TRIP NAME: WALKING IN ICELAND
TRIP CODE: WII
TRIP DURATION: 5 DAYS
GRADE: INTRODUCTORY TO MODERATE ‑ 2
ACTIVITY: GUIDED WALK
ACCOMMODATION: 4 NIGHTS HOTEL
Laki Vik JökulsárlónLagoon Reykjavik
DATE DETAILS: 2016 | 22 AUG ‑ 26 AUG, 05 SEP ‑ 09 SEP, 19 SEP ‑ 23 SEP, 24 OCT ‑ 28 OCT 1, 14 NOV ‑ 18 NOV 1, 27 DEC ‑ 31 DEC 1
2017 | 13 FEB ‑ 17 FEB 1, 13 MAR ‑ 17 MAR 1, 17
APR ‑ 21 APR 1, 08 MAY ‑ 12 MAY 1,L
Visit Iceland’s most attractive areas including the famous Great Geysir and Gullfoss, Skaftafell National Park, the Jökulsárlón glacier lake and the famous Laki volcano *(summer program) Hike through stunning volcanic sceneries to view glaciers and mountains
Experience the dramatic northern lights or the phenomenal midnight sun (subject to time of year) Stay in a charming countryside hotel
Iceland’s distinctive volcanic landscape offers the perfect backdrop for day walks in the company of an expert guide. The extensive lava fields, huge moss‑filled volcanic craters, serene fjords and trails that lead into the heart of the renowned Skaftafell National Park are part of this carefully devised itinerary. Each day will reveal new scenery and activities will include a glacier walk, visits to historical sights and even an opportunity to bathe in steaming hot springs. The series of day walks are fully supported ensuring rewarding days on the trail while our nights are spent in a comfortable hotel in easy reach of southern Iceland’s most inspiring locations.
Page 1 © 2011 World Expeditions Travel Group - Silverback Bardo Imber Dixon 5/2/2016 9:54:20 AM
walking in icelandA UTracks holiday is all about exploring Europe ‑ your way. It’s about U + the walking tracks and cycling trails you want to discover, be it hiking with the family in the European Alps, a leisurely cycle with friends along the quieter backroads of Holland or France, trekking the famous pilgrimage trails of Spain, Italy or England or even discovering the islands of Croatia and Greece by bike and boat. Together with our sister company Sherpa Expeditions, we offer over 300 active tours across the continent and it’s many exotic islands, with active holiday ideas for families, culinary enthusiasts, history buffs, experienced alpine walkers or those that just want to see Europe differently. Since we began in 2006, UTracks has quickly become known as the leaders in active European holidays. Our itineraries are creative ‑ and very affordable ‑ making them popular with travellers both young and young‑at‑heart. Set your own pace on a flexible self guided trip or enjoy the benefits of an experienced local guide on a guided tour. The physical demands range from introductory to challenging ‑ with all offering unique opportunities to discover the ‘untrodden’ Europe, spanning postcard landscapes, centuries‑old cultures, rural lifestyles and tempting culinary delights. Best of all, our trips start on virtually any day of the week, so you can combine any tour to create exactly the holiday you want. Compare the price and you will see that we offer exceptional value active programs that are virtually all‑inclusive, giving you more time to enjoy the natural and cultural wonders you’ve come to experience.
explore europe your way
TRIP COST Joining Reykjavik : $3190 All prices are per person OPTIONS & SUPPLEMENTS
H - Discount for winter trip - 8 May 2017: $-391
H - Discount for winter trip - 24 Oct to 17 Apr: $-277
Single Supplement: $500
As the trip price is based on twinshare, a single supplement is payable if a single room is required. If you would like to share a room with someone of the same gender, please request and we will do all possible to match you. However, if we are unsuccessful you will be required to pay the single supplement. Please refer to the price options above or ask our office for details.
H - High Season
1 - Winter program tour ‑ these follow
a different itinerary. See trip notes for details. Discount applies. “L’ denotes a different discount applies.
walking in iceland
itinerary at a glance
Day 1 Join Reykjavik, drive via the Great Geysir area to our base for the trip (2‑3hrs) Day 2 Vatnajökull National Park ‑ Skaftafell (4‑5hrs)
Day 3 Visit the craters of Laki * (3‑4hrs)
Day 4 Transfer to Jökulsárlón Lagoon, walk to the foot of the Öræfajökull Glacier (4‑5hrs) Day 5 Return to Reykjavik via Vík and a walk over the geothermal area of Reykjadalur (3‑
Note: Please note: our operator reserves the right to change or modify this program to assure the safety and quality of this trip, for participants and staff.
DAY 1 Join Reykjavik, drive via the Great Geysir area to our base for the trip (2-3hrs)
You will be picked up from your hotel in Reykjavik in the morning and meet your guide and group. We begin the day driving east to visit the Great Geysir geothermal area, where we can see Strokkur (the Great Geysir is now blocked), a feisty geyser which spouts every 5-10 minutes. Close by is Gullfoss, one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls, where in two giant steps the water falls 32m into a deep gorge. Our drive continues east through one of Iceland’s largest agriculture areas. We pass by two very impressive glaciers, a huge sand desert and one of Iceland’s biggest lava fields to reach our hotel, our base for the next 4 nights.
Total: 6 hours drive.
DAY 2 Vatnajökull National Park - Skaftafell (4-5hrs)
Vatnajökull National Park is Europe’s largest National Park. The southeast part of this park is the area of Skaftafell, which is composed of natural forest growing between glacial tongues, reaching down almost to sea level - a unique place to visit. We walk through a birch forest up to the Svartifoss waterfall, which is famous for its black basalt columns. On the way we will get fantastic views of Europe’s largest glacier Vatnajökull and Hvannadalshnúkur (2110m), its highest peak.
An option for the afternoon is an inspiring walk on the glacier (2-3 hours, not included in trip cost). You will be provided with all the necessary gear (crampons and ice axes) to discover the amazing blue world of ice and explore its ridges and crevasses – carefully! Return to the hotel.
Total: 2 hours drive.
DAY 3 Visit the craters of Laki * (3-4hrs)
Today we head for the craters of Laki. In 1783 a 25km long fissure opened and lava flew out of 130 craters, devastating huge pasture fields. Clouds of poisonous gases killed over 50% of the livestock in Iceland and led to a great famine which killed about 20% of the population. This was the greatest eruption in Iceland since its original settlement and naturally had a deep impact on the Icelandic population. However, today these craters are mostly covered with green moss, a sharp contrast to the black and red colour of the underlying lava. In good weather we will climb to the top of the highest of the Laki craters. From there we have a splendid view over all the craters and the ice cap of Vatnajökull. Return to the same hotel.
Total: 4-5 hours drive.
*Important note: In winter, the road to Laki can be impossible even for our well-equipped 4x4 - please see the following Winter Program itinerary.
walking in icelandDAY 4 Transfer to Jökulsárlón Lagoon, walk to the foot of the Öræfajökull Glacier (4-5hrs)
Today we head east along the Öræfajökull glacier which covers one of the country’s greatest volcanoes and its highest summit. We then cross great flatlands in front of the huge Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, before arriving at Jökulsárlón lagoon with its picturesque floating icebergs. This location has served as the backdrop for many Hollywood films, including the James Bond movie “Die Another Day”. We discover a great variety of icebergs of different forms and shapes, and the wide range of blue and white colours in the ice. In the afternoon, we will take a walk to the foot of the Öræfajökull glacier, with fantastic views over the vast sand plains of the river Skeiðará. In 1966 the great glacier outflow (a Jokulhlaup – now used as a term in glaciology as a result) from under the Vatnajökull icecap destroyed the longest bridge in Iceland. A huge mass of ice (3000 billion litres) melted and the water reached a flow rate of 55,000 cubic meters per second, covering these huge plains with water. Return to the hotel. Total: 3-4 hours drive.
DAY 5 Return to Reykjavik via Vík and a walk over the geothermal area of Reykjadalur (3-4hrs) On our return to Reykjavik we pass by the village of Vík (Vik y Myrdal) where we can enjoy a walk on the black beach. The pinnacles of Reynisdrangar can be seen just offshore. According to legend, the pinnacles were left standing there after two trolls tried to pull a three masted ship past the headland, but were caught and petrified by the first rays of sunshine. North of the village Hveragerði, famous for its greenhouses, we enjoy our last walk, to the geothermal area of Reykjadalur. Here we can enjoy a relaxing bath in a warm stream before returning to the hectic life of Iceland’s capital. The trip concludes in Reykjavik.
Total: 4 hours drive.
itinerary at a glance – Winter Program (2)
Day 1 Join Reykjavik, drive via the Great Geysir geothermal area (2‑3hrs) Day 2 Drive to the Waterfalls of the South and the black beaches of Vik Day 3 Vatnajökull National Park ‑ Skaftafell (4‑5hrs)
Day 4 Visit Jökulsárlón and a modern sheep farm (2‑3hrs)
Day 5 Return to Reykjavik via Vík and a walk over the geothermal area of Reykjadalur (3‑ 4hrs)
detailed itinerary: Winter Program (2)
DAY 1 Join Reykjavik, drive via the Great Geysir geothermal area (2-3hrs)
You will be picked up from your hotel in Reykjavik in the morning and meet your guide and group. First on our program for the day is a visit to the historical site of Thingvellir, the national park that is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. The location is wonderful - a beautiful lake skirted by a small canyon that in fact is a part of the Mid-Atlantic rift. We then head to the Great Geysir geothermal area, where we can see Strokkur, a feisty geyser which spouts every 5-10 minutes. Close by is Gullfoss, one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls, where in two giant steps the water falls 32m into a deep gorge. We continue southeast through one of the country’s largest agriculture areas.
At the end of the day we come to our hotel sitting in the countryside with views to the volcano Hekla.
Driving: 3-4 hrs total
walking in icelandDAY 2 Drive to the Waterfalls of the South and the black beaches of Vik
Today we continue east to the Eyjafjallajökull massif. The waterfall of Seljalandsfoss is worthy of a short stop, as is the Skógafoss waterfall, which is said to be the hiding place of a chest of gold. Along the way we stop at the Eyjafjallajökull visitor centre, at a family farm at Thorvaldseyri, where you will learn about the 2010 eruption and its effects on the lives of the local people. At the hamlet of Skógar we visit a folk museum to see how Icelanders lived in the past. As we continue east, we visit the black beaches of Vik and pass one of Iceland’s biggest lava fields, before reaching our hotel, our base for the next 3 nights.
DAY 3 Vatnajökull National Park - Skaftafell (4-5hrs)
Vatnajökull National Park is Europe’s biggest National Park. The southeastern part of the park is the area of Skaftafell, which is composed of natural forest growing between glacial tongues, reaching down almost to sea level - a unique place to visit. We walk through a birch forest up to the Svartifoss waterfall, which is famous for its black basalt columns. On the way we will get fantastic views of Europe’s largest glacier Vatnajökull and Hvannadalshnúkur (2110m), its highest peak.
As an afternoon option you can try an inspiring walk on the glacier (2-3 hours, not included in trip cost). You will be provided with all the necessary gear (crampons and ice axes) to discover the amazing blue world of ice and explore its ridges and crevasses – carefully! Return to the hotel.
Total: 2 hours drive
DAY 4 Visit Jökulsárlón and a modern sheep farm (2-3hrs)
Today we head east along the Öræfajökull glacier which covers one of the country’s greatest volcanoes and its highest summit. We then cross the great flatlands in front of the huge Breiðamerkurjökull glacier, before arriving at Jökulsárlón lagoon with its picturesque floating icebergs. The area of the Southern Vatnajökull National Park has provided the backdrop for many Hollywood films and TV shows, including “Batman Begins” and more recently “Game of Thrones”. At the lagoon we’ll discover a great variety of icebergs of different forms and shapes and the wide range of blue and white colours in the ice. In the afternoon we visit a modern sheep farm to see how the locals live today.
Total: 3-4 hours drive
DAY 5 Return to Reykjavik via Vík and a walk over the geothermal area of Reykjadalur (3-4hrs) On our return to Reykjavik we will pass the village of Vík (Vík í Mýrdal) where we can enjoy a walk on the black beach. The pinnacles of Reynisdranger can be seen offshore. According to legend, the pinnacles were left standing there after two trolls tried to pull a three masted ship past the headland, but were caught and petrified by the first rays of sunshine. North of the village Hveragerði, famous for its greenhouses, we’ll enjoy our last walk - to the geothermal area of Rekyjadalur Valley (or in Grændalur over the coldest winter months) where we can enjoy a relaxing bath in a warm stream (not possible in Grændalur). We will then return to the hectic life of Iceland’s capital where the trip will conclude.
Total: 4 hours drive
4 breakfasts ‑ continental breakfasts are served and usually consist of bread, selection of cold cuts and other toppings, muesli, yoghurt, fruit, tea and coffee
walking in iceland4 dinners, the dinner buffet includes a selection of starters, fish, meat and vegetables meals, including desserts and coffee
4 nights in good quality hotel with private facilities on a twinshare basis Experienced walking guide for 5 days
All internal transfers in 4X4 vehicle
Pick up and drop off at your Reykjavik accommodation to start & end your trip
items not included
Travel to and from Reykjavik
Lunch (a lunch pack is available for an additional supplement of ISK10,000, payable locally and includes: bread, selection of cold cuts and other toppings, fruit, yogurt, coffee and something sweet eg small cake)
Optional activities including 2‑3 hours walk on the Svínafellsjökull glacier (all glacier and safety gear provided) ‑ price is ISK7,500 per person, booked and paid for on the tour.
Items of a personal nature including beverages, laundry, phone calls etc Accommodation in Reykjavik
BY AIR Reykjavik’s Keflavik international airport is accessed from points throughout
Europe. Airlines flying to Reykjavik include SAS and Icelandic Air. Airport transfers are available - buses meet all flight arrivals including those late at night, the transfer to downtown Reykjavik takes approximately 45 minutes.
trip grading - introductory to moderate
INTRODUCTORY to MODERATE – GRADE 2
The walking involves daily walks of up to five hours per day. There are some steep sections over loose trails during the walk and such sections of the trail require care. The accent is on keeping a steady pace to with time to stop and take photos. You will need a reasonable level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure. Weather conditions may be harsh at times (even in summer), and you will need to be comfortable walking in such conditions. We suggest up to one hour of strenuous exercise 3-4 times a week. The best exercise for trekking is bushwalking/hillwalking involving relatively steep ascents and descents.
Provided we are advised in advance of your departure we are able to cater for vegetarian diets and can assist with medically recommended diets (allergies and intolerances). Please ensure you discuss your requirements with us well in advance (at least 1 month prior to your trip) to determine whether we can cater to such dietary requirements on your chosen adventure. Please note that options are likely to be limited in very remote locations or alternatives may be more expensive or unavailable. There may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own food. We are unable to guarantee a peanut-free or allergen-free trip, and therefore, we strongly encourage that travellers with life-threatening or severe allergies take all necessary medical precautions to prepare for the possibility of exposure. Passengers must travel with all necessary medications for food allergies and be capable of self-administering these medications.
On day one you will be picked up from your accommodation in Reykjavik at approximately 8:30am. We can assist with booking a guesthouse or hotel in Reykjavik, or please advise us where you’ll stay so we can make the necessary transfer arrangements.
walking in iceland
Accommodation is in a countryside hotel which is rated in category 4 (they do not use the star rating system). All rooms have private bathrooms. Single rooms can be requested and a supplement applies.
Iceland, Europe’s second largest island after Great Britain, is located in the North Atlantic Ocean in an active volcanic area. The island owes its existence to numerous volcanoes which merged through their eruptions, and even today new islands are formed through further eruptions. Less than one-fifth of Iceland is covered in vegetation, and the majority is barren mountains, lava beds, glaciers and ice fields. The lava beds we visit are the largest in the world, whilst the ice cap Vatnajökull is the largest in Europe. The country relies on hot springs for heating and waterfalls for hydroelectric power. The fishing industry provides the major export for the country. The population is a mixture of Scandinavian and Celtic and the principal language spoken is Icelandic, a language that has changed very little since Norwegian Vikings settled in the country in 874. More than half the Iceland population of 300,000 live in Reykjavik, the capital, and adjoining towns. Some unique characteristics of Iceland include the fact that Icelanders don’t generally have a family name – they use patronymics (and occasionally matrynomics) rather than surnames ie. The christian name is followed by the fathers name and their relationship – ie John son of James. The country has no trains, no army and the police do not carry guns.
COUNTRIES VISITED Iceland
VISAS Visas not required for citizens of Australia, Canada, USA and New Zealand for
up to 90 days in a period of 180 days for all Schengen countries (see www. schengenvisainfo.com/schengen-visa-countries-list/ for countries part of the Schengen). Please ensure your passport is stamped on arrival in the Schengen area. For all other nationalities and for longer stays in countries covered by the Schengen Agreement (Australian New Zealand, Canadian and US passport holders), please contact the relevant embassy. Stays of longer than 90 days in the Schengen area require a long stay visa for the country you are spending most time in. However long stay visas are unlikely to be issued unless there is a valid reason (eg. studying in country). Unfortunately we cannot assist in obtaining visas for long stays due to individual country visa requirements.
CLIMATE Iceland’s location just south of the Arctic circle suggests a far harsher climate
than it has. Summers temperatures range from 10-13 degrees Celsius, while temperatures can often reach the mid 20s in the south (the highest recorded temperature is 30.5°C). In winter in the southern part of the country where this trip takes place, the average temperature is around 0°C, while wind chill will reduce this somewhat. In winter you may see the Aurora Borealis.
MIN GROUP SIZE 6
MAX GROUP SIZE 16
SPECIALIST GEAR REQUIRED Wet weather gear, day pack, sunscreen, good walking boots / shoes and sun
hat. A full clothing list is provided in our pre-departure kit, available on booking.
walking in iceland
how to book
To book a UTRACKS trip, complete our booking form which is found at the back of our brochure or can be downloaded from our website www.utracks.com. On completion, fax or post the form to your nearest UTRACKS or World Expeditions office along with full payment by cheque or credit card (note: surcharges apply for credit card payments). World Expeditions/UTRACKS has access to competitive airfares to Europe. Call your nearest UTRACKS/World Expeditions office or travel agent for assistance with your travel arrangements including flights, travel insurance & additional accommodation.
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UTracks invites you to attend our inspiring adventure travel slide shows. These special evenings are designed to inform and entertain and are hosted by our most experienced and passionate adventure travellers. Ask our staff for a slide show schedule or register on our website – www.utracks.com. Shows can fill early so it is important to register your attendance so we know to save a seat, or two!
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THESE TRIP NOTES REPRESENT THE MOST CURRENT INFORMATION FOR THIS ITINERARY, AND MAY SUPERSEDE ANY INFORMATION IN THE CURRENT BROCHURE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE ITINERARY AND PRICE.
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If you require any further assistance regarding this trip or any other adventure, please contact your nearest UTRACKS or World Expeditions office.
walking in iceland
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