Southwest Iceland tours

“A relaxed scouting tour of southwest Iceland, incorporating many of the waterfalls, lava flows and lunar landscapes that make this Nordic country such a cool prospect.”

Highlights

Keflavik | Reykjavik | Snaefellsnes Peninsula | fishing villages | lava flows | extinct Eldborg crater | Hvalfjordur Fjord | Thingvellir National Park | Laugarvatn | Geysir | Thjorsardalur Valley | Gullfoss, Haifoss and Svartifoss waterfalls | Gjain Canyon | Fjallabak nature reserve | Vatnajokull National Park | Vik | Reynisfjara | puffin colonies | southernmost tip of Iceland | Optional activities include: swimming in hot pools, walks to Ofaerufoss Waterfall and boat rides on a glacial lagoon in Vatnajokull |

Map

Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
25 Jun 2017
US $ 3645
excluding flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 25 Jun 2017 departure
23 Jul 2017
US $ 3645
excluding flights
7 spaces left
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03 Sep 2017
US $ 3645
excluding flights
Available
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10 Sep 2017
US $ 3645
excluding flights
Available
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17 Sep 2017
US $ 3645
excluding flights
Available
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24 Jun 2018
US $ 3795
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 24 Jun 2018 departure
08 Jul 2018
US $ 3795
excluding flights
Available
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22 Jul 2018
US $ 3795
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 22 Jul 2018 departure
02 Sep 2018
US $ 3795
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 02 Sep 2018 departure
09 Sep 2018
US $ 3795
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 09 Sep 2018 departure
Our top tip:
Add stout walking boots to your kit list as well as plenty of layers to accommodate changeable weather conditions. Also, accommodation can be fairly minimalist so don't build your hopes up too high.
Trip type:
Small group. Avg 12. Min age 16.
Activity level:
Leisurely. Easy walks, nature trails and hot springs.
Accomm:
Farmhouses, guesthouses and hotels with some nights having to share facilities.
Included:
Accommodation, specialist transport, listed activities and tour leader throughout.
Meals:
All brks, 6 lunches, 5 dinners.
Solos:
A limited number of single rooms available at a supplement.
Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Southwest Iceland tours

Environment

Accommodation and Meals:
We spend 7 nights in a mixture of farms, hotels and simple guesthouses. Small, locally owned lodgings are used wherever possible, meaning that the community benefits from a rise in employment and income generated. The accommodation is geothermally heated, and waste is recycled appropriately throughout the trip, which reduces our impact on the environment. Where meals are provided, locally sourced ingredients are usually used to make a mixture of continental and authentic style dishes, such as freshly caught fish or smoked lamb with potatoes. Guides generally purchase snacks and picnic provisions from local shops along the way, which supports small businesses in the area. Clients are reminded to avoid whale meat if they encounter it.

Activity:
We are careful to operate with a strict ‘leave no trace’ policy, which involves being vigilant with proper disposal of litter and being mindful of wildlife. This is particularly pertinent in Vatnajokull National Park and Thingvellir National Park, as each area has its own environmental regulations that we much adhere to. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints, although there is one exception, as clients are encouraged to leave a lasting positive impression by engaging with locals, using local businesses and buying local crafts or produce.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

Community

Community:
Our Icelandic operators hire local guides for each trip and use a bus company from a small town in South Iceland for the driving in all of their trips. This is mutually beneficial in that the community benefits from employment opportunities, whilst clients gain an insight into the country from staff with valuable local expertise. Our operators are also eager to contribute to local organisations devoted to conservation and community efforts. They run various programs for local children with disabilities or disadvantages in conjunction with the Salvation Army, so that these children can take part in activities like caving, glacier walking and going on a rope course.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

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