Wonders of Iceland

Code: ICWHW

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Activity types:

  • Hills & moorland
  • Rural peace
  • Wildlife

Level

  • Easy
More information

Difficulty indicator

Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

From £3,789.00 - 10 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

Trip notes will be available to download early in 2017 

Like nowhere else on Earth, Iceland offers wide open landscapes and great walking through ever-changing scenery.

This is a land of glaciers, waterfalls, spectacular geysers and long summer days where you’ll encounter tales of Viking exploration, mythical sagas and splendid arctic wildlife.

Holiday highlights

  • Varied walks through constantly changing scenery
  • Amazing geology and natural features - hot springs, glaciers, volcanoes and geysers, and a wealth of wildlife
  • Walk to the spectacular double waterfall of Gullfoss and the regularly erupting Strokkur geyser
  • Great coastal walks at Snæfellsnes Peninsula
  • Hear the history of Viking settlement and the Icelandic Sagas
  • Stunning scenery of Skaftafell, Europe’s largest national park, with ice caps, canyons and gorges
  • A true outdoors experience with long hours of summer daylight

Price includes:

  • 10 nights’ accommodation in en-suite rooms
  • Full Board from dinner on arrival to breakfast on departure
  • A full programme of guided walks, led by an experienced local tour leader
  • Sightseeing, entrance fees and travel in private minivan

Accommodation

We stay in comfortable 3-star hotels, making use of some of the excellent facilities of the Fosshotel chain of hotels that are located around Iceland. All hotels feature comfortable rooms, welcoming dining and lounge areas and are well set up for walking and outdoor groups. They also enjoy wonderful locations surrounded by the stunning Icelandic scenery and national parks.

 

2017

On arrival in Iceland we spend our first night in the Fosshotel Reykjavik, the largest hotel in Iceland. Opened in 2015, the 4 star hotel is located a short distance from Laugavegur, the main shopping street. It affords wonderful views over the bay and city of Reykjavik.

Our next two evenings are in Hvolsvollur, at the Hotel Hvolsvollur. Rooms are very spacious, comfortable and the location is an excellent base for our walking. (18 July and 8 Aug groups will stay at the Stracta Hotel Hella, designed in typical Nordic style, with outdoor hottub and sauna)

Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon is our base for the next 3 nights. This 4 star hotel opens in June 2016, ideally located between Skaftafell and Jokulssarlon glacier lagoon. The deluxe rooms have a contemporary design and a bay window to enjoy the view. In the evening relax in the lounge bar and enjoy traditional Icelandic food in the restaurant.

On to Selfoss, for one night at the modern, 4-star Hotel Selfoss, before continuing to the Snæfellsness Peninsula, and Fosshotel Reykholt (3 nights).  4 July group will stay at Hotel A, Reykholt.

Our final evening takes us back to the Fosshotel Reykjavik, in Reykjavik.

 


 

On occasion we may need to change the accommodation listed above. If this happens, your replacement accommodation will be of the equivalent standard or higher. In the rare instance this is not possible, we will contact you in advance.

Itinerary

Trip notes will be available to download early in 2017 

Walks are a mixture of part-day and full day, and are between 1 and 10 miles (1.5-16km), mainly on well-marked paths. There are some sections over rockier terrain on the harder walks. 

Day 1: To Reykjavik - Fly to Reykjavik (1 night) and begin your holiday with a soak in the hot springs of the Blue Lagoon (included in holiday cost for 2017), or a short mountain stroll on Thorbjorn,  before heading to Reykjavik and dinner. 

Day 2: Thórsmörk - Explore this popular walking area with its gorges, glaciers and protected birch forests, including the moss green gorge of Stakkholtsgjá, before continuing to our evening's accommodation in Hvolsvollur (2 nights).

Day 3: Landmannalaugar - Travel over the black volcanic sands of Hekla volcano and walk in this volcanic zone with contrasting colours and rock formations. It’s possible to relax in the natural hot springs after the day’s walk.

Day 4: To Skaftafell - Journey along the south coast, with a stop at the dramatic seashore of Reynisfjara. We continue along the south coast passing the small village of Vik and the black sandy plains south of the Mýrdalsjökull glacier, before reaching Skaftafell National Park, for walks to admire the impressive Svartifoss (black waterfall). Afternoon arrival at the Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon for 3 nights in a great location on the edge of the national park. 

Day 5: Glacier Lagoon - Skaftafell - East to Glacier Lagoon, Jökulsárlón and Breidarlon. Our walks disover the wilderness desert region of Öræfasveit, and tour Breidarlon. There's also plenty of time left, for some optional visits including: boat tours among the icebergs, and slightly quirky birdwatching tours to Ingolfshofdi Cap by tractor-drawn wagon!

Day 6: Skaftafell National Park - Stunning walking in Europe’s largest national park, with views on a clear day of Iceland’s highest peak, Hvannadalshnúkur, and trails across Skaftafell moor to a lookout over the immense glacier.

Day 7: To Selfoss - Heading west again we stop at Fjadrargljufur canyon and Skogar to admire the Skogar waterfall, at 60m high, one of the highest in Iceland. Afternoon visits include Thorvaldseyri, where we learn about the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull. We spend the evening in Selfoss (1 night).

Day 8: The Golden Circle - A day of amazing sights in Iceland’s ‘Golden Circle’. See the regular eruptions of Strokkur geyser and Gullfoss, one of the world’s most dramatic waterfalls, with walks in the Thingvellir National Park. Evening arrival at our hotel near Borgarnes (2 nights), the Hotel Hamar.

Day 9: Snæfellsness Peninsula - Today we visit the peninsula and the National Park area around the glacier. This is a day of excellent walking in an area that is said to resemble a mini-Iceland.

Day 10: Borgarfjordur & Hvalfjordur - Beginning our day at Grabrok, we visit the must see waterfalls of Hraunfossar and Barnafoss, before driving along Hvalfjordur (fjord of the whales), to begin our hike to the beautiful Glymur waterfall. We return to Reykjavik for our final evening.

Day 11: Reykjavik & departure - transfer to Keflavik airport for your return flight home.

General Information

Passport
A full passport is required, valid for at least three months.

Visas
No visa is required by citizens of member states of the European Community, nor for citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. For other nationalities please check with your nearest Iceland consulate or embassy.

Health advice
Before booking, you should check with your doctor to see if any health precautions are needed. The following websites provide a wealth of information on travelling and health: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk  www.traveldoctor.co.uk

Climate
All our tours depart in the summer months when we hope to have some warm sunny days, although rain can fall at any time. Being close to the Arctic Circle, the weather can be unpredictable and changeable within the course of a day. During the summer months we will have long hours of daylight, up to midnight and longer in high summer. Midges will be present

Money
The unit of currency is the króna (kr). Icelanders use credit and debit cards even for small purchases and you will find ATM machines across much of the country. Major credit and debit cards are accepted in most shops, restaurants and hotels, although some cash is useful for small purchases of drinks, etc. Most meals are included in the price of the holiday although some spending money will be required for personal expenses such as extra drinks, snacks and souvenirs and for lunch on departure day. Traveller’s cheques are not advised.

Tipping
As guidance, we would recommend you allow £30 per person for tips on this holiday to cover local staff and services.

For flights information please see the Dates and Prices tab

Leaders

Dóróthea Siglaugsdóttir

Dóróthea has been a tourist guide in Iceland since 2000. Apart from her guide training she has a degree in linguistics from the University of Iceland and during winter she teaches Icelandic at a secondary school in Reykjavík.

Dóróthea is very fond of her guiding which she does during the summer, the main tourist season in Iceland. She loves hiking, exploring and observing nature and geological formations from up close. She also has a keen interest in folklore and all the old stories from Nordic mythology, of which there are many in Iceland.

Dóróthea has been leading groups for HF Holidays since we first introduced our Icelandic itinerary, and looks forward to sharing this spectacular country and its culture with you.

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
22 Aug 2016, 9:04 a.m.

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Very good information booklet supplied before holiday

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Wonderful holiday great varieties of activities. Wonderful guide with lots of great local stories about Giants and trolls.
22 Aug 2016, 1:04 a.m.

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This was our first HF Holidays walking tour and we were impressed by the professionalism of the company and the many enticing products available. Everything went smoothly.

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We had to cut our holiday short for health reasons however from what we experienced, this is a fantastic trip. Iceland is a stunning country and somewhat different to what we expected. The tour leader was particularly impressive and we learnt quite a lot about this very interesting country and really enjoyed our walks.
8 Aug 2016, 4:16 p.m.

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Service was excellent. Dorothea looked after everything when we were in Iceland and the administration beforehand was fine.

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The holiday was excellent. Dorothea, our guide, was brilliant at leading the group, telling us about Iceland and making us laugh. Our driver was very safe. An amazing variety of scenery including glaciers, waterfalls, geysers, volcanic rock and beaches. The hours spent each way on unpaved roads on a couple of days were worth it for the longer walks in spectacular scenery. I recommend paying for the additional trips to the Blue Lagoon and the boat trip on the glacial lake. All the hotels were very good except for one. The evening meals were very good and we also had some lovely lunches in small cafés. I enjoyed the full itinerary and busy days as I saw so many wonderful places.
6 Aug 2016, 5:09 p.m.

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I always enjoy HF holidays, I have always been very well looked after and stayed at some lovely locations.

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There was so much to see and so many Wonders in Iceland. Some of the accommodation was outstanding other more rural hotels were less glamorous but more than adequate, great locations, all the food was very good. A good all round tour of Iceland.
5 Aug 2016, 8:06 a.m.

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Generally you get what you have booked.

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Iceland was an amazing holiday - well planned with journeys being broken up extremely well with stops and walks. However I must say that the holiday enjoyment was certainly due to the local Icelandic guide - without her things could have been much more mundane. I know previous comments have included not enough walking - however we didnt find this - if determine walkers were unhappy they should have read the itinerary and booked on another tour which took in less geographically but did longer walks.
3 Aug 2016, 2:22 p.m.

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Always well organised and easy to contact in the event of queries.

Product review:

A tour which demands the ability of its participants to walk 10 miles on one day, and a number of shorter walks on others, means that they are by definition quite fit and active individuals. It is a pity therefore that so much time was spent in the coach, we were on the road from 9am in the morning until 7pm and even 8pm in the evening. Having looked at the itinerary on the map I wonder if it would be possible to rejig this so that we are not criss crossing the island for hours at a time, and even consider changing the hotels used and the numbers of nights staying at some hotels. Fortunately, our superb Icelandic guide, the delightful Dorothea, worked extremely hard to break up these long journeys with tales from the Icelandic Sagas, quizzes, information on life in Iceland and ‘treats’ of dried haddock, dried shark and similar delicacies!! On the plus side both our guide and her driver were first class, the Icelandic scenery was world class, and we were extremely well fed; indeed many of our lunches were in restaurants rather than sandwich lunches taken as part of a walk. Our walks were well chosen and appropriate for HF level two grading, I at no time felt unsafe or under pressure. There were at least a couple of longer walks which took us to amazing locations with stunning views which were well worth the effort. The range and variety of wildflowers and birdlife that we encountered was truly exciting; the former being familiar in the UK in the Spring, whereas many of the nesting birds in Iceland would be winter visitors to the UK.


On the downside, apart from the length of time spent in the coach, a couple of the hotels were very old fashioned, particularly the one at Selfoss whose rooms were reminiscent of my student days. And there was no time to relax really, with little time to read up and reflect upon the day’s experiences. However, overall a good trip with a lot of good memories.
2 Aug 2016, 6:33 p.m.

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Having been on a number of HF holidays we have generally found them very good. That is not the case with our Iceland holiday.

Product review:

At times it seemed as if the guests were having to question everything to find out what we were to expect each day.
Thank you for your feedback.

I was sorry to read that there were aspects of your holiday you were disappointed with.

I have passed your comments to our Worldwide Product Manager who will reply to you directly within the next 7-15 days.

I do hope that on the whole you enjoyed your holiday and hope that we will be able to welcome you back in the future.

Kind regards
Toni

Toni McNulty
Customer Relations Manager
HF Holidays
1 Aug 2016, 10:51 a.m.

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the guide Dorothea made this trip, with her kindness to all (but to me at the beginning as I had a cold) with her local knowledge, tales of trolls and hidden people to break up the journey, unscheduled stops at places of interest eg bishop's residence, sheep pen to taste local products and do on. This was the best guide HF have ever given me in over 10 trips since 2001, in France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Spain, Poland, USA and in the UK. Because of Dorothea the rather disjointed itinerary was made orderly. she brought the group together unlike other leaders. I will now become a member.

Product review:

the food was excellent, the guide and driver brilliant but I think the tour should be organised to go south west first, then south east - stay in a local hotel nearer the coast such as the guest house with the records and trolls, and not use Fosshotels ever again.
1 Aug 2016, 3:28 a.m.

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A problem was dealt with quickly.

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Very good tour leader
20 Jul 2016, 9:13 p.m.

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Excellent website, great range of holidays and experiences

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Amazing experiences, a lot of travelling but the hours in a bus are necessary when visiting such a wide range of geographical features.

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Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
4 Jul 2017 ICWHW - Wonders of Iceland
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

ICELANDAIR

  • Depart: 4 Jul 2017, 1 p.m.
  • Arrive: 4 Jul 2017, 3 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Keflavik

Flight - Return

ICELANDAIR

  • Depart: 14 Jul 2017, 4:10 p.m.
  • Arrive: 14 Jul 2017, 8:10 p.m.
  • Depart from: Keflavik
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
10 £4,339.00 Book Now
4 Jul 2017 ICWHW - Wonders of Iceland 10 £4,079.00 Book Now
18 Jul 2017 ICWHW - Wonders of Iceland
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

ICELANDAIR

  • Depart: 18 Jul 2017, 1 p.m.
  • Arrive: 18 Jul 2017, 3 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Keflavik

Flight - Return

ICELANDAIR

  • Depart: 28 Jul 2017, 4:10 p.m.
  • Arrive: 28 Jul 2017, 8:10 p.m.
  • Depart from: Keflavik
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
10 £4,249.00 Book Now
18 Jul 2017 ICWHW - Wonders of Iceland 10 £3,989.00 Book Now
8 Aug 2017 ICWHW - Wonders of Iceland
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

ICELANDAIR

  • Depart: 8 Aug 2017, 1 p.m.
  • Arrive: 8 Aug 2017, 3 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Keflavik

Flight - Return

ICELANDAIR

  • Depart: 18 Aug 2017, 4:10 p.m.
  • Arrive: 18 Aug 2017, 8:10 p.m.
  • Depart from: Keflavik
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
10 £4,249.00 Book Now
8 Aug 2017 ICWHW - Wonders of Iceland 10 £3,989.00 Book Now
29 Aug 2017 ICWHW - Wonders of Iceland
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

ICELANDAIR

  • Depart: 29 Aug 2017, 1 p.m.
  • Arrive: 29 Aug 2017, 3 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Keflavik

Flight - Return

ICELANDAIR

  • Depart: 8 Sep 2017, 4:10 p.m.
  • Arrive: 8 Sep 2017, 8:10 p.m.
  • Depart from: Keflavik
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
10 £4,069.00 Book Now
29 Aug 2017 ICWHW - Wonders of Iceland 10 £3,789.00 Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

  • Single room: from £660 
  • Allow £30 for tips
  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person