Explore Reykjavik and the west fjords of Iceland through the eyes of an artist
Connect with other arts & cultural professionals from both Winnipeg and Iceland
Venture off the beaten track to explore the west fjords on a 6 day road trip
Discover the differences and similarities between Winnipeg, Manitoba and those people over the horizon
Partake in Iceland's many traditions and customs throughout the trip
The Itinerary is Set! (but flexible...)
Please note that the itinerary is subject to change based on local realities, weather conditions, and sporadic events that may happen if an opportunity
arises. These are the joys and adventures of travel and it is best to keep an open mind and go with the flow – you never know what will be around the corner.
Depart from Winnipeg on August 31, 2015
Day 1 (Sept. 1): Arrive early morning at Keflavik International Airport and take the Flybus to Reykjavik. Relax, unpack and receive a brief welcome & orientation from the group leaders. Meet for a group lunch followed by a light walking tour of the city. Dinner not included on this day.
Day 2 (Sept. 2): Reykjavik – Cultural Programming and free day to explore the city. Breakfast included.
Day 3 (Sept. 3): Reykjavik – Cultural Programming and free day to explore the city. Breakfast included.
Day 4 (Sept. 4): Road Trip Begins! – Drive to The Geothermal Energy Exhibition in Hellisheiðarvirkjun, then head to Hveragerði to see the town entirely running on steam power from the Earth. They cook bread by burying it in the ground. If time permits, continue on the Golden Circle Route to explore waterfalls and the geysers. Stop for a picnic lunch.
Then drive to Borgarnes. Buzzy Borgarnes and its broad Borgarfjörður were the landing zone for several famous Icelandic settlers. Inland, up the river twined valley, you'll find fecund farms leading to powerful stone strewn lava tubes and highlands, the gateway to ice caps beyond.
Day 5 (Sept. 5): Pack a picnic lunch & drive from Borgarnes to Djupalonssandur (134 km) with stops at the thermal springs and the Gerduberg basalt columns. Then venture to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.
Sparkling fjords, dramatic volcanic peaks, sheer sea cliffs, sweeping golden beaches and crunchy lava flows make up the diverse and fascinating landscape of the 100km long Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The area is crowned by the glistening ice cap Snæfellsjökull, immortalised in Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Good roads and regular buses mean that it’s an easy road trip, offering a cross section of the best Iceland has to offer in a very compact region.
Stykkishólmur, on the populated northern coast, is the region’s largest town and a logical base. Moving west along the northern coast, you'll pass smaller townships. On the western part of the peninsula, Snæfellsjökull National Park encompasses not only its glacier but bird sanctuaries and lava fields. The quiet southern coast has several good horse farms beneath towering crags.
Drive throughout the Park stopping at a Black Sand Lava Beach, a volcanic crater, and other scenic areas. Find a beautiful spot to have your picnic lunch. Today, the park is crisscrossed with hiking trails, and during proper weather it is possible to visit the glacier with a tour or guide.
Day 6 (Sept. 6): Drive to Patreskfjordur, stops along the way may include a ship wreck near Stykkisholmur, Drangnes Hot Tubs, the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft, Holmavik. Stop for lunch in Holmavik. After lunch stop in Nauteyrarlaug, Wild Hot Springs, and see the Litlibær, Cute Icelandic Cottage.
Day 7 (Sept. 7): Drive to Isafjordur, a quaint fishing village on Highway 61.
Hub of Westfjords adventure tours, and by far the region’s largest town, Ísafjörður (www.isafjordur.is) is a pleasant and prosperous place and an excellent base for travellers. The town is set on an arcing spit that extends out into Skutulsfjörður, and is hemmed in on all sides by towering peaks and the dark waters of the fjord.
The centre of Ísafjörður is a charming grid of old timber and tinclad
buildings, many unchanged since the 18th century, when the harbour was full of tall ships and Norwegian whaling crews. Today it is a surprisingly cosmopolitan place, and after some time spent travelling in the Westfjords , it’ll feel like a bustling metropolis with its tempting cafes and fine choice of restaurants. There’s hiking in the hills around the town, skiing in winter, and regular summer boats ferry hikers across to the remote Hornstrandir Peninsula.
Day 8 (Sept. 8): Drive from Isafjordur to Hraunsnef Country Hotel (heading back south). Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the fabulous scenery of the coastlines.
Day 9 (Sept. 9): Drive from Hraunsnef Country Hotel. Stop at Eiriksstadir, the home of Erik the Red on route to the interesting Lava Fields near Bifrost University.
Day 10 (Sept. 10): Depart for home.
Our accommodations throughout the trip will range from staying at boutique hotels in Reykjavik to Guest Houses throughout the Westfjords.
Here's a list of the places we will be staying at:
Borgarnes Bed & Breakfast http://borgarnesbb.is/groups/
Sundabakki Guesthouse in Stykkisholmur http://www.sundabakki.is
Guesthouse Stekkabol http://stekkabol.is
Einarshus in Bolungarvik http://www.einarshusid.is
Hraunsnef Country Hotel http://en.hraunsnef.is/
4th Floor Hotel http://www.4thfloorhotel.is