Iceland Winter Adventure

From: $3,399

per person dbl occ

Dates: Jan-Dec - see all dates

Activity Level: 3(?)activity level details

Activity Level and Qualifications

This adventure is rated Moderate [3].It's not necessary to be an expert hiker or snowshoer to participate, but you should enjoy hiking and feel comfortable covering distances of up to 6 miles (3-5 hours) on your walks. No prior experience is required for the glacier walk.

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, snowshoeing and/or jogging being sure to incorporate some uphill segments into your training routine. The better shape you're in upon arrival, the more fun you will have!

Total Days: 7

Reserve This Trip

1-800-622-2236

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7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time

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Trip Highlights

Selected by National Geographic Traveler as a 2014 Tour of a Lifetime.

  • Hike and snowshoe on this active winter exploration of Iceland
  • Strap on crampons for a glacier walk amidst a wonderland of natural ice sculptures
  • Discover Iceland's beautiful winter landscapes, sculpted by fire and ice
  • Search the night skies for multicolored displays of the Northern Lights
  • Take a soothing dip in the waters of the geothermally-heated Blue Lagoon

When Icelanders hear "winter is coming," hibernation is the furthest thing from their minds. The inhabitants of this dramatically-beautiful North Atlantic island have learned how to fill all seasons with outdoor activity. Our new Iceland multisport makes the most of a wintertime getaway with a week of exploration and adventure in this country sculpted by volcanism and glaciation.

A dip in the geothermally-heated Blue Lagoon helps soak away our cares shortly after our arrival. In the days that follow, discover a wide range of landscapes as we enjoy a coastal hike on the rugged Snaefellsnes Peninsula, snowshoe over lava fields in the Blue Mountains, and strap on crampons to walk on the icy-blue Solheimajokull Glacier.

In addition to our muscle-powered exploits, we'll visit frozen waterfalls and bubbling hot springs and discover always-vibrant Reykjavik. We spend our evenings in the comfort of small hotels and set out on nighttime drives into the countryside to scan the dark skies for the ethereal Northern Lights.

Considering visiting Iceland during the summer months? Check out our Iceland Hiking trip to see this stunning country between June & August.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Explore the Leidarendi lava tube. Enjoy a soak in the Blue Lagoon.
  • Day 2 - Discover Snaefellsnes National Park on a scenic coastal hike.
  • Day 3 - Snowshoe and hike on the geologically diverse Snaefellsnes Peninsula.
  • Day 4 - Marvel at Iceland's winter landscapes and search the night skies for the Northern Lights.
  • Day 5 - Strap on your crampons and take a walk on Solheimajokull glacier.
  • Day 6 - Snowshoe in the remote and volcanic Blue Mountains.
  • Day 7 - Tour vibrant Reykjavik before catching your flight home.

Activities:

  • Hiking
  • Snowshoeing
  • Glacier walking
  • Wildlife Viewing
Group Size: 4-14

Accommodations:

Small hotels, 4 nights; guesthouse, 2 nights

Weather

Iceland's winter climate can be extremely variable, with the Gulf Stream current and north Atlantic weather patterns greatly influencing local conditions. Daytime temperatures average in the 30s with nighttime temperatures dropping into the 20s or teens. In late January, the sun rises at about 10am and sets at 5pm. with daylight hours increasing into February and March; by mid-March sunrise is at 7:45am and sunset is at 7:30pm. Precipitation in the form of snow or rain is a possibility during any of the winter months. The prevailing wind direction in easterly; lowland areas can experience sustained winds of 40 mph with higher gusts. Trip members must be prepared for weather extremes that vary greatly and follow the Gear List in order to arrive properly equipped.

More Trips Like This:

Consider these other great trips.

Trip Itinerary and Details

  • Day 1 - Explore the Leidarendi lava tube. Enjoy a soak in the Blue Lagoon.

    Arrive at Keflavik Airport in Reykjavik, Iceland by 7am today. One group transfer from the airport to our hotel in Reykjavik is provided. Following an orientation and group breakfast, we drive to Leidarendi cave. Approximately 2,000 years old, Leidarendi is a great example of lava tube geology, including frozen flows of various patterns and formations and an assortment of small stalagmites and stalactites. In winter, the lava tube is often filled with glistening icicles of all shapes and sizes, creating ephemeral artworks of ice. We use headlamps, and some crawling is required, but most of Leidarendi is accessible on foot, giving comfortable access to the Icelandic lava field that surrounds Reykjavik and large parts of Iceland. Our next stop is the Blue Lagoon for lunch at the café and time to enjoy the famous spa. A giant, manmade pool is fed and heated by the mineral-rich waters of the nearby geothermal plant and a soak in the waters offers a perfect opportunity to relax and rejuvenate. We return to Reykjavik and check into our hotel, with free time to relax or stroll the streets of this colorful capital city until we meet for dinner. All meals included.

    Driving: 2 hours 45 minutes; Lava tube exploring: 1.5 hours; Optional spa activities: 1.5 hours.

  • Day 2 - Discover Snaefellsnes National Park on a scenic coastal hike.

    We set out for the Snaefellsnes peninsula to hike along old fishermen's trails with fantastic views of dramatic coves, inlets and sea cliffs. The cliffs provide nesting sites for a host of bird species that spend their winters here. Some of Iceland's best fishing grounds are located off this coastline and hardy fishermen have plied their trade in this area for hundreds of years. Mt. Snaefellsjokull (4,744') is the dominant feature of the surrounding landscape. An 800,000 year old stratovolcano with a small glacier covering its summit, Snaefellsjokull is one of the most famous mountains in Iceland due to its iconic shape and its starring role as the starting point for the "Journey to the Center of the Earth" as described in Jules Verne's classic novel. The geology of the peninsula is the result of cataclysmic events that occurred both pre- and post-ice age with the prevalent lava fields along the south coast created by a series of 20 volcanic eruptions. In addition to the natural highlights, our hike takes us past the ruins of old fishing villages, lighthouses, and even some shipwrecks that serve as a reminder of how the forces of nature impact the course of life on this island in so many different ways. We return to our guesthouse for dinner and overnight. All meals included.

    Driving: 3.5 hours; Hiking: 6.5 miles (4-5 hours); Terrain: Dirt and rock pathways; Elevation gain/loss: ~150'.

    Note: Depending on weather conditions, we may switch Day 2 and Day 3 of the itinerary.

  • Day 3 - Snowshoe and hike on the geologically diverse Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

    We strap on snowshoes to walk in the geologically diverse Snaefellsnes area. Following our explorations, we enjoy an authentic taste of Icelandic culture when we pay a visit to Hildibrandur, a local farmer in nearby Bjarnathofn. He will show us around his place and provide some insight into the rural Icelandic lifestyle. Tonight we stay at a small guesthouse on the Snaefellsnes peninsula. Conditions permitting, we scan the skies for signs of the northern lights. Iceland is one of the world's premier destinations for viewing these dancing, multicolored waves of light caused by the collision of charged particles in the upper atmosphere, and we take advantage of our nights to search for them. All meals included.

    Driving: 2 hours 15 minutes; Hiking: 6-8 miles, (4-5 hours).

  • Day 4 - Marvel at Iceland's winter landscapes and search the night skies for the Northern Lights.

    We bid farewell to the Snaefellsnes peninsula and follow the main road to Gullfoss (Golden Falls), one of Iceland's most spectacular natural wonders. This magnificent double waterfall, partly frozen in wintertime, tumbles into a deep canyon and the nearby trail network allows us to get within feet 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. Conditions permitting, 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. We stay at a small hotel in the foothills of Mount Hekla. All meals included.

    Driving: 5 hours; Hiking: 3 hours; Terrain: Dirt and rock pathways.

  • Day 5 - Strap on your crampons and take a walk on Solheimajokull glacier.

    Our day begins with stops at two particularly photogenic waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skogarfoss. We take time to appreciate the scale and power of the falls before continuing on to Solheimajokull, an outlet glacier extending from the great Myrdalsjokull glacier. This is a wonderland of ice sculptures, crevasses, and long, narrow ridges. After strapping on crampons and taking hold of ice axes, we set out on a glacier walk accompanied by our experienced mountain guide, making our way up the icy ridges and witnessing firsthand some of the powerful forces that have shaped Iceland's unique geography over the millennia. Some of the crystal blue ice visible in the glacier is over 1,000 years old, its remarkable color the result of hundreds of thousands of tons of compression squeezing all oxygen out of the ice. If atmospheric conditions are favorable, we head out in search of the aurora borealis tonight. All meals included.

    Driving: 3.5 hours; Glacier walk: 5-6 miles (4-5 hours) depending on conditions; Terrain: Snow, ice and scree; Elevation gain/loss: 350'.

  • Day 6 - Snowshoe in the remote and volcanic Blue Mountains.

    Our adventure continues in the Blue Mountains, where we snowshoe over snow-covered lava fields. During our walk, we explore ancient volcanic craters including Thrihnjukar, a dormant volcano which last erupted over 4,000 ago. All of Thrihnjukar's magma has drained away as though a plug was pulled at the bottom of the magma chamber, making it the only hollow volcano in the world. In the late afternoon we return to Reykjavik and enjoy a final Icelandic dinner to celebrate newfound friends. All meals included.

    Driving: 1.5 hours; Snowshoeing: 7-8 miles (6-7 hours) depending on conditions; Terrain: Snow and possible ice; Elevation gain/loss: 300'

  • Day 7 - Tour vibrant Reykjavik before catching your flight home.

    Following breakfast, your guides will provide a one hour walking tour of the city, stopping at a variety of notable sights and landmarks. The remainder of the day is free to explore or shop for souvenirs and sightseeing. We provide one group transfer to Keflavik Airport, for trip members departing on a late afternoon flight to the U.S. Breakfast included.

    Driving: 45 minutes; Walking: 1 hour.

Notes on Itinerary

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.

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

See pricing and dates detailsTab

Trip Dates:

2016

  • Dec 15–21
  • Dec 17–23 Sold out
  • Dec 21–27 H
  • Dec 23–29 H
  • Dec 27 – Jan 2 H
  • Dec 29 – Jan 4 H
  • Dec 31 – Jan 6 H

H = Mandatory holiday supplement applies.

2017

  • Jan 1–7 H
  • Jan 8–14
  • Jan 15–21
  • Jan 22–28
  • Jan 29 – Feb 4
  • Feb 5–11
  • Feb 12–18
  • Feb 19–25
  • Feb 26 – Mar 4
  • Mar 5–11
  • Mar 12–18
  • Mar 19–25
  • Dec 17–23
  • Dec 20–26 H
  • Dec 27 – Jan 2 H
  • Dec 29 – Jan 4 H
  • Dec 30 – Jan 5 H

H = Mandatory holiday supplement applies.


Or book a
private departure.

From: $3,399 per person dbl occ

2016 - $3,399 (REI member); $3,749 (Non-member)

2017 - $3,499 (REI member); $3,899 (Non-member)

Deposit

$400 per person - paid at the time of signup; fully refundable up to 91 days prior to departure

Options
  • Single supplement - $599
  • Holiday supplement - $250

See details below.

Price Includes

Hotel/guesthouse accommodations (6 nights); all meals as noted on the daily itinerary; guides; group transfer from/to Keflavik Airport; transportation within Iceland; snowshoes; crampons and ice ax (for glacier walk); entrance to all national parks and Blue Lagoon thermal pool.

Not Included

Air transportation to/from Iceland; 1 lunch; alcoholic beverages and soft drinks; optional guide gratuities; travel insurance; laundry expenses and items of a personal nature.

Consider as you sign up

  • Airline tickets - Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip is confirmed with the minimum number of participants required to operate.
  • Travel insurance - To protect your travel investment, we highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance. Please contact us or see details.
  • REI membership - Get a member discount on most REI Adventures trips plus other valuable benefits.
  • REI MasterCard® - Earn 5% back on REI Adventures trips and all REI net purchases. Learn more.

Additional Information

Cancellation and Transfer Policy

A refundable deposit of $400 is required at time of booking to secure space. Full payment is required 90 days before departure date.

If you decide to cancel your trip, the following fees apply and are due when we receive notice of your cancellation:
91+ days prior to departure = $0
61 to 90 days = $400
31 to 60 days prior to departure = 50% of the total trip cost is non-refundable
0 to 30 days prior to departure = 100% of the trip cost is non-refundable

If you instead transfer to another trip, the following fees at due at the time of the request:
61+ days prior to departure = $0
31 to 60 days = $400
0 to 30 days prior to departure = 100% of the trip cost is non-refundable

To protect your investment, we recommend that you purchase travel insurance.

Single Accommodations

There is no single supplement fee for those willing to share accommodations with a same-gender roommate. If you are willing to share but we are unable to pair you with a same-gender roommate, you will not be charged the single supplement fee. If you do not wish to share and request single accommodations, you will be required to pay the single supplement fee. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single accommodations available. For more details about traveling solo, see our Solo Travelers page.

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. Additional trip information will be provided 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 Winter Adventure 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

  • Glacier Walking Gear
  • Headlamp with Fresh Batteries
  • Helmet
  • Ice Traction Devices
  • Snowshoes
  • Trekking Poles

Required

Recommended

Optional

Travel Documents

  • Airline Tickets (Confirmation and Itinerary)
  • Final Bulletin (Emailed Prior to Departure Date)
  • Valid Passport

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 Winter Adventure
 
4.8

(based on 19 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Food (18)
  • Accommodations (16)
  • Guides (16)
  • Well organized itinerary (16)
  • Activity level (15)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Casual adventurer (10), Avid adventurer (7)
    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
    • I liked the itinerary (15), Active adventures (14), Destination (14), All the details planned for me (13), Travel with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts (11)

Reviewed by 19 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Simply the best

By DonnaW

from Alameda, CA

About Me Avid Adventurer

See all my reviews

Site Member

Pros

  • Accommodations
  • Activity Level
  • Exceeded Expectations
  • Food
  • Group Camaraderie
  • Guides
  • Quality Equipment Provided
  • Well Organized Itinerary

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about REI Adventures Iceland Winter Adventure:

      This was my second trip with REI the first being the signature camping trip to Bryce and Zion and that was a wonderful trip but this trip so exceeded my expectations. Orri and Kristjian were wonderful guides. Patient, friendly, and fun. I loved Kristjian'stories every day and his greeting of "fellow travelers, ladies and gentlemen." Every day I thought to myself "well you've never done this before!" The glacier walk was my favorite-I mean we ate lunch and drank water from the top of a glacier-does it really get any better? As noted in previous reviews the food was marvelous and the accommodations ranged from really lovely hotels to guest houses each with their own character and each clean and comfortable. The country is truly breathtakingly beautiful and the people were friendly and welcoming. Our group was a nice mix of singles, couples and families and everyone got along well. It always amazes me how the guides are able to size us up and know what we are capable of doing. The weather was a bit rough some days but that's part of coming to Iceland. I was so happy I packed everything on the list-especially the gaiters. They helped keep my feet dry and warm. One piece of advice is to get comfortable with your gear-trying to adjust a hood in the middle of wind and rain is made much more difficult if you don't know the gear. I arrived a day early and stayed a day later and am so glad I did. I was able to really walk the city and did the scuba dive at Silfra was amazing-highly recommend. I came home with wonderful memories, incredible photos and my new favorite saying courtesy of Kirstjian "we are not tourists-we are travelers!

      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
      • Active Adventures, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
      • Why did you choose this trip?:
      • Wanted to see Northern Lights
      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
      • Showshoe hike and glacier walk
      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
      • Stick with the packing list-its spot on!
       
      5.0

      The best trip ever! I am already planning to go back.

      By Bschmelz

      from Philadelphia, PA

      About Me Casual Adventurer

      Site Member

      Pros

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

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Iceland Winter Adventure:

          Our guides Kristjan and Orri made this trip truly exceptional. They were professional, good-humored and fun-loving, creative, resourceful, flexible, and sincere. Their high-level expertise in mountaineering was obvious, as they took us above and beyond what we saw other (non-REI) groups doing. I always felt taken care of. Kristjan and Orri were dedicated to making our trip more than "just a vacation." I felt that they really cared about our experience. I really can't say enough good things about them. I will truly miss them, and I feel inspired to try new outdoor activities and improve my skills and conditioning because of them.

          The food far exceeded my expectations. Fresh and smoked fish, lamb, skyr, steamed bread, butter, creme brûlée, soups....I literally stuffed my face all week, and I actually lost a few pounds because we were so active! Life should always be like this.

          The beds and rooms were comfortable, and all of the Icelandic people I met were kind and friendly.

          Be sure to leave a day or two on either end of the trip to explore Reykjavik. There are lots of cultural opportunities.

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • I have always been drawn to Iceland, and I enjoy winter sports.
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • Seeing the amazing terrain and experiencing the food and culture; sliding down a hill in the snow like a kid; drinking fresh water from Solheimajokull glacier; seeing snow and rain moving sideways and upside down; seeing geothermal vents all over; seeing Icelandic horses running free in the fields
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • Test out your layers before hand. Do lots of hiking before you go. Bring high quality rain jacket and pants. Alpine hiking boots are best in terms of staying dry--casual hikers will just not do. Just because an item says it is waterproof, doesn't mean that it is! Best glove scenario: winter liner gloves with heavy wool/felted wool mittens over them. Also, bring a balaclava and Smartwool.

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          True Trip of a Lifetime

          By Melissa624

          from Cleveland, OH

          About Me First-Time Adventurer

          Site Member

          Pros

          • Activity Level
          • Exceeded Expectations
          • Food
          • Group Camaraderie
          • Once in a Lifetime Experience

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about REI Adventures Iceland Winter Adventure:

              Kristjan and Orry were fantastic group leaders. Professional, kind, PATIENT, responsive, and great all around.

              The food was unbelievable - far above what I expected. Fish caught hours prior to preparation, ie. salted cod in a white chocolate/butternut squash puree. Every night the cuisine was 5 star. Even with all the activity we did over the week, expect to gain weight.

              All the sleeping arrangements were comfortable - beds, comforters, pillows, room temperature, etc.

              It's really a stress free trip completely. All you have to do is set your alarm and show up each morning. The breakfasts were so wonderful, making it very easy to wake up.

              We had a lot of rain all week long, lots and lots of low cloud coverage. So we didn't bet on seeing the northern lights. But the last evening possible for lights, right after dinner, the skies cleared and the lights appeared for about 90 minutes in green.

              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
              • Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
              • Why did you choose this trip?:
              • I wanted to combine a hiking trip w/ an opportunity to view the northern lights.
              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
              • Eating our lunches at the top of a volcano or at the near top of the glacier - always rewarding to hike hours in snow shoes or rain, and open up a thermos of hot coffee/cocoa, and enjoy the view of Iceland surrounding. Touristy attractions, like the geyser and waterfalls, were nice, but 'almost' underwhelming compared to every thing we did overall. Kristjan/Orry take us far beyond the beaten path!
              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
              • Pack every single thing recommended on the gear list, and you will be fine. We didn't need the 'required' headlamps we all brought, b/c Kristjan and Orry had them for the group already. Also, it rained most of our trip. Layers are important, but also necessary are an extra pair or two of waterproof gloves. As we were told by our leaders, "nothing is waterproof in Iceland."
               
              5.0

              Experience and Packing Tips for the Land of Fire and Ice

              By MAEDVM

              from Manhattan Beach, CA

              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 Winter Adventure:

                  If you seek over the top fun, beauty, comfort and variety, look no further. We were recruited by friends to join them on this adventure, and it truly did not disappoint. REI has done what so many so-called luxury tour companies promise to do, yet fall short. The accommodations were comfortable, extremely clean and always warm. We went in the winter, February/March. The food ranges from lavish buffets, simple sandwiches and yummy soups, to gourmet five course dinners. The activity ranges from snow shoeing, glacier walking with real crampons, scrambling down an ice tunnel into a cave, to comfortable walking tours of geysers and waterfalls. The people in Iceland seem to me to be always happy, friendly, laid back and helpful. I cannot imagine why anyone would not enjoy Iceland, unless you don't like adventure at all.

                  Specifics of our trip, we had great weather. A little rain and a little snow here and there, but mostly temperate conditions and a fair amount of sunshine. Definitely the weather for layers. I had one pair of Icebreaker wool leggings and I wore them almost every day, so take 2-3. We took ski jackets and pants. Used the pants, but soon abandoned the jackets for our Patagonia down sweaters/jackets and our Arcteryx shells. They were warmer and frankly easier to carry. We have the all leather, heavier, warmer Asolo boots and they were exactly what was needed. I also packed some of the disposable hand and foot warmers at the last minute and I enjoyed those thoroughly, especially when I had to have my hands out of my mittens for a while to hook snow shoes or crampons. I also found my gator to be indispensable, along with a warm hat…. which I didn't have and purchased on the trip. There are loads of woolen mittens, sweaters, and scarfs to be had. But they are not always lined and for me… that's just too itchy.

                  Our guides took great care of us. They were extremely safe and frankly I never worried for a moment, even if hiking conditions changed to whiteout, leaving me thinking we were in the middle of nowhere. Pétur and Saga were absolutely perfect in every way. Never a cross or impatient word. They were always busy telling us interesting stories and facts and making us feel at home. They took us out in Reykjavik and even offered to help some of us acquire the wildly colored Scarpa shoes we all fell for while were there.

                  Go….. you will love it. Have fun!!!!!!!! Live a little. This is the only life you can be sure you will get.

                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                  • Recommended by a Friend
                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                  • Invited by Friends
                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                  • Walking on a Glacier while Looking at the Sea
                  • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                  • Pack Layers of Clothing and your Sense of Adventure
                   
                  5.0

                  Amazing trip! Would go again in a heartbeat!

                  By Kris80

                  from Las Vegas, NV

                  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 Winter Adventure:

                      Our guide, Kristjan, was amazing. He was very knowledgeable about the history, culture, landscape...anything. The places we stayed were also interesting in their own way. What also made this trip amazing was that our group was very cohesive and positive minded. I would absolutely do this trip again and I can't wait to see what the summer Iceland trip is like.

                      • 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 had wanted to do a winter type trip and the itinerary looked interesting. My friend also happened to be looking at the same trip so everything just kind of fell together. Also, the reviews really helped sealing my decision for this trip.
                      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                      • The highlight(s) of my trip were the hike along the coast (beautiful backdrop of the ocean on one side and Snæfellsjökull on the other side), the long hike up the mountain, snowshoeing through a blizzard and glacier hiking. Those are my highlights because we were all alone and there weren't hordes of other tourists around.
                      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                      • Stick to the gear list as closely as possible. Bring quick drying layers that you can wash and dry overnight. Waterproof shoes because your feet will get wet. Waterproof shell and waterproof pants. Ski goggles really helped during the blizzard conditions. REI does provide ski goggles if you forget yours.
                       
                      5.0

                      Amazing trip!

                      By TravelPlease

                      from San Francisco, CA

                      About Me Casual Adventurer

                      Pros

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

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about REI Adventures Iceland Winter Adventure:

                          This trip was amazing. The activities were fun and we went at a pace that worked for the entire group. Dinners were delicious, so much fresh-caught fish. Our guide could not have been more knowledgeable or caring about our happiness.

                          • 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?:
                          • Iceland has been on my bucket list for quite some time now and the trip looked like it hit all the highlights plus some more individual/rare expereinces
                          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                          • Snowshoeing on a mountain with no one else around!
                          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                          • Layer your clothes!

                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          A Magical Journey

                          By Margit

                          from Rochester, NY

                          About Me Avid Adventurer

                          Pros

                          • Accommodations
                          • Activity Level
                          • Exceeded Expectations
                          • Food
                          • Group Camaraderie
                          • Guides
                          • Quality Equipment Provided
                          • Well Organized Itinerary

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about REI Adventures Iceland Winter Adventure:

                              Be up for anything - change of plans due to weather or closed roads, new foods, learning about the language and culture, etc. Our guide was the most attentive, caring guide I've ever had on a group trip, and our group was fantastic.

                              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                              • All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                              • Why did you choose this trip?:
                              • Some of my friends have been on REI trips and highly recommended them. I've wanted to go to Iceland and this winter trip seemed perfect. A dream come true!
                              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                              • Each day was a new adventure with wonderful experiences and learning. My favorites were the coastal and mountain hikes on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and also snowshoeing in a snow/windstorm. Also, the food and drink was outstanding!
                              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                              • The REI packing list is excellent! I stuck to this and had all the right layers for any kind of weather. I was especially glad I brought the ski goggles (listed in the optional gear) since they were useful in the windy winter weather. REI also provided some for travelers.
                               
                              5.0

                              What an amazing adventure!

                              By Jescurmy

                              from Washington, DC

                              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 Winter Adventure:

                                  Kristjan and Telma - our guides, were fantastic! They were so engaged and knowledgeable and took such good care of us! Our driver, Binny, was great! We had lots of snow and wind while we were there, but he got us everywhere safely!

                                  The daily schedule and logistics were sorted out for us, all we had to do was show up with the proper clothing. Meals were fantastic! I don't really eat fish or lamb, but wanted to try everything and had plenty to eat. They were also happy to work with you to accommodate any dietary restrictions or preferences you might have.

                                  I really don't have any complaints. It was an amazing adventure and I would highly recommend it!

                                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                  • Active Adventures, Bucket List Activities, I Liked the Itinerary
                                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                  • I chose this trip because seeing a glacier, snowshoeing, hiking with crampons and northern lights are all on my bucket list. Since they were all included in this one trip, I figured why not. The only one I can't check off is northern lights, but hopefully I will get to see them someday.
                                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                  • Hard to pick just one. Monday's peninsula hike and Tuesday's mountain hike were the things I was least excited about - but I really loved those days adventures! I was most excited about glacier hiking and snowshoeing and was not disappointed.
                                  • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                  • Pack layers. When they say one piece of luggage, it doesn't have to be tiny. I packed in a 21 inch hard case, because I didn't want to take up too much space. Everyone else brought large suitcases/duffles and everything fit in the trailer. Wind and waterproof is a must. Insulated hiking boots are a must.I went early and would recommend it, time to recover from your flight!

                                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  Simply Amazing!

                                  By Susanita

                                  from Takoma Park, MD

                                  About Me Avid Adventurer

                                  Site Member

                                  Pros

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

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                      Comments about REI Adventures Iceland Winter Adventure:

                                      I would highly recommend the winter iceland trip. Bring plenty of layers and a gortex waterproof shell. The weather is quite variable. I also used a waterproof camera which came in quite handy in the snow and sleet and occasional drizzly rain.

                                      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                      • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                      • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                      • I had read about Iceland in the Washington Post and it sounded like an amazing place to visit. We chose REI because we love REI for shopping and the trip description and price fit our budget.
                                      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                      • The monster hike in the snow which ended in the blizzard! Lots of people were struggling through the snow and wind at the end but everyone was in good spirits when we got to the bus. And dinner was amazing. And the guides, Begga and Kristjan, were the best. They were very well organized, very knowledgeable about Iceland geography and culture. They really made the trip a success.
                                      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                      • This trip was level 3 but the days varied from level 2 to one level 4 day. Make sure you are in good shape before the trip. The level 4 day was an extended hike in the snow which ended with a small blizzard. If you were tired or out of shape there was no way out but to hike through the blizzard. But the following day was much more sublime. It was nice to have a recovery day.

                                      (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                                       
                                      5.0

                                      Iceland is amazing; will be back

                                      By ExploringtheWorld

                                      from Los Angeles, CA

                                      About Me Avid Adventurer

                                      Site Member

                                      Pros

                                      • Exceeded Expectations
                                      • Food
                                      • Group Camaraderie
                                      • Guides
                                      • Well Organized Itinerary

                                      Cons

                                        Best Uses

                                          Comments about REI Adventures Iceland Winter Adventure:

                                          So much natural untouched beauty in Iceland. From Gullfoss to the Northern Lights, it will leave you in awe. The freshest air and water and always hot running water in the hotels and rooms were warm. The food was outstanding. Iceland placed 8th in the recent Bocuse D'Or , with the US placing 2nd with chefs from The French Laundry. From wonderful black mussels, steak frites at the Hotel Odinsve, to homemade lamb stew at one of the stops along the drive, to visiting a tomato greenhouse with fresh tomato soup. Always with freshly baked bread, which was divine. A few travelers visited the local bakery near the hotel and bought bread to take home. The Langholt served a just caught cod and Hotel Hekla a chicken. Both of these were exceedingly tender. Lamb was succulent at Frost and Fire, which is a lovely hotel which I wish we had more time to explore. You will be in for a treat at Sjavargrillid, with a tasting menu of fish, game and meats. I anticipate that soon a restaurant in Iceland will receive a Michelin star.

                                          The stars of our trip were our guides. So blessed to have Kristjan and Sigrun, who have known each other for years. They both love sharing their country with travelers, but really care about them as well. You really felt safe, and Kristjian's knowledge about the history of Iceland and Iceland itself is impressive. He was also meticulous about giving a morning and evening briefing of the events to come. On the whale watching trip, a few people had motion sickness, and he was constantly checking in on them, and even held the hair back when one traveler was vomiting (that is true compassion) or during the trip would ask how we were doing. One traveler still was a little under the weather and Kristjan went to check on him later that night. He adjusted my camera settings so I was able to get pics of the Northern lights (bring a tripod if you can). The person who fitted my crampons on the glacier gave me ones too large, so my boots were sliding out of my crampons, but fortunately Sigrun came to the rescue and traded out her crampons with mine.

                                          Also, even though it says tip is included for the driver, give him a tip as well. Our driver made our journey uneventful on the road thru several rain and snowstorms, and also helped to load and unload luggage at all the stops.

                                          One of my best and most memorable vacations. I plan to go back to visit Iceland hopefully next summer. I am also hoping REI can make a new hiking trip in Denmark that includes a stop at Noma.

                                          • 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?:
                                          • A friend had mentioned glacier hiking in Alaska, but I did not want to go on a cruise and came across this trip.
                                          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                          • Glacier hiking in crampons on a volcano with spectacular clouds above and the ocean in the distance.
                                          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                          • Arrive a day early to rest. You will start your hikes on day one (beautiful hike along the coast). Bring layers and chemical warmers if you get cold. I was wearing 5 layers on top and 2 layers on the bottom most of the trip. Weather can change thru the course of the day (sun, rain, hail, snow) and if it is windy, can be exceptionally cold, like when whale watching. Hydrate well in the evening

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