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Iceland

Land of Fire & Ice: Iceland with Your Family

Program No. 24112RJ
Take a fantastic quest through the real-life magic of Iceland, where tales of Vikings combine with a wondrous landscape to make this the perfect adventure for you and your grandchild.

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
Age 9 - 18
ROOMING OPTION PRICING
The figures below indicate the rooming options available.
DATES
Filling Fast!
Jun 15 - Jun 22, 2024
Per Adult
4,299
Per Child
3,199
Select
Jun 15 - Jun 22, 2024
4,299
/ Adult
3,199
/ Child
4,299
/ Adult
3,199
/ Child
4,799
/ Adult
3,199
/ Child
Limited Space
Filling Fast!
Jul 13 - Jul 20, 2024
Per Adult
4,299
Per Child
3,199
Select
Jul 13 - Jul 20, 2024
4,299
/ Adult
3,199
/ Child
4,299
/ Adult
3,199
/ Child
4,799
/ Adult
3,199
/ Child
Limited Space
Filling Fast!
Jul 20 - Jul 27, 2024
Per Adult
4,299
Per Child
3,199
Select
Jul 20 - Jul 27, 2024
4,299
/ Adult
3,199
/ Child
4,299
/ Adult
3,199
/ Child
4,799
/ Adult
3,199
/ Child
Limited Space
Aug 3 - Aug 10, 2024
Per Adult
4,299
Per Child
3,199
Select
Aug 3 - Aug 10, 2024
4,299
/ Adult
3,199
/ Child
4,299
/ Adult
3,199
/ Child
4,799
/ Adult
3,199
/ Child
Select Date

At a Glance

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. 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.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles daily over varied terrain. Elevations up to 4,500 feet.
Family Programs
Family Programs
Share your love of learning with your family. These programs are designed for any combination of generations: grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents and children.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Ride a glacier vehicle to the top of Langjokull, Iceland’s second largest glacier.
  • Discover amazing geological features like the Gullfoss waterfall and the Great Geysir.
  • The Nordura is said to harbor a large huldufolk population or “hidden people” of trolls, elves and dwarves. Find out if they truly exist.

General Notes

This is a Family program for participants, their adult children and grandchildren ages 9 and up.
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.
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.
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.
Everything Vikings
by Nadia Higgins
Subtitled "All the Incredible Facts and Fierce Fun You Can Plunder!" this title in the National Geographic Kids series is packed with color visuals and interesting info that introduce the exciting world of the Vikings. Written for readers ages 8 to 12.
Insight Guide Iceland
by Insight Guides
This guide emphasizes culture and history, with wonderful photographs, maps and essays from experts.
Lonely Planet Iceland
by Deanna Swaney
This concise guide to Iceland includes short essays on history, culture and attractions and plenty of practical travel information.
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.
Names for the Sea, Strangers in Iceland
by Sarah Moss
A stranger in a strange land, British novelist Sarah Moss captures the spirit of Iceland in this tale of a year in the Reykjavik with her husband and two children.
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.
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 History of Iceland
by Gunnar Karlsson
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.
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.
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.
The Problem with Chickens
by Bruce McMillan, Gunnella (Illustrator)
A delightfully illustrated tale for young readers about a flock of chickens that overruns an Icelandic village.
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.
Eyewitness Viking
by Susan M. Margeson
Ships, weapons, artifacts, colonies, music and kings are all explored in this illustrated family friendly portrait.
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.
Iceland, A True Book
by Kathleen Deady
A slim, illustrated introduction to Iceland for younger readers (ages 6-8). With a nice selection of photographs showing the landscapes, cities, people and archaeological sites of Iceland.
Polar Explorers for Kids
by Maxine Snowden
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.
Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings
by John Haywood
This history of the Vikings tells their story through a series of innovative maps and excellent photographs. It traces the routes of 9th-century Viking merchants and explorers throughout Europe and the New World.
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.
Puffling Patrol
by Ted Lewin
Lewin details the annual rescue of baby puffins by the children of Heimaey, the largest island in the Westman Islands off the coast of Iceland.
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.
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8 days
7 nights
18 meals
7 B 6 L 5 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Keflavik, Transfer to Borgarnes, Museum, Orientation
Borgarnes
B,L,D
Hotel Borgarnes

Activity note: Walking from airport terminal with luggage to motorcoach; driving approximately 10 minutes to Viking World. Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 72 miles, approximately 1.5 hours riding time. Walking about 1/2 mile, approximately 1 hour; additional time at Settlement Center according to personal choice; indoor floors and paved sidewalks.

Breakfast: At Viking World. A bagged breakfast will be provided to any participants not arriving on the first transfer.

Morning: At Viking World, we will board a motorcoach shortly after 10:00 a.m. and begin our journey to Borgarnes with a stop at the Settlement Center. (The motorcoach will take our luggage to the hotel following drop-off.)

Lunch: At the Settlement Center.

Afternoon: Equipped with audio guides, we will explore the Settlement Center Museum and learn about the discovery of Iceland. We’ll then walk to our hotel for check-in. After getting our rooms, we’ll have some time to freshen up and relax before our Orientation session. Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This is a Road Scholar Family program. Adult participants are responsible for their children at all times. If/when separate age group activities are conducted concurrently, program staff will supervise. Minors are never to be left unsupervised. The Group Leader and a series of local experts will lead field trips. Program-related travel and transfers will be by private motorcoach unless otherwise noted. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Langjokull Glacier, Husafell Swimming Pool
Borgarnes
B,L,D
Hotel Borgarnes

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 80 miles, approximately 2 hours. Getting on/off a glacier vehicle. Walking up to 2 miles; uneven terrain and snow (glacier). Bring a swimsuit for the visit to the Husafell pool; towels are provided.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will board a motorcoach and ride to Iceland’s second-largest glacier, Langjokull. We’ll then take a special modified vehicle to the top of the glacier and walk inside a unique man-made ice cave tunnel with an expert. We’ll then continue on to lunch.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Next, we will visit the swimming pool in Husafell for a dip. We’ll then walk on the gravel nature path to view the lava waterfalls, Hraunfossar, as the Group Leader tells us about the area. After taking the motorcoach back to the hotel, we’ll walk to dinner.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Nordurá Valley, Games & Horseback Riding
Borgarnes
B,L,D
Hotel Borgarnes

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 50 miles, approximately 1 hour riding time. Getting on/off horses. Walking and games in the Troll Park. Walking up to 3 miles; uneven, hilly terrain.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will set out via motorcoach and ride to Ölvaldsstadir farm where we’ll have an introduction to horseback riding, then mount our horses for a ride on a trail down by the Hvita River. We will then take the motorcoach to Fossatun for lunch.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Next, we will walk to Troll Park for games and merriment. At the park, we will divide the grownups and children into separate groups and take two different paths exploring and learning about trolls together. The troll games commence after the walk. We’ll then return to the hotel via motorcoach.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: We will gather for some entertainment by a local dance troupe.

DAY
5
Birds & Islands Adventure, Dairy Farm
Borgarnes
B,L,D
Hotel Borgarnes

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 160 miles, approximately 4 hours riding time. Getting on/off a boat; sailing about 35-40 miles, approximately 2 hours; standing on boat with opportunities to sit. Walking up to 2 miles; uneven terrain.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will ride the motorcoach to a boat, aboard which we’ll set out on a field trip to learn about birds and islands. During a two-hour boat ride among the islands of Breidafjordur, we will study the multitude of seabirds nesting there. Afterwards, we’ll make our way to lunch on the motorcoach.

Lunch: En route at Fosshotel Stykkisholmur.

Afternoon: We will ride on to Eiriksstadir, where Leif Erikson (c. 970 – c. 1020 C.E.) was born. Known as “the lucky,” Leifr Eiríksson established a settlement in a place he called Vinland that was likely amid today’s Newfoundland and Labrador. We will also explore Erpsstadir, a modern dairy farm with their own ice cream production. Afterwards, we’ll take the motorcoach to dinner.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
6
Thingvellir, Tomato Farm, Gullfoss & Geysir
Reykjavik
B,L
Berjaya Reykjavik Marina Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 180 miles, approximately 4.5 hours riding time. Walking up to 3 miles; uneven, hilly terrain.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we will board the motorcoach and set out on our next field trip to Thingvellir, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was home of the ancient parliament and is now a national park. After enjoying the view from the overlook, we’ll walk down to the ravine for more spectacular sights while the Group Leader provides commentary about the history of the site. Next, we’ll ride to the Friðheimar tomato farm and learn about greenhouse horticulture.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will then ride on to see Gullfoss (the Golden Waterfall) and Geysir, the geyser from which all others take their name. We’ll view the Strokkur Geysir spout while learning from the Group Leader about the geothermal properties of Iceland. We’ll then ride on to our hotel.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Reykjavík, Arbaer Museum, Whale Watching
Reykjavik
B,L,D
Berjaya Reykjavik Marina Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 20 miles, approximately 1 hour riding time. Getting on/off a boat; riding between 2.5–3 hours. Walking up to 2 miles; standing on boat with opportunities to sit.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will drive by motorcoach to Reykjavík for a field trip to explore the Arbaer Museum (Árbæjarsafn) with an expert. This open-air museum that provides guests with an insight into the daily lives of the capital‘s earliest settlers. Walk amongst old buildings from the city center that have been relocated to the Árbær tuft farmstead on the outskirts of Reykjavik. We’ll then ride through the capital, going past the Hofdi House where Reagan and Gorbachev met and through the downtown area to see Lake Tjornin, Parliament, and City Hall.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We’ll continue on to the beach for a quick look before boarding a comfortable boat and heading out on a whale watching field trip. Wild animals including sea creatures move independently but we hope to see some big whales! Returning to the motorcoach, we will then head out to dinner.

Dinner: At a local restaurant. Share favorite experiences and enjoy camaraderie with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
8
Program Concludes, In Transit from Program
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon. See your program’s “Getting There” information regarding transfers.

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.