You are invited to join Prof. R i c h a r d D. L i t t l e’s
June 23- July 4, 2013
Fantastic Landscapes Tour to ICELAND
12 DAYS (prices estimated)
$ 3200 pp/do*
plus air ($700)
*PER PERSON, DOUBLE OCCUPANCY
single = + $1000
It’s our 32th year of Fantastic Landscapes Tours and Iceland, incredibly spectacular & pristine, has great tourist services and few crowds.
This is our 4th Iceland trip. Come explore with us. We know the best places!
4, 5, 6, 7
4, 5, 6, 7
is our destination.
This itinerary gives you the best of Iceland with a minimum of travel time.
We will offer the convenience of bus transportation to Logan and return (approx. $100).
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 bus (with bathroom), is driven by an 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.”
ITINERARY: June 23rd Travel Day : DEPARTURE FOR ICELAND, ONLY A 5 HOUR FLIGHT FROM BOSTON -- Lodging for the next 3 nights at the Grand, Reykjavik's best hotel. [The New England contingent will depart from Boston on Icelandair's afternoon flight.] (note you must arrange your own air flight)
June 24 ICELAND DAY 1: City Tour & Free Afternoon. 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 a town, Hvolsvollur, along the Ring Road. 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: The isolated natural area of Landmannalaugar is our destination today. Hot springs, glacial outwash, volcanic ash, explosion craters with lakes, and an obsidian lava flow are just some of the features to be seen in this beautiful but desolate area. Colorful rhyolite rock, high in silica content, make this area quite different from the typical grays and browns of basalt. You can soak in a hot-spring stream. DAY 6: Today we trade our 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 and Katla . We drive across meltwater steams, hike behind a beautiful waterfall and also into a secluded slot canyon, plus have a close look at the landscape-changing eruption effects of Eyjafjallajökull. DAY 7: 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. There are scenic, easy walks to the glacier margin, about 30 minutes away. Amazing explorations! DAY 8: 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, where you can sample one of the world's best tasting beers made from Iceland ice-water. DAY 9: 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 10: Return to Reykjavik with overnight at the Grand. DAY 11: Free Morning and Flight Home -- July 4th. 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, conveniently located to the "fantastic landscapes". 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 social worker wife and flower-lover, Suzanne, have been leading “Fantastic Landscapes” tours since 1981. Want to see participants’ comments? Email me for the file. You can also consult past participants via phone or email. What if there is a volcanic eruption and we cannot do the tour? We will reschedule as soon as possible and make tour refunds(*) for those not able to reschedule. (*) All refunds are contingent on the policies of the booked hotels and other travel providers. Earth View LLC will work to obtain refunds for the full amount as possible. Although it is expensive, buying travel insurance is your best bet for a full-coverage refund. "Full-coverage" policies cost about $1000 per person.
Š TO ENROLL: Send $100 per person deposit (check to “Earth View LLC) to hold your space, fully refundable until January 15th.
Š $2000 payment is due Feb. 1st. May 1st, balance due. (If you wish to modify the payment schedule to better fit your financial situation, please let me know.) Cancellation fees: after Jan. 15th = $50 per person; after March 1st, $100 per person; no refunds 30-days prior to trip.
R.D. Little / Earth View LLC
6 Grand View Ln, Easthampton MA 01027
contact me for a print copy of this brochure which has better formatting.