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Intergenerational Iceland: Land of Fire and Ice

Program Number: 10584RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/28/2013 - 8/7/2013; 7/14/2015 - 7/24/2015; 7/26/2015 - 8/5/2015;
Duration: 10 nights
Location: Iceland
Price starting at: $3,387.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Intergenerational
Intergenerational
Meals: 29; 10 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Program intended for grandchildren from 9 - 12 years of age.

With bobbing icebergs and bubbling mud, elusive elves and real-life reindeer, Iceland is a seemingly magical world for grandparents and grandchildren to discover together. Based in a 19th-century farmhouse, embark on a quest to embrace Iceland’s bounty. Whale watching, glacier trekking, fishing and horseback riding excursions are complemented by lessons on geology, the Vikings and the Sagas. Interact with Icelanders to learn about the daily lives of the people who inhabit this fascinating land.




Highlights

• Ride a snowcat to the top of Vatnajokull, Iceland’s largest glacier.
• Discover amazing geological features like the Gullfoss waterfall, the Great Geysir and the Blue Lagoon.
• Meet Icelandic families and enjoy home-cooked meals daily, sampling specialties like lamb, fresh fish and berry-topped skyr.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day; some uneven terrain.



One youth per adult in shared accommodations. Adult is responsible for supervision of child at all times.




Date Specific Information

7-28-2013, 7-14-2015, 7-26-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Reykjavik, coach to Arnbjargarlaekur, 8 nights; coach to Grindavik, 1 night; coach to Reykjavik for departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Reykjavik
Coach to Arnbjargarlaekur
8 nights
Coach to Grindavik
1 night
Coach to Reykjavik for departure

Embark on a whale-watching expedition to look for sperm whales and other large sea life. Back on land, visit a dairy farm and explore the lovely Nordura Valley’s waterfalls and volcanic craters. Learn about the “huldufolk” or “hidden people” like trolls, elves and dwarves that live in natural areas like this according to Icelandic legend. Delve deeper into Norse mythology as you visit Reykholt, home of the 13th-century Saga writer Snorri Sturluson. Enjoy horseback riding, tree planting and a boat ride through the Breidafjordur islands. See the highlights of Reykjavik, the capital city, and venture to Thingvellir, site of the ancient Viking parliament. Discover the Great Geysir, eruptions of which date back to the 13th century. Complete your Icelandic adventure by taking a swim in the steaming, healing waters of the Blue Lagoon.




Iceland

This island nation near the Arctic Circle comprises icy glaciers, active volcanoes and an abundance of bubbling, steaming geothermal pools that provide a unique and steady source of heat and energy. Viking history and 13th-century sagas pair with Iceland’s modern citizenry and abundant natural resources to create a vibrant country for the 21st century.



Accommodations
Arnbjargarlaekur: Roomy, historic farmhouse on a working sheep farm in the countryside; shared baths; exclusive to the Road Scholar group. Grindavik: Hotel near the Blue Lagoon.
Meals and Lodgings
   Arnbjargarlaekur
  Borgarfjordur, Iceland 8 nights
   Northern Light Inn
  Grindavik, Iceland 1 night
 Arnbjargarlaekur
Type: Inn
  Description: Built in the early 1900s, the large and comfortable farmhouse at Arnbjargarlaekur is located 32 kilometers north of Borgarnes in the fertile farming district of Borgarfjordur. Set in the beautiful countryside, the house and the surrounding area is run by David Adalsteinsson and his wife, Gudrun Jonsdottir. Most of their herd of sheep will have gone to the highlands for summer pasture and the farm will be busy with haymaking. When Road Scholar groups stay here, they are the only guests on location.
  Contact info: Arnbjargarlaekur
Borgarnes,  311 Iceland
phone: +354 -435-1275
  Facility amenities: The farmhouse offers a fax machine, laundry facilities and free wireless Internet access.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: There are 6 bathrooms in total for the guests to share.

 Northern Light Inn
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: The Northern Light Inn is a small and friendly hotel located less than 1 mile from the Blue Lagoon, 15 minutes from Keflavik International Airport and 45 minutes from Reykjavik. It is located in the majestic lava landscape of Reykjanes Peninsula, Southwest Iceland, directly under the Aurora Borealis geomagnetic green belt.
  Contact info: Blue Lagoon Road 1
Grindavik,  240 Iceland
phone: +354 426 8650
web: www.nli.is
  Room amenities: Each room has a geothermal shower, Icelandic down comforter, telephone, satellite television, hair dryer and free wireless Internet access.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a panoramic restaurant, laundry services and free wireless Internet. It is located nearby the Blue Lagoon and a swimming pool and fitness center.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights after: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Reykjavik, Iceland. 7:00 AM at Keflavik International Airport. You will be staying at Arnbjargarlaekur that night.
  End of Program:
Grindavik, Iceland. Program ends after lunch at hotel on the last day. You will be staying at Northern Light Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking is available at the guesthouse and the hotel.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Take Flybus from Keflavik to BSI bus station which costs ISK 2500 (2011 price), take bus Reykjavik-Borgarnes which costs ISK 1300 (2011 price), from Borgarnes you can be picked up by people from the farmhouse or take a taxi.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Borgarfjordur
  Nearest city or town:  Borgarnes
  Nearest highway: Highway #1
  Nearest airport:  Reykjavik/Keflavik Airport
  Transportation to site: Take the Flybus from Keflavik to BSI bus terminal, there is a Flybus departure from the airport for all arriving flights 30-40 minutes after each arrival (approx. 1 hour, ISK 2500, children under 11 are free). Take bus from BSI terminal to Borgarnes. Buses leave at 8:00 AM, 8:30 AM, 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM (approx. 1 hour, ISK 2300, children 4-11 are ISK 1100). From Borgarnes you can be picked up by people from the farmhouse (48 EUR) or take a taxi. Taxi from Keflavik to Borgarnes, approx. ISK 35,900 Taxi from BSI to Borgarnes, approx. ISK 20,900.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Grindavik
  Nearest city or town:  In town.
  Nearest airport:  Grindavik
  Transportation from site: The international airport is only a 15-minute drive from the hotel. The Northern Light Inn offers courtesy shuttle transfers to/from the international airport for guests, free of charge.
Elevation Note: Snowtrailer trip to Langjokull glacier.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: In Transit
(Sunday, July 28)
   
 Evening: Depart US/Canada on international overnight flight to Iceland.

Day 2: Arrival and Orientation
(Monday, July 29)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be served upon arrival at the farmhouse.
 Morning: Arrive at Reykjavik/Keflavik International Airport. Transfer (approximately 2 hours) to Arnbjargarlaekur farmhouse.
 Lunch: Icelandic home cooking, served buffet style, in the farmhouse dining room.
 Afternoon: Introductory meeting and orientation.
 Dinner: Icelandic home cooking, served buffet style, in the farmhouse dining room.
   
Accommodations: Arnbjargarlaekur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Dairy Farming / Agricultural University & Science Center
(Tuesday, July 30)
   
 Breakfast: Farmhouse dining room.
 Morning: We head for the local town of Borgarnes and visit the Settlement Center, which tells the saga of the settlement of Iceland and of Iceland's most famous Viking and first poet Egill Skallagrimsson. We will then try out the excellent new swimming pool.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in Borgarnes.
 Afternoon: Excursion to the Agricultural University & Science Center at Hvanneyri.
 Dinner: Icelandic home cooking, served buffet style, in the farmhouse dining room.
   
Accommodations: Arnbjargarlaekur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Whale Watching
(Wednesday, July 31)
   
 Breakfast: Farmhouse dining room.
 Morning: We drive to Reykjavik for a short introduction of the capital.
 Lunch: Lunch at a downtown restaurant.
 Afternoon: Whale watching excursion from Reykjavik (approx. 3 hours) at sea in a comfortable boat. We hope to see some big whales!
 Dinner: Icelandic home cooking, served buffet style, in the farmhouse dining room.
   
Accommodations: Arnbjargarlaekur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Nordurá Valley / Games and Horseback Riding
(Thursday, August 1)
   
 Breakfast: Farmhouse dining room.
 Morning: Today we explore the Nordurá Valley, where scenic waterfalls, volcanic craters and lava fields await us. We will also visit the hidden people.
 Lunch: Lunch at Hraunsnef.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon we enjoy games and merriment on the Hraunsnef playgrounds. Later we will visit Ölvaldsstadir farm for horseback riding and a short demo.
 Dinner: Icelandic home cooking, served buffet style, in the farmhouse dining room.
 Evening: Tonight we enjoy some evening entertainment.
   
Accommodations: Arnbjargarlaekur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Trout Fishing / Snorri Sturluson / Tree Planting / Deildartunguhver
(Friday, August 2)
   
 Breakfast: Farmhouse dining room.
 Morning: We go trout fishing in a local creek.
 Lunch: Icelandic home cooking, served buffet style, in the farmhouse dining room.
 Afternoon: We take a field trip to Reykholt where we will learn about Snorri Sturluson, the 13th century statesman and Saga writer who lived in Reykholt. We will also visit the Snorri Exhibition. Later we plant trees in the Road Scholar planting patch and learn how tree planting is an important factor in the constant battle against soil erosion. At the end of the day we visit Deildartunguhver, Europe's most prolific hot spring. Water from this hotspring is piped up to 70 km to homes in the region.
 Dinner: Icelandic home cooking, served buffet style, in the farmhouse dining room.
   
Accommodations: Arnbjargarlaekur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Birds and Islands Adventure / Dairy Farm
(Saturday, August 3)
   
 Breakfast: Farmhouse dining room.
 Morning: Birds and Islands Adventure. We take a 2-hour boat ride among the islands of Breidafjordur and study the multitude of seabirds nesting there.
 Lunch: En route.
 Afternoon: We will visit Eiriksstadir, where Leif Eiriksson "the lucky," discoverer of America in the 11th century, was born. We will also visit Erpsstadir, a modern dairy farm with their own ice cream production.
 Dinner: Icelandic home cooking, served buffet style, in the farmhouse dining room.
   
Accommodations: Arnbjargarlaekur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Bjarteyarsandur Farm
(Sunday, August 4)
   
 Breakfast: Farmhouse dining room.
 Morning: We begin our day with a visit to a greenhouse farmer. Then we continue on to Bjarteyarsandur Farm at Hvalfjordur (Whale Fjord).
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at Bjarteyarsandur farm.
 Afternoon: We will enjoy a walk around the farm, observing the animals, browsing through the handicrafts shop and exploring the local beach.
 Dinner: Icelandic home cooking, served buffet style, in the farmhouse dining room.
   
Accommodations: Arnbjargarlaekur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Langjokull Glacier
(Monday, August 5)
   
 Breakfast: Farmhouse dining room.
 Morning: Depart for Europe's second largest glacier, Langjokull. We travel by snowcat to the top of the glacier.
 Lunch: Husafell summer resort.
 Afternoon: Visit the swimming pool in Husafell and the lava waterfalls Hraunfossar.
 Dinner: Icelandic home cooking, served buffet style, in the farmhouse dining room.
 Evening: Evening entertainment.
   
Accommodations: Arnbjargarlaekur
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Thingvellir / Gullfoss and Geysir / Reykjavík
(Tuesday, August 6)
   
 Breakfast: Farmhouse dining room.
 Morning: Excursion to Thingvellir, site of the ancient parliament and now a national park. We continue to see Gullfoss (the Golden Waterfall) and Geysir, the geyser from which all others take their name.
 Lunch: En route.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon we will make a short stop in Reykjavik before arriving at our hotel.
 Dinner: Hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Northern Light Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Blue Lagoon / Departures
(Wednesday, August 7)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: We spend the morning at the Blue Lagoon and enjoy a refreshing swim.
 Lunch: Hotel dining room.
 Afternoon: Transfer to airport for departures.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Borgarfjordur Arnbjargarlækur farm
At Arnbjargarlækur farm, take a walk around. Children can play outside, visit the horses, hide in the forest and wade in the small stream by the farm.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Naturalist's Guide to the Arctic


Author: E.C. Pielou


Description: Our best-selling book on the Arctic, this guide covers the geography and climate, plants, birds and wildlife of the circumpolar north.



Eyewitness Viking


Author: Susan M. Margeson


Description: Ships, weapons, artifacts, colonies, music and kings are all explored in this illustrated family friendly portrait.



Iceland Adventure Map


Author: National Geographic Society


Description: A detailed, double-sided traveler's map at a scale of 1:465,000 by National Geographic.



Iceland, Land of the Sagas


Author: Jon Krakauer (Photographer), David Roberts


Description: Krakauer and colleague David Roberts hike and climb around Iceland in this classic travel narrative, reissued as a paperback and featuring Krakauer's color photographs. The book interweaves the natural and cultural history of the island with the authors' own adventures.



Independent People, An Epic


Author: Halldor Laxness


Description: Rich in local color, this great mock-epic by the Icelandic Nobel Prize-winner features the indelible Bjartur of Summerhouses, a hard-headed, independent-minded sheep farmer.



Insight Guide Iceland


Author: Insight Guides


Description: With wonderful photographs, maps and essays.



Jar City


Author: Arnaldur Indridason


Description: Indridason's first moody police procedural finds Reykjavik detective Erlendur Sveinsson investigating the brutal murder of a lonely pensioner, and the man's connection to the deaths of a number of young women. Made into a darkly superb film.



Lonely Planet Iceland


Author: Deanna Swaney


Description: This concise guide to Iceland includes short essays on history, culture and attractions and plenty of practical travel information.



Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings


Author: John Haywood


Description: The history of the Vikings told through a series of innovative maps and excellent photographs. This book traces the route of the 9th-century Viking merchants and explorers throughout Europe and on to the New World.



Pocket Guide to the Birds of Britain and North-West Europe


Author: Chris Kightley


Description: A compact field-friendly guide to the birds found in the British Isles and the Faroes, Scandinavia and Northwest Europe.



Polar Explorers for Kids


Author: Maxine Snowden


Description: The history and adventures of 16 polar explorers, including Erik the Red, Henry Hudson, Robert Peary, Roald Amundsen, Robert Scott and Ernest Shackleton, are brought to life in 21 puzzles, games, projects and activities for kids ages 9 and up.



Ring of Seasons, Iceland, Its Culture and History


Author: Terry G. Lacy


Description: A longtime resident of Reykjavik, Lacy weaves tales of family life, anecdote, lore and history into this illuminating personal portrait of Iceland.



The Control of Nature


Author: John McPhee


Description: In the classic McPhee tradition, these sparkling essays explore our generally feeble attempts to combat all-powerful nature, including valient efforts by Icelanders to control the flow of a volcano across the harbor at Heimaey in the Westman Islands.



The History of Iceland


Author: Gunnar Karlsson


Description: A history of Iceland from the Viking era through colonization, independence and the 20th century. Karlsson draws on the sagas and rich literature of Iceland in presenting this comprehensive history.



The Problem with Chickens


Author: Bruce McMillan, Gunnella (Illustrator)


Description: A delightfully illustrated tale for young readers about a flock of chickens that overruns an Icelandic village.



The Sagas of Icelanders


Author: Jane Smiley (Introduction), Robert Kellog (Illustrator)


Description: Nine sagas and six tales composed between the years 1000 and 1500, including an account of Leif Eriksson's voyage to North America, all newly translated. With an introduction by Jane Smiley.



The Vikings


Author: Robert Nicholson


Description: A volume in the colorful "Journey into Civilization" series, this slim book concentrates on the Vikings and how they lived in days gone by. With plenty of information on the Viking world, great stories and activities for kids.



Volcanoes, Fire From the Earth


Author: Maurice Krafft


Description: By the great French volcanologist (who died on the job on Mount Unzen in Japan in 1992), this pocket guide features hundreds of full-color paintings and traces the study of volcanoes from early myth and legend to modern science.



Xenophobe's Guide to the Icelanders


Author: Richard Sale


Description: This irreverent pocket guide to cultural awareness is both insightful -- and entertaining.





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