The land of Fire and Ice, Santa Barbara, CA
Due to the passing of my father, this years trip to Iceland was cancelled. If I can get the time off I plan on doing this trip in 2017 between Italy and Spain.
WHERE: Reykjavik Iceland and southern half of Iceland
WHEN: Depart LAX August 24, 2016, arrive Keflavik Aug 25 at 4:10am
Depart Reykjavik Aug 31 at 3:50 pm and arrive LAX @ 6:10pm
The base flights are about $550 plus baggage fees.
HOW: I recommend we fly on the same flight to make is easier to pick up the
car and go.
WOW Flight WW174. August 24, 2016. Depart LAX at 12:40pm
WOW Flight WW173. August 31, 2016. Depart Keflavik at 3:50pm
Right now WOW is offering this flight for about $550 plus luggage.
The flight IS NOT included.
Our trip starts at the airport so arriving at the same time makes sense.
COST: $1,475 Non-Refundable payment due ASAP, half down holds your place. I have not booked activities and I need the deposit ASAP to get the fun booked.
Trip highlights are horseback riding, visiting a Lava Tube, snorkeling between two continents and some awesome hiking areas. Optional glacier lagoon boat ride.
Included in the tour:
Any National Parks that charge a fee, most are free
7 Passenger van (I am driving)
Dry suit snorkeling in the Silfra Fissure
1 ½ hour ride on the bad ass Icelandic horses
Professional tour to the Leidarendi Lava Tube
All hotels – Most hotels provide breakfast but not all
Not included in the tour:
Airfare to and from Iceland
Lunch and dinner
Optional Lagoon boat tour $35.00 approx.
Gratuities, beverages (bring water for the bus and hikes) and personal shopping
Travel insurance (highly suggested as I do not provide refunds, this is to protect you in case you need to cancel for some unforeseen reason.)
I am NOT a professional tour guide. I have been to Iceland before and found it the most amazing place on earth. This tour is more like 6 good friends taking a vacation together instead of a bus of strangers being shuffled around.
Day One: Depart LAX on WOW Airlines. Flight WW174 @ 12:40pm WOW is a budget airline so expect to pay for food and water. Pack snacks and entertainment as the plane may not have any. I suggest you try and sleep.
Day Two: Arrive Reykjavik on WOW Airlines. Flight WW173 @ 4:10am.
Upon our arrival we will pick up the rental minivan, pack up and head out to find breakfast. Once we are refreshed we will take a nice long drive to Arnarstapi village. The lovely little village is along the coastal hills and lava fields. We will do some hiking, I have hiked this path before and it is amazing. Once he have had our fill, we will take a short 45 min drive to the Svortuloft light house and beach for a visit. Our last spot of the day is KirkJurfellsfoss. The scenery of this place is out of this world. I hope to return at sunset as our hotel is 5 minutes away. If we get super lucky the northern lights will come out in full force and we can film this phenomena at this lovely site. Our hotel does not have a restaurant but there is a bistro in town, the local grocery has a grill and I hear there is a hot dog stand. Not just any hot dog but probably the very best hotdogs you will ever eat. This alone is worth the trip for me. We will spend about 4 ½ hours driving today.
Today we take a short walk to a local waterfall, Kvernafoss. From there we have a drive of an hour and forty five minutes to the Deildartunuhver hot spring. This sucker is HOT! It is an interesting little spot to see how extreme the geothermal is in the country. Just a short half hour dive down the road is the Barnafoss waterfalls. The water comes right out of the rock and is possible the most beautiful falls I saw when I was there. There is a lava field along the river you can hike and see different parts of the park. This is a do not miss location. Another hour and half drive to Glymur canyon for a hike. This place looks amazing in the photos. I have not been there so I hope it is all that it seems to be. There is no set hike scheduled, we can just wander around at our leisure as a group until we have had our fill. The hotel is a little over half hour away. Our total time in the car is four hours
Day Four: We drive to Thingvellir today for an early dry suit snorkeling tour in the Silfra Fissure. This is the clearest water in the world. You will literally be snorkeling in glacier water between The North American Continent and the European Continent. The water is very cold but you will stay warm in the suit. I have done this before and only your hands and face get a little cold but you get used to it. I stayed in the water longer than most and never really got cold. This is something you must not miss. After our swim we will wander around the Park and see the sights. When we have had our fill we will head to the Geysir hot spring area to see the geyser's and bubbling pools of water. It is an interesting park, not too big but interesting. A short half hour down the road is the famous Gulfoss Waterfalls. This waterfall is very large and impressive. There is a very nice restaurant at the hotels we are staying at. I have been here before and the cottages are charming and the breakfast is wonderful. We travel in the car for 2 and a half hours today
Day Five: Today we visit my favorite waterfall in Iceland. Seljalandsfoss. It will take us an hour and half to get there. You hike to the falls and you can actually walk behind the falls in a little cove. The falls are spectacular. A short hike down the edge of the cliff reveals a smaller fall that is tucked into a little cove you hike into. It is so amazing, you will love it. We have a short 45 min drive to the black beach. The beach is the blackest I have ever seen. It consists of pebbles to course sand. There are wonderful rocks and a basalt column wall and shallow cave. Make no mistakes here, the surf is rough and one of the worst undertows in Iceland. Stay out of the water and watch out for rogue waves. Several people have been washed out to sea here. There is a nice restaurant/Café here we can stop at for lunch. Our big treat for the day is an hour down the road, Fjadrargljufur canyon. This place is fabulously beautiful. Our hotel is 2 hours away. I am watching for cancellations to move us a bit closer but booking 6 months in advance is actually not that much of an advance notice in Iceland. Today we spend a little over 5 hours in the car.
Hali Country Hotel
Today we are going to ride the fabulous Icelandic horses for an hour and half. The horses are small, tough and comfortable to ride. I rode several of them my last trip and they are really wonderful horses. Today we also visit the Jokulsarlon Lagoon to see the glacier ice in the lagoon. There is an optional boat ride into the lagoon, it costs approx. $35.00 I recommend we sign up and take it. This cannot be booked in advance so it is up to the group and not included. Across the street is the ice beach where the ice chunks head out to see. Note of caution here, DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT climb on any ice in the lagoon or go onto any ice float. The ice is not stable and can flip, trapping you under the ice. This is glacier water, you will not survive. Recently 50 stupid tourists were out on the ice in the lagoon and it broke loose. They had to be rescued. Please use caution on the ice at the beach as well, the waves do move them and they are not safe to climb. Our time in the car today is only an hour and a half .
Hali Country Hotel
Day Seven: This is going to be a nice hiking day for us. We head to the Skaftafell Visitors center and take the path to the Svartifoss waterfall. The waterfall is over a cliff of basalt rocks that are spectacular. We can hike additional trails if the group wishes. We have a three hour drive to Porsmork Nature Center for more hiking. Hour hotel is a short hour drive. Our total time in the car is 5 hours.
We leave this morning for Reyjkavic. We will be picked up at our hotel at 1pm for our 4 hour, professional guided tour to Leidarendi Lava tube. Upon our return we can freshen up and head out on the town to find dinner.
100 Icelandic Hotel
Day Nine: This morning we drive up to the famous Blue Lagoon. I swear my skin never felt better after swimming in these waters and applying the face mask. You will love it! We will stay and have a nice lunch then head out for our flight.
Keep in mind that the food in Iceland is very expensive. The country hotels have restaurants and they are the only options so they are pricy. There often are few choices lamb, fish or vegetarian. The food is very very good. I do not like lamb but in Iceland, I LOVED it. Having a car we have more options to eat in town if there is one close. Expect to pay 15-20 for lunch and up to 75 for dinner at the hotels.