Iceland summer small group holiday

“A 10 day, circular, small group summer tour of Iceland. Following the coastal Ring Road from Reykjavik, via waterfalls, national parks and rural towns. ”

Highlights

Reykjavik | Waterfalls | Reynisfjara black beach | Skaftafell | Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon | Seal spotting | East Fjords | Traditional Icelandic dinner | Akureyri | Siglufjordur | Hofsos' infinity pool | Working farm stay | Golden Circle tour

Description of Iceland summer small group holiday

Iceland’s famous Ring Road follows the island’s craggy coastline, connecting the most inhabited parts of the country and passing its most spectacular landmarks. Starting in the tiny but spirited capital city of Reykjavik, where you’ll have a little time to discover its striking architecture and infamous nightlife, we’ll set off east on this circular tour of the land of fire and ice.

This 10 day guided tour takes in the thundering waterfalls, fjords and powerful geysers that punctuate the pristine landscapes. By visiting in the summer, we can make the most of the longer hours of daylight, see the burst of wildflowers that carpet the meadows and enjoy the abundance of wildlife. Seals, whales, puffins and other birdlife are best spotted at this time of the year. 

Travelling by minibus, we’ll stop at Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, where we can walk behind the falling wall of water, and explore the dramatic black sands of Reynisfjara beach. In the Vatnajokull National Park, we’ll watch the floating ice boulders on Jokulsarlon lagoon and try to spot seals swimming in the blue waters. Passing the edge of the Arctic Circle, we’ll head south again to experience the roar of Europe’s most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss. After some city sightseeing in Akureyri, we’ll take famous Golden Circle route where we can discover Gullfoss, Geysir and Thingvellir National Park.

Along the way we’ll stop in small fishing villages, where herds of reindeer populate the hillsides, stay in farmhouses and cosy cottages, and eat locally sourced langoustine and traditional Icelandic recipes. 

Travel Team

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Holiday type
Small group holidays
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure.

Responsible tourism

Iceland summer small group holiday

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

This exciting loop of Iceland includes all the highlights from the famous Ring Road but also adds in a few things that are off the tourist trail but give a real insight in to traditional Icelandic culture.

Iceland’s landscape is pristine and during the trip our local guides ensure that all rubbish is disposed of in a responsible way so we don’t leave a mark on the landscape. We encourage the use of reusable water bottles throughout the trip to decrease the amount of plastic waste we create.

Heading further north we stay at Raufarhorn where we can experience natural hot pools away from the crowds and soak up the incredible feeling of being out in nature. Here birds far outnumber the human community! Travelling to Borgarnes we spend a night with a farming family who take the time to chat to us our their lifestyle over a hearty meal. Farming and fishing are still the main industries in Iceland, being so remote much of what is consumed is grown or sourced locally.

As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. CoolEarth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.

Community

We have been working with our Icelandic partner for many years and this wonderful couple ensure we see the very best of their country. They employ local guides and drivers and often travel with the groups themselves to bring that extra personal touch.

The beauty of this trip is in the accommodation we use, all locally owned and run but also offering the chance to really get to understand Icelandic culture. In Egilsstadir we spend a night at the Wilderness Centre, a farmhouse from the 1940’s that has been restored and by day is a museum displaying the old Icelandic way of life, focussed on farming and with shared family accommodation all in a grass-topped house. Before we tuck in for the night we are treated to an Icelandic feast of local meats, fish and locally grown vegetables.

In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our UK Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.

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