The word has gotten out about Iceland’s astonishing natural wonders. This curious island of glaciers and geysers, hot springs and waterfalls, frigid fjords, flowing lava, puffins and whales is now a hot destination for adventure travelers.
However, avoiding the crowds is the emphasis on Natural Habitat Adventures’ new ‘Round Iceland’ adventure, a comprehensive 11-day exploratory journey circling this small Nordic nation lying between the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean.
Trip dates in 2016 are July 9-19 and July 23-Aug. 2, and in 2017, July 9-July 19 and July 23-Aug. 2. Each departure is limited to no more than 12 travelers.
Nat Hab’s newest nature immersion introduces Iceland with a complete loop around the island, exploring the fjord-indented coast and penetrating the wild interior where people are few and elements of traditional culture endure.
“While there are some small-ship cruises that circumnavigate Iceland, to our knowledge, no one else offers such an extensive and multifaceted exploration as this,” said Ben Bressler, Natural Habitat Adventures’ founder and president.
Nat Hab utilizes different modes of transportation to add variety and adventure, including excursion boats, a private mini bus with a window seat for all guests, 4x4 vehicles including a “Super Jeep” for rugged overland travel, and two short flights — one privately chartered — to maximize efficiency and give more time on the ground to explore.
A Nat Hab trademark is a focus on less-explored, less-touristed areas. Guests will experience places far off the heavily traveled track, including the remote Westfjords. Here, two private boat excursions offer opportunities for whale watching and viewing puffin and seal colonies, while a 4x4 excursion inland may reveal Arctic fox. The little-visited east coast showcases a tranquil region of mountains, forests, fjords and fishing villages.
Other itinerary highlights include a Super Jeep tour to Askja Volcano crater; a private Zodiac cruise among bobbing blue icebergs in Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon; hiking or an optional glacier walk in Skaftafell National Park; an overnight stay in Hveragerdi, Iceland’s hot springs capital; a tour of an Icelandic horse farm; and visits to several dramatic waterfalls including Mongufoss, Skogafoss and Dettifoss, Iceland’s largest cataract by volume.
On display throughout the itinerary are waterfalls, volcanoes, lava fields, geothermal features such as bubbling mud pots and steaming geysers, grazing Icelandic sheep famed for the warmest wool in the world, and the hospitality of a hardy, welcoming people whose lineage traces back to the arrival of the Vikings in the 9th century.
Meals are a highlight, featuring abundant fresh seafood, local lamb and greenhouse-grow Icelandic produce, among varied options. In the less-traveled locations, accommodations are selected for their proximity to natural areas and a high standard of hospitality that is genuine and authentic.
The per-person double occupancy rate is from $11,995 and includes accommodations, meals, transportation, and the services of a dedicated Nat Hab naturalist Expedition Leader plus local guides.
The trip begins and ends in the capital city of Reykjavik, the heart of Iceland's cultural, economic and governmental activity. It is among the cleanest and greenest cities in the world and the site of the first permanent Norse settlement in Iceland in the 9th century.
For more details on Nat Hab’s Iceland adventure, please see: http://www.nathab.com/alaska-northern-adventures/iceland-nature-adventure/
For information on all of Nat Hab’s trips, descriptive itineraries, date availability and reservations, call 800.543.8917 or visit http://www.nathab.com/. Click HERE to order a copy of the 2016 catalog.