Iceland Pre-Conference Tour
Iceland is a country of sharp contrasts. A place where fire and ice co-exist. Where dark winters are offset by the summer’s midnight sun. A country where insular existence has spurred a rich and vibrant culture
24 MAY-02 JUNE
B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner
SUN 24 Depart Australia in the evening with Emirates
MON 25 Arrive in Copenhagen, Denmark in the afternoon & stay overnight at the Clarion Airport Hotel
TUE 26 BLD This morning we fly to Iceland then travel to Pingvellir National Park, a remarkable geological phenomena & the most important historical site in Iceland. Pingvellir - situated by the biggest lake in Iceland - is the site of the world's oldest democratic parliament founded in the year 930. The beautiful canyon running through the park is actually the meeting point of two of the earth’s tectonic plates (which you'll walk between) & the area’s combination of natural phenomena & historical significance is why the site is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. We’ll visit the Geysir hot springs where you’ll see the famous geyser ‘Strokkur’ that spouts every few minutes, shooting a column of piping hot water up to 20m. After lunch we travel to Gullfoss waterfall, one of the most impressive waterfalls in Europe where you’ll see thousands of tons of water thunder majestically down in a double-fall into a deep gorge
WED 27 BLD Our first stop today is to admire Seljalandsfoss waterfall at 60 mtrs high. With a footpath behind it at the bottom of the cliff, it’s a unique opportunity to walk behind it. We continue onto Skogafoss waterfall, where this 62m high waterfall topples over a rocky cliff in dramatic style. Climb the staircase alongside it for giddy views or walk to the foot of the falls, shrouded in sheets of mist & rainbows. Our last stop is Reynisfjara, a black pebble beach which features an amazing cliff of basalt columns resembling a rocky step pyramid & out in the sea are spectacularly shaped basalt sea stacks. We travel onto our hotel via Skaftafell, a wilderness area in Iceland's Vatnajokull National Park
THU 28 BL It's a great start to the day at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Beach, one of Iceland's natural crown jewels. Glacier lagoon is right next to Vatnajokull, Europe's largest glacier & is formed naturally from melted glacial water with big blocks of ice crumbling from the decreasing glacier into the lagoon. Some wash up onto nearby black sanded Diamond Beach & glisten in the sun. Seals can be seen swimming in the lagoon, by the coastline or on top of an iceberg floating in the lagoon. Iceland is also full of birdlife so you may see the arctic tern & a number of other birds in the area. As we travel up the East Coast, we’ll pass through the quaint towns of Seydisfjordur & Eskifjordur before arriving in Egilsstaair for the night, situated on the Lake
FRI 29 BL We’ll be visiting two waterfalls today. Dettifoss is reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe, which flows from the Vatnajokull glacier. The sediment-rich runoff colours the water a greyish white. On the way to Lake Myvatn, we'll cross Namaskard Pass, a geothermal area on the mountain Namafjall. Connected to the Krafla volcano system, Namaskard is notable due to its barrenness; no vegetation grows on its slopes due to the heat beneath the earth & the acidity in the soil. Our next stop is to see Dimmuborgir Lava Field - near the shores of Lake Myvatn - consisting of huge lava rock formations which make you feel like you've stepped into another world, they are a true wonder of nature. The formation of these extraordinary lava cliffs & pillars stems from molten lava & are due to an eruption some 2300 years ago. The Godafoss waterfall is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland, falling from a height of 12m over a width of 30m. Tonight we stay in the city of Akureyri, at the base of Eyjafjordur Fjord in Northern Iceland
SAT 30 BLD As we travel south this morning, you’ll view the beautiful scenery of West Iceland as we pass near Skaftafell National Park - fjords, hills & towns - before we embark on an ‘Into The Glacier Adventure’, a truly unique experience. You will have the opportunity to enjoy one of the world’s greatest wilderness - Iceland’s second largest glacier - from the inside! Via the Langjokull ice tunnels, you’ll see the beautiful blue ice at the heart of an ice cap glacier. We’ll travel in a specially modified snow truck on the glacier, enjoy the glacier from above & then, journey inside the pristine blue ice via a man-made tunnel into the heart of the glacier. This will be a once in a lifetime experience!
SUN 31 B Before we leave Husafell, you’ll see the little known Hraunfossar Falls - Lava Falls - a beautiful and unusual natural phenomena. Clear, cold springs of subterranean water seep through the lava & run as tiny waterfalls & rapids into the Hvita River. We travel onto Reykjavik for a leisurely walking tour of the capital & will stop at the world famous hot dog stand for you to try this popular lunch snack. Then you’ll see the Lake & City Hall, which is where the settlement of the city began. We’ll walk to Austurvollur Square, where the Parliament building & national cathedral stand, side by side. We’ll stroll through the main shopping district to Hallgrímskirkja Church, which is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. We’ll have a look inside the church & then go up its 73m high tower for a wonderful 360° view over the city, the mountains & the ocean stretching west to Greenland. You'll also see the National Theatre, Arnarholl Hill & the Harpa Concert Hall, where you'll have some time inside to view its unusual architecture. Blue Lagoon will be our last stop for a unique spa experience, enjoying the warm lagoon water that scientific studies have shown that the Lagoon’s silica & algae have effective properties against skin aging!
MON 01 BD The day is free for you to relax & enjoy Reykjavik - visit the Settlement Museum (an interactive walk around the excavation of a Viking longhouse right under the city) or a gallery or wander this quaint city before our farewell dinner tonight
TUE 02 B We fly back to Copenhagen & stay overnight at the Clarion Airport Hotel
If you would like to join us in Greenland & on the pre & post conference tours, please complete the enquiry form below & we'll email you the details