below Insight standards. Other than this one hotel, the accommodations were fine.

The guide was local and, while her English was rough (she is now taking lessons) at times, the information she provided was excellent. She has a PhD in geology, so is very knowledgeable in the special characteristics of Iceland, plus she added many other stories (sagas and folklore) that only a local would know. A fine experience with a very good guide and driver.

Regarding the tour with Insight, the tour itself was wonderful. I would recommend that a more detailed itinerary be provided, as the Tour Director did not do a good job with outlining what would be covered each day. The worst part of the trip was the Tour Director. He was extremely rude, disrespectful and condescending. At one point, he left my sister and me at a hotel knowing that we were planning on going on a side trip with a number of the other clients. He told the bus driver to leave without us. We had left our purses on the bus and had gone to retrieve our luggage to bring to the bus. At one of major churches in Reykjavik, he told us we only had 11 minutes to see the site and became angry when we asked for more time. In all the trips I have booked through Affordable Tours, I have never been on a tour where the Tour Director was less than fantastic (Globus, Trafalgar). I do not think I would ever take another Insight Tour nor recommend it to others based on this experience. 


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