Iceland Hike and Explore
A Land of Geysers, Hot Springs, Glaciers, and Waterfalls
Experience Europe’s wilderness island! Hike the rugged coastline, explore the inside of a lava tube, and take in the country’s fascinating history where democracy was born in 930 AD. Iceland is home to geysers and hot springs found in few other places around the world. You will also experience the many waterfalls, volcanic formations and glaciers the island has to offer. Enjoy the beauty of Iceland’s dramatic, black sand beaches while riding purebred Icelandic horses. Travel to the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago and see puffins, sea caves, and the interesting village of Heimaey Town, part of which is preserved under volcanic material. Enjoy great food and comfortable lodging in bed & breakfasts, guest houses, and hotels.
Day 1: Your trip begins in Reykjavik in the evening. Meet your group at the hotel before getting to know one another over dinner. Take time to share your expectations for the upcoming days.
Day 2: After breakfast set out to explore the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik. Climb to the top of Hallgrimskirkja church for amazing views of this beautiful city. In the afternoon, you will head north on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula where you stay in a beautiful, seaside bed & breakfast. If time allows, take a hike in the area before a cozy dinner.
Day 3: After enjoying a plethora of local breads and spreads, you will hike along the spectacular coastline between Hellnar and Arnarstapi. Enjoy a cappuccino at a cliffside cafe at the end of the trail.
Day 4: Head to the Golden Circle and see immense, ancient volcanic fields on your way to the largest lava tube in Iceland. Take a guided tour into the lava tube to experience the amazing colors and rock formations. On the way back, stop and see beautiful set of waterfalls formed by rivulets streaming over 900 metres along a lava field.
Day 5: Experience the raging expanse of Gullfoss waterfall and visit the first geyser ever documented at Geysir. Take in Thingvellir National Park, the boundary of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Thingvellir is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the vikings established the Althing, the world’s first democratic parliament, in 930 AD. End the day relaxing in the hot pools at Hveragerdi.
Day 6: Head to Vik on the southern coast and see some of Iceland’s most beautiful vistas. Take in the immense falls of Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss under the shadow of Eyjafjallajokull, a volcano that last erupted in 2010. Walk along the sweeping black sand beach before settling in for the evening.
Day 7: From Vik, head north on an incredible road to hike to the Myrdalsjokull glacier. This otherworldly landscape will surely take your breath away. Return to your hotel in the evening for happy hour with your fellow hikers.
Day 8: Saddle up your Icelandic pony to go horseback riding along the black sand beach. Take the afternoon to explore the town of Vik before relaxing and enjoying a traditional Icelandic dinner.
Day 9: Continue up the coast to visit Skaftafell National Park for views of incredible mountain valleys and the Vatnajokull glacier. Continue on to the turquoise blue Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon to experience Iceland’s deepest lake.
Day 10: Take a ferry to the scenic island of Vestmannaeyjar where we will take a boat tour through amazing sea caves and spot playful puffins swooping from steep cliffs high above our heads. Vestmannaeyjar is loaded with history. Pirates from the Barbary Coast raided the island in 1627 and sold hundreds of local residents into slavery. A cannonball fired during that conflict is still embedded in the rocky entrance to the harbor.
Day 11: Bid farewell to your fellow travelers after breakfast before taking in your final views of Iceland. Make one last museum stop or relax at the Blue Lagoon hot pools on your way to the airport.
What To Expect
TERRAIN/ROUTE: Iceland is a stunning landscape of volcanic fields, beaches, and mountainous areas. The group will travel in a large van.
HIKING: We hike on established trails. Hikes range from 1 to 6 miles a day and an average of 2-4 hours of physical activity per day. Some hikes are steep. You will carry your day pack with only what you will need for each day hike.
WEATHER: Weather in Iceland changes frequently. Temperatures range from 45 - 60 degrees and you will frequently experience cool temperatures. Be prepared for all types of weather. Rain is likely so a good raincoat is important.
YOUR GROUP: The group size will be 6-10 participants and 1-2 Wilderness Inquiry guides. Each group could consist of people of various ages, backgrounds, and abilities, including people with disabilities. Staff will assist you in whatever areas you need; however, most people pitch in where they can.
ACCOMMODATIONS: We will sleep in a variety of guesthouses, bed and breakfasts, and hotels at night. Typically there are 2-3 people per room, matched by gender or requests to room together.
SINGLE TRAVELERS: If you are traveling alone, you will feel at home with a welcoming group. If you would like to have your own room throughout the trip, you may purchase a single supplement for an additional fee. Please email or call us if you would like this option.
MEALS: We will have breakfasts provided at our accommodations, pack picnic lunches and have dinners at local restaurants in the evenings. There will be snacks provided throughout each day. We'll enjoy happy hours together, but the purchase of alcoholic beverages is not included in the trip fees. Alcohol is expensive in Iceland.
EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING: You will need to provide your personal gear as outlined in the packing list.A note about the itinerary: Our trips are real adventures in the outdoors. While we'll make every effort to follow the itinerary listed here, elements may change due to weather or reasons beyond our control.
The island of Iceland is a trove of beautiful geological features. Iceland is one of the youngest landmasses on the planet. It was formed 20 million years ago by a series of underwater volcanic eruptions. Iceland is currently situated between two tectonic plates - the North American plate and the Eurasian plate. As the Earth’s crust is only about a third as thick in Iceland as in other areas, it features stunning geothermal features found in few places around the world. On your trip you will see geysers, hot springs and other evidence of volcanic activity. Iceland is roughly the size of Kentucky and holds 30 active volcanoes within its borders. Though home to glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes, black sand beaches, tectonic plates, mountains, geysers, hot springs and more, 63% of the country is classified as wasteland.
Iceland is steeped in cultural history as well. Thingvellir National Park was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. It is Iceland's most important historical site where the Vikings established the world's first democratic parliament in 930 AD. For many years Iceland was subject to rule by other countries, most pertinently Denmark. The country gained its independence in 1944 following occupation by the UK during WWII – the Republic of Iceland was established on June 17, 1944. In 2008, Iceland was devastated by the global economic crisis, all three of the country’s national banks collapsed. This prompted Iceland to apply for EU membership, which has generally been a contentious issue within the population. However, talks about membership were suspended and Iceland formally withdrew its application in 2014. In 2010 the volcano Eyjafjallajokull began erupting, emitting a huge ash plume that halted European air traffic for a week. Due to this eruption, international attention shifted to Iceland and tourism boomed, resulting in much needed economic stability for the nation. It has become the fastest growing travel destination in Europe.
The wildlife of Iceland is few and far between. Aside from sheep, birds and horses, you’ll be hard pressed to garner any animal sightings. The only indigenous land mammal is the elusive Arctic fox found in the Westfjords. Birds are prolific on costal cliffs often forming massive colonies near the sea. Gannets, kittiewakes, razorbills and puffins are among the most impressive. Iceland also has a thriving marine life including humpback whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is your cancellation/refund policy?
Your 10% deposit is non-refundable. If you choose to cancel your trip:
For trips in the continental United States:
• 6 weeks prior to start date — we will refund fees paid minus deposit.
• Less than 6 weeks — we will refund 50% of the total trip fee, or 100% of fees paid can be transferred to a future trip.
• Less than 1 week— no refunds will be issued.
For trips outside the continental United States:
• 12 weeks prior to start date— we will refund fees paid minus deposit.
• Less than 12 weeks — we will refund 50% of the total trip fee, or 100% of fees paid can be transferred to a future trip.
• Less than 2 weeks — no refunds will be issued.
In the rare event that WI cancels a trip, or we are unable to serve you, all fees are immediately refunded, including the deposit. Unfortunately, we cannot be responsible for personal expenses such as airline tickets. To protect your investment in your travel plans we recommend purchasing travel insurance. Information on travel insurance is included in your trip confirmation packet. If after registering you wish to switch trips, you may do so subject to availability. Fees may apply.
Under certain circumstances, such as death of a family member, change in health status, loss of employment, etc., we may make exceptions to our refund policies. Please let us know immediately if your plans change!
Do I need international travel insurance if my health insurance doesn’t cover me on an international trip?
Can people of any age attend a trip?
Yes. Adults of all ages join our adult trips. In most circumstances children under 18 years of age are only allowed on family trips. We do not recommend many of our trips for infants or children under age 3. If you have young children, or if you have questions about which trips are most appropriate please call our office at 612-676-9400.
Is Iceland expensive?
Yes. Food, gas, lodging and most everything else in Iceland is expensive by U.S. standards. Alcohol is especially expensive. If you plan to consume alcohol we recommend that you bring a nalgene bottle of your favorite wine or spirit. Customs restricts the import of alcohol to Iceland by allowing adults of 20 years or older to bring 1 liter spirits + 1 liter wine or 1 liter spirits/wine + 6 liter beer or 2,25 liters wine into Iceland duty-free. (Categorizes spirits as beverages with at least 22% alcohol, wines with less than 22% alcohol).
Is it worth it to add on a visit to the Blue Lagoon?
Most of us say yes, at least once. The Blue Lagoon is definitely a tourist attraction, but it is unique to Iceland and you do leave refreshed and relaxed. It is near the International Airport, so it is a great way to start your trip, or a great way to end it.
Does this trip have electricity for my CPAP machine, phone, camera or other electronic device?
Yes this trip has electricity. Please indicate on your registration form that you need electricity and we will be sure to accommodate your need to the best of our abilities. If this is an international trip please check if you need an international adapter for your electronics. You can find more information on international plug ins here: https://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/
Is this trip wheelchair accessible for hiking?
We do not recommend this trip for persons who use wheelchairs. Several of the hikes and activities are not wheelchair accessible. If you use a wheelchair and are interested in going, please call to discuss the trip with us.
Single Room Supplement
You can elect to guarantee a single room for the duration of the trip for $750 during the registration process.
Standard Meeting Places and Times
Start: Reykjavik Downtown Apartments at 4:00 PM (local time)
End: Reykjavik Downtown Apartments at 10:00 AM (local time)
This trip begins at the Downtown Reykjavik Apartments at 4:00 PM. The trip ends in the same location at 10:00 AM. The time to get from Keflavik International Airport to the Downtown Reykjavik Apartments is about 45 minutes.