Iceland Small Group tour May 6-17, 2023

Iceland small group tour

 

Small group tour to Iceland

May 6-17, 2023

Iceland is a volcanic island in the middle of the North Atlantic.  It´s population is much less than most US cities.  With a whole population of about 350.000 people.  Most of the population lives in and around Reykjavík, leaving about 100.000 that live in the rest of the country.   Most of the towns are located on the coast for a number of reasons, one being mild climate, and second being fish, as the fishing industry is still the biggest industry in Iceland.   In this tour, we will make a whole circle around Iceland, concentrating on the North Coast and communities and sighs in the North East.  We will begin and end in Reykjavík, the capital.   Our tour will focus mainly on nature, small towns, and locals.  You will meet farmers, horse trainers, fisherman etc.  May offers an abundance of wildlife, as everything comes to life.  As Iceland is very north in latitude and hugs the arctic circle, the daylight hours reflect this.  Sunrise for the duration of your trip will be at or before 4am and sunset around 10:30pm or later.  It is a good idea to bring an eye mask to help you sleep.  The weather is generally nice and bright.   It can be quite warm, but their is a saying in Iceland „ if you don´t like the weather, wait a minute“, it is forever changing.   Layers are a very good idea, and so are waterproof clothing and shoes.

 

May 7, 2023 ( Day 1 )

D                                                                     Reykjavík

Arrival Keflavik airport KEF at around 6:00am. Please plan your flights to arrive in the morning. Most Icelandair flights arrive around 6am.

Guide ( Nik ) and bus await you at Keflavík Int Airport, Iceland.    We will take a short drive and try to catch some views of the on-going eruption on Suðurnes Peninsula.  Brisk short walk around the new lava fields.  Just enough to get the blood flow moving after your flight.  We will continue to Reykajavík and really relax in one of Reykjavíks municipal swimming pools and hot tubs.   We will be staying at Hotel Frón in Reykjavik.   We check in around 14:00 so everyone can have a rest.  Tonight we will have dinner at Kól Restaurant.  We will have their Gourmet small course menu, paired with wine.

May 8, 2023 ( Day 2 )

B L D                                                                Snæfellsness

Today we will head out to Snæfellsness peninsula.   We will take a very scenic ride all around the peninsula.  Snæfellsness is renouned for its gorgeous scenery and of course Snæfellsness Glacier.  We will have nice views of the glacier, take a walk through lava fields at the end of the peninsula, and then make our way along the north shore of the peninsula.  We will stop just outside of Grundafjörður to get photos of Kirkjufell ( Cathedral Mountain ).  We will stay in the beautiful town called Stykkishólmur.  We will have a seafood dinner at sjavarpakkhusið and stay at Fransiskus Hotel, which was a convent that housed Belgian nuns who used to run the hospital.

May 9, 2023 ( Day 3 )

B L D                                                                Arctic Coast

After breakfast we will take the route that follows breiðafjörður shores ( or wide fjord ) with amazing views of the thousands of islands in the bay. We will visit the Seal Museum in Hvammstangi and then have lunch at the restaurant Sjávarborg overlooking the harbor.    From Hvammstangi, we are going to follow the Arctic Coast Way north.   We will take the route along Skagafjörður peninsula which offers great mountain views and great coast views.   Dinner will be in the beautiful town of Siglufjörður, which is a beautifully protected and full of old Icelandic wooden houses.   We will have plenty of time to walk around the town after dinner.  We will be staying the next two nights in hotel kjanarlundur just 5 minutes outside of Akueyri in the Kjarnalundur forest.  The hotel is situated in the forest known for its rabits and has lots of trails for hiking and 3 hot tubs.

May 10, 2023 ( Day 4 )

B L D                                                                Capital of the North

The morning is for yourself.  Get up when you want, have breakfast when you want.  Wonder around.   We will have some time to ourselves.   We will go to Hjalteyri and have traditional Icelandic lamb soup.   Hjalteyri is home to an old herring factory which has been converted into a arts and crafts center.   There is a lovely tannery there, where you can purchase some really nice souveniers ( fish skins, sheep skins, reindeer skins etc, ) or some jewellery and other crafts.   We will depart for Akureyri for a day / walking tour of the Capital of North Iceland.   You will have some free time in Akureyri as well with time to do what you like ( museum, harbour, sit and relax )

May 11, 2023 ( Day 5 )

B  D                                                                 Waterfalls, boiling mud, and steamy ground

This morning after breakfast we will depart for a geothermal adventure.    Our first stop will be Goðafoss.   This is one of Iceland´s most beautiful waterfalls.  From the parking lot to the falls, is about a 15 minute walk.   From here will will head to Mývatn Nature Baths.  For those that want to experience a hot natural pool, this is Iceland´s Best.  For those who want to bathe, we will give you two hours.   For those that do not want to bathe, we will have a little tour of Dimmuborgir for a tour of hot caves.  Later we will continue to Hverir to take a 20 minute walk through steam fumeroles, hot bubbly mud, and other interesting formations.   Then we continue to Dettifoss, Europe´s biggest waterfall by volume.   From here we will continue north back along the Arctic Coast Way.   We will spend the next 3 days in The Edge of the Arctic area, and in Þórshöfn.  Dinner will be at Skulagarður Hotel.   We will have a light dinner and stay at www.skulagardur.com  for two nights.

May 12, 2023      ( Day 6 )                              Whale Watching and Husavik

B L D

Today after breakfast, we will begin with a little nature walk in Asbyrgi Canyon a beautiful little forest grows in the canyon.  Trees are not common in this part of Iceland, but thanks to the Cayon and protection from wind, a birch forest grows here.   We will then head to Husavik for a whale watching excursion.   Husavik is home to Húsavík Öl ( local brewing company ) and also GEO SEA.   We will visit both after whale watching.  After we will head back to the hotel for dinner.

May 13, 2022 ( Day 7 )

B L D                                                                Langanes Peninsula

Today is all about nature.   It is a day to dress appropriately, we can never predict weather.  Boots and layers and raingear are recommended.  We will head out on the peninsula in Land Rovers.   Our first stop will be at the old Church, with a little history lesson.   From there we will tour Águst Marino´s farm, where there are more lambs being born.  It is nice to see how some farms operate differently and compare.  Águst is also a professional horse trainer.  We will be able to see him demonstrate some riding skills.   We will continue out the peninsula stopping for a drink of water from one of the many streams and we will have a stop where men are scaling down the cliffs collecting Auk eggs.  There is also a nearby platform, that allows you to go out over the cliff and get a much better view many birds that live in the cliffs.  May is the time when bird life comes alive, babies are being hatched, puffins return at this time too to hatch and feed their little ones with fish.  If you brought binoculars with you, this would be a great time to use them.  After bird watching, we are going to go further out the peninsula to Skálar, which is an old abandoned fishing town.  We will have a little history lesson which includes why such towns dissappeared and why all the farms on the peninsula are abandoned as well.  We will have a picnic lunch in the village, rain or shine.  As we come back along the peninsula, we have one last stop that brings us to the 20 century and why the US military was here.   We climb the mountain in the Land Rovers, and visit the US ex- US military base.   We will also find out why they were here.

On return to Þórshöfn you have time to walk through the town relax down by the harbor, watch the fisherman bringing in and weighting the fish.  Tonight dinner is a lamb appetizer, and Cod dinner. The next two nights are split for sleeping.  Some of the group will be here:  www.sandurguesthouse.com and some at www.grasteinn.wordpress.com

May 14, 2023 ( Day 8 )

B D                                                                  Farm Visit

Today we will have breakfast at Holt farm.   The hosts will prepare breakfast using local products.  After, we will have a chance to spend a little time on the farm during lambing season.   You can watch the lambs being born.  We will also find other information about sheep farming in Iceland today.  After our farm visit, we will visit a local museum called the Leader Sheep museum, where you can also buy very nice authentic gifts.  We will go on the arctic henge in Raufarhofn after that and have a small tour of Raufarhofn the Arctic Village.  Dinner will once again be at Báran in Þorshöfn.

May 15, 2023 ( Day 9 )

B D                                                                  Fishing Villages

Today we leave this little paradise for the East.  The east of Iceland is known for it´s fishing villages.  We will travel along one of the highest roads in elevation in Iceland.   From the top you will have breathtaking views of black beaches, and gorgeous mountains on the other side of the fjord.  We will go to Seyðisfjörður, which is a town work exploring, it is well known for wooden buildings, the blue church, and it is also where are weekly ferry comes in from Denmark and the Faroe Islands.  You will be free to wonder around, grab lunch, and take in the beautiful architecture.  We will also ride through and stop in most of the fishing villages located in the beautiful East Fjords.  Our final Destination will be Djúpivogur, the most south of the East Fjord towns.  We will have dinner and stay at Hotel Framtið.

May 16, 2023 ( Day 10 )

B D                                                                  Glaciers and Black Beaches

Today we visit famous Jökulárslón ( or the Glacier Bay )   We will walk around and find a place where you can see the mesmorizing icebergs just floating past you.   While you could sit here a long time, it is a long way to our next stop which is Vik.  It is here that we can take a nice walk along the well known black beach.   We can also visit Reynisfjara beach, which is famous for its beautiful rock formations, but also dangerous and infamous for its huge sneak waves, so we have to follow directions of your guide, and not go to close to the water.   We will have  dinner and the night at country hotel Anna.

May 17, 2023  ( Day 11 )

B                                                                      From the Golden Circle to America

Today we will visit the famous Golden Circle, visiting yet one more waterfall, and one geysir.  It is called the golden circle, because the road wines through some of Iceland´s most well known sights.    They are the most well known, because most tourists, do not get off the beaten track as you have!  While there are some facsinating sights to see, it will be rather crowded, but worth seeing.  We will concentrate on Gullfoss ( Golden Waterfall ) and of course Geysir, the original geysir, where the word originates.

After this, we will slowly head down to the International airport.

Please plan afternoon departure around 5-6pm.

Price per person, double occupancy: $5,560

Single supplement  $700

What is included in the price:

  • 10 nights accommodation in 3* + characteristic small hotels and guesthouses
  • Full time guide and all transportation
  • 10 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 10 very nice dinners.
  • Whale watching
  • Farm visits
  • Seal Museum
  • Leader Sheep museum
  • Bustarfell Museum
  • 2 swimming pools bath

What is not included:

  • 5 lunches to allow you more flexibility, average lunch costs around $25 but you can find a coffee and a sandwich for much less.
  • Mývatn Nature bath ( 43USD ) .
  • Airfare

Things to bring with you:

Comfortable walking shoes, boots, raincoat, layered clothing, bathing suit, binoculars, camera.

Nonrefundable deposit 10% is required to book.

Email sophia@sophiastravel.com to book

Final payment 60 days prior.

Due to the small size of the group, deposits and final payments are non-refundable.

Insurance is strongly recommended. Please contact us for insurance quote. Need your date of birth and state residency.

Client’s feedback from previous trips:
Jenny M from CT, August 2021

This trip was so unique not only with the things we saw but having Nik as our guide. He is definitely a modern day Renaissance Man.  He is a great chef, entrepreneur, guide, mentor and a friend to many. Nik gave us so many unique experiences that really gave us a glimpse into day to day life in his world. We got to meet some of his friends and share experience with them. Loved sitting down and having coffee with a friend of his who runs a sheep museum, having dinner with a musician friend of his, meeting some of his staff in three places. He also, was very patient and had a good sense of humor.

He planned such a special excursion that wasn’t on our original itinerary.  We hiked five  miles round trip to get the opportunity to look down into a crater of a volcano. We were able to go to a beautiful hot springs lagoon and just relax. He knew we didn’t want to go to crowded places like the Blue Lagoon.

The trip was a nice balance of being active and then some more relaxing days.

It was definitely  a trip that I will always remember.

Clients of Smooth Sailing Cruises May 2021, small group tour

I will not hesitate to recommend Nik for small group tours in Iceland. He is very passionate about Iceland and its land, history, and culture. His contacts across the country got us into several places (sheep barns, local brewery, fishing in the Arctic Ocean, hide tanning shop, wild Icelandic horses, etc.) that were very immersive into the people’s lives and took many of us outside of our comfort zones but rewarded us with a new and unforgettable experience. He made lots of decisions and detours on the fly. No sense in driving to a trailhead and then hiking a mile in the rain when visibility is so poor that you couldn’t see the waterfall/mountain/reindeer anyway. That was replaced with a few, “Hold on, we’re going to make a short side trip.” We would be rewarded 30 minutes later with a landscape and view like none of us had ever seen, and I guarantee none of the big tour buses would visit.

If a client wants to spend days in the warm spas at the Blue Lagoon while a waiter brings them drinks, then Nik is NOT for them. But if you want to stand on a cliff above the sea, 7 miles south of the Arctic Circle, in a 60 mph wind and think, “Yep, this is the end of the world!”; then he’s your guy.