Any time your traveling companions have Vikings and shark fishermen in their bloodlines, you know that interesting things are going to happen. We just returned from scouting a new Iceland Multisport trip with our friends Atli and Kommi, the local guides who win raves on our Family and Cultural Trips. As one guest put it: “I want to be with them when the Zombie Apocalypse happens.”
Kommi and Atli show you the sights like nobody else. But these two Icelanders are doers, not just observers. With them in the lead, you’ll get full immersion into Iceland instead of just driving the Golden Circle the way so many tourists do.
Imagine yourself in the most remote setting from “Game of Thrones” or your favorite “Star Wars” planet. That starts to come close to Iceland. Volcanoes and glaciers have done crazy things. Wavy plains of cooled lava flows wear spongy carpets of electric green moss. Geysers shoot up and waterfalls arc down off cliffs. Those glaciers shed bergs like some cosmic ice dispenser. As for the Northern Lights, “wow” isn’t adequate. But just WOW.
If you crave a vacation with a variety of activities and experiences, Iceland is nirvana. Whenever Kommi or Atli would say, “Today, you can do this thing or that thing,” we’d say, “Why not both?” And so it will be when you join us on this Multisport adventure. Many times, you’re able to create your own adventure by choosing which activities appeal most to you.
For example, one day they ask “flippers or boots?” If you reply “flippers”, you find yourself stepping into insulated wet suits to go “tectonic snorkeling.” At just one spot, a gap between two tectonic plates contains a skinny lake of crystal glacial water. In water that’s as clear as glass, you feel like you’re floating in thin air. If you want to skip the flippers and keep your hiking boots, you can join one of the guys for an awesome walk in Þingvellir National Park. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is bisected by a tectonic valley and is cinematic beyond belief. Untamed as it is, it was also the place where local Viking chieftains started meeting in the year 930 to form the world’s oldest parliament.
The lion’s share of another day is spent on top of a glacier, starting with a hike to the glacier’s terminal face. Specialized guides join up with crampons, ice axes and other gear, and then you make your way to the top and across the ice field. You see impressive crevasses and even tuck into the coolest picnic ever. The next day, at the “snout” of another glacier, you climb into Zodiacs and chug in close to where icebergs are calved. This is also the place where you can explore ice caves carved by glacial melt.
You can choose to ride shaggy, short-legged Icelandic horses on a black sand beach or walk along coastal footpaths to a nesting colony of Atlantic Puffins. You’ll walk to a waterfall to explore it from behind. (It’s nobody but you, looking out at Iceland through a roaring curtain of water.) And one of our favorite hotels is a manor house on a family farm where trails lead you through sheep meadows to Viking ruins. At the end of another day, the geothermal Blue Lagoon is the perfect spot for a long steamy float.
There are other places where you can see fjords and walk on glaciers and visit sheep farms and clamber over frozen lava and eat sensational farm-to-table meals. But nowhere else can you do it all in such a compact geographic area and have so much fun. Your trusty research team did … and you will too!
IS ICELAND FOR YOU?
When are departures?
Year-round, so you can go at any time and in any season.
Do you see the Northern Lights?
Scientifically, the Aurora Borealis happens year-round. You’re likeliest to witness it from September to April when the night sky is darker, but we’ve seen them on tour in August!
How are the hotels?
Luxurious and stylish! One is a family-owned manor hotel on a sheep farm. The other is a contemporary gem situated between two glaciers.
Do you need a lot of equipment?
We provide all of the important stuff for your activities — from snorkeling gear to crampons to Land Rovers!
Do you eat Icelandic cod the whole time?
Seafood of all kinds is amazing, but this is an all-around foodie destination with super inventive and flat-out delicious farm-to-table cuisine beyond anything you can imagine.