Last minute departures
- Wildlife & Polar
- Types of Holiday
Popular Walking holiday
Try a host of different activities in glorious Turkish surroundings.
This is a small group adult holiday. The group is usually between 4 and 16 in size, with an average of 12 like-minded clients booking individually, in a couple or as friends together.
Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list
There were 11 on this tour which was just the right no. Being there early June meant there were fewer tourists about.Accommodation was comfortable and always clean... We coped with sharing loos and showers.I loved the wide open spaces, the waterfalls and craters were amazing. Altogether a most memorable experience. The weather was also good.
Seeing the huge quantities of water pouring over the many waterfalls.
He was great. He shared so much information with us... Was always pleasant and helpful. He spoke excellent English
Be prepared for the very expensive drinks and souvenirs.
First I should say that the weather was pretty mixed in late June - about 3 sunny days, one really wet day, and all the others were a mix of overcast, showers, brief sunny periods; overall, our photos show that we were wearing our waterproofs most of the time, but didn't always need them. We really enjoyed Iceland, and the tour covered the periphery pretty thoroughly, as advertised.
It's hard to choose, but perhaps a choice between the Glacier walk and the geothermal site and only partly retired volcano at Krafla. The other geothermal areas (Seltun and Gunnuhver) were also great. If you were more of a wildlife person and less a geologist your choices would be different, I'm sure.
Thorsten was consistently cheerful which helps a lot when the sky is grey, and he worked his socks off to look after us well (this is an in-joke as he almost always wore sandals without socks). He was informative (if just occasionally adrift on facts, which guide-books were able to correct), enthusiastic, and did actually lead.
The pace is about right - no really early starts, and we finished up at the hotel between 1630 and 1830 each evening. Most days you are moving on, so you need some time to sort yourself out.
Thorsten and Jon, our excellent driver, produced a really good picnic lunch each day we were out in the wilds (i.e. nearly every day) with new Icelandic tastes to try so it wasn't always the same - and a supply of fruit and water on the bus was much appreciated.
The bus was comfortable, spacious and rugged, though it did once have to be towed out of the mud by a tractor.
As others have said, do be prepared for cool damp weather. One of the weaknesses of the accommodation scheme (which is largely in boarding schools) is a lack of drying rooms for your boots and clothes, so keep as dry as you can. You also need to be flexibly tolerant about the quality of the accommodation - it is all clean, but rooms varied from spacious to very small, and in the few places (schools) where there was a lift, it didn't go all the way to your floor. You will definitely have to carry your bag up and down stairs, so keep the weight down. And very few washbasins have plugs, take your own.
Iceland is expensive for some things (especially the sort of stuff you might want to take home as souvenirs; also alcohol) though for meals and coffees only perhaps 50% more than at home (a pretty wild guess, obviously). For us, not buying much in the way of gifts, but having what we wanted for meals, coffees etc, a budget of about £300 per head for the trip was about right. If you like a bottle of wine each night, allow considerably more.
I felt it would have been great to go into the middle of Iceland as well as round the edge. Actually I don't know what more we would have seen, but perhaps that's for another trip. The well-known sites are covered the way we went. Some of the visits are perhaps a bit over-puffed, notably the Blue Lagoon which was the only place we felt to be a real tourist trap. Actually it's well done, and an enjoyable couple of hours, but it is extremely busy. And the water seems quite corrosive to skin, it took a few days to become smooth again! You do see a lot of waterfalls - but on the other hand, Iceland has some world-beating waterfalls!
Some reviewers have bemoaned the amount of time spent in Akureyri and Reykjavik. I don't agree with that; Akureyri comes on day 9 when we needed a rest and of course so did the driver. It's a great little town with plenty to do for a day - places to hike if you want, or places to hang out if not. Reykjavik has numerous small museums and galleries, and a stunning new concert hall (HARPA) which is worth a long visit just for the architecture - we didn't do all of Reykjavik in the time we had.
In general the food was excellent; especially the fish which was really fresh and well cooked. Guidebooks sometimes moan about a constant diet of fish and lamb, but (although we did also have other things) I thought that was Icelandic cooks playing to their strengths.
This tour is based on a mixture of hotels and simple guesthouses. As with everything in Iceland accommodation is very expensive, so we have tried to choose places with prices that allow us to keep the holiday affordable. The accommodation consists of twin rooms, although single rooms are also available. You may however, be required to share facilities. While we pre-book all accommodation according to the itinerary, as space is limited we may move to alternative accommodation according to availability. In rural areas of Iceland, where hotel accommodation is scarce, there are a number of ‘seasonal hotels’. These may be day schools, boarding schools or social centres that offer good standard tourist accommodation for the summer
Katarzyna Crompton - Iceland Operations
Sales team member Andrea Beech also travelled there and you can read her insights here.
The Blue Lagoon in Iceland is not to be missed! This large lake of steaming hot water is perhaps the most supernatural looking body of water on Earth. Descriptions of its waters range everywhere from “the same colour as the new Gatorade drink” to “frosty blue.” Though the latter term may sound good, the water in the lagoon is anything but “frosty.” The temperature in the swimmable area averages about 40C (104F), and the soothing, mineral-rich water is rumoured to have curative powers. You can plaster yourself with the mineral-laden mud, let your shoulders be pummelled by the thundering waterfall, swim and venture into the sauna.
Kai Aylward - Sales
Unfortunately, yes. Costs can be very high and you should be prepared for this. Any dinners not included weill cost about £30-£40 and a beer about £6. The local currency is the krona, and can be easily obtained on arrival. ATMS are availabe in most towns as well.
Brendan Phelan - Customer Operations
Iceland is on the northern edge of the temperate zone, meaning it has cool summers. Daytime temperatures in the summer months can be anything from 10° to 20°C, though in 2008 they reached 25°C and could equally drop close to zero. As we are in some mountainous areas, you must be prepared for some days of poor weather with strong winds and rain, but usually the weather is quite pleasant, though cool. There is constant daylight, but not midnight sun, in May, June and July.
Kai Aylward - Sales
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