Iceland’s ethereal landscape is just as other-worldly as one would expect from a volcanic outcropping in the North Atlantic Ocean. And the feeling of this small island nation’s remoteness is palpable. The road from the airport is dotted with small, picturesque cottages that hug the rocky coastline. Black, porous volcanic rock spills into the churning ocean followed by bright green tufts of moss, illuminated against the steel-hued sky. Wherever you arrived from, it certainly doesn’t look like this.
The Vikings, who arrived from Scandinavia around 860 A.D., surely thought the same. They forged a life of independence, innovation, and ruggedness; qualities that were required of people living on the frontier, in relative isolation. Over time, this has transformed into a unique culture marked by a love of nature, as well as art and culture.
Iceland’s Breathtaking Geography
Today, Iceland is still geographically unique, but much more accessible. It’s only a five-hour flight from New York or Boston, making it an easy one-week getaway. Reykjavik plays host to music festivals, acclaimed restaurants serving innovative cuisine, and curated art galleries. All that combined with classic and modern Scandinavian architecture; it’s known throughout Europe as the northern nightlife capital.
Outside the city lies an entire other world of adventure. Geysers, glaciers, black sand beaches, mystical troll folklore, and geothermal pools. And our Iceland walking tour touches on all of these and more. Stroll along the rugged shoreline to witness the world’s largest breeding colony of Atlantic Puffins. You’ll also see Mt. Hekla (pictured below), which has the distinction of being Iceland’s most active volcano. Grab your camera, because you’ll also be walking through bubbling geothermal streams and lava fields surrounded by technicolor mountains. As if that weren’t enough, go to Þingvellir National Park, which houses a deep tectonic rift that bisects the park (and gives you the opportunity to snorkel in the clear waters). In true Icelandic fashion, this is where settlers chose to build what is now the world’s oldest parliament, which dates back to 930 A.D.
During your trip, you’ll soak in the Blue Lagoon’s warm waters, visit traditional fishing villages, and sample the freshest of the Atlantic’s bounty. Along the way, you’ll stay in perfectly sited upscale accommodations each night to rest after your adventurous day. So if you’re looking for the right blend of cultural immersion and natural stimulation, Iceland is the perfect destination. Visiting this island nation with us will take you from the tops of glaciers to the depths of geothermal pools, with immersions into Viking history and culture leaving no stone – or volcanic rock – unturned. Join us as we explore the rugged beauty of Iceland, on foot at eye level.