Combine the cool cities of Reykjavik and Seattle with the wilderness of Alaska on this 3 week holiday. Starting in Iceland, you’ll explore the pretty harbour in Reykjavik, venture out to see impressive waterfalls and watch geysers explode into action before flying to Alaska and setting off for a road trip! After a day in historic Anchorage, you’ll head down to the Kenai Peninsula, watching wildlife, cruising through the fjords and gazing at glaciers. Next head north to Denali National Park where you’ll journey deep into the woods and experience the best of the Alaskan wilderness. Finish your trip in the cosmopolitan city of Seattle, where you can taste the original Starbucks coffee and wander around Pike’s Place Market – a great end to an action-packed Alaska holiday!
This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements; please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.
Depart the UK from your chosen airport. On arrival in Reykjavik, you will take a shuttle into the city, and check into your hotel for three nights.
We’ve included two tours for you to enjoy in Iceland. The first is a city tour, taking you through all the highlights of Reykjavik’s past and present. You’ll visit The Pearl, Hallgrimskirkja Church, the old harbour and the 101 neighbourhood - the heart of Reykjavik. On your second day you’ll head out into the countryside and experience the best of Iceland’s natural wonders – The Golden Circle made up of the Gullfoss waterfalls, Geysir hot springs and Thingvellir National Park. Starting with a drive inland through the national park, you’ll enjoy views of vast mountains and lava plains covered with moss and wildflowers before seeing the 96 foot tall Gullfoss waterfall cascade down over the clifftop. Watch the Geysir erupting surrounded by bubbling pools before heading back to Reykjavik.
The rest of your time is spent at your leisure – browse the boutique shops looking for handmade jumpers before heading to the pub for a pint of craft ale and a delicious locally grown meal. Reykjavik is a small and personable city, perfect for enjoying a relaxed evening. You could also head over to the famous Blue Lagoon which is right next to the airport for a dip in the thermal waters. We’ve included a return transfer for you, as well as the bathing fee, why not head over, pop on a mud mask and enjoy!
Today is your final day in Reykjavik. Take one last stroll around town before hopping back on the shuttle to the airport, in time to catch your flight to Anchorage. On arrival you’ll make your own way into the city, check into your hotel for two nights and head to bed early, ready to explore tomorrow.
Many people arrive in Anchorage expecting to see a wild west town of gold panning Alaskans, but Anchorage is a bustling cosmopolitan city where you can enjoy theatre, museums and world-class food. Enjoy a huge American breakfast of eggs, hash browns and orange juice at a local breakfast joint before heading to the Alaska Native Heritage Centre where you can learn how early humans survived in the northern wilderness. Take a long leisurely walk along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail before heading back downtown to catch a trolley tour looking out for urban moose while enjoying a coffee from Snow City Café. For dinner tuck into a plate of King crab or reindeer sausages with fresh herby vegetables on the side – delicious!
This morning, you’ll pick up your rental car and begin your road trip through Alaska! You’ll drive along the Seward Highway towards Turnagain Arm, a huge body of water where you might spot Beluga whales chasing salmon in the bay or Dall sheep grazing by the shore. Why not stop off at Portage Glacier on your way – they have a fascinating visitor centre and it is one of the most accessible glaciers in the region, sat at the end of the deep blue lake in all its icy glory. Arriving in Seward you’ll check into your hotel for two nights before heading out into the town for a look around – we recommend the SeaLife Centre for a glimpse into local marine life.
Today we’ve arranged an all-day cruise of Kenai Fjords National Park. You’ll head deep into the park and visit the magnificent Northwestern Fjord, home to numerous tidewater and alpine glaciers. There is an abundance of wildlife to be found here – black bears, beavers, lynx and red squirrels on land as well as orcas, sea otters and porpoises under the waters. You’ll also visit the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Reserve, an island home to teeming seabird rookeries and enjoy lunch onboard. This cruise will give you a great insight into the wild beauty of Kenai Fjords before heading back to your hotel at the end of the day.
Continuing your road trip you’ll follow the Sterling Highway today, a designated scenic highway covering miles of spectacular wilderness – think snow-capped mountains and active volcanoes, as well as excellent salmon fishing along the Kenai River. Homer is blessed with a view to the south, where the rugged Kenai Mountains sit above the sparkling waters of Kachemak Bay. If you love fishing, then this is the place to be - King salmon and halibut are found here in the spring and into the summer. On arrival, you’ll check into your hotel for two nights.
Homer is a haven for foodies – every street corner has a local coffee shop, gourmet sandwich bar or fine dining restaurant, unusual for rural Alaska and one of the things that makes Homer so special. It is a centre for artists in the area and the plethora of galleries, museums and music venues give credence to Homer being the cultural capital of Alaska. It is also located in a beautiful spot where the looming Kenai Mountains stand sentry over the wildlife-filled bay – you’ll spend much of your day here falling in love with this quirky little town.
Today you’ll leave Homer for a scenic drive to Ninilchik, the oldest settlement in the area. Established by the Russians in the 1820s, settlers soon congregated here, soon erecting the Russian Orthodox church. After learning a little about the Russian culture here you’ll drive on to Cooper Landing, located on the Kenai and Russian River where you’ll enjoy a two-hour float trip, keeping a keen watch for moose, bears and eagles as your guide navigates you through the mountain scenery. You’ll finish on the shores of a glacier-carved lake in the heard of the wildlife refuge. Tonight you’ll stay in Cooper Landing, checking into your hotel for 1 night.
This morning you’ve got a short drive north to reach Girdwood, the home of the only 5-star resort in Alaska – the Hotel Alyeska, where you’ll check in for 1 night. This afternoon you’ll experience dog-sledding on a glacier! Enjoy a scenic helicopter flight to the unique glacier base camp which is the summertime training ground for Iditarod sled dogs, where you learn about mushing and hold adorable puppies while the team is prepared. Head off along a spectacular glacier trail for the ride of your life! In the evening, enjoy some top-quality food in one of the resort's restaurants and relax after an exciting day.
Today you’ll leave the Kenai Peninsula and head north, passing through Anchorage and up to Talkeetna. Why not stop off in Portage again, where you can visit the Wildlife Conservation Center and watch rescued baby moose being bottle fed? Arriving in Talkeetna, you’ll check into your hotel for 1 night and set out to explore this turn of the century gold mining town. Talkeetna retains much of its early Alaskan flavour, with log cabins and clapboard storefronts lining the streets while Mount Denali looms overhead. Settle in and enjoy the view of the mountain, ready to head deep into the national park tomorrow.
Driving along the Parks Highway this morning, you’ll pass by incredible forest and mountain landscapes. When you arrive at the entrance to the park, you’ll leave your car behind and transfer by bus into the park, where you’ll check into your lodge for 2 nights. Look out for wildlife as the bus carries you through the park – bears, caribou, sheep and wolves all lurk amongst the trees. Dinner is included on your arrival.
Nestled in a snug valley, the Denali Backcountry Lodge offers a true wilderness experience, all from the cosy warmth of your own heated cabin. The lodge is located at the end of a restricted road, so you really are completely surrounded by the Alaskan wilderness. Spend your day here hiking, gold panning, taking guided botany walks and visiting Wonder Lake, all the while taking photos of Mount Denali high above you. You can also visit Fannie Quigley’s Cabin, home of one of the original miners. All your meals are included and can be enjoyed at the lodge in the wooden dining room.
An early departure this morning will give you another chance to look for wildlife on your journey through the park before arriving at the entrance and checking into your hotel for 1 night. The rest of the day is yours to explore Denali Village.
Depart Denali at your leisure this morning to head back down the road to Anchorage. We recommend a stop at Wasilla where you can learn about the Iditarod Dog Sled race across Alaska and see some of the Huskies and malamutes that participate in it. Arriving in Anchorage, you will check into your hotel for 1 final night in Alaska and head into the city to visit any highlights that you missed on your first visit.
After your final night in Alaska, you’ll drive back to the airport for your flight down to Seattle. On arrival, you’ll make your own way into the city, before checking into your hotel for three nights
Start your day with a tour of Pike Place Market, where a guide will show you where to find the best cheese, pastries and seafood in this vast market as well as watching some fish throwing as the catch of the day arrives. Explore everything from Bowie to Star Trek at the Museum of POP Culture where you can wander through the Guitar Gallery, home to instruments owned by Kurt Cobain, the Kinks and Van Halen. Why not visit the aquarium to learn about local wildlife before heading out on a cruise of Puget Sound where you can enjoy views back to Seattle as well as the many islands and mountains surrounding the city?
If you want to get out of the city, try a wine tour of Washington’s best vineyards or head out on a whale watching tour of the San Juan Islands. On your final evening, head to Pioneer Square, the city’s “first” neighbourhood where you can enjoy the Neo-Renaissance architecture while you eat dinner before heading up to the top of the Space Needle to watch the sunset, with panoramic views over the city and Puget Sound below you – the perfect way to end your time in this eclectic city.
Today is the final day of your trip through Iceland, Alaska and Seattle. Make your own way to the airport in time to catch your flight, heading home with memories of a wonderful and exciting holiday.
*The Alaska section of this itinerary is not possible to do during the winter*
Iceland enjoys a milder climate than many people think. The summers are generally warm and sunny, while winters are as cold as they come. Due to its location, just at the point where the Gulf Stream and Arctic Air meet - the weather is extremely changeable, so make sure you bring a range of clothing, even if you are there in midsummer. The midnight sun shines between late May and August, which means you can maximise your time here by exploring until late at night. In the winter, the sun doesn’t rise until 11am and disappears around 3pm, making it perfect for aurora spotters out to see the northern lights.
The best time to visit Alaska is in the summer, usually between May and September. As it’s a huge place the weather varies hugely depending on where you are but short sleeves and a light jacket is (fingers crossed) enough for summer. That’s not to say there isn’t anything to find during the winter – northern lights watching is popular in the far reaches of the north. As with Canada and Iceland, the summer days are long and the winter days very short which means on a summer trip you’ll have plenty of daylight to explore.
The Pacific Northwest is famously rainy but, in reality, this area has cold, snowy winters and mild, pleasant summers. The coast can get foggy out of nowhere but when the sun shines you’ll be hard-pressed to find a nicer climate in the USA. There’s no need to plan for a constant deluge but keep an umbrella handy.
This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.
19 nights in 3*/4* standard accommodation.
Hotels in this category include: