Iceland hotels, tour operators and Icelandair visited Toronto recently to inform visitors that it's easy to plan an Iceland vacation for every interest, from adventure to ecotourism.
Bus tours of Iceland
Gudmundur Jonasson Travel (www.gjtravel.is), for example, operates coaches, street buses and 4x4 vehicles for off the beaten track tours. The Iceland tour operator owns the 22-room Borgartun Guest House, in Reykjavik, and can arrange accommodations in hotels and guest houses in Iceland.
Iceland tours include the 10-day Mountain Highlights tour, which features whale watching from the village of Husavik, three hours of walking tours each day, two national parks, three nature baths, breakfast and dinner daily and a picnic lunch. Accommodation is in country hotels and summer hotels, which are used as boarding schools during the year.
Other Gudmundur Jonasson trips feature a circle tour of Iceland, with whale watching and three Iceland national parks — Snaefellsnes peninsula, Skaftafell and Pingvellir, a multi-adventure tour with mountain biking, whitewater rafting the Hvita River, Icelandic horse riding and walking on the Solheimajokull glacier.
Iceland driving tour
For visitors who want a self-drive Iceland vacation, Gudmundur Jonasson Travel arranges car rental, pre-booked accommodation and itineraries. The company also offers a 5-day New Year Festival tour, a 3-day Iceland weekend trip, rental cottages in Skagafjordur and Reykjavik Tourist Cards.
Excursions from Reykjavik include bus tours (Saga Valley, Geysir etc.), jeep adventures (Landmannalaugar, Hekla volcano etc.), horse riding tours (Reykjadalur Valley etc.), boat trips (Videy Island etc.) and air tours (Lake Myvatn, Westman Islands etc.).
Reykjavik Excursions (www.re.is) offers bus trips to Pingvellir, Geysir, Gullfoss, Vik, Skaftafell, Porsmork, Lake Myvatn, Dettifoss and many other Iceland attractions.
Visitors can buy passports which offer discounts on selected bus routes.
Travel packages to Iceland
Nordic Visitor (www.nordicvisitor.com) offers leisure and business travelers Iceland golf vacations, cottage holidays, spa and wellness vacations, honeymoons, romantic getaways, city breaks, winter trips, family vacations and self-drive tours.
Nordic Visitor also arranges bird watching, snowmobile trips, cave exploring, Icelandic horseriding, hiking, swimming, skiing, kayaking, river rafting, fishing, hunting, four-wheel drive mountain safaris and other outdoor activities in Iceland.
Icelandair (www.icelandair.is) publishes a Travel Planner, which helps visitors build their own Iceland vacation. Trips include guided nature tours, summer self drives, multi-sport vacations, spa and wellness packages, honeymoons, party weekends, pub crawls and active tours (glacier ice walks, lava tours, spelunking etc.).
The Icelandair Travel Planner offers a choice of hotels in Reykjavik (Radisson SAS Saga Hotel, Park Inn Island etc.) and in the Icelandic countryside. The trip-planning guide lists car rental rates in Iceland and suggests gourmet restaurants (e.g., Vox in Hilton Reykjavik Nordica Hotel) and casual restaurants in Reykjavik (Café Victor and Tapas Barinn).
Group travel to Iceland
Snaeland Grimsson (www.snaeland.is) specializes in group travel. Tours feature jeep safaris, river rafting, snowmobiling, horse riding, whale watching, teambuilding, city nightlife and restaurants with good hotels.
Isafold Travel (www.isafoldtravel.is) offers guided tailor-made group tours to Iceland. Group activities include guided self-drive tours in 4x4 vehicles, convoy tours to deserts, glaciers and lava fields and team building activities like ice climbing.
Iceland Excursions, Gray Line Iceland, (www.grayline.is) conducts scheduled day tours from Reykjavik (South Coast, Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon etc.), group coach trips, land arrangements for cruise ships, self-drive vacations, city and country breaks and Iceland vacation packages with hotels.
Gestamottakan (www.yourhost.is) is an Iceland destination management company that handles hotels and activities for conferences, meetings and groups. Customized tours include glacier trips, horse trekking, river rafting and guided hiking.
Is Hestar (www.ishestartravel.is) offers groups cultural tours to meet Icelanders in their homes, adventure trips, including river rafting and Super jeeps, angling and Icelandic horse riding at the Ishestar Riding Centre.
For incentives, Is Hestar offers the Viking Feast, an ice bar and teambuilding at Restaurant Josalir in the lava fields of Hafnarfjordur town.
Icelandic Farm Holidays (www.farmholidays.is) offers accommodation in more than 4,000 beds in 150 farmhouses, guest houses, country hotels and cottages. The tour operator and travel agency also arranges self drive tours, Iceland car rental, and group tours.
Seatours (www.seatours.is) offers a four-day nature cruise to Breidafjordur Nature Reserve. Highlights include Flately Island, sea angling, bird watching for puffins, shags, arctic terns and eider ducks, whale watching and the Bjarnarhofn Shark Museum. Besides three meals daily, participants can try Icelandic food specialties: dried fish, shark and Brennivin (Icelandic schnaps or Black Death).
A Unique Adventure Tour includes bird watching, nature and shellfish tasting. Seatours also conducts whale watching cruises for orcas, minke whales, dolphins and sperm whales. Ferry Balur trips bring visitors to Westfjords to see birds, seals and mountain scenery. On fishing trips, in Breidafjordur Bay, anglers can catch cod, halibut, redfish and coalfish.
Iceland hiking tours
Icelandic Mountain Guides (www.mountainguides.is) has several adventure trips. Day tours from Reykjavik include walking and ice climbing on the Solheimajokull Glacier, hiking to hot springs in the Hengill geothermal area, riding Icelandic horses and hiking amid boiling mud pools, solfataras and hotsprings at the Nesjavellir geothermal area.
A challenging climb brings hikers to the top of the highest mountain in Iceland, Hvannadalshnukur, which is 2,110 meters high. The climb takes 10 to 15 hours.
FA Travel (www.fatravel.is) also offers hiking trips, sea angling, bird watching and fishing. Hiking trips include Viknaslodir (Trails of the Deserted Inlets) between Borgarfjordur and Seydisfjordur.