ICELAND

Horses, Sagas and Northern Lights

AURORA / NATURE & CULTURE

TOUR CODE

WT-13-22-S4

DATE

Free of Choice

DURATION

5 D. - 4 Nts

P.P. PRICE

On Request

PAX

10 - 14

ICELAND - Horses, Sagas and Northern Lights

AURORA / NATURE & CulturE tour - SHORT TOUR

INTRODUCTION

If you really want to get to know the island in the North Atlantic, its history and life there, you have to visit the north-west of the country. Away from the major tourist attractions, this is where the heart of rural Iceland beats. The idyllic landscape on the shores of the North Sea is the scene of numerous sagas, those masterpieces of world literature that tell of the adventures, heroic deeds and intrigues of the early settlers. Even today the landscape looks like it did back then, the courtyards are in the same places as in the Viking Age, we find on the maps the scenes of that long-forgotten time, which comes to life again before our eyes. Later, the region around Skagafjörður was one of the political and spiritual centers of the country, and one of the two bishoprics was located here. On Skagafjörður, the power struggles of the 13th century culminated in the battle of Örlygsstaðir and the arson attack on the Flugumýri farm. Centuries before this farm was the home of the legendary stallion Flugu. Could there be a better place to introduce you to the world of Icelandic horses? Nowhere else do the magnificent animals play such an important role as on Skagafjörður. The Icelandic Horse Center and a university that deals with the Icelandic horse are located in the historic town of Hólar. Not far from Hólar every year on the last weekend in September, over 500 horses are driven back down into the valley from the summer pastures in the mountains. There the animals are assigned to their owners again at the Laufskálarétt. This horse scabbard is probably the most important event in the region, attracting up to 3000 visitors from all parts of the country. But we will not only be there at the horse scabbard, but also at the big horse show the evening before.
In keeping with the character of the trip, we spend the night in simple but cozy cottages. These are located above and a bit away from the small settlement Varmahlið, so that we can observe the night sky undisturbed with an abundance of stars that is hardly imaginable in the light-flooded Central Europe. And then sometime in the evening it will come – the mysterious green shimmering northern lights, sometimes glimmering calmly, then again dancing incredibly quickly across the sky or breaking out in bright cascades of light.
With this unusual trip, which has probably never been offered before, we would like to give you a deep insight into the past and present of rural Iceland and the sky above. To enable such an intense experience, we have limited the number of participants to 14 people, who are also accompanied by two travel agents.
The cottages in Varmahlið are self-catering so that we can prepare our own dinner. As an alternative, there are two restaurants in town, one in the hotel and another (self-service) in the service area.

ITINERARY

ITINERARY

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Optional Day Tour to Vevey and Montreux with Chillon Fort

In the morning after breakfast, the coach takes you to the French part of Switzerland to Vevey to the Chaplin Museum. Charlie Chaplin lived here with his family from 1953 until his death in 1977. On a guided tour, we visit the manor house, which has been restored and restored to its former glory. This is where Chaplin’s private and family life comes back to life. The studio-museum, newly built in 2016, is dedicated to Chaplin’s films and his impoverished childhood in London, which influenced his work. At the foot of Lake Geneva and the Swiss Alps, you can stroll through the landscaped garden that Chaplin was so delighted with. Visit Montreux for lunch and enjoy the view of Lake Geneva. Exclusive lunch in a selected restaurant directly on Lake Geneva. The third part of the day tour takes us to Chillon Castle, also located directly on Lake Geneva. A visit to the castle gives us an overview of eight centuries of architecture, history and culture. (8-9 hour day tour):

Picture gallery for The Optional Day Tour

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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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Your local Tour Guide:
Well expierenced local Tour Guide (english speaking)

HOTEL

TERMS & CONDITIONS

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TOUR COST

Tour date:
Free of Choice

Tour Price:
On Request

INCLUDED

✓ All transports and transfers with customary coaches
 4 nights with breakfast in the guest house or in the cottages
ü  all excursions and transfers
ü  local English-speaking tour guide
✓ English travel and specialist support from / to Reykjavík
 Observation and sightseeing programmes as described in the programme, with the exception of activities marked as optional
✓ Travel price protection certificate

NOT INCLUDED

 Optional excursions, as shown in the travel program
 Other meals and drinks
 Tips
 Arrival and Departure
● Any International airfare

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 rainfall in the south of the country is up to over 2000mm per year. In the northwest, the destination of our trip, it is only about 600-700 mm, as the windward position to the high mountains and glacier caps in the south of the country has an effect here. 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. It is warmest in Iceland from mid-June to late August / mid-September. At the end of September, daytime temperatures are between 0 and 10 ° C.

EQUIPMENTS

Binoculars and spotting scope if available
 Walking shoes for the walking tours
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)

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

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ICELAND - NATURE & CULTURE - SHORT TOUR

Horses, Sagas and Northern Lights

TOUR CODE

WT-13-22-S4

DATE

Free of Choice

DURATION

5 D. - 4 Nts

P.P. PRICE

On Request

PAX

10 - 14

Online Request

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

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ICELAND - HORSES, SAGAS AND NORTHERN LIGHTS

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