Explore Iceland and Greenland with us in 2020 - adventure is waiting

31st July 2019
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We are delighted to announce the launch of this brand new tour for 2020, which doesn't feature in our brochure!

This isn't your standard Andante tour, this is a 12-day voyage for those among us with a true sense of adventure. The history, heritage and culture of both countries will be explored in depth through immersive experiences, personal encounters and visits led by an expert local guide, who knows the landscapes and their stories inside and out.

You can choose between a June departure, where you'll enjoy a taste of the midnight sun and can delve into the Reykjavík Arts Festival, or the September tour, which offers a chance to hunt the elusive northern lights. Whichever date you select, due to the nature of this special new tour, we will be limiting guest numbers to just 18 per departure.

 

About the tour's guide

Eyrún Björnsdóttir has been working as a professional guide since 1990 and has extensive experience in leading tours around the island of fire and ice. As a member of ICESAR (the Icelandic Search and Rescue team), she has boundless knowledge on the forces of nature these countries contend with, and is also a certified Wilderness First Responder. She is a lover of geology, folklore and nature.

Natural wonders

Both Iceland and Greenland are renowned for their otherworldly landscapes, which range from the emerald green, bubble-like lava fields to lakes filled with glaciers of all shades of blue. In Greenland, there is a sunset cruise to the famous Ilulissat Icefjord and a full-day boat trip to witness the incredible calving Eqi glacier. Across the Denmark Strait in Iceland, you'll hike through stunning wilderness to bathe in a secret hot spring, will visit the geothermal area of Haukadalur to witness the eruption of the Strokkur geyser, and tour the waterfalls Gullfoss and Seljalandsfoss. The Iceland part of the tour also features a visit to the stunning Þingvellir National Park and a stop at the volcanic black sand beach of Reynisfjara. The September departure includes a chance to hunt the elusive aurora borealis, whereas the June departure offers a taste of the midnight sun.

Food and drink on tour

The cuisine, ingredients and flavours of a destination tell as much of its story as the buildings and history can. With this in mind, food will play a prominent role in the visits to both countries. In Iceland, you will visit Búrið, a Cheese & Skyr School to learn about Icelandic cheese and the unique dairy product skyr. You'll see how bread is baked underground at a hot spring and find out how the natural power of this country has been harnessed as a way to prepare foods throughout history. There will also be a visit to the greenhouse at Friðheimar (pictured above) for a cookery demonstration and lunch of site-grown tomatoes and freshly baked bread. In Greenland, you'll be invited into the homes of local families for coffee and cake, and you will experience a local meal in Ilulissat.

Wildlife

A highlight on this particular tour is the chance to discover what is perhaps Iceland’s best-kept secret – the Westman Islands. After a short ferry ride to the islands, you will walk up a volcano crater, spot endemic birds such as puffins from the cliffs, and will also visit the “Pompeii of the North” volcanic excavation project. Back on mainland Iceland, there is also a chance to meet beautiful Icelandic horses at a horse farm. In Greenland, you can spot whales during the boat trip to the Eqi glacier.

History and culture

With guided walks around Ilulissat in Greenland and Iceland’s capital of Reykjavík, the histories of both areas will be expertly explored. In Greenland, contrast the relative ‘metropolis’ of Ilulissat (the country’s third-largest town) with the smaller settlement of Oqaatsut. You'll wander around the ancient UNESCO-listed settlement of Sermermiuit, where various Inuit cultures have lived over the past 4,000 years, and you will also learn about local life from families during a personal encounter in their homes. Over in Iceland, there will be visits to the Harpa Theatre for a performance, the Nordic Cultural Centre, National Museum, one of the country’s best folk museums at Skógar, the Aquarium & National History Museum on the Westman Islands, and time to experience an Icelandic ‘lava show’ at Vík í Mýrdal, where real red-hot lava can be encountered at close proximity. On the June departure, there will be time to enjoy the annual Reykjavík Arts Festival, which includes visual art, performance and participatory activities throughout this vibrant city.

Highlights

  • Sunset cruise to the Ilulissat Icefjord
  • Boat trip out to the Eqi glacier
  • Guided walking tours of Reykjavík and Ilulissat
  • Visit to the ancient settlement of Sermermiut
  • Coffee and cake in the personal homes of Greenlanders
  • Learn how to bake bread in a hot spring
  • Lunch and a demonstration at one of Iceland's famous greenhouses
  • Bathe in a secret hot spring
  • Meet Icelandic horses at a farm
  • Journey to the little-visited Westman Islands for a tour
  • Discover an array of fascinating museums
  • Explore waterfalls, black sand beaches and geysers
  • Visit the Laugarvatnshellar caves, where the last cave people in Iceland lived

 

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