Family Iceland

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Best time to go: May to September

7 Nights | from £5,700pp

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Holiday type: Tailor-made

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Get a healthy dose of fresh air while whale watching, horse riding and kayaking
  • Explore the Golden Circle and Thingvellir National Park, the site of Iceland’s historic parliament, and a geological phenomenon
  • Take a super-jeep safari in the Thorsmork Valley
  • Take a tour of the volcanic Westman Islands to see the enormous puffin colonies
  • Soak in the healing thermal waters of the Blue Lagoon

Day 1 UK / Reykjavik
Touching down at Keflavik’s small but perfectly-formed airport, you could be forgiven that you were landing in a children’s playground, thanks to the primary-coloured Lego-like installations dotted around like giant building blocks. The airport characterises the country; small, colourful, friendly and straightforward. Your driver, who will be looking after you over the next three days, will be waiting to welcome you the moment you step into the Arrivals Hall, and will take you straight to your hotel.
Radisson Blu 1919 | Meals: Breakfast

Day 2 Reykjavik tour with horse riding and whale watching
By international standards, Reykjavik is small, particularly for a capital city, but it certainly punches above its weight in terms of friendliness and charm. It is home to a number of museums, curious architecture and myriad coffee-houses, ideal for people-watching. Amongst the sights and sounds of Reyjavik, your guide will take you to see the House of Parliament and Harpa concert hall, built from a steel frame clad with geometric shaped glass panels of different colours. Having spent some time exploring the city, it’s time for some fresh air, as you head out to meet – and ride = the country’s home grown pony breed, the Icelandic Horse, bred naturally on the island and known for its stoic nature and robust physique, ideal for coping with the rugged climate of North Atlantic. Then it’s time to focus on marine animals - whales. There are around 20 species of whale in the Atlantic around Iceland and you’ll have the chance to see some when you board a whale-watching boat in the Old Harbour and set sail in search.
Radisson Blu 1919 | Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 Exploring the Golden Circle on foot and by kayak
Iceland’s Golden Circle showcases the best of the country’s natural beauty which your private guide will delight in showing you, starting with the enthralling landscapes, powerful geysers, magnificent waterfalls and volcanic craters of Thingvellir National Park. A huge part of Iceland’s history since the first Althingi (parliament) in 930, it is a UNESCO World heritage site and a geological phenomenon, standing on two tectonic plates that are gradually moving away from each other, the turbulent underground geothermal activity is evidenced by the number of hot spouting geysers. The Great Geyser is the most famous, while Stokkur is the most energetic, bursting skywards every few minutes up to a height of 40 meters. In contrast, Gullfoss waterfall plummets magnificently down 32 meters in two stages into the canyon below, fed by the meltwater of Langiokull glacier. You’ll also see the huge lake of in the crater of Kerid volcano in Grimsnes, whose inky blue waters are strikingly framed by the earthy shades of the steep crater walls. Take to the water in kayaks on Thingvallavatn Lake, a vast natural lake that has formed in the tectonic rift between America and Europe, the calm surface dramatically surrounded by volcanoes, lava fields, and green pastures.
Holar Private Lodge | Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 4 Thorsmork
Today is all about adrenalin-fuelled adventure, as you embark on a Super-Jeep safari in the Thorsmork Valley, a wonderland of high mountains, majestic glaciers and birch woods. The only way to reach Thormork is on a specially-adapted mountain vehicle, the Super-Jeep, which has enormous tractor-like wheels capable of navigating the extremely rugged terrain. You’ll explore Gigjokull, the glacial tongue that drains from the famous Eyjafjallajokull glacier before a short hike into the canyon of Stakkholtsgja, around 2 km long and very narrow; when you reach the end you’ll be rewarded by the sight of a beautiful waterfall. A walk to Basar at the bottom of Thorsmork valley delivers spectacular views and more than 170 species of plants, moss and lichen, before you end the day exploring the nearby Seljalandsfoss and Gljufrabui waterfalls – for a surreal experience, you can actually walk behind Seljarlandsfoss!
Holar Private Lodge | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5 Westman Islands – Puffin Watching
The Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar) lie just south of Iceland, formed as a result of a submarine volcanic eruptions along a 30 km long fissure, and home to a number of large puffin colonies, which you’ll encounter today as you tour the islands’ volcanoes. These endearing birds certainly look cute, but they this hasn’t prevented them from becoming Iceland’s national dish! The islands are sometimes known as the Pompeii of the north, having experienced significant eruptions in relatively recent times – during your time here, you’ll hear all about the 1963 eruption when a new island was formed south-west of Heimaey (the biggest island), which has been name Surtsey and how, a decade later, a fissure opened in the eastern side of the island, forcing the inhabitants to evacuate the island. When the eruptions finally stopped 6 months later the lava flow had buried hundreds of houses and damaged many more.
Holar Private Lodge | Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6 Reykjanes Peninsula with Caving and the Blue lagoon
Reykjanesskagi is a peninsula at the southwestern end of Iceland, near the capital Reykjavik, characterised by the thermal activity under its surface, and large lava fields which allow little vegetation. There are however numerous hot springs and sulphur springs to see, the highlight being The Blue Lagoon, whose waters are rich in minerals that are known to have healing powers. Make sure you remember to bring your swimmers, so you can take a dip in the thermal waters and slather the white mud on your skin – a natural spa treatment before you head home; you’ll feel fantastic as a result!
Radisson Blu 1919 | Meals Breakfast

Day 7 Departure
Your driver will collect you from the Radisson Blu 1919 and take you to the colourful little airport for your flight home.

Pricing
At A&K all of our journeys are individually tailored to suit your needs and timescale. As a guide, this 8-day adventure costs from £6,450 per adult and £5,700 per child (under 15), based on two rooms/ family suit, including international flights.

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Meet the Europe & Middle East Team

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Our Europe & Middle East team – Sarah, Eleanor, Lynne, Rob, Aline and Sandrine are experts in designing the perfect holiday to suit your personal needs, interests and budget.3

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Useful info

iceland map

Best time to be there

June to September is a great time to enjoy a mild ocean climate thanks to the Gulf Stream. It is relatively mild in winter and cool in summer but this is when you can enjoy almost 24 hours of daylight. The weather can change several times during the day. In midwinter, whilst there is little daylight, it is one of the best times to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis).

Fly to

Keflavik, approximately 30 minutes from Reykjavik

flying time

3 hours non-stop

time difference

GMT

Visas

Not required for UK passport holders

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