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Iceland

When:
Tuesday, August 21, 2018 to Sunday, September 2, 2018
Where:

Contact:
Daniel J Hapner
Category:
Trips
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Iceland
Denmark Add-On
 
ICELAND ITINERARY*

Day 1, August 21:  Arrival, breakfast in Keflavik, transfer to the Blue Lagoon - Reykjavik [B/D]

Your group will be picked up at the Keflavik International Airport.  We start the day with breakfast in Keflavik.  Then it is only a 20 minute drive before we reach the Blue Lagoon.  The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland's most popular attractions, a natural geothermal pool in the middle of a large and dramatic lava field and an oasis that owes its existence to a nearby geothermal power plant, looming large over the aqua tinted waters.  We stop for 1 1/2 hour for a refreshing bathe or a swim in the inviting, rejuvenating and pleasantly warm mineral-rich water (36 C-38 C/110-110 F), reputed for its healing properties.  From the Blue Lagoon, it takes about 45 minutes passing lava landscape and several suburbs before reaching Reykjavik, the northern most Capital city in the world.  Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant in the city center.

Day 2, August 22:  Reykjavik city tour with guide, free afternoon [B]

We pass Hallgrimskirkja-Church and enjoy a photo stop at Hofoi house, where the Reagan/Gorbachev summit meeting took place in 1986.  We continue to district of the University, the Nordic hourse and National Museum.  From the City Hall we take a walk through the city center to the street where the first settler built his house.  Next to the Parliament and Lutheran cathedral we pass the sculpture of Skuli Magnusson, the founder of Rekjavik and Jon Sigurosson, our real independence hero.  We then head towards the city pond to enjoy different types of birds, geese, and whooper swans and duck mallards.  We drive past the Catholic Church and enjoy the panoramic view over Reykjavik, the fjord and mountains from the balcony at the Pearl.  We end the tour at the harbour where we find a large fleet of whale watching and fishing boats in all sizes.  The afternoon is free for optional wale watching or walking around the city.

Day 3, August 23:  Reykjavik - Husavik [B/D]

After leaving Reykjavik, we explore Hraunfossar, a series of waterfalls pouring from beneath a long row of lava fields into Hvita River.  Barnafoss "the Children's fall" is nearby and has its own tragic tale.  Then we visit Europe's most powerful hot spring and climb the Grabrok volcano crater in West Iceland.  We continue along fjords and over mountains to Akureyri - the capital of North Iceland, for a brief stop prior to contnuing to nearby Husavik;  our base for the next two nights.  Dinner at the hotel.

Day 4, August 24:  Husavik - Myvatn - Husavik [B]

We explore Gooafoss, the waterfall of the Gods, and contue to Lake Myvatn, known for its rich bird life and extraordinary volcanic lava landsacpes.  Visit pseudo craters, walk in the lava field Dimmuborgir, climb up to the rim of the ash crater Hverfjall, see the hot springs and bubbling mud pools of Namaskaro, and travel to the Crater Lake Viti in the Krafla geothermal fields.
Dinner on your own.

Day 5, August 26:  Husavik - Reykjavik [B]

We travel back west over the mountains to Skagafjorour, known as the valley of horses, and home to many ancient farms.  We visit the folk museum and turf farm at Glaumbaer.  The buildings of the fram date from slightly different periods in the 18th & 19th centuries.  Onward we travel south and stop for coffee & cake at the horse farm, where we also learn about the history and special gaits of the Icelandic horse.
Evening at leisure.

Day 6, August 27: Golden Circle day tour [B]

Over a scenic route we reach Pingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site.  We stroll around the country's most sacred site, home of the oldest existing parliament in the world, the Alpingi, and major events in our history.  We drive to the mighty Gullfoss (the Golden Waterfall) perhaps the most eautiful in the country.  Onward we explore the geothermal active valley of Haukadalur which contains the geysers Geysir and Strokkur.  Strokkur, the Great Geysir's little brother, is spouting to a height of about 25 metres (82 ft) and erupts at about 5-7 minute intervals.
Evening at leisure.

Day 7, August 28:  South shore of Iceland - Reykjavik [B/D]

The route passes through some of the prettiest countryside in Iceland with fields, farms and village toward the Eyjafjalla and Myrdalsjokull glaciers in South Iceland.  We continue to the impressive Skogafoss waterfall, that's more than 60 metres hight (197 ft) and belongs to the largest waterfalls in Iceland.  Then on to the beautifully sited village of Vik i Myrdal, the southernmost village in Iceland.  After lunch break we reach the volcanic black sandy beach of Reynisfjara that is famous for its bird species including puffins.  We reach Seljalandsfoss, a graceful ribbon-like waterfall, which drops from an overhanging lava cliff.  If you step carefully, you can walk behind  it, but be prepared to get wet.
Farewell dinner at the hotel in Reykjavik.

Day 8, August 29:  Departure transfer [B]

Transfer to airport for return to USA or on to Denmark for the post trip.


DENMARK ITINERARY*

Day 1, August 29:    Arrive Copenhagen [D]

Arrival into Copenhagen Airport and meet your local guide and coach for an orientation sightseeing tour of the city. Marvel at the majesty of Christiansborg Palace; hear of the intriguing exhibits within The National Museum; and disembark to capture photographs beside Copenhagen’s gorgeous symbol, the statue of the Little Mermaid from Hans Christian Andersen's famous tale. The tour will end at your hotel for check-in. 

In the evening enjoy a group dinner at your hotel or nearby restaurant.


Day 2, August 30:    Rosenborg & Carlsberg Brewery Tour [B/D]

Meet your coach and guide at the hotel to start a 6-hour sightseeing tour of the city.  Your first stop is an included entrance to Rosenborg Castle, a Renaissance palace where the Danish crown jewels are kept, as well as paintings and other treasures. Other landmarks and sights you’ll see include the Opera House, Nyhavn (New Harbour), Vesterbro, Christianshavn, the Old Stock Exchange, Kongens Nytorv (King’s Square).  Enjoy some free time for lunch before an afternoon visit to the Carlsberg Brewery.

How do you brew the perfect beer? By never being satisfied, as when Carlsberg founder JC Jacobsen chased the dream tirelessly almost 200 years ago. The old brewery from 1847 has been converted into a modern center with unique displays and interactive exhibits. Your visit will take you through the history of beer craftsmanship and culture. You can also visit the stables and the largest bottle collection in the world, displaying more than 16,600 different kinds of beer bottles. 

The tour will end at your hotel

Dinner is included

Overnight in Copenhagen


Day 3, August 31:    Odense Day Trip [B/D]

Get to know the father of fairy tales on a Hans Christian Andersen day trip from Copenhagen. With a guide at your side, travel to the writers birthplace, the town of Odense on the Danish island of Funen. The Danish writer produced plays, books and poems, but is perhaps most widely remembered for his fairy tales. The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling and Thumbelina are among the best known around the English-speaking world, proving inspiration for ballets, animated films, plays and more. Following the opposite direction of a route traveled by Andersen in his teens, your tour heads south, out of Copenhagen and through the heart of Zealand the large Danish island on which Copenhagen sits. Cross the impressive Great Belt Bridge to the island of Funen and stop in Odense. Visit the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, which was once Andersens childhood home and explore the town. 

The tour will end at your hotel

Dinner is included

Overnight in Copenhagen

Day 4, September 1:          North Zealand Excursion + Tivoli Gardens [B/D]

This is a royals-themed day trip to North Zealand including a tour of Frederiksborg Castle. The day trip lets you explore Frederiksborg Castle and learn about flamboyant King Christian IV who once lived here, walk through rooms like the Coronation Chapel and then stroll through the castle’s French Baroque gardens with a guide.  You will also visit Helsingør Castle (also known as the Kronberg Castle) made famous in Shakespeare’s Hamlet and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.   The tour will end at your hotel with the rest of the afternoon free at leisure.

In the evening, visit Tivoli Gardens, a famous amusement park and pleasure garden in Copenhagen, Denmark. The park opened on 15 August 1843 and is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world.  Enjyo a group dinner in the park and some free time to explore on your own and enjoy the rides.


Overnight in Copenhagen


Day 5, September 2:          Departure [B]

Transfer with your coach and assistant to the airport for departure flights home
 

* Itineraries subject to change