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Highlights
  • Learn about Iceland’s energy source at a geothermal power plant.
  • Explore Skaftafell National Park, which spans three glaciers on the southern edge of Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest icecap.
  • Soak in a naturally heated river in the colorful, volcanic Landmannalaugar region.

The world’s 18th-largest island is also one of the most fascinating, where eons of glaciation, combined with an active molten core, have resulted in a landscape like few others on the planet. Traverse the landscape and national parks on foot, studying Iceland’s natural and cultural history with local experts. Don’t miss a chance to revitalize in one of South Iceland’s many thermal pools.

Travelers Also Viewed All similar trips

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
Walking and Hiking in South Iceland: The Drama of Nature

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!
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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.
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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.
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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!
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Operator Road Scholar

Itinerary

Day 1: In Transit to Program

In Flight

Day 2: Blue Lagoon, Thingvellir National Park, Hveragerdi

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Eldhestar

Activity 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. Check-in available from 2:00 PM. Walking 1 hour on gravel paths.

Breakfast: At the Northern Light Inn. On this program, breakfasts will offer a typical European style breakfast buffet with breads, cheeses, cold-cuts, yogurt, fruit, cereals, juice, milk, coffee, tea and water. Please note that water is included in the program cost at all meals.

Morning: After breakfast, drive to the famous Blue Lagoon for a soak in the mineral-rich, geothermally heated waters. Following the relaxing bath we drive to Hotel Eldhestar near Hveragerdi.

Lunch: Hotel dining room.

Afternoon: This afternoon we will have an introductory meeting. Your Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Indicated times are approximate. Program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Then we head to Thingvellir National Park where we have a lecture on "Thingvellir: Geological Study." Thingvellir was the site of parliament during the Saga Age (930-1262). We will take a 1 hour expert-led walk around the site with commentaries.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 3: Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant, Mount Hengill, Hveragerdi

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Eldhestar

Activity note: Walking up to 5 hours on uneven terrain and dirt paths. Ascend approx. 984 feet.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: An excursion to Hellisheidi geothermal power plant to learn about how geothermal energy is used in Iceland. We will then take a 1 hour hiking field trip in the Mount Hengill, one of the most powerful geothermal areas in the world.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We explore the Mount Hengill area further this afternoon with a 3-4 hour walk. We get the chance to take a dip in the geothermal river.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 4: Gullfoss, Kirkjubæjarklaustur

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Country Hotel Geirland

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: We drive to Gullfoss (the Golden Waterfall) and Geysir geothermal area, where we are likely to see the hot spring Strokkur spout to the height of 25-30 meters.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Our route to Kirkjubæjarklaustur takes us along the south shore between sea and glaciers. Stops include magnificent waterfalls and the Skogar Folk Museum, a lovely representation of the cultural heritage of the region.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 5: Kirkjubæjarklaustur

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Country Hotel Geirland

Activity note: Walking up to 6 hours on uneven terrain including gravel and dirt. Ascend approx. 700-984 feet. Short walks during the day (1-2 hours each) and then drive to the next hiking place.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Full day walking field trip in the area of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. We will see Fjardargljufur canyon, Systrastapi mountain and Systrafoss waterfall, Kirkjubæjarklaustur’s chapel and the Church Floor (Kirkjugolf), an approximately 80 square meter expanse of columnar basalt, eroded and shaped by glaciers and waves.

Lunch: Hotel dining room.

Afternoon: We continue our morning field trip.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 6: Jökulsárlón glacier, Skaftafell National Park, Fagurholsmyri

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Skaftafell

Activity note: Walking 2.5 hours on uneven terrain including gravel and dirt.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: We head for Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon for a 1 hour walking field trip followed by a short boat ride on the lagoon. Enjoy commentary from a local expert as you sail among the icebergs.

Lunch: At Skaftafell.

Afternoon: Drive to the National Park where we will be welcomed at the Visitor Center. We will then take an approximately 1.5 hour walk in Skaftafell National Park, a natural wonderland of powerful glaciers, turbulent waterfalls, lush birch woodlands, and vibrant wildflowers with fantastic views of the mountain and its sliding glaciers.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 7: Skaftafell National Park, Fagurholsmyri

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Skaftafell

Activity note: Walking up to 6 hours on uneven terrain including dirt and rocky paths. Ascend approx. 700-984 feet.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: A full day walking field trip (approximately 6 hours) in Skaftafell National Park.

Lunch: Packed lunch en route.

Afternoon: Continue our field trip in Skaftafell National Park.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 8: Landmannalaugar, Reykjavik

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Reykjavik Centrum

Activity note: Walking up to 2 hours on uneven dirt paths. Ascend approx. 700-984 feet. In June the route to Landmannalaugar may be closed to traffic. In this case, we will visit Thorsmork Nature Reserve for a walking excursion.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Travel to Landmannalaugar, an oasis in the harsh interior of Iceland, for a walking excursion and a swim in the naturally warm pool. Our stay in the area will be for 2-3 hours. We continue past volcano Hekla on our way to Reykjavik.

Lunch: A picnic lunch at Landmannalaugar.

Afternoon: Arrive in Reykjavik. Check-in and get settled.

Dinner: Farewell dinner in the hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 9: Departures Reykjavik

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Morning at leisure.

Lunch: Hotel dining room.

Afternoon: Departure for Keflavík International Airport (KEF) to check-in for departure flights. This concludes our program.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 3,599

Price Per Day:

$ 400 per person
 
  • Select Custom Arrangements to get to and from Road Scholar-provided airfare for your program
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
  • 7 nights of accommodations
  • 1 expert-led lecture
  • 12 expert-led field trips
  • An experienced Group Leader
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program
  • The Road Scholar Travel Protection Plan, 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance coverage
  • Taxes
Meals Included:

8 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches and 7 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 24
Accomodations

Hotel Eldhestar: 2 nights  Hveragerði

Surrounded by beautiful Icelandic nature, the Hotel Eldhestar is located at the Vellir farm in Ölfus, a 30-minute drive from Reykjavik. As the first hotel in Iceland to receive the Nordic eco-label "The Nordic Swan," this hotel is committed to eco-friendly operations on a daily basis.        

 

Country Hotel Geirland: 2 nights  Kirkjubaejarklaustur

Hotel Geirland is located near the small village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur. A quaint country hotel, it has excellent service, delicious food and breathtaking surroundings.  

 

Hotel Skaftafell: 2 nights  Oraefi

Hotel Skaftafell is a splendid resort located near Skaftafell National Park. The hotel is sheltered by vegetated glacial moraines in front of one of Iceland’s most impressive glaciers, the Svínafellsjökull glacier. It truncates from the biggest volcano and highest mountain in Iceland, Öræfajökull (2119 m). Behind the hotel, there are many of the highest and most impressive glacier peaks in the country. In front, a vast glacial outwash plain stretches to the sea, some 20 km away.

 

Hotel Reykjavik Centrum: 1 night  Reykjavik

Hotel Reykjavik Centrum is a first-class hotel in the heart of Reykjavik. It is located on one of Reykjavik's oldest streets, Adalstraeti, in a newly renovated building, the oldest part of which was built in 1764. During renovations, the remains of a Viking longhouse from the Settlement Period were found. In 2006, an attractive exhibition center opened under the hotel, where the longhouse's remains are on display together with related exhibits. Among the finds excavated were Iceland's oldest human remains, dating from approximately 870 AD.

Start City
Reykjavik
End City
Reykjavik

Trip ID#: WalHikRoa

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