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June 24 - July 7, 2018
based on double occupancy from Minneapolis, MSP via Icelandair
Alternate gateways available
Preliminary Day by Day Itinerary
June 24 Depart Minneapolis
This evening meet your traveling companions at Minneapolis-St. Paul, MSP airport by 4:30 PM. Icelandair flight FI656 departs at 7:30 PM for our short 6-hour flight to Iceland.
June 25 Arrive Keflavík
Monday Reykjavík - Árbæjarsafn
Welcome to Iceland! Arrive Keflavik at 6:30 AM. We will be met and greeted by our guide for Iceland, Mr. Fridrik Brekkan. During the 40-minute drive to Reykjavík, Fridrik will give us a welcome introduction and inform us about the first interesting facts about Iceland.
When we arrive at the hotel we check in and enjoy breakfast with free time until noon, then we meet back up with the guide and coach for a tour of the city. Our first stop is the Maritime Museum where we will also enjoy a soup lunch. After lunch explore the world’s most northern capital, a good start to your Iceland experience. This is a detailed and comprehensive introduction to Reykjavík’s past and present. During this tour Reykjavík’s main attractions are highlighted on foot and by coach. The main landmarks, such as Hallgrímskirkja Church, the National Museum of Iceland, the harbor and the famous 101 Reykjavík neighborhood are visited. We also stop at the Árbæjarsafn Open Air Museum where we see traditional turf houses and get a vivid idea of how people used to live in Iceland. Welcome Dinner. (B-L-D)
June 26 Iceland – Faroe Islands
The morning is at leisure. In the afternoon we catch a direct flight from Iceland to Vágar Airport on Atlantic Airways from Reykjavik’s RKV airport this afternoon arriving this evening local time (1 hour 20 minute flight). Welcome to the Faroe Islands! Meet and greet at the airport with bus and guide. We travel the mountain road to Tórshavn with panorama views. Check-in at our centrally located Hotel Føroyar and have a welcome drink before dinner. (B-D)
**** Hotel Føroyar
June 27 Guided City Walk
Wednesday Eysturoy Island
Tour & Home Visit
Following breakfast we tour the idyllic villages of Saksun and Tjørnuvik. Take the coastal road and drive through the valley to the village of Saksun surrounded by high mountains. Enjoy the view and visit the museum Dúvugarðar. Continue to another charming village, Tjørnuvik, with the its fine sandy beach. Have a walk in the village before we cross the bridge over the Atlantic Ocean to the island of Eysturoy.
Take a city walk through the old part of Tórshavn, Reyn and Tinganes. When you enter the old town you will find yourself in a confusion of lanes and narrow passages, steps and rocks and tiny black-tarred houses – a genuine and unique town from the Middle Ages. Our guide will also show us the marina and the main street.
Drive to Gjógv, the northern most village on the island, where we have lunch in beautiful settings at the Hotel Gjáargarður. After lunch take a walk in the village, visit the gorge, and walk along the natural harbor where we get in close contact with nature. From Gjógv drive to the village of Gøta where we visit the fine church with the glass paintings by the local artist Tróndur Patursson. In Toftir visit the knitting store Navia where it is possible to shop for local souvenirs. We continue to the village of Søldarfjørður for a home visit for coffee and cake – meet the locals. Return to Tórshavn in the late afternoon. (B-L-D)
June 28 Vestmanna Boat Tour
Thursday Kvívík - Historical Center of Kirkjubøur
Our exciting day will include a visit to the cultural center of Kirkjubøur and a boat tour to the fantastic Vestmanna Bird Cliffs on Streymoy Island.
First sail through narrow sounds, into deep grottoes carved by the surf through ages, and close to the over 1500 feet high-rise cliffs – a fabulous experience. Remember your camera! Return to Vestmanna and enjoy lunch at the harbor restaurant Fjørukráin. After lunch we return to Tórshavn but en route we stop at an old Viking farmstead in the beautiful and quaint village of Kvívík. Next stop is Kirkjubøur which is the Faroe Islands’ historical and cultural center. The picturesque old farm is home to a family who for 17 generations have run the farmstead and ecclesiastic site. See the unfinished Magnus Cathedral and the small medieval church of St. Olav. Coffee and cake is served in the authentic settings. Return to Tórshavn in the late afternoon. (B-L-D)
June 29 Faroe Islands – Iceland
Friday Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Arnarstapi - Hellnar
Bus transfer from our hotel to the airport. Depart with direct flight to Iceland via Atlantic Airways departing this morning and arriving Reykjavik’s RKV airport after a 1 hour 25 minute flight.
After arrival we head out of the city and towards the Snæfellsnes Peninsula “the peninsula of the snowy mountain”. This area juts out from Iceland’s west coast like a long arm with a clenched fist at its tip and is in many ways a microcosm of the whole island.
A rugged mountain chain runs its length, capped by the 4,744 foot Snæfellsjökull, a mystical cone-shaped strato volcano. We travel around the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, through lava fields and along the ocean with many classic Icelandic photo opportunities. Visit the most popular sites at the national park where volcanic craters, lava flows, an ice cap, glaciated peaks, fjords, sandy beaches, and high cliffs shape its landscapes. We follow the adventure of Jules Verne’s classic science fiction novel about the journey to the center of the Earth.
Next up is a visit to the idyllic Arnarstapi village where you will walk through the extraordinary landscape along the precipitous shoreline to the small village of Hellnar where a break will be made for lunch on your own.
Have a lava cave tour that takes us 115 feet underground and about 650 feet into the lava tube called Vatnshellir. During the tour we reach two different sections of the cave by a long and narrow staircase. The upper section has great features and unique formations of lava statues curved on the sides of the lava tube. In the lower part of the lava cave you experience total quietness and even total darkness when our guide switches off the light. (B-D)
June 30 Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Saturday Kirkjufell – Bjarnarhöfn
Our day starts with classic Iceland scenery. Surrounded by exceptionally beautiful mountains Grundarfjörður is home to one of the peninsula‘s most iconic and photographed landmarks, the symmetrical mountain Kirkjufell that towers 1500 ft. up from the shoreline.
Enjoy a visit to Bjarnarhöfn an authentic shark curing farm where we get the opportunity to taste shark meat and the Icelandic schnapps Brennivín.
Next we head to Stykkishólmur where the adventure continues and we join a boat tour on Breiðafjörður Bay for bird and nature watching. During the tour a net plough is lowered into the ocean and the wonderful selection of shellfish and sea life is caught for viewing and tasting: scallops, sea urchins, crabs, starfish, sea cucumbers and more. The day ends at our hotel in Hveragerði. (B-D)
July 1 Halldor Laxness Home - Þingvellir National Park
Sunday Horse show - Geysir Hot Springs - Gulfoss Waterfall - Fludir Lagoon
Leave Reykjavik at 9:00 AM. This morning we visit the former home of the Nobel Prize winner, writer Halldor Laxness and go through his museum home with an English-guided iPod. http://www.gljufrasteinn.is/ His home was a venue for foreign dignitaries and other guests and the narration is very interesting and a great introduction to Iceland, which you are sure to enjoy.
Arrive at Þingvellir National Park later this morning. You will have the opportunity to hike through the rift valley and see the historic sights of this National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Midday we see a horse show at Fridheimar. Here we also visit the tomato plantation and have their delicious tomato soup with basil and home baked bread on the premises in the green house popular.
This afternoon we see the Geysir Hot Springs and later the Gullfoss Waterfall followed by Fludir, Secret Lagoon. Leave the Secret Lagoon at 6:00 PM and head for Reykjavik to have dinner on our own in Reykjavik or on the way to town. (B-L)
July 2 Reykjanes Peninsula
Monday Gunnuhver - Hveragerði
Discover the wonders of the Reykjanes Peninsula with old lava flows, the grand barrenness, rough coast, volcanic mountains, spectacular breaking surf, hot spring areas and abundant bird life. We get the chance to cross the Leif the Lucky’s bridge across the Mid-Atlantic right between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. Next stop is at Gunnuhver mud pools and steam vents, named after a female ghost that was laid there. (B-D)
July 3 Iceland - West Greenland
Tuesday Guided City Walk Ilulissat
This morning we drive back to Reykjavík for our flight on Air Iceland NY439 to Ilulissat departing at 10:15 AM and arriving at 11:30 AM (3 hour flight).
Welcome to Greenland! Transfer to the hotel, lunch, welcome meeting and guided city walk of Ilulissat.
Afterwards we have time to explore the town, visit the local museum and observe Greenlandic life at the always busy harbor. Enjoy a Welcome Dinner (2-course) at the hotel before departing around 10:00 PM for a midnight sailing trip to the famous Ilulissat Icefjord, the world’s largest ice sculpture park. The experience is overwhelming, lights and colours change constantly and we enjoy a late Martini on “the real rocks”. Duration about 3 hours. Dress warmly. (B-L-D)
July 4 Boat trip to Eqi
Wednesday The calving glacier - Ataa
Breakfast at the hotel. Early morning departure for a day boat trip to Eqi - the calving glacier. The Eqi glacier, which runs into the fjord 50 miles north of Ilulissat, is one of the most beautiful places in Greenland. You can get close to the edge of the glacier by boat as we cruise in front of the glacier for around one hour and might see the calving process. The front of the glacier is nearly 40 miles wide! The sound of the active glacier is quite remarkable while the sight of icebergs toppling, or calving, into the water is breath-taking. Continue to the small settlement of Ataa, a former trading station, where we will enjoy a delicious 2-course lunch including a glass of wine. The trip to Eqi is by modern and comfortable tourist boat. Duration is about 8 hours. (B-L-D)
July 5 Inuit Settlement at the
Thursday Ilulissat Icefjord
Breakfast at the hotel. Travel by bus as far as the road goes. Guided walking tour to the old settlement in Sermermiut Valley on the famous Ilulissat Icefjord, inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2004.
The ancient settlement of Sermermiut, about a mile south of the town, is surrounded by Ilulissat’s beautiful icebergs. Various Inuit cultures have lived here over the past 4,000 years, and you can still see remains from ancient times. Please wear proper boots or hiking boots. Approximately 3 hours (1.5-2.5 miles roundtrip). Lunch in a local restaurant. The rest of the day is free at leisure to hike along the Icefjord and explore the town of Ilulissat. Farewell dinner (3-course) is included at Hotel Arctic. (B-L-D)
July 6 West Greenland – Iceland
Breakfast at the hotel. Spend some time in the morning to explore the town of Ilulissat and last minute Greenland shopping. After lunch we return by Air Iceland flight NY440 to Reykjavík, Iceland departing at 12:15 PM and arriving at 6:25 PM. Our coach takes us from the airport to the hotel for our last night in Iceland. (B-L)
July 7 Cheese & Skyr School
Saturday Depart Keflavík
Before heading home we will go to the Cheese and Skyr School to learn more about these wonderful Icelandic treats. Every country has its own unique food culture and that includes cheese. The French serve their cheese before dessert, the British at the end of the meal … the Italians predominantly use cheese in their cooking as do the Swiss … but what about the Icelandic people? We delve into Iceland‘s cheese history and discover what cheesetastic future lies ahead for this nation of people who have the third largest consumption of cheese in the world … and all this whilst having a light lunch in the fabulous buttery (cheese school). After learning all about the Icelandic cheese we head to the airport for our flight home.
Icelandair FI657 departs Keflavik at 4:45 PM. Arrive Minneapolis-St. Paul MSP airport at 6:05 PM the same day. Welcome home! (B-L)
B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner
Note: Flight schedules always subject to change.
Images provided by GJ Travel
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