ICELAND - ROUND TOUR

POLAR LIGHTS AND VOLCANOES

AURORA - NATURE AND CULTURE

TOUR CODE

WT-09-22-P2

DATE

Planning

DURATION

10 D. - 9 Nts

P.P. PRICE

Coming soon

PAX

15 - 20

ICELAND - Polarlights and Volcanoes

AURORA - NATURE AND CULTURE - GROUP TOUR

INTRODUCTION

Pure nature experience – this is Iceland! Experience the unique nature of volcanoes, geysers, glaciers, fjords and waterfalls on a specially designed itinerary. We have chosen September as the travel time, because this month on one hand still offers the colourful autumn colours of the north and on the other hand there are already optimal chances for the sighting of the northern lights. The north-east of Iceland is one of the best and most scenic areas for this. The Mývatn is famous for its impressive natural wonders and the heart of a fascinating volcanic landscape. Almost all known manifestations of volcanism can be found here, including pseudocraters and tabular volcanoes. The area was once selected as a training area for the US space agency NASA due to the moon-like conditions. Skagafjörður, further west, offers Icelandic landscapes straight out of a picture book. Nowhere are there so many of the famous Icelandic horses as here. The Vatnajökull National Park should not be missed on the round trip. One of the largest glaciers dominates the landscape here with its many glacier tongues and icebergs. Of course, we also visit classic Iceland travel destinations such as the historical assembly site þingvellir, the famous geyser or the green city of Akureyri, which is located near the Arctic Circle.
Time difference: CEST – 2 hours

ITINERARY

ITINERARY

Scheduled flight with Icelandair from Frankfurt to Iceland at noon (departure 2:00 p.m., arrival 3:35 p.m.). First impressions of the volcanic island during the 45-minute transfer from Keflavík Airport to Reykjavík. City tour in Reykjavík, the northernmost capital in the world. Reykjavík means “smoke bay” and was so named by the first settler Ingólfur Arnarson. Dinner in the guest house and presentation of the travel programme.
1 night in the agency’s own Borgartún guest house in Reykjavík

Today we discover geysers, waterfalls, historical communities and much more. The “Golden Circle” first leads us to the þingvellir National Park. The annual þing of the Icelandic settlers has been held here since 930, which is the oldest still existing parliament in the world. þingvellir is still considered the most important area of ​​the country, as not only history was written here, but geology is also of great importance. Here the drifting together of the American and European tectonic plates through crevices and cracks becomes visible. The geothermal high temperature area Geysir, with the regular eruptions of the Strokkurs and many hot springs is our next destination. The final highlight today is Iceland’s most popular waterfall, Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall). It is divided into two steps and is 32 m high. Once the waterfall was supposed to be used for power supply, but Sigriður Tómasdóttir fought against these plans and won the fight. She is now considered the heroine of the waterfall, and so a monument was erected there.
1 night at Hótel Leirubakki

After breakfast, you will drive past the legendary Hekla volcano to Landmannalaugar, one of the most famous and beautiful areas of the island. The region is shaped by volcanism. Breath-taking rhyolite mountains and formations in all sorts of colours have emerged here. In Landmannalaugar we also find a geothermal spring where bathing is allowed. The rule here is: pure nature! Because there are no changing rooms. We continue on an adventurous highland slope, on which numerous rivers have to be crossed, to the Eldgjá (fire canyon). It is the longest volcanic fissure on earth; when it was formed around the year 930, about 19 cubic kilometres of lava were ejected.
1 night in Fosshótel Núpar near Kirkjubæjarklaustur
If the weather conditions do not allow driving on the highland road, we will drive along the coast, where a wealth of scenic highlights awaits us.

From Kirkubæjarklaustur after breakfast we drive to one of the four national parks in Iceland, the Skaftafell National Park, which is one of the largest national parks in Europe, the Vatnajökull National Park. The over 8000km² large ice cap of Vatnajökull dominates the landscape with its numerous glacier tongues and the icebergs that drift on a glacial lake directly on the coast. During an optional boat trip on Lake Jökulsárlón, we can admire the world of the blue-shimmering ice giants. The glacial lake served as the setting for such famous film productions as James Bond – Die Another Day, Tomb Raider and Batman Begins. We continue along a breath-taking coast to the friendly fishing village of Djúpivogur.
1 night at Hótel Framtið in Djúpivogur

Today the east fjords of the country are on the programme. The east is the oldest part of the country and is known for rock crystals and other minerals that can often be found here. The nature and the fjords are fascinating. The largest city in the east is Egilsstaðir on the long lake Lagarfljót, where the monster Lagarfljótsormurinn is said to live. Our day ends on Mývatn. In the middle of the North Atlantic, we are in one of the regions with the lowest rainfall in Europe and often with clear skies. Since the aurora oval is almost always above this region, the chances of observing auroras after dark are extremely good.
3 nights at the Hótel Gigur on Mývatn

In the unique area, which is completely shaped by volcanism, there are numerous natural wonders, strange lava formations, attractive bays, pseudocraters and rare bird species. Among other things, we can admire the pseudocraters of Skutustaðir right next to our hotel on a peninsula, which were created by the collision of lava and water. Dimmuborgir (the dark castles), the ash crater Hverfjall and the solfatar area Námafjall are further highlights in today’s programme. Because of its “extra-terrestrial” landscape, the area around the Mývatn was once used as a training area for NASA lunar pilots. If the weather permits, we have a good chance of seeing the northern lights again in the late evening.
The tabular volcano Herðubreið, the queen of the Icelandic mountains, is our first destination on today’s schedule. There is one of the few oases in the inhospitable “culprit desert”, which was once the last refuge for outcasts. Our journey then takes us to the Askja Caldera, in which there are two very different lakes that were only created in a devastating eruption in 1875. The much larger and cold lake (Öskjuvatn) is a flood basin and the deepest lake in Iceland. Viti (“Hell”) is a maar on the bottom of which a small and warm lake has formed. After a day full of fascinating impressions, we return to Mývatn.

Today we leave the Mývatn. We make a stop at the waterfall of the gods, the Goðafoss. The historic waterfall is one of the most beautiful and famous on the island. According to legend, the god þorgeir is said to have thrown the last pagan images of gods into the Goðafoss around the year 1000 after the adoption of Christianity as the state religion. The next stop is Akureyri, the capital of Northern Iceland. Here is the largest population centre in the country outside of the capital district. We take a tour of the friendly city and visit, among other things, its landmark, the Akureyrarkirkja (Akureyris Church), the harbour and the cozy city centre.
1 night at Hótel Varmahlið

Varmahlið is located in the Skagafjörður area. It is the centre of horse breeding and the epitome of rural Iceland. Our first destination is Glaumbær Museum Farm. Here we find a peat farm from the 19th century, which was one of the luxury farms at the time. Only here can we experience up close what the original life of the Icelanders looked like. After our stay in Glaumbær we visit Víðimýri Church, one of the few preserved peat churches in the country. At the end of the trip we have the opportunity to buy typical wool products in Hvammstangi. We continue via Borgarnes to Reykjavík.
1 night in the Borgartún guest house in Reykjavík

Early morning transfer to Keflavík Airport and flight back to Frankfurt. (Departure 07:25 a.m., arrival 12:50 p.m.)

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ITINERARY

The accommodation / lodge Laugarbakki is one of the most famous Reirerhöfe in Iceland. Today we are allowed to take part in a horse demonstration at the nearby Gauksmyriequestrian center and visit the stables. Then we pay a visit to the Vatnsnes peninsula. You can see a seal colony at the famous elephant-shaped rock Hvitserkur. We get even closer to the marine mammals at a farm on the other side of the peninsula. Finally we make a stop in the village of Hvammstangi. There you have, among other things, the opportunity to buy typical wool products directly from a manufactorer.

With several short stops we drive to Reykjavik after breakfast, free time and transfer to the hotel.

In the morning transfer to the airport and flight back to Germany

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ITINERARY

Scheduled flight with Icelandair from Frankfurt to Iceland at noon (departure 2 p.m., arrival 3:35 p.m.). Get a first impression of the volcanic island with the 45-minute transfer from Keflavík Airport to Reykjavík. During a city tour we visit the most important and at the same time most photographically attractive buildings in the capital: Perlan, Hallgrímskirkja and Harpa. Dinner in the hotel and brief presentation of the travel program. 1 night / half board in the Hótel Cabin in Reykjavík.

Today we take the ring road from Reykjavík to the northeast of the island to Mývatn, where we stop on the way. Which route to take in the west of Iceland is decided spontaneously based on the weather and light conditions. A longer stop at Skagafjörður, the epitome of rural Iceland, is firmly planned. Glaumbær’s church and historic peat yard offer attractive photo opportunities.

In the late afternoon we finally reach the Mývatn. In the middle of the North Atlantic, we are in one of the regions with the lowest rainfall in Europe and often with clear skies. Since the aurora oval is almost always above this region, the chances of observing the northern lights after dark are extremely good.

5 nights / half board in the Hótel Gígur or Sel Hotel.

The course of the program today and for the following 3 days is primarily based on the weather and light conditions with regard to photography. This can lead to adjustments and changes in the process shown here.

On the first morning (14.09.18) there will be an introduction to the wonderful world of the northern lights. Further lectures and seminars will be held by Stefan Seip after breakfast or before or after dinner.

In the evening it is dark enough from 8:30 p.m. to see the northern lights.

In and around the Mývatn, almost all known volcanic forms on earth can be found in a very limited geographical area. Mývatn’s surroundings were largely created by the active volcanic system of the Krafla. An asphalt road leads into the central caldera, under which there is a magma chamber at a depth of only 3 km. We walk to the lava flows that flowed in the 1970s and 1980s and to Maar Víti. Even before the last series of eruptions, NASA was so fascinated by the strange environment that it sent its future lunar pilots there for training. From a photographic point of view, the bizarre constructions of a geothermal power plant and the solfataras field at Námafjall a little further south on the ring road are particularly attractive.

In the afternoon there is the option of visiting the Mývatn Nature Spa (entry ISK 4300, -). If you don’t want to swim, you will find attractive photo opportunities in the immediate vicinity or you can take a look around the town of Reykjahlið, which is located on the lakeshore.

Today’s tour takes us around the Mývatn on a distance of around 50 km. In the unique area there are numerous strange lava formations, attractive bays, pseudocraters and rare bird species. Among other things, we can admire the pseudocraters of Skutustaðir right next to our hotel on a peninsula, which were created by the collision of lava and water. The lava formation Dimmuborgir (the dark castles), the bizarre rocks on Kalfaströnd and the rapids of the Laxá are further highlights in today’s program. En route stops will again be decided spontaneously.

The waterfall of the gods, the Goðafoss, is our first destination today. The historic waterfall in the Skjálfandafljót River is one of the most beautiful and famous on the island. According to legend, the god þorgeir is said to have thrown the last pagan images of gods into the Goðafoss around the year 1000 after the adoption of Christianity as the state religion.

The further route leads us more or less along the Skjálfandafljót to its confluence with the Atlantic. There is the pretty town of Húsavík by the bay of Skjálfandi. It has become famous for the whales, which can be found in the bay with a high degree of certainty. In addition to dolphins and humpback whales, blue whales are also spotted time and again. You have the opportunity to take part in a whale watching tour (optional, 3 hours, approx. ISK 10,500, bookable on site). The whale museum (ISK 1800, -) and the harbor front with a view of the year-round snow-covered mountains beyond the bay are also worth a visit.

On the way back to Mývatn we visit the geyser Ystihver, whose eruptions occur every few minutes.

The endless lava deserts Oddáðahraun and Mývatnsöræfi extend east of the Mývatn. The only body of water in this bone-dry environment is the mighty glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum. In its lower reaches it falls over several waterfalls into the deep canyon Jökulsárgljúfur. We visit the Dettifoss, Iceland’s most powerful waterfall, as well as the somewhat smaller Hrafnagilsfoss. The further organization of the day is decided spontaneously.

Today we leave the Mývatn. First stop is Akureyri, the capital of Northern Iceland. Here is the largest population center in the country outside of the capital district. We take a tour of the sympathetic city, which, thanks to its favorable climate, is astonishingly green despite its northern location. Among other things, we visit the botanical garden, the Akureyrarkirkja(Akureyris Church) and the cozy city center.

From Akureyri there is a short stop in Blönduós to Víðidalur in the north-west of the country. The Kolugil Gorge invites you to stop here – because of the photogenic waterfall, maybe we will see also around 600 – 700 Icelandic horses are herded together from the high pastureshere. From the Kolugil it is only a short drive to the Hotel, where we will spend the night.

2 nights / half board Hotel near Laugarbakkinear

The accommodation / lodge Laugarbakki is one of the most famous Reirerhöfe in Iceland. Today we are allowed to take part in a horse demonstration at the nearby Gauksmyriequestrian center and visit the stables. Then we pay a visit to the Vatnsnes peninsula. You can see a seal colony at the famous elephant-shaped rock Hvitserkur. We get even closer to the marine mammals at a farm on the other side of the peninsula. Finally we make a stop in the village of Hvammstangi. There you have, among other things, the opportunity to buy typical wool products directly from a manufactorer.

With several short stops we drive to Reykjavik after breakfast, free time and transfer to the hotel.

In the morning transfer to the airport and flight back to Germany

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Picture gallery for the optional tour

Your Polar light and Volcano expert & Lecturer:
Stefan Krause

Stefan Krause is a qualified biologist. He has been traveling regularly to Iceland since 1992, where he successfully observed the Annular Solar Eclipse in 2003, the Venus Transit in 2004 and a Partial Solar Eclipse in 2011. Stefan Krause is particularly interested in atmospheric phenomena such as polar lights, mirages, halos or alpenglow, which you can hardly experience anywhere in such diversity as on the island in the North Sea. In specialist lectures on 2 evenings, he will deepen your knowledge of these phenomena. As a qualified biologist, he has of course also dealt with the flora and fauna of Iceland as well as the geographical and geological fundamentals.
 

HOTEL

TERMS & CONDITIONS

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TOUR COST

Tour date:
In Planning for September 2022                            

(Tour programme without international flights is also available on request)

Tour Price:
Coming soo

INCLUDED

 Return flight Frankfurt – Keflavík – Frankfurt with Icelandair (airport taxes included)
All transports and transfers with customary coaches
9 nights with half board in typical 3 * hotels / guest houses (all rooms with en-suite facilities)
All excursions and transfers
English-speaking local tour guide
Astronomical support with specialist lectures by Stefan Krause
Observation and sightseeing programme as described in the programme, except for excursions marked as “optional”

NOT INCLUDED

 Connecting flights to Frankfurt
Optional excursions and visits as mentioned in the programme
Other meals, drinks and tips
Personal expenses
Travel insurance
Possible fuel price increase

INFORMATION

We recommend that you take travel cancellation insurance (RRV). This should be completed immediately after booking. We strongly recommend that you take international health and ambulance insurance, ideally as a complete insurance that also includes, for example, travel accident, luggage and travel liability insurance. In contrast to the RRV, all of these insurances can be taken out immediately before the start of the journey. We would be happy to book your desired insurance for you.

Our group tours are carefully planned so that you are almost certain to see the Northern Lights.
But: Northern lights are a natural phenomenon. While there is a very good chance that you will see the Northern Lights during your trip, we do not guarantee that you will see them.
Photos or animations created from them usually have too much colour saturation and therefore do not correspond to the visual appearance of auroras.

Iceland’s climate is oceanic cool, characterized by the relatively warm Irminger Current (10 ° C in summer) on the south coast and the cold Greenland Current on the northeast and southwest coast. The precipitation in the south of the country is over 2000mm per year, in the north it is only 400 – 600mm. Due to the warm Irminger Current, the climate in Iceland is milder than in other regions of this latitude. The winters are comparatively warm and the summers are rather cool. In the last few decades global warming has made itself felt through a slight increase in average temperatures, which can be observed from the retreat of individual glacier tongues to the complete melting of smaller glaciers. It is warmest in Iceland from mid-June to mid-September. The daytime temperatures fluctuate between 0 and 3 ° C in winter and between 12 and 15 ° C in summer, although it can be significantly cooler inland. But much higher temperatures also occur in some privileged locations until September. The lowest rainfall in Iceland occurs in the early summer months, although there are significant local differences. In the north-east it tends to be drier, as the clouds that come mostly (but not always) from the south rain down over the 8100 km² Vatnajökull glacier. The duration of sunshine is therefore longer, for example, in the area of ​​Lake Mývatn than in other regions of the country.

EQUIPMENTS

Binoculars and spotting scope if available
Sturdy shoes for the hikes
Warm clothes for evening observation / photography
Rain cover / jacket, Sun protection
Daypack
Folding stool (if needed)
(The specified list is not intended to be exhaustive. More details will be shared about 4 weeks before the tour)

For the Photo Seminar (for those interested in Photography):
Digital camera(s), SLR camera(s), mirrorless system camera(s)
Manual(s)
Battery, if possible also one (or more) replacement battery(s)
Charger(s)
Memory card(s) with sufficient capacity, at least one replacement card
Bellows, brush, cloth and lens cleaner for cleaning
If necessary, gear for sensor cleaning
Photo lens(s), all focal lengths can be used, depending on your preference(s)
Long focal length (telephoto / telephoto zoom) lens for animal photography
Lens hood(s) for the lens(s) (= “lens hoods”)
Data backup, e.g. notebook with external hard drive / USB stick(s), card reader, photo safe or a corresponding    number of memory cards
For extensive / high-quality equipment: list of devices including serial numbers
(The specified list is not intended to be exhaustive. More details will be shared about 4 weeks before the tour)

GENERAL INFORMATION

●  We reserve the right to change the schedule of excursions, sightseeing and observation programmes – even at short notice due to natural events such as volcanic activity.
The tour can be cancelled by the tour operator, if the minimum number of participants is not met. In this case, Wittmann Travel e.K. can withdraw from the contract 28 days before the start of the journey. As a rule, however, we inform all participants earlier.

PAYMENT MODE

● 20% of the tour price (billing amount) has to be paid at the time of confirmation.
● Balance payment is to be made 28 days prior to departure.

TRAVEL ADVICE

Travel documents:
Since Iceland is part of the Schengen area, German and Austrian citizens only need a valid identity card or passport to enter Iceland. Citizens of other nationalities should contact your Foreign Office or the respective embassy for information about the entry regulations that apply to you.

FEEDBACK

Coming Soon…

ICELAND - ROUND TOUR - GROUP

POLARLIGHTS AND VOLCANOES

TOUR CODE

WT-09-22-P2

DATE

Planning

DURATION

10 D. - 9 Nts

P.P. PRICE

Coming Soon

PAX

15- 20

Online Request

* Link to data security page www.wittman-travel.de/datasecurity/.

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ICELAND - POLAR LIGHTS AND VOLCANOES

Current Status

Tour Active

Booking Status

Minimum participants booked

Eligibility

RTPCR test required (24 hours prior to travel) even for vaccinated (Covid19) and recovered participants

Theme Leader

Name of theme leader

Language

English and German

Please Note

Program can be changed without prior notice
Also possible to book half double room