Iceland Hiking

From: $4,499

per person dbl occ

Dates: Jun-Aug - see all dates

Total Days: 9

Activity Level: 3

Reserve This Trip

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Price:

2014

REI member: $4,499

Non-member: $4,950

2015

REI member: $4,799

Non-member: $5,275

Additional Fees

Single supplement: $899

Trip Dates:

2014

  • Jun 14–22
  • Jun 28 – Jul 6
  • Jul 12–20
  • Jul 19–27
  • Jul 26 – Aug 3
  • Aug 2–10
  • Aug 9–17

2015

  • Jun 13–21
  • Jun 20–28
  • Jun 27 – Jul 5
  • Jul 11–19
  • Jul 18–26
  • Jul 25 – Aug 2
  • Aug 1–9
  • Aug 8–16

Or, book a
private departure.

Group Size: 4-14

Activity Level: 3

Activities:

  • Hiking

Accommodations:

Small hotels, 6 nights; Camping, 2 nights

Trip Highlights

  • Experience the same awe as the Vikings hiking in Iceland's dramatic landscapes
  • Explore national parks filled with obsidian fields, blue lakes, and volcanoes
  • Discover thundering waterfalls, vast icecaps, and icy glaciers
  • Stay in small hotels and spend two nights camping
  • Visit lively Reykjavik and relax in the world-famous Blue Lagoon

For centuries, explorers and adventurers alike have been drawn to the volcanic peaks, thundering waterfalls, and vast icecaps of wondrous Iceland. Experience the same sense of awe the Vikings felt a thousand years ago as we hike through the spectacular national parks and dramatic landscapes of this rugged and beautiful North Atlantic island.

Setting out from Reykjavik, we travel along the southern coast to Skaftafell National Park where our uphill hiking efforts are rewarded with amazing views of the Vatnajokul, the largest non-polar icecap in the world. The obsidian lava fields, blue lakes, and multi-colored hills of Landmannalaugar create a fantastic backdrop for unforgettable backcountry hikes. In Thingvellir National Park, we learn about fabled Norse settlers and the fascinating medieval sagas they left behind. A final celebration dinner in vibrant Reykjavik ends an exceptionally cool trip on a genuinely warm note.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Marvel at the lava fields and geysers of Iceland's southern coast.
  • Day 2 - Visit Dyrholeay in search of puffins; boat ride on a glacial lagoon.
  • Day 3 - Full-day summit hike in magnificent Skaftafell National Park!
  • Day 4 - Hike in Landmannalauger among rhyolite mountains and glacial lakes.
  • Day 5 - Pass famous Eyjafjallajokull Volcano. Camp comfortably in birch forest.
  • Day 6 - Hike new volcanic craters formed in Eyjafjallajokull's 2010 eruption.
  • Day 7 - Visit Gullfoss Waterfall and the Great Geysir geothermal area.
  • Day 8 - Hike to the summit of Mt. Hengill for outstanding views.
  • Day 9 - Explore Reykjavik and soak in the Blue Lagoon before departing.

See full itinerary

Trip Itinerary and Details

Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

  • Day 1 - Marvel at the lava fields and geysers of Iceland's southern coast.

    Your trip begins today in Reykjavik, Iceland. Early this morning, we’re met by our Icelandic guide and begin the drive through the Reykjanes region where we’ll pass lava fields, hot springs and unusual geological formations en route to Hveragerdi. Hveragerdi is built over an active geothermal area and the natural heat source provides warmth to a large number of local greenhouses used for growing fruits and vegetables year-round. We’ll explore some of the nearby thermal features before continuing on to our lodging on Iceland’s southern coast. Along the way, we visit one of the many dramatic waterfalls fed by the Eyjafjallajokull Glacier; 200-foot-tall Skogarfoss – one of the island’s prettiest cascades. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

    Hiking: 2 miles

  • Day 2 - Visit Dyrholeay in search of puffins; boat ride on a glacial lagoon.

    We travel east this morning along the Ring Road (the one road that encircles the entire island) past small herds of Icelandic horses and through charming rural villages. Along our route, we’ll stop at Dyrholaey, an immense natural rock arch spanning 165 feet and jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean. This protected area is a prominent nesting site for numerous species of seabirds and is one of the best locations in southern Iceland to spot puffins. We continue east across black sand deserts formed in the aftermath of numerous sub-glacial eruptions, ultimately arriving at photogenic Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon. At the lagoon, we’ll have an opportunity to take a boat tour past house-sized icebergs deposited in the water by the nearby Breidamerkurjokull glacier. Our final destination this afternoon is a small guesthouse nearby where we spend the night. All meals included.

  • Day 3 - Full-day summit hike in magnificent Skaftafell National Park!

    A full day of hiking today in Skaftafell National Park – a jumble of rugged peaks, massive glaciers and iceberg-filled lakes spanning almost 600 square miles and offering a myriad of trails for the hiking enthusiast. The park encompasses part of the great Vatnajokul icecap – the world’s largest icecap outside of the Polar Regions – and the many outlet glaciers that falls spectacularly from the main icefield all the way to the lowlands thousands of feet below. We explore Skaftafellsheidi heath, with views of the Skaftafellsjökull glacier on one side and the Morsárdalur valley, decorated with colorful rhyolite mountains, on the other. In the bottom of the valley, huge blocks of ice lie scattered after falling from cliffs one thousand feet high. The scenery here is truly breathtaking! Weather permitting, we climb up Kristínartindar (3500’) which towers over the heath, giving us unparalleled views of the surrounding glaciers and peaks including Hvannadalshnukur, Iceland's highest mountain (6950'). All meals included.

    Hiking: 7-8 hours. Elevation gain: approximately 3000’

  • Day 4 - Hike in Landmannalauger among rhyolite mountains and glacial lakes.

    We bid farewell to Skaftafell today and continue by vehicle between the giant icecaps of Vatnajokull and Myrdalsjokull, en route to the gorge of Eldgja (Fire Fissure). Another of Iceland’s incredible natural attractions, Eldgja is a 25-mile-long volcanic rift formed during a violent 10th-century eruption which produced the greatest amount of lava ever recorded. We take some time to hike into the rift and visit Ofaerufoss waterfall, a locally well-known cascade appearing in the Icelandic film In the Shadow of the Raven. Continuing west towards the volcanic region of Landmannalauger, we enter the Fjallabak (Behind the Mountains) Nature Reserve whose surface is predominantly covered with pitch-black lava and pumice stone. We stop in Landmannalauger and set out on a 3-hour hike to the top of a nearby peak for a panoramic view of this remote highland oasis surrounded by vividly-colored rhyolite mountains, fissures, glacial lakes and obsidian lava. Back in our vehicle this afternoon, we travel along a network of backcountry dirt roads that grant the only access to the Fjallabak, occasionally making shallow river crossings en route to tonight’s hotel located near Mt. Hekla, one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes. All meals included.

    Hiking: 3 hours. Elevation gain: 990’

  • Day 5 - Pass famous Eyjafjallajokull Volcano. Camp comfortably in birch forest.

    We spend the next two days hiking in the amazing Thorsmork region (named after the pagan god Thor). One of Iceland’s jewels, Thorsmork is surrounded by mountains and glaciers and is only accessible via specially-equipped four-wheel-drive vehicles that can easily cross the glacial rivers encountered en route. We’ll have one of these vehicles at our disposal for our ride along the foothills of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano – made famous during the powerful 2010 eruption – and past the outlet glacier where the flood from the recent eruption rolled down. Our destination for the night is a remote campsite named Godaland, located in a sheltered birch forest. All camping gear including comfortable tents, sleeping bags and sleeping pads are provided and our guides will prepare hearty meals for us throughout our stay in this marvelously serene spot. All meals included.

    Hiking: 2-3 hours. Elevation gain: 1300’

  • Day 6 - Hike new volcanic craters formed in Eyjafjallajokull's 2010 eruption.

    The Thorsmork Valley is full of geological wonders and dramatic scenery that has been enjoyed by Icelandic nature lovers for many decades. We spend the entire day hiking directly from camp to the new volcanic craters formed during Eyjafjallajokull’s 2010 eruption. As we gain elevation during our hike, the terrain changes dramatically and we find ourselves crossing a large, fresh lava field; an unmistakable reminder of what lies beneath the now tranquil surface of this ever-changing landscape. At day’s end, we return to our familiar campsite in Godaland and enjoy another peaceful night in the Icelandic backcountry. All meals included.

    Hiking: 5-6 hours. Elevation gain: 2500'

  • Day 7 - Visit Gullfoss Waterfall and the Great Geysir geothermal area.

    Today we bid farewell to Thorsmork and follow the main road to Gullfoss (Golden Falls), one of Iceland's most spectacular natural wonders. This magnificent double waterfall tumbles into a deep canyon and the nearby trail network allows us to get within arm's reach of the cascading torrent. Close by is the Great Geysir (which has given its name to all other such water spouts around the world) and its more reliable companion Strokkur. Although the Great Geysir is only active a few times each week, Strokkur erupts every 10 minutes, spouting water almost 70 feet in the air. We'll explore the steaming vents, mud pots and fumaroles of this active geothermal area before continuing on to Thingvellir National Park, the site of the world's oldest democratic parliament dating back to 930 A.D. Thingvellir became Iceland's first national park in 1928, not only due to its great historical significance but also because of its haunting natural beauty. In geological terms, this area is also of great interest because nowhere else in Iceland can the divergent drift of the American and Eurasian plates be seen more clearly. A five kilometer wide strip of land in between the plates has sunk over 180 feet in the past 10.000 years and a rift valley has formed. We'll go for a short walk in the rift valley and around the site of the ancient parliament and learn more about Iceland's fascinating cultural history. All meals included.

  • Day 8 - Hike to the summit of Mt. Hengill for outstanding views.

    We'll spend the day hiking in the hills around Mt. Hengill and possibly have an opportunity to walk up the mountain itself. This area is unique for its geothermal activity and during our hike we'll encounter lava fields, hot springs and unusual geological formations. The summit of Hengill, Skeggi, offers outstanding views and our goal will be to reach the top. In mid-afternoon, we'll climb back aboard our vehicle and proceed to our hotel in central Reykjavik. Reykjavik, the world's northernmost capital, is filled with brightly-painted buildings, numerous parks, a wide variety of cultural attractions and a vibrant nightlife. A celebration dinner is planned for this evening in a downtown café, giving us an opportunity to relax, exchange memories and enjoy the company of newfound friends. All meals included.

    Hiking: 6-7 hours. Elevation gain:2300' – 2600'

  • Day 9 - Explore Reykjavik and soak in the Blue Lagoon before departing.

    After breakfast, we'll have a few hours for additional exploration of this colorful city before driving to the Blue Lagoon for a final soak. The Blue Lagoon is a large, manmade pool heated by the mineral-rich waters of the nearby geothermal plant and has been endorsed by the Icelandic surgeon-general for its curative properties. Most Icelandair flights returning to the US depart in late afternoon, and we'll arrive at Keflavik Airport (30 miles from Reykjavik) with ample time to check in. Breakfast included.

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.

Air Travel

Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate. 

Price Includes

Hotel/guesthouse accommodations (6 nights) and camping accommodations (2 nights); all meals as noted on the daily itinerary; guides; group transfer from/to Keflavik Airport; transportation within Iceland; group camping gear including tents and sleeping bags; boat cruise on Jokulsarlon Lake; entrance to all national parks and Blue Lagoon thermal pool.

Not Included

Air transportation; alcoholic beverages and soft drinks; hot springs entrance fees and towel rentals; fees for showers at campgrounds; guide gratuities; travel insurance; laundry expenses and items of a personal nature.

Qualifications

This adventure is rated Moderate [3]. It is not necessary to be an expert hiker to participate, but you should enjoy hiking and feel comfortable spending 3-6 hours on-trail during most days. To maximize your enjoyment of the trip and to avoid sore muscles, we suggest beginning a regular exercise regimen at least 3 months prior to departure. Recommended exercises include hiking, jogging, cycling and/or swimming. The better shape you are in, the more fun you will have. Get out on those hills if possible!

Weather

Southwestern Iceland's climate is strongly influenced by the warm Gulf Stream waters and prevailing southwesterly winds. While these forces act to moderate year-round temperatures, they also, in concert with Iceland's mountainous geography, produce extremely variable weather conditions across the island. Summer temperatures generally range from the mid to high 50s during the day, dropping into the high 40s-low 50s at night. While clear weather is not unusual during June, July and August, at least some rainfall is a strong possibility during any month. Participants must be prepared for weather extremes that vary greatly from region to region as we travel through the country.

Travel Insurance

We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation and travel insurance. This comprehensive travel protection provides for: trip cancellation and interruption, travel delay, loss of baggage and travel documents, baggage delay, medical expenses and emergency assistance. An insurance application is included with all trip confirmations.

Single Travelers

If you are traveling alone and specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the single supplement fee. There is no single supplement fee for those willing to share accommodations, and we will assign you a roommate of the same gender if possible. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single accommodations available.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

Iceland Hiking Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.

Gear Checklist

Provided Gear
  • Tents for 2 nights camping
  • Cooking equipment/eating utensils while camping
  • Sleeping bag and pad
Official Papers
  • Valid passport
  • Airline tickets
Luggage
  • Duffel bag (wheels and retractable handle are fine), large enough to hold clothing and gear
  • Luggage tags and luggage locks
  • Daypack (for rain gear, camera, water bottles, lunch items)
  • Passport security pouch or belt
Casual Clothing
  • Lightweight, easily washable items for city, evening and travel wear
Outerwear
  • Waterproof, breathable rain jacket and rain pants
  • Midweight fleece jacket or synthetic sweater
Clothing
  • T-shirts
  • Long-sleeve shirts
  • Hiking pants, quick-drying
  • Hiking shorts, quick-drying
  • Midweight thermal underwear tops/bottoms
  • Regular underwear
  • Hiking socks and liner socks
  • Casual socks
  • Swimsuit
Clothing Accessories
  • Sun hat or visor
  • Wool/fleece hat
  • Bandana
  • Lightweight / waterproof gloves or mittens
Footwear
  • Lightweight hiking boots with ankle support, waterproof and well broken-in
  • Comfortable walking shoes
Travel Accessories
  • Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries/bulb
  • Two quart-size water bottles or hydration pack
  • Bath towel / washcloth for campground showers and Blue Lagoon
  • Bar of soap
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Sunblock and lip balm
  • Insect repellent
  • Personal first-aid kit
  • Toiletry kit
  • Ziploc bags to separate wet items from dry
  • Watch with alarm or travel clock
Optional Accessories
  • Camera, memory card and spare batteries
  • Small binoculars
  • Hiking staff or trekking poles
  • Waterproof cover for daypack
  • Knee supports
  • Travel pillow
  • Spare contact lenses or glasses
  • Eye mask for long daylight hours
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Baby wipes/hand sanitizer gel
  • Shower shoes for public showers
  • Motion sickness remedies
  • Electrical plug adapter/converter
  • Ear plugs

Things to Consider

  • Please remember to always pack essential items such as your passport, money, eyewear, a change of clothing (including hiking boots), and medications in your carry-on baggage, in case your luggage is delayed.
  • Wind chill can be a significant feature of this trip. Air temperatures are not very cold but when the wind is constant, you can be robbed of body heat very quickly. Good wind/raingear is essential.
  • Cotton is wonderful in warm weather. However, once it becomes wet, it will drain your body heat. Bring synthetics such as Capilene®, MTS® and Thermax®.
  • Always test your layers before a trip. Your outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding and bunching up.
  • Make sure boots are broken-in. Bring moleskin for foot treatment. Thin liner socks worn under regular hiking socks may minimize the risk of blisters. The liner sock should be synthetic, not cotton. Test your sock combination before you go on the trip.
  • Stuff sacks are great for sorting gear. Use different sizes/colors to differentiate contents.
  • If you wear prescription glasses, use a safety cord and bring an extra pair if possible. Contact lens users should also bring an extra set, or bring eyeglasses for a backup.

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresIceland Hiking
 
4.5

(based on 13 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Activity level (12)
  • Guides (12)
  • Food (10)
  • Group camaraderie (10)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (9)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Casual adventurer (8), Avid adventurer (4)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Active adventures (11), All the details planned for me (11), Destination (11), I liked the itinerary (11), Travel with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts (7)

      Reviewed by 13 customers

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      4.0

      Gorgeous Country

      By Gadget Queen

      from Chicago, IL

      About Me Casual Adventurer

      Site Member

      Pros

      • Activity Level
      • Group Camaraderie

      Cons

      • Accommodations
      • Fell Short of Expectations

      Best Uses

        Comments about REI Adventures Iceland Hiking:

        Lodging/Hotels were good. Hotels chosen were clean and the staff was friendly. The evening meals were good and sufficiently varied.

        Itinerary was nicely varied. We did something different each day; long/shorter hikes, driving, boating, etc.

        Camping was more rustic than I expected. It rained practically every day, and when it came to camping, I was expecting some "relatively permanent structure" where we could relax, warm up in front of the fire and get dried out. We only had our kitchen tent, but relaxing and getting dry didn't quite happen. You had to pay for 4 minute showers and there wasn't electricity so if you did wash your hair, you couldn't dry it.

        I was surprised that twice the vehicles had to be changed out due to mechanical difficulties. It was remedied immediately, but very surprising given how on top of things my previous REI trips were.

        In light of all that and being injured, we packed our sense of humor and had a good time. Beats staying at home anyday!

        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
        • Why did you choose this trip?:
        • Iceland has been on the list and the time was right
        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
        • Scenery was gorgeous. The zodiac trip through the icebergs was stunning. Dinner when camping was pretty amazing considering we were camping. I twisted my knee on the first big hike and had to curtail my activies for a few days. The guide and driver were very helpful and suggested other alternatives for those days.
        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
        • Rain gear, rain gear, rain gear. And don't forget the rain gear. Waterproof gloves made a big difference for me and make sure your electronics are protected as well. Layer up as well.

        (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Hiking for the Sake of Hiking

        By Call Me Nick

        from Yakima, WA

        About Me Casual Adventurer

        See all my reviews

        Site Member

        Pros

        • Accommodations
        • Food
        • Group Camaraderie
        • Guides
        • Quality Equipment Provided
        • Well Organized Itinerary

        Cons

        • Activity Level

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Iceland Hiking:

          On the plus side, everything was well organized, the hotels were clean, the food was good, the camp and the camping equipment were excellent, and the guides were top notch. And, of course, the scenery was beautiful.

          On the other hand, the hiking was more demanding than we expected. REI gives the trip an activity level of 3, but we would have given it a 4. The hiking is, in some places, difficult and downright treacherous. On our previous REI trips we hiked in order to get to a particular place and to see a particular sight. This trip was about hiking for the sake of hiking. Our first major hike was 13 miles, with a substantial altitude change, and with no specific goal in mind. Several others were similar. We skipped the last hike and visited a thermal power plant instead. We learned how they take super-heated water and steam from the ground and use it to generate electricity and to heat clean water for use in Reykjavik. It was fascinating. We were especially glad we had not gone on the last hike when we saw the rest of the group dragging themselves back to the bus.

          Our guide, who was a great guy, did tell us stories about Iceland's history, but we would have preferred to learn more about the culture. Although we started and finished in Reykjavik, which seemed like a wonderful city, it was not really part of the tour.

          If what you want to do is to hike over rugged terrain and see starkly beautiful scenery, this trip may be for you. However, you could do much the same thing in Colorado or the Pacific Northwest for substantially less money.

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • All the Details Planned for Me
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • We had been on two previous REI trips, to Machu Picchu and Costa Rica. Both were great, which is why we decided on REI when we were arranging for our Iceland adventure.
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • The food and the scenery.
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • Be ready to get wet. It rained almost every day. Take two pairs of boots. In the process of crossing innumerable streams you are bound to fill one or both boots with water. Given the weather, your boots won't dry very fast.
           
          5.0

          Spectacular!

          By lilmonkeyman

          from Santa Cruz, CA

          About Me Casual Adventurer

          Site Member

          Pros

          • Accommodations
          • Activity Level
          • Exceeded Expectations
          • Food
          • Group Camaraderie
          • Guides
          • Once in a Lifetime Experience
          • Well Organized Itinerary

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about REI Adventures Iceland Hiking:

              Something about Iceland has drawn my attention for years, and now I know why! The scenery is otherworldly beautiful and the landscape was so varied; lush and green, stark and rugged, icebergs and glaciers, geysers and hot springs, it has it all! You can't turn around without seeing something incredible. Be ready for rain, but don't worry about it dampening your spirits! The accommodations were quite good and the food was incredible (as long as you like fish and lamb). Our guides were great fun and the whole group felt like family (especially during a particularly rainy dinner at camp!). You won't be disappointed.

              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
              • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
               
              5.0

              How do you define "indescribable"?

              By Seahorse

              from Cave Junction, Oregon

              About Me Avid Adventurer

              Site Member

              Pros

              • Accommodations
              • Activity Level
              • Exceeded Expectations
              • Food
              • Group Camaraderie
              • Guides
              • Once in a Lifetime Experience
              • Quality Equipment Provided
              • Well Organized Itinerary

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about REI Adventures Iceland Hiking:

                  Our guide, Oliver, was simply outstanding. He did a wonderful job leading us on the hikes, kept us laughing with "troll" stories, adjusted the itinerary to make best use of sunny days, cooked great dinners in camp and provided just the right of commentary while on the bus. Two thumbs WAY up for Oliver!

                  This trip is designed for scenery junkies. We all said, "WOW", countless times every day. The rewards for hiking were huge; the country is simply breathtaking. We hiked in sun, drizzle and downpour and loved every minute.

                  The accommodations are great - clean and pleasant and in good locations. The breakfasts and dinners served at the accommodations were always very good. Vegetarians be on alert that meat (lamb and fish) is the mainstay of every meal so pre-arrangements would need to be made to have enough vegetarian fare. Most lunches were picnics that included plenty of options and snacks were always available. Near the end of the trip we toured a huge tomato greenhouse and had a fantastic tomato soup and bread lunch. Despite the hiking, I'm sure we all put on a few pounds.

                  Pack light and be sure to bring enough changes of warm, layer-able, and waterproof clothing.

                  Fantastic trip in all regards!

                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                  • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                  • I've wanted to explore Iceland for many years and the combination of visiting the "typical" locations along with some longer hikes was just what I desired.
                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                  • Everyday was a highlight but hiking to the new volcanic crater formed during Eyjafjallajokull's eruption was beyond words. The views were incredible every step of the way and sitting on the still warm rock at the top was unbelievable. Also, hiking cross country to view Jokulsarlon lagoon was awesome as was hiking into the spectacular Landmannalauger region. Gorgeous waterfalls daily!!
                  • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                  • Be prepared for rain and cool weather. While we had some sunny days, rain and cool weather predominated - but didn't in any way lessen the enjoyment of the trip! Be in shape. While the longer hikes were only about 10 miles, they have some steep pitches that will make you suck air.

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  3.0

                  Great sites, things I wish I had known

                  By Caroline

                  from Boston, MA

                  About Me Casual Adventurer

                  Site Member

                  Pros

                  • Activity Level
                  • Group Camaraderie
                  • Guides
                  • Quality Equipment Provided

                  Cons

                  • Accommodations

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about REI Adventures Iceland Hiking:

                    I thoroughly enjoyed the hikes, sites, and knowledge of the guides and the driver on this trip. The lead guide made a great decision having us hike Eyjafjallajökull the day before it was scheduled on the itinerary because of the weather forecasts. If we had stuck with the schedule, we would have missed out on the amazing scenery and just been hiking in the rain. I think everyone agreed it was a good call, and the next day almost everyone enjoyed relaxing at the campsite in the afternoon.

                    I also very much enjoyed seeing so many puffins just going about their day all in one place. They are very cute. Another fun trip was the boat tour with with all the icebergs, and eating a 1000-year-old piece of iceberg!

                    I do have some feedback regarding accommodation hiccups however. There were two incidents that should not have occurred on an REI trip (this is my 4th REI trip):
                    1) En suite accommodation was not available at one of the hotels, so I had to share a bathroom with strangers, college-dormitory style. The final materials said that all the hotels had private baths.
                    2) The last night, the hotel REI uses was overbooked and I had to stay at another hotel outside of the city (nice hotel for business, not for tourism) in Reykjavik, which is about a half-hour walk (or a ~$25 taxi ride) from the city center when you factor in all the time you wait for the light to change at various road crossings. This is not a convenient way to explore a city when you only have one night left, so was a disappointment. I also felt alienated from my new friends having to stay in a separate hotel like this. By the time I made it back to the city center, things were starting to close for the evening so I didn't get to see the couple of exhibits I was hoping to check out.

                    When I sign up for an organized tour, I do expect the tour company to handle the logistics. I understand mistakes can happen, but I expect proactive efforts to be taken to prevent them, and if they can't be prevented, a partial refund should be offered for the difference in price for what I actually got. Telling me "That's the way things are in Iceland these days" is really bad business, and reflects poorly on the host country and company.

                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                    • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                    • I had been wanting to visit Iceland for a while because I have a casual interest in geology. Hiking in Iceland is a great way to explore geological phenomena.
                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                    • The hikes on Eyjafjallajökull craters/lava fields and in Skaftafell National Park were the highlights of this trip for me. But it was also very cool visiting the geothermal plant instead of hiking on the day is was too rainy or foggy to see anything if we had gone through with the hike.
                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                    • Be prepared for ALL types of weather. The materials should stress that it is rainy and cold nearly every day of this trip, even though it may be summer where you are coming from. I'm from New England, and found the weather to be as cold as some of our winter weather. I don't consider this a show-stopper to travel, just necessary information to be better prepared. Good raingear is also essential.

                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Can't wait to go back

                    By Eljay

                    from Cherry Valley, CA

                    About Me Avid Hiker

                    Site Member

                    Pros

                    • Activity Level
                    • Guides
                    • Landscape
                    • Once in a Lifetime Experience

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about REI Adventures Iceland Hiking:

                        I never put away my camera & even a cheapie point-and-shoot will provide you with dozens of great pictures every day. Iceland in summer is a very popular destination for hikers from all over Europe & it was fun to hear all the languages at campgrounds & visitor centers. We were rarely the only visitors in most places--the Blue Lagoon had never had as many people in one day as the day we were there & the campground at Landmannalauger looked like a tent city--but I liked how much the places are enjoyed by so many. Icelanders generally speak English, most signs included English, credit cards are accepted practically everywhere...this is the most accommodating foreign country I've ever visited. But the hiking is still challenging, so the cushiness is strictly in the developed areas. Our large group got along very well & our guides were hugely entertaining & definitely contributed to the fun & enjoyment of the experience.

                        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                        • Active Adventures, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
                        • Why did you choose this trip?:
                        • I have wanted to experience Iceland for decades & this seemed like a great first-time visit.
                        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                        • Many highlights: Eyjafjallajokull volcano, feeling hot lava, hiking above glaciers, amazing views, & the gazillions of huge waterfalls.
                        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                        • Take a good camera, be ready for rain, & stay flexible. Vegans & "hard-core" vegetarians: Iceland is a carnivore's heaven so speak up early to be sure you get the right nutrition.

                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        No words to describe this perfect trip

                        By Leslie the Last One

                        from Springville, CA

                        About Me Casual Adventurer

                        Site Member

                        Pros

                        • Accommodations
                        • Activity Level
                        • Exceeded Expectations
                        • Food
                        • Group Camaraderie
                        • Guides
                        • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                        • Quality Equipment Provided
                        • Well Organized Itinerary

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about REI Adventures Iceland Hiking:

                            No time for laundry so more clothes needed. Come a few days early or after your trek to see the Capital. Buy woolen goods. Watch out for the bakerys, they are wonderful. The guides were the best. Thank you Oliver, Hafie and the driver Magnus.

                            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                            • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                            • Why did you choose this trip?:
                            • Iceland was a special place that called to me for a very long time.
                            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                            • Too many to count
                            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                            • It is important to be in shape. Couple of the hikes were very challenging.

                            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Iceland 2012

                            By Kim L

                            from California

                            About Me Enjoys new adventures

                            Pros

                            • Accommodations
                            • Activity Level
                            • Beautiful country
                            • Exceeded Expectations
                            • Fantastic hikes views
                            • Food
                            • Guides
                            • Well Organized Itinerary

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about REI Adventures Iceland Hiking:

                                Iceland is a beautiful country with very nice people and good food. The guides were fantastic and met the expectations of the group. They were fun and really made the trip.

                                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                • The views and diversity of the landscape
                                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                • Follow the packing list... is is helpful and comprehensive

                                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                Flexible, beautiful and a great mix!

                                By Powered by Nutella

                                from Atlanta, GA

                                About Me Avid Adventurer

                                Site Member

                                Pros

                                • Activity Level
                                • Food
                                • Group Camaraderie
                                • Guides
                                • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                                • Well Organized Itinerary

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about REI Adventures Iceland Hiking:

                                    Our guides were incredibly accommodating and took care of all the details.

                                    Our checked bag was delayed by 3 days but the guides made it there mission to coordinate with other tour companies to get our bag to us while not delaying our itinerary.

                                    The temperatures were great and having layers was the best option to be prepared for cool, heat and rain. As they say in Iceland, if you don't like the weather, wait 15 minutes.

                                    As travelers, we never had a single stressful event (even though our bag was delayed, we didn't have to worry, we knew the guides were running logistics for it).
                                    Beautiful simplicity of Just explore, hike, relax, repeat. It was an amazing trip!

                                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                    • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
                                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                    • We have been looking at this trip for 5 years and finally had the time to commit to it. We loved the diversity of the itinerary as it got us to locations would wouldn't have been able to do independently or with other travel agencies.
                                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                    • There was so much beauty and diverse untouched landscape. Finding one favorite isn't possible. Our guides were incredibly accommodating and took care of all the details. As travelers, we never had a single stressful event. Just hike, explore, relax, repeat. It was an amazing trip.
                                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                    • Bring layers, bring change of clothes and hiking boots in your carry on luggage. Trekking poles were very helpful. An eye mask is also highly recommended with the 18 hour daylight in the summer.

                                    (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Six Stars!

                                    By Kristin Fellows

                                    from Asheville, Western North Carolina

                                    About Me Casual Adventurer, Hiking enthusiast

                                    Site Member

                                    Pros

                                    • Accommodations
                                    • Activity Level
                                    • AMAZING guides
                                    • Exceeded Expectations
                                    • Food
                                    • Group Camaraderie
                                    • Guides
                                    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                                    • Quality Equipment Provided
                                    • Well Organized Itinerary

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                        Comments about REI Adventures Iceland Hiking:

                                        It's been three weeks since I got back from this trip and I still cannot get it out of my mind. I've been to more than 230 cities in 19 countries, and Iceland has captured my imagination in a way that rarely happens to me anymore.

                                        Iceland is not for everyone. But if you love photography, if you love nature, if you love hiking -- and especially if you love all three and you're also flexible about weather -- the package REI has put together (plus the fantastic guides and driver we had) is unlikely to disappoint you.

                                        Iceland is a stunning country and it's quite the surreal experience to be hiking its vast and unearthly expanses. I'm still dreaming about it.

                                        Would I return to Iceland? In a heartbeat.
                                        Would I use REI again for another adventure holiday? Absolutely.

                                        This trip far exceeded my expectations.

                                        One note - be sure to give yourself some extra time in Reykjavik, add a day or two onto the holiday. It's a charming city, different from other Nordic cities, a cool combination of hipsters and hikers. Good beer, good sense of humor and great food.

                                        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                        • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I felt safe with REI, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                        • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                        • I was looking for a hiking adventure holiday, with a group, and one where all the details and planning would be done for me. Iceland kept coming up – extreme, surreal, and yet safe enough.
                                        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                        • Waking up each morning, knowing the day would bring yet more fantastic surprises and adventures. It was 9 days of living in the moment, and feeling completely alive.
                                        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                        • Come prepared to have your mind blown by the beauty and vastness of this incredible country.

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