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Highlights
  • Set foot on Europe’s longest bird cliff, home to millions of Razorbills, Guillemots and other species.
  • Explore dramatic geothermal features including lava sculptures at Dimmuborgir and bubbling mud pools at Leirhnjukar.
  • Visits to folk museums and live dance performances introduce Icelandic culture and customs.

This trip has been discontinued. Instead see

Iceland North East Triangle

Iceland Hike, Bike & Raft

Iceland Winter Adventure




The hollows of Icelandic lava fields protect the nests of Barrow’s Goldeneye from predators and inclement weather. The shores of turquoise lakes are the perfect home for nesting Red-throated Divers. And 70 more bird species migrate, breed or dwell in the Land of Fire and Ice. Encounter Iceland’s beautiful birdlife in environments from mountains to wetlands to lakes and lava fields, learning about this fascinating country’s culture, geology and history along the way.

Travelers Also Viewed All similar trips
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Flights & Transport
  • Internal airfare and ground transport

28
Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings
93% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 23 Great 3 Average 1 Disappointing 1 Terrible 0
Value
4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.8 Lodging
4.5 Transportation
4.6 Meals
4.5
Iceland: A Birding Paradise

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Road Scholar .

S

Does Not Recommend

A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT August 2017

3.0
  • Value 3.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 3.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 2.0
  • Meals 3.0
I would have enjoyed this trip much more if I felt I was being treated as an adult, the educated, enthusiastic traveler that I am.
Unfortunately, I took a fall and broke my arm near the end of the trip. I was shocked at the very insolent, uncaring attitude of Road Scholar. I received two calls from the insurance program my husband was encouraged to pay for for the trip (we usually use Travel Guard who is great). Both calls were very negative. Neither expressed concern about my condition and both apparently had called to state that ROAD SCHOLAR
WOULD NOT PAY FOR ANYTHING! WOW! A WAKEUP CALL FROM HELL. I WILL BE SHOUTING THIS FROM THE ROOFTOPS SO NO ONE ELSE
HAS THIS EXPERIENCE. DO NOT PURCHASE ROAD SCHOLAR INSURANCE -- IT IS A BOONDOGGLE!
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

LG

Does Not Recommend

Don't go! March 2017

2.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
  • Value 2.0
  • Transportation 2.0
I took a four day bridge class at Jekyll Island Club Hotel. The class was mediocre. And I came home with over 50 BED BUG BITES! Please beware.

Operator Road Scholar

TCtssvawmc

Recommends

Excellent coverage of major cities and Guizhou Province January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Road Scholar (also known as Elderhostel) offers hundreds of tours worldwide, using local tour companies, sometimes universities. I have taken RS tours to Africa, China, and France and look forward to more. This was my first "tour" of China, but my 20th visit, with the rest on business. Our guide, Mei Mei, was one of the finest I've seen on tours. We started with Beijing and continued to Xian and then to Guizhou Province for a week in this fascinating area, which was new to me. We were able to meet the people in the villages, thanks to our guide, and enjoyed the chance to see and photograph such a variety of places in China. Hotels were excellent and appropriate to this type of tour (usually centrally located and very fine). Meals were family style and always good. Road Scholar makes its tours educational and doesn't push shopping as so many commercial ones do. Touring in China is very safe. You do have a lot of walking and RS tells you this in the tour, but it seems that a great deal of the walking is in those huge airports! I recommend Road Scholar and always turn to their catalogs to choose my next trip.
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

WE

Recommends

A peaceful and green country with lots of history revealed by motor coach travel. January 2017

4.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 3.0
  • Transportation 3.0
  • Meals 3.0
The trip was a good overview of the country. The Road Scholar guide was very knowledgeable. The motorcoach was very comfortable. The accommodations and meals were fine. Couldn't ask for a better overview of the place.
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

S

Recommends

Old Cuba is fantastic and should be seen before it's spoiled by capitalism. January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 3.0
This was my wife's and my first trip with Road Scholar. At the time (April, 2012), it was not possible for Americans to directly visit Cuba. You had to do it with a cultural/educational group, often associated with a university. Or, you could fly to Canada, Mexico, or Europe first and then get a flight to Cuba from there (while risking a ~$10,000 fine from the US Government). We opted for the legal route with Road Scholar.

It was a fantastic trip! We had a small-ish group of about 20 people and a wonderful guide, José Luis (who, like most Cubans, had never been off the island).
The trip began in Miami where we had an orientation and spent the night. Then we flew to Havana and stayed in the Hotel Nacional for four nights. It doesn't get more historic -- or fun -- than the Nacional:
https://vimeo.com/41612444

While in Havana, we enjoyed great history/culture lectures from experts, toured various parts of Havana (including Hemmingway's home in the hills nearby), and, on our own, had the opportunity to have dinner at a paladar -- a restaurant inside someone's home.

The Cuban people are friendly but the infrastructure of their country is in shambles. It's been a long time since Russia's deep pockets left the island (1991), and you see poverty everywhere. But not the begging-in-the-street kind. Cuba provides universal health care, education (including room and board all the way through grad/med school!), food staples, and a very modest income (~$30/month) to everyone. Most people add to that income by working on the side.

After Havana, we traveled to Cienfuegos. From there we saw the infamous Bay Of Pigs, but also the wonderful Benny Moré Art School where we learned of the fantastic support for the arts by the Cuban government. Children are identified in grade school as having artistic talent and then funneled into magnet schools like Benny Moré to study art for their entire scholastic career!

Don't go to Cuba for the food. It's edible (and won't make you sick) but rather boring. You mainly get the "three amigos": fish, pork, or chicken, along with rice and/or black beans. But the aged rum is superb and so are the cigars!

Probably my favorite thing on the island, though, was the music -- whether on the street or in a more formal setting:
https://vimeo.com/43273083

Cuba is fantastic. Go enjoy it!
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

Itinerary

Day 1: In Transit        

In Transit: International flight to Reykjavik.

Day 2: Arrival / Borgarnes     

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Borgarnes

Note: Please make sure to pack your bathing suit in your carry-on luggage, as we are visiting the Blue Lagoon on our way to the first hotel.

Arrive To: Arrive at Keflavík International Airport.

Breakfast: Breakfast at a hotel near the Blue Lagoon.

Morning: After breakfast, drive to the Blue Lagoon for a relaxing bath in its mineral-rich, geothermally-heated waters. Fully refreshed, drive to Borgarnes to check into your hotel.

Lunch: Lunch in the hotel dining room.

Afternoon: Welcome introduction followed by a visit to the Settlement Center, which tells the saga of the settlement of Iceland and the most famous Viking and first poet Egill Skallagrimsson. Later in the afternoon we will enjoy a lecture, "Birds in Iceland."

Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.

Day 3: Snaefellsnes Peninsula / Rif               

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Borgarnes

Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.

Morning: We depart for a bird watching excursion on Snaefellsnes Peninsula. We stop at Gardar and Arnarstapi where stunning rock formations house sea birds and their nests. We stop again at Rif, Iceland's largest breeding place for the Arctic Tern. Likely sightings include Tufted Ducks, Teals, Wigeons, Slavonian Grebes, Kittiwakes, and Arctic Terns.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Continue our bird watching excursion.

Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.

Evening: Local entertainment at the hotel. Folk music and dancing.

Day 4: Stykkisholmur / Breidafjördur Islands              

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Flokalundur

Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.

Morning: We visit the fishing village of Stykkisholmur where we meet farmer Hildibrandur and sample his special Icelandic delicacy, shark. Next, we do a bit of bird watching by boat among the picturesque Breidafjördur islands. Likely sightings include Cormorants, Shags, Puffins, Black Guillemots, and other seabirds.

Lunch: Lunch in Stykkisholmur.

Afternoon: We embark on the ferry to Brjanslækur.

Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.

Day 5: Latrabjarg / Hnjótur Folk Museum      

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Flokalundur

Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.

Morning: Bird watching excursion to Latrabjarg, the most Westerly point of Europe. Latrabjarg is a 14km long precipitous bird cliff, the longest in Europe, and houses millions of Razorbills, Common Guillemots, Brunnich Guillemots and other species. Arctic foxes and seals are often seen by the cliffs.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Visit the Hnjótur Folk Museum before heading east along the southern coast of the West Fjords.

Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.

Day 6: Skagafjördur / Glaumbaer Folk Museum            

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Varmahlid

Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.

Morning: Depart for Skagafjördur in North Iceland.

Lunch: Lunch at Gauksmýri Country Hotel.

Afternoon: After lunch we become acquainted with the Icelandic horse at Gauksmýri. Later in the afternoon, we visit the Glaumbaer Folk Museum.

Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.

Day 7: Akureyri and Hegranes / Botanical Garden 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Narfastadir Guesthouse

Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.

Morning: Depart for Akureyri and bird watching in Hegranes. Likely sightings include Waders, Ducks, Eiders, and Swans.

Lunch: Lunch in Akureyri.

Afternoon: Leisure time in Akureyri, commercial center of North Iceland. Visit to the Botanical Garden in Akureyri where most species of the Icelandic Flora can be seen. Later in the afternoon the group will depart for the Myvatn area.

Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.

Day 8: Lake Myvatn

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Narfastadir Guesthouse

Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.

Morning: Full day bird watching excursion near Lake Myvatn. Sixteen species of ducks nest by the lake, including Barrow Goldeneye and Harlequin Duck.

Lunch: Lunch at Sel Hotel Myvatn

Afternoon: Continue our excursion.

Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.

Evening: Lecture: Icelandic Geology.

Day 9: Lake Myvatn / Fly to Reykjavik            

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Reykjavik Centrum

Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.

Morning: More bird watching by Lake Myvatn. The group will also see the geological phenomena of the area, including pseudocraters at Skutustadir, lava sculptures at Dimmuborgir and bubbling mud pools at Leirhnjukar.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Visit a bird museum on the shores of the lake, before boarding a flight from Akureyri to Reykjavik. Check-in at your hotel in Reykjavik and settle in.

Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.

Day 10: Westman Islands - Heimaey Island     

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Fljotshlid

Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.

Morning: Today we head to the south coast of Iceland to visit Heimaey Island. On the way, we drive along the seaside through the towns of Stokkseyri and Eyrarbakki. We will make a stop on the beach.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Embark on a ferry to Heimaey Island (approx. 30 minutes), the largest and only inhabited island of the Westman Islands. Just outside the town of Heimaey, walk up to Eldfell volcano, which erupted in January of 1973. Witness the half-buried houses and the lava that is still warm to this day. Drive up to Stórhöfði to see the puffin colony. In the late afternoon, we take the ferry back to the mainland and drive to our hotel.

Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.

Day 11: Laugarás / Gullfoss / Geysir / Thingvellir    

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Reykjavik Centrum

Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.

Morning: Depart for Laugarás, a geothermal area, to visit some greenhouses. Then, stop at the well-known Gulfoss (Golden Waterfall) and the spouting spring area of Geysir, after which all geysers are named.

Lunch: Lunch en route.

Afternoon: Explore the colorful national park and ancient parliament site of Thingvellir.

Dinner: Farewell Dinner at a downtown restaurant.

Evening: Departure for evening entertainment.

Day 12: Reykjavik / Departures      

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.

Morning: Guided visit of Reykjavik with some bird watching.

Lunch: Lunch in the hotel dining room.

Afternoon: Depart for Keflavik airport.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

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Price Per Day:

NA per person
 
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Details
Trip Includes
  • 10 nights of accommodations
  • 32 meals: 11 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 10 dinners
  • 2 Expert-led lectures
  • 18 Field trips
  • 2 Performances
  • 1 Flights during the program
  • Learning led by expert instructors who are authorities in the field of study.
  • An experienced Group Leader attuned to the needs of Road Scholar participants.
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program that you would normally pay yourself.
  • The Road Scholar Travel Assistance Plan, which is purchased on behalf of every participant and provides 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance services coverage.
  • Taxes
  • State-of-the-art QUIETVOX listening devices
Trip Excludes
  • International flights
  • Passport and visa charges
  • Any kind of insurance
  • Personal Expenses
Meals Included:

11 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches and 10 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Internal airfare and ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Start City
Reykjavik
End City
Reykjavik

Trip ID#: IceAbiRoa

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