Heritage Tour - Roots in Iceland



Heritage Tour - Roots in Iceland

A comprehensive tour around Iceland providing a unique insight into Icelandic nature, history, culture and folklore with a local English-speaking guide especially knowledgeable about the emigration from Iceland to North America during 1870-1914. This tour is specially designed for people of Icelandic descent wanting to discover their roots. Available from June - August.

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From:3,590 EUR
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Highlights

  • Explore a stunning landscape of fjords, glaciers, lava fields, waterfalls and hot springs
  • Sail between shimmering icebergs at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
  • Visit important historic sites 
  • Get to know Icelandic culture and tradtiions at museums and farms around Iceland 
  • Discover your roots at emigration centers in East and North Iceland

Optional

Go on an evening jeep tour to the top of Vatnajökull Glacier

Included

  • 9 nights' accommodation in rooms with private/en-suite facilities (B&B)
  • 9 dinners (3-course or buffet)
  • 10 days bus tour including English-speaking guide
  • Entrance to Húsið Museum, Sigurgeir's Bird Museum, Hofsós Museum, Glaumbær Turf Museum, Blönduós Textile Museum, Eiríksstaðir Museum and Reykholt Museum
  • Boat tour on Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon (30 min) and visit to Bjarnarhöfn farm
  • Entrance to Þorvaldseyri Visitor Centre and Friðheimar horse show/greenhouse visit

Itinerary

Day 1 | South Coast

Pick-up at lodgings between 08:30-09:00. We head to the south shore stopping at Eyrarbakki village where we will find the oldest wooden house in Iceland, 'Húsið'. This is the same building from where the first Icelanders left for America in the 1870s. We continue to Seljalandsfoss Waterfall which you can walk behind it if you wish. Further along the coast we stop by the visitor center at Þorvaldseyri farm where we discover what life was all about during the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption in 2010. We then visit Skógafoss Waterfall and Reynisfjara beach with its basalt columns.

Dinner and accommodation at Geirland country hotel- in the area of Kirkjubæjarklaustur.

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

Day 2 | Vatnajökull National Park

The majestic Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier, dominates today's itinerary. The drive east along the South Coast is spectacular and demands several stops. We drive across desert sands, through enormous lava fields and across glacier rivers. This region is quite unique and the contrasts in nature are amazing. We will stop at Skaftafell nature reserve where we have the opportunity to go on a short hike or simply relax and enjoy this remarkable area. A boat tour amongst the icebergs on Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon is a must.

Dinner and accommodation at Brunnhóll Guesthouse. For those interested it is possible to take an optional evening jeep tour to the top of Vatnajökull Glacier.

Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon

Day 3 | East fjords

Today's journey will be dedicated to the Southeast and East fjords, from where many Icelanders emigrated. We will pass by villages Höfn, Djúpivogur and Breiðdalsvik and visit a mineral museum in Stöðvarfjörður before continuing along the East fjords. Quite a few Icelanders left this area for America during the emigration period in the 19th century.

Dinner and accommodation at Guesthouse Egilsstaðir.

Mt. Eystrahorn

Day 4 | The Northeast - East Iceland Emigration Center

More people left the Northeast part of the island than any other part of the country. Our first stop today will be in Vopnafjörður, a significant village in the history of emigration to America. You will have the opportunity to look for your roots in Iceland at the East Iceland Emigration Center. Heading north, we will drive across a part of the interior where you will get a good insight into why it is uninhabited. Despite the uninviting terrain, young people took to these parts in the late 19th century and attempted to survive. Abandoned farms and ruins can still be seen. Our last stop today will be at Dettifoss Waterfall.

Dinner and accommodation at Country Hotel Rauðaskriða.

Bustarfell Vopnafjordur

Day 5 | Lake Mývatn - Húsavík  

Today will be spent exploring the many natural wonders around Lake Mývatn. We walk among the pseudo-craters at Skútustaðir, around the strange rock formations at Dimmuborgir and visit the geothermal sites Krafla, Leirhnjúkur and Námaskarð with their bubbling mud pots and solfataras. We pay a visit to Sigurgeir's Bird Museum, the largest known private bird collection in Iceland. We then leave the Lake Mývatn area via the picturesque village of Húsavík.

Dinner and accommodation at Country Hotel Narfastaðir.

Námaskarð area

Day 6 | Akureyri - Hofsós Emigration Center

Our first stop today will be at Goðafoss Waterfall, the 'Waterfall of the Gods'. We will also stop at Stóru Tjarnir from which Rev. Páll Þorláksson and a few others left for Wisconsin in 1872. Rev. Þorláksson later founded the settlement in the Mountain area in North Dakota. We enjoy a short sightseeing tour of Akureyri town before heading to Tröllaskagi Peninsula, passing fishing villages Dalvík, Ólafsfjörður and Siglufjörður along the way. Our last stop is at the Hofsós Emigration Center. We will spend the afternoon at this remarkable museum, discovering more about the immigrants from Iceland.

Dinner and accommodation at Guesthouse Hofsstaðir.

Akureyri

Day 7 | Skagafjörður museums

We start with a stroll through Sauðárkrókur town before visiting the Glaumbær Turf Museum to get an insight into Icelandic housing throughout the centuries. Our next stop is at Stephan G. Stephansson's monument. We then visit the Textile Museum in Blönduós with its one of a kind collection of homemade Icelandic woollen and textile items. It also exhibits beautiful Icelandic national costumes and artistic embroideries along with many of the tools and equipments used to produce them. The journey then continues west, passing over Holtavörðuheiði heath.

Dinner and accommodation at Country Hotel Hraunsnef.

Glaumbær in Skagafjörður

Day 8 | Eric the Red - Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Today will be spent touring the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Our first stop is at Eiríksstaðir Museum, homestead of Eric the Red and birthplace of Leifur Eiriksson, the discoverer of America. We pass by Stykkishólmur village before arriving at farm Bjarnarhöfn where the farmer Hildibrandur is known for his shark meat processing and tastings. We also get to visit his small wooden church. We pass by fishing villages Ólafsvík and Hellissandur and enter Snæfellsnes National Park where we stop by Djúpalónssandur beach, the unique Lónsdrangar cliffs, the small village of Arnarstapi and Búðir church.

Dinner and accommodation at Guesthouse Langaholt.

Stykkishólmur west Iceland

Day 9 | Borgarfjörður - Þingvellir

We leave Snæfellsnes and head to the Borgarfjörður district, from where quite a few Icelanders left for America in the 19th century, despite this being known as a good agricultural district with numerous farms. We stop at several places for example at Deildartunguhver hot spring, Reykholt Museum, Hraunfossar falls and Borgarnes town. Our last stop will be at Þingvellir National Park, the most historic site in the country. Considerable time will be spent in the area.

Dinner and accommodation at Guesthouse Efstidalur.

Þingvellir national park

Day 10 | Golden Circle - farm visit

We visit the Geysir hot spring area and Gullfoss Waterfall before arriving at Friðheimar, a horse and greenhouse farm. We get to know the unique Icelandic horse and visit the geothermally heated greenhouses where tomatoes are cultivated the whole year round.

Arrival in Reykjavik where the tour ends in the afternoon.

 Friðheimar, horse and green house farm

Prices

Please contact us for price for this tour.

Minimum group of 8 people.

 
Participants are encouraged to bring good walking shoes, warm clothes and rainwear. 

For information on the price of this tour including more participants or during another time of year, please send us an email.
 

Please note: We encourage those interested in their Icelandic background to send us their genealogical information prior to arrival in Iceland. Please contact either Jónas or Sandra via email or telephone +354 570 2700. 

 

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