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ICELAND TOUR

20 – 27 January 2025

WOMEN ONLY

R10 000 non-refundable deposit to book your place

TOUR DESCRIPTION

Exploring the wonders of Iceland and chasing the northern lights, is a bucket list dream. And we are going to help your realise it!

Travelling in Iceland takes us firmly out of the world we know, into a realm of thermal springs bubbling out of volcanic landscapes, ice fields, mountain peaks and deep fjords carved by glaciers. It’s probably like nothing you’ve ever seen before, except perhaps in TV dramas like Game of Thrones, Vikings or Thor. It’s got a raw power that we’ll tap into, while driving through the dramatic countryside, having once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like husky sledding, glacial walks, dipping in natural hot springs and seeking the aurora borealis in multiple locations, if conditions are kind to us.

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Our Tour

ITINERARY

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DAY 1

Reykjavik

Welcome to Reykjavik, the world’s most northerly capital and the starting point of our Icelandic adventure. A complimentary airport transfer whisks us to our city centre hotel. We can settle in before meeting the tour leader for a welcome briefing. Should you arrive early, this little city punches above its weight when it comes to things to see and do. There’s the National Museum, with an exhibition depicting the history of Iceland, or stroll the city’s brightly coloured streets and explore the shops and cafes.

Starting as we mean to go on, with extraordinary experiences on a daily basis, we have our first geothermal spa experience today, at the other worldly Blue Lagoon. Named by National Geographic as one of 25 wonders of the world, we will bathe in its mineral-rich, milky-blue lagoon at a comfortable 37–39 °C.

We’ll celebrate the start of this adventure with our first Icelandic supper, while getting to know each other better.

Accommodation 4* city hotel
Dinner

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DAY 2

Golden Circle Tour - Fludir

This morning we do what’s known as the Golden Circle, starting with the scenically glorious Thingvellir National Park. It may just seem like a stunning natural wonder, but historical context from our guide explains that this was the original site of Iceland’s old parliament from AD 930.

Then it’s time for more hot springs at Geysir and Strokkur, where occasional eruptions can hurl boiling water up to 60m into the air. It’s just a short drive onwards to spectacular Gullfoss, Iceland’s largest waterfall, which translates as ‘Golden Falls’. Its two-step cascade drops 32 meters, but the canyon wall reaches 70 metres high. We are visiting in mid-winter, so the waterfall will be fringed with ice and snow.

This afternoon, there’s another chance for a classic Icelandic experience, bathing in hot springs at the Secret Lagoon, a natural geothermal pool close to where we are staying at Fludir. This small, picturesque village lies at about 64 degrees north and along with the cold, crisp conditions of winter, we’re giving ourselves the best chance of seeing the elusive Aurora Borealis.

There’s never any guarantee that this natural phenomenon will occur, but our timing is right to turn our gaze to the skies and hope for the colourful ephemeral display of a lifetime. There are apps that show current and forecast activity of the aurora around the world, some of which can alert you when the aurora becomes visible in your current location. Those warm clothes you’ve packed, will become essential now, as temperatures can drop below –5°C while we are sky-gazing.

Travel Time: 3 hrs
Accommodation 3* hotel
Breakfast, Dinner

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DAY 3

Skaftafell National Park / Jokulsarlon

Begin the day travelling through the lava fields of the Laki volcanic eruption in 1783. Our guide explains how this devasting event shaped not only Iceland’s landscape, but its culture.

Next is Skaftafell National Park, where we’ll come face-to-face with Vatnajokull, Europe’s biggest glacier. We journey through some of Iceland’s most impressive scenery, until we reach the south coast, passing the enormous basalt sea stacks at Reynisdrangar along the way.

We stay the night in a contemporary hotel with huge windows revealing snowy mountains and the cold north Atlantic Ocean. This evening, we’ll enjoy dinner at the excellent on-site restaurant, serving up creative dishes made with local Icelandic produce, all the while watching the sky for those electric northern lights.

Travel Time: 4 hrs
Accommodation 4* hotel
Breakfast, Dinner

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DAY 4

Jokulsarlon - South Coast - Reykjavik

We are getting used to daily wows from fascinating sights and scenery. We start today with a short drive to Jokulsarlon – the Glacier Lagoon, where we walk around this glacial lake.

Continuing through the beautiful scenery of Iceland’s South Shore, the colours of the glaciers spilling down the mountains and the spectacular Skogafoss – one of the largest and most impressive waterfalls in Iceland – are truly marvellous. At Seljalandsfoss it’s possible to walk behind the rushing waterfall to see it from another angle. The otherworldly topography along our trip is bound to inspire questions, and our tour leader is on hand to explain the geographical wonders.

We return to Reykjavik and are staying in the city centre, convenient to explore the town at your leisure. This could include strolling to the Old Harbour and sampling the famous lobster soup. Or, the infamous fermented shark dish, washed down with a shot of Brennivin (Icelandic Schnapps).

Travel Time: 6 hrs
Accommodation 4* city hotel
Breakfast, Lunch

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DAY 5

Reykjavik - Snæfellsnes Peninsula

After breakfast, see Reykjavik’s through the eyes of a local on a tour of the city. Reykjavik celebrates its uniqueness with stand-out architecture, which you’ll see during visits to the Hallgrimskirkja church and the dome-shaped Pearl.

We then head to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in the far west of Iceland. Craggy craters, black beaches and dramatic volcanos, with never ending lava fields, were just too tempting a backdrop for the makers of Game of Thrones, who filmed scenes here. We absorb the power and beauty of this area for the next two nights, perhaps under a covering of snow, with the possibility that the northern lights may reveal themselves.

On the way here, we give you a final chance to dip in Iceland’s therapeutic thermal pools. This time at Krauma, where waters from the hot spring mix with glacial off run to create the perfect bathing temperature (towel and bathrobe included).

Travel Time: 4.5 hrs
Accommodation family-run hotel
Breakfast, Lunch

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DAY 6

Snæfellsnes

Today, we get to see why Hollywood couldn’t resist this area as a film shoot, starting with exploring the Snæfellsjokull glacier covering a dormant volcano. Then we pop into some villages, like the small fishing anchorage of Arnarstapi and its colony of arctic terns. Then onto Grundarfjordur, famous for its million-dollar views of Mt Kirkjufell.

We stop at the horse farm of Lysuholl, where we are made welcome for a delicious home-made dinner. If the weather looks promising, we rug up in all our warmest clothing and head out in search of the northern lights.

Travel Time: 2.5 hrs
Accommodation family-run hotel
Breakfast, Dinner

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DAY 7
Snæfellsnes Peninsula - Reykjavik

A trip to Iceland is not complete without going husky sledding. And this is our day for doing this unforgettable adventure. Feel their power and energy as the lively team of dogs pull our sleds through the snowy landscape.

We return to Reykjavik and our guide might share some stories of Norse mythology, while we stare at the remarkable landscape. Iceland’s capital has an eclectic art and music scene, and this afternoon you are free to browse the city’s excellent art galleries and museums. If you feel like something more active, take a ride on an Icelandic horse, or do an offshore whale watching expedition to see killer whales. Alternatively, for one more chance of looking at the Northern Lights, a vehicle will head out of town in the darkness, to chase the colours in the sky.

We finish on a high note, with a Farewell dinner at a local Michelin star restaurant.

Travel Time: 2 hrs
Accommodation 4* city hotel
Breakfast, Dinner

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DAY 8

Reykjavik

There are no activities planned for today, as this is our day of departure. We travel homewards with poignant memories of our Iceland adventure.

Breakfast

IS THIS TRIP RIGHT FOR YOU?
  • This is a bucket list tour. Iceland is the 8 th most expensive country in the world with a cost of living 15.8% higher than the US, according to Numbeo’s global cost of living index.
  • Iceland is very cold at that time of year, so it’s important to bring appropriate clothing.
  • On the rare occasion that your guide has to alter the itinerary due to adverse weather, alternative activities will be offered.
  • Many locations on this itinerary are remote, which means a few long drives of around 6 hours. Of course, we will stop frequently for breaks.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE TOUR
  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Airport transfers if arriving at different times – this can be arranged on request
  • Travel insurance
  • Some meals – see itinerary
  • All personal drinks including any alcoholic beverages
  • Optional activities not part of the itinerary
  • Meal tips
TRAVELLER'S TIPS
  • Download the App Airalo for affordable local SIM cards www.airalo.com
WEATHER

January is one of the coldest and darkest month of the year in Iceland, the weather is extremely unpredictable and can change very fast. You can experience rain, wind, snow and sun. There could be storms and blizzards. The average temperature is -0.5°C.

This might not sound to good, but, in between the storms there is sunshine and the snow on the ground looks beautiful. Also because of all the darkness and the cold weather, January is one of the best month to see the Northern Lights.

MONEY - Indonesian Rupee (INR)

The official currency is the Icelandic Krona. You might find that some hotels and tourist businesses accept the US dollar, British pound or Euro.

There are no guarantees, however, so please take Icelandic krona for easiest transactions, especially outside of urban areas.
Iceland Krona ISK
1 ZAR = 7 krone
1 USD = 137 krone

For example:

  • An average main meal at an inexpensive restaurant ISK 2 538, USD 18
  • Beer ISK 1200 USD 9
DRESS CODE

When traveling in Iceland in winter, you really need to dress as warm as you possibly can. The wind feels much colder. Generally there is 4-7 hours of daylight.

When packing for Iceland remember three keywords: wool, layers and waterproof.

  • Windproof and waterproof winter jacket
  • Waterproof pants
  • Wool or fleece sweaters
  • Thermal underwear and leggings
  • Waterproof winter boots or waterproof hiking boots
  • Wool socks
  • Waterproof gloves, winter hat, ear muffs and scarf
  • Swimming costume and quick drying towel
  • STABIlicers for walking on the snow and ice to prevent slipping
  • Jeans to wear in the hotel in the evening, but completely useless when exploring unless under waterproof pants.
  • Extra pair of shoes for inside
OTHER ITEMS TO REMEMBER
  • Forex in cash to exchange at the airport and bank card.
  • Cell phone chargers and power bank. Batteries drain very fast in a cold climate.
  • Universal plug converter – Iceland uses European plugs. Regular European travel adapters will be fine for charging phones and cameras, but not for heavy devices such as hair dryers.
  • Torch
  • Thermos flask to fill up with coffee in between.
  • Earplugs
  • Water bottle
  • Medication
  • Sunglasses to protect your eyes
  • Reading glasses
  • Day backpack and backpack rain cover
  • Pen and notebook
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