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Arctic wildlife and nature at its best!
Guaranteed Arctic Fox Sightings
Iceland Wildlife Expedition
Arctic Fox, Atlantic Puffins, Whales, Waterfalls, Volcanoes, Geysers, Glaciers
May 24 - Jun 06
2017
Without a doubt, Iceland is by far one of the world's most underrated wildlife and nature destinations on the map. Much like a visit to Antarctica, you will come home with a million photos and a million more memories. Don't just glance at Iceland's highlights, immerse yourself in them. On this trip we will visit the Vestmannaeyjar Islands -home to the largest Puffin colony in the world. We will venture through national parks to see famous massive erupting geysers, vast and powerful waterfalls, breath-taking glacier lagoons, and powerful geothermic activity. Some of the wildlife highlights include Caribou, Kittiwakes, Auks, Guillemots, Eider Ducks, seals, whales, the majestic Icelandic horse, and guaranteed, intimate Arctic Fox sightings. To top it all off, we will also be sure to visit Iceland's iconic geothermal hot springs. Jessica Pociask, WANT wildlife guide and owner, highlights Iceland as a top destination for 2015. Don't miss this trip, sign up today!
Detailed itinerary:
May 24 Arrival/Reykjavik
  Upon arrival to Iceland, you will be picked up with your fellow companions and transported to Iceland's most famous attraction, The Blue Lagoon. This is an excellent way to unwind from our flights and combat jet-lag! We will spend a couple hours here relaxing, before heading to our hotel, conveniently located just off the main street in downtown Reykjavik. After check-in, you can join your WANT guide for a short tour through a biological garden, or feel free to spend the remainder of the afternoon resting up for our program, or use this time to explore what downtown Reykjavik has to offer. Our program officially starts at 19:00, with our traditional Welcome Dinner and trip orientation at our hotel.
  Accommodation: Very comfortable city hotel
May 25 The Golden Circle/Thingvellir National Park/Hveragerdi
  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. We'll meet back at the hotel restaurant around 7pm for recap, briefing and dinner.
  Accommodation: Very comfortable city hotel
May 26 Selfoss/Hveragerdi/Skogar/Landeyjahöfn/Vestmannaeyjar Islands
  After breakfast, our first stop is the Hveragerdi geothermal park, where we will meet our local guide who will offer a guided tour and demonstration of Iceland's seemingly endless geothermic dangers and possibilities. From here we head up into the mountains to see one of Iceland's least visited, but perhaps one of its most unique features, a hot river. From here we head towards the Museum of Skógar with its fascinating turf houses -icons of traditional Icelandic culture, where we will pay a visit and enjoy lunch. From here it's just a short drive back to a port where we catch our ferry to the Vestmannaeyjar Islands, home to the largest puffin colony in the world! 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. As soon as we arrive to the Vestmannaeyjar Islands, we'll check in as fast as possible, then grab our photo gear and binoculars and head out the best place to observe Puffins as they come ashore to settle down for the evening.
  Accommodation: Lovely local guesthouse
May 27 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. 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
May 28 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 waterfalls on our way east. Our first main stop this morning is just outside of 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
May 29 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 four hours, during which time we will 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
May 30 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. Its a full day's drive, but 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 at the beautiful bubbling and boiling "paint pots." 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.' Don't forget your bathing suit, because today will be your second chance to visit a thermal bath, this one known only to the locals. Then from here, we head to our hotel, check-in, and 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
May 31 Lake Mývatn
  With over 115 species identifed, and 45 of which are nest in the area, Mývatn is world famous for its bird life! This, along with its immense geothermal qualities and unique geological formations, mean that a full day of exploring is necessary to enjoy all of its features, such as the psuedo craters, and wildlife. We'll keep a sharp look out for rare species, like the Goldeneye, as we explore the edges of the lake. We will enjoy a great lunch at a local restaurant, then stretch our legs through Dimmuborgir to view the impressive lava pillars and keyhole rock formations. You'll need your bathing suit again today, because we'll visit another thermal bath, this one open to the public, before we head back to our hotel.
  Accommodation: Absolutely unique and comfortable hotel
Jun 1 Lake Mývatn/Husavik
  Similar to yesterday’s itinerary, we’ll have another early start of exploration with a relaxing afternoon activity. We will spend the first part of the day continuing to exploring close to our hotel, 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, blue whales, dolphins and more! After we make our way back to land, we’ll enjoy an excellent meal at a 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 2 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 will 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 will immediately check-in and drop our things in our rooms, then head out for a seafood dinner in an authentic Icelandic fishing village. 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 3 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 will 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. This is also our best chance to see King Eider. 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 time 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 4 Hornstrandir Nature Reserve
  Trust us, one afternoon with these compelling animals is not enough, so today we have another full day of rest, relaxation, reflection and of course, more Arctic Fox. There is something so magical about this place, it is difficult to put into words, but it is guaranteed, you won't want to leave. Your guide will set up various activites around the guest house, but mostly today is dedicated to you and the fox.
  Accommodation: Private guest house with shared facilities
Jun 5 Hornstrandir Nature Reserve/Isafjördur
  Today we awake to another day in paradise and our last chance to explore this area. 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 an excellent Farewell Dinner and a chance to share some of the incredible memories we've made and photos we've taken.
  Accommodation: Comfortable city hotel
Jun 6 Departure
  Depending on your flight schedule, there are a couple of options for your final day in Iceland. If you are anxious to return home, we can help you to arrange a flight from Isafjordur to Keflavik for your international flight home. Alternatively, if you flight is after 17:00, you can enjoy a full day scenic drive from Isafjordur back to Reykavik/Keflavik. Have a safe flight, and we look forward to traveling with you again soon!
 
Jun 7
 
 
Iceland Trip mapCopyright © WantExpeditions

Trip price: in double room: USD 7,299
  in single room: USD 7,999

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


Trip price: in double room: USD 7,299
  in single room: USD 7,999
Price includes:
· all accomodation
· all meals
· all activities mentioned in the program
· all land transportation
· 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
· 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
· all domestic flights