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Itinerary

MONDAY, JUNE 2

6:30 p.m.    Check in at the Icelandair desk at Boston Logan Airport.  Meet your fellow travelers, NHPTV tour host Willem Lange, and your tour manager.

9:30 p.m.        Depart Boston on Iceland Air flight #630
Dinner and snacks will be available for a fee on board the flight.



TUESDAY, JUNE 3           Welcome Breakfast in Reykjavik/Fly to Northern Iceland

6:30 a.m.    Arrive at Keflavik airport in Reykjavik where we meet our local Icelandic guide for the tour.  We transfer by private motor coach to downtown Reykjavik.
8:00 a.m.    Over a welcome breakfast at Hotel Viking, there will be time for introductions and an overview of the next few days.
9:00 a.m.    We transfer by motor coach to the Icelandic public broadcasting station RUV Rikisutvarpid to meet for a tour of the station and a meeting with a reporter.
10:30 a.m.    Following our visit at RUV, we transfer to Reykjavik’s domestic airport and check in for our flight to Akureyri.
12:15 p.m.    Departure for Akureryi.
1:00 p.m.    Arrival at the Akureyri airport, After collecting our checked luggage, we stop in Akureyri for some free time for lunch.  In the early afternoon, we travel to Lake Mývatn. Along the way, we stop at Dimmuborgir and Namaskard to see (and smell) boiling mud pots, hissing vents, and other fantastic geological phenomena. 
5:30 p.m.    We arrive in Lake Mývatn in the late afternoon and check into our hotel.

Hotel Reynihlid
660 Mývatn, Iceland
Tel.: 011 354 464 4170
Fax:  011 354 464 4371
(when dialing from the U.S.)

7:30 p.m.    Take some time to rest and refresh, then gather again for a welcome dinner.



WEDNESDAY, JUNE 4        Northern Iceland: Waterfalls and Canyons; Sænautasel

7:30 a.m.    Enjoy breakfast in the hotel dining room.
9:00 a.m.    We board the motor coach for an excursion to Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, where the water thunders down a sheer rock face face into the precipitous Jökulsárgljúfur canyon (road conditions permitting).  Our guide will explain the geological background of this fascinating area.
11:00 a.m.    We continue our journey to the remote farm of Sænautasel at the edge of the highlands.  Nobel-prize winner Halldór Laxness had this farm in mind when he wrote “Independent People”.  At Sænautasel we are treated to Icelandic pancakes in a restored turf building. (Please note that access to Saenautasel is pending road conditions.)

We return to Lake Mývatn in the late afternoon.

Dinner (individually arranged) is available at the hotel restaurant or at the nearby restaurant „Gamli Baerin“. 


 

THURSDAY, JUNE 5            Whale-Watching/Akureyri

7:30 a.m.        Enjoy breakfast in the hotel dining room.
8:00 a.m.    We check out of the hotel and transfer to Husavík for a whale-watching tour (approx. 2 ½ hrs).  Sailing from Husavík harbor, we head west to the Kinnarfjöll Mountains and the historic site of Náttfaravik, where the first Viking settlers in Iceland made their home.  Located here are the best waters for whale-watching on the northern coast.

Following the boat tour, we travel to Akureyri for lunch on your own,
Along the way, we will have a chance to see the impressive Goðafoss waterfall.

3:00 p.m.    We visit the Stefansson Arctic Institute for a meeting with its director, Níels Einarsson, who will talk to us about whales and whale-hunting in Icelandic waters

Afterwards, we check into our hotel:

Icelandairhotel Akureyri
Þingvallastræti 23
600 Akureyri, Iceland
Tel.: 011 354 444 4000
Fax:  011 354 444 4001
(when dialing from the U.S.)

The remainder of the day is free for individual exploration.  Perhaps try a relaxing swim in the geothermally heated public swimming pool (approximately $4.50). 
8:00 p.m.    We gather again in the evening for dinner and storytelling with Willem.


 

FRIDAY, JUNE 6                Skagafjördur Region

Enjoy breakfast in the hotel dining room.
9:00 a.m.    After breakfast, we depart with our local guide for the valleys of Hörgardalur and Öxnadalur where geological remains and ghost stories capture our attention.  In the Skagafjördur region we also learn about the most dramatic family feud in Icelandic history.  We also visit the small town of Hólar, the site of one of Iceland’s two principal bishoprics and the center of religious and educational life in Northern Iceland between 1106 and the late 18 th century.  Afterwards, we stop at Hófsos, a town of 200 situated on the shores of Skagafjördur fjord.  The town houses the Icelandic American Emigration Center which has a display on Icelandic emigration to the United States and helps Americans of Icelandic descent to trace back their roots in Iceland. 
6:00 p.m.    We return to Akureyri in the evening. 
Enjoy dinner on your own at one of the local restaurants.


 

SATURDAY, JUNE 7            Reykjavik/ Alftanes Peninsula

Enjoy breakfast in the hotel dining room.
8:00 a.m.        After an early breakfast, we check out and depart for the airport.
            Be sure to pack your bathing suits in your carry-on luggage!
9:10 a.m.        Our flight to Reykjavik departs.
9:55 a.m.    We arrive in Reykjavik, where we will embark on a city tour with a local guide.  Among other things, we will see Höfði House, where Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev held their summit in 1986, the prominent Hallgrimskirkja (Hallgrims Church), the fishing harbor, and the old city with the parliament, city hall, and picturesque houses built of brightly painted corrugated metal.
    Afterwards, there will be an opportunity to have lunch at one of Reykjavik’s inviting restaurants.
1:00 p.m.    We meet at a pre-arranged location and depart on a short drive to the Álftanes Peninsula and past Bessastaðir, the official residence of Iceland’s president.  We continue on through Hafnarfjörður and over the vast lava fields of the Reykjanes peninsula to the lighthouse at the tip of the peninsula. 
2:45 p.m.    We visit the Vikingaheimar Museum, where we will be met by Ellen Ingvadóttir, who sailed to Newfoundland on a replica of the Viking ship Islendingur in 2000 to retrace Leif Eriksson’s voyage 1,000 years earlier. 
4:45 p.m.    We then visit the Blue Lagoon, a unique oasis in a black lava field, which owes its existence to a nearby geothermal power plant, looming large over the aqua-tinted waters.  Here we’ll have the opportunity to take a refreshing bath or swim in the pleasantly warm, mineral-rich water, reputed for its healing properties.  The high natural levels of silica and minerals give the Lagoon its rich blue color.  Afterwards, we return to Reykjavik and check into our hotel in the late afternoon.

Hotel Radisson BLU Reykjavik 1919
Posthusstraeti
101 Reykjavik, Iceland
Tel.: 011 354 599 1000
Fax: 011 354 +354 599 1001
(when dialing from the United States)

    The remainder of the evening is free.  Your local guide and tour manager will be happy to make suggestions for dinner.  


 

SUNDAY, JUNE 8            Thingvellir – Gullfoss – Geysir

Enjoy breakfast in the hotel dining room.
9:00 a.m.    The coach will meet us and take us to Þingvellir, a remarkable and most historic site on the island. Þingvellir, located on Lake Þingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland, is the site of the world’s oldest democratic parliament founded in 930 and is now a national park.  The beautiful canyon running through the park is actually the meeting point of two of the earth’s tectonic plates, and Þingvellir’s combination of natural phenomena and historical significance make it inseparable from the fabric of Icelandic national life. 
Another highlight of the day will be the visit to Gullfoss, the Golden Waterfall, one of the most impressive waterfalls in the world.  Here we will see thousands of tons of icy water thunder majestically down double falls into a deep canyon.  Only a few minutes drive from Gullfoss is the famous Great Geysir which has given its name to hot springs all over the world.  We’ll also have the opportunity to see one of the most active geysers in the area, Strokkur, which spouts up to 150 feet.  We continue on to Skálhult, the site of an ancient bishopric and take a look at the new church, which houses a mural by a gifted Icelandic modern artist.
5:00 p.m.        We return to Reykjavik in the late afternoon.


 

MONDAY, JUNE 9                Reykholt – Hraunfossar

8:30 a.m.    Following breakfast at the hotel, we travel north through Hvalfjördur tunnel to the peaceful farming district of Borgarfjördur, the setting of the famous Egil’s Saga.  In Deildartunguvher we will have a look at the most productive hot spring in Iceland; then we head on to Reykholt, where we visit the home of Snorri Sturluson.  This important 13th-century scholar and poet was also lawspeaker of the Icelandic parliament, the Alþing.  There may be a chance to meet Nancy Marie Brown in Reykholt, the author of several books on Iceland including “The Far Traveler”.
Other highlights of today’s excursion are Hraunfossar and Barnafossar, two extraordinarily beautiful waterfalls.  Road conditions permitting, we drive over the mountain pass Kaldidalur, from which the glaciers Langjökull, Thórisjökull and Ok can be seen.  Along the way, Willem will regale us with more of the dramatic characters and events handed down in the sagas.
6:00 p.m.        We return to Reykjavik in the early evening.  Tonight, the evening is free.


 

TUESDAY, JUNE 10        South Coast: Volcanoes, Glaciers, and Waterfalls

Enjoy breakfast in the hotel dining room.
9:00 a.m.    Following breakfast at your leisure, board the coach for a trip over the mountain pass Hellisheiði which offers a magnificent view of the wide plains formed by glacial rivers, now used as fertile farmland in South Iceland.  En route we will have frequent opportunities to wonder at the snow-shrouded mountains including Hekla, the country’s most active volcano, and the famous Eyjafjallajökull, the volcano that brought air traffic to a standstill around the world in 2012  We continue through the region where one of the best known of the Icelandic classical sagas, Njál’s Saga, is set.  A stop at the spectacular waterfalls Seljarlandsfoss where you can actually walk behind the waterfall and Skógarfoss is planned.
From there we travel past Dyrhólaey, an awe-inspiring bluff with sheer cliffs, to the beautiful village of Vík where we will take a break for lunch.  After the break, we’ll head for the seashore, which is flanked by steep cliffs where puffins and other sea birds nest, and where seals are sometimes spotted frolicking in the surf or on the black sandy beaches.  In the sea just outside of Vík, you will find the Reynisdranger Rocks – 330 feet above sea level at their highest point.  According to legend, the Reynisdranger were formed when two trolls were trying to drag a three-masted ship to land.  When daylight broke, they turned to stone.  The tour continues to the impressive icewall of the Sólheimajökull glacier, which has forged the landscape surrounding it.
6:00 p.m.        We return to Reykjavik. 
8:00 p.m.    Over a farewell dinner we have a chance to indulge in reminiscences over the sights and impressions of the past ten days.


 

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20

Enjoy an early breakfast in the hotel dining room.
7:00 a.m.    After breakfast and checking out of the hotel, we depart for Keflavik Airport.
10:30 a.m.        Depart Reykjavik on Icelandair flight #635.
12:05 p.m.        Arrive in Boston.  Welcome home!