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The Leader in Small Groups on the Road Less Traveled
Never more than 10-16 travelers—guaranteed!

2017 Untamed Iceland

Reykjavik • Stykkisholmur • Akureyri • Selfoss

88% Traveler Excellence Rating Read reviews

12 Days from only $3995 including international airfare

Courtesy of Compass Light Productions
Overseas with David Conover: Iceland

Join filmmaker David Conover as he explores Iceland’s landscapes, chats with locals about Icelandic culture, and glimpses into the center of the Earth.

Courtesy of Compass Light Productions
Overseas with David Conover: Greenland

Join filmmaker David Conover as he discovers the impact of climate change on Greenland’s Arctic landscape and the people who live off its land.

Courtesy of Kerrin Sheldon and Gaston Blanchet
The Silfra Diver: Diving Between Continents

Dive into the clear waters of Iceland's Silfra rift and swim between two continental plates.

Courtesy of Kerrin Sheldon and Gaston Blanchet
Exploring Iceland’s Lava Tubes

Journey over ice fields and underground to discover Iceland's incredible lava tubes.

Courtesy of David Conover & Paul Villanova
Travelogue: Greenland and Iceland 1920

See Iceland and Greenland like never before—through the lens of a 35mm camera from 1920.

FROM
$3995
12 DAYS
$333/DAY
including international airfare
11 DAYS FROM $3295 Small Group Adventure Only
Extend Your Trip
 

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For example, arrive early in Reykjavik before this adventure begins.
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Find the Adventure That’s Right for You

Our Activity Level rating system ranks adventures on a scale of 1 to 5 to help you determine if a trip is right for you. See the descriptions below for more information about the physical requirements associated with each rating.

Activity Level 1:

1 2 3 4 5

Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 25 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 1-2 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last at least 1-2 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 2:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 40 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 2-3 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for at least 2-3 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 3:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderate

Travelers should be able to climb 60 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 3 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 3 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 5,000 to 7,000 feet.

Activity Level 4:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 80 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 4 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 7,000 to 9,000 feet.

Activity Level 5:

1 2 3 4 5

Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 100 or more stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 8 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 10,000 feet or more.

Itinerary Overview

Small Groups: Never more than 10-16 travelers—guaranteed!

Travel to Iceland, a world away yet tantalizingly close. This O.A.T. travel adventure showcases Iceland's natural beauty and Viking heritage from a truly Icelandic perspective—through its inhabitants. Meet hardy locals who carve a living from both the land and sea in farming communities and fishing villages. Discover the history of this isolated nation preserved in a series of enchanting medieval tales known as the Sagas. In the beautiful capital city of Reykjavik, witness the creativity of a city that harnessed the power of nature to provide sustainable heat and electricity to its inhabitants. Raft on the Hvita River, watch for whales, and journey to within 40 miles of the Arctic Circle at Akureyri. Icelandic culture and traditions, together with the power of nature, combine for an unforgettable adventure in an unspoiled land of stark beauty.

Make It Your Adventure

Personalize your trip to meet your individual needs, from preferred flights and air routing, to “breaking away” to spend more time in a destination.

  • O.A.T’s team of Adventure Specialists makes every effort to provide you with non-stop flights and acceptable connection times to and from your destination. You also have several other options for personalizing your air itinerary, which include:

    • Choose your departure city and airline: We list the most popular gateway cities on our website, but not all of them. If you don’t see yours listed, or there’s one that better suits your needs, let us know. You can also tell us if you have an airline preference and we will try to accommodation your request.
    • Depart from one city and return from another: Just because your flight leaves from one city doesn’t mean you have to return there. Maybe you flew out of Boston and wish to visit friends in Los Angeles after your trip is over. Tell us where you want to go and we’ll do our best to get you there.
    • Fly the way you want to: We’ll gladly arrange a flight upgrade to business or premium economy class if it’s available. And when you fly economy class, we’ll do our best to see that you get your choice of seating preference or even add a special meal request if you have dietary restrictions or needs.
  • You can extend your time abroad and "break away" anywhere you'd like to do more exploring on your own. Stay for a day, a week, or even a month in a favorite locale. Or consider arriving a few days early in Reykjavik for a fresh start. You can also stay overnight in a connecting city before or after your adventure to break up a lengthy flight. Our Adventure Specialists can provide you with information on the accommodations we will use at the beginning of your trip so that you can make your own arrangements. That way, you'll know that you will be exactly where you need to be to meet your group.

  • Many of our travelers choose to take another trip directly after their first one ends. Think about it: If you’re already overseas, why not see more of the region and avoid the expense and length of another international flight? Many of our travelers have taken two or three consecutive trips before returning home. One of the most common adventures combined with Untamed Iceland is Norwegian Coastal Voyage & Lapland. And now you’ll save an additional $250-$350 per person when you reserve two trips right after one another.

  • Many O.A.T. travelers simply don’t want their trips to end. With an array of pre- and post-trip extensions to choose from, you have the chance to experience more of the places you’ve traveled so far to see, including Worlds of Fire: Iceland's Westman Islands and Greenland: Gateway to the Arctic. Plus, you lower your average per-day costs because you’re taking advantage of your already included international airfare.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

  • 3 nights from only $1595

    Few places are as off the beaten path as the remote Westman Islands, an archipelago off of Iceland’s southern coast blessed with a kaleidoscopic beauty of red cliffs, black sand, and green countryside, framed by blue sea and sky. Experience the scenic, historic, and cultural gifts of one of Iceland’s major fishing ports and the premier home of the Atlantic puffin. This is a unique destination rarely seen by Americans.

    View Extension Itinerary
Reykjavik Selfoss Expand All
  • Depart from the U.S.

  • After an overnight flight from the U.S., you'll arrive in the early morning at Keflavik Airport in Reykjavik, Iceland. You'll be met by an O.A.T. representative, and transfer to our hotel, then enjoy breakfast. Begin getting acquainted with Reykjavik on an orientation walk in the neighborhood around the hotel with your Trip Leader this afternoon. Later, gather for a Welcome Dinner with your fellow travelers, including those from our Worlds of Fire: Iceland's Westman Islands trip extension.

  • We'll depart Reykjavik after breakfast and head into the rolling meadows of the verdant Borgarfjordur agricultural district. We'll view the "magic waterfalls" of Hraunfossar, a 2,900-foot stretch of lava where crystal-clear springs splash through the volcanic rocks. As we continue through the unspoiled landscape, we enjoy views of colorful mountain cliffs, pristine fjords, and fertile valleys where horses graze. This is the region that inspired 13th-century poet and native son Snorri Sturluson, the most celebrated figure in Icelandic/Nordic literature. In a country known for its thermal hot springs, the Deildartunguhver thermal area is in a class by itself. Emitting nearly 50 gallons of boiling water per second, it has the highest flow of any hot spring in Europe.

    Then, we'll discover some of Iceland's Saga-like history at the Settlement Center in Borgarnes. This award-winning center retells the Norse settlement of Iceland, giving us an insight into the country's founding.

    After lunch  at the Settlement Center, we drive to Helgafell ("holy mountain"), a sacred hill about 250 feet high. After our hike up Helgafell, we continue to Stykkisholmur, the largest town on scenic Snaefellsnes Peninsula. The town's location makes it an ideal jumping-off point for many of Iceland's highlights, including Snaefellsnes Peninsula National Park.

    Enjoy dinner tonight at our hotel, followed by a vicinity walk to familiarize ourselves with our surroundings.

  • This morning in Snaefellsnes Peninsula, we'll explore the area that marks the entry point to Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth.

    We'll continue to the fishing village of Arnarstapi, known for its constantly changing weather. The village is situated along a coastline punctuated by fascinating geologic features like arches, basalt cliffs, and blowholes. We'll hike to a yellow-sand beach and along the dramatic rocky coastline followed by lunch in the Hellnar valley.

    Then we'll discover another side of Icelandic culture on a visit to a shark farm. Here we'll have the opportunity to taste a national delicacy—hákarl, made from aged shark meat. It's not for the faint of heart, but our host will help us understand the Icelandic legacy of processing shark meat, as well as the country's maritime history.

    Dinner will be on your own this evening in Stykkisholmur.

  • After breakfast this morning, we'll depart Stykkisholmur for the Eiriksstadir Museum, once the site of the home of Erik the Red, father of the legendary Viking Leif Eiriksson. Known as "Leif the Lucky," Erik's famous son discovered America around AD 1000. We'll learn more about their story from historic interpreters at this living museum.

    Then we'll visit a local horse farm to meet affable Icelandic horses first brought to the country by Viking settlers. We'll learn more about these horses, and their place in Icelandic culture, as we hear firsthand from the family that owns the horse farm. We'll also enjoy lunch at the horse farm. 

    Afterward we'll continue to Akureyri, Iceland's second largest urban area. Situated on the northern fjords near the Arctic Circle, Akureyri is improbably sunny and enjoys a mild climate in spite of its location.

    This evening, we'll have dinner together at our hotel.

  • Today we begin with a visit to Godafoss ("waterfall of the gods"), where the current carries rushing water along a glacial river and over the rocks, falling 40 feet into the pool below. It is said to have gained its name when one of the leaders of the country's parliament disposed of his statues of Norse gods at this waterfall upon the adoption of Christianity as the official religion in the year 1000.

    Later today, we'll discover the Lake Myvatn area, sculpted throughout the ages by volcanic eruptions and renowned for its diverse bird population, with ducks, gyrfalcons, plovers, ptarmigans, and more. We'll explore the pseudocrater field, formed by steam explosions when lava flowed over wet earth, at Skutustadir. Afterward, we'll visit the whimsical "black castles" lava formations of Dimmuborgir, where a lonely troll is said to have lived. After lunch at a local restaurant, we witness some of Iceland's more recent volcanic activity during a stop at a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the Námaskard geothermic area.

    Then we travel overland back to Akureyri. Then, we’ll take a tour of the Laufus turf house, which unlike most Icelandic turf houses, was made for the wealthy, and at one time, housed from 20-30 people. 

    Back in Akureyri, you'll have some free time to relax before enjoying a Home-Hosted Dinner this evening.

  • After breakfast, we head for the picturesque fishing village of Dalvik, where we'll set sail on a restored fishing vessel from the harbor for a whale-watching excursion. The onboard staff members are experts on local marine life, and with their help, we hope to spot minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, harbor porpoises and humpback whales in the waters of the Northern Atlantic. Please note: Whale watching is weather dependent and relies upon the cooperation of migratory patterns, which can be difficult to accurately predict. The boat is not exclusive to O.A.T. travelers. If necessary, an alternate activity will be provided.

    After lunch on our own in Akureyri, we'll explore more of the city with our Trip Leader, beginning with a visit to the harbor and Botanical Gardens.

    Dinner tonight is on your own.

  • We transfer to the airport for our flight to Reykjavik after an early breakfast this morning. Today we'll discover more of Iceland's marvels as we circumnavigate the Golden Circle, a ring of natural highlights: Thingvellir National Park, Geysir hot spring area and Gullfoss waterfall. First, we'll stop at Thingvellir National Park, the location of a major rift between two tectonic plates—the Eurasian and North American—which creates a dramatic fissure in the land. The snowcapped mountains surrounding this plain, dotted with canyons, caves, streams and springs, form a striking natural amphitheater. It's not surprising that the world's oldest Parliament was formed here. Lunch is on our own after the visit at Thingvellir.

    Then we'll visit Geysir, the geyser from which all others take their name. Geysir is silent these days, but we'll witness the dramatic columns of water that shoot into the air from nearby Strokkur geyser. In this area of intense geothermal activity, puddles of water on the ground literally boil.

    We end our Golden Circle tour with a visit to the stunning Gullfoss waterfall, which features three tiers of rushing white water that flow into a hundred-foot-deep crevice.

    We'll continue overland to Selfoss and check into our hotel. Selfoss is the largest town in South Iceland and the gateway to all that this area of rich farmland and natural wonders has to offer. Located on the banks of the Olfusa River, it is home to around 6,300 inhabitants. We'll have dinner at our hotel this evening.

  • After breakfast this morning, we’ll visit the Thorvaldseyri visitor center. Established in 2011, this facility allows guests to experience what it's like living in the shadow of an active volcano.

    Afterward, we'll journey to the south coast and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Then, in Vik, the southernmost village in Iceland, we'll go off-road driving for an included Super Truck Tour, introducing you to the black beaches. Our next stop is the wispy Seljalandsfoss (the word foss means “waterfall” in Icelandic). Located near the Seljalands farm, this picturesque waterfall drops about 200 feet over the rocky cliffs of the country's southern coastline. We'll also have views of the glacial Markafljot River.

    Dinner is on your own tonight.

  • First, we'll enjoy meeting locals as we visit a flower farm that relies on geothermal energy to grow lilies, roses and other species. Then we'll embark upon an exhilarating river-rafting trip on the Hvita glacial river. You'll don wetsuits, helmets, waterproof shoes, and life vests to board inflatable rafts, and take up paddles that you'll use to make your way along the course of the river, passing through serene canyons and over raging rapids. Please note: River rafting is only available between mid-May and September 15, and is weather-dependent. An ATV-riding tour and Blue Lagoon visit will take its place when rafting is unavailable.

    We then continue to the geothermal power plant at Hellisheidi that, together with four other plants, provides 30% of the electricity needed by the Icelandic people. It is a combined heat and power plant developed to meet increasing demand for energy in an environmentally friendly way. We'll learn more about Iceland's progressive approach to sustainable resources as we tour the plant.

    Afterward we'll travel to Reykjavik, the world's most northerly capital, and choose from one of the city's many restaurants for dinner on our own.

  • Called the "biggest little city," Reykjavik and its suburbs are home to more than 200,000 people, more than half the country's population. Its aptly chosen name means "smoky bay," and it is the site where Iceland's first settler, Ingolfur Arnorson, built a farm in AD 874. This morning, join us for a visit to the iconic Blue Lagoon, Iceland's best-known geothermal pool, where locals and visitors alike enjoy the healing waters and mineral-rich mud of this man-made oasis in the midst of a lava field. You'll have the chance to relax lagoon-side and take a dip in the healing waters.

    After lunch on your own, we'll gather together for a visit to the National Museum of Iceland this afternoon. Then, later this evening, we'll enjoy a Farewell Dinner at our hotel with our fellow travelers.

    • Meals included:

    After breakfast, we'll transfer to the airport for your flight home or to begin your post-trip extension, Greenland: Gateway to the Arctic. Please note: Depending on your air itinerary, trips returning in September and October will include an extra night in the U.S. upon arrival. This will not apply to travelers whose final destination is New York or Boston.

  • POST-TRIP EXTENSION:
    Greenland: Gateway to the Arctic

    4 nights from only $2895

    Cleverly christened “Greenland” by Erik the Red in an effort to attract settlers, 80 percent of this nation’s land mass is covered in ice caps, with picturesque towns and villages clustered along the coasts. After you travel through Iceland, come breathe the pure air, witness the magnificent icebergs, experience the Inuit way of life, and discover a land as exotic as it is remote.

    View Extension Itinerary

Click below to read our Travel Planning Guide on Untamed Iceland

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