Iceland small group tours
Description of Iceland small group tours
Iceland’s world-renowned natural splendour is on full display as you travel the famous Golden Circle route. This classic small group tour runs only in the summer months, with up to 22 hours of sunlight a day, giving you plenty of time to soak up the majestic scenery.
Departing from the capital, Reykjavik, you’ll head towards Thingvellir National Park, home to the world’s oldest parliament, which was founded in 930AD, and the Silfra fissure. Here you can actually see the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates being pulled apart. You’ll take a tour of the Geysir geothermal area, with its immensely powerful Strokkur geyser that blasts boiling hot water up to 30 feet into the air, and the beautiful Gullfoss waterfall.
Overnighting in a guesthouse that takes a lead in responsible tourism and sustainability, you’ll be invited to take part in their conservation efforts by planting a few trees before settling down for the evening
In Skaftafell National Park you’ll walk across Vatnajokull, which is Europe’s largest ice cap, and on the volcanic black sand on the beach of Vik, a popular seaside resort. If you’ve never seen a black sand beach before, it’s quite a sight.
The circle is completed as you return to Reykjavik. The big attraction in the capital is of course the Blue Lagoon, but you needn’t follow the crowds. There are many cool cafes and restaurants to find, whale watching trips leaving from the harbour, and smaller, less-busy thermal pools in the countryside just a short journey away by hire car.
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3 Reviews of Iceland small group tours
Reviewed on 13 Sep 2023 by Chris GoldthorpA busy 3 days exploring all the beauty southern Iceland has to offer. Pack light as you move accommodation. It’s a basic rated trip so accommodation is often basic but clean and warm. Read full review
Reviewed on 18 Sep 2018 by Valerie DeethThe best part was the Glacier walk. Amazing. Read full review
Reviewed on 23 Aug 2018 by Zara Wines3 of us were upgraded to a luxury chalet with a hot tub for free due to a cancellation that evening - and we sat in a hot tub in the middle of dark farmland and watched the northern lights! Read full review
PlanetIn Iceland we only use locally owned and run guesthouses. When travelling the Icelandic countryside, we tend to stay in converted farm houses, some of which are still working farms such as horse farms. Our stay contributes to the local economy and helps the families living in this pretty inhospitable terrain.
Our guesthouse in Hvolsvollur is a leader in responsible tourism and sustainability. It’s a working family farm comprising of around 300 hectares. About 30 cows, 30 horses, 80 sheep, plenty of ducks, rabbits and goats are kept here, as well as landnámshænan, a rare ancient Icelandic chicken. All the animals on the farm are free-range but have access to a house in winter. Berries, turnips and potatoes are also grown here, and all the farm’s produce is used in the hotel restaurant.
The guesthouse is committed to their sustainability policy, and the accommodation and restaurant are eco-labelled by the Nordic Swan. Since the arrival of the first settlers in Iceland, deforestation has taken place to make space for pastures and overgrazing has led to soil erosion. The farm owners then had the idea of starting a tree planting project on their land to contribute to lowering CO2 and counteracting soil erosion. Our travellers will have the option to join the effort and head out into the surrounding hills to plant trees themselves.
On this Iceland trip we use a private minibus throughout. However, our local operator has recently purchased a brand-new fleet of vehicles all of which meet the European emission standards.
PeopleAll our Iceland trips are run by our local Destination Management Company (or DMC), which is based out of Reykjavik. They share our values in terms of responsible travel, and relay this onto our leaders who impart their wisdom on our travellers. Our DMC is run by locals and employs mostly local leaders from Iceland.
Many of the areas surrounding Reykjavik receive large numbers of day-trippers, mainly staying on cruise ships. This style of travel doesn’t benefit the local communities living in the countryside, which is why our itinerary takes the road less travelled. Staying in farmhouse accommodation and guesthouses brings benefits and understanding of adventure tourism to the local communities.
Iceland is experiencing a tourism boom and travelling in a small group means we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. As such this small group tour is limited to a maximum of 16 participants.