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Iceland Family Adventure

Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2013 - December 31st, 2013 Last Updated: October 22, 2013
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Introduction

Glaciers, volcanoes, all-day sunshine, Viking heritage… Iceland sounds unbelievable on paper, and it’s even more extraordinary in the flesh. Bring the kids and embark on this speedy five-day, Reykjavík-based trip and encounter the majestic waterfalls and hot springs of the Golden Circle and Thingvellier National Park, bike in the long shadow of Thorbjörn Mountain, swim in the famous Blue Lagoon and partake in loads of other activities from whale-watching to whitewater rafting. Just five days, but it’ll stick with you for ages.

  • Cycle through towering volcanoes
  • Watch waterfalls rolling over the hillside
  • Admire dramatic ever-changing landscapes
  • Spot whales breaching in Reykjavík harbour
Duration: 5 days
Start/Finish City: Reykjavik to Reykjavik
Service Level: Standard
  • Great value, reasonable prices, quality experiences
  • Comfortable and varied tourist-class accommodations chosen for location and character
  • Mix of public and private transport for the best overall experience
  • All the top highlights included, plus plenty of time to explore on your own
Physical Grading: 3
Trips may include activities like hiking, biking, rafting or kayaking. No sweat, right?
Travel Style: Family
Trips built for adventurers of all ages

Just because you’ve settled down and had kids doesn't mean your adventuring days are through. Family trips explore exciting locales — Tanzania, Thailand, the Galápagos, Europe and more — with age-appropriate activities and hotels that know how to cater to families on the move.

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for Iceland Family Adventure (ELFA)

Day 1 Reykjavik

Arrive at any time before our evening group meeting where you will meet your CEO and new extended family. Depending on the time of your arrival into Reykjavik, why not take the chance to see more of the city. Reykjavik is home to the world's oldest parliament still in use today and the Althing is well worth a visit, or choose to walk along the shore and check out the colourful buildings that line the waterfront.

Day 2 Reykjavik (1B)

Today we visit the Golden Circle, a georthermal playground where we can see nature in its finest. First stop today is Gulfoss Waterfall, where the mighty Hvita river drops over a 30 metre drop. The fall itself is not visible immediately, and it appears that the water just disappears into the ground, but as you arrive at the falls, you suddenly see the roaring waters of the fall. Iceland is home to many stories of elves and dwarves, so much so that when roads are built, the rocks and boulders are checked to see if they are home to any elves before they are moved out of the way. Try to avoid waking the giants and trolls that live in the mountains here.

We move on from Gulfoss further into the Golden Circle. The word 'geyser' is now recognised around the world as being the description of a jet of water coming out of the ground, but the word is Icelandic, and it is here that we can see the first of these. These underground springs are a combination of water and steam that shoots upwards from the earth, caused by the geothermal conditons of the area. These often occur near to volcanoes. As Iceland is covered by volcanoes, this is one of the best places to see geysers. The name derives from Old Norse, and means 'to gush', and the Great Geysir often throws water between 40 and 50 metres into the air. The water is boiling hot, so it's a good place to stop off for warmth,

Our final stop today is Thingvellir National Park. Here we are at the meeting point of two continents. The giant tectonic plates that form the earth meet in Thingvellir National Park, situated right on the boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The water-filled fissures in the earth are one of only two places that you can see tectonic plates drifting apart. Normally you'd only be able to see this in geography books, here you can witness it first hand.

Return to Reykjavik for the night.

Day 3 Reykjavik (1B)

Iceland has often been compared to the surface of the moon. heading out of Reykjavik again today, we can cycle around Eldvörp, which was used when astronauts practised for moon landings. Taking to two wheels, we have the morning to whizz around this lunar landscape, and stare in awe at the volcanic landscape that's around us.

In the afternoon we return to Reykjavik, and continue onto the Blue Lagoon. Possibly Iceland's most recognisable tourist attraction, the hot springs are formed by the lava formation of the countless volcanoes in the area, and the waters are rich in sulphur and silica, which helps to bring the blue colour. The waters are reputed to heal any aches and pains, so you may get out of the water invigorated.

Return to Reykjavik for the night.

Day 4 Reykjavik (1B)

Today we enjoy a whale-watching boat trip. Departing from Reykjavik harbour, there is a good chance of seeing Minke and Humpback whales, as well as dolphins and porpoises. Afterwards, there are a wide variety of activities available to you from Reykjavik, so you can choose from several. For the more active family, there are canoeing adventures along the Hvítá River where you can hike past rivers, waterfalls and mountains.

Return to Reykjavik for your last night in Iceland and an optional group dinner.

Day 5 Reykjavik (1B)

Departure day, feel free to depart from Reykjavik at any time.

What's Included

Golden Circle including Gullfolls waterfall and the Geysir Hot Springs area. Entry to Thingvellir National Park. Cycling around Eldvörp. Entrance to the Blue Lagoon. Whale-watching boat trip.

Highlights

Cycle through towering volcanoes, watch waterfalls rolling over the hillside, admire dramatic ever-changing landscapes, spot whales breaching in Reykjavík harbour

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Group Leader Description

This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders, otherwise known as a Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The CEO will be the group manager, leader and driver - this person is experienced in the routes travelled and will organize and lead the meal preparations and has experience in cooking a variety of local and international dishes for large groups.

As the group coordinator and manager, the aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. They will also offer suggestions for things to do and to see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.

We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.

Meals Included

4 breakfasts.

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. On truck trips in Africa, aboard the M/S Expedition or our Galapagos yachts, while trekking in remote regions etc. food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Meal Budget

Allow USD250-350 per person for meals not included.

Transport

Local transport, bike, boat

Solo Travellers

We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Hotels (4 nts)

My Own Room

Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops

About Accommodation

Accommodation for family trips has been chosen to give the best location and facilities for your family. They may vary depending on the location and destination, but designed to give the most comfortable experience while travelling.

You and your family will generally be sharing rooms on a twin or triple share basis. These rooms will be either adjoining or located at close proximity to each other.

Families will be roomed together and not with other families everywhere we stay. If you have any special hotel requests at the time of booking, let us know and we will do what we can to accommodate them.

Joining Hotel

Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Natura
Nautholsvegur 52,
101 Reykjavik
Tel: (+354) 444 4500

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures UK office (manned UK 8am - 8pm)
+44 (0) 2072439878

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, from calls within North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from within UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from within Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from within Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from within New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

For absolute emergencies after office hours please contact +44 7817 262559
If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.

Checklist

Documents:
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•Cash
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•Discovery Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and trip details
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required

Suggested Items:
•Camera and extra memory card/film
•Extra batteries (recommended)
•Electricity Plug Adapter
•Flashlight or Headlamp (with extra batteries and bulbs)
•Binoculars
•Concealable money belt
•Fleece top
•Windproof/waterproof jacket
•Small towel and swim wear
•shirts/t-shirts
•Sun hat
•hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes
•Sturdy walking shoes
•Sport sandals
•Sunblock
•Sunglasses
•Toiletries
•Watch or alarm clock
•Water bottle
•Insect Repellent
•Pocketknife
•First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).

Optional Items: reading/writing material, Maps, guidebooks

Visas

Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.

All visitors to the EU (European Union) and EEC (European Economic Community) countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand passport holders do not need a visa to visit the Schengen area (see below), however they may not stay longer than three months in any 6-month period.

For other nationalities, travelling in Europe has been simplified with the introduction of the Schengen visa. As a visitor to the Schengen area (Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Portugal, Finland, Italy, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland) you will enjoy the many advantages of this unified visa system. Generally speaking with a Schengen visa, you may enter one Schengen country and travel freely throughout the Schengen region during the validity of your visa. There are limited border controls at Schengen borders, if any at all.

Please note that the UK and Ireland are NOT part of the Schengen agreement.

A Schengen visa is applied for at the Embassy or Consulate of the Schengen country in which you will be spending the most nights on your trip to the Schengen space. If you are only visiting one country on your trip then you apply for your visa at the Consulate of this Schengen country.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Tipping

It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (€1-2). Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from €3-5 per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO or skipper did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €20-25 per person, per week can be used.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Planeterra is G Adventures’ non-profit foundation created to make a positive difference in the communities where G Adventures takes travellers. Planeterra supports sustainable social and environmental solutions in destinations travellers love to visit.

As travellers, it’s natural to want to give back to the places we’ve come to love. But to truly impact poverty, we work to build self-sufficiency, not dependency.

Planeterra partners with grassroots organizations with firsthand knowledge of local culture and true community needs. This ensures that solutions come from the people we support. Then G Adventures brings travellers to visit, fuelling sustainable local income in these communities. This model is helping many rural and marginalized communities on their way to self-sufficiency because they are harnessing the power of the tourism industry as a force for good. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit planeterra.org.

MAKE EVERY DAY COUNT
Fifty percent of our planet lives on less than $2/day. For the price of a coffee, you can make every day of your trip count by giving back to the communities you visit through Planeterra.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking).

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.

Minimum Age

Minimum age of 5 years for this trip. Please see the activities for any specific minimum age requirements.

Recommended for children of all ages.