Iceland Women’s Expedition
July 19 - 25, 2019
Reykjavik, the golden circle & southern Iceland
Come join us as we explore Iceland's diverse and spectacular natural environment while celebrating Nordic culture. In this expedition, we will be exploring the most stunning and awe-inspiring landscapes along Iceland’s rugged southern coast along with the infamous Golden Circle while comfortably based out of the northernmost capital of the world- Reykjavik. Join us as we celebrate new friendships and a chance to see an enchanting part of the world alongside women just like you — determined to enjoy the most each day has to offer. (And in Iceland where the sun doesn’t set in the summer, there’s quite a bit to enjoy in a day!) On the Golden Circle we will experience Iceland’s geological wonders including the Geysir Geothermal Area, the infamous Gullfoss Waterfall and Þingvellir National Park — where two continents are actively splitting apart. Next, we traverse along the southern coast bearing witness to glaciers, volcanoes, volcanic islands, geothermal hotspots including a thermal river you can soak in, glacial rivers, green pastures, marshes, lakes, undisturbed highlands, basalt columns, puffins, Icelandic horses, and black sand beaches. Living in Reykjavik allows us to recharge in the community hot springs each day where the locals all congregate to share local news and enjoy a rejuvenating soak in the natural hot spring water. We will enjoy daily opportunities to stroll through the many cultural shops, cafes, museums, and embrace all that it means to be Icelandic. We return each evening to relax in our very own sun room of our oceanfront home with our own private hot tub and steam room. The expedition culminates in a visit to the famous Blue Lagoon Spa in the village of Grindavik.
What you can expect
We keep our trips small and intimate and become close friends by the end of the trip. This trip is a challenge by choice, meaning participants can individually choose their level of activity each day. Most hikes are easy to moderate level with a balance between group exploration and individual time. Each evening ends with a briefing on the upcoming events allowing for participants to provide feedback and properly prep for the next adventure to come. We will be navigating the country by private van, enjoying our own pace as we cruise from one breathtaking location to the next. Some sites require only a short walk while others provide the opportunity for longer adventures. Those preferring time in Reykjavik or the waterfront rather than hiking on longer treks always have the option to do so. Breakfast is enjoyed at home each day with lunches prepared at the house between outings to be enjoyed while out exploring or substitute in a local eatery along the way. Dinners are adventures on their own to be enjoyed with the group in the many restaurants Reykjavik has to share or prepared in our modern home kitchen. Evenings are spent in our own personal spa room utilizing the steam sauna and hot tub, relaxing in the sun room under the late evening Icelandic sun, or out exploring in town. Fall asleep after a warm cup of tea and plenty of relaxing conversations amongst your new adventuring friends.
Flights and Arrival Information
Everyone flies into the Keflavik International Airport (airport code KEF). There are many great flight options from the U.S. and around Europe with prices varying from $300 to $800. Once you land at the Keflavik airport, our guide will meet you with a Global Treks sign and excited smile! From there we hop into our private van for the 45 minute scenic drive into Reykjavik where you get your first taste of Iceland’s rugged countryside.
Our Housing in Reykjavik
The group will enjoy our private ocean-front home in Kopavogur, a coastal village 10 minutes from the city center of Reykjavik. The house consists of several bedrooms and bathrooms, a large sunroom facing the ocean and our very own private hot tub and sauna.
travel Costs: $2,400
What is included:
This fee covers all lodging, in-country transportation, daily breakfasts/lunches, first night welcome dinner, a visit to the Blue Lagoon Spa, all activities and park fees, an experienced and energetic Global Treks guide, and 24/hr support before/during and after your expedition.
What is not included:
International airfare from the U.S. to Iceland, evening meals out to enjoy local cuisine of your choice, souvenirs and gratuities.
We are more than happy to help you book your flight. Flights typically start around $300 depending on your departure location. We will meet you at the Keflavik International Airport (airport code KEF) with our company shirt on and a sign that says Global Treks to whisk you to your new Icelandic home away from home.
Iceland Activities and Places We Will Visit
Reykjadalur Valley: this breathtaking valley is a highlight of southern Iceland. The valley has numerous steam vents, boiling mud pots, a geothermal river, breathtaking views, and numerous back county trails. Enjoy bathing in the Reykjadalur thermal river. The further you swim up the warmer it gets!
Thingvellir National Park: the most visited national park in Iceland as it is the site where the two continents are splitting apart and is also the backdrop for scenes from Game of Thrones. We will enjoy a private tour from a local historian and walk the historic sites where the government of Iceland was established.
Skogafoss: is one of Iceland’s biggest and most beautiful waterfalls found among the cliffs of the southern coastline. Climb the stairs to the very top for a bird’s eye view of the southern coast or enjoy the waterfall’s spray from the base.
Seljalandsfoss: is a spectacular waterfall you can actually hike behind. It easily lends itself to dramatic pictures. Just make sure to bring a rain jacket! It is one of Iceland’s most visited and photographed waterfalls. It is found along the base of the infamous volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, which kept all flights aground in 2010.
Reykjavik: the cultural and economic hub of Iceland is located in the southwestern peninsula of the island. We will enjoy plenty of time here with access to local businesses, restaurants, religious places of worship, cultural centers, and seasonal festivals.
Turf Houses: traditional turf houses made of wood, stone are scattered around the coastline and countryside. We will explore the turf homes and experience what life was all about in traditional Iceland.
Kerid Crater: Found in the Grímsnes region of the Golden Circle this dramatic crater is made up of red volcanic rock. Enjoy hiking the trail among the upper or lower rim or take the trail to the neighboring craters.
Geysir hot spring and Strokkur: This dramatic exploding geysir sits along the golden circle. You can also find vibrantly colored hot springs and boiling mud pots.
Gulfoss: The largest waterfall in Europe (by volume) the force, sound and mist of Gulfoss is mesmerizing. It also makes a perfect stop while exploring the Golden Circle.
The Blue Lagoon: Known everywhere around the world, the Blue Lagoon Spa finds itself atop most people’s bucket lists. Enjoy hours soaking in the geothermal waters or choose to immerse yourself in a floating in-water massage!
Black Sand Beach and Puffins: Found along the south coast of Iceland the expansive black sand beach is also the site of basalt column cliffs, caves as well as nesting puffins.
Sólheimajökull Glacier: Take a short hike up to the base of one of Iceland’s most dramatic glaciers. Experience the immense size of this glacier and feel the cool breeze coming off the glacial river.
Icelandic Horses: The Icelandic horse, nearly pony size, came to Iceland along with the first settlers 1100 year ago. They are a prized and protected horse as they have been bred in isolation for the past millennium.
Reykjavik’s Community Thermal Pools: Reykjavik has many community pools to enjoy that have numerous hot tubs are varying temperatures, lap pools, and ice baths.
Meet your Expedition Guide
While originally from Chicago, Jen can now be found wandering the bluffs surrounding the Mississippi River in Minnesota with her Husky, Kota. Jen has B.S. degrees in both Biology and Spanish from Winona State University, and a Master’s Degree in Instruction from Saint Mary’s University. Jen truly loves to learn about the world and will always see herself as an everlasting student. As a science teacher, experiential educator, and wilderness first responder for the past 10 years, Jen believes that the best way to learn anything is to get outside of your comfort zone and really let the world teach you everything it has to offer.
The desire to really understand people from all walks of life has provided Jen with the opportunity to lead both student and adult trips throughout Europe, the Mediterranean, Southeast Africa, Australia, Central America, and the Caribbean Islands. She has shared her passion for sailing by leading students on sailing ventures in the Apostle Islands, the Puget Sound, French Polynesia, and the Whitsunday Islands off the coast of Australia. Living aboard a sailboat has provided rare moments to appreciate such as getting away from the mainland to watch playful seals or enjoy the colors of Aurora Borealis. Every place Jen visits simply reveals again and again how truly amazing the world is, and how there is so much of the world yet to be experienced.