Join fellow Bryn Mawr Alumnae for a long weekend escape to exotic Iceland. With first-class spas and museums, this unique land is the perfect place to relax, recharge, and explore.
Dine on Icelandic specialties, including delicious seafood, ocean-fresh from the morning’s catch, highland lamb, and unusual varieties of game. It’s purely natural food imaginatively served to delight the most discerning of diners. After dinner, the action in the friendly pub and club scene in Reykjavik lasts right through the long winter nights. But perhaps the greatest draw is the Aurora Borealis – the Northern Lights because this is the best time of year to see them. On our arrival day, a local expert will give a presentation on the aurora before heading out to attempt to see the real thing (weather permitting). If we don’t succeed we’ll try again the next night . . and the next.

Have a little more time? Think about our G.o.T. Extension with tour guide, Svanur Thorkelsson, an extra on the set of Game of Thrones and native Icelander. Visit some of the sites which will be familiar to viewers and delve a little deeper into the cinematic wonders of the land. Full details are included on the day-by-day itinerary found inside. This Bryn Mawr alumnae adventure offers the best of a guided tour plus time to explore on your own.

Date Information

Dates: 
Thursday, April 5, 2018 - Monday, April 9, 2018
Sold Out?: 
No

Itinerary

Thursday, April 5th

Evening departure from your chosen gateway city on Iceland Air.

Overnight: Plane
 

Friday, April 6th

Early morning arrival in Iceland; you will be met at the airport and escorted to your hotel in Reykjavik, where a sumptuous breakfast buffet awaits us. At approximately 10.30 am this morning we will tour Reykjavik for a wonderful introduction to Europe’s smallest capital city! The tour covers the Old Town, the shopping districts, the Parliament, Höfði House, Hallgrim’s church, the Harpa concert hall and much more! Most hotels know that Americans arrive early and will do everything possible to help us check in upon arrival. However, this may not always be possible and if the rooms are not ready, you will store your luggage and go off on your city tour. When we return to the hotel, you will be free for lunch, and then able to go to your rooms and take a short nap before you gather for the introductory lecture at 4.00 pm. Dinner will be at 7.00 p.m. and at around 9.30 p.m. this evening you will embark upon our first attempt to view the Northern Lights. (B, L, D)
 

Saturday, April 7th

Today captures the essence of Iceland. Your first stop is Þingvellir National Park, site of the world’s first parliament. Here you can walk from America to Europe! Stopping for lunch, you’ll spend some time relaxing in the waters of the Laugarvatn Fontana Spa, a naturally occurring hot spring. You continue on to see the majestic dual-folding Gullfoss waterfall and gaze upon Geysers, which spout steam with amazing force. This afternoon we’ll visit the important religious center at Skalholt and also stop to peer into the icy depths of Keri volcanic crater before arriving at the renowned Fjorubordid restaurant in the village of Stokkseyri, where you’ll enjoy a traditional Icelandic lobster feast (more like Langoustine than Maine lobster). We will return to your hotel in Reykjavik after dinner (B, D).  We will journey out this evening, weather permitting to try to see if Northern Lights if we didn't the night before.
 

Sunday, April 8th

A free day. Explore the galleries and museums of the city, enjoy the tax-free shopping or pamper yourself in one of the many local spas. There will also be a variety of optional activities available; from taking a snowmobile safari to the top of a glacier, to riding an Icelandic pony or going in search of whales. Your tour guide will also offer a special, optional “South Coast” tour. (B)

Monday, April 9th

This morning we drive down the exotic, moonlike Reykjanes peninsula. This is one of the newest parts of the country and is still growing! Here we will see pools of boiling mud, the air heavy with the smell of sulfur, and be able to walk on top of the North Atlantic Ridge - the only place in the world where this is possible. We’ll stop in the thriving fishing port
of Grindavik and enjoy a traditional fisherman’s lunch here before we continue to the nearby airport for return flights to the U.S. (B, L)

Optional Game of Thrones Extension
Dates: 
Monday, April 9, 2018 - Thursday, April 12, 2018
Our G.o.T. Extension with tour guide, Svanur Thorkelsson, an extra on the set of Game of Thrones and native Icelander. Visit some of the sites which will be familiar to viewers and delve a little deeper into the cinematic wonders of the land. The cost of this extension is $1390 per person, double occupancy (Single Supplement: $360). This includes an additional 3 nights’ accommodation in firstclass hotels (all hotel taxes and service charges included), all ground transportation, buffet breakfast daily, 1 lunch and 2 dinners.
Monday, April 9th
After accompanying your recent traveling companions to the airport, you will leave them at the airport and return to your hotel in Reykjavik for a free evening. (B, L)
Tuesday, April 10th
Leaving Reykjavik, we first head north to the shores of the Hvalfjörður (literally the whale Fjord). Turning inland, we follow the course of one of Iceland’s largest Salmon rivers, the Laxa i Kjos, and stop to view the spectacular waterfall, the Þórufoss. At this location Drago burned the goats and their keeper. From here we travel to Hengill for a fantastic view over the tectonic rift valley where the fight scene between the Hound and Brienne took place. Taking a deeper look at Þingvellir, we return to visit the home of the Arryns and the moon gate. Walking into the gorge from the east side we explore the waterfall where Arya rode off on horseback after she left the Hound for dead. Nearby, you’ll remember the spot where the wildlings meet up with the cannibals after Jon Snow escaped. We leave our discoveries at Þingvellir, the epicenter of Iceland’s political, commercial, and cultural history for over a thousand years, and arrive at our hotel near Selfoss with time to enjoy the facilities before we gather for dinner. (B, D)
Wednesday, April 11th
This morning we drive to Þjórsárdalur and visit the “Þjóðveldisbær,” the 11th-century Viking lodge that served as a location for the massacre of the people of the hamlet (4th season, 3rd episode) and we are introduced to the Olly Valley. The valley is wonderful by itself and very important historically. We include admission into the Viking lodge, although no scenes were actually shot inside. From here we drive into the Gjá, a natural “Rivendell” and one of the most beautiful spots in Iceland. On the edge of the highlands, this naturally-formed hidden gorge held some of the conversation between the Hound and Arya. From here, we drive, weather permitting, down to the south coast to Sólheimajökull to visit the location of some of the winter scenes north of the wall, seen in the second season. Take advantage of an opportunity here to walk on the glacier We round out our travels with a visit to the Black Sand Beach and both Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, two beautiful waterfalls. We return to our hotel for dinner. (B, D)
Thursday, April 12th
Today, we drive back to the exotic, moonlike Reykjanes peninsula, first stopping at Bessastadir, the official estate for Iceland’s President, and then continuing to the famous Blue Lagoon. There will be ample opportunity to bathe in this azure pool of mineral-rich warm water amid a lava field. There are wonderful facilities to shower and change at the site and to have lunch before you continue to the airport for your return flights to the U.S. (B)
Cost and Inclusions: 

The cost of this itinerary, per person, double occupancy, is:
Boston or New York departure:      $2,580
Land Only:                                      $1,930
Single supplement                          $ 390
Airfares are available from many other cities. Please call for details

The following services are included:
Airfare:     Roundtrip airfare from Boston or New York, including all customs fees and airport taxes
Hotels:      3 nights’ accommodation in a first-class hotel with all hotel taxes and service charges included
Coaching: All ground transportation as detailed in the itinerary
Meals:      4 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners
Guides:    Services of a local tour guide throughout the tour
Entrances: Entrance fees to all sites as detailed in the itinerary
Lectures:   Lecture by your Bryn Mawr faculty host