Solo travelers! Join us for our small group backpacking adventure to Iceland!
Iceland. The Land of Fire and Ice. Few destinations capture the imagination like the world’s wonderland in the North. Overflowing with natural beauty – from cascading waterfalls to steamy lagoons to mountains of black sands and green moss – Iceland is a veritable feast for the eyes.
Designed for solo travelers, this epic BACK&PACK adventure includes a breathtaking 4-day trek on Iceland’s legendary Laugavegur Trail, snorkeling between continental plates at the Silfra fissure, a relaxing dip in the famed Blue Lagoon, glacier exploration, whale watching, meaningful conservation projects with local non-profits, and much more.
Jul 18 – Aug 1, 2023
Jul 18 – Aug 1, 2024
8 -12 travelers
20 – 29
Hostels, B&Bs, camping
Traveling Solo, But Not Alone
Backpacking Laugavegur Trail
Snorkeling Silfra Fissure
Volunteering & Making A Difference
Day 1: The adventure begins! You’ll spend your first day in Reykjavík getting acclimated with your new group of fellow solo adventurers. We’ll spend time going over important safety information and cultural norms during orientation, share laughs during silly icebreaker games, and start to explore Reykjavík’s eclectic city streets.
Day 2: Our first full day in Iceland allows you to check an item off your bucket list – swimming between continental plates! Located at the intersection of the North American and Eurasian plates, the Silfra fissure in Iceland’s Þingvellir National Park is as unique an experience as it sounds. Deep blue waters, dark lava rock, and vibrant algae contrast to create the most stunning sight for snorkelers.
Day 3 – 6: Next, we’ll explore the historical landmarks, vibrant culture, and untouched nature of Northern Iceland. While based in Akureyri – Iceland’s “capital of the north” – we’ll embark on excursions to see the area’s many attractions. Northern Iceland is well known for whale watching, and we’ll have a chance to hop on board a boat to spot some of these majestic giants. We’ll also venture inland to the otherworldly – some say moonlike – geologic and volcanic formations in and around Lake Mývatn. If the beauty of Iceland has yet to surprise you, the North will most surely take your breath away.
Day 7 – 8: Halfway through our trip, we’ll take time to pause, reflect, and have the opportunity to give back through our locally-led volunteer projects. Projects differ year-to-year based on the needs of our partner organizations but often involve hands-on work in reforestation, trail maintenance, and beach cleanups with local non-profits and NGOs.
Day 9 – 12: Recognized by National Geographic as one of the most beautiful hikes in the world, we’ll spend four days trekking the 34-mile-long Laugavegur Trail. The natural contrasts you’ll encounter on this hike – black volcanic rock, spouting thermal vents, lakes, and colorful rolling hills – will make you feel like you’ve stepped into another world. We’ll overnight in tents, enjoy camp food prepared by expert guides, and undoubtedly spend hours musing about Iceland’s long summer days.
Day 13: We’ll cap off our stay in the south by visiting the iconic Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Reynisfjara black sand beach, and the Jökulsárlón glacier. As if you’re legs weren’t tired enough, we’ll take the opportunity to strap on some crampons and hike the ice. We’ll learn about the plight of the glaciers from our expert guides, then, after our fun-filled yet insightful play day, head back to Reykjavik for some much-earned rest.
Day 14: On our final full day in Reykjavík, you’ll have a chance to submerge yourself in the tranquil waters of the famed Blue Lagoon. Rich in minerals like silica and sulfur, these unique pools offer the perfect environment to relax and reflect on our incredible adventures. You can go at your own pace and stay as long as you like on this day. In the evening, we’ll meet back in Reykjavík for our final meal and closing activities.
Day 15: At the end of your trip, you’ll have a chance to do any last-minute shopping or sightseeing in Reykjavík before your transport to the airport. We’ll be sad to see you go, yet the end of one journey is simply the beginning of another. Whether you continue to another destination or head home from here, we hope you’ll fondly remember the Land of Fire and Ice.
* Please note that BACK&PACK reserves the right to rearrange, modify, or cancel activities based on what’s in the best interest of the trip and our travelers’ safety.
Our trip fees cover major expenses while abroad, yet we also believe in giving travelers flexibility during their trip. To assist with your budgeting, please ensure you’ve reviewed the following.
- Experienced and professional guides
- Shared accommodations in hotels/hostels, B&Bs, and camping
- Ground transportation to/from group activities
- Group meals, drinking water, and a “first drink on us” on two (2) special nights
- Camping gear (except for your personal sleeping bag)
- Equipment and entrance fees for the adventure excursions
- All equipment and supplies needed for the volunteer projects
- Donations to our partner organizations
- First-day orientation focused on safety and personal goal setting
- Closing activities and farewell gift
- Health/travel insurance (strongly recommended)
- Flight costs to/from Reykjavik (KEF)
- Airport/airline taxes, baggage fees, flight upgrades, meals, etc.
- Passport, visa, vaccinations, etc.
- Transportation to/from Keflavík airport (KEF) and our accommodations at the beginning and end of the trip
- Any costs incurred due to medical needs/emergencies/evacuations
- Personal spending money for shopping, alcohol, snacks, etc.
- Cell phone and internet usage
- Laundry expenses
- Showering facilities during the Laugavegur Trek
- Personal gear (backpack, sleeping bag, footwear, etc. – a detailed packing list will be emailed to you 3 months before departure)
Learn more about the people and partnerships behind this adventure!
B&P Founder, Director, Facilitator, Extreme Storyteller
Dan has been active in the field of experiential education since 2000. Over the course of his career, Dan has overseen global programming that has collectively sent 2,200+ travelers abroad and contributed 195,000+ volunteer hours to at-risk communities and causes around the world. He holds an Executive MBA, a Master’s degree in Experiential Education, and has personally guided 19+ multi-week trips abroad, ranging from the mountains of Peru to inner-city Thailand to Tibetan exile communities in India to the crystal clear waters of the Galapagos and much more. Dan began developing and operating trips to Iceland in 2017 and loves to share its wonders with fellow adventurers. In his free time, you’ll find him spending quality time with his wife, Jenn, and son, Finn, while cooking, hiking, and exploring the mountains near his home in beautiful Boulder, Colorado.
Tommi Knúts began diving in Iceland in 1973. After establishing Iceland’s first PADI dive center, he spent the next ten years teaching students the wonders of the underwater world. Tommi’s love for Iceland’s natural spaces and his passion to protect them came through in his teaching. As part of the Advanced Open Water Diver course, he would teach students how to remove debris from underwater. While with his students on one of the clean-up dives in the local harbor, he noticed the rubbish was everywhere, not just in the water. He began organizing clean-ups on the shoreline – establishing Blái herinn or the “Blue Army” in 1995, which has since removed over 1,550 metric tons of trash from Icelandic nature.
Every accommodation is hand-selected for comfort, quality, uniqueness, and safety. We seek to foster genuine community, camaraderie, openness, and adventure at BACK&PACK. As such, we use a variety of shared accommodation arrangements on our trips, ranging from double and triple rooms with shared bathrooms to larger, coed hostel dormitories. We typically rotate rooming arrangements to ensure all travelers get to know one another. With this in mind, we ask that all participants come prepared to live and travel with a community-first mindset. As the adage goes, “Think we, not me.” If you have a question or concern about our accommodations or rooming policies, please feel free to contact us.
Your booking covers all group meals, snacks, and drinking water. While not required, you are welcome to bring extra spending money should you want to supplement our meals and snacks with your own.
We can accommodate most dietary allergies and restrictions in Iceland. Please inform our team during the booking process if you have any dietary restrictions or allergies. We will share this information with our staff and in-country partners.
Our Ultimate Iceland experience begins and ends at Iceland’s largest airport, Keflavík International Airport (KEF). KEF typically has a wide selection of airlines and flight times, as well as very reasonable fares. As we welcome travelers from all over the world, our pricing does not include the cost of flights.
We accept arrivals and departures at any time on the scheduled start and end dates. However, when possible, we suggest timing your arrival in the morning or early afternoon to make the most out of that first day – our day to break the ice and see some of Reykjavík!
What do you mean – “designed for solo travelers”?
Our group trips are available exclusively to individuals traveling on their own. If you’re nervous about (or just don’t want to!) joining a group tour where others sign up with their friends or family – this is the trip for you. We’re all in the same “solo traveler” boat together!
At BACK&PACK, we believe in the transformational power of solo travel. Traveling somewhere on your own – even when combined with the camaraderie of our small group trips – teaches you more about yourself and stretches you further outside your comfort zone. As a purpose-driven, experiential education company, it is one of our main objectives to strengthen our participants’ sense of independence and self-confidence. Limiting our trips to solo travelers is one of the many ways we achieve this goal.
So – can we count you (and only you 😉 ) in?
What makes BACK&PACK different from other tour companies?
Well, first of all, you’ll hurt our feelings if you call us a tour company. 😢 While we indeed organize some incredible tourist activities for all our itineraries, our trips are ultimately designed to be more educational and inspirational than an average tour.
Our focus at BACK&PACK is on the independent/solo travel experience. As solo travelers ourselves, we know the profound impact this kind of experience can have. When you travel solo, you get to know yourself more. You might find yourself changing in new ways – developing more feelings of empowerment, independence, and self-confidence. It’s part of your journey, yet we’re here to help facilitate!
Throughout the trip, we plan optional (yet strongly encouraged) experiential educational activities to bring more depth to the experience. Whether it’s spending an hour at night reflecting with your group or participating in our surprise “challenge by choice” activities, you’ll quickly learn we seek a transformational experience above all else.
What are the eligibility criteria for this trip?
Due to the active nature of our Ultimate Iceland experience, participants should be physically fit and have some background traveling over rough terrain with a backpack on. The Laugavegur Trek involves backpacking up to 6-7 hours per day, camping, and oftentimes inclement weather (including high winds, rain, and even summer snow).
Additionally, we ask that participants have a high level of maturity, share our “safety first” mentality, and treat others as they wish to be treated. Ultimate Iceland is more than a tour – through volunteering, we go below the surface to explore issues and possible solutions. While we certainly kick back and have fun – if you are only looking to join the “backpacker party scene,” it’s safe to say you will not be a good fit for our trips. BACK&PACK participants should have a respectful demeanor, an open mindset, and – most of all – a commitment to safety and personal responsibility.
I’m not from the U.S. Can I book a trip?
Absolutely! We are open to travelers from all backgrounds and nationalities.
Do I need travel insurance?
Travel insurance is not required, yet we strongly advise every participant to purchase a comprehensive policy that covers unexpected medical and emergency evacuation expenses. Travel is anything but predictable, and you never know when that annoying “extra” insurance expense will pay itself back tenfold. If you need some help identifying a policy that is right for you and your budget, please contact us. We’ll be happy to make some recommendations.
What about visas?
BACK&PACK can not apply for passports or visas on your behalf, yet the information below should help guide you through the process. As always, contact our team if you have questions or run into any issues.
Travelers with U.S. passports – For the most up-to-date information, please visit Iceland’s page at travel.state.gov. Travelers with U.S. passports do not need a visa for stays less than 90 days but must have 3+ months of validity (6+ months recommended) after the departure date from Iceland. If you need to apply for or renew your passport, please submit your application as soon as possible.
Travelers with non-U.S. passports – Please verify passport and visa requirements for your nationality by contacting your local Icelandic embassy or consulate. The websites embassypages.com and embassy-finder.com operate handy directories of embassies and consulates around the world. If you’re required to obtain a visa and need specific information for the application process, please let us know at email@example.com. We will be happy to assist you.
Can I ask another question?
Of course! Feel free to email, call or text us with any additional questions.
At the time of booking, we require a $250 USD non-refundable deposit. Full payment is due 90 days before your start date or at the time of booking if less than 90 days. Payments can be made via check, credit card, or bank transfer.
If you have to cancel: We’ll be sad to see you go! Yet you may request a partial refund under the following schedule. Note, regardless of the timing, all refunds are subject to the $250 USD non-refundable fee. We reserve the right to cancel delinquent or non-paying participants without notice or refund.
- 91+ days: 100% refund minus $250 deposit
- 61-90 days: 75% refund minus $250 deposit
- 31-60 days: 50% refund minus $250 deposit
- 15-30 days: 25% refund minus $250 deposit
- 0-14 days: 0% refund
If we have to cancel: While uncommon, factors outside our control (global travel restrictions, etc.) may require us to temporarily suspend or cancel a trip. In the unlikely event that BACK&PACK cancels a trip, we can work with you to find alternate dates or destinations – or you can elect to receive a full refund of your deposit and trip fees.
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