Following the Sagas!

GirlFriends Explore Nature and Culture in Iceland

October 10-20, 2019


TravelCircles With GirlfriendCircles:

Every trip we lead is focused on two things: the best sight-seeing in the country and connecting with women.

Our sight-seeing, designed by Altruviustas, plans an itinerary that is as intimate, fun, and experiential as we can get. We want to see everything that is well known in that country, if we can; and we also want to make sure there are some small and special experiences that leave us touched and connected with that country in surprising ways!  Plus, we want all of our travel to live up to the highest standards of sustainability and ethical travel so we place special emphasis on meeting the locals, supporting their causes, and making sure we frequent their businesses/hotels/restaurants to ensure our money is reinvested back to those who live wherever we visit.

And when it comes to connecting with women, we go to a country with the special desire of saying "We want to learn what causes are effecting our sisters in this part of the world and we want to celebrate the contributions they are making!"  So we will always visit a non-profit or two (a portion of your trip costs will be donated there!) to learn more about the needs in that country and we will make sure we shop and learn from women who are giving their gifts to their country.  Plus, our guides will be women, and we will travel as a group of women with the intention of connecting and becoming friends with the group.  Shasta always leads loosely facilitated times for sharing what we're experiencing with each other and getting to know each other better.

So if you love travel and want an incredibly special curated trip with a group of amazing women as we go meet our sisters around the world:  you're invited to join us! xoxo

About Iceland:

Let’s go visit the "Land of Fire and Ice"! With over 4500 square miles of glacier and almost 130 volcanoes, this is a country that has literally been shaped by powerful forces giving us geysers, mud pots, rumbling volcanoes, cinematic landscapes, geothermal lagoons, and breathtaking waterfalls! Plus the sky!!  We’re going this time of year because we want to increase our chances of seeing the beautiful night sky filled with the Northern Lights, also known as the aurora borealis.

But in addition to being a land of beauty and nature— they are also known for their impressive politics (ranked repeatedly as the top country for gender equality and the Global Peace Index considers them the most peaceful country on the planet!), their incredible history (sagas and legends, vikings, the first parliament in the world, etc.), their creativity and art (one of the world’s highest concentrations of authors, artists, poets, and musicians!), and their happiness (they are right up there in the top three for the being one of the happiest countries!). We are going to hear their stories, taste their treats, and take photos of every beautiful scene we come across!

Trip Highlights:

Iceland map.jpeg

We’ll spend three nights in the capital city of Reykjavik touring the city, sampling their local warming brews, eating and cooking some of their amazing food, being inspired by their history and politics, meeting some amazing women, and touring some of their best museums. Then we’re off to all things nature! We’ll fly to the north side of the island to Akureyri where we’ll head out to Myvatn to start soaking up some of the beauty of this country: waterfalls, hiking, and a natural geothermal steam bath! Over the next several days we’ll slowly start making our way by van around the western edge of the island so we can take in as much of their top sights as possible: the famous Northern Lights, breathtaking vistas, whale watching, quaint towns, thermal baths, short hikes, and lots of ancient history and legends. We’ll eventually make our way back to our hotel in Reykjavik where we'll base ourselves for several epic day trips including the famous Golden Circle (highlights such as the iconic Gullfoss waterfall and The Great Geyser) and the ever famous Blue Lagoon spa!  For all the details be sure to read the itinerary!

  • Gazing up in the skies to hopefully view the famous aurora borealis, or Northern Lights.

  • Searching for whales on a whale watching trip! (Did you know Iceland has over 20 different species of whales?)

  • Overnighting in Lake Myvatn— one of the most popular destinations in Northern Ireland because of it’s beauty— rocks, waterfalls, volcanoes, and wildlife.

  • Soaking not only in Blue Lagoon, which is Iceland’s most popular site (and a Wonder of the World!), but we’re also going to be visiting 2-3 other lesser known geothermal springs— so bring your suit!

  • Journeying around the “Golden Circle” which includes 3 of the most spectacular sites in Iceland: the Þingvellir National Park (an UNESCO world heritage site), the Geysir Geothermal Area, and the Gullfoss Waterfall.

  • Eating and drinking in a country that is now considered one of the newest “foodie destination,” plus visits to a craft brewery and distillery, and a cooking class to learn how to make some local dishes.

  • Exploring all the sites of the famous capital city Reykjavik including a tour in The National Museum and views from the top of the stunning Hallgrimskirkja church.

  • Immersing ourselves in the beautiful scenery as much as we can— including several short hikes and walks to the top of vistas, to waterfalls, and to get off the beaten road a bit!

All trips are so much more than just famous sites and cities though! We will peppering every trip to include as many of the following components as possible in our desire to learn about the woman’s life in our destination:

  • A cooking class from that country

  • A learning experience that highlights the women’s movement in that country and/or issues that women are currently facing.

  • Meetings with at least 1-2 local women, whether entrepreneurs, politicians, writers, or fashionistas where we can ask questions about life in that country.

  • Other women-focused experiences will be planned to fit the theme of each particular trip.

Plus, we've always got our eye on adding the "little things" that really make a trip feel special! We're about good food, fun memories, and women enjoying life together! Fun!


Who:

All women over the age or 21 are welcome to join us. The women who will enjoy this trip the most tend to value learning, connecting with others, trying new things, and seeing as much as they can in a country.  Most women come alone to meet new friends, but you're also welcome to invite a sister/friend/mother/daughter to join you.

When: 

October 10-20, 2019

Where:

See the map above but we’ll basically be flying into Reykjavik (the capital of Iceland) where we’ll spend a few days sight-seeing then fly to the north side of the island into Akureyri before making our way by private van around the west side of the island back to Reykjavik for our final weekend. It’s a perfect combination of cities and nature— trying to see as much of the country as we can while staying mindful that we don’t all want to be in a car more than necessary! ;)

Price:

Iceland has become one of the most expensive tourist destinations in the world and we’re going at prime time as we want the best chances of seeing the Northern Lights, so unfortunately this is our most expensive trip to date. (We’ll try to pick a more cost-effective destination for 2020!) But for those who have this country on their bucket list, we hope you’ll be impressed with all that has been packed into this this 10-day tour tour! The price of the trip is $5975 and includes double room accommodations, all program activities, transportation to and from all activities, 2 meals daily, qualified trip leaders and guides.

  • Note: You will also be in charge of booking your own roundtrip ticket in and out of Reykjavik so you can choose if you want to use awards, which airline you prefer, and what itinerary works best for you! From there, all other transportation will be covered, including the mid-trip flight to Akureyri.

  • If you want a single room, it’s an additional $800.

  • To secure a spot, you only need to make a $1000 deposit and fill out the registration form.

  • Payment plans are available through Altruviastas. (Roughly half needs to be paid 120 days out/beginning of June), aiming to have total paid 60 days out/beginning of August.)

  • Additional costs: Besides the trip cost and round-trip airfare into Iceland, the only other real expenses to you will be a 3rd meal each day (we do that so you have the freedom to choose if you want to just eat snacks in your room one night, go out on the town at a 5-star restaurant, or go hunting with a new friend for a specific food to try), tips for guides/hotels, and souvenirs!

How: 

If you're interested, please click the button below to indicate interest so Altruvistas can send you the registration form if you are ready to reserve your spot (plus you’ll need to send them $1000 deposit), notify you of upcoming group phone calls, or answer your specific questions via email or a phone call.

The Support on every trip:

  1. Shasta Nelson, CEO of GirlFriendCircles.com will be leading this trip, facilitating bonding and conversation among the 8-12 women who commit to travel together.

  2. Additionally, every trip will also include a local guide (arranged by Altruvistas*) who will lead the group the entire time overseeing logistics and travel details, and serving as translator and guide.

  3. We also secure private transportation so we’ll have a licensed and professional driver assigned to us— getting us easily and safely wherever we are going and watching our valuables in the van whenever we get out to go sight-seeing!

  4. And, making all of this possible is our travel company, Altruvistas,* who meticulously puts together a custom itinerary, manages the entire budget/logistics, and oversees our experience! Their team is available to help answer all your questions prior to the trip!

*We are a proud partner of Altruvistas, the socially responsible and philanthropic travel company that is organizing all our details. We are thrilled to have Malia and her team overseeing our trips to ensure that our itinerary is as authentic of an experience as possible while making sure that our money is spent in a eco and socially conscious way. Malia and Natalia will work with you one-on-one to make sure you are all ready for our amazing adventures.

If you have questions about this trip, please email Journeys@altruvistas.com

 

 

Banner Photo by Scott Umstattd on Unsplash