Steve Bertrand & WGN present Iceland: Vikings, Sagas & Folklore

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Iceland – Vikings, Sagas & Folklore
departs June 2, 2017

Steve Bertrand and WGN Radio present a 9-day private group journey to Iceland from Chicago.

Departure:

Chicago: $4,199.00 per person* (includes all departure & government taxes.) *Single supplement is additional $1,200.

Package Includes:

Air: Round-trip air from Chicago O’Hare on Icelandair

Accommodations: 

      • Reykjavík – 2 nights, 4-star Icelandair Hotel Natura
      • Borgarnes area – 1 night, 3-Star Hotel Bifröst
      • Varmahlíð area – 2 nights, 3-Star Hotel Varmahlíð
      • Flúðir area – 9 night, 3-Star Icelandair Hotel Flúðir
      • Reykjavík – 1 night, 4-Star Icelandair Hotel Natura

Other Inclusions:

    • Breakfast each morning, except day of arrival
    • 4, three-course dinners
    • Professional Tour Director
    • Luxury motorcoach with services of a professional driver
    • Blue Lagoon
    • The Settlement Exhibition Reykjavík
    • Visit Gljúfrasteinn home and workplace of Halldór Laxness
    • Visit Thingvellir National Park
    • Visit Hraunfossar and Barnafoss Waterfalls
    • Visit the Icelandic Settlement center in Borgarnes
    • Visit Eiríkssataðir, the original home of Erik the Red
    • Visit Leifsbúð Museum
    • Visit the Vineland Exhibit of Leif Eiriksson
    • Visit Glaumbæ Folk Museum
    • Visit Hólar
    • Visit the geothermal site of Hveravellir
    • Visit Geysir & Gullfoss
    • Visit the Saga Center in Hvolsvöllur
    • Portfolio of travel documents
    • Hotel porterage of one suitcase per person
    • 24-hour Emergency Customer Service while in Iceland

Click here for the reservation form

For more information contact: Steve Bertrand at 847-606-6065 or steve@stevebertrandtravel.com

Please book early as space is subject to availability.

*Terms and Conditions: This is a Private Group Journey based on a minimum of 25 passengers to operate. Single supplement additional $1,200. Departure taxes and fuel surcharges are included.  Air inclusive rates are subject to availability and are based on departure from Chicago O’Hare on Icelandair. Not eligible for accrual of frequent flyer points/mileage. Above mentioned hotels are subject to change. Cancellations/Changes: Fares are non-refundable. For a full list of terms and conditions, please visit http://journeysconnect.com/about-1/group-terms-and-conditions

Itinerary (subject to change):

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DAY 1 – USA/REYKJAVÍK: Fly transatlantic overnight from Chicago to Reykjavík, Iceland. Dinner is served and in-flight entertainment is provided.

DAY 2 – ARRIVE REYKJAVÍK, ICELAND:  Welcome to Keflavík airport. Your guide will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall, ready to lead you to your private coach. Head for breakfast at Viking World. Afterwards, enjoy an energizing visit to one of Iceland’s most famous natural wonders, the Blue Lagoon. Here, you can rejuvenate after your flight with a relaxing bathe in the healing mineral waters before you continue to Reykjavík for check-in at your hotel. Your afternoon and evening are free.  Hotel Name: Icelandair Hotel Natura. (B)

DAY 3  – REYKJAVÍK:  We begin with a short drive to Bessastaðir, the official residence of Iceland’s President. Next is a stop at Perlan, situated on top of natural hot water storage tanks, where we enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the city. Then onto the old part of town where we visit Hallgrímskirkja church whose high steeple is a landmark visible from all over the city and beyond. In the city center we see the Icelandic Parliament which houses the world’s oldest legislative assembly. We also see City Hall, the Lutheran and Catholic cathedrals, as well as the bustling harbor area. We visit the Settlement Exhibition. In 2001 archaeological remains were excavated in Aðalstræti, which turned out to be the oldest relics of human habitation in Reykjavík. A wall fragment was found dating before 871 AD. During the excavation a hall or a longhouse from the 10th century was found as well. The hall and the wall fragment are now preserved at their original location as the focal point of an exhibition about life in Viking Age Reykjavík. The exhibition aims to provide insights into the environment of the Reykjavík farm at the time of the first settlers. Our last stop of the day will be at the Culture House to see many of the landmark books of Icelandic cultural history, dating from the introduction of printing in the sixteenth century to the present day.  Hotel Name: Icelandair Hotel Natura. (B)

DAY 4 – ÞINGVELLIR / KALDIDALUR / BORGARFJÖRÕUR: We leave the city and our first stop is Gljúfrasteinn, the former home and workplace of Halldór Laxness (winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1955). Onwards to Thingvellir, a National Park. We walk through the stunning natural beauty of this ancient historic site that is also full of geological wonders. Later we cross the mountain pass Kaldidalur and witness the rugged beauty of the Icelandic highlands before arriving in the fertile valley of Borgarfjörður. We stop at the picturesque Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls before heading to Reykholt, home of Snorri Sturluson, the eminent 13th century scholar, politician and Saga author. We drive to Borg Farm, the birthplace of Egill Skallagrímsson, Iceland’s most famous Viking poet from the Saga of Egill. Our last stop of the day is at the Icelandic Settlement center in Borgarnes for the exhibition of Egill Skallagrímsson. Dinner and overnight stay in the Borgarnes area. Hotel Name: Hotel Bifröst. (B/D)

DAY 5  –  LAUGAR / EIRÍKSSTAðIR / ÞINGEYRI / HVAMMSTANGI / VARMAHLÍð:  From Borgarnes we drive north to the fertile farmlands of Búðardalur. We visit Eiríksstaðir, the original home of Erik the Red and birthplace of his son Leif Eiriksson, two of the world’s most celebrated Vikings. At this living history archeological site you experience the places, artifacts, and activities that authentically represent the Sagas and Vikings of the past. A short drive down the road to brings us to Leifsbúð Museum and the Vineland Exhibit of Leif Eiriksson with scientifically verified tools and artifacts from the Viking Age. The Dalabyggð region is enchanting and magical, with its countless stories of elves, ghosts and sorcerers. The “Elf Colony” in the rock at Tungustapi is the setting for one of Iceland’s most-loved folktales but it is also the heart of the Laxdælasaga, one of Iceland’s historic Sagas. We drive via Laxárdalsheiði heath, along Vatnsnes peninsula to enjoy the extraordinary rock formation of Hvítserkur and hopefully spot some seals enjoying the scenery. We stop at the small church of Þingeyri, the former site of the first monastery established in Iceland in the early 12th century. Dinner and overnight stay in the Varmahlíð area. Hotel Name: Hotel Varmahlið. (B/D)

DAY 6  –  VARMAHLÍð / GLAUMBÆR FOLK MUSEUM / SAUðÁRKRÓKUR / HÓLAR / SIGLUFJÖRðUR:  We begin with a morning visit to the Glaumbær Regional History Museum and the old church at Víðimýri, considered to be an outstanding example and keepsake of Icelandic architecture. Onwards to Hólar, an important historical site in Iceland as a bishopric and is still today a respected learning center. Hólar played an important role in the medieval politics of Iceland. We visit the beautiful 18th century church and the archaeological site. We drive along the coast to Hofsós and enjoy an excellent view of majestic cliffs of Drangey Island, soaring 150 meters (500 feet) out of the ocean. This is where the great Icelandic outlaw, Grettir the Strong met his destiny in the 10th century. We stop at Hofsós for a glimpse into the difficult past conditions of ancient Icelandic fishermen. We visit the Icelandic Emigration Center dedicated to commemorate Icelandic emigrants to North America. We head on to Siglufjörður, an isolated fishing village nestled in steep mountains and an open fjord. Siglufjörður was the capital of the herring industry in its heyday during the bountiful herring years of 1905 – 1965 also known as the “Icelandic gold rush”. Dinner and overnight stay in the Varmahlíð area. Hotel Name: Hotel Varmahlið. (B/D)

DAY 7  – KJÖLUR / GEYSIR / GULLFOSS / SKÁLHOLT: Today we travel the highland track Kjölur, a legendary route mentioned in the Sagas. We stop at the geothermal site of Hveravellir and take a short walk to the natural warm pool and hot springs with colorful silica deposits. This area is a famous former outlaw refuge in ancient times, where their ghosts can still be seen as shadows moving across the desert. We drive onwards to the great Geysir area with boiling mud craters and erupting hot springs including Strokkur, which spouts every few minutes. Close by is Gullfoss, considered by many to be Iceland’s finest waterfall. We travel onwards to Skálholt bishopric, an important historic, cultural and political center until the year 1785. Dinner and overnight stay in the Flúðir area.  Hotel Name: Icelandair Hotel Flúðir. (B/D)

DAY 8  –  HVOLSVÖLLUR / VÍK / REYKJAVÍK:  We drive through an area of rich farmlands and majestic mountains, to the scene of the Saga of Njál, one of Iceland’s most famous works of medieval literature. On a clear day we may see the famous, still active Hekla volcano. We visit the Saga Center in Hvolsvöllur, and learn first-hand about the world of mythology, ocean voyages, and the discovery of new lands. The road leads us to the thundering waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, displaying seductive scenery and giving us the chance of getting close to the forces of nature. In the cliffs above the waterfalls we may see Fulmars nesting in the summer season. We continue to the Reynisdrangar rock formations and the village of Vík, surrounded by beautiful and impressive high bird cliffs and unique black sand beaches. We drive back to Reykjavík in the afternoon. Overnight stay in Reykjavík. Hotel Name: Icelandair Hotel Natura. (B)

DAY 9  – DEPARTURE:  Transfer to Keflavík Airport for the return flight.  (B)

Click here for the reservation form

For more information contact: Steve Bertrand at 847-606-6065 or steve@stevebertrandtravel.com

Please book early as space is subject to availability

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