A Long Weekend in Iceland: From Reykjavik to the Golden Circle

Think you don’t have time to discover the natural wonders of Iceland? Think again! Experience the best of Iceland as you explore from Reykjavik to the countryside.
Rating (4.95)
Program No. 22981RJ
6 days
Starts at
Flights start at

At a Glance

There’s more than enough time to discover the natural beauty of this incredible island during this exciting learning adventure! Beginning in Reykjavik, soak in the healing waters of the Blue Lagoon — Iceland’s most famous geothermal gem. Then, venture into the countryside to explore the Golden Circle, home to the historic Thingvellir National Park, the Gullfoss waterfall and active Strokkur geyser. Walk along the black sand beach below the Myrdalsjokull glacier, and learn about the creation of Iceland at the Lava Centre. Depending on the time of year, search for the magical northern lights or enjoy the calming stillness of a late night sunset in the countryside.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking up to two miles on uneven, hilly terrain.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Learn about Iceland's past and present, from the legends of Iceland's ancient parliament to the refreshing waters of the Blue Lagoon.
  • Savor a greenhouse-fresh lunch while learning how geothermal energy is used to grow vegetables in Iceland's short summer season.
  • Marvel at the many natural wonders of Iceland, including a geyser, glacier, black sand beach and waterfalls.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Baldur Gylfason
Born and raised in Iceland, Baldur Gylfason has traveled extensively and now calls Reykjavik home. Today, Baldur works as a full-time group leader. He has ties to Canada, where he spent part of his childhood and later completed his university degrees. He has experience as a trained psychologist and a mobility instructor for the blind, developing adventure-based programs in Iceland. Through his work and in his free time, Baldur loves to explore Iceland and capture its beauty in photographs.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Baldur Gylfason
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Northern Lights, The True Story of the Man Who Unlocked the Secrets of the Aurora Borealis
by Lucy Jago
The compelling story of Kristian Birkeland, the turn-of-the-century Norwegian scientist who devoted his career to understanding the aurora borealis, this book also covers the science, history, myth and romance of the phenomenon.
North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland
by Evan Sung (Photographer), Jody Eddy, Gunnar Gislason
Catering to a rising interest in Nordic cuisine, this cookbook celebrates Iceland’s food alongside its haunting landscapes, portrayed in starkly beautiful, full-color photos.
The Windows of Brimnes, An American in Iceland
by Bill Holm
In these provocative essays, Minnesotan Bill Holm writes about the fate of America from his fisherman's cottage on the shore of a creek in northern Iceland.
Ring of Seasons, Iceland, Its Culture and History
by Terry G. Lacy
A longtime resident of Reykjavik, Lacy weaves tales of family life, anecdote, lore and history into this illuminating personal portrait of Iceland.
A Naturalist's Guide to the Arctic
by E.C. Pielou
A primer on Arctic climate, geography, plants, birds, mammals and insects in a single nicely written book. It's a highly recommended, enthusiastic guide to natural history throughout the Circumpolar North.
Last Places, A Journey in the North
by Lawrence Millman, Paul Theroux (Introduction)
Millman explores the culture and history of the Faroes, Iceland and Greenland in this hilarious account of his travels in the wake of the ancient Vikings.
Jar City
by Arnaldur Indridason
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.
The Northern Lights, Celestial Performances of the Aurora Borealis
by Calvin Hall (Photographer), Daryl Pederson (Photographer)
Shot in Alaska, one of the best places to watch the northern lights, these images capture the natural phenomenon in all its splendor and majesty. Hall and Pederson’s 160 photographs were taken with ultra-HD cameras during a period of unusually high solar activity.
Butterflies in November
by Brian Fitzgibbon (Translator), Auour Ava Olafsdottir
Scorned by love, a quirky, unapologetically independent 33-year-old woman takes a spontaneous trip along Iceland’s Ring Road, her best friend’s 4-year-old deaf-mute son in tow. Evocative of the Icelandic spirit.
Hrafnkel's Saga and Other Icelandic Stories
by Herman Palsson (Translator)
This collection of the most famous of Icelandic sagas includes stories with titles like Thorstein the Staff-Struck and Ale Hood. Dating from the 12th century, these tales vividly recreate the society of medieval Iceland.
The Sagas of Icelanders
by Jane Smiley (Editor), Robert Kellog (Introduction)
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.
Iceland, Land of the Sagas
by Jon Krakauer (Photographer), David Roberts
Krakauer and colleague 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.
The Prose Edda
by Snorri Sturluson, Jesse Byock (Translator)
A new translation of one of the most influential and entertaining medieval Icelandic sagas, the source for much of what we know of Norse mythology.
The Almost Nearly Perfect People, Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia
by Michael Booth
Guardian journalist Booth writes with laugh-out-loud humor and brutal candor about the Scandinavians, mixing history and his own experiences in Nordic regions in this searing cultural portrait.
Island on Fire: The Extraordinary Story of a Forgotten Volcano That Changed the World
by Jeff Kanipe, Alexandra Witze
Two science writers discuss the political and natural ramifications of the 1783 eruption of Iceland’s largest volcano, Laki, which led to global death, famine and even revolution. Great for the geologically minded but accessible to all with an interest in volcanoes.
Independent People, An Epic
by Halldor Laxness
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.
Lonely Planet Pocket Reykjavik
by Lonely Planet
With a section of not-to-be-missed highlights, pullout map, and a calendar of annual events.
Iceland Adventure Map
by National Geographic
A detailed map at a scale of 1:465,000, printed on handy tear- and water-resistant paper.
The Control of Nature
by John McPhee
In the classic McPhee tradition, these sparkling essays explore our generally feeble attempts to combat all-powerful nature, including valiant efforts by Icelanders to control the flow of a volcano across the harbor at Heimaey in the Westman Islands.
Iceland Imagined
by Karen Oslund
This cultural and environmental history explores the geography, literature, language, culture, politics and symbolism of Iceland, Greenland, northern Norway and the Faroe Islands.

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