Into the Blue – Whale Watching in Iceland

from £3181
excluding flights *
8 nights Jun

Overview

The ultimate Iceland holiday for marine-wildlife enthusiasts, this 9-day small-group holiday led by award-winning guide, Cathy Harlow, combines spectacular landscapes with three whale watching hot spots as you travel around the country under the midnight sun. This itinerary is new for 2019 and exclusive to Discover the World.

Highlights

  • Whale watch in four locations around Iceland
  • Iceland expert Cathy Harlow to guide and accompany you
  • Bathe in two geothermal spas
  • Experience the midnight sun

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • Daily breakfast, 2 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Excursions as per itinerary
  • Four whale-watching excursions in three locations
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection

Full description

Discover the land of fire and ice; where fjords and other-worldly volcanic landscapes have been carved out over centuries by glaciers and rolling magma. Iceland is Europe's most sparsely populated country where you can be sure of a warm welcome.

This 9-day tour combines the stunning scenery of this Nordic island with the awe-inspiring experience of witnessing marine giants. Off the tip of the west coast's Snaefellsnes peninsula, where the Gulf Stream and the East Greenland current meet, sperm whales and orcas arrive in June to feast in the rich seas. This spot is where you'll have your first chance to see these watery wonders - cruising at a safe distance.

Husavik, Iceland's whale watching capital

Then in the north of Iceland, from a former herring station, you will set sail into the stunning Eyjafjordur. Humpbacks have taken a liking to this sheltered fjord in recent years, so there's a good chance you'll catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures. Further along the north coast lies Husavik, the first place in Iceland to be settled by a Norse man, Viking Gardarr Svavarsson and a top whale watching location due to the frequency of white-beaked dolphins and minke, humpback and blue whales entering the bay. It's here on the summer solstice that you will board a boat to keep one eye on the sun skimming the horizon and the other looking for tell-tale blowholes breaking the surface.

Throughout this trip, there are many other moments that will also live long in the memory. Marvel at the snow-capped Viknafjoll mountains, while taking a dip in the geothermal pools overlooking a stunning bay. Take a tour between Dimmuborgir's monumental lava pillars and walk among steam vents. Admire Europe's most powerful waterfall in Dettifoss. And keep your eyes to the sky to catch a glimpse of a white-tailed eagle or another of the many bird species that visit this incredible island.

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25 Years of Whale Watching in Iceland
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Prices & Dates *

Airfares are quoted separately to the holiday price and start from around £120 per person with Icelandair (with higher fares during peak times). When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

Prices from per person

Departure Duration Twin Price Single price Status of Tour
15 June 2019 8 nights £3,181 £3,690 Available

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • Daily breakfast, 2 lunches, 6 dinners
  • Coach and guide (except in Reykjavik)
  • Four whale-watching excursions in three locations
  • Transfers to and from Reykjavik
  • Sightseeing in two national parks and Lake Myvatn
  • Entry to Geo Sea spa and towel
  • Entry to Myvatn Nature Baths and towel
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection »

Group Size

This escorted group requires a minimum of 15 participants in order to operate, and will have a maximum of 25.

Note: on occasion tours may operate with less than the minimum number of participants specified above (or exceed the maximum number indicated) – please refer to our booking conditions for more details

Itinerary & Accommodation

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: Arrive Iceland

Transfer to Hotel Klettur in Reykjavík. Explore at leisure Iceland's quirky pint sized capital.

Day 2: Explore Snaefellsness

Meet the group and your guide and driver at the hotel in the morning and set off for the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, a drive of around two and a half hours. You will visit the historic coastal village of Stykkisholmur, looking for white-tailed eagles as you head along the north shore of the peninsula to Kirkjufellsfoss, a much-admired waterfall framed by one of Iceland's most photographed mountains, pyramid-shaped Kirkjufell. In Snaefellsjokull National Park, you will explore other-worldly landscapes at the foot of the mystical ice-topped volcano made famous by Jules Verne in his 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth'. You will end your day at the tiny fishing port of Arnarstapi.

Day 3: Whale watching from Olafsvik

Transfer to Olafsvik and board the stable and roomy boat. Head out to sea on our first whale watch. June is prime time to see orcas and sperm whales gathering to feed in rich seas off the tip of the peninsula, where the meeting of the warm Gulf Stream and cold East Greenland current produces a banquet across the food chain. Back in Olafsvik, you may witness some of the festivities as the locals celebrate their National Day. In the afternoon you will return to Arnarstapi with stops in and around the National Park.

Day 4: North Iceland

After breakfast you will set off to drive north of Iceland, winding among scenic mountains, valleys and fjords, stopping for photographs and occasional leg stretches. You will stay overnight at Hotel Kjarnalundur, close to the town of Akureyri.

Day 5: Eyjafjordur whale watching tour

Hjalteyri, a former herring station, you will board a traditional oak fishing boat for a whale watching tour in beautiful Eyjafjordur. The sheltered fjord has become a humpback hotspot. Back in Akureyri, you visit the town and its much-admired botanic garden. In the afternoon, we drive east to Godafoss, a stunning waterfall then head for the Myvatn area for a relaxing soak in a steaming geothermal lake.

Day 6: Whale watching on Skjalfandi Bay

Take a morning whale watch from Husavik, just north of Myvatn. Scenic Skjalfandi Bay, has been a prime whale watching location since 1995, offering encounters with minke whales, humpbacks and white-beaked dolphins. From time to time they are joined by majestic blue whales and other species, who turn up to feed in the bay, along with many seabirds, among them puffins, guillemots, kittiwakes and eider ducks. With the snow-capped Víknafjoll range as a backdrop, you couldn't invent a more photogenic location. Back on land, you will head for Husavik's Geo Sea Spa for a soak in geothermal pools overlooking the bay. In the afternoon, explore the surreal surrounds of Lake Myvatn, walking among the Skutustadir pseudo-craters. Then stroll through Dimmuborgir's monumental lava pillars and over a colourful geothermal landscape, pitted with steam vents and mud pools.

Day 7: Dettifoss and midnight whale watch

Enjoy a leisurely morning to relax or explore around the hotel. In the afternoon, you will set off by coach to the Jokulsa Canyon to visit Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall, which thunders over a 45m drop into an impressive gorge. Following the tumultuous glacier-fed river northwards you will come to Asbyrgi, whose horseshoe-shaped gorge shelters an idyllic woodland. You will stop to look for puffins on the Tjornes Peninsula en route to Husavik, where you will enjoy dinner. At 10pm, you will board the boat for a special midnight whale watch on the longest day of the year. Enjoy the wildlife under the midnight sun, which at this time of year just skims the horizon to the north.

Day 8: Fly to Reykjavik

After a lie-in and a late breakfast, you will leave the hotel for the drive back to Akureyri and your afternoon flight to Reykjavík. Transfer to the hotel in Reykjavík.

Day 9: Depart Iceland

Transfer to Keflavik Airport for your return flight.

Hotel Klettur, Reykjavik

Iceland

Grade: Standard

Type: Hotel

Hotel Klettur is situated a short walk from the heart of Reykjavik.

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Hotel Kjarnalundur

Iceland

Grade: Standard

Type: Hotel

Hotel Kjarnalundur is perfectly located on the outskirts of Akureyri, just 3.5 km away.

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Hotel Arnarstapi, Snaefellsnes

Iceland

Grade: Standard

Type: Hotel

A modern hotel set in the picturesque village of Arnarstapi on the Snaefellsnes peninsula offering great mountain and ocean views.

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Hotel Laxa, Myvatn

Iceland

Grade: Standard

Type: Hotel

Hotel Laxa is a 3-star property located in a prime location south west of Lake Myvatn

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Excursions

Your Guide

Cathy Harlow

A true Iceland expert, Cathy has worked as a guide in Iceland for 25 years, and will be leading this special small-group holiday.

"Having worked as a whale-watching guide for over eight years with Discover the World, this will be a truly unique celebration of Iceland's whales for first timers and seasoned cetacean spotters alike"

Cathy is author of the Horizon Visitors' Guide to Iceland and contributor to several other publications on travel on the island. From 2006 to 2008 she worked during three winter seasons as a whale watch guide in Tysfjord and Lofoten in northern Norway, where hundreds of orcas gathered to feed on overwintering herring in the fjords. Sometimes working alongside orca research teams, she gathered a wealth of knowledge on killer whales, one of the most enigmatic of cetaceans. Cathy has also worked as a natural history guide and tour leader in Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Azores, Dominica and Bahamas. Read Cathy's profile

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