Iceland vacation, small group

“Geysers, glaciers and black sand beaches – just some of the natural wonders waiting to be discovered on this 10 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 | Egilsstaðir | Möðrudalur Valley | Húsavík | Lake Mývatn | Akureyri | Trollaskagi Peninsula | Gauksmýri | Snæfellsnes National Park | Grábrók volcano

Please feel free to contact the Help Desk team if you need any advice on your vacation plans. We're always happy to help!

Toll free 1-866-821-6866

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19 Apr 2019
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13 May 2019
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22 May 2019
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24 May 2019
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27 May 2019
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21 Jun 2019
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24 Jun 2019
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01 Jul 2019
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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

Responsible tourism: Iceland vacation, small group

Environment

Activity:
Cycling trips in general have a minimal impact on the environment; clients are briefed on managing food waste on cycling days- litter can be collected by guide in support vehicle and disposed of appropriately, in respect of local recycling policies. As this is a cycling trip, clients will interact with locals on scheduled stops, but also on the roads while cycling. Local drivers are generally very respectful and tolerant towards cyclists, and it is pointed out to clients that this goes both ways – while clients are on vacation, it is important to respect the fact that local drivers may be working or just going about their everyday lives, and to impact this as little as possible. For example letting cars pass on the sometimes narrow roads, giving way to pedestrians and even, at times, livestock; rather than being simple observers and consumers, we are all responsible for promoting a climate of tolerance and mutual respect.

Water:
Water is a really important issue with cycling trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Water is provided for clients on all cycling trips, and is carried in the support vehicle. Water receptacles are recycled or reused where applicable. As tap water in the region is drinkable, clients will be encouraged to use tap water and to reuse plastic bottles, rather than buying bottled water.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Accommodation and Meals:
Hotels used on this trip are family-owned with local staff, providing valuable employment in the tourism industry on which the region depends. Fresh produce is sourced locally as much as possible. Clients are encouraged to stop at local cafés on cycling breaks, notably on or near the mountain passes on the itinerary - local cafés are often seasonal and dependant on tourism for their livelihood, while providing valuable employment in areas where tourism is the principal, or only, employment option, particularly for younger people. Picnic lunches are sourced at local stores, and evening meals are taken in the family-run restaurants or at the hotels, also family-run.

Community:
The trip takes the group through small villages and towns in the Maritime Alps, with many small local businesses and artisans that are dependent on tourism for their livelihood; clients are encouraged to sample local wares when possible. The bikes used on the trip are hired from a locally-owned and run business in Luchon; for all our trips we privilege local operators over large retail chain stores for the rental of bikes. These small businesses have been founded by people with a love of cycling, who have often cycled the very roads we will take on the trip: this ensures a more personalised service for both the operator and the end client, while benefitting the local economy.

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.

3 Reviews of Iceland vacation, small group

4.5 out of 5 stars
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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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