The Best of Iceland: A Country of Beautiful Contrasts

Traverse the wonders of Iceland with locals and scholarly experts, delving deep into a landscape of stunning geological features, glaciers, and bubbling thermal pools.
Rating (4.82)
Program No. 3342RJ
12 days
Starts at
Flights start at
23 Reviews
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4.82 Average

This is an excellent tour and Iceland is a great country to visit.


Being rated by the United Nations as one of the happiest countries I highly recommend Iceland as a destination.


Highly recommend this trip.


I had difficulty with the website and had to call the company which was difficult..line always busy or knowing which person was the correct one for my questions.


Iceland's culture, geology and environment are so distinctive, one could say unique. For that reason alone it is worth visiting. It is a beautiful country whose people have been shaped by the land, their heritage, even their biology. We'll remember Iceland for a long time.


What a great trip! I didn't realize all the exciting things that I learned until I started telling my mother about the trip. Iceland is a very interesting place and has so much to see and experience. Our group leader, Inga, was knowledgeable, interesting, and a real delight with whom to work and travel. I'd recommend this program to anyone!


This program is really amazing. The combination of lectures, experiences such as visiting a tomato hothouse farm and a horse demonstration, and stops to see some of the natural wonders of the country was just right. The pace was as stated, the food amazing (you can't beat scallop sushi on a boat in the fjord!), and our Tour Leader was terrific!


The program offers a comprehensive experience of life in Iceland, both past and present, as well as of Iceland's fascinating and varied geology and landscape. Visits to folk museums offer a look at Icelanders' lives in their historic past and visits to a tomato greenhouse and modern fish, horse, and dairy farms provide a glimpse into their lives today. The program is not really strenuous, requiring little more than the ability to get on and off a coach and walking on generally flat ground. If you do see that a long walk is not for you, you will be perfectly okay not doing it -- the only thing you might miss is being splashed by a waterfall or not getting a super close up look at a geyser!


Tips on this trip: --Accessibility: There are a lot of stairs to get in restaurants, etc. and our motor coach had extremely steep and narrow steps. If you have bad knees that will be very hard to navigate Iceland. It is not that accessible overall. Bring a walking stick. --hotels: if you are single I would NOT share a room the beds and bathrooms are TINY in all the hotels. --Water: it's pure and piped straight from the ground delicious, bring your reusable water bottle and fill up right from the cold water tap! It's the hot water that can smell a bit of sulfur but not the cold water. --Food: a LOT OF LAMB and FISH. Lamb is the national meat and sheep are everywhere! Still it got a bit old not having a lot of variety. --Boat rides: the best part! Try the raw scallops straight from the ocean, so delicious! --Free time: not a lot of it. If you want to go horseback ride or swimming those two options would be great! The pool in Akureyri was fantastic! I wished I had time to do the horseback riding but not enough free time. Plan ahead. The swimming pools in Iceland are all heated and have hot tubs/saunas and are places to meet the locals. --Bring binoculars for bird watching! It's not on the list and there were some times it would have been nice to have a pair.

This reviewer did not give a star rating.

We had some trouble coordinating our travel with the start and finish of the trip, but once we were there, all went well. We had to join the rest of the group already at the Blue Lagoon, and it would have been better if the whole group could have gone at the same time. However, once that was over, the rest of the tour was fantastic. Eirikur, our guide, was great, knowledgeable on everything, birds, history, politics, life style, anything we asked him. I especially enjoyed the entertainment we had, and seeing the dairy, the tomato greenhouse, the fish processing plant, the sod house, the puffins, the whales, oh heck, I loved everything! I would have liked an earlier plane from Akureyri to Reykjavik, as we had more free time in the former than we needed and less in Reykjavik. However, our schedule depends on the airlines, of course. Maybe one more day in Reykjavik. so we could have enjoyed more of the Pearl than just the restaurant. And that reminds me, the food was fantastic! And the desserts! One of our group was lactose intolerant and everyone was so helpful with her. I hated to leave. I love Iceland (in the summer, anyway!)


I do not usually travel with Road Scholar but found this trip to be especially diverse in its activities with lectures, farm visits, scenic waterfalls, historical locations, whale watching and the Blue Lagoon among others. There were so many opportunities to learn all about Iceland which is one reason I travel!


My wife and I recommend the Best of Iceland tour very strongly, although we are glad we went in shoulder season as crowds were never a real problem. The trip itself was an engrossing mixture of experiences. We came away much impressed with Iceland and (again) much impressed with Road Scholar.


I loved the Best of Iceland trip. The contrast in the landscape is amazing. I learned so much about the country through our guide, Erik. I will never forget he delicious food, the museums, boat rides and varied experiences I had. I highly recommend this trip.


Fantastic tour! Great itinerary, leader & bus driver! Once in a lifetime experiences!


This Road Scholar trip to Iceland was not a visit; it was an adventure. As if the stunning landscape, the eye-catching architecture, and the gastronomic delights were not enough, the lecturers tied it all together. Our Viking guide was even better than the usual great RS ones; she was a fountain of knowledge. OK, so the fermented shark was a bit strong and the scallops fresh from the ocean were not McDonald's fare but I told you, it was an adventure. Finally, where else except the Blue Lagoon could you luxuriate in chest high, warm mineral water while sleet beat on the back of your neck? Yes, a few places were a bit crowded with tourists (and deserved to be because they were amazing) but most of the island was peaceful and serene.


A great program to learn the geology and culture of the Iceland people.


Great trip, great guide, would recommend to anyone wanting to go to Iceland


The Best of Iceland is a true adventure vacation!


This program exceeded any and all expectations I might have had. A wonderful travel and learning experience.


Iceland is a country of exceptional beauty, history, culture and contrasts. Experience a well-planned, guided tour through many facets of Iceland from Icelandic animals to sagas and culture. An experience of a lifetime!


It is really the best of beautiful Iceland what one can be seen with easy pace. Well organized for this time of the year with long daylight and informative.


If you cannot wait to see the glaciers, mountains, fissures, water falls, wildlife, and oceans of Iceland take this trip. Easy to get there and easy to get around with RS's fine guides and perfect itinerary.


This is a great trip, especially if you are a geologist. If you have issues with smell, you might need to reconsider as the whole country has a strong scent of sulfur. Even in your hotel rooms, you will confront the scent of sulfur as you turn on the hot water to shower or wash your hands. If you look to share a room to cut costs and get to know new people, realize that the hotels (all of them) only use twin beds and they may have placed them together as a make-do full-size bed. Be prepared to eat fish daily or multiple times within the day. And remember, the American Disabilities Act applies to America. Out of 18 participants, a driver, and a guide, 4 to 5 people fell on my trip to include the driver. None of the people who used walking sticks regularly, fell. Expect uneven grounds and sidewalks that become part of the streets and frequent uneven steps without hand-rails. Beyond this, the country is beautiful along with the waterfalls, boiling water, boiling mud pots. The folktales are captivating. And the people take great pride in being from Iceland. Prices are extremely high on everything; plan on 2 to 3 to even 4 times higher than the United States.

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