ICELAND

Ring Road Adventure

Highlights

The Golden Circle

Stunning Waterfalls

Glacier Trekking

Natural Hot Baths

Otherworldly Scenery

Summary

Welcome to the world’s hottest travel destination! Welcome to Iceland, the ‘Land of Fire & Ice’.  Experience stunning natural beauty, waterfalls, geysers, volcanoes, black sand beaches, natural hot baths, and so much more. Come to know Norse mythology, culinary treasures, and friendly, welcoming people. Our Self-Guided / Self-Drive adventure will include exploring the famed ‘Golden Circle’, hiking behind massive waterfalls, glacier trekking, soaking in natural hot baths and whale watching.

map of Iceland Ring Road

At-a-Glance

Vaccinated travelers welcome

Days: 9

Date: September 9 – 17, 2022

Land Cost:  $2,195 (airfare extra)

Single Supplement: $800

Group Size:  4 – 6

Minimum Age: 14

Level: Moderate

*Special ‘Founders Trip’:
Join Meaningful Trips founder, Joe Staiano, on this unforgettable journey!

OVERVIEW

Day 1: Arrive. Golden Circle

Day 2: Waterfalls & Beaches

Day 3: Skaftafell Glacier Trek

Day 4: East Iceland

Day 5: Lake Myvatn Wonders

Day 6: Whale watching. Akureyri

Day 7: Western Iceland

Day 8:  Snaefellsness Peninsula, to Reykjavik

Day 9:  Reykjavik, end

Thank you VisitIceland for video

 

NOTE:

Trip starts on the morning of Day 1. This necessitates an evening/red-eye flight the night before. Or, one may choose to arrive into Iceland a day or two earlier.  2 years of COVID restrictions has made demand for visiting Iceland greater than ever. Hotel spaces will fill early. Travelers should reserve their spot by May or sooner. And, remember, we keep our group size small with a maximum of 10.


Day 1 - Arrive Iceland - Golden Circle.

Flights from USA arrive Keflavik Airport in early morning.  Get set for a highlight-filled first day.  After gathering the group, we’ll stop for coffee and breakfast.  KEF Airport is located on the Reykjanes Peninsula, recognized as a UNESCO Global Geopark.  Proceed north to the famed Golden Circle. Visit Pingvellir National Park (Thingvellir National Park), which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its geological and historical significance. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge runs right through Þingvellir, the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates continue to edge apart, slowly widening the rift valley. Next, we visit the Geysir hot spring area – where the very word ‘geyser’ comes from. Watch Strokkur erupt great jets of hot water and steam every few minutes and see the bubbling fumaroles. Our final stop on the Golden Circle is the mighty Gullfoss Waterfall, one of the most famous waterfalls in all Iceland, cascading 100 feet in two stages. Drive toward South Iceland, getting to Hvolsvöllur late afternoon to enjoy a long rest before our first dinner.

No meals included.  Total driving time 4  ½ - 5 hours.


Day 2 - Waterfalls and Black Sand Beach

Welcome to Iceland’s South Coast. If you like waterfalls, you are in for a treat as today, we’ll visit two of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland: Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss.  Seljalandsfoss waterfall is one of the most photographed waterfalls in Iceland. You can walk behind Seljalandsfoss for the rare photos of its 200-foot cascading ribbon of water from the back of the waterfall! At nearby Skogafoss Waterfall, we hike up to the top of the falls. Once at the top, we hike a short distance on the Skoga Valley Trail (also called Waterfall Way).  The entire trail is 10 miles roundtrip. We will only do a couple of miles of this, but enough to give us views of dramatic, moss-covered canyons and lush green landscapes.

Excuse me! We are not yet done with the highlights and superlatives. Next up is a visit to world-famous black-sand beach of Reynisfjara with its enormous basalt stacks, roaring Atlantic waves and stunning panoramas. National Geographic voted Reynisfjara as one of the Top 10 non-tropical beaches to visit on the planet.  Spend the night in Vík or Hvolsvöllur.

Meals included: breakfast.  Total Driving Time: 3 hours.


Day 3 - Skaftafell Glacier Trek - Jokulsarlon Lagoon

Start our day with a photo stop at dramatic Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon. Drive past Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which houses the famous and feared Katla Volcano beneath its ice. Witness the results of previous volcanic eruptions as we drive across the Eldhraun lava field to Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park. Skaftafell is a true oasis, with green birch forests and lush vegetation, a verdant jewel in the midst of the rough black sand desert.  Now, together with your expert guide, strap on crapons and ice ax and take a thrilling three-hour glacier hike on an outlet glacier of Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe.

Next on the agenda is the famous Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Gaze in wonder at the magical iceberg-filled lagoon and see the famous Diamond Beach, its coal-black sands peppered with the glittering crystal, blue/white icebergs which have been washed ashore.  Time permitting, you may be able to take a 45-minute boat ride out on the lagoon.  Our accommodation for the night will be at a guesthouse in the Höfn area, known as the lobster capital of Iceland. From September to April, look toward the night sky for possible glimpses of the Northern Lights.

Meals included: breakfast.  Total driving time: 2 ½ hours.


Day 4 - East Iceland - Djupivogur - Egilsstadir

Today we will explore the East Fjords of Iceland. Thread our way along wild coastline, narrow roads around Hvalnes, and a stunning, remote peninsula. Was that a “reindeer crossing” sign we just passed? Yep, sure was!  We will stop at Djúpivogur, a traditional small fishing village which is also home to a unique outdoor sculpture, Eggin í Gleðivík (meaning The Eggs of Merry Bay). Hike to Hengifoss, Iceland’s second highest waterfall (400’), and towering Litlanesfoss, whose waterfall is framed by giant hexagonal basalt columns. The hike takes about three hours in total. You will see a beautiful gorge where the layers from volcanic eruptions in ancient times can be seen in the colorful rock face.  Check in to our hotel near Egilstadir. 

Meals included: breakfast.  Total driving time: 4 hours


Day 5 – Lake Myvatn – Godifoss - Akureyri (2 nights)

Drive to Northern Iceland and explore the mystical areas around Lake Mývatn. Marvel at the steaming lunar landscapes of the Námaskarð geothermal area. See boiling hot springs, steaming fumaroles and technicolor bubbling mud pots. Visit the amazing Dimmuborgir formations, known as the Dark Castles!

Relax in the hot spring pools of Mývatn Nature Baths. Crescent-shaped Goðafoss Waterfall, is the last stop of the day before Akureyri. Godafoss is another one of the most famous waterfalls in Iceland and the one specifically featured on the classic Diamond Circle route. According to the Sagas, chieftain Thorgeir Ljosvetningagodi settled a religious crisis in Iceland by throwing the idols of the Old Norse Gods into the falls. This symbolized the nation’s conversion to Christianity and gave the spot its nickname, The Waterfall of the Gods. Those who witness the sheer beauty of the falls might agree that the name is fitting.  Arrive to Akureyri. This charming university town is the Capital of the North.

Meals included: breakfast.  Total driving time: 4 ½ hours


Day 6 - Whale watching - Free time in Akureyri

Take a short trip along Eyjafjörður (the Island Fjord) to our whale watching boat that departs from the traditional working harbor of Hauganes. During the 3-hour boat trip, search for humpback whales, minke whales, and white-beaked dolphins in the bay. The remainder of the day is yours free to relax or explore many of the area options. Perhaps SUP Stand Up Paddleboarding in Iceland, or riding Icelandic horses, or browsing Akureyri’s many bookshops.
Meals included: breakfast. Drive to Hauganes: 30 minutes


Day 7 - Western Iceland - Grabrok Volcano - Borgarnes

Depart Akureyri and drive towards Borgarfjörður, West Iceland. Make a quick pitstop and easy hike up Grabrok Volcano crater.  After hotel check-in choose to relax, or perhaps visit the Borgarnes Museum, or take a short hike on Hafnarfjall Mountain just outside Borgarnes. Stay in Borgarnes.

Meals included: breakfast.  Driving time: 5 hours


Day 8 - Snaefelsness Peninsula - Reykjavik

Spend a full day exploring the Snaefellsness Peninsula, referred to as ‘Iceland in Miniature’ as it serves up all that Iceland has to offer: volcanic craters, lava fields, glacier, waterfalls, fjords, hot springs, black and golden sand beaches, cute fishing villages and colorful wooden houses.  Some sights we will visit include: Vatnshellir Lava Cave - an unforgettable trip inside and 115' down an 8,000 year old lava tunnel.  Stop by Budakirkja Black Church, a small black wooden church originally built in the 1800’s.  We’ll enjoy a coastal walk near Arnarstapi. And, time permitting, say hello to a colony of harbor seals at Ytri Tunga Beach. With cooperating weather, we may have distant views of 1,500' Mt Kirkjufell, made famous in the Game of Thrones series.  Drive to Reykjavik, Iceland’s gorgeous capital city. Have a short walk around before our final farewell dinner.  Meals included: breakfast.  Total drive time about 5 hours


Day 9 - Rekykjavik - Blue Lagoon (optional) - End

Flights back to USA are typically late afternoon. This will allow time for exploring the colorful shop-filled and art-filled streets of Reykjavik.  For those wanting to experience the Blue Lagoon, this can be planned as an optional activity before your return to the airport.   Breakfast included.

Note on Itinerary:

Although we do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.

Additional Information: 

Please be sure to scroll through website tabs for information on:

  • Pricing
  • What’s Included
  • General Information
  • FAQ
  • How to Reserve

Your Meaningful Trip awaits. Space is limited. Click to reserve today.

Tiered Pricing:
(Per person, double occupancy)
International airfare not included

4 – 6 persons:  $2,195 

Single Supplement: $800

Single Supplement is for those specifically requesting their own room throughout, based on availability. Meaningful Trips will pair same-gender participants as roommates. If a roommate can not be found, you will be requested to pay a discounted Single Supplement Fee of $500.

 

SAVE Big

Grab your partner or friend. When a couple or two friends join together, each person saves $100. When a family or group of 4 friends joins together, each person saves $200. (Land Price only, Airfare is not included)

Payment Schedule and Cancellation Policy:

Payment

Deposit of $500 due at time of reservation.

Final Balance due 90 days prior to trip departure.

Cancellation

If you cancel prior to departure (with written notice), cancellation fees are:

120 or more days… $0
91 – 119 days… $500
61 to 90 days… $1000
31 to 60 days… 50% of Trip Cost
0 to 30 days….. 100% of Trip Cost

Included:

  • 8 nights in lodges
  • Airport transfer
  • Breakfasts
  • Golden Circle, Glacier Trek
  • Myvatn Nature Baths
  • Whale watching
  • English-speaking guides

NOT included:

  • International Airfare
  • Travel Insurance
  • Lunches, Dinners, Drinks
  • Guide gratuity

COVID Protocol

Meaningful Trips tours welcome only travelers who are fully COVID vaccinated, including booster.  This is to protect you, your family and friends, fellow travelers, our guides, and the people in places we visit.  Trip participants will be sharing a van and hotel accommodations.

 

Trip Insurance

Meaningful Trips highly recommends the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance that covers trip cancellation, delays, medical matters and emergency evacuation.

<<< See our Link for Travel Insurance >>>

 

Safety

Iceland is safe, in fact it is considered the safest country in the entire world according to the Global Peace Index.

 

Visa and passport

Must have a US Passport valid for 6 months beyond the tour end date. Visa is not required for US citizens.

 

Advance Booking Necessary

Iceland is one of the hottest travel destinations on the planet; especially considering 2 years of pent up demand from COVID.  Accommodations will book far in advance. Booking your tour 6 months in advance is highly encouraged.

 

Flights to Iceland

Our trip starts and ends in Keflavik KEF, 30-miles outside Reykjavik.   Most all flights from the USA are red-eye flights arriving into Iceland in the morning.  Please do not purchase any airfare until you have received word form Meaningful Trips that your trip is confirmed with the necessary minimum number of passengers.

 

Weather

Spring, Summer and Fall are ideal times to visit Iceland. May to September are the most popular months.  June, July, August offer long days, ‘Midnight Sun’, and temperatures around 68 degrees. September is a great time to visit, ideal for whale watching, and temperatures in the high 50’s. October to February brings some brutal winter weather and some road closures, but give the best chances for seeing Northern Lights. The note that the weather in Iceland is notoriously changeable from day to day and even hour by hour.  Be prepared.

 

Lodging

This trip includes 8 nights in comfortable hotels and small lodges.

 

Activity Level: Moderate

This is an active trip offering a mix of activities such as hiking, glacier walking, lava tunnel exploration, and whale-watching.  Duration of activities ranges form 3 – 4 hours.  All activities are suitable for active beginners.  It is important to note to expect 3-4 hours of driving daily to cover the highlights of Iceland’s famed Ring Road.

 

Save Big!

Sign-up with a friend, spouse or partner and each person saves $100.  Join any set tour with 4 people (friends, couples, or a family) and each person saves $200.

 

MAKING IT MEANINGFUL

We thank you for traveling with respect, open-mindedness and kindness to our planet. Your tour benefits so many in the places we visit.  Additionally, this Meaningful Trips tour supports:

 

Carbon Offset

Every Meaningful Trips tour makes a contribution to offset 10,000 pounds of CO2 through Sustainable Travel International. This contribution is invested in carbon reduction projects that combat climate change and support: Forests & Biodiversity, Clean Energy and Communities.

 

Tree Planting

We will plant a tree per each traveler through our partnership with One Tree Planted.

 

The Code

Meaningful Trips supports ECPATS’s Code of Conduct and efforts to combat sex trafficking and exploitation.

 

Feeding America

We support Feeding America, a non-profit network of over 200 food banks leading the fight against hunger in the United States.

 

Additional Trip Information

Prior to reserving your tour, please carefully review our ‘Pricing’, ‘How to Reserve’ and ‘FAQ’ sections for helpful information on topics such as cancellation penalties, inclusions, food, water, and more.

 

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the Meaningful Trips Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully. Additional pre-departure information including a Packing List, Medical Form, and Liability Release Form is emailed upon sign-up.

 

Your Meaningful Trip awaits. Space is limited. Click to reserve today.

Some answers to common questions. Upon Sign-up, travelers receive a Packing List, Pre-Departure Info and Important Forms

Do I Need a Passport for Iceland?

Yes, a passport is needed and must be valid for 6 months after your trip date.

Do I Need a Visa for Iceland?

No. A visa is not required for USA citizens.

 

Are any vaccinations required for Iceland?

Yes, all travelers must be fully COVID-19 vaccinated.

We highly recommend that all persons who travel internationally should be current on these three routine immunizations: Annual Influenza (flu) shot; Tetanus Booster (Tdap) (good for 10 years); and Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR). Additionally, Hepatitis A is highly recommended for all international travelers. Meaningful Trips are not medical experts. Always consult your own doctor and always refer to the CDC website for updated vaccination and country-specific information.

How to get to Iceland?

Our trip starts and ends in Keflavik KEF, 30-miles outside Reykjavik.   Most all flights from the USA are red-eye flights arriving into Iceland in the morning.  Please do not purchase any airfare until you have received word form Meaningful Trips that your trip is confirmed with the necessary minimum number of passengers.

Is Iceland Safe?

Iceland is safe, in fact it is considered the safest country in the entire world according to the Global Peace Index.

 

Do I need Travel Insurance?

Yes, for this trip, Travel Insurance is required. Travelers must purchase of comprehensive travel insurance that covers trip cancellation, delays, medical matters, and emergency evacuation.

When is the best time to go to Iceland?

Spring, Summer and Fall are ideal times to visit Iceland. May to September are the most popular months.  June, July, August offer long days, ‘Midnight Sun’, and temperatures around 68 degrees. September is a great time to visit, ideal for whale watching, and temperatures in the high 50’s. October to February brings some brutal winter weather and some road closures, but give the best chances for seeing Northern Lights. The note that the weather in Iceland is notoriously changeable from day to day and even hour by hour.  Be prepared.

How far in advance should I book a trip to Iceland?

Iceland is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. This, coupled with 2 years of COVID closures, means that all flights and accommodations will book far in advance. We highly encourage booking your tour 6 – 9 months in advance.

 

How active is this Iceland trip?

This is an active trip offering a mix of activities such as hiking, glacier walking, lava tunnel exploration, and whale-watching.  Duration of activities ranges form 3 – 4 hours.  All activities are suitable for active beginners.  It is important to note to expect 3-4 hours of driving daily to cover the highlights of Iceland’s famed Ring Road.

 

What does self-drive, self-guided mean?

This Sept 2022 departure will be hosted by Meaningful Trip founder, Joe Staiano. He will be doing the driving and some interpreting of places visited. Additional interpretation and sharing of folklore will be given in many locations as we will also meet up with Icelandic guides, for example, professional glacier guides during our glacier trek; professional lava cave guides; whale-watch boat crew etc.

 

What are hotels like in Iceland?

We use small hotel and lodges. In rare instance, the group may be split between two lodges.

 

What is the food like in Iceland?

Icelandic food is known for its fresh ingredients and unique dishes.  Vegetarians and vegans will find many options.  Iconic skyr yoghurt is ubiquitous at breakfast.  Fish and seafood is a staple – arctic char, cod, haddock and langoustine are common. Hardfiskur, or dried fish, is a carryover from Iceland’s Viking days. Meat, especially lamb, and dairy are also staples. Vegetarians will find a delicious array of soups, noodles, salads, vegan burgers and veggie pizzas.

 

What birdlife and wildlife is there in Iceland?

Land animals include Arctic fox and reindeer. In the sea, various whales may be seen including: humpback, fin, and minke. There is lots of great birdwatching in Iceland. Puffins, gannets, guillemots, kittiwakes ducks, scoters, geese, gadwall, gulls, Arctic terns and Barrow’s goldeneye will delight birders.

 

What is the currency in Iceland?

Iceland uses the krona (ISK). One US dollar equals approximately 125 ISK. There are ATM’s in major towns to withdraw ISK.  And Visa and Mastercard credit cards are accepted everywhere, even for small purchases.

STEP 1 – Click ‘Book Now’ and Complete Reservation Form to Hold Your Space(s)

STEP 2 – Mail $500 Deposit via Check.

Reservation is guaranteed upon receipt of a $500 deposit per person. Deposits are held in Trust Account. Deposits are fully refundable for any reason if you cancel before Dec 31, 2020.  After Jan 01, 2021, regular cancellation policy applies.  A ‘Second Payment’ of $2,000 is due by check on April 01, 2021.  Final Payment is due 90-days prior to departure and payable by Check, Zelle, Stripe, ApplePay, Visa, Mastercard.

Mail Check Deposit to:

Meaningful Trips
1416 NW 46th St
Suite 105-343
Seattle, WA 98107

 

Upon reserving a trip and submitting a deposit, each traveler will receive:

  • A Confirmation email
  • Invoice
  • Pre-departure Information
  • Trip Application with Liability Release and Assumption of Risk
  • Travel Insurance Information
  • Packing List
  • Medical Form

Terms & Conditions and Liability Release
At the time of Deposit, participants must read and agree to Meaningful Trips Terms and Conditions and Liability Release Form. Please read this information carefully.

Your Meaningful Trip awaits. Space is limited. Click to reserve today.