From glittering glaciers to black-sand beaches, Iceland’s wild landscapes will surprise and inspire travelers of all ages. Explore this subarctic isle’s natural and cultural treasures alongside our dynamic guides as you step behind the curtain of a spectacular waterfall or hike to the edge of a volcanic crater. Descend inside a lava tunnel, delve into Viking history, or opt to try your hand at riding hardy Icelandic horses.
- Travel Style : National Geographic Family Journeys
- Service Level : Upgraded
- Physical Grading : 3 - Average
- Merchandising : New Trips
- Trip Type : Small Group
- What's Included:Your Family Journeys Moment: Horse Farm Visit, Hveragerði
Your Foodie Moment: Geothermal Bakery Visit, Laugarvatn
Your Family Journeys Moment: Skogar Open Air Museum, Hveragerði
Your Wellness Moment: Blue Lagoon Visit, Grindavík. Arrival transfer. Perlan Museum visit. Whale watching tour. Visit a horse farm. Lava tunnel visit. Golden Circle tour including Thingvellir National Park, Gulfoss waterfall and Geysir Hot Springs. Skogafoss waterfall picnic lunch. Visit a Black Sand Beach. Westman Islands excursion. Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Blue Lagoon admission. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
- Highlights:Walk through glacial landscapes and soak in steaming hot springs, step into Viking realms on a visit to a traditional turf house, set out on a whale-watching excursion to seek out minke and humpback whales, taste traditional Icelandic bread fresh from a geothermal bakery.
- Dossier Disclaimer:The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
- Itinerary Disclaimer:While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
- Itinerary Notes:Prices are based on double occupancy; all other room configurations are on request and cannot be guaranteed. We will accommodate triples/quads whenever possible. Please call for further details.
Family Journeys are designed for groups traveling with children between the ages of 7 and 17. Your group must include a child in order to book, and anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
- Important Notes:1. PACE OF TOUR
Please note that this is a busy tour and there are some long drive days, but stops along the way and included activities break up the drive, not to mention outstanding scenery.
2. FAMILY INSURANCE
Options for family travel insurance are available. Please enquire with your Family Trip Specialist for more information.
- Group Leader Description:All National Geographic Family Journeys with G Adventures group trips are accompanied by two of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense; you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.
- Group Size Notes:Max 20, avg 18
- Meals Included:7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner
- Meals:Eating is a big part of traveling and we encourage you to experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Its important to remember, that food may be different from what you are used to at home and that some things may not be available in other countries.
Some meals are included in the trip price, while others are not, to allow flexibility and choice to you and your family. For non-included meals our CEOs will still make arrangements for the group to eat together, which allows you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and approximate budget (per person) for meals not included.
Throughout this trip, breakfast is included daily (ranging from continental to buffet depending on the trip), as are healthy, local snacks. Tap water is safe and drinkable everywhere. Please remember to bring your own refillable bottle and refill at the start of each day.
Note that any special meal requirements or dietary restrictions need to be specified at time of booking.
- Transport:Private minivan/bus, boat, walking
- About our Transportation:This is not a physically demanding journey, however, there are some long drives (please take note of the travel times and distances in the daily itinerary). Despite some of the long days, most clients feel that the diversity of the Icelandic landscape, and culture are all well worth the experience!
- Solo Travellers:We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Odd number adult travellers in your family will be paired in twin accommodation with another adult traveller of the same sex for the duration of the trip.
- Accommodation:Hotels (7 nts)
- My Own Room:Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops
- About Accommodation:Rooming is based on double occupancy (2 passengers per room); all other room configurations are on request and cannot be guaranteed. We will try to accommodate triples/quad requests whenever possible and it's important to note that rooming configuration can change from city to city.
Please remember that hotel/lodge standards can be different from what you are used to in your home country, which is part of the appeal of adventure travel.
In Iceland we use small hotels, guest houses and inns, sometimes in remote locations. They are comfortable and clean but do not have many amenities.
- Joining Hotel:For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
- Joining Instructions:An arrival transfer is included when you arrive on Day 1, or if you arrive up to three days prior to your tour start date, provided that you have booked your pre-accommodation through G Adventures in our joining hotel. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.
Please go to the Flybus booth inside the arrival hall before exiting the airport, and let the staff know your name and that you're doing a G Adventures trip. They will then hand you a ticket for the bus shuttle and the mini-bus that brings you to your start hotel.
The bus shuttles leave regularly (approximately every 30 minutes) from the airport to the bus centre in Reykjavik, and you can take any of them with this voucher.
At the bus centre you will be transferred to a mini-van for drop-off at your hotel.
Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day. Upon arrival to the city on day 1 (or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation), please make your way to the joining hotel (note that check-in time will be in the afternoon). Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1 (usually between 5pm and 7pm), where you will get a chance to meet your CEO and other travellers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!
If you are arriving later and will miss the Welcome Meeting, your CEO will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need, and with morning instructions for the next day.
- Arrival Complications:We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
- Emergency Contact:Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Berlin office: +4915203076785
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, from calls within North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from within UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from within Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from within Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from within New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
For absolute emergencies after office hours please contact +44 7817 262559
If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
- What to Take:You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase, sports bag, or backpack. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. Porters are not often available, so be prepared to carry your own bags.
- Packing List:Cold Weather:
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Note: The landscape of Iceland is unique and unlike most things you've seen; so is the weather. It is unpredictable and changeable, so be prepared to experience a variety of conditions during your time in Iceland. It's not uncommon to experience rain, sun wind and snow all in the same visit, so please pack accordingly. An Icelandic summer is also not what most people consider as "summer" temperature and in the evenings it can get quite cold. Dressing in layers is recommended as weather can change dramatically, without notice. If you are travelling in the winter, please bring full winter gear (winter coat, snow boots, thermals).
We’re working with our accommodation partners to reduce single-use plastic on our tours by providing safe drinking water for refillable bottles wherever possible. Find out more about our Plastics Partnership Project here.
- Laundry:Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your CEO where the closest laundromat is. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry, so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
- Visas and Entry Requirements:Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.
All visitors to the EU (European Union) and EEC (European Economic Community) countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand passport holders do not need a visa to visit the Schengen area (see below), however they may not stay longer than three months in any 6-month period.
For other nationalities, travelling in Europe has been simplified with the introduction of the Schengen visa. As a visitor to the Schengen area (Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Portugal, Finland, Italy, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland) you will enjoy the many advantages of this unified visa system. Generally speaking with a Schengen visa, you may enter one Schengen country and travel freely throughout the Schengen region during the validity of your visa. There are limited border controls at Schengen borders, if any at all.
Please note that the UK and Ireland are NOT part of the Schengen agreement.
A Schengen visa is applied for at the Embassy or Consulate of the Schengen country in which you will be spending the most nights on your trip to the Schengen space. If you are only visiting one country on your trip then you apply for your visa at the Consulate of this Schengen country.
- Spending Money:Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
- Money Exchange:It is recommended to bring a combination of EURO cash, credit and debit cards.
- Emergency Fund:Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
- Tipping:Local tipping is included on this Family trip which covers local guides, drivers and gratuity for included meals. At the end of your trip if you felt your two Chief Experience Officers did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline; per CEO €30-40 per person, per week can be used.
- Optional Activities:Reykjavík
- Reykjavik City Hall Visit (Free)
- Hallgrímskirkja Church Visit (1000ISK per person)
- Horseback riding (7900-11500ISK per person)
- Secret Lagoon Hot Spring (3000ISK per person)
- Health:Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings in this dossier for trip specific information. For travellers over 70 years a completed Medical Form is required. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
- Safety and Security:Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
- A Couple of Rules:Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of people in the sex trade is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they engage in any form of paid sex work.
- Travel Insurance:Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
- Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation:The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
- Local Dress:Weather can change dramatically, even in the summer months. It is best to layer clothing to ensure you are prepared for any extremes.
- Feedback:After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it on to you.
- Minimum Age:Minimum age of 7 years for this trip.
- International Flights:Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Itinerary (8 days)
Arrive in time to meet your fellow travelers for a welcome gathering this evening. Your arrival transfer is included.
Start the morning at the Perlan museum, which showcases Iceland’s geological forces through exhibits on volcanic eruptions, explosive geysers, and more. After a classic Icelandic hot dog lunch, hop aboard a ship for a whale-watching expedition on Faxaflói Bay. Search for minke whales, humpback whales, dolphins, and porpoises diving through the waves, and learn about the incredible diversity of sea life in Iceland’s waters. The rest of the day is free for relaxing at your hotel or exploring Reykjavík.
Set off on a hike through an area dotted with hot springs, stopping to soak your feet in steaming pools along the way. Then head to a traditional Icelandic horse farm to meet the friendly equine residents and learn about this special breed. Icelandic horses are small, hardy, and have a unique ambling gait called the tölt. Opt to saddle up and ride through the surrounding hills with a guide before gathering at the farm for a homemade lunch. This afternoon, travel to a vast lava field and enter one of the longest lava tunnels in Iceland, where we’ll explore the amazing inner workings of a volcanic eruption. Continue to our hotel in Hveragerði, a town built around its own bubbling hot spring.
Discover the celebrated Golden Circle, a circuit that will take us to some of Iceland’s most amazing natural treasures. Hear the roar of the mighty Gullfoss waterfall and visit the Geysir hot spring, the namesake of all the world’s geysers. Continue to Thingvellir National Park, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates collide. Then visit a geothermal bakery to watch bakers digging pots of fresh bread out of hot black sand. Taste a slice still warm from the ground, and get the recipe for a loaf of rye. In the evening, opt to stop by the Secret Lagoon for a soothing soak in geothermal waters.
Today, explore Iceland’s amazing history, from the Viking era to the industrial revolution. Visit a traditional turf-walled dwelling, and step inside a 20th-century schoolhouse while learning about Iceland’s architectural heritage, folk crafts, and modern technology. Then take a short walk to the Skógafoss waterfall, one of the biggest falls in Iceland at more than 80 feet across. Enjoy a picnic lunch near the base of the waterfall and watch for rainbows sparkling in the spray. This afternoon ramble on one of Iceland’s legendary black-sand beaches.
Leave the mainland behind and voyage to the Westman Islands, a volcanic archipelago off Iceland’s southern coast. Go ashore on Heimaey, the only inhabited isle in the archipelago, and wander among the white wooden buildings of the single tiny town. Learn about the island’s recent volcanic history, view parts of the town buried by lava flows, and hike up the slopes of the Eldfell crater, where the ground is still warm from geothermal activity! Search for adorable puffins and other seabirds nesting on the island’s steep cliffs, then sail back to Vík—the southernmost village in Iceland, known for its black-sand beach and strange rock formations.
Return to Reykjavík this morning, stopping along the way to visit Seljalandsfoss, one of Iceland’s most spectacular waterfalls. Step behind the curtain of the falls into a hidden cave filled with mist, and enjoy one of the best photographic opportunities in Iceland. Continue to the famed Blue Lagoon to soak in the hot spring’s iridescent blue waters. Spend the afternoon exploring Reykjavík on your own before gathering for a farewell dinner.
Depart at any time.