Best of Iceland
If you’re looking for a fast but full visit around Iceland, this seven-day trip fits the bill perfectly. It’s got tons of main highlights – whale-watching tours, visiting glacier lagoons, and taking glacier hikes – as well as plenty of hidden gems that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Be sure to pack your sense of adventure and get ready to feel Iceland under your feet.
Akureyri whale watching tour. Goðafoss Waterfall visit. Mývatn Lake visit. Dimmuborgir, and Námaskarð stops. Dettifoss Waterfall visit. Local guesthouse stay (Borgarfjörður). Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon visit. Glacier hike in Skaftafell National Park. Reynisfjara Beach. Stops including: Skógafoss Waterfall, and Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. The Golden Circle: Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir Hot Springs, and Þingvellir National Park. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Sleep in a local guesthouse in the eastern fjords region, marvel at the largest ice cap in Europe, gape at the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon with seals floating on icebergs, photograph black-sand beaches and gushing waterfalls around this island nation
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1. Please note that this is a very busy tour and there are some long drive days.
2. The landscape of Iceland is unique and unlike most things you’ve seen. So is the weather. It is unpredictable and changeable, so be prepared to experience a variety of conditions during your time in Iceland. It’s not uncommon to experience rain, sun wind and snow all in the same visit, so please pack accordingly. An Icelandic summer is also not what most people consider as summer temperature and in the highlands it can get quite cold.
3. If you wish to visit the Blue Lagoon, please know that this activity must be done before or after your tour. As this activity is very popular, we recommend booking it in advance.
Group Leader Description
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders, known as a CEO (Chief Experience Officer). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.
Group Size Notes
Max 16, avg 12.
Private minivan/bus, walking.
About our Transportation
Private van/mini-buses are used on this trip.
We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Standard hotel (5 nights), local guesthouse (1 night).
My Own Room
“My Own Room” option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops.
Please be aware that single room accommodations in European hotels are often smaller, and may not be to the same service level as double-occupancy rooms.
In Iceland we use small hotels, guest houses and inns. They are comfortable and clean but do not have many amenities. On occasion in remote areas or in order to stay somewhere unique and character-filled, we will have multi-share accommodations and/or shared facilities.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day. Upon arrival to the city on day 1 (or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation), please make your way to the joining hotel (note that check-in time will be in the afternoon). Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1 (usually between 5pm and 7pm), where you will get a chance to meet your CEO and other travellers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!
If you are arriving later and will miss the Welcome Meeting, your CEO will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need, and with morning instructions for the next day.
We always recommend printing out the address of the hotel (in the native language as well as English if available), to show to your taxi driver.
From Keflavík International Airport:
Upon exiting the airport, there are shuttle bus services such as the Flybus which cost around 2500ISK. The bus will drop you off anywhere in Reykjavik. A shuttle or a taxi can also be arranged prior to your visit by letting the booking department know of your needs at email@example.com.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office, London, UK
After hours emergency number: +44 7817 262559
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage. You must be prepared to carry your luggage up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels (max 15-20 mins.)
Dressing in layers is recommended as weather can change dramatically, without notice.
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
• Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended)
• Snacks (Protein bars, chocolate, dried fruits, candies, energy sweets.)
• Socks (Trekking socks (woollen or synthetic, not cotton).)
• Thermal base layer (Woollen or synthetic, not cotton.)
• Walking poles (Highly recommended)
Note: The landscape of Iceland is unique and unlike most things you’ve seen. So is the weather. It is unpredictable and changeable, so be prepared to experience a variety of conditions during your time in Iceland. It’s not uncommon to experience rain, sun wind and snow all in the same visit, so please pack accordingly. An Icelandic summer is also not what most people consider as summer temperature and in the highlands it can get quite cold.
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The currency in Iceland in the Icelandic Krona (ISK).
It is recommended to bring a combination of cash, credit and debit cards.
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
Tipping in Iceland is not customary. In many cases, a service charge is added to the bill which means that it is not necessary to add a tip. If you wish to express your satisfaction with the service in a bar or restaurant, then a gratuity of 10% or to round up the amount of the bill is perfectly acceptable.
Tipping during the tour program is similarly not expected, but it can be a way to express satisfaction with the persons who have assisted on your tour. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from the equivalent of $3-5 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
At the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €30-40 per person, per week can be used.
Please refer to the day by day itinerary for updated optional activities and estimated pricing.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings in this dossier for trip specific information. For travellers over 70 years a completed Medical Form is required. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our leaders work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at www.gadventures.com/medical-form.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
Weather can change dramatically, even in the summer months. It is best to layer clothing to ensure you are prepared for any extremes.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it on to you.
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Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you’re interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.
You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
PRODUCT_LINE: ELBI, ID: 22578
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.
Day 1 Reykjavík
There are no activities planned until an evening welcome meeting.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Reykjavík/Akureyri (1B)
Explore the town in the afternoon before an included whale watching tour in the evening. Eyjafjörður is a scenic spot to enjoy the local wildlife and small villages in the area.
Whale Watching from Dalvik
Day 3 Akureyri/Bakkagerdi (1B)
Head to Mývatn Lake, stopping en route at Goðafoss Waterfall. In Mývatn, explore lava formations of Dimmuborgir and the geothermal area of Námaskarð.
Visit Dettifoss Waterfall, one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe.
Reach Borgarfjörður in the East Fjords region for a night in a local guesthouse.
Godafoss Waterfall Visit
Myvatn Geothermal Lake Visit
Dimmuborgir Lava Fields Visit
Dettifoss Waterfall Visit
Day 4 Bakkagerdi/Hofn (1B)
Höfn is known as the lobster capital of Iceland, so include a sample of this delicacy in your plans.
Day 5 Hofn/Vik (1B)
Marvel at the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, with a chance to see seals sun bathing on the bright blue ice. The massive icebergs floating towards shore tower over visitors. Opt to check out the lagoon by boat.
Continue on to Skaftafell National Park and enjoy an included glacier hike before continuing on in the evening to the small town of Vík.
Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Visit
Skaftafell National Park Glacier Hike
Day 6 Vik/Reykjavík (1B)
Just outside of Vík, visit Reynisfjara Beach. Its black sand and ominous rock formations offshore make for stunning photos.
Continue to travel along the Golden Circle to Drumbo. Stop at Seljalandsfoss Waterfall for the opportunity to walk behind the large falls.
Stop at Skógafoss Waterfall. Explore the majestic Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir Hot Springs and Þingvellir National Park.
Arrive to Reykjavík in the early evening for a final night in the bustling capital.
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall Visit
Skógafoss Waterfall Visit
Gullfoss Waterfall Visit
Thingvellir National Park Visit
Day 7 Reykjavík (1B)
Depart at any time.