Brenau Alumni "Join Brenau in Iceland, the Land of Fire & Ice" header image

Join President Ed Schrader & Myra for the

2018 Brenau Alumni, Friends & Family Iceland Encounter

Explore stunning green landscapes, take a dip in mineral-rich lagoons, walk along rare black sand beaches and view erupting hot springs with your fellow alumni, friends & family during Brenau’s Iceland Encounter, organized by the Office of Alumni Relations.

Despite its name, Iceland is made up primarily of a rich, green landscape – not to be confused with the icy surfaces of Greenland. Within driving distance of its capital city of Reykjavík, Iceland boasts many natural wonders including glaciers, waterfalls, geothermal pools and, of course, stunning views of the Northern Lights.

The world is taking note of the beautiful Nordic island of Iceland. The country expects as many as 2.4 million visitors this year, and you could be one of them!

Join us as we spend a week encountering incredible Iceland from Sept. 6-13, 2018.

Trip highlights include:

  • A dip in the renowned Blue Lagoon on the Reykjanes peninsula. Enjoy a swim in the warm, mineral-rich waters and a touch of pampering in this geothermal pool.
  • A stop at the starkly beautiful Lake Kleifarvatn, also called the draining lake, as it has been slowly shrinking after two major earthquakes opened up fissures at the bottom of the lake.
  • A whale watching tour, which tops many recommended Iceland to-do lists. Try to spot more than 20 species of whale, including minke, humpback, orca, fin and blue whales, along with white-beaked dolphins and harbor porpoises.
  • A visit to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the few places in the world where you can see the effects of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates pulling apart.
  • A day exploring some of the rare Icelandic waters, including the erupting hot springs area Geysir, Iceland’s most famous waterfall Golden Falls, and the Secret Lagoon, a serene and scenic geothermal lagoon.
  • A private kayaking tour followed by private horse riding lessons and tours, introducing you to the sturdy and friendly Icelandic ponies.
  • An adventurous day in Thorsmork on the north side of Eyjafjallajökull, the volcano that erupted in the spring of 2010, including picnic lunch and a hike to one of the many nearby viewpoints.
Long exposure image of Reykjavik skyline as viewed from Tjornin Lake in the center of the city

Itinerary

Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik.

Thursday, Sept. 6
Day 1: Welcome to Iceland!

Your private guides and driver will meet you at Keflavik Airport. We head directly to Alda Hotel where you can leave your luggage with the concierge although the check-in time is at 14:00. We will have an optional sight-seeing tour of the city today. For those that wish to nap through that, your guide will meet you in the hotel lobby and bring you to a Harpa concert hall for a guided tour of the award-winning concert hall and Welcome drinks followed by your first dinner in Reykjavik at Kolabrautin which offers wonderful views of the city.

Accommodation: Alda Hotel

Friday, Sept. 7
Day 2: Reykjanes Peninsula & the Blue Lagoon

Today, we will visit the Blue Lagoon on the Reykjanes peninsula. Enjoy a swim in the warm, mineral-rich waters and a touch of pampering, remember to apply the complimentary facial. Next, we will tour around the dramatic coastline of the peninsula where the North Atlantic waves crash against bird cliffs and rocky volcanic beaches. Your guide will tell you about the geology of the area. Consider a stop at Krysuvik geothermal area for an easy hike around colorful, bubbling mud pools. We will stop at the starkly beautiful Lake Kleifarvatn also called the draining lake — it has been slowly shrinking, after two major earthquakes opened up fissures at the bottom of the lake. We also suggest visiting Gunnuhver for a taste of Icelandic folklore. Return to Reykjavik in time for dinner this evening.

Accommodation: Alda Hotel 

Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Whale Watching Iceland

Saturday, Sept. 8
Day 3: Whale Watching & Thingvellir

You will go on a Whale Watching Tour. The tour will bring you to the whale feeding grounds in Faxafloi Bay. Over 20 different species of whale can be found around Iceland, including Minke, Humpback, Orca, Fin, and Blue whales, along with the White Beaked Dolphin and Harbor Porpoises. Have lunch in Reykjavik before heading to the countryside. Visit Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the location of Iceland´s Parliament between the years 930 and 1798. Thingvellir is also one of the few places in the world where you can see the effects of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates pulling apart, clearly visible in Almannagja or Everyman’s Gorge. Arrive in time for dinner at ION Hotel where you will spend the next two nights.

Accommodation: ION Hotel 

Sunday, Sept. 9
Day 4: The Gullfoss, Geysir and the Secret Lagoon

Today, we will explore the erupting hot springs area Geysir, the place giving its name to the phenomenon worldwide. From here, a 10-minute drive takes us to Gullfoss, or Golden Falls, Iceland’s most famous waterfall. This afternoon, we will stop for a dip at the Secret Lagoon, an old geothermal lagoon that was used early in the last century to teach kids how to swim, but after a new and more modern pool opened nearby in 1947 the lagoon was neither in use nor maintained for over 50 years. However, today it has been beautifully renovated and is an attraction for both locals and tourists alike, in a very serene and scenic landscape.

Accommodation: ION Hotel 

Gullfoss Waterfall in the canyon of the Hvita river - Iceland
Thjorsardalur Stong - The Reconstructed Farm House in Arnessysla county Iceland

Monday, Sept. 10
Day 5: Kayaking & Thjorsardalur Farm

This morning we will head to the fishing village of Stokkseyri for a private kayaking tour where you will go on a one-hour kayaking ride. Stop at the famous Red House in Eyrarbakki for a delicious langoustine lunch. Today we will visit a lovely region called Thjorsardalur, here we will get the chance to see a traditional Viking farm and this setting was also used in the hugely popular Game of Thrones series, for those that make time for TV. Enjoy the unique nature of this area before checking in to your lovely countryside hotel where you will have dinner this evening.

Optional add-on: A private horse riding tour where you will get to know the sturdy and friendly Icelandic pony, firstly you will have a short lesson introducing the horse and then a one-hour riding tour in the Icelandic countryside. (Please note that those that go horse-riding won´t visit Stong Viking farm in Thjorsardalur).

Accommodation: Hotel Ranga 

Tuesday, Sept. 11
Day 6: Thorsmork Valley

This will be an adventurous day as we will head into the dramatic wilderness area called Thorsmork on the north side of Eyjafjallajökull, the volcano that erupted in the spring of 2010. To get there you will ford a series of streams and small rivers – to run-off glacier Gigjokull, where torrents of glacial melt water radically transformed the surrounding landscape during the eruption. After a picnic lunch, hike up to one of many view points in the area, or explore one of the ravines that dissect the north face of the volcano. This is a hiker´s paradise, where you will be surrounded with luscious mountains. We will split the group up into hiking groups depending on your hiking abilities. Return to Hotel Ranga in time for dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel Ranga

Hiking on Fimmvorduhals, looking through a valley with moss covered mountain sides, Thorsmork visible in the distant.
Black sand beach, Vik, Iceland.

Wednesday, Sept 12
Day 7: Black-Sand Beaches of the South Coast

Today, we drive along the south coast of Iceland, taking in some of its most dramatic scenery, exploring waterfalls and black-sand beaches along the way. We’ll visit the small town of Vik and Dyrholaey promontory, as well as the
breathtaking Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls. We will also explore the area south of notorious Eyjafjallajokull and Katla volcanoes. Check into your hotel in downtown Reykjavik in time for dinner.

Accommodation: Alda Hotel 

Thursday, Sept. 13
Day 8: Departure

Spend the morning exploring Reykjavik city and head to Keflavik Airport in time for check-in to your departure flight.

Details & Registration

Pricing

Double Occupancy Per Person: $10,579
Single Occupancy Per Person: $12,365

*Rates are subject to change due to the exchange rate and/or lower number/higher number of travelers, the above pricing is based on 18 travelers.
*Please note: airfare is not included in this pricing

Payment Schedule:
10% due October 1, 2017 (deposit)
50% due April 15, 2018
40% due June 15, 2018

All payments should be made to Brenau University with check or credit card. Please see the reservation application (PDF) for submitting your information and payment.

What’s included:

  1. Airport transfers.
  2. Accommodation for six nights with breakfast.
  3. Private guide for 7 days.
  4. Private driver & bus for 7 days.
  5. Lunch and dinner + two glasses of house-wine with dinner.
  6. Premium Entrance to the Blue Lagoon on day 1.
  7. Join-in Whale Watching Tour on day 2.
  8. Entrance with towel to the Secret Lagoon on day 3.
  9. Private kayaking excursion on day 4.
  10. Private horse-riding tour on day 4.

What’s not included:

  1. Airfare to Iceland.
  2. Personal expenses.
  3. Trip Cancellation Insurance – highly recommended.
  4. Travel Insurance*
  5. Gratuities for your private guide and driver.
  6. Alcohol except two glasses of house-wine with dinner.

*Travel insurance is available through Travelex Insurance Services. For more information or help with travel insurance questions contact Fanny Katz at fanny@aldinetravel.com.

Registration

To register please download, complete and return the Iceland 2018 Reservation Application (PDF) to Ashley Carter at the address below. If you have any questions please reach out to Ashley at 770‐534‐6164 or at acarter3@brenau.edu.

Please return applications to:
Ashley Carter
500 Washington St. SE
Gainesville, GA 30501

Travel considerations provided by Aldine Travel of St. Louis, MO. www.aldinetravel.com

General inquiries: info@brenau.edu, +1-770-534-6299 or +1-800-252-5119 | Admissions: admissions@brenau.edu, +1-770-534-6100 or +1-800-252-5119 ext. 6100