ICELAND HOLIDAYS

WHALE WATCHING, BIRD WATCHING, NORTHERN LIGHTS & WINTER ACTIVITIES

Explore Iceland's nature and wild places with us on summer tours and winter adventures.

Excellent itinerary. Lovely holiday with helpful suggestions and useful documentation. Hotel Glymur - amazing setting, lovely unusual room, fabulous hot tubs, friendly and helpful, lovely atmosphere … Winter in Iceland.Mrs. G. - Hampshire

Experiences In Iceland

Discover Our Iceland

& why we enjoy this wild country

Wildlife

Whales, birds & more

Adventures

From Icelandic horses to snorkelling

Reykjavik

Iceland's vibrant capital

Spas & hot springs

Warm ways to enjoy Iceland

Waterfalls

Spectacular cascades

Discover Our Iceland - Snippets that make your holiday enjoyable

Sitting on a hilltop gazing across the Alpine peaks of the West Fjords to the ocean.

Swimming underground in the warm waters of a lava tube.

Discovering and bathing in remote hot springs.

Eating skyr.

Buying reels of Icelandic wool in Alafoss.

Sunbathing on deck on the ferry to Flatey and beyond.

Crossing the wilderness of the interior.

Endless miles across lava fields and black sands with Sigur Ros playing on the car stereo.

Soaking in the views from a private hot tub at Glymur.

Camping alone under Dynjandi.

Eating sumptuous cuisine at Budir.

Taking coffee at the cowshed cafe.

Climbing to an extinct volcano rim and gazing in.

Cruising past huge icebergs at Jokulsarlon.

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Wildlife - Whales, birds & more

Husavik is the self-designated whale watching capital of Europe thus making this small northern town the place to go to for cetaceans in Iceland but it is not the only destination. Around the coast you will find small operators running whale watching excursions and even the capital, Reykjavik, has daily departures into the bay in search of minke whales and dolphins.

Having said that, from Husavik the trips into the rich fishing grounds of Skjalfandi Bay are excellent and the atmosphere of anticipation in searching for one or more of 9 species of whales found here as well as white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoise, all with a backdrop of rugged mountain peaks all adds to the excitement. Most commonly humpback whales are seen on more than 80% of excursions, minke whales on around 40% of excursions and blue whales on approximately 5 – 10% of trips. White-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises have similar viewing figures to minke and blue whales respectively. Other cetaceans such as fin, sei and killer whales are seen on fewer trips into the bay. Sperm, northern bottlenose and pilot whales have also been recorded.

The only other large mammals likely to be encountered around Iceland are the reindeer that graze in the east and Arctic foxes that are confined primarily to the Hornstrandir peninsula in the far northwest and are best reached on special trips that we can organise.

Bird watching is also popular in Iceland, partly for the sheer number of sea birds returning each spring. There are huge numbers of Atlantic Puffins and Kittiwake that come back to nest and raise offspring as well as Little Auks, Razorbills, Guillemots, Fulmars, Gannets, Arctic Terns and many other species.

Iceland is the sole breeding ground for Harlequin Duck, Barrow's Goldeneye and Great Northern Diver; whilst inland Whooper Swans are present in the summer. Other species to look out for are Red-necked Phalarope, Golden Plover, Purple Sandpiper, Long-tailed Duck, Common Eider, Red-necked Diver, Gyr Falcon, Merlin, Snowy Owl, Arctic Skua, Long-tailed Skua, Great Skua, Ptarmigan and Snow Bunting.

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Adventures - As soft or as extreme as you dare

How can you not miss Icelandic horses, white-water rafting, quad-biking, even sailing with a yacht into remote bays to search for Arctic foxes, paddling a kayak on quiet fjords, snorkelling along a tectonic plate fissure or even swimming in the warm waters of a lava tube. Hiking out across the mountains to find hot springs to soak weary limbs and in winter snowmobiling across snow-laden glaciers. There is so much to discover outdoors in Iceland.

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Reykjavik - the vibrant capital of Iceland

We would recommend you take at least a day to explore Reykjavik. This vibrant city is the world's most northerly capital city and home to around two-thirds of Iceland's population. The eclectic mix of traditional colourful buildings intermingled with modern architecture provides beautiful vistas from the tower of the city's main landmark, Hallgrímskirkja, the church steeple that dominates the skyline.

This cosmopolitan city is packed with excellent musuems and galleries showcasing the nation's history, culture, nature and creativity. Spend time browsing the many tourist and local artisan shops on Laugavegur, which is also home to a myriad of dining options from funky cafes to fine dining. The Old Harbour is often overlooked by the tourist but definitly worth a visit with it's own array of museums, eateries and the departure point for whale and puffin watching tours. It also provides a wonderful backdrop of sea and snow-capped mountains.

A little further from town you will find the Perlan sitting atop Öskjuhlíd Hill, another great vantage point. Nautholsvik Beach is a favourite in the summer months and Laugardalur is not only home to the largest outdoor thermal pool in Iceland but also a family Park & Zoo plus beautiful botanical gardens featuring an impressive selection of Arctic flora.

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Spas & Hot Springs - Relax Icelandic style

Bathing is serious business in Iceland with public pools and hot tubs in pretty much every town and village, many of which are outdoors and geothermally heated. The Reykjavik area alone boast 17 public pools. In addition to the swimming pools there are also several natural hot spring spas, the most famous being the Blue Lagoon. Fontana Geothermal Baths, the Secret Lagoon and Myvatn Nature Baths are also in this category and all charge an entry fee.

However, many natural hot springs can be found amongst nature that are completely free of charge. You just need to know where to look! Many of our preferred hotels, especially those in the countryside, feature geothermally heated hot tubs and nothing beats relaxing in their warm waters on a cold night with the northern lights unfurling in the skies above.

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Waterfalls - Some of Europe's most delightful cascades

Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss and Svartifoss are all classic names that will come across as you travel from the edge of the interior on the Golden Circle and along the south coast. Each is very different and impressive in its own way and well worth visiting.

Whilst many get a taste of Iceland seeing some of these there are so many more that should be sought out, Dettifoss moving the highest volume of water in Europe over a single drop, also the smaller Godafoss in the north; the delightful veil of Dynjandi in the West Fjords, Glymur is a great hike in a narrowing ravine and Aldeyarfoss an off the beaten track is a photogenic gem on the northern side of the interior. There are plenty more to discover!

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Our Holiday Ideas

These short breaks cover the full range of wilderness activities in Finland both in the summer and winter. However, we have a great reputation for tailoring holidays to Finland exactly to your requirements.

SUMMERWINTER

SUMMER

WINTER

Accommodation

We have been using the core of this selection of hotels in Lapland and eastern Finland for many years and have been working with some companies in Finland long before some were built. Consistent reports from clients confirm that these are all great choices for holidays in Finland.


I wanted to spend my birthday in a place that would reflect the longing and adventurous spirit that I have carried with me all my life and the thought of spending time in a place as wild as Iceland and walk the lava fields of Budir, surpassed all my hopes and dreams for my birthday wish. Wildlife & Wilderness the company, helped to provide memories of mist and snow and glaciers, together with sitting in a hot tub under a multitudinous starry night and wake up on my birthday, to sit in a hot tub and watch the sun rise. They organised and provided a perfect short holiday for my husband and myself as smooth as the glacier we walked on. Thank you.Mrs. J. - London

About Iceland

Iceland feels like another world with its terrific living geology and geography that creates vast lava fields descending from snow-capped peaks. There are mudpools, geysers, thermal springs and waterfalls in wonderful landscapes and any Iceland tour is likely to explore much of this.

The easiest way of getting around on summer holidays in Iceland is to self-drive anything from a small car to being more adventurous with a 4x4. Between June and September it is easy to cover Reykjavik, the south coast and possibly the Snaefellsnes peninsula in a week. A longer self-drive holiday could see you touring around the ring road that circles Iceland. Today this road and many others are in good condition allowing for easier travel and longer spent exploring sites of interest. However, many tours in Iceland spend too long travelling and we like to design itineraries that get you to the really interesting places and give you time to linger.

With enough time we would always recommend discovering the beauty of the West Fjords and Snaefellsnes peninsula, enjoying the ferry Baldur travelling through the islands to connect the two regions.

For the more adventurous hikes, horse riding and rafting trips can be included in tailor made holiday itineraries. Iceland is also great place for photography holidays, particularly for the landscapes and we can help you with finding some good locations.

This fascinating land holds a wealth of wildlife, particularly birds that seek refuge here from Atlantic and Arctic waters. Of course, Iceland is ringed by a terrific coastline and the seas here are rich feeding grounds that attract at least 6 species of whales including blue and humpback whales and whale watching in Iceland is certainly some of the best in the world. Whale watching excursions run daily from Husavik in the north and Reykjavik as well as from a number of smaller settlements. During the summer months nature is at it's most active and on the most north-westerly peninsula of Hornstrandir you can study Arctic foxes with an expert and revel in the birdlife that nests on these remote cliffs whilst enjoy wilderness walks.

Winter is the time for short breaks, usually in search of the northern lights and then its best to be away from the bright lights of the capital and there are a number of good country hotels that remain open during the winter. During the day you can still visit the famous sights of Geysir and Gullfoss waterfall or enjoy adventures hiking on glaciers, snowmobiling or even diving in the Silfra rift. We can also arrange multi-day journeys by super jeep to explore remote areas. In the natural world this is also the time when orcas come into the fjords chasing herring and there is the wonderful opportunities to go whale watching during the day and observing the aurora borealis at night.

Seasons

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Iceland Travel Information

CAPITAL Reykjavik

TIME ZONE GMT - no daylight saving time

FLIGHTS

To: Keflavik
Airlines: Icelandair, British Airways
Flight time: approx. 3 hours
Good network of domestic flights from Reykjavik and flights onwards to Greenland

HEALTH

Tetanus is recommended. You should consult your G.P. for up to date and precise details before travelling.

WEATHER

Land of ice and fire. Being an isolated island in the North Atlantic means that Iceland receives a good proportion of bad weather and rains. However fine days are often experienced particularly in early summer and early autumn. Winters can be cold with snowfall making travel by 4x4 vehicle necessary.

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