Mountain highlights of Iceland with Borton Overseas

My friend Kathleen and I traveled to Iceland with the Colorado Mountain Club on a hiking/walking tour, “Mountain Highlights,” with Borton Overseas (5412 Lyndale Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN 55419; 800/843-0602, The land price for the 12-day tour was $3,200, and airfare on Icelandair from Baltimore-Washington International Airport was $1,178.

This excellent tour, June 24-July 6, 2006, was well organized. Oskar Bjarnason, our guide, was knowledgeable. The 27 other travelers on the tour were from Germany, Luxemburg, Australia, France and the U.S.

Throughout Iceland, I was astonished by the beauty of the land. The Gullfoss waterfall, the Stroker Geyser, sparkling lakes, geothermal hot springs, bizarre lava rock formations, the desolate yet magnificent interior and the lush green valleys populated with sheep and horses: all were unique and captivating.

Included in the tour were visits to a breeding farm for Icelandic horses, a whale-watching trip and a visit to the Glaumbaer Folk Museum.

All the 3- to 7-mile hikes were optional and could be classified as easy to challenging. In most cases, the tour bus would be waiting for those who did not complete the hike or who chose not to hike at all. The climb to the top of Maelifell Mountain was the most difficult due to the sheer rock and shale, fierce winds and intermittent rain, but the views along the way were spectacular.

Sometimes we waded through frigid streams, but at the conclusion of several of the hikes, geothermal pools in which to soak aching muscles were the reward.

I would highly recommend this outdoor adventure trip.


Washington, D.C.