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13th January 2019
It acquired its name, meaning ‘Smoky Bay’, after one of the first settlers, Ingolfur Arnarson, a Norwegian Viking, saw plumes of steam rising from the geothermal springs in AD 874.
In actual fact, Reykjavik is a completely smoke-free city heated almost exclusively by geothermal and hydro power. Icelanders are proud of having the cleanest, freshest air on the planet. Given the country’s latitude of 64ºN, the temperature is warmer than one might expect, courtesy of the Gulf Stream. During summer the nights are bright with the sun setting around midnight. There are excellent shops, most being independently owned, and even two shopping malls a short taxi drive away, great cafes selling home-made food and superb restaurants.
However, a trip to Reykjavik in the summer is not complete without exploring some of Iceland's natural wonders beyond the city during the daytime. We have included two full day trips by mini-bus (small group tours); the Golden Circle featuring Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall and the famous geyser hot springs, plus a South Coast Exploration featuring Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls, the charming Vik village, Solheimajökull glacier and Reynisfjara shore.
A truly memorable short break holiday that combines city and countryside perfectly.
Day 1 - Arrive Iceland and Reykjavik
Arrive at Iceland's Keflavik Airport by air from the UK and take the airport bus to your hotel (approx. 50mins). You then have the remainder of the day to enjoy Iceland's capital city at your leisure.
4 nights REYKJAVIK - Fosshotel Baron (3 star), Fosshotel Reykjavik (4 star) or Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina (4 star) - all including breakfast
Please note, we are able to offer a large number of alternative hotels in Reykjavik - please ask for details and prices.
Day 2 - Explore Reykjavik on your own
A free day to explore the quirky city of Reykjavik or take a pre-booked optional excursion. We will provide you with plenty of recommendations of things to do and see including a visit to the top of Hallgrímskirkjá church for panoramic views of the entire city showcasing all the colourful houses.
Day 3 - The Golden Circle tour
Depart at 0830 from your hotel for your included full day Golden Circle tour as part of a small-group. This tour needs little introduction and includes some of Iceland’s most stunning sights; you will see the hot spring Strokkur shoot a column of water up to 30 metres into the air every 4-8 minutes - a thrilling experience you will anticipate each time. You will also visit the magnificent Gullfoss waterfall, created where the river Hvítá tumbles and plunges into a crevice some 32 m deep. Your tour also includes the historical and geological wonder that is Thingvellir National Park, where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates are pulling apart at a rate of a few centimetres per year. Additionally you make a short stop at the majestic Faxi waterfall, by no means as big or powerfall as Gullfoss but still very impressive. Return to your hotel around 1700 leaving plenty of time to get ready for dinner!
Day 4 - South Coast Exploration
This day trip takes you along the south coast of Iceland, one of the country’s most scenic regions, as far as Vík, a charming village surrounded by high beautiful bird cliffs. Among the stops on this tour are at the gorgeous Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls. Seljalandsfoss is part of the Seljandsá river, which has its origins in Eyjafjallajökull glacier. What makes Seljalandsfoss so famous and interesting is that you can walk behind it. We recommend you bring either a raincoat or a waterproof coat along if you want to walk behind it. Skógafoss, another famous Icelandic waterfall, is the starting point of the Fimmvörðuháls walk over to Þórsmörk. The waterfall was also used in the films Thor: The Dark World and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
A stop is also made at Reynisfjara black sand beach, with the Reynisdrangar rock formations and columnar basalt. A stop is also included at Sólheimajökull with a walk up to a small lake which has formed in front of the retreating glacier.
Duration approximately 10 hours. Lunch is not included but suitable stops are made along the way where you will be able to buy a meal and refreshments.
Day 5 - Homeward bound
Free time in Reykjavik before your airport bus transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
Departure Day: Daily
Departure Dates: 1 May - 30 September
Duration: 4 nights/5 days
Prices from: Prices are per person and are based on two people travelling together and sharing a double/twin room.
Deposit: The deposit payment for this holiday is £200 per person.
|Dep. Date||Price from per person||Extra night per person||Single Supp.|
|May - Sep 2019||£1345||£135||On req|
|Supplements for Fosshotel Baron:
Ocean View Double, £20 per person per night
|Dep. Date||Price from per person||Extra night per person||Single Supp.|
|May - Sep 2019||£1530||£180||On req.|
Supplements for Fosshotel Reykjavik:
|Dep. Date||Price from per person||Extra night per person||Single Supp.|
|May - Sep 2019||£1645||£195||On req.|
|Supplements for Hotel Reykjavik Marina:
Deluxe Double, £35 per person per night
Junior Suite, £130 per person per night
We are able to organise private transfers from/to your hotel in Reykjavik and Keflavik Airport.
|Taxi/Mini-bus, Max 4 passengers||£140 in total|
|Mini-bus, Max 8 passengers||£210 in total|
|Mini-bus, Max 14 passengers||£260 in total|
DEPOSIT: The deposit payment for this holiday is £200 per person
TO BOOK: To book this holiday either telephone us on 01274 875199 (this is our preferred option as it gives us the opportunity to chat with you!) or email your booking request to email@example.com
It is important to read the Terms and Conditions which apply when making a confirmed booking with us. By asking us to confirm your booking, we are entitled to assume that you have read and understood our terms and conditions, and agree to them.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We can only provide general information about this. You must check requirements for your own specific circumstances with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates and your own doctor as applicable. For further information contact the Passport Office on 0300 222 0000 or visit www.gov.uk/browse/abroad/passports. Up to date travel advice can be obtained from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Non British passport holders, including other EU nationals, should obtain up to date advice on passport and visa requirements from the Embassy, High Commission or Consulate of your destination or country(ies) through which you are travelling.
FOSSHOTEL BARON (3 star) - Reykjavik
Fosshotel Baron is a clean and friendly hotel standing right in the heart of Reykjavík, near the seafront, within walking distance of shops and attractions. The hotel offers both hotel rooms and apartments, perfect for families or small groups travelling together. Enjoy a scenic walk by the seaside, visit Harpa Concert Hall and try some of Reykjavík’s great restaurants and cafés, all just a stone’s throw away.
Breakfast is included in your stay and you will also have the option to eat at the hotel's restaurant and enjoy drinks in the bar. All rooms are en suite and include free Wi-Fi.
FOSSHOTEL REYKJAVIK (4 star) - Reykjavik
Fosshotel Reykjavík is located in the city centre, it's a large hotel that still offers personal touches in both appearance and service. Only a short walking distance from Laugavegur, the main shopping street, it's the ideal location for any visitor to Reykjavik.
The hotel has 16 floors with many rooms offering magnificent views of the city and the bay area. We recommend unwinding with Icelandic draught beer at the Bjórgarðurinn / Beer Garden or enjoy dining at their restaurant, Haust. All rooms are en suite and equipped with modern facilities including Wifi.
ICELANDAIR HOTEL REYKJAVIK MARINA (4 star)
Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina is located in the old downtown harbour district of the city, where it has a fabulous view of the ocean. This is a stylish hotel with a unique character which blends modern Icelandic design with old objects salvaged from the surrounding harbour and shipyard. All furniture and fittings have been custom-made in Iceland and were carefully chosen to create an inviting and unforgettable impression. Many of the historical photographs which you will see in the hotel depicting harbour life have been provided by the Reykjavik Museum of Photography, which is located nearby. In keeping with the rest of the hotel, the rooms are uniquely decorated with contemporary Icelandic design and references to Reykjavik's maritime culture.
The hotel has a superb bar and social area named Slippbarinn, that is also popular among locals. It's a great place to relax after a day of sightseeing where you can enjoy a selection of homemade cocktails, local beer and delicious food served in a cosy atmosphere.
INSIDE THE VOLCANO from Reykjavik
Description: Journey into the depths of a dormant volcano on this exhilarating expedition from Reykjavik. After hiking through the lava fields of the Blue Mountains, arrive at the rim of Thrihnukagigur volcano. It’s also the only place on Earth where you can take an elevator inside a volcano’s magma chamber! The whole programme takes about 5–6 hours to complete, in which time you will:
The total duration of the tour is between 5 and 6 hours and includes a hike of around 45/50 minutes each way over relatively even ground.
For the trip inside the volcano itself they utilise an innovative method to lower visitors down through the crater’s opening (roughly 4×4 m/12×12 ft width). They use a system that’s normally used to carry window cleaners on the side of skyscrapers – an open elevator system. A basket that holds 6–7 people is connected to a crane that has been placed vertically over the crater opening. Massive cable wires move the basket up and down the bottle-shaped vault. The 120 m/400 ft journey takes about 6 minutes to complete, giving you an idea of how slowly you will be moving down into the crater. The slow speed is to ensure the safety of passengers, but also to provide the opportunity to enjoy the amazing scenery.
Operates: 15 May to 15 October
Duration: 5 - 6 hours
Departs: 0800, 1000, 1200, 1400 with included transfer from Reykjavik
Price: £320 per person
Includes: Pick-up and drop-off at your hotel, guided tour, all safety equipment including helmets, harnesses etc, traditional Icelandic meat stew (vegetarian and special diet options available, please advise at time of booking)
REYKJAVIK FOOD WALK from Reykjavik
Description: Explore Reykjavík‘s downtown area through food with a fun, local guide. On this 3-4 hour long tour, we will see some of Reykjavík‘s most beautiful sights go to 5-6 amazing restaurants, food trucks and local shops. All tours are with small groups which will ensure a personal and local experience.
We will get to taste the herb and grass fed, free roaming Icelandic lamb, enjoy a homemade ice cream made from a secret family recipe, try the best Icelandic cheese of the season and taste Skyr, the traditional Icelandic dairy product.
No food walk is complete without a stop at the famous Icelandic hot dog stand to get a hot dog 'with everything' (raw onion, fried onion, ketchup, mustard and rémoulade).
We will additionally get to taste the local speciality, an authentic seafood soup.
We will visit a variety of casual, fine dining and cosy family run businesses. Some of the places we go to are well-known must visit restaurants, while others are local secret hangouts. We will not taste some of the more famous and not as tasteful Icelandic food, such as fermented shark, ram‘s testicles or sour sheep heads but instead focus on the most delicious Icelandic cuisines.
The Reykjavík Food Tour is a safe, family friendly tour and an excellent way to get to know Iceland‘s food.
Operates: Daily, except Sunday, all year.
Duration: 3-4 hours.
Price: £115 per adult, children 4-12 £58.
Price includes: Local guide for walking tour and all food during tour.
Good to know: This tour is a small group walking tour with a local guide - wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Pick-up and drop-off is at Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre.
THE BLUE LAGOON COMFORT OR PREMIUM PACKAGE from Reykjavik
Description: This activity is available as part of your airport transfer, on arrival or departure, or as a standalone day excursion from Reykjavik. Relax in the milky-blue seawater (37-39ºC) of the Blue Lagoon, and try out the sauna, steam bath and powerful massage waterfall. Bliss. There are two difference package options to choose from:
Operates: Daily, all year.
Duration: Length of time in the Blue Lagoon can be from 1.5 to 3 hours. The Blue Lagoon is 20 mins from Keflavik Airport and approximately 35 minutes from Reykjavik City Centre.
Prices: £120 per person (Comfort package), £135 per person (Premium package).
Price includes: Return bus transfer, Comfort or Premium Package as detailed above.
Good to know: Pick-up is 30 minutes prior to departure. Excursion operates according to the following schedule.
WHALE WATCHING DURING THE SUMMER from Reykjavik
Description: This trip departs directly from Reykjavik Harbour which is a short walk from most of Reykjavik's city hotels. Here you will find the Visitor Centre, facilitated on board a converted fishing vessel permanently placed by the pier, which is where you will meet your crew for the day. Before (or after) the tour you can have a drink at the Whale Café or enjoy the onboard whale exhibition located in the hull of the boat. The show includes multimedia images and videos of whales as well as fun facts about the cetaceans and other marine animals you are likely to come across on the tour.
Once on board the tour boat you will find several outdoor viewing platforms, a large indoor saloon with an on board café where you can buy light refreshments, basic bathroom facilities and a cloak room where you can borrow a blanket or overalls for cooler days. You can either stay outside in the fresh air or inside the heated lounge and observe the views from within, through large panoramic windows. One of your guides will talk about the sights and views at hand through the intercom system and will be available to answer any questions you may have throughout the tour.
Summer season (1 April - 31 October) is great for whale watching, as the wildlife in the bay is at it's highest peak! The most common cetacean in the area are the Minke whales, White-beaked dolphins and Harbour porpoises. Occasionally we spot other species including Humpback whales, Killer whales/Orcas, Fin whales and Blue whales to name but a few.
The weather can change quite frequently in Iceland and therefore we reserve the right to alter routes and itineraries by sailing from other harbours in the nearby area where the weather or sightings are more favourable each time, which could result in a slightly longer tour. Please be aware also that the tours are run in wild nature and we can never guarantee sightings on a particular tour. The estimated duration of tours are standard times and can change according to conditions at sea. Although the success rate is high, the cetacean abundance is unpredictable and varies with the food availability off-shore.
Departures: 0900, 0930, 1000, 1300, 1400, 1700, 1900, 2030
Duration: Approximately 3 hours.
Price: £75 per person
Includes: Entry to the Whale Museum, guided whale safari, free use of blankets and overalls, WiFi on-board for those who can't wait to share their experience!
Who is this holiday suitable for?
That's easy, this holiday is suitable for everyone. The beauty of Iceland is that you can actually see and do an awful lot from the city centre and though this holiday spends each night in Reykjavik, we have included two full day trips exploring the countryside and some of Iceland's most famous landmarks.
What is the language in Iceland?
The language of Iceland is Icelandic, the original old norse language. Don't worry though, English is the second language and is widely spoken by most people (Cable TV has helped with this enormously as they do not dub in Iceland!).
Can you recommend any good restaurants in Reykjavik?
There are lots of really great restaurants to choose from in Reykjavik's compact city centre. It really depends on what your taste is. Clearly the fish and seafood are amazing and as fresh as it comes, but did you also know that Icelandic lamb is fantastic? If you follow a meat-free or plant based diet you also have a good variety of restaurants to choose from. Rather than make individual recommendations, we are happy to supply you with a link where you will find a large variety of the restaurants and other dining and wining establishments in the city centre.
What is the weather like in Iceland in the summer?
Iceland is a North Atlantic island and the westernmost country in Europe, midway between North America and mainland Europe. As such it can suffer from wind, rain and chilly temperatures in the summer, however, it can also have beautiful, blazing sunshine.
The little pun told by Icelanders is; if you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes. Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Iceland enjoys a cool, temperate maritime climate; refreshing summers and fairly mild winters. However, the weather is also affected by the East Greenland polar current curving south-eastwards round the north and east coasts. As a result, sudden weather changes are common, and travellers should prepare accordingly.
What sort of clothing will I need for a holiday in the summer?
We recommend you take layers rather than individual cool or warm pieces of clothing. Don't forget a good waterproof jacket/coat. A good pair of hiking boots are essential if you intend to do any walking as there can be a fair bit of uneven ground. Apart from this, take exactly the same sort of clothing as you would if having a holiday in the UK! There are no dress codes in Iceland, jeans are acceptable everywhere, but don't push your luck either...shorts and flipflops are not very respectful in quality restaurants and bars!!
Where can I exchange money?
At any bank. The banks are located in the city centre and around the city as well as at Keflavík airport. Note that the banks in Reykjavík are usually closed on weekends. You can also exchange money at the Tourist Information Centre in Aðalstræti 2, in the city centre, as well as at several hotels.
Where can I claim my tax refund?
You can claim your tax refund (15% of the retail price) at Keflavík airport, which is open during departing flights, from around 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. There are also tax refund offices in the main shopping malls at Kringlan and Smáralind. Note that the payslip for individual refunds of 5,000kr and over will need to be stamped at the customs office at Keflavík Airport. Goods purchased generating 5,000kr and over in refunds will also need to be inspected at the same time. These rules do not apply to purchases of woollen goods.
What is the time difference in Iceland?
Iceland is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) throughout the year. However, unlike most of Europe, summer daylight-saving time is not observed in Iceland.
FOREIGN OFFICE & COMMONWEALTH OFFICE ADVICE
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