Iceland vacation, small group

“Geysers, glaciers and black sand beaches – just some of the natural wonders waiting to be discovered on this 8 day circumnavigation of Iceland.”

Highlights

Reykjavik city tour | Golden Circle | tree planting | Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss | Solheimajokull glacier | Skaftafell National Park| Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon | Höfn Area | East Fjords | Egilsstađir | Möđrudalur Valley | Húsavík | Lake Mývatn | Akureyri | Trollaskagi Peninsula | Gauksmýri | Snćfellsnes National Park | Grábrók volcano

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23 Apr 2021
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Vacation type

Small group adventure

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are traveling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travelers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travelers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is a classic style of small group adventure. You'll find your trip combines a good mix of included activities and free time, with some meals included as per your itinerary. We don't want you to feel chaperoned, it's your vacation not ours. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with organising anything you might wish to do in your free time, but how you spend it is up to you. Anything listed as included in your itinerary will be included in trip price; whereas anything listed as optional will be at an additional cost should you wish to take part.

These trips are great value, including things that you would struggle to organise independently, such as a night at a homestay in a remote village, or local guides around a remote place of interest. Transport will be a combination of private vehicle and public transport, whichever is the most appropriate for the route we are traveling; this might include train, plane, camel, tuk tuk, bicycle, boat…

On a majority of these trips you'll stay in 2-3 star accommodation, locally owned and reflective of the region you are traveling through. All solo travelers will be automatically roomed on a twin share basis with another group member of the same sex, unless you opt to pay for your own room at time of booking. There are no compulsory single supplements for solo travelers willing to share. Single rooms aren't available on camping trips, and you will be expected to help out with camp tasks such as setting up and breaking down your camp.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your vacation package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your inquiry.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
In Iceland we only use locally owned and run guesthouses. When traveling the Icelandic countryside, we tend to stay in converted farm houses, some of which are still working farms such as horse farms. Our stay contributes to the local economy and helps the families living in this pretty inhospitable terrain.
Our guesthouse in Hvolsvollur is a leader in responsible tourism and sustainability. It’s a working family farm comprising of around 300 hectares. About 30 cows, 30 horses, 80 sheep, plenty of ducks, rabbits and goats are kept here, as well as landnámshćnan, a rare ancient Icelandic chicken. All the animals on the farm are free-range but have access to a house in winter. Berries, turnips and potatoes are also grown here, and all the farm’s produce is used in the hotel restaurant. The guesthouse is committed to their sustainability policy, and the accommodation and restaurant are eco-labelled by the Nordic Swan. Since the arrival of the first settlers in Iceland, deforestation has taken place to make space for pastures and overgrazing has led to soil erosion. The farm owners then had the idea of starting a tree planting project on their land to contribute to lowering CO2 and counteracting soil erosion. Our travelers will have the option to join the effort and head out into the surrounding hills to plant trees themselves.
On this Iceland trip we use a private minibus throughout. However, our local operator has recently purchased a brand-new fleet of vehicles all of which meet the European emission standards.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

All our Iceland trips are run by our local Destination Management Company (or DMC), which is based out of Reykjavik. They share our values in terms of responsible travel, and relay this onto our leaders who impart their wisdom on our travelers. Our DMC is run by locals and employs mostly local leaders from Iceland.
Many of the areas surrounding Reykjavik receive large numbers of day-trippers, mainly staying on cruise ships. This style of travel doesn’t benefit the local communities living in the countryside, which is why our itinerary takes the road less travelled. Staying in farmhouse accommodation and guesthouses brings benefits and understanding of adventure tourism to the local communities.
We support local businesses and use local suppliers for all our included activities and optional services. This means that our travelers experience local culture and that money stays in the area to benefit the local community.

Climate

4 Reviews of Iceland vacation, small group

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 15 Jun 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


We were fortunate enough to have a daily highlight. Planting trees, icebergs boat tour, walk on glacier, waterfalls, puffins, whale watching, hot springs, BBQ, ...

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


10 days give the opportunity to visit the island and take the most of it. If you travel with this operator, ask Laru as a guide. He is exceptional.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Very much. Planting trees, sleeping in farms, eating their harvest, visiting through eco friendly tour, ...

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Unforgettable. The island is full of ressources but having Larus as guide and the group clearly contribuated

Reviewed on 11 Aug 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The landscapes in Iceland are incredible and differ from other places in the world.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Some of the drives are long but worth the effort since you can admire many landscapes on the way. Even in the summer, it can be raining and foggy, and
this may be disappointing. In winter time, do not think even about renting a car and driving by yourselves as the weather may change dramatically in a few
minutes. If you visit in the winter, you need a local guide. If driving, never stop in the middle of the road, even if it is looking deserted. The roads even if they
are narrow are for high speed (up to 120 km/h) and you can be involved in an accident. If you book this tour, wait for discounts in the winter for the summer
tours. Also, take extra time for other places such as the Blue Lagoon.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


In some places, we stayed in guesthouses. Most of them were fine. We planted trees in one place helping the locals in keeping green environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


A wonderful vacation. Such a tour saves time in encircling Iceland compared with public transportation. If you are limited in time and do not want to hire a car,
this is the best option. Nevertheless, the tour is very expensive. In some of the guesthouses, we had only shared bathrooms/ toilets. Our guide, Christian was
nice and assisted us when my mother dislocated her arm. He helped us in obtaining ground floor accommodation. We would only recommend adding
Landmannalaugar Park to the tour. It is the most colorful park in Iceland.

Reviewed on 18 Jun 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


This has to be "what were...": the endlessly stunning scenery, the excellent choice of accomodation, and knowledgable input from the guide.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Wear layers; you can go from cold to hot in very little time. Organise a rotation system for sitting in the minibus. And save up before you go!! Iceland is
expensive.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We often used accomodation that used food from their own farms, which was good. We avoided buying bottled water. We planted some trees one evening
which was good but a bit of a token exercise.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent - thoroughly recommend it.

Reviewed on 16 Jun 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The waterfall which you walk behind! Take some waterproofs! The geology & landscape are amazing.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Expect a lot of driving. But the landscape is fabulous and the minibus comfortable.

The accommodation varies from good to very basic. The latter due three mix ups when the accommodation that was 'supposed' to be booked - was not! Ended up in staff rooms on one night. Another night the group was 6km apart. Make sure the guide is checking ahead. The evening dinner is not included on most nights and everyone found very expensive compared to home.

We all took the opportunity of a kitchen one night and had a great group meal with our own wine. Our guide was frankly not up to it but overall we made the most of it and had a great time.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Not particularly. Most accommodation was farmstays. This adds to income to in a
very hard environment but the standards vary. Iceland is 100% renewable due to the thermal springs which we saw.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Loved the island. Great group from all over the world. On down side - accommodation very inconsistent, expensive and poor leadership.

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