Our inaugural Arctic trail in September 2016 was a great success. Please contact us for more information about forthcoming trails and prices for these and our new dedicated Nordic Walking holidays!

Tour code: NIJ0916

Aldeyjarfoss.in.North.Iceland “It’s time for me to explore more of the little-known area of North East of Iceland, with a new itinerary that I’m really excited about and which is ready for testing. Please join me! I’ve chosen late September, when the autumn colours will be visible, the Aurora season is under way and before Iceland begins its winter. Feedback will be gathered from everyone who joins us and, in return, we are offering the holiday at a reduced rate, but still to our usual high standard.

“For this Arctic Trail in North East Iceland holiday we have teamed up with Fjallasyn, an excellent Icelandic company with whom we already work and travelled with earlier this year. North Iceland also has some great possibilities for Nordic walking, so it’s a real treat to be travelling with my good friend Bea Zomer, an experienced Nordic walking instructor, who is going to bring poles and will test out (with our help) walking and hiking trails in some of the areas we visit.

Dimmuborgir.arch.DSC03134“On the trip we’ll definitely have a relaxed and sociable time. During each day, we will be making regular stops to get out of the bus and experience the freshness of the crisp clean air, the intensity of the Icelandic light and, of course, the stunning and varied landscapes. This ‘out of the bus time’ offers an opportunity for each of us to choose how we spend it. Maybe you’ll opt for photography, take a stroll, go Nordic walking or simply enjoy quiet reflection in an amazing setting.

“The holiday will be of interest to single travellers, friends and couples Hofsos.during.winterwho enjoy  natural landscapes, rugged coastlines and nature and are keen to learn about the history, geology and culture of Iceland. Photographic opportunities will be plentiful including, we hope, the chance to capture the Aurora Borealis. Walking and hiking are on offer daily but all at a moderate level -and optional. Accommodation will be in farm guesthouses and hotels – we can’t guarantee ensuite rooms every night. We offer a warm welcome and a friendly adventure in the company of Julia, Bea and our Icelandic guide.

“Nordic walkers at any level – including beginners – are all welcome. Please let us know on booking if you’d like to take part and to arrange free introductory or refresher sessions. Nordic walking fits in very well as preparation for cross-country skiing, which is already popular in North Iceland.”

The highlights:

  • All arrangements expertly taken care of by Iceland Traveller
  • 8 days / 7 nights in Iceland
  • Expert guidance by an experienced Icelander
  • Travel in a small group (maximum 14)
  • 5 nights in remote and lesser known North East Iceland
  • 2 nights in Reykjavík or 1 in Reykjavík and 1 in Akureyri
  • See glacial canyons, rugged coastlines, huge waterfalls, fjords and more
  • Opportunities to go hiking and Nordic Walking
  • Sightings of the Aurora Borealis, natural conditions permitting
  • See and learn about Iceland’s history, folklore and geology
  • Experience geothermal bathing
  • Enjoy warm hospitality and home cooking
  • A flexible itinerary with a variety of options to extend the holiday in North and South Iceland. Please contact us to discuss your plans – there is so much to see and we would be delighted to share our expertise with you

Itinerary:

DAY 1 (Saturday 24 September): Arrival

reykjavik.panoramaOn arrival in Iceland in the afternoon, you will be met and driven to Reykjavík to check in to our hotel, and then have free time to explore and have dinner. We have on offer the options to visit the Blue Lagoon (and we’ll be happy to help you decide just how much you’d like to pamper yourself!) and/or to enjoy an introductory evening in Reykjavík, which will include a visit to the Old Harbour and dinner in one of my favourite restaurants which offers a range of stylish yet authentic dishes.

DAY 2 (Sunday 25 September): Húsavík

Whale.fin.2If you are an early bird, you could take the trip to the Blue Lagoon this morning – otherwise have a leisurely start, or explore locally. At 13:00 we check in for the flight to Húsavík. On arrival we are welcomed by our expert Icelandic driver and guide to begin our journey, starting with the short drive to Húsavík harbour and sightseeing in town. There is an option to go for 3-hour whale-watching expedition in the afternoon. Free evening and overnight in Húsavík.

DAY 3 (Monday 26 September):  Jökulsárgljúfur (glacial canyon)
arfossar.N.Iceland

From Húsavík, we head to the Tjörnes peninsula and enjoy coastal culture on our way to the Kelduhverfi area. In the coastal banks of the Tjörnes are some of the most remarkable fossil layers in Iceland. These sandstone layers were formed at the end of the Tertiary period and during the Ice Age. On arrival at Ásbyrgi, we will head for the visitor centre were we can try out some Nordic walking, or simply enjoy a stroll in beautiful surroundings. The visitor centre houses an amazing exhibition, so time can easily be spent looking around too.

A National Park was established in Jökulsárgljúfur canyon and the surrounding area in 1973. When the Vatnajökull National Park was established in 2008, Jökulsárgljúfur became part of it. For thousands of years, Jökulsá á Fjöllum, one of Iceland’s largest rivers, has continued to flow from under the Vatnajökull glacier, about 200 km away in southern Iceland. Its journey ends at the sea in Öxarfjörður bay.  Iceland.whole.route.Sept.2016.copyEn route, it has carved numerous chasms into the highland bedrock. Jökulsárgljúfur is approximately 25 km long, half a kilometre wide and in several locations, extends to a depth of over 100 m. After enjoying Ásbyrgi, we take the highland road to Vesturdalur (a small valley enclosed by cliffs) and Hljóðaklettar, where we hike around before continuing on to the waterfalls Selfoss, Dettifoss and Hafragilsfoss. In the afternoon, we turn back and spend the night in Kelduhverfi. We will always be ready to hunt for the Aurora if conditions are good – this means clear skies and a suitable level of aurora activity. As we are staying in remote places with no light pollution, we could well enjoy a display from the comfort of our own doorstep.

DAY 4 (Tuesday 27 September): Melrakkasletta and the Arctic Circle Village


We head further east and north, towards the very edge of the Arctic Circle. East of the Jökulsá river is the country district of Öxarfjörður, extending from the coastal sand flats southwards to Hólssandur. The landscape is so attractive with sheltered woodlands and low tuff mountains. Kópasker is a small village in Núpasveit district that grew out of the Co-op tradition, which today provides services to local agriculture and fisheries. There is also an interesting exhibition at the Kópasker Earthquake Centre.

birdforamillionMelrakkaslétta plain is renowned for the natural splendour of its spring and summer nights, a large number of lakes and rich bird life. At the northern end of the plain is Hraunhafnartangi point, Iceland’s northernmost tip. Just off-shore is the exact line of Arctic Circle.

We keep on to Raufarhöfn, a fishing village with beautiful views of the coast and many lakes and attractions. Here, the Arctic Henge is being built. Similar to Stonehenge in Britain, this stone circle will celebrate Nordic mythology and Icelandic folklore. Raufarhöfn is considered the “Arctic Circle Village”.

We the continue to the Þistilfjörður region, which is fertile farming country, boasting green meadows and slopes that alternate with silvery streams and rivers. We will have a look at the Raudanes peninsula before going to the village of Þórshöfn (Thorshofn) and our overnight accommodation at Ytra Lón, a farmstay on the Langanes peninsula.

DAY 5 (Wednesday 28 September): Langanes to Myvatn

For the first part of the day, we will explore the Langanes, which is a veritable outdoor paradise teeming with birdlife, great for nature study and hiking as well as some tangible history. A trip to the outlying peninsula is an unforgettable adventure, passing remnants of ancient farms and more recently-deserted buildings like Skoruvík. Below Skoruvík cliffs is Stóri Karl rock column, one of Iceland’s largest gannet colonies. Way out on the eastern shore stood the village  of Skálar from 1910-1946.

myvatn_klasarIf we are lucky, we may encounter an Arctic fox on our way to Langanes, and we might also see reindeer as we continue on to the fishing villages of Bakkafjordur and Vopnafjordur, en route to Mývatn. One the way, we will also have a chance to view the highland area from nearby Modrudalur farm. We stay for two nights in a hotel in the Mývatn area.

DAY 6 (Thursday 29 September):  Mývatn Wonders

The Mývatn district attracts nature lovers because of its distinctive and colourful landscape that boasts, among many other things, the fourth largest lake in the country, dotted with islands that provide ideal nesting grounds for the rich bird life.

Dimmuborgir.viewToday, we will travel around this magnificent lake, stopping several times, and there will be a chance to do some Nordic walking on the shore if you wish.  Beautiful landforms await us, such as the clusters of pseudo craters at Skútustaðir, the unique Dimmuborgir lava formations, and Grjótagjá, ensconced deep in the rocky rift formed by the two separating tectonic plates. From there, it’s on to Námafjall with its boiling and bubbling solfatara or sulphur pits and then to Sigurgeir’s bird museum and boat house. A visit to the Nature Baths is an exhilarating and unforgettable experience that you will not want to miss. Geothermal.Bathing..Nature.BathsWorldwide attention focused on the Mývatn district more than 40 years ago, when the dynamic explorer duo of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin studied its lunar aspects in the course of their training for the first manned flight to the Moon. More recently, this has been the location for the shooting of Fast and Furious 8, which involved the sinking of two large pieces of machinery through the ice on the lake!

DAY 7 (Friday 30  September):  Godafoss, Akureyri, Siglufjördur
Go.afossAfter breakfast, it is time to leave Mývatn and head to Akureyri. We will make a stop by Godafoss (the “Waterfall of Gods”), one of the “must to see” places here. We continue to the town of Akureyri and continue along the west side of Eyjafjordur before arriving at Siglufjördur, a scenic and historic fishing village on the magnificent “Tröllaskagi” peninsula, with its high mountains and deep fjords and renowned for its beauty.   The Herring Museum is the largest seafaring and industrial museum in the country. The exhibits tell the tale of hunting and processing these “silver darlings”, and are housed in three widely differing premises. The museum received the Michletti European Museums Award in 2004.

We then head back through the fishing village of Ólafsfjördur, and Dalvík where there is a small town, harbour and ski area.  We hope to spend some time looking around and for Bea to check out the slopes for Nordic walking and winter skiing. Arriving in Akureyri, we will do some sightseeing and you can choose to stay here overnight or fly back to Reykjavík in the early evening.

Akureyri.North.IcelandFrom Akureyri, there are many onward travel options. Please ask us to arrange the plan that is most suitable for you.  Note: the cost of your overnight stay on 30 September and breakfast on 1 October  is included in the holiday cost. Your flight, transfer, additional nights and any other plans you make are extra.

Suggestions for your onward journey on 30 Sept are:

  • Stay in Akureyri for one night on Friday 30, and fly back from Akureyri to London on Saturday October 1
  • Fly from Akureyri on Friday evening, stay overnight in Reykjavík and fly on to London on 1 October
  • Fly from Akureyri on Friday evening, stay overnight in Reykjavík and extend your stay in South Iceland
  • Stay in Akureyri overnight or longer to relax, explore – or maybe join the Food Festival that is taking place on 1 & 2 October – and fly home on a date of your choice

N.Iceland.lava.landscape

Some optional or possible extras:

  • Visit to the famous Blue Lagoon Spa
  • Whale-watching from Husavík, the whale watching ‘capital’ of Iceland
  • An authentic evening in Reykjavík to introduce you to Iceland and its intriguing culture
  • Additional Aurora hunting
  • Local Food Festival in Akureyri
  • Extend your stay, arranged by us – please contact us for more information
  • Single room

Included please contact us for prices for 2017

  • Flight from Reykjavík – Husavík
  • Arrival transfers
  • Accommodation (twin/double room with breakfast) for 7 nights in hotels and farm guesthouses, some with ensuite, some with shared bathrooms
  • Transport from Husavík with an experienced Icelandic driver guide
  • Tour organised and accompanied by Julia Jones (Iceland Traveller) and Bea Zomer  (Walkfit Nordic)
  • Nordic walking (optional)
  • Tour for 8 days as described
  • Planning and booking arrangements for your return journey, extension or other chosen activities according to individual requirements  

Not included:

  • International flights
  • Flights and transfers from Akureyri to Keflavík International Airport at the end of the tour
  • Meals and drinks other than breakfast
  • Optional extras as described
  • Travel insurance

Nordic Walking: to find out more about Bea Zomer and Nordic walking, see our Iceland Traveller friends. You can read more about our Iceland Traveller team here.

 

For all enquiries, or to make a booking, please contact us. There are many optional extras and choices included in this holiday so please ask us about tailoring the pre- and post- holiday plans to suit you.  See you there!

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