Discover Iceland’s fascinating past and spectacular natural beauty at the award-winning Wilderness Center!  

Stay at  the Wilderness Center, an award-winning holiday farm and living history/culture centre.  Enjoy spectacular wilderness nature, local culture and delicious meals in a home-like atmosphere.

We’ve added in lots of local cusine and unforgettable experiences unique to East Iceland.   You’ll have great stories to share with friends and family. Add in some optional activities or simply indulge in some “digital detox” in an inspiring setting. You’ll also stay in Reykjavik several nights, a great opportunity to combine city and wilderness experiences in one stay!

Highlights:

  • Find inspiration and relaxation in a tranquil, scenic location on the edge of the wilderness
  • Sleep in a truly authentic, historic setting.
  • Experience local food, including a wilderness dinner expertly prepared with ingredients foraged from the highlands
  • Discover constellations at a unique wilderness stargazing station
  • Enjoy opportunities to meet area locals
  • Walk in Iceland’s most famous forest restoration project
  • Enjoy great value since all meals and many experiences are included during your stay at the Wilderness Center

Why East Iceland?

  • This region bordered by wilderness highlands and steep fjords is one of Iceland’s best areas to meet locals
  • It has some of Iceland’s oldest land area—a genuine “classroom” for geology buffs
  • It’s full of legends about Vikings, monsters and elves
  •  It’s the only part of Iceland that is home to reindeer,
  • This part of Iceland is becoming famous for its locally-sourced culinary culture
  • East Iceland has the country’s largest forest- and its first environmental project

About the Wilderness Center

The award-winning  and locally-owned Wilderness Center opened in 2016.  It combines history, nature, local life and home-like accommodation in one setting.  The  Wilderness Center  is located about an hour from Egilsstadir in East Iceland. 

The Wilderness Center was developed by a  film-maker and a historian who wanted to involve visitors in Iceland’s history.  When you cross the old wooden bridge at the Wilderness Center, you’ll step into the past. Buildings, interior decorations, food, activities and your hosts help to bring the past to life. The Center’s accommodation is in artfully renovated historic buildings with a few modern touches.  You’ll  experience Iceland’s history in cozy comfort.    You are always welcome to chat with your hosts in the kitchen as they prepare your delicious meals.

You can tailor your experience with a range of locally-guided add-ons.   All activities include a touch of storytelling, in the tradition of the Icelandic Sagas!

Accommodation:

Experience Icelandic history, whether it is a 1940s farmhouse bedroom or a cozy bedroom with a vintage explorer’s theme.  All rooms have  Wi-Fi.  Please note the  clean and comfortable bathroom facilities are shared.  The Old Farmhouse has 4 twin rooms sharing 1 bathroom with toilet, sink and shower.  The Basecamp has 4 twin rooms with 1 shared bathroom with toilet, sink and shower.

Want private bathrooms?  Why not  upgrade to the “Landowner’s Suite,” a double room with traditional Nordic décor and private bathroom.  This room is also perfect for families!

Included

  • 2 nights at Reykjavik Lights Hotel or similar with private facilities, including breakfast (except arrival day)
  • 2 nights at the Wilderness Center in history-themed room with shared bathroom facilities (upgrade option available), including breakfast
  • Round-trip flights Reykjavik-Egilsstadir-Reykjavik (excluding airport taxes)
  • Round-trip transfer between Egilsstadir airport and the Wilderness Center
  • Lunch on Day 2 and 3
  • Dinner on Day 2 and 3
  • Light afternoon refreshments (Icelandic afternoon coffee) on Day 2
  • Admission to the interactive, multi-media Wilderness Museum (Day 2)
  • Guided visit to a scenic abandoned farm  (Day 2)
  • Guided visit to the  Wilderness Center Stargazing Center (includes campfire, hot chocolate, use of blankets) (Day 2)
  • Guided visit to a local traditional sheep farm (Day 3)
  • Visit and guided walk in Hallormsstaður Forest
  • Visit to Egilsstadir town (Day 4)

Not Included:

  • Breakfast on arrival day
  • International airfare
  • Baggage porterage at airport/hotel/Wilderness Center
  • Personal travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Round-trip transfers between Keflavik airport and Reykjavík hotel and between Reykjavík Domestic airport and Reykjavik hotel
  • Alcoholic beverages during meals on Day 2 and 3 (available for purchase)
  • Beverages, snacks, lunches, dinners unless otherwise noted in itinerary
  • Guaranteed early check-in or late check-out (check-in time for most hotels in Iceland is 14:00/2:00pm)
  • Any service not specifically listed under “included”

Important

  • Departures are on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays

2018 departures:  1 October – 17 December

2019 departures:  3 February – 25 April.  No departure on 18 Apr, 2019

  • Minimum of 2 people required to guarantee each departure
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Day 1

Arrival

Once you have landed at Keflavik Airport in Iceland, please pick up your luggage and head through customs. Transfer on your own to Reykjavik and check-in at your hotel in Reykjavik city.   Airport transfer is not included.  We are happy to help you arrange shared or private transfers, perhaps even with a stop at the popular Blue Lagoon.

Enjoy the rest of the day as you please. You might consider a visit to the National Museum,  one of Iceland’s best history museums. We also recommend a visit to the Arbaer Museum.  This open air museum contains buildings from the last 170 years of Reykjavik’s history.

Overnight in Reykjavik.

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Day 2

A Local Welcome to Authentic East Iceland

Reykjavik – Egilsstadir- Wilderness Center- Abandoned Farm – Stargazing Station

Breakfast at your hotel. On your own, transfer to Reykjavik Domestic Airport (cabs plentiful, also city bus goes to the airport ). Morning flight to Egilsstadir, the largest town in East Iceland.  If the skies are clear you’ll have views of majestic Vatnajokull Glacier.   A local guide will meet you at the airport.  Drive along the scenic Lagarfljot River, home of a legendary river monster.

At the Wilderness Center, you’ll cross over a wooden bridge and into the Iceland of the past.  Take a guided tour through the unique wilderness museum’s interactive exhibits.  Afterwards, enjoy a delicious lunch with local specialties made in the Center’s cosy kitchen.

In the afternoon your guide takes you on a beautiful route along a glacier to a picturesque abandoned farm situated under numerous waterfalls.  Enjoy stories and view artifacts from the past. Those who dare can experience the adventure of crossing the glacial river in a renovated, hand-operated cable box!   Enjoy light refreshments in the Center’s kitchen.  Afterwards, relax on your own at the lodge/farm.  The opportunity to enjoy downtime while taking in the view of the peaceful valley is a delightful treat.

Tonight experience a local wilderness dinner prepared from ingredients gathered in the nearby highlands.  You can watch your local hosts cook and chat with them as they prepare dinner.

Tonight you’ll visit the Wilderness Stargazing Station.   Located in the reconstructed ruins of an old stone and turf sheep stable, the station has a fabulous view of clear skies.  The historic location and the peaceful atmosphere is a  magical experience for visitors. Use the Center’s powerful telescope for stargazing through the open roof and listen to stories about how settlers in Iceland used the stars as travel guides.  You’ll stay warm with wool blankets, sheep skins, a campfire and hot chocolate.  If the conditions are just right, the northern lights might be out dancing!  (The best time for northern lights is between 15 Sep and 15 April).

Overnight at the Wilderness Center

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Day 3

A Day to Enjoy the Beautiful, Tranquil Wilderness

Enjoy a delicious and plentiful Wilderness Center-style breakfast.  This morning visit the Center’s neighbour at the last working farm in Iceland where the sheep still stay in a traditional turf and stone stable.  This type of building style has its roots in Viking times.

Enjoy the rest of your day as you please.   You can either relax on your own, or you can take part in optional activities offered by the Wilderness Center.  (See below for options).

Lunch, dinner and overnight at the Wilderness Center

Wilderness Center Optional Tours for Day 3

 

Introduction to the Icelandic Horse-

One of the Wilderness Center’s special expertise is Icelandic horses, which were important to the area’s history and legends.  Visit the Wilderness Center’s stable, meet the horses and learn about what makes the Icelandic breed so special.  You can also add in a guided horseback ride, enjoying the winter landscapes and more insights into the area.  Your guides will select horses to suit each rider’s experience.

Hengifoss Waterfall 

 Hengifoss is one of the highest waterfalls in Iceland, measuring 128 m (420 feet) as it plunges from the highland plateau into a magnificent gorge. A colourful rock face surrounding the waterfall shows different layers from ancient volcanic eruptions . Take a guided walk (40-60 minutes) to the waterfall. On the way you can view another astonishing waterfall called Litlanesfoss. It is crowned by exceptionally high basalt columns-  a perfect subject for photographers!

 

Local Food Adventure – (Note:  Must be booked in Advance)

Upgrade your dinner on Day 3 to a special culinary experience!

 Are you are interested in tasting what the Authentic East has to offer and curious about local culture and history? Explore Iceland’s history through a 3- hour food tasting program!   Your taste buds will be delighted and your mind enlightened, as your Wilderness Center hosts share their knowledge and passion on this unique tour, ending in a dinner feast.

 

 

 

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Day 4

Iceland’s Most Famous Forest and Egilsstadir Town

Enjoy breakfast at the Wilderness Center.  You’ll have some relaxed time before departing from the Wilderness Center in the mid-morning.  Visit Hallormsstadur, Iceland’s largest forest and one of Iceland’s oldest environmental projects.  The forest is a popular local recreation area and has marked hiking trails.  Enjoy a guided walk, taking in the smell of birches and the sounds of the wind in the trees.

In Egilsstadir there is free-time time to explore this young but fast-growing town.  Lunch is on your own at one of the town’s restaurants.  You can enjoy an optional visit to the spa at the historical Lake Hotel Egilsstadir.  (Must be booked in advance). Another option is a visit to the town’s geothermal swimming pool (not included), a relaxing way to experience daily life.  Before heading to the airport, visit a local market with art and handicrafts from the locals.

Flight back to Reykjavík on Air Iceland Connect.  On your own transfer from Reykjavík Domestic airport to your hotel in Reykjavík.  Enjoy an evening in Reykjavík comparing the differences between the tranquil wilderness farm life and the bustling Reykjavík city scenes.  Dinner is on your own.

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Day 5: Departure

Breakfast at your hotel.    On your own, transfer to Keflavik airport for your international flight. On your own, transfer to Reykjavik. Airport transfer is not included, but we are happy to help you arrange shared or private transfers.

Please note:  The itinerary might have minor changes due to winter weather conditions.

Northern lights are a natural phenomenon and sightings, therefore, cannot be guaranteed.

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