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Iceland tour, 5 nights, from $1,859

A whirlwind tour that begins and ends in hip Reykjavík, with stops at breathtaking attractions like Skaftafell National Park, the icebergs of Jökulsárlón, and scenic volcanic valleys.
Image: Bathers pose for a photo
Bathers pose for a photo as they swim in the geothermal hot springs at Iceland's Blue Lagoon near Grindavik in this file photo. A whirlwind tour that begins and ends in hip Reykjavík, with stops at breathtaking attractions like Skaftafell National Park, the icebergs of Jökulsárlón, and scenic volcanic valleys, is being offered for $1,859.Bob Strong / Reuters

The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare, five nights' accommodations, some meals, and guided tours from $1,859 — plus taxes of about $100.

When: Tours depart on May 11, 25, Sept. 7, 14, 21, 2008; add $144 for June 1-15, Aug. 19-31; add $690 for June 16-Aug. 18. (If you choose an afternoon flight on the start day of your tour, you'll arrive in Reykjavík that same night; or fly the evening before to arrive the morning of the tour.)

Gateways: Boston, New York City; add $65 for Minneapolis, Orlando.

The fine print: Breakfast daily, one packed lunch and three 3-course dinners, hotel taxes and tips, airport-hotel transfers, sightseeing tours, admission fee to the folk museum at Skógafoss, transportation by bus, and package booking fee are all included. Tour group size can range from 10 to 35 participants. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $318. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: Based on availability; book at least 5 business days prior to departure.

Contact: Icelandair Holidays, 800/779-2899,

Why it's a deal: According to a recent Kayak search, the lowest round-trip fares from New York City to Reykjavík, departing in mid-May, start from $848 (multiple carriers). For an additional $1,111 (including all taxes), Icelandair covers the five-night stay, some meals, transfers, sightseeing tours, entrance fees, and transportation by bus. It also gives you the convenience and reassurance of having virtually all the logistics planned for you.

Trip details: The Glaciers, Geysers and Waterfalls package includes round-trip airfare on an Icelandair carrier and five nights' accommodations. The tour staff will meet you upon your arrival in Reykjavík and take you to the 220-room Hotel Loftleidir, where you'll spend the first and final nights of the trip. The hotel is within walking distance of the city center and features a restaurant, a bar called Lon Bar, and the only indoor swimming pool in Reykjavík.

You'll jump-start your tour with a bus ride to Hveragerdi, a hot-spring village that uses geothermal water to warm greenhouses, and then you'll continue to Skógar, a settlement close to a great waterfall.

One highlight is a trip to Skaftafell National Park, wedged between Kirkjubæjarklaustur village and Höfn. The park sits on one of Europe's largest glaciers and is made up of three different geological areas: Skaftafell and Skeiðarársandur, a volcano and outwash plain; Lakagígar, a crater area on a volcanic fissure; and the glacial cap.

Next up is Jökulsárlón, where you can gape at icebergs in the glacial lake (while they last!). The picture-perfect scenery has been a backdrop in many popular movies and TV shows filmed here, among them two James Bond movies (“Die Another Day” and “A View to a Kill”), “Batman Begins,” and “The Amazing Race 6.” The 57-room Icelandair Hotel Kirkjubæjarklaustur will be your base for two nights.

You'll also get to explore volcanic valleys surrounding Mount Hekla volcano, known as the “terrible lady,” including Iceland's longest valley, Thjórsárdalur, Landmannalaugar, or Thórsmörk, depending on weather conditions. Stay overnight at the 32-room Icelandair Hotel Fluðir, about a one-hour drive from Reykjavík.

Then, take a trip to the Golden Circle, home to hot springs, colorful mud pools, and blowholes, before returning to Reykjavík, where you'll spend one last night prior to departure.

Wish to extend your stay? Additional nights at Hotel Loftleidir in Reykjavík start from $145 per person for a double room; add $74 for a single room.

For more tips on what to do in the area, visit the official website of the Icelandic Tourist Board in North America. Before you go, check the latest exchange rate, the local time, and the weather forecast at