Active Adventures |  Lundi -  Essence of Iceland

Reykjavík to ReykjavíkIt’s no secret that Iceland is a feast for the eyes, but what you may not know is how fascinating Icelandic people are. You’ll witness their self sufficiency and learn about their proud viking heritage, in fact, their language today is very similar to what it was during the Viking Age!Iceland is commonly ranked as one of the happiest nations in the world, so prepare to have some of this attitude rub off, when you’re out and about exploring with the locals. Hiking is the main activity on this trip, with a touch of kayaking on a lagoon in Vatnajökull National Park.

  • Highlights

    Experience Reykjavík “Smokey Bay”

    Explore Þingvellir and Vatnajökull National Parks

    Hike Eldfell Volcano

    Hike the Ingólfshöfði headland to view wild puffin colonies

    Visit Jökulsárlón Lagoon, sea kayak Heinabergsjökull Lagoon

    Visit Öxaràrfoss, Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, Kvernufoss & Svartifoss Waterfalls

    Visit Vestmannaeyjar Islands

  • What's Included

    All accommodations
    Local hotels chosen for their comfort, charm and sublime views.

    All activities
    In just 7 days you'll still get to experience all your favourite activities; hiking, kayaking, wildlife viewing, historical sites and more.

    All guiding services
    Two experienced guides per trip. In Iceland you'll have a Kiwi guide and a team of local Icelandic guides, meaning you'll get the best of both worlds in terms of local knowledge and legendary hospitality.

    All meals
    Breakfast, lunch and dinner. You'll be treated to a culinary experience, to rival any in the world.

    All transport once at your joining hotel
    When you're not travelling under your own steam, there will be comfortable air-conditioned vans to stretch your legs.

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  • Itinerary

    DAY 1 - ARRIVE REYKJAVÍK

    Our trip begins in Reykjavík, the world’s northernmost capital and Iceland’s cultural hub. If you’ve flown in this morning, you’ll be free to make your own way from Keflavík International Airport to the city. Bear in mind you won’t be able to check-in to your hotel until 2pm, so we recommend unwinding after your flight at the famous Blue Lagoon hot pools that are on the way to Reykjavík - remember to keep your swimwear handy!  After dropping your bags at the hotel you’ll have some free time to take in the vibrant streets - grab some last-minute gear at the many outdoor clothing stores or explore the harbour. Later, we’ll all meet at the hotel bar for a trip briefing and a welcome drink, where you’ll get to know your fellow travellers and guides before having a delicious meal in a local restaurant. You might find your first evening a little strange, to be strolling around in daylight!Centerhótel Miðgarður, Reykjavík (Dinner) 

     

    DAY 2 - EXPLORE ÞINGVELLIR NATIONAL PARK

    Today the adventure really begins, as we head north east to Þingvellir National Park, home to Iceland’s first National Assembly.  We’ll stretch our legs at our first waterfall called Öxàrarfoss (‘foss’ is Icelandic for waterfall). As strange as it may sound, this is actually a human-made waterfall, as the water was diverted, back in the 9th Century, to provide members and visitors of the Icelandic parliament ‘Althingi’ with water. There are further fascinating folklores about this region that you’ll soon discover! After a picnic lunch on the lake we’ll continue towards the highlands, with stops to learn about Iceland’s Laugarvatan cave people, view the original Geysir Nature Reserve and the Gullfoss waterfall.Flúðir Hótel, Flúðir (All meals)Hiking Distance: We'll explore the Nature Reserve, so do as much or as little as you like.

     

    DAY 3 - VISIT THE VESTMANNAEYJAR ISLANDS

    This morning we’ll journey south down the coast to board a ferry. Our scenic crossing takes us to the bustling fishing port of Haeimaey, the only inhabited island in the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago. This tiny island hosts a recent, rich volcanic history that we’ll learn about at the world class Eldheimar Exhibition. After fueling up the body we’ll experience the lava fields with a volcanic hike to the Eldfell peak. At the top you’ll be rewarded with views across to the mainland and a further appreciation for the 1973 eruption. For those that feel up to it, there’s the option to continue on and complete the ‘Three Peaks Hike’. The rewards don’t stop there; on our return to the town we’ll sample the local beer at Brothers Brewery, a fantastic spot that lays claim to the best beer in Iceland!Hótel Vestmannaeyjar, Vestmannaeyjar (All meals) Hiking Distance: 2 kilometres (1.2 miles), 2-3 hoursElevation Gain: 200 metres (656 feet)Elevation Loss: 200 metres (656 feet)Optional Hike: 1.5 kilometres (0.9 miles), 0.5-1 hourElevation Gain: 200 metres (656 feet)Elevation Loss: 200 metres (656 feet)Optional Hike: 1.8 kilometres (1.1 miles), 0.5-1 hourElevation Gain: 150 metres (492 feet)Elevation Loss: 150 metres (492 feet)

     

    DAY 4 - HIKE AND EXPLORE SELJALANDSFOSS, SKÓGAFOSS & KVERNUFOSS WATERFALLS

    After returning to the mainland we’ll take a hike to the top of Iceland’s most famous and spectacular waterfalls; first to Seljalandsfoss (where we can also walk behind the falls) and then to Skógafoss. After lunch we’ll hunt for stone trolls along the wild and beautiful South Coast - these trolls occupy an immense portion of Icelandic folklore, described as big, stupid and greedy, but sometimes kind and wise... Our journey continues alongside the soaring sea cliffs and moss-covered lava fields, where we’ll be able to see the infamous E15 ‘Eyjafjallajökull’ Volcano, Vatnajökull ice cap and its outlet glaciers. Tonight, we’ll relax in the wonderfully appointed Fosshótel, with impressive views down towards the coast.Öraefi Lodgings, Öraefi  (All meals)1st Hike Distance: 0.5 kilometres (0.3 miles), 0.5-1 hourElevation Gain: 20 metres (65 feet)Elevation Loss: 20 metres (65 feet)2nd Hike Distance: 5 kilometres (3 miles), 1-2 hoursElevation Gain: 90 metres (300 feet)Elevation Loss: 90 metres (300 feet)3rd Hike Distance: 0.6 kilometres (0.4 miles), 0.5-1 hourElevation Gain: 20 metres (65 feet)Elevation Loss: 20 metres (65 feet)

     

    DAY 5 - HIKE THE INGÓLFSHÖFÐI HEADLAND, SPOTTING ‘LUNDI‘

    Pack your binoculars this morning as we’re looking for ‘Lundi’, also known as puffin, Iceland’s iconic and beloved bird. As we hike the high sea cliffs of the Ingólfshöfði headland we’ll also catch glimpses of guillemots and skuas. After our hike and a bite to eat we’ll head off to view yet another waterfall, known as Svartifoss, where nearby there are views across Europe’s largest outlet glacier, Skeiðarárjökull.Optional: Ice Hike (add US$159)An alternative option to the afternoon’s waterfall hike is to strap on crampons, pick up an ice axe and hike on the Svínafellsjökull glacier! Led by specialist glacier guides you’ll explore amazing ice formations checking out the crevasses, seracs, tunnels and pools of glacial meltwater - no previous experience is required! The constant movement of the glacier means every day is different, so your guides will cut steps in the ice and make sure you make the most of the conditions. The ice hike is popular, so we offer advance reservations with the guiding company. At the time of booking, or up until one month before your trip, we can reserve a space for you, or you can leave your decision until the start of your trip and your guides will get you a spot, if it’s available.Afterwards, we’ll regroup and head back to the Fosshótel, for another relaxing evening.Öraefi Lodgings, Öraefi  (All meals)1st Hike Distance: 3 kilometres (1.9 miles), 2.5-3 hoursElevation Gain: 200 metres (656 feet)Elevation Loss: 200 metres (656 feet)2nd Hike Distance: 5.5 kilometres (3.4 miles), 1-2 hoursElevation Gain: 100 metres (324 feet)Elevation Loss: 100 metres (324 feet)Optional Ice hike on Svínafellsjökull Glacier: 1-2 hours on the ice, 2.5-3 hours total time for experience.

     

    DAY 6 - VISIT JÖKULSÁRLÓN LAGOON, SEA KAYAK HEINABERGSJÖKULL LAGOON

    After breakfast we’ll visit Jökulsárlón Lagoon, a photographer’s dream and a spot where you may see seals playing amongst the icebergs. After hiking the entire length of Iceland’s shortest river (blink and you’ll miss it), we’ll end up on the beach surrounded by stranded icebergs. After lunch it’s time to swap our hiking boots for a kayak paddle and venture out on the Heinabergsjökull Lagoon. Our professional kayak guides will keep you warm and dry, supplying you with all the necessary gear. We’ll explore amongst the icebergs and if conditions permit, get up close to the terminal face!  Hótel Höfn or similar, Höfn (All meals)Hiking Distance: Iceland's shortest river, around 2-3 hoursSea Kayaking Distance: 8 kilometres (5 miles), 2-3 hours

     

    DAY 7 - RETURN HOME

    This morning, it’s a short, domestic flight from Höfn to Reykjavík to connect with afternoon international departures. If you’re staying on in Iceland be sure to ask us for advice about where to explore next! (Breakfast)

 

HLO Ref# 15199