Iceland is another one of those Chilly Destinations on our Hot List! From the steaming hot springs and slumbering volcanoes to the ancient glaciers and grassy pastures; Iceland is a land of raw natural beauty, still echoing with the sound of Viking chants. This is a unique destination like no other place on earth, drawing together an eclectic collection of awe-inspiring sights into an island of just 103,000 km2 in size. This Journey, a bespoke Entourage Escape, family members came from across the globe to ride snowmobiles, chase the Northern Lights, enjoy glacier picnics and at end of day, gather at their private lodge with heated pool and private chef.
Where else on earth can you scuba dive crystal-clear glacial waters between two continental plates or be lowered into the heart of a volcano? A perfectly sized island lost in the icy Atlantic can realize the dreams of the most seasoned of travelers. Maybe it’s chasing the Northern Lights in soulful volcanic scenery with no light or air pollution. Or driving across centuries-old glaciers and majestic volcanoes in robust super-jeeps, stopping for a sensational photographic moment next to thundering waterfalls, or steaming geysers. Or why not explore the extra-terrestrial topography of Iceland on board a private helicopter poised to land next to a remote local restaurant where humar, the local lobster, is served in abundance? From design hotels in eclectic Reykjavik- where you will experience the fine and fashionable Nordic lifestyle- to luxury expeditions and mobile-tented camps built on ice-blue glaciers, Iceland has it all.
The rugged landscapes were shaped by the forces of the earth – lava, fire, and ice, resulting in dramatic moonscapes, towering waterfalls, geothermal lakes, and magical ice caves which has captured the imagination of many Hollywood producers. In fact, enchantment is woven into the fabric of Iceland, which is rich in folklore tales of elves, fairies, and trolls. Two-thirds of the sparse population of 372,000 are scattered across windswept villages and towns while one-third reside in the vibrant cultural hub of Reykjavik, the capital.
Iceland is the best place in Europe for whale-watching, with humpback whales, minke whales, northern bottlenose whales, and the largest of all, blue whales, being a common sight in the icy waters. Cantering across fields and black beaches on Icelandic horses, a unique and robust breed, offers a profound connection with the landscape. Animal lovers can also enjoy bird-spotting waterfowl, harlequin ducks, puffins, and even golden-tufted Slavonian grebes.
More than 30 active volcanoes help support the countless bubbling hot springs and geothermal lakes. This geothermal power has been harnessed to create green energy for homes but also offers opportunities for relaxation and pampering in pools and saunas, beneath the Northern Lights or the pink hues of the Midnight Sun.
Arrival at Keflavik International Airport proceed to your accommodation in Reykjavik.
Day One -Meet your private driver-guide, and depart towards Reykjanes peninsula to see the newest Lava field in Iceland, after the volcanic Eruption in Geldingadalur, Fagradalsfjall.
This first eruption in the Reykjanes Peninsula in about 800 years provides a unique opportunity to study the geologic mysteries of the region and is open for all to enjoy! After being shaken by months of increasingly disruptive earthquakes, including thousands in the past weeks, Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula is finally experiencing the volcanic eruption that many geologists suspected was on its way. The eruption was ongoing for 6 months straight and leaves a dramatic new and warm lava field.
As you drive along the Reykjanes peninsula, you are constantly in the presence of the roaring Atlantic Ocean, endless lava fields, and volcanic craters. An alien landscape, decorated by windblown palagonite and petrified troll formations.
Continue to the iconic Blue Lagoon & spend a relaxing afternoon at the Retreat Spa. Carved into an 800-year-old lava flow, the spa at the Retreat brings you into harmony with nature and the timeless powers of the Blue Lagoon’s revitalizing waters. Transporting your mind and body to new dimensions of peace and rejuvenation, the spa journey takes you through an underground realm of inspiring design and radiant wellness.
The spa journey culminates with the Blue Lagoon Ritual. In a spacious sanctuary of interconnected chambers, you cover your body with the three treasures of geothermal seawater: silica, algae, and minerals. Silica brings radiance and cleansing. Blue Lagoon algae bring nourishment and anti-aging. Minerals bring exfoliation and revitalization. Ultimately, the Blue Lagoon Ritual opens new horizons of serenity and well-being.
Dinner at the Famed Moss restaurant.
Day Two Meet your food guide in the lobby and depart on a private food walk in Reykjavik. Icelandic food has developed from simple beginnings to modern ingenuity, still infusing many of the same ingredients while creating new and enticing flavor profiles. Traditional cuisine has always involved a diet of meat and fish, but while people’s palates have transformed, so have many dishes. Not only can you find meat-centered meals at local restaurants, but a range of vegan/vegetarian options, too! On a food walk around Reykjavik, you’ll discover Icelandic cuisine at its very best as you taste elements of history and future in an exciting selection of bites! You’ll be sampling so many exquisite dishes it’ll be more than enough to leave you satisfied once your food adventure concludes. Savor some of the freshest recipes you can find in the capital and learn how Icelanders have made their food the finest of the Nordic countries.
Private Chef’s table experience in a local boutique delicatessen with a team of award-winning chefs.
Day Three Meet your private driver-guide, and head towards Thorlakshofn for the private Lava tunnel experience.
Journey into Raufarhólshellir is a unique experience and a great opportunity to witness the inner workings of a volcanic eruption as one walks in the path of lava that flowed during the Leitahraun eruption, which occurred east of the Bláfjöll mountains about 5200 years ago. Every winter spectacular ice sculptures are formed inside the entrance of the cave making the experience of visiting the lava tunnel even more breathtaking.
Next – continue to Thingvellir National Park the site of the original Althing, the actual founding place of the oldest democratic parliament in the world. This area is noted for its spectacular lava formations and being the only place in the world where you can see the tectonic plates drift apart. Today Thingvellir is an outstanding national park, the jewel in the crown of Iceland’s historical sights, by many considered the most important one where the protected area will always be the property of the Icelandic nation.
Continue to Laugarvatn and enjoy traditional geothermal bakery experience. Icelandic people make the bread following an old recipe, dig it into the warm ground and bake it for 24 hours, then dig the bread up, and it’s delicious! Come and see for yourself!
Afternoon arrival to your private Hvitarnes Luxury Lodge
Get your adrenaline pumping with a snowmobiling adventure across Iceland’s frozen landscapes. With an abundance of glaciers, icy valleys, and snowy hills, there are plenty of opportunities to rush through glistening scenery on the back of these sturdy vehicles. This journey will have you cruising over Iceland’s second-largest glacier, Langjökull, where you can experience the vast, slick surface of this famous landmark.
Glacier Buffet – Picnic Lunch Experience on the Glacier
On the way back from the glacier stop at one of the most impressive waterfalls in Europe, Gullfoss Golden Waterfall. Here you will see thousands of tons of icy water thunder majestically down in a double-fall into a deep gorge from the glacier Langjökull. The scale of Gullfoss and the thundering roar of the water must be seen to be believed.
You will have the unique opportunity to get up close to the very brink of the waterfall and feel the glacial water spray on you as you admire its sheer power. Next visit Haukadalur valley to see the famous Geysir, the “geyser” which gave its name to all other erupting hot springs. While Geysir hasn’t been particularly active recently, one of the most active, and reliable, geysers in the area is just 50 meters away from Geysir. Strokkur is capable of shooting water 90 feet high and erupts every five minutes on average.
There are also about 30 smaller geysers and hot pools in the area, including one named Litli Geysir (‘Little Geysir’), making this area a thrilling hub of geothermal activity.
Evening return back to your Luxury Lodge . Dinner is served by your private chef.
Late in the evening – Northern Lights Hunt!
Day Four Meet your private driver-guide at the Lodge. Today, you’ll experience the most scenic region in Iceland: the south coast.
The south coast of Iceland boasts some of the youngest geological landscapes in the country, many of which formed during the last Ice Age! A full-day journey will introduce you to the most awe-inspiring features of Icelandic nature.
Travel as far as Vík, a charming village noted for its proximity to the black sands of Reynisfjara, as well as the Reynisdrangur formations; famous basalt structures concealing tales of ancient trolls. Along the way, you’ll get to stop by the popular Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, each one cascading with singular beauty. Surround yourself with volcanoes, glaciers, mountains, and hot springs that will transport you to an inspiring, fairytale world! You will embark on a private glacier walk at the picturesque glacier outlet Sólheimajökull (a part of the Mýrdalsjökull ice cap) on the south coast of Iceland nearby Skógar and Vík. Glacier walk is a great glacier adventure where you can try for yourself how it feels to walk on ice.
It is about 30 minutes’ walk from the base to the glacier. You walk through the varied landscape on our way, formed by the glacier for the past thousands of years. There you will see how fast the glacier has been melting for the past 15 years.
After safety briefing and a lesson in ice walking we will head onto the glacier to experience this unique environment with some amazing terrain with crevasse, sink holes and ice ridges. Sólheimajökull is the southernmost glacier in Iceland, the ice is up to about 200 meters thick, and the total size with the ice cap Mýrdalsjökull is about 600 km2. Underneath the main ice cap is the caldera of the volcano Katla, one of Iceland’s biggest volcanoes.
Evening return to your Luxury Lodge.
Day Five – Meet your private driver and transfer for your departure flight
Multiple options for Iceland- we also have a marvelous private farm where you can choose from mountain biking and fly fishing to sea kayaking and whitewater river rafting. Enjoy salmon and arctic char Fishing in the most exclusive rivers Iceland…
It doesn’t get more off-the-grid than the Fljót Valley on the mountainous Troll Peninsula in northern Iceland. The private lodge was named one of 2023’s “Best Hotels in the World” on Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List, embodies an adventurous spirit fueled by deep connections to extraordinary landscapes. This remote area is a gateway for adventures ranging from skiing to sea kayaking and the perfect location for viewing the Aurora Borealis due to its notable lack of artificial light.
Located on a converted sheep farm, it blends into the natural landscape with its black timber cladding and living roof. Floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the property embrace the surrounding peaks and allow for an optimal perspective on the colorful skies dancing outside.
The winter season, from November through mid-March, may be short on sunlight, but days are still packed with adventures, like whale watching in the surrounding fjords, astro-touring the celestial events in our backyard, and fat biking groomed trails around the valley.
Back at the farm, many guests choose to spend entire days in our spa, hopping from the geothermal-heated indoor/outdoor pool to our Isopod flotation tanks and outdoor Viking sauna. And this time of year, our pool provides front-row seats to view the ghostly Northern Lights.