Untamed Iceland

Travel Style: Array Mixed
Physical Level: Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Comfort (4*)
12 days
From: $ 4,495 $ 375 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Visit a local horse farm to meet affable Icelandic horses first brought to the country by Viking settlers
  • Discover some of Iceland's Saga-like history at the Settlement Center in Borgarnes.
  • Enjoy views of colorful mountain cliffs, pristine fjords, and fertile valleys where horses graze.
  • Visit a museum dedicated to this once-thriving industry before returning to Akureyri.
  • Visit the stunning Gullfoss waterfall
  • Visit a flower farm that relies on geothermal energy to grow lilies, roses and other species.

Short Description

A verdant and magical island where gushing geysers and steaming lagoons meet cracked lava fields and cascading waterfalls, Iceland is more than a destination—it’s an adventure. Our Untamed Iceland experience offers travelers a different side of Europe to discover.

Style Small group tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Comfort (4*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Reykjavik
End City Selfoss

Destinations

Iceland

No single supplement
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Itinerary

DAY 1
Depart U.S.
Depart from the U.S.

DAY 2
Arrive Reykjavik, Iceland
Meals included: B D Accommodations: Hilton Nordica or similar

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 OAT 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.

DAY 3
Explore Borgarfjordur • Travel overland to Stykkisholmur • Hike Mount Helgafell
Meals included: B D Accommodations: Hotel Stykkisholmur or similar

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 on our own, 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.

DAY 4
Discover Snaefellsnes Peninsula • Visit Arnarstapi lava field
Meals included: B L Accommodations: Hotel Stykkisholmur or similar

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.

DAY 5
Explore Eiriksstadir Museum • Horse farm visit • Travel overland to Akureyri
Meals included: B L D Accommodations: Icelandair Hotel Akureyri or similar

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.

DAY 6
Explore Godafoss Waterfall & Lake Myvatn • Home-Hosted Dinner
Meals included: B L D Accommodations: Icelandair Hotel Akureyri or similar

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. Upon arrival, we'll explore the city, visiting the harbor and then the Botanical Gardens.

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

DAY 7
Dalvik • Whale-watching
Meals included: B L Accommodations: Icelandair Hotel Akureyri or similar

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 OAT travelers. If necessary, an alternate activity will be provided.

Then, we visit Siglufjordur, Iceland's northernmost town. At one time, Siglufjordur was the capital of the North Atlantic's herring industry, and after lunch at a local restaurant here, we'll visit a museum dedicated to this once-thriving industry before returning to Akureyri.

Dinner tonight is on your own.

DAY 8
Fly to Reykjavik • Explore the Golden Circle
Meals included: B D Accommodations: Hotel Selfoss or similar

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.

DAY 9
Explore South Iceland • Volcanic Museum • Super Jeep tour • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
Meals included: B L Accommodations: Hotel Selfoss or similar

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 Jeep 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.

DAY 10
Glacial river-rafting expedition • Visit geothermal plant • Travel overland to Reykjavik
Meals included: B Accommodations: Hilton Nordica or similar

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.

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.

DAY 11
Blue Lagoon • Explore National Museum
Meals included: B D Accommodations: Hilton Nordica or similar

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.

DAY 12
Return to U.S.
Meals included: B
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.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 4,495
Price Per Day: $ 375 per day

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T. Tours).

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.

467 Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T. Tours) Travel Reviews & Ratings

99%
4.9 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 441
Great 13
Average 8
Disappointing 0
Terrible 5
Value
4.9
Guide
4.9
Activities
4.9
Lodging
4.9
Transportation
4.9
Meals
4.9

Untamed Iceland

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My favorite OAT adventure

5.0
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Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I went to this adventure with my sister-in-law and we had the absolute best time! Our guide were all amazing and our trip leader Martin was exceptional! My sister-i-law had a fall the day we were to meet our group and Martin helped us navigate the urgent care, got her stitched up and stayed by our side until she was tucked into our room. What a waRead more about review stating My favorite OAT adventurey to meet your trip leader but also we knew we were set up with a caring and kind man from the start! This was a truly unique adventure with large cities and also the most serene scenery on earth!
I write this in the mist of the recent pandemic and hope that as soon as this all settles down we can take another trip with OAT. It will be hard to match this trip but we will try!
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We visited Panama on this trip with OAT

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We visited Panama on this trip with OAT including walking through El Chorrillo neighborhood and listening to the stories of the survivors of the US invasion. We would recommend the movie "The Panama Deception," a documentary of the US invasion. It tells a different story that the US government and media reported at the time. Certainly more informaRead more about review stating Additional movie recommendation for Panama visitorstive that "The Tinker of Panama."
You can find the movie online at https://www.c-span.org/video/?467566-1/the-panama-deception
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India was on my bucket list.

5.0
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India was on my bucket list. I have travelled with OAT many times and knew if any company could show it to me properly it was them. The trip surpassed any expectation I could have imagined. We stayed in palaces and drove by shanty towns. India is so full of contrasts, all kinds of contrasts. Riots of scents, color, sounds, come at you all at once.Read more about review stating 2018 Heart of India The best food you will ever have, cheap custom made silk clothing, and monuments that float at sunrise. All this and more is waiting for you. DO NOT miss this trip, it will change how you see yourself, others and humanity.
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This trip has been one of the best with OAT so far

5.0
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This trip has been one of the best with OAT so far. The sightseeing, food, and most of the accommodations were very good. Our tour guide, Anuja Skaria, was absolutely outstanding. She went out of her way to take u to many places not included in the itinerary. She was most attentive to detail.
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Interesting travel

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We thoroughly enjoyed our trip led by a fantastic leader - Pum from Thailand. He was an excellent mentor for all of the local guides and allowed them to lead in their respective countries and stepped in only if something was not right.
I have several suggestions for those who might be taking this tour. The very best place to shop is the night Read more about review stating Interesting travelmarket in Luang Prabang. That is also the city that we enjoyed the most. We could have even stayed there another day. There were excellent restaurants there - an Italian one and a French one to name a few and the small hotel was delightful.
The Angkor Paradise Hotel in Phnom Penh had the best massages that we had anywhere. They offered a Swedish Massage for 1 hour and we should have had the 90 minute one as the time went so fast. That also was a lovely hotel.
In Vietnam, when you have the Mekong Delta discovery, try to have your trip leader give you time to shop at the place where you get on the boat and also return to that same place. We were able to have 15 minutes to shop there, which was not enough. Much nicer things can be found here than in the large market in Saigon. It is the only place where I was able to buy the embroidered T shirts than are so plentiful in North Vietnam, but found nowhere else in the South. You might have to ask to see them. I had purchased some of them 17 years ago in Hanoi and they are so good that after being washed multiple times, they look as good as new. The coconut
candy factory also has some good bargains.
Although we had previously toured 2 of these countries with OAT, this was a very good overall tour of the 4 countries.
Our return trip through was canceled because the Hong Kong airport was closed due to Covid. OAT allowed us to stay an extra day in Saigon and found us another way home. They went way above what we expected in helping us, keeping us informed, and paying for our extra day at the excellent Orchids Hotel in Saigon. This is why we continue to travel with OAT.
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Safari Serengeti:Tanzania Lodge & Tented Safari

5.0
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Activities5.0
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I am sure I completed a survey and gave this trip, particularly our Trip Leader Samson Mweta, highest marks.

Details

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 16

Accommodations

Hilton Nordica
Reykjavik, Iceland

Located in Reykjavik’s business district, this 250-room hotel offers spacious, modern accommodations and views of the surrounding mountains. Nearby are a thermal spa and park, and a free shuttle takes travelers to Laugavegur, the city’s main shopping thoroughfare. Two restaurants, a bar, a beauty salon, and fitness room are available on the grounds.

Hotel Stykkisholmur
Stykkisholmur, Iceland

This 79-room seaside hotel near Snaefellsjokull National Park in the town of Stykkisholmur offers simple accommodations in Nordic minimalist style. Enjoy views of spectacular Breidafjordur Bay. Rooms feature wireless Internet, telephone, TV, and private bath with hair dryer.

Icelandair Hotel Akureyri
Akureyi, Iceland

The Icelandair Hotel Akureyri is located in the city center, with convenient access to many of the city's landmarks, including the Botanical Garden, the thermal pools, and the towering Akureyrarkirkja, or Church of Akureyri. The hotel features an outdoor swimming pool, golf course, and on-site restaurant. Each of its 63 rooms includes a telephone, flat-screen TV, Internet access, and private bathroom with hair dryer.

Hotel Selfoss
Selfoss, Iceland

Located on the banks of the Olfuss River, near the shops and restaurants in Selfoss, Hotel Selfoss is a modern hotel with 99 rooms that offer satellite TV, high-speed Internet, minibar, hair dryer, and private bath. Its grounds include a restaurant and movie theater, as well as a spa.

Hotel Vestmannaeyjar
Heimaey, Westman Islands, Iceland

Accounting for about one-third of Heimaey Island’s 8.3 square miles, the town of Heimaey is compact and easily explored on foot. Conveniently located in the center of town, the Hotel Vestmannaeyjar was converted from the first movie theater in Iceland and today offers a sauna, hot tub, and billiards room. Rooms feature a TV, telephone, minibar, and private bath with shower.

Hilton Nordica
Reykjavik, Iceland

Located in Reykjavik’s business district, this 250-room hotel offers spacious, modern accommodations and views of the surrounding mountains. Nearby are a thermal spa and park, and a free shuttle takes travelers to Laugavegur, the city’s main shopping thoroughfare. Two restaurants, a bar, a beauty salon, and fitness room are available on the grounds.

Hotel Kulusuk
Kulusuk, Greenland

Hotel Kulusuk on Greenland’s scenic eastern shore is just a short drive from the airport and about a 20-minute walk from Kulusuk village. It offers spectacular views of an ice-filled inlet and snowcapped mountains, along with a restaurant on the premises. Its 34 rooms are equipped with a private shower, TV, and telephone.

Hotel Ammassalik
Ammassalik, Greenland

Perched on a hillside, the Hotel Ammassalik features a restaurant and bar, a spacious lounge, and outdoor terraces to enjoy the surrounding views. There are 30 simple but comfortable rooms, each with individual heating, satellite TV, and a private bath with shower.
Travel to Iceland with OAT and enjoy a whale-watching excursion, see the Godafoss waterfall, tour Reykjavik, and visit the hot springs of Akureyri.

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