Page 1

South Iceland Adventure Winter 2019–2020

Baula


Reykjavík Pond

Dear Traveler, Iceland Travel warmly welcomes you to Iceland! As your host in Iceland, we would like to make sure that your journey runs smoothly. Below you will find some practical information to keep in mind. You will be picked up at the group’s hotel by the local guide, at 8:45 am. Please be ready in the reception with your luggage. Your guide will have a sign with Iceland Travel’s logo and words “South Iceland Adventure“ In the rare case that you are staying at another hotel, the pick-up time is between 09:00-09:15 am. If you need assistance or information while in Iceland, please contact: △△

Our customer service line during office hours weekdays 9:00 – 17:00 (9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) at this number: +354 585 4550

△△

Your hotel’s reception

For non-medical emergencies, please contact our 24/7 emergency service, the number is +354 893 6115. For the comfort of all guests, we kindly ask that travelers refrain from using cell phones while on board the coach. We also kindly request that guests voluntarily rotate their seating during the tour, so that everyone may have the opportunity to sit up front. For your international return flight, please be at Keflavík international airport approximately 3 hours before your scheduled flight time. For more information, and about transfer to the airport, please check with the reception at your hotel. We wish you “góða ferð” and hope you have a wonderful vacation. Best regards, the Iceland Travel Team Psst… It would be great to hear how your holiday went when you get back home! You can send your comments to us at www.icelandtravel.is/about-iceland-travel/#contact-us or visit our TripAdvisor page. During the tour your guide will ask for your email so we can send you an optional electronic survey after your trip. We’d love to hear about your experiences. 2

South Iceland Adventure


South Iceland Adventure

Reykjavík Keflavík

1&4

Gullfoss

2&3

Jökulsárlón Jökulsárlón

Hrífunes

Please note: If you have added extra nights in Reykjavík before your tour, the guide will meet your group for the start of the tour on Day 2 according to the standard “South Iceland Adventure” itinerary. For days 2 – 4 we recommend you wear the following: △△

Shoes: It’s extremely important to wear good, waterproof hiking boots that cover your ankle. Trainers or sneakers are not appropriate footwear

△△

Wind and waterproof outerwear

△△

Clothing: Dressing for Icelandic winter weather is crucial to enjoy this trip. Start with a thin layer, like thermal long underwear and a T-shirt (not cotton). Followed by fleece, wool or polyester sweater and pants. Finish with waterproof, wind resistant coat/snow pants for outerwear. Never wear jeans-- they become very heavy, cold and uncomfortable to wear when wet. Lightweight hiking pants, track pants or long cotton pants are best.

△△

Daypack: For any personal items that you be using during the day. (Extra clothes, snacks and bottled water).

△△

Warm hat and gloves. Your hat should be able to fit comfortably under a helmet.

△△

Sunglasses and sunscreen: Highly recommended, as the sun reflects off glaciers and snow, even in the winter!

Note on Glacier hiking equipment: You will be provided with all necessary glacier hiking equipment, including crampons, helmet and harness. Your guide will assess the conditions and hand out the equipment necessary for each tour. Crampons available for shoe sizes starting from European number 35 or US number 4. Activities: The trip includes fun winter adventures such as visiting a lava cave, glacier hiking and some walking in the winter landscapes. This trip is about you having fun, and you are not required to take part in activities. So don‘t worry if you don’t feel up to a certain activity. There is still a lot to see and do!

South Iceland Adventure

3


Day 1: Arrival Arrival at the Keflavík airport. We would be happy to help you arrange shared or private transfers as transfers to/from the airport are not included. Note: Most hotels begin check-in between 14:00 and 16:00 (2:00pm and 4:00pm). Please note that guaranteed early check-in is not included in the price. If you arrived early in the day, here are some suggestions of what you can do in the area around your hotel. △△

Staying at the Reykjavík Lights Hotel? You’re perfectly situated to visit the Laugardalur area! Reykjavík’s recreation neighborhood has pleasant walking paths and places to visit that can be enjoyed year-round. It is a great place to spend part of a day. The Botanical Gardens (free admission and open year-round) contain 3000 northern climate plant species in eight collections. The Laugardalur Swimming Pool is popular for its various pools and hot tubs. The Reykjavík Farm Animal Zoo is a charming place to see Icelandic domestic and wild animals in a park setting. The Ásmundur Sveinsson Museum and Sculpture garden showcases works from one of Iceland’s most popular sculptors in a peaceful setting.

△△

Visit Laugavegur, Reykjavík’s main shopping street and city center with shops, restaurants, pubs and museums. Fosshótel Barón is a very short walk to Laugavegur, the main shopping street and a 15-minute walk to the historical old town area. Fosshótel Rauðará is about a 5-minute walk from Laugavegur and the main shopping street. It is about a 25-minute easy and scenic walk along the shopping street to the historical old town area.

△△

If you are at Reykjavík Lights Hotel, Laugavegur (the main shopping street) is about a 20-minute walk from the hotel. You can also easily take a bus. The Reykjavík City Bus (Stræto) stop “Laugardalshöll” is 2-3 minutes’ walk from the hotel. Buses stopping here go to Hlemmur on the main shopping street and “Lækjartorg” stop in the historical old town area. You can find bus fare information at the Straeto website here: https://www.straeto.is Please note exact change is required.

△△

Looking for a refreshing outdoor experience? Visit one of the city’s geothermally heated outdoor pools. It’s a great way to relax after a long flight and also a great way to meet Icelanders and experience daily life in Iceland. Fosshótel Baron is a very short walk from the historical Reykjavík Sundhöll geothermal pool, and Fosshótel Rauðará is about a 7- minute walk from the Sundhöll. Reykjavík Lights Hotel is about a 15-minute walk to the Laugardalslaug Swimming pool.

△△

Staying at the Reykjavík Lights Hotel? Enjoy a great deal and buy a 24-hour Reykjavík City Card. It is sold at the Reykjavík Lights Hotel. The card gives you free admission on the City Bus system and to city geothermal swimming pools, and several popular museums/attractions.

△△

Check out the Wonders of Iceland interactive museum at Perlan! You can learn about some of the natural wonders you‘ll see on your tour, including glaciers and volcanoes. There is also an option to add in a showing at the center’s new Planetarium. Currently there is a show about northern lights. If you plan to be in the downtown area, there is also a free shuttle to the Perlan Wonders of Iceland that departs from Harpa Concert Hall. The Wonders of Iceland Shuttle starts at 10:00 am with departures every 30 minutes until 15:30 (3:30pm). If you enjoy walking, the Perlan is about a 30-40-minute walk from the hotel.

Dinner is on your own. Reykjavík offers a multitude of restaurants and/or coffee-houses, making dinner a great way to get better acquainted with Iceland’s capital. There is a good choice of restaurants in walking distance of your hotel. The Fosshótel Reykjavík’s own restaurant, Haust, is

4

South Iceland Adventure


Gullfoss

known for its Icelandic-themed and plentiful dinner buffet. Items offered always reflect the best of farm produce for each season.

Day 2: Reykjavík – South Coast  Approximate driving distance: 250-350 km (160-217 miles) (Variable routes chosen based on the most scenic options each day)

Breakfast at your hotel. Meet your driver-guide, Ingimundur Þór Þorsteinsson, who will brief you on the day’s excursion. He is one of our best guides, and you’ll enjoy his enthusiasm and fun facts he has about Iceland. He is focused on making sure you have a fantastic experience in Iceland. His luxury SuperJeep, Drífa Nú, is specially outfitted for travel on Iceland’s rugged wilderness roads. Today you will be an explorer as well as a traveler! It’s important to know that your guide may adjust the itinerary to snow and weather conditions, to make sure each day is an adventure that shows you the best of the area at the time you are visiting. Once you leave the city limits, it won’t take long to reach remote areas. You’ll start the day with an easy caving expedition, for those who are interested, into an ancient lava tube. These are created by volcanic eruptions and give a rare glimpse of how a volcano looks from the inside. After emerging from underground, Drífa Nú heads along the South Shore, using back roads and trails. You’ll surely enjoy the views of rugged coast and charming isolated farms. Along the way you‘ll stop to view some of the beautiful waterfalls that decorate the South Shore such as the mighty Skógafoss waterfall. If conditions are just right, you might also visit a hidden waterfall,

South Iceland Adventure

5


a local gem accessible only to small groups. Then climb aboard Drífa Nú again to explore a part of the region’s famous black sand beaches. At the end of the day you’ll visit a secret natural wonder on the black sandy beach. Spend the evening at the Hrífunes guesthouse, located on a cozy farm just on the edge of the highland wilderness. Hrífunes is far away from any light pollution, so if the weather conditions are right, there is a chance you could see northern lights* The hosts of Hrífunes, Haukur and Hadda, will make sure you have a comfortable stay. They serve home-made family-style dinners. Your guide, Ingimundur, will also join you for the meal. Dinner is an especially fun part of the day, with lots of chatting and laughter about the day spent together. Our past visitors have really enjoyed this experience and the opportunity to enjoy good food and get to know the other people on the trip better. *Please note that the northern lights are a natural phenomenon and seeing them cannot be guaranteed.

South shore / Reynisfjara Beach: Please be extra careful and do not go too close to the sea! The surf is beautiful and looks innocent but can be really dangerous, as the currents are very strong just off shore. A critical situation can happen without notice! IMPORTANT- The eastern part of Reynisfjara black sand beach has been CLOSED due to a recent rock fall in the area! For your safety, you must heed all closed signs and barricades. Western parts of the beach remain open, but you should always heed warnings.

Day 3: Vatnajökull National Park  Approximate driving distance: 350 km (217 miles) (Variable routes chosen based on the most scenic options each day)

After a hearty Icelandic breakfast, start the day by driving along the mountain road that crosses Eldhraun, a huge lava field created by an eruption in the 18th century. Some historians believe this was a cause of the French Revolution (you’ll hear more about that during the tour)! Pass the huge cliffs at Lómagnúpur with their incredible basalt columns and enjoy some of the hidden gems the area has to offer. Continue to the Skaftafell area of Vatnajökull National Park. The entire national park covers about 14% of Iceland, making it one of the largest parks in Europe. Here you’ll don crampons and, with ice pick in hand, hike on the wonderous Svínafellsjökull glacier. During the hike you‘ll see amazing shapes in the ice and learn how glaciers are formed. Afterwards, enjoy the famous Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon with its colorful icebergs and lazy seals, and the picturesque Diamond Beach close by. Plenty of photo opportunities here! If the period is right and weather and conditions on the ice are safe, you’ll visit a natural ice cave on the South side of Vatnajökull glaciers. These ice caves appear and disappear according to the movements of the glacier. Expert glacier guides in the area will assess the conditions and see if there is any suitable ice cave to visit while you’re in the region. After an exciting day of ice, icebergs and volcanic lava, return to your hotel for dinner and overnight at Hrifunes, your home away from home.

6

South Iceland Adventure


Secret Lagoon

Day 4: Hekla Volcano – Gullfoss – Geysir – Þingvellir  Approximate driving distance: 350 km (217 miles) (Variable routes chosen based on the most scenic options each day)

Today remember to take your swimsuit and towel on the SuperJeep since you’ll be visiting the Secret Lagoon during the day. Enjoy another delicious Hrifunes breakfast. Then you’re off again for another day’s adventure in the trusty Drífa Nú! Make your way towards the Golden Circle, passing through regions with views of volcanic mountains such as the famous Eyjafjallajökull (2010 eruption) and Mt. Hekla, Iceland’s most frequently erupting volcano. On the agenda today is a swim in the Secret Lagoon, a peaceful hot spring fed lake. Created by local residents using the natural landscape and materials in 1891, it is Iceland’s oldest geothermal swimming pool. The water has natural minerals that soothe your skin. Surrounding the pool are tiny bubbling mud pots and a little geyser that erupts regularly. Watching these as you soak in the Secret Lagoon is a special experience. End the day visiting the three natural pearls that create the famous Golden Circle: the big waterfall Gullfoss, the spouting hot spring area of Geysir and the beautiful Þingvellir National Park. Þingvellir is the ancient location of Iceland’s first parliament, as well as the meeting point of two tectonic plates that divide Europe from North America. Your guide will bid you adieu with a taste of Iceland’s famous schnapps, brennivin, and a bit of fermented shark meat to go with it. It’s a true Viking test and tastier than it sounds! (Please note the minimum age to taste/drink alcohol in Iceland is 20 years old). Return to Reykjavík where the evening is at your leisure. Overnight at hotel in Reykjavík. Dinner is on your own.

South Iceland Adventure

7


Day 5: Departure Breakfast at your hotel. Please note that this might be a light breakfast if you are taking an early morning departure flight. Transfer to the international airport for your departure flight. Airport transfer is not included, but we are happy to help you arrange shared or private transfers with. We recommend you depart your hotel no later than three hours before your departure flight.

Included △△

Guided SuperJeep Tour from day 2 to day 4

△△

Expert local English/French speaking guide from day 2 to day 4

△△

Free Wi-Fi on board motor coach

△△

Accommodation 2 nights in a standard room with facilities in Reykjavík

△△

Accommodation 2 nights in a standard room with facilities in the countryside

△△

Icelandic breakfast (except arrival day)

△△

2 two-course family-style Icelandic dinners in the countryside (Day 2 & 3)

△△

3 gourmet lunch boxes (Day 2, 3, & 4)

△△

Lava tube caving, including use of helmet and crampons (day 2)

△△

Guided Glacier Hike, including use of helmet, crampons and ice pick (day 3)

△△

Visit to natural ice cave during trip, subject to weather and ice conditions (day 3)

△△

Entrance to Secret Lagoon (day 4)

△△

Taste of Icelandic shark and brennivin (day 4)

△△

Use of crampons/cleats (if needed) for walking on snow/ice covered surfaces

△△

Customer care service during office hours

△△

24-hour Iceland Travel emergency line assistance while you are in Iceland

Not Included:

8

△△

Breakfast on arrival day

△△

International airfare

△△

Baggage porterage at airport/hotel

△△

Personal travel insurance (highly recommended)

△△

Swimsuit and towel at the Secret Lagoon (rentals available)

△△

Round-trip transfers between airport and hotel

△△

Beverages, snacks, lunches, dinners unless otherwise noted in itinerary

△△

Guaranteed early check-in (check-in time for most hotels in Iceland starts between 14:00 and 16:00 (2:00pm and 4:00pm)

△△

Guaranteed late check-out

△△

Any service not specifically listed under “included”

South Iceland Adventure


HallgrĂ­mskirkja

South Iceland Adventure

9


Practical Information Season and Climate: The Icelandic climate is warmer than the name suggests, thanks to the Gulf Stream. Summers in Iceland are rather cool, while the winters are relatively warm. The winter temperatures in Iceland average around -2°C to 0°C (28°F to 32°F). Winters are quite mild considering Iceland‘s northern location, but you should still expect frequent weather changes and some windy days. You might even have snow/rain, wind and sunshine all in one day! It‘s part of Iceland‘s unique nature! It‘s always good to dress in layers so you can add or remove clothing as the weather changes. Northern Lights October through mid-April are the best times to see northern lights. Please keep in mind that northern lights are dependent on specific weather and atmospheric conditions, so we cannot guarantee you will see northern lights during your visit. We can guarantee you will see breath-taking and unforgettable winter landscapes. Here are two helpful websites that provide a three-day outlook for northern lights. We recommend checking them just before you arrive in Iceland. https://en.vedur.is/weather/forecasts/aurora http://auroraforecast.is/ Average Temperatures in Celsius (centigrade): Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr

May

Jun.

Jul.

Aug.

Sep.

Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

Reykjavik

-0.5

0.4

0.5

2.9

6.3

9.0

10.6

10.3

7.4

4.4

1.1

-0.2

Akureyri

-2.2

-1.5

-1.3

1.6

5.5

9.1

10.5

10.0

6.3

3.0

-0.4

-1.9

Sunrise and Sunset: Reykjavik Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May

Jun.

Jul.

Aug.

Sep.

11:19

09:55

08:21

06:42

15:44

17:29

18:59

20:22

Oct.

Nov.

04:39

03:15

03:07

04:50

22:12

23:39

23:55

22:15

Dec.

06:16

07:36

09:24

10:51

20:37

18:57

16:58

15:44

Akureyri Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May

Jun.

Jul.

Aug.

Sep.

Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

11:31

09:51

08:09

06:23

04:09

02:22

02:02

04:20

05:55

07:22

09:19

10:59

15:01

17:03

18:40

20:11

22:12

24:03

24:27

22:14

20:26

18:40

16:32

15:05

Business hours Banks are open from 09:15 am to 16:00 (4:00pm). As general rule offices are open from 09:00 to 17:00 (5:00pm). Shops are open from 09:00 to 18:00 (6:00pm) on weekdays. Kringlan and Smáralind shopping malls as well as souvenir and some bookshops in the city centre are open on weekends.

10

South Iceland Adventure


Credit cards They are accepted by most shops, restaurants and organisations and are widely used. The major credit cards in Iceland are Visa and Eurocard, although other cards are accepted as well in some places. Tax free shopping/tax refund A refund of the local Value Added Tax is available to visitors to Iceland. The refund will result in a reduction of up to 24% of the retail price, provided departure from Iceland is within 3 months after the purchase is made. The purchased amount must be no less than ISK 6.000,- (VAT included) per sales receipt, and all goods (except woolen) must be packed in sealed bags or containers. You can find more information on the process here. https://www.tollur.is/english/individuals/customs/traveling-to-iceland/tax-free-vat-refund/ Insurance and health care Please note that individual travel insurance is not included in the tour prices. It is therefore important that clients arrange for their own travel insurance before visiting Iceland. Medical assistance and health care are, however, readily available in Iceland.

South Iceland Adventure

11


ÍSAFJÖRÐUR

BOLUNGARVÍK Flateyri

Dr an ga jök ull

Hólmavík

REYKJAVÍK

Skagaströnd

Eiríksjökull

BLÖNDUÓS

Ok

Þórisjökull

GEYSIR

Hella

NG

Tungnahryggsjökull

DALVÍK

HOFSJÖKULL

Vík

Torfajökull

MÝRDALSJÖKULL

SAUÐÁRKRÓKUR

GULLFOSS

Tindfjallajökull

Eyjafjallajökull

VESTMANNAEYJAR

Hvolsvöllur

HVERAGERÐI SELFOSS

LL

Þingeyri

Grundarfjörður

STYKKISHÓLMUR

Patreksfjörður

ÓLAFSVÍK Snæfellsjökull

AKRANES

KEFLAVÍK BLUE LAGOON GRINDAVÍK

KU

Grímsey

AKUREYRI

Tungnafellsjökull

HÚSAVÍK

Mývatn

VATNAJÖKULL

Kirkjubæjarklaustur

SEYÐISFJÖRÐUR

NESKAUPSTAÐUR

EGILSSTAÐIR

ESKIFJÖRÐUR

Þrándarjökull

Hofsjökull

HÖFN

South Iceland Adventure

12

LA


We care for Iceland Dear Guest, Iceland Travel is an eco-friendly company that takes environmental matters and the protection of nature seriously. It is important we all respect the environment and make as little disturbance as possible in our travels so Iceland continues to be unique destination for all of us. Most visitors to Iceland are here for the first time and do perhaps not realise how fragile and vulnerable our environment is. Therefore, we ask you to help us protect our nature by being a responsible traveller and serve as a role model to others on your travel around our beautiful country. For this reason, we would like to ask you to follow these simple guidelines when travelling: 1. Leave sites in the same state as you found them 2. Please do not leave waste behind or bury it in the ground 3. Make sure to walk only on marked trails/paths 4. Please do not cause damage to the fragile vegetation 5. Make sure not to disturb or affect wildlife 6. Please do not corrupt the environment, move stones or make cairns 7. Water supplies are sensitive and should not be mishandled, keep water sources, springs, and pools clean 8. Never drive off-road 9. Respect and comply with conservation rules set by local supervisors and rangers 10. Never interrupt or corrupt the geographical development or formation of the country 11. Respect the peace and quiet of rural life

Have a great stay in Iceland, The Iceland Travel Team

We at Iceland Travel hope you have enjoyed your stay in Iceland and wish you a safe journey back home.

CERTIFIED TRAVEL SERVICE VIÐURKENND FERÐAÞJÓNUSTA

GOLD-CLASS ENVIRONMENTAL UMHVERFISFLOKKUN

South Iceland Adventure

13


A few favourites from the trip: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

14

South Iceland Adventure


________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

South Iceland Adventure

15


Iceland Travel icelandtravel.is

Skógarhlíð 12 IS-105 Reykjavík Iceland

Tel +354 585 4300 Fax +354 585 4390

Profile for Iceland Travel

South Iceland Adventure Winter 2019-2020 A5 booklet  

South Iceland Adventure Winter 2019-2020 A5 booklet

South Iceland Adventure Winter 2019-2020 A5 booklet  

South Iceland Adventure Winter 2019-2020 A5 booklet