Greenland & Iceland

Seljalandsfoss in winter, Iceland
Seljalandsfoss in winter, Iceland
Reykjavik
Reykjavik
Northern lights, Ilulissat, Greenland (September departure)
Northern lights, Ilulissat, Greenland (September departure)
Houses in Ilulissat, North Greenland
Houses in Ilulissat, North Greenland

Iceland has become a very popular destination in recent years, but very few travellers make it to Greenland in spite of the lure of its natural wonders. On this trip we meet local people and experience the real culture of these fabulous countries – don’t expect your typical tourist highlights!

June Departure
Reykjavik Arts Festival - discover the artistic side of this destination.

Atlantic Puffins – the date of our tour also coincides with the breeding season for these birds so a great time to see them and many other varieties.

September Departure
Northern Lights – this tour includes a short presentation about the Northern Lights and hopefully we will witness for ourselves this amazing phenomenon during our tour.

Itinerary 2020

Day 1

London - Iceland

Today we fly from London to Iceland where we meet our Tour Host. From here, we take a short drive through the volcanic landscape on the way to our hotel in the capital, Reykjavik.

Meals include: Dinner
Hotel: CenterHotel Midgardur, Reykjavik

Day 2

Iceland - Greenland

It’s back to the airport this morning for our flight to Ilulissat. Upon arrival, we enjoy a guided city walk and learn about the interesting local history. We visit the old town and see buildings from the very start of the Danish trading station, the busy fishing harbour, the old church, and the museum. We also enjoy a sunset cruise to the famous Ilulissat Icefiord, which is the world’s largest ice sculpture park.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner
Hotel: Hotel Arctic, Ilulissat

Day 3

Eqi & Oqaatsut/Rodebay

We set off early this morning for a full-day boat trip to Eqi. We get close to the edge of the glacier by boat and, if we are lucky, we may see the calving process as icebergs break away. The sound of the active glacier is quite remarkable while the sight of icebergs toppling into the water is both breathtaking and sobering. This area is excellent for spotting whales and hopefully the gentle giants of the sea will put in an appearance. Afterwards, we continue on to the small settlement of Oqaatsut/Rodebay, which is an entirely different world compared to the relative ‘metropolis’ of Ilulissat. We take a walk through the village before enjoying a local meal at the old trading station.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner
Hotel: Hotel Arctic, Ilulissat

Day 4

Sermermiut

Today we travel by coach as far as the road goes, and then on foot beyond! We begin with a guided walking tour of the ancient settlement of Sermermiut, which was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list back in 2004. Surrounded by beautiful icebergs, various Inuit cultures have lived here over the past 4,000 years and you can still see remains from ancient times. In the afternoon, we visit a local family for refreshments. Greenlanders are famous for welcoming visitors into their homes, inviting everyone over for a cup of coffee and a piece of cake. The latest gossip is shared, and it will also be possible to see the national costume and to learn about life so very isolated from the rest of the world.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner
Hotel: Hotel Arctic, Ilulissat

Day 5

Greenland - Iceland

There is some free time this morning for a last chance to explore Ilulissat before we make our return to Iceland. If we have time this evening, we are hoping to see a performance at the Harpa Theatre, which is an architectural marvel in its own right.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner
Hotel: CenterHotel Midgardur, Reykjavik

Day 6

Reykjavik

We have a full day to explore Reykjavík. The city centre is a maze of narrow alleys framed with old timber houses of many colours. We’ll learn about life in the city from the very beginning of settlement in Iceland to the present day, including visits to the church of Hallgrímskirkja, the Nordic Cultural Centre and the National Museum. We also stop by the City Hall, which juts into the small lake of Tjörnin. On the lake are many birds, including whooper swans and Arctic terns. Our final visit of the morning is to Búrið, a Cheese & Skyr School where we learn about Icelandic cheese and the unique dairy product skyr, while having a lovely lunch in a cheese school buttery. After lunch, we have the chance to visit one of the local swimming pools – a very popular pastime for Icelanders.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel: CenterHotel Midgardur, Reykjavik

Day 7

Reykjadalur

Bathing in a secret hot spring with no one else around you is an amazing experience and one that we will take advantage of today. We travel by jeep to the starting point in the south of Iceland and then hike through a beautiful landscape surrounded by hot springs. After the chance to bathe in the warm waters, our guide will show us how they are used to cook food. We will cook ourselves a delicious lunch, which includes hot spring-baked bread that is cooked in the ground for 24 hours.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Landhotel, Hella

Day 8

Frioheimar, Geysir & Gullfoss

Our first stop today is at Friðheimar, a local horse farm and greenhouse. Here, we meet the Icelandic horses and gain an insight into the story of this remarkable breed. We see a display followed by a visit to the stable, where we can enjoy a hot drink and meet the riders and their steeds. We then have a cooking demonstration before sitting down together for a lunch of the popular tomato soup and freshly baked bread. From Friðheimar, we drive to the geothermal area of Haukadalur, which contains the geysers Geysir and Strokkur. Most active nowadays is Strokkur, erupting hot water and steam to elevation of 25 metres roughly every five or so minutes. We continue on to the mighty waterfall of Gullfoss, the ‘Golden Falls’. On a sunny day, a rainbow is very likely to be seen emerging from the massive spray of the waterfall.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Landhotel, Hella

Day 9

South Shore

Today we travel through a beautiful area of fields, farms and villages towards the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull glaciers in south Iceland. We visit Seljalandsfoss, a graceful ribbon-like waterfall, which drops from an overhanging lava cliff, and we also visit the tiny settlement of Skógar, one of Iceland’s best Folk Museums. At Vík í Mýrdal, the southernmost village in Iceland, we feel the heat from actual flowing lava in a safe environment during an Icelandic lava show. It is a unique opportunity to see the lava flowing, hear it sizzling, and feel the heat that radiates from it. On the way back to our hotel, we stop at the volcanic black sand beach of Reynisfjara as well as at a local market, where we have the opportunity to see some of Iceland’s traditional crafts on display.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner
Hotel: Landhotel, Hella

Day 10

Westman Islands

A short ferry ride brings us to the Westman Islands, where we explore both the town of Heimaey and this extraordinary island by foot and bus alike. We explore bird cliffs, walk up a volcano crater and visit the “Pompeii of the North”, a volcanic excavation project. The Westman Islands are ideal for bird watching, especially puffins, which can be seen from April until August. A sharply dressed black-and-white seabird with a huge, multi-coloured bill, the Atlantic Puffin is often called the “clown of the sea”. It breeds in burrows on islands in the North Atlantic, and winters at sea. In flight, puffins flap their small wings frantically to stay aloft, but underwater those wings become powerful flippers that allow the birds to catch small fish one by one until they have a beak full. The Westman Islands have the biggest puffin colony of Europe and the Storhofdi puffin view point offers an excellent view over these birds. In the afternoon, we visit the Aquarium & Natural History Museum, with its assortment of various life forms that live in the surrounding ocean.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner
Hotel: Hotel Vestmannaeyjar

Day 11

Þingvellir National Park

We sail back to the mainland this morning and visit the Laugarvatnshellar caves, where the last cave people in Iceland lived – only a century ago. On the way back to Reykjavík, we visit Thingvellir National Park, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We stroll around the country’s most sacred site, home to the oldest existing national parliament in the world – the Alþingi. The Mid-Atlantic rift is clearly visible here – a rift that is forming as Iceland is being pulled apart by tectonic forces at 19mm per year.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner
Hotel: CenterHotel Midgardur, Reykjavik

Day 12

Iceland - London

Our trip has come to an end, so we drive back to Keflavik airport in the morning, enjoying our final glimpses of the volcanic landscape as we go. Later, we catch a flight back to London.

Meals include: Breakfast

What's Included

  1. Expert Local Guide (Tour Manager)
  2. Local Travel
  3. Meals - As per itinerary
  4. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
  5. Hotels - 11 nights' accommodation
  6. Flights - Return flights from London to Iceland and return flights from Iceland to Greenland

Travel Information

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2020 Tour Details

Fri 11th Sep - Tue 22nd Sep

Available

£7,995

Full Price £8195 Save £200

inc.

sgl supp: £1,500

20GICB

Led By:

Managed By: Eyrún Björnsdóttir

Tour Manager

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