Tour ID:
009283A-10
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The search for the best places on Earth to view a total solar eclipse has taken to some unusual destinations over the years. Travelers have journeyed to remote viewing sites in Libya, Madagascar, the Cook Islands and the Gobi Desert, to name just a few.The total eclipse of March 20, 2015, will be no different, as we travel to one of only two locations on the planet that are suitable for land-based viewing: the Faroes, a small cluster of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. Our newest eclipse adventure also explores neighboring Iceland, with its spectacular landscapes of mountains, volcanoes, glaciers and thermal springs – plus great opportunities to view the incredible aurora borealis.

10 Nights / 11 Days

Group size: [Group size]

2015 Departures:
March 17

2015 Faroe Islands Eclipse
Double: US$3,660
Single: US$4,460

2015 Islands Eclipse & Iceland Aurora
Double: US$6,960
Single: US$8,560

[Add special here]

Itinerary

Situated about halfway between Scotland and Iceland, the Faroes are mountainous and windswept yet remarkably green, thanks to the warming effect of the North Atlantic Drift. The Faroes islanders, who make their living mainly from fishing and raising sheep, welcome visitors with warm hospitality and a proud sense of their unique history. Local experts have helped us choose the ideal viewing site to experience 2 minutes and 9 seconds of totality on March 20.

In Iceland, just a one-hour flight to the northwest, we find a similarly mild climate, even though the tiny island country lies just outside the Arctic Circle. In addition to discovering beautifully rugged wilderness areas dotted with geysers and waterfalls, we also have good chances to view the surreal light show of the aurora borealis, thanks to Iceland’s orientation to the auroral oval – which extends to the Faroes as well.

Day 1 – Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Arrive Iceland and on to Faroe Islands
On arriving this morning at Iceland’s Keflavik International Airport you’re met by your group leader and escorted to the group check-in for our onward flight to the Faroe Islands where you take a coach transfer to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day relaxing and exploring the neighborhood, then join us for a welcome dinner at the hotel. This evening – and every evening in the Faroes – you can enjoy optional viewing of the aurora borealis away from the city lights (weather permitting).
Overnight: Hotel Foroyar, Hotel Torshavn or similar (4 nights)
Dinner

Day 2 – Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Torshavn and Environs
After breakfast enjoy an expert-guided tour of Torshavn – one of the world’s smallest capitals, with a population of about 19,000. Highlights include the historic Skansin fortress, the quaint “a Reyni” district and the world’s oldest parliament, the Tinganes. Just a 20-minute drive from town, at the southernmost tip of Streymoy Island, is the spritual and cultural centre of Kirkjubour. Here you’re welcome to explore the 900-year-old Roykstovan farmhouse, inhabited by the same family for 17 generations. The village is also home to the oldest church in the Faroes, St. Olav’s, completed in 1111 A.D. and still in use today. Nearby are the ruins of St. Magnus Cathedral, another of the islands’ most significant spritual sites. Your tour concludes back in Torshavn with a restaurant lunch, after which you’re free to shop, explore and enjoy dinner on your own.
Breakfast / Lunch

Day 3 – Thursday, March 19, 2015
Faroes Hinterland Exploration
Your daylong excursion follows Oyggjavegin, the old mountain road leading from Torshavn to the seaside village of Gjogv – with great photo opportunities all along the route. After a traditional country luncheon, you have time to explore this picturesque village overlooking nearby islands and ringed by green hills dotted with sheep. Then we carry on to Eidi, passing Slaettaratindur (882 m / 2,700 ft), the highest peak in the Faroes, and stopping to view one of the islands’ most spectacular sights: the twin stacks of Risin (75 m / 246 ft) and Kellingin (73 m /240 ft) rising from the sea. According to Faroese lore, these stone pillars are all that remain of a fierce giant and his troll wife after their failed attempt to tow the islands back home to Iceland. Having coiled a rope around Eidiskollur, at the north end of Eysturoy Island, the pair then quarreled for so long that they were caught by the rising sun and transformed into the massive rock formations we see today.

Journeying further along a twisting road with incredible vistas at each new turn, you arrive at last in Saksun, one of the most distinctive villages in the Faroes. The historic Duvugardar farm is now a national heritage museum offering an intimate look at rural life throughout the islands’ long history. From here you head north to one of Streymoy’s most famous natural attractions: Fossa, the highest waterfall in the Faroes (140 m / 459 ft). Nearby Tjornuvík, the island’s northernmost village, has a spectacular setting among sharply rising mountains. Join us this evening for dinner and a pre-eclipse briefing back at the hotel.
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 4 – Friday, March 20, 2015
Eclipse Day in the Faroes
After an early breakfast we journey by motor coach to our carefully selected eclipse viewing site.
Breakfast / Dinner

Day 5 – Saturday, March 21, 2015
Homeward Bound …Or on to Iceland and the Aurora Borealis
We transfer you to the airport for your flight home or onward to continue your adventure…in nearby Iceland!
After arriving in Keflavik Airport you’re off to the famed Blue Lagoon to relax in steaming, mineral-rich waters known for their curative powers – an exhilarating and unforgettable experience. After lunch on your own at the Blue lagoon, enjoy a scenic drive on the Reykjanes Peninsula to your home for the next two nights, a gracious lodge in a grassy expanse bisected by a scenic river.
The hotel’s setting is perfect for photography by day and viewing the aurora borealis by night – including from geothermal hot tubs, if you want a more relaxed way of taking in the show! You couldn’t ask for a better place to experience the beauty of Iceland’s night skies. On your first evening, join our astronomer for a talk on the aurora and recommended photographic techniques, followed by the first of four nights spent watching for the elusive shimmering lights. If you wish, your trip leader can put you on our aurora wakeup list; the hotel’s reception desk will alert you whenever the spectacle appears.
Overnight: Iceland Aurora Lodge (2 nights)
Breakfast / Dinner

Day 6 – Sunday, March 22, 2015
Iceland´s Scenic South Shore
Begin your day with a visit to thundering Skogafoss waterfall (55 m / 180 ft). Close by is the village of Skogar, a living folk museum whose traditional homes are authentically preserved alongside a modern museum devoted to household items from Iceland’s past. After lunch, we continue east to view Myrdalsjokull and Solheimajokull glaciers, as well as the volcanic black-sand beach of Reynisfjara, with its massive basalt pillars and rock formations. After dinner, join us for our second night of aurora viewing.
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 7 – Monday, March 23, 2015
Gullfoss Waterfall – Geysir Hot Springs – Thingvellir Viking Parliament
After a morning checkout we travel to magnificent Gullfoss (“Golden Waterfall”), perhaps the most beautiful in the country. You can walk right to the edge where the Hvita River tumbles 32 m / 100 ft, in a double cascade – and when the Sun is shining, you may see a rainbow through the massive spray. Nearby, the Geysir Hot Springs area is an otherworldly landscape dotted with bubbling, multicolored pools of water and mud. Here the geyser Strokkur erupts to a height of about 25 m / 80 ft every five to seven minutes.
After lunch we set off to Thingvellir National Park to discover Althingi, Iceland’s most sacred site and ancient home of the Viking parliament. Thingvellir – located near Iceland’s largest lake, Thingvallavatn – is a geologically spectacular setting on a vast plain flanked by large fissures. Next we head to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, passing the magnificent Eldborg crater and a number of smaller, cone-shaped craters. After settling into our hotel, join us for dinner and our third night of aurora viewing right outside your room.
Overnight: Hotel Stykkisholmur or similar (2 nights)
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 8 – Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Today you explore further on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, discovering its many natural wonders. Heading along the south shore, you arrive at Arnarstapi, a fishing hamlet with a spectacular coastline and sea cliffs. Driving around the tip of the peninsula, you’ll find wonderful photo opportunities as you gaze up at the magnificent Snaefellsjokull icecap or look out across the rocky beach of Djupalonssandur, a popular hiking area. Continuing to the north side of the peninsula, we pass through the seaside towns Rif and Hellissandur on the way to the historic fishing port of Olafsvík. After dinner, join us for our final night of dark-sky aurora viewing.
Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 9 – Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Whale Fjord – Borgarfjordur district – Reykjavik
After checkout, explore the Borgarfjordur district north of Reykjavik, including two of Iceland’s most scenic waterfalls, Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. We then visit Deildartunguhver, the country’s largest hot spring, and journey along beautiful Hvalfjordur fjord – former site of much British and American military activity during World War II. In late afternoon we arrive at Reykjavik, where you can enjoy a brief tour of the city before checking into our hotel. Dinner and this evening in Reykjavik are on your own.
Overnight: Hotel Natura or similar (2 nights)
Breakfast / Lunch

Day 10 – Thursday, March 26, 2015
Exploring Reykjavík
Today you’re free to discover Iceland’s historic capital on your own, with our hotel a short distance to many of the city’s excellent museums, including the recently renovated National Museum, as well as Reykjavik 871±2, an exhibition on the area’s early settlement that earned high praise from many past TravelQuest guests. For shopping, start at the west end of Austurstraeti and wander east as the street changes its name to Bankastraeti and then Laugavegur. We think you’ll find that Reykjavik has one of the most fascinating – and walkable – city centers you’ve ever encountered. In the evening, join us for a farewell dinner.
Breakfast / Dinner

Day 11 – Friday, March 27, 2015
Travels Onward
Spend this morning exploring, packing or relaxing – then join our early-afternoon group transfer to Keflavik Airport for your onward flight.
Breakfast

Included

  • Roundtrip, group flight: based on March 2013 rates of US$745/pp – Reykjavik/Faroe/Reykjavik; subject to change; flight details to be provided at a later date
  • Services of a Trip Leader and Eclipse Astronomer
  • Special March 20 eclipse day activities
  • Original commemorative Eclipse t-shirt
  • Eclipse viewing safety glasses
  • Eclipse sourcebook
  • Travel Insurance including Emergency Accident Expenses, Emergency Medical Evacuation, baggage delay, and missed connection coverage. Full policy terms will be provided at time of booking.
  • Arrival and departure airport transfers as per the dates of the tour
  • All accommodations based on best available hotels and lodges
  • All ground transportation
  • All meals as specified in itinerary, including coffee, tea and water
  • All sightseeing tours and admissions as noted in itinerary
  • English-speaking local guide
  • Airport/Hotel baggage handling

Not Included

  • Air transportation to and from Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Meals and activities not specified in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Gratuities to driver and local guide (Iceland only)
  • Passports & visa fees, along with any required immunizations
  • Items of a personal nature, including Internet access, spa, and laundry services, etc.

Please keep in mind that it this itinerary is subject to change at the discretion of expedition staff, depending on weather and other local conditions.

*Add-on - Sunday - Monday, March 15 - 16, 2015
Pre Nights in Reykjavik
For those wishing to arrive in Reykjavik 1 or 2 nights early, there are a limited number of rooms at the Hotel Natura including tax and breakfast daily. Arrival transfer is not included in this rate.
Cost: US$165 per person, per night double occupancy. US$250 per person, single occupancy.

(009283A-10)