Arrive Reykjavik, Iceland
Arrive in Reykjavik, and transfer to your modern boutique hotel in the city center. Tonight, join fellow guests for a welcome dinner.
Reykjavik | True Cosmopolitan Capital
Spend the day exploring both the contemporary and traditional sides of this cultured coastal capital. Start with a visit to a small workshop, where a local craftsperson reveals the tradition of Nordic knife making, which dates back to the Viking era. Continue to the National Museum of Iceland, which tells the story of Iceland’s founding through some 2,000 objects, including a medieval ship of the type used to settle the island. You then visit Hallgrimskirkja church, the city’s most prominent landmark. Stop by some Icelandic design shops, and take a private tour of the Harpa, a cutting-edge performance center built in 2011 to stage everything from jazz quintets to operas. This award-winning structure features a striking colored glass façade designed to evoke Iceland’s basalt landscape. Venture out of town to your hotel in Iceland's dramatic countryside.
Thorsmork | Forces of Nature
After breakfast, embark on a Super Jeep tour through Thorsmork ("Valley of Thor"), a vast nature reserve of snowy peaks, jade-green slopes and glacial rivers trickling through dark volcanic earth. In a land already known for scenic beauty, Thorsmork is a gem among gems, and a paradise for trekkers and photographers. Explore today with a skilled driver-guide, who leads you along the trails and rivers while discussing the reserve’s history, geology and wildlife.
South Iceland | A Stunning Coastal Drive
Along with the Amalfi Coast and Ireland’s Ring of Kerry, the shore of southern Iceland offers one of the most scenic drives in all of Europe. Enjoy a morning’s drive along this enticing coastline, stopping to explore waterfalls and black-sand beaches. Iceland is one of the world's most seismologically active places; learn how this has shaped the island with a visit to the Lava Center, where state-of-the-art exhibits reveal the fascinating facts behind earthquakes, volcanoes and other natural forces. By contrast, the Skogar Folk Museum tells a more human story, depicting life in Iceland from the Viking era and beyond.
Husafell & West Iceland | Saga Sites
Thingvellir National Park is that rare locale that is significant both as a scenic wonder and a cultural treasure: a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the Vikings established the world’s first democratic parliament more than 1,000 years ago. It’s also one of the few places you can straddle two continents at once, as the conjunction of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates is exposed here. After exploring the park, continue to Fridheimar, a geothermally heated organic greenhouse, for a tour and freshly prepared lunch. Next, visit the regularly erupting Strokkur Geyser and stunning Gullfoss, where milky green glacial water plummets down Iceland’s most famous waterfall. Your adventure continues at Deildartunguhver, the highest-flow hot spring in Europe, which provides heat to villages and towns up to 40 miles away. Relax in thermal baths fed by the hot spring's invigorating waters, then enjoy a dinner of fresh, local, farm-produced ingredients overlooking this powerful natural wonder.
Husafell & West Iceland | Langjokull Icecap
Today, enjoy stops at Hraunfossar and fabled Barnafoss waterfalls. After lunch, ride in a specially equipped eight-wheel truck on the colossal Langjokull icecap — Europe’s second-largest glacier — which, at its highest point, sits 4,760 feet above sea level. Descend into man-made tunnels carved deep into the glacier, exploring stages of glacial formation, blue-hued dens and even a chapel.
Siglufjordur & North Iceland | The Sea
Journey to the working fishing village of Siglufjordur, stopping en route for lunch on your own in quaint Blonduos. The glacial river flows through this small town, giving it a serene and scenic air. Continue to nearby Saudarkrokur for an A&K-exclusive visit to a fish leather tannery — the only one of its kind in Europe. Experience the tannery and its products on this privately guided visit, where fish skin is expertly processed to create high-quality leather. Continue to Hofsos for a dip in a thermal swimming pool, set on a hillside overlooking the sea, and designed by the same architect behind Iceland’s Blue Lagoon. This is one of the most renowned pools in Iceland and a favorite of locals. Dinner tonight is at your boutique hotel in the heart of Siglufjordur.
Dalvik | A Seagoing Safari
Icelandic waters are home to more than the tasty fish that have made commercial fishing one of the country’s biggest industries. There are also some 20 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises swimming off these shores, everything from the small harbor porpoise to the massive blue whale. Join an experienced crew of whale- and dolphin-spotters for an extraordinary safari at sea, and see how many of these amazing creatures you encounter. Back on land, enjoy a delicious lunch at a local farm sourced from their own ingredients. During your time here, learn how the farm produces its fresh and colorful products. Then, leisurely explore pretty Siglufjordur. In addition to its scenic attractions, the town offers a pair of small museums (devoted to herring and folk music), charming local architecture and several inviting cafés.
Akureyri & Reykjavik | Coastal Culture
Venture to Akureyri, Iceland’s buzzy small city on the north coast. Visit its botanical gardens, among the northernmost of their kind and home to over 400 species of native flora. Explore the beautiful old town on a walking tour, and enjoy lunch at leisure. Depart for the airport and fly to Reykjavik, where you check in to your hotel. Tonight, your farewell dinner features traditional Icelandic dishes.
This morning, enjoy breakfast before your flight home.