Relax and enjoy Iceland this winter
Reykjavik’s ‘pond’ partially frozen
We are very excited about the Leisurely Ladies’ Tours. Last Summer Ragnheiður and I spent a wonderful evening with Bryndis at her summer house overlooking the lake at Thingvellir. With no prospect of darkness and a beautiful warm evening, we had plenty of time to watch the complete stillness of the lake, eat a leisurely dinner and to work out how we could make such a wonderful setting into a tour for small groups of leisurely ladies (like us!). We decided that we’d start with some winter tours, still including dinner in the summerhouse and much more. So here they are!
Winter street lights in Reykjavik
A flavour of what to expect
Read about the tours, and then look at the dates. For example, joining the November tour offers the additional opportunity to see Reykjavik’s beautiful Christmas lights, visit a Christmas market and soak up the wonderful atmosphere that there is in this twinkling city.
During the tour there are privately guided visits in your small group to see Gulfoss and Geysir, both beautiful sights on Iceland’s. Having dinner at the cottage means that you’ll be eating in one of the most stunning and special places in Iceland, the Thingvellir National Park. If the skies are clear then you could also experience the Northen Lights – or on any of the other clear nights. On another evening, under the guidance of an Icelandic chef, you learn how to make your own Icelandic dinner. Knitting and wool also feature in the tour, with a choice of garmets to make. Our Leisurely Ladies can decide how much they’d like to knit, because relaxing, reading or going for a stroll is all on the agenda for this tour. If knitting isn’t currently one of your skills, don’t worry! It’s worth a try and it’s really very relaxing. Then as the leisurely holiday draws to a close, and on the way back to the airport, you make a final relaxing visit to the warm waters of the Blue Lagoon, a must for every visitor to Iceland.
The flexibiilty of the tour means that Leisurely Ladies can also choose to arrange their own accommodation if they wish. With so many great deals available, it’s worth shopping around. You do need to try and stay close to The Cinema, where the tour is based and we can help you to make sure you choose somewhere convenient that suits your requirements. We’ve got accommodation available too at a range of prices so you can leave that to us if you prefer.
Great sights, a small group and a very warm welcome
The Leisurely Ladies’ tour in Iceland provides the opportunity to discover Iceland and to learn how to knit out of Lopi. Bryndís, your professional guide will tell you all about the island´s people and culture. Enjoy a leisurely stroll in down town Reykjavik and take interesting journeys into the countryside, where you will see the famous Geysir, the beautiful Gullfoss – the Golden waterfall – and Thingvellir, where the oldest national parliament in the world was established and two tectonic earth plates meet. And if the conditions are right there is a good chance you will be able to see the ever so elusive Northern Lights! In the cosy comfort of The Cinema, we will show you films on erupting volcanoes – e.g. Eyjafjallajökul and your evenings will be spent eating delicious food in different locations.
In the knitting workshops your professional knitter and tutor, Ragnheiður will introduce you to Iceland´s unique Lopi wool and teach you how to knit out of it. As the climate in Iceland can be cold, wet and windy at times the sheep have fitting wool for the weather; long on top and super soft fleece underneath. Lopi is equally as beautiful in the natural colours of grey, brown and black as it is in all the other 100 colours in which it is available. You will choose your Lopi knitting kit and, if everything goes according to schedule, you will return home with a finished Lopi item that you knitted yourself. During knitting time you may also choose to relax, read or go for a stroll around the harbour. Being leisurely is what counts, and we all have a different idea about what being leisurely actually means!
You could knit this, but you don’t have to!
Leisurely Ladies Tour Dates Winter 2012 to 2013
The Leisurely Tours begin on a Thursday evening in Reykjavik and finish on the following Monday afternoon, so our Leisurely Ladies wanting to spend extra days in Iceland can choose when to arrive and depart. For the tour itself, it is best to arrive at Keflavik International Airport by 16:00 on Thursday and depart at16:00 on Monday. We will arrange airport transfer to and from Reykjavik to meet flights at these times.
The February Leisurely Tour begins on Thursday February 7th, and here you’ll be in Reykjavik for the Winter Lights and Museum Nights weekend. Reykjavik’s museums stay open past midnight and offer special events, including theatre, street performances, dance, visual arts and much more. A special Museum Night bus travels between the museums and all entrance is free. Departure on or after Monday February 11th.
The March Leisurely Tour begins on Thursday March 14th and coincides with Design March. Featuring Iceland’s internationally renowned veterans in the field as well as fledgling upcoming designers, the program of Design March includes a wide range of exciting events, exhibitions and lectures. Departure is on or after Monday March 18th.
Planning your Leisurely Tour
We don’t want you to have to work too hard with the planning, but we do want you to have a lovely time. So we’d like you to decide where you’d like to stay, and how many nights you’d like to spend in Iceland. The tour is for 5 days/4 nights but you can add extra days if there are other things you would like to do. We can help you with this, it would be a pleasure!
There are plenty of flight and hotel deals on offer, so do have a look at those. We have negotiated some good rates with hotels near to the Cinema No 2 at a range of prices, and are able to offer those to our guests for the tour and for additional nights if required. Whether you are travelling on your own, with a friend or in a group, we look forward to helping you to plan your tour.
When you have decided which of the tours you’d like to join (November, February or March) please send a message via the Contact Me page so that we can begin to arrange your booking. Please also send me a message if you have any questions.
Below, you will find more information the tour, the itinerary and the prices.
Our Leisurely Itinerary
THURSDAY If this is your arrival day, we will meet you at Keflavik International Airport during the late afternoon and take you to your accommodation to check in. Otherwise we will all meet up and meet each other at Cinema No2 for dinner and an introduction to knitting. This is when we choose which knitting project to undertake, and also how leisurely to be! During the evening, Iceland and the tour is also introduced and you’ll also see a wonderful film about THAT Volcano!
FRIDAY After your leisurely breakfast, we meet at the Cinema at 10am for our first knitting workshop (with coffee and tea) and then break for lunch in the middle of the day. Then we set off to discover the cradle of the wool industry and visit the Álafoss wool shop, which is much more than just a wool shop! We’ll have coffee and tea at the local coffee house and then drive on into the Thingvellir National Park for a BBQ dinner at a mountain cottage overlooking the lake. If the weather doesn’t allow this, then please rest assured that we will eat elsewhere and have an equally lovely time. Of course, we hope that it’s a dark and clear night….
SATURDAY Another leisurely breakfast and knitting, we spend Saturday afternoon taking a leisurely stroll around downtown Reykjavik, after which there is time to wander more – masses of bookshops (with coffee shops), the flea market, museums, shops and cafes. And of course, each tour combines with an event in Reykjavik so you might want to visit the Christmas shops or some of the design exhibits. Later in the afternoon, there is a different film to see that sets the Icelandic scene while you knit with the lights on low. After that we meet our Icelandic chef and together prepare and enjoy our supper together.
SUNDAY Today’s excursion takes you to see Geysir and the waterfall at Gulfoss, as well as to visit the Árborg Wool Centre. Hopefully the knitting projects are nearing completion, but it’s so relaxing to knit on the bus that if you’ve been a bit too leisurely so far, there’s still time to put in some extra rows! Sunday evening’s dinner is a delicious meal in the Old Harbour and time to say farewells.
MONDAY Dpending on your flight arrangement, during the morning there’ll be time in Reykjavik. On the way to the airport, however, we will make a stop at the Blue Lagoon for a very leisurely visit to the warm, milky blue geothermal waters of this famous spa. It’s a perfect way to finish yuor holiday, but equally, if you decide to stay on, we will make the extra arrangements to drive you back to Reykjavik, refreshed and rejuvenated, and ready to see some more of Iceland!
What’s in the Price
The price of the Leisurely Tour, per person is £580. Your tour, in a small group, is fully guided, and you will spend all of the knitting workshops with Ragnheiður. Evening meals, lunch and coffee breaks are all included, except for lunch on Monday. The film shows and your visit to the Blue Lagoon, together with return airport transfers between Reykajvik and Keflavik are also included.
You choose your knitting project kit, and these are range from £18 to £28. Payment for these will be locally, in Icelandic kronur by cash or credit card. The price may vary a little depending on the exchange rate.
As stated above, you also need to choose accommodation (which should include breakfast) and as soon as you send an enquiry via the contact page, we can help you to find what you want at the best prices! There are some fantastic offers for flights and accommodation available from the airlines this winter. Do take advantage of these, but do contact me before you book to make sure that your chosen hotel is in a nearby location.
What and where – and what to wear!
The weather in Iceland can change from one minute to another – so, regarding clothes its best to think “onion”. That is layers of clothes and a warm and rainproof outer garments, as well as good, sturdy shoes for our walks. (More: www.vedur.is) Inside, the houses are very warm and cozy as they are heated with hot water that comes directly from the ground – and there is plenty of it, so you can take LONG showers!
The knitting workshop takes place at The Cinema (www.lifsmynd.is/cinemano2), our cozy loft in the center of Reykjavik. It is lead by a professional knitter, who has been teaching the art of knitting for the past 30 years and who has specialized in teaching visitors to Iceland, many of whom have never knitted before but go back home with something nice and ready to wear! (http://cultureandcraft.com/)
The guided tours will be lead by a very knowledgeable professional local guide who has been taking visitors all around Iceland for the past decade or so.
Meals are chosen so that you will sample a great variety of delicious and typical Icelandic food – and you will also learn to prepare a meal under the guidance of a professional chef. Please let us know beforehand if you have any allergies.
Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and the islands only city. Majority of the island´s population lives in Reykjavik and its neighbouring towns and one can say that Reykjavik is a small cosmopolitan city, as it has so much to offer. You will have a guided Ladies tour around the center and taste the famous “Baejarins bestu” hot dogs on the way. (More:www.visitreykjavik.is)
Álafoss is the center of wool industry in Iceland and it is situated in a town outside Reykjavik, where the surroundings are a blend of farm area and a town. After lunch in the area, we take a walking tour to the center, ending at the wool outlet shop. On the way we will be told all kinds of interesting things … (More: www.alafoss.is)
Thingvellir is Iceland´s oldest National park, est. 1930, and is on the World´s heritage list as one of those places on Earth that is to be preserved for the coming generations. This is because of the uniqueness of the geology, the arctic char of Lake Thingvellir and the very special part of history that took place at Thingvellir; the birthplace of the oldest national parliament of the world established in 930! (More: http://www.thingvellir.is/english)
Geysir and Gullfoss are possibly the most visited places in Iceland, and there is a reason for this. At the Geysir area one can witness a hot spring spout high into the air; a natural phenomenon that is quite rare in the world. (More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geysir) Gullfoss, or the Golden waterfall, is thought to be the most beautiful waterfall in Iceland. A visit that leaves no one untouched. (More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gullfoss)
Films: The Eruption! Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption and Birth of an island – the making of Iceland. Give you unique insight into the power and beauty of volcanic eruptions – close up. As well as explaining why Iceland is so volcanically active, how it has been molded by the natural forces into the island that it is today and how the Icelanders have learned to use the natural heat deep in the islands ground. (See trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9hIV3Oi8W7w)
Northern lights: If the night is clear then there is a good chance of seeing Northern lights in Iceland. The lights originate from solar winds that carry charged particles. In the Earth´s upper atmosphere are gas particles that deliver a jolt of energy when they are hit by charged solar particles. The gas emits the energy as LIGHT. Most of the light comes from oxygen, which can give off a green or red glow. Scientists track solar storms and predict the strength of the lights. When solar storms approach our location, and the night is clear, then we head outside chasing those beautiful dancing lights.
Blue lagoon: Everywhere in Iceland is natural hot water in the ground. The Blue lagoon is filled with blue green hot water and sea water, called brine, and science has proven that its unique mixture has exceptionally good affect on the skin. The lagoon is built right into a volcano lava flow, making bathing in these extreme surroundings unforgettable. And there is no better way to end your Iceland journey, before boarding your plane at the nearby Keflavik airport.