You are invited to join Prof. R i c h a r d D. L i t t l e’s June 15 - 26, 2012
fantastic Landscapes Tour to
It’s our 31st year of Fantastic Landscapes Tours and Iceland, incredibly spectacular & pristine, has great tourist services and few crowds. This will be our 4th trip. Come explore with us. We know the best places!
You will be immersed in the rural beauty of Iceland! Iceland has a mere 300,000 people in a classless, literate society. There is (or was) almost no unemployment and 80% of the population own their own homes. Tourism is an important part of their economy, and the Icelanders are glad to have you visit and appreciate their special country and culture. English is commonly spoken.
Are you excited about seeing glaciers calving icebergs into lakes or creating moraines as they slowly move down U-shaped valleys, or visiting impressive waterfalls carved by glacial meltwater streams into the volcanic landscape, or exploring black sand beaches and cliffed coastlines filled with birds? Have you ever wished you knew more about the fascinating stories that rocks and landscapes tell? Then this is the trip for you! [Please Note: We also greatly appreciate flowers, birds, and local culture and history.]
Our small group will see and experience the wonders of the Earth as we explore the incredible Iceland landscape and also its culture. This is indeed the best place in the world to see Plate Tectonics in action as well as active volcanoes, glaciers and rivers scraping and shaping their valleys. In our 12 days' excursion, we’ll see the best cross section of what makes Iceland famous. This tour minimizes travel time and maximizes “being there,” so you can get out and see this magnificent land. We have a minimum of hotel changes . Our really comfortable mini-bus (with a small bathroom), is driven by an excellent English-speaking Icelander for easy transit to scenic locations. You get the “story behind the scenery” with your tour leader, Greenfield Community College Prof. Emeritus geologist Richard Little plus meet and enjoy people who have similar interests in the natural world. In short, we have a lot of fun doing a great number of things in a landscape of exceptional beauty, as we learn about the diverse ecosystems and geologic processes that shape “Mother Earth.”
June 15th Travel Day : AFTERNOON DEPARTURE FOR ICELAND, ONLY A 5 HOUR FLIGHT FROM BOSTON
Lodging for the next 3 nights at the Grand, Reykjavik's best hotel
DAY 1: Free Morning, City Tour. DAY 2: Explore the coastline of SW Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula, hunt for olivine (peridot) crystals in the basalt of an eroded volcano, look for Puffins, and have a soak in the famous Blue Lagoon’s geothermal, salty, silica-rich waters. Emerge 10 years younger. Return to Reykjavik's Grand hotel. DAY 3: Depart Reykjavik. Today, prepare to be astounded by some of the world’s most incredible scenery: Thingvellir’s Rift Valley (due to Plate Tectonic “spreading”), Gullfoss Waterfall (one of the world’s most scenic), and the Strokker Geyser. Strokker is right next to the world’s original geyser (“Geysir”), which is now “out of order”. We will also have an Icelandic horse demonstration and a tour of the farm's geothermal greenhouses. The next 4 overnights will be at a comfortable small hotel in Hella.....(yes, you're going to Hell!) DAY 4: Westman Islands Day. Do you remember the famous 1973 eruption of a volcano that overran part of the town and almost ruined Iceland's major fishing port? Today we take the 50 minute ferry ride for a tour of this small island. Not far away is the volcano island of Surtsey which emerged from the sea in 1963. DAY 5: Today we trade our mini-bus for "super jeeps". These high clearance, 4 wheel drive vehicles will take us into Thorsmork (Thor's Forest), a remote valley surrounded by glacier capped volcanoes including Eyjafjallajökull . We drive across meltwater steams, hike behind a beautiful waterfall and also into a secluded slot canyon, plus have a close look at the eruption effects of Eyjafjallajökull. DAY 6: It's along the Ring Road today, following the coast to Skaftafell National Park with its incredible glacial landscape. The icecap "Vatnajokull" is the size of Rhode Island! Along the way is scenic Skogar waterfall and the coastal town of Vik. Lodging for the next 3 nights at the only hotel in the Park: the seasonal Hotel Skaftafell. DAY 7: Today is "Iceberg Day". We will board an amphibious boat to cruise amongst icebergs that have calved off one of Vatnajokull's outlet glaciers into the glacial lake Jokulsarlon. But this is just the "tip of the iceberg" of geo-excitement today. What happens next is a secret till you see it. For the afternoon we will explore the amazing glacial landscape of Skaftafell National Park, with their informative Visitors Center. DAY 8: Free Day. Take a long or short hike in Skaftafell National Park and / or plan other activities: arrange a glacier hike, explore the moraines and glacier margin near the Hotel. DAY 9: Return to Reykjavik with overnight at the Grand. DAY 10: June 26. Free Morning. Depart for the airport after lunch. Flight to Boston.
The Boston Icelandair flight usually leaves Iceland at 5 pm and arrives Logan at 6:30 pm.
Who goes on these “Fantastic Landscapes” Tours? Everybody….teachers, families with older kids, to eighty-somethings.
How strenuous is the “hiking”? If you like “nature walks” you’ll love our outings. Some people plan more strenuous activities than others, and our daily activities are geared to meet everyone’s goals, as much as possible. Where do we stay? Excellent hotels. I don’t know any geology! Should I go on this tour? Yes! Come and learn how to read the “record in the rocks ... the history in a grain of sand” and appreciate fantastic landscapes! We also spend time with flowers, birds, horses and other wildlife! Where do we eat? All breakfasts are included while on the tour. For many lunches we picnic in beautiful settings. Who is your tour leader? Richard Little is prof. emeritus of geology at Greenfield Community College, author of 2 books and 2 videos on Connecticut Valley geology. He and his retired social worker wife and flower-lover, Suzanne have been leading “Fantastic Landscapes” tours since 1981. Want to see participants’ comments? Go to our web site or call for a print copy. You can also talk with previous participants.
· Send $500 per person deposit (check to “Earth View LLC") to hold your space, fully refundable until January 15th.
· $1500 payment is due Feb. 1st. May 1st, balance due.
· Cancellation fees: after Jan. 15th = $50 per person; after March 1st, $100 per person; after May 1st other charges may apply including no refund within 30 days of departure. Buying travel insurance is recommended.
or phone: (413) 527-8536 We are always glad to talk to you!