Slow Travel & Wellness Tour for 8 days / 7 nights
Iceland offers many good things - here you will experience an eco-friendly life style, you will find food for the body with tasty, healthy ingredients, quality water and clean air. You will find food for the soul as well - a calmness of a landscape, which contains contrasts and extremes at the same time. Cold glacial rivers, hot flowing springs, black deserts, white volcanic mountains, clean blue lakes and deep green waterfalls. Iceland has places full of peace and tranquility. Here you can discover the energy of the elements: earth, water, air, and fire - basic things that are the core of life.
Iceland is a country shaped by its bountiful water. The abundance of water and geothermal energy enriches the land. This unique resource is present in myriad of forms: fresh springs, hot springs, flowing water, falling water, geothermal water, glacial water, oceanic water and in different states from steam, to liquid to glacial.
Water and its role in wellness is a focus in this new escorted coach tour. During its six days, you will experience wellness and nature with the therapeutic effect of thermal bathing and some relaxing walks in fresh air. Explore beautiful natural sights in Southwest Iceland and the remote interior highlands where you can experience pure winter magic, on a true getaway from a busy life. Five evenings during this week-program are spent searching for the Northern Lights, enjoying fine dining and relaxing in geothermal pools, saunas, steam baths or hot pots. This is truly the most amazing escorted winter holiday in Iceland.
Day 1: WELCOME to ICELAND (50 km/31 mls)
Private airport transfer by coach & guide from Keflavík International airport to Reykjavík where you spend the night at Grand Hotel Reykjavik & Spa. Meals: none
.Day 2: SOUTH ICELAND
(370 km/230 mls)
Start your escorted tour program by heading out along the south coast. You’ll pass volcanic mountains, plenty of geothermal vents, and then get out near the active volcano that is beneath the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. Skógafoss waterfall is 60 meters high and one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. At the seaside, you will stroll on the black lava beach to see the amazing bird cliffs at Reynisfjara near Vík. In the afternoon stop at the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which plunges over the mountain.
We will spend two nights at Hotel Highland, one of Iceland's most remote hotel locations in the interior highlands of Iceland. This region can only be described as black and white, where the arctic snow covers the black sands and lava fields of the high Icelandic desert. During clear nights, you might be able to see what looks to be billions of stars. This is also a place where you can experience a deep quiet and perhaps even total silence. Due to the high altitude and the seemingly endless views from here, Hotel Highland is one of the best locations in Iceland to see the Northern Lights, if conditions are right. After a 3-course dinner (included), there will be a presentation about one aspect of the Northern Lights, and then you can step into the darkness to search for the magical Aurora Borealis. Simply enjoy the company of those billions of stars, or relax in the hotel's sauna and outdoor hot pot. (In the rare occasions that weather and road conditions don’t allow us to reach Hotel Highland, we will stay at an alternative location.) Meals: Breakfast & dinner.
Day 3: INTERIOR WILDERNESS
(30 km/19 mls)
How about a late breakfast and then a short guided walk into the wilderness? The weather is the boss in this stretch of Iceland. Today's program is simply powered by wind and snow conditions as well as by your willingness to spend a day away from your ordinary life. Today we explore the neighbourhood on foot, perhaps feeling a bit like the Icelandic outlaws from the past, which this area is quite famous for. We walk into the Arctic landscape where snow covers the black sand and lava fields most of the winter time. Here we can experience some moments away from modern noise and stress. We might listen to the wind and perhaps some ghost stories but also we can listen to our inner self. Let's enjoy the calmness and open spaces of this unique location in the Icelandic highlands. We can take time to breathe in fresh air, take photographs, walk alone or with the group. Let's take time to find food for the soul in the power of a landscape that is full of contrasts and extremes at the same time. Lunch is included.
Back at the hotel you can enjoy a northern lights lecture and video presentation. If Iceland’s interesting cuisine catches your fancy, today offers a chance to immerse yourself in it, by joining in a 2 ½ hour cooking demonstration where you will help to "cook" your own Icelandic 3-course dinner. This activity is complimentary, but must be booked prior to arrival to Iceland as space is limited. After dinner (included), once darkness falls, you’ll be out chasing the Northern Lights and soaking in the hotel’s outdoor hot tubs. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.
Day 4: WATERFALLS, GEYSERS AND GEOTHERMAL STEAM BATHS
(200 km/124 mls)
Heading down from the highlands, we start the day with a visit at Hjálparfoss waterfall that is split in two with a beautiful pond in front and surrounded by extraordinary basalt rock formations. The beautiful valley of Þjórsárdalur is dominated by Hekla, one of Iceland's most active volcanoes. At a local candle making workshop you might find your favorite candle made of volcanic ash for your stay at the next hotel.
At noon, we reach the Geysir geothermal fields. Here there are a variety of hot springs and bubbling pools including the original geyser, which is now dormant, but which has been replaced by the nearby Strokkur "the Churn“, which erupts at 5-10 minute intervals. Then it’s on to Gullfoss “the golden falls“, a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river and attracts travelers in summer and winter. The last stop today is at the new thermal baths FONTANA in Laugarvatn, where healing geothermal heat simmers directly from the ground and the landscape is painted with beautiful mountain ranges.
Laugarvatn FONTANA will be a highlight of any wellness retreat in Iceland where you find three geothermally heated baths, a sauna, a warm sand beach, and access to the pristine waters of Lake Laugarvatn. A visit to the open-air baths at Laugarvatn FONTANA will also give you the opportunity to experience the ever-changing Icelandic weather as the thermal baths can be enjoyed all year around. In fact, wintertime makes the visit to the thermal baths an even warmer experience.
We continue to the small greenhouse town of Hveragerði in South Iceland. You will stay for two nights at the Hotel Frost & Fire, beautifully located on the Varmá River, with a geothermal swimming pool, several outdoor hot tubs, steam and kneipp bath, and a relaxation room. After dinner (included), you can check if Northern Lights are visible. Also, known as the Aurora Borealis, these spectacular sky-light shows can frequently be seen in Iceland from September through April on clear and crisp nights. White and green are usually the dominant colors of northern lights but sometimes there are considerable color variations. They are ephemeral, however, sightings are not guaranteed. Meals: Breakfast & dinner.
Day 5: RELAXATION, HORSE SHOW & COASTAL VILLAGES
(70 km/44 mls)
Free morning to enjoy the wellness facilities of Frost & Fire Hotel, taking pictures of the incredible geothermal surroundings or join an easy, guided walk together through the greenhouse village of Hveragerði with several surprising attractions. In the afternoon we travel to the coastal villages of Stokkseyri and Eyrarbakki with many old and colorful houses and visit a local folk and maritime museum. We stroll along the black sands at one of the local beaches. Later you´ll learn about the history and special gaits of the Icelandic horse at a nearby horse farm. This is slow travel at its best! After a nice lobster dinner at a nearby seashore restaurant (included), it’s outside to watch out for the magical Northern Lights before returning to the hotel.
.Day 6: NATIONAL PARK, FARM VISIT, BLUE LAGOON & GOURMET DINNER
(275 km/171 mls)
Today you’ll travel to Thingvellir National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Where you can join a relaxing walk through history and geological wonders. Then continue to the scenic Hvalfjörður fjord to visit a local farm where you can learn about rural life and farming and have lunch (included) with some farm - family members.
In the afternoon you can soak in the healing waters of the famous Blue Lagoon surrounded by a beautiful lava field. Then it’s back to Reykjavík where you’ll spend the last two nights at Grand Hotel Reykjavík & Spa. A 3-course gourmet dinner is included at the Perlan revolving restaurant offering a beautiful view over Iceland's capital and surrounding. If the night is clear, you might be lucky to see the Northern Lights swirling in a wild and carefree dance across the heaven in dramatic shapes, colors, patterns and sizes. Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.
Day 7: REYKJAVÍK CITY TOUR AND AFTERNOON AT LEISURE
(30 km/19 mls)
In the morning enjoy a two hours city tour of the world's northern-most capital. Afternoon at leisure for sightseeing, museum visits, shopping, spa treatments or optional whale watching tour. Meals: breakfast
.Day 8: DEPARTURE HOME
(50 km/31 mls)
Private transfer by bus (no guide) from your accommodation in Reykjavík to Keflavík airport. Meals: breakfast
In rare cases, change of itinerary might be necessary during winter programs in Iceland, should snow, road and weather conditions not allow to follow the scheduled itinerary, and certain outdoor activities might be cancelled. In this case no refund will be given, but the GJ-Travel will try the find reasonable alternatives where and when ever possible.
DEPARTURE DATES: This itinerary is ideal for the period Mid-September to Mid-April. Note that tours in September and April are more expensive due to hotel prices. Note that the time from Mid-December to Mid-January offers only about 5-6 hours of day light and therefore not an ideal travel time for this tour program.
DURATION: 8 days / 7 nights
ACCOMMODATION: Tourist class and superior hotels – rooms with shower/wc
MEALS: 7x breakfast, 2x lunch and 5x dinner. Additional meals can be added on request.
GROUP SIZE: ideal for groups 10-30 persons.
DURATION: 8 days / 7 nights
3 nights at Grand Hotel Reykjavik & Spa
2 nights at Hotel Highland in the interior
2 nights at Hotel Frost & Fire in Hveragerði
- Arrival airport transfer by private bus & guide
- Fully escorted 6-day coach tour with a professional guide as per program
- Departure airport transfer by private bus (no guide)
- 7 nights accommodation as listed above including breakfast
- 2x lunch (day 3 and 6), 5x dinner (day 2, 3, 4 and 5) and 4x midnight refreshments
- Cooking demonstration & help to prepare dinner if you please
- Visit to candle making workshop
- Entrance with towel at Fontana Steam Baths
- Visit to folk and maritime museum in Eyrarbakki
- Horse show in South Iceland
- Farm visit at Hvalfjörður fjord
- Entrance with towel at Blue Lagoon
- Use of spa/wellness facilities at Hotel Highland and Hotel Frost & Fire
- Use of gym at Grand Hotel Reykjavik, but use of spa facilities and spa treatments are not included
- Northern Lights program during 5 evenings with a combination of lectures, presentations, film and guided searches
PRICE: contact our group department for an offer - email firstname.lastname@example.org