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Arctic wildlife and nature at its best!
Immerse yourself in Iceland
Iceland Wildlife Expedition
Volcanoes, Arctic Fox, Puffin Colonies, Waterfalls, Geysers, Bottlenose Whales, Harlequin Ducks, Glaciers
Jun 09 - Jun 22
2012
For those of us who find ourselves returning again and again to the polar regions, or have simply been waiting for the perfect trip to see the incredible wildlife and scenery that abounds, this trip to Iceland, only by WANT Expeditions, is not to be missed! Don't just glance at Iceland's highlights, immerse yourself in them. On this trip we'll spend two nights on Vestmannaeyjar Island -home to the largest Puffin colony in the world. We venture through national parks to see the famous Strokker Geyser, Öxarárfoss, Gullfoss, and the mighty Dettifoss waterfall. We'll also cruise through serene glacial lagoons, see Arctic fox at our own private accommodation, massive duck colonies on Lake Mytvan, Kittiwakes, Auks and Brünnich Guillemots on the western peninsulas, and traditional Icelandic horse farms. Then, just to relax our trigger fingers and ears from the shutter clicking, we stop for some R & R in Iceland's many geothermal hot springs. You've waited long enough for a trip like this. Sign up today!
Detailed itinerary:
Jun 9 Reykjavik
  Your transport will pick you up upon landing and transfer you to our hotel. After check-in, feel free to spend the rest of the afternoon resting up for our program, or you can enjoy a city tour of Reykjavik on your own until 7:00pm when our program officially starts with our traditional Welcome Dinner and trip orientation at our hotel.
  Accommodation: Very comfortable city hotel
Jun 10 The Golden Circle/Pingvellir National Park/Selfoss
  Like many days to follow, this morning starts with an early breakfast and departure to what is known as 'The Golden Circle' -a 300km route that encompasses many of Iceland's most famous landmarks. Our first main stop in the Golden circle is Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park -a World Heritage Site located just a stones throw from a large fissure created by the American and Euroasian continental plates, and home to the oldest existing parliament in the world, Iceland’s largest lake, Thingvallavtn. A short hike here to Öxuráfoss waterfall will serve to create some perspective before we drive to awe inspiring Gullfoss (meaning Golden Falls) -Europe's highest waterfall. Sunshine permitting, rainbows will abound in this mighty force's mist. At Gullfoss we'll enjoy a nice lunch right at the falls, then head out for an exciting demonstration of Iceland's geothermal activity! Iceland is home to multiple geysers -one in particular can emit massive jets of water up to 60m (200ft) skyward. We'll pay a visit to 'the Geysir,' as well as Strokkur, and the multicolored pools of mud and water that surround them. From here we'll head south to tonight's accommodation in Selfoss and enjoy few more stops en route to explore Iceland’s unique geological formations. Once at our accommodation, you'll have some time to rest or exploration. We'll meet back at the hotel restaurant around 7pm for recap, briefing and dinner.
  Accommodation: Very comfortable city hotel
Jun 11 Selfoss/Hveragerdi/Skogar/Landeyjahöfn/Vestmannaeyjar Islands
  Breakfast will start at 7am, followed by an 8am departure. Our first stop is Hveragerdi geothermal park, where we’ll meet our local guide who will offer a guided tour and demonstration of Iceland's seemingly endless geothermic dangers and possibilities. Next we visit two more beautiful waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. Not far from here lies the Museum of Skógar with its fascinating turf houses -icons of traditional Icelandic culture, where we will pay a visit and enjoy lunch, before reaching the port at Landeyjahöfn where we catch our ferry to the Vestmannaeyjar Islands. Once checked in and onboard, en route to the islands we'll have a far away glimpse of the famous Eyjafjallajökull volcano that brought transatlantic flights to a grounding halt with its massive eruption early 2010.
  Accommodation: Lovely local guesthouse
Jun 12 Vestmannaeyjar Islands
  Not only is Vestmannaeyjar Islands home to the largest Puffin colony in the world, it also houses one of the world's largest Gannet and Guillemot colonies. The Vestmann Islands have a great deal to see, and is massively accessible, so we’ll spend a full day exploring. Depending on the weather and local ongoings, your tour leader will decide where to start, but some of the places you’ll see today include the following: "Sprangan", a cliff where young islanders are taught the local sport of rope swinging. (The sport has evolved from the islanders’ age-old tradition of egg-collecting.) Mt. Stórhöfdi -where we'll have magnificent views of the island and the majestic glaciers on the mainland. Herjólfsdalur valley -where we can see ruins of farmhouses that date back to 650AD. We’ll also see houses that were buried in the most recent eruption on the islands, beautiful fields of purple flowering lupine, and perhaps most importantly, the bird colonies! At some point we’ll also break for lunch, then resume our activities. This afternoon, and weather permitting, we also have a fascinating boat tour to visit bird colonies with millions of individuals and caves accessible only from the sea. With a little luck, we may also spot orcas, dolphins, and porpoises. We’ll enjoy another lovely dinner tonight, and if the weather and our energy reserve still holds, we can sneak back out for one more visit to the puffin cliffs.
  Accommodation: Lovely local guesthouse
Jun 13 Vik/Skaftafell National Park/Jökulsárlón/Djúpivogur
  We’ll catch the ferry this morning back to Landeyjahöfn and head back on the road, passing Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss on our way east. Our first main stop this morning is in Vik, where we’ll photograph its famous black sand beaches and basalt columns. From Vik, we head to Skaftafell National Park and stretch our legs on a two-hour walk to view glacier tongues and the national park’s most famous and beautiful attraction: Svartifoss, or the 'black waterfall'. After lunch and Skaftafell, we head to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon for an up close and serene experience by boat in and through the beautiful white, blue, clear, and sometimes black with ash, icebergs that have calved off from the glacier and are now slowly dissipating into the sea. Warning: you may experience trigger finger at this spectacularly scenic location, make sure you charge your batteries and bring extra memory cards!!! From here it’s straight to Djúpivogur, where we check into our quaint and beautifully constructed hotel, then head to dinner.
  Accommodation: Absolutely unique and comfortable local hotel
Jun 14 Djúpivogur
  Djúpivogur is jam-packed with wildlife, especially birds, and is a great place to spend the day exploring. Nestled amongst three fjords, backed by mountains, and greeting the sea, Djúpivogur’s landscapes are as varied as the birdlife. Depending on weather and wildlife movements, we’ll have a chance to see Reindeer, Seals, and up to 34 bird species in the numerous bird watching areas in and around Djupivogur. We’ll also enjoy a boat tour to Papey Island. Papey is listed as an important bird area (IBA) by Birdlife international and hosts a lovely puffin colony of approximately 30,000 pairs. Papey is also a unique island to Iceland, due to its marshy landscape. Our boat tour will last approximately 4 hours, during which time we’ll explore the bird-cliffs and the seals on nearby scerries. We’ll also enjoy a short locally guided hike on the island itself where we’ll have the chance to photograph and look at Iceland's oldest and smallest wooden-church. At some point during the day, we’ll pop into a local café/coffee house for nice lunch and a short tour of a local museum, then resume our wildlife watching activities in the area. Tonight we’ll enjoy a fantastic dinner at our hotel, and rest up for more exciting experiences tomorrow.
  Accommodation: Absolutely unique and comfortable local hotel
Jun 15 Lake Mývatn
  After an early breakfast, it’s back on the road, this time heading north to Lake Myvatn. Myvatn is renowned for its natural beauty and makes for an incredible place to explore with unique geological formations and breeding grounds for 13 of Iceland’s duck species. The road to Myvatn is beautiful, with several cascading waterfalls to stop and visit along the way. Before we actually reach the Myvatn area, however, our first major stop will be Dettifoss waterfall, which is said to be the most powerful waterfall in all of Europe. After a short hike here, we’ll continue on through the Myvatn area, stopping numerous times along the lakes edge for exploration and to take photos. Eventually we wind up at our unique and lovely hotel, located just a stones throw from the picturesque Goðafoss waterfall, also know as 'the waterfall of the gods.' Once we’ve checked in, we’ll meet in the restaurant for a wonderful dinner and a chance to discuss our experiences thus far, and what is still to come.
  Accommodation: Absolutely unique and comfortable hotel
Jun 16 Lake Mývatn/Husavik
  Similar to yesterday’s itinerary, we’ll have another early start of exploration with a relaxing afternoon activity. The lake Myvatn area offers so much to explore, one full day is just not enough. We’ll spend the first part of the day continuing to explore this beautiful and wild area, then for the afternoon we’ll head north for an exciting whale watching tour in Húsavik. We’ll spend a couple of hours out on the water searching for humpbacks, dolphins and more! After we make our way back to land, we’ll enjoy a seafood buffet at local seaside restaurant, specially prepared just for us. Then it’s back in our vehicle and back to our lovely hotel for one more night.
  Accommodation: Absolutely unique and comfortable hotel
Jun 17 Isafjördur
  After an early breakfast, this morning we’ll head from Lake Myvatn to Isafjordur, capital of the Westjords, the westernmost area of all of Europe, traditionally know as 'the end of the world'. Our 570 km drive on small coastal roads doesn't allow us for too much exploration, but we’ll still be passing through some very impressive fjords with a chance to spot more whales, and unique high altitude areas with whooper swans, so photo stops are guaranteed. Our arrival into Isafjordur will be right around dinner, so we’ll immediately check-in and drop our things in our rooms, then let the delicious smells lure us back into the dining room for a delicious dinner. Sunshine abounds, so for those with boundless energy, we can either get out on the streets for walk or photography along the harbor. Still tomorrow may prove to be one of the most exciting days on our tour!
  Accommodation: Absolutely unique and comfortable hotel
Jun 18 Isafjördur/Hornstrandir Nature Reserve
  After a lovely breakfast at our hotel, we drive a short distance to the local jetty, where we board a small ship for a short cruise to Hornstrandir. Since the entire island is a designated nature reserve, with more abundant wildlife than anywhere in the country, an overnight exploration is a must for WANT Expeditioners! After arrival, we walk a short distance down the beach and begin to arrange our accommodation. Most likely we’ll be greeted by the mouthwatering smell of Icelandic pancakes and rhubarb jam, being prepared by the houses owner and keeper. Once we’ve settled in, we’ll check with the owner to get and update on where the best place is to see the Arctic Fox. In years past, that meant sitting on our patio, and waiting for them to come to us, but time can only tell! During a short exploratory walk in and around Hornstandir, one can also find seals on the beaches, numerous bird cliffs and many ground-nesting Arctic bird species. The use of any motorized vehicles, and even horses, is strictly prohibited here, so an amazing natural peace is guaranteed. Arctic Fox are exceptionally curious, so if they appear, chances are we’ll have plenty of hours to spend watching this beautiful and sweet creature, watch us, while we watch them. In the evening we’ll enjoy a delicious home cooked meal, then tuck ourselves in after what might have been, after our Arctic Fox interaction, one of the most magic moments on our entire expedition to Iceland.
  Accommodation: Private guest house with shared facilities
Jun 19 Hornstrandir Nature Reserve
  Two words: Arctic fox!!! We'll also be on the look out for King Eider, as well as traveling around the area on hikes in search of more wildlife.
  Accommodation: Private guest house with shared facilities
Jun 20 Hornstrandir Nature Reserve/Isafjördur
  This morning we will wake up to an amazing natural beauty around us, just a few minute's walk away from our house. As we are all excited to get out and explore, we put on our hiking shoes again, and off we go, in search of the King Eider and more time with the Arctic Fox. Our ferry will return for us sometime late afternoon, then its back to the mainland, where we transfer back to our hotel, refresh, then head out for a wonderful and noisy dinner in an authentic Icelandic fishing village.
  Accommodation: Comfortable city hotel
Jun 21 Hafnarfjordur
  We have yet another big driving day (500 km) ahead of us with lots of beautiful stops en route to see more waterfalls, seals, fjords, ice capped mountains, sculptures and more. Our final destination is where we can enjoy a sublime visit to what is perhaps Iceland's most notorious attraction - The Blue Lagoon. After a long soak, we’ll return to our hotel for our Farewell Dinner and a chance to share some of the incredible memories we’ve made and photos we’ve taken. This will be fascinating farewell to the country, a great finish to our absolutely breathtaking voyage to Iceland!
  Accommodation: Modern Inn
Jun 22 Hafnarfjordur/departure
  This morning marks the end of this fascinating Icelandic tour. Transfers will be arranged for you to the airport. We hope you enjoyed your time and we can't wait to see you on your next WANT expedition!
 
Iceland Trip mapCopyright © WantExpeditions

Trip price: in double room: USD 7,270
  in single room: USD 7,970

Trip images:
A puffin contemplates the drop to the sea belowCopyright © WantExpeditions
Those sweet and curious Arctic FoxCopyright © WantExpeditions
A Slavonian Grebe with chick. Beautiful!Copyright © WantExpeditions
Sunset at the Blue LagoonCopyright © WantExpeditions
Whooper swans against a backdrop of mountain mistCopyright © WantExpeditions
A seal basking in the sun is distracting by our attentionCopyright © WantExpeditions
Two Artic Fox at the same time!Copyright © WantExpeditions
An Actic Fox crosses the river to get closer to usCopyright © WantExpeditions
One of Iceland's many beautiful waterfallsCopyright © WantExpeditions
Red-necked PhalaropeCopyright © WantExpeditions
Welcome to the Vestman Islands!Copyright © WantExpeditions
A beautiful morning overlooking the harbour on Vestman IsCopyright © WantExpeditions
Iceland is renoun for its wool industryCopyright © WantExpeditions
Amazing geological formation in the East FjordsCopyright © WantExpeditions
Relaxing after a successfully photographing 5 Arctic Fox!Copyright © WantExpeditions
Distracted by the paparazziCopyright © WantExpeditions
A beautiful pool, naturally formed from geologic activityCopyright © WantExpeditions
Some of Iceland's rare and ancient domestic breedsCopyright © WantExpeditions
A beautiful profile of a Tufted Duck in MytvanCopyright © WantExpeditions
More beautiful scenery of IcelandCopyright © WantExpeditions
One of the most impressive geysirs in IcelandCopyright © WantExpeditions
Geothermal energy powers most of IcelandCopyright © WantExpeditions
Beautiful Icelandic Horse out to pastureCopyright © WantExpeditions
Humpback diving downCopyright © WantExpeditions
Fulmars nesting on a cliffCopyright © WantExpeditions
Sunset on the south coastCopyright © WantExpeditions
Male and female EiderCopyright © WantExpeditions
One of the islands for grazing off of Vestman IsCopyright © WantExpeditions


Tour leader: Jessica POCIASK
Trip price: in double room: USD 7,270
  in single room: USD 7,970
Price includes:
· all accomodation
· all meals
· all activities mentioned in the program
· all land transportation
· bottled water in transport vehicles
· all airport and local transfers
· all national park fees
· all entrance fees
· all local guiding fees
· international tour leader
· all government taxes and levies
· all boat excursions
· all tips
· photography education and assistance
· all camping gear except sleeping bag

Price excludes:
· international flights
· travel insurance
· personal expenses at accommodation
· departure taxes at airports
· visa fees
· any other items not mentioned above