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University Hospitals Birmingham Charity Northern Lights Trek

20th Nov 2024 - 25th Nov 2024

6 days/Iceland /Moderate to Challenging

Overview

Join University Hospitals Birmingham Charity as they explore the other-wordly landscapes of Iceland. Spend three days trekking across fields of geothermal activity with bubbling mud pools and hot springs, the peaks of the Mount Hengill heritage site and the fault lines between Europe and America. If they are very lucky they might be lucky enough to experience Lady Aurora!

NB. Bookings on this trip are now subject to availability and may be subject to flight surcharges.

This trek is graded moderate to challenging. You will be trekking long distances over varying terrain on consecutive days.

The minimum age is 18. It may be possible to participate if you are 16 or 17 years old but you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. There is no upper age limit. The ideal candidate would be fit, healthy and determined, open to adventure and adaptable to unexpected changes.

If you do not already regularly exercise you should aim to start training (including plenty of hills) as early as possible. The best training is hill walking, which will prepare you for the type of terrain you will experience. Other activities which can complement hill walking include running, cycling, gym workouts, boot camps etc.

Building up your core and leg muscle strength is important so exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, planks and crunches will really enhance your training. These exercises can be done at home – no gym needed. You can download a number of free apps, which will help you train and track your progress, e.g. MapMyWalk, C25K (couch to 5k run), MyFitnessPal (for a variety of sports).

You must take your training seriously and arrive as fit as you can be, so you get the most out of this challenge.

You will be accompanied by local guides who have an excellent knowledge of culture and hiking in the region. The guides are first aid trained and will support you throughout your journey. You will also be accompanied by a Different Travel Company UK tour manager.

Temperatures can typically peak to around 5°C during the day and drop to around 0°C at night however you must be prepared for variations to this which are out of our control. Weather during the adventure will be dry with light winds and rain is possible. Please note: the temperatures and conditions above are historically accurate but climate change can impact the seasons so you may experience uncharacteristic conditions during the trip which are out of our control. The guides will assess the situation and make decisions to ensure the best enjoyment and safety of the group.

You will stay in a hotel or similar for the duration of the trip. Travel to and from the airport and hotel will be by private minibus.

You will be provided with plenty of hearty Icelandic meals which typically include fish and lamb and will keep your energy levels high for each day of discovery. Please inform us in advance if you have any dietary requirements.

The hotels have en-suite facilities with flushing toilets and hot showers.

If you need to use the toilet during the trekking day you must find a private area off the trail. You must never leave used toilet paper on the ground; this must be packed up into a nappy bag or sanitary disposal bag, pop it in your daypack and dispose of it properly at the accommodation (please bring your own nappy sacks with you). You should bring one roll of toilet paper for your own use.

Itinerary

University Hospitals Birmingham Charity Northern Lights Trek Itinerary

Day 1 (Wednesday 20 November 2024):

UK – Reykjavik
Depart UK for Reykjavik and transfer to a hotel on the southern coast of Iceland.
Overnight: Hotel
Meals: Dinner

Day 2 (Thursday 21 November 2024):

Nesjavellir – Reykjadalur – Hveragerdi
After breakfast we drive to Nesjavellir from where our day’s hike starts.  We will hike across a field of geothermal activity with bubbling mud pools to Ölkelduháls. From there we continue down to the magical valley of Solfataras and hot springs called Reykjadalur where those brave enough can dip into a natural hot river. We continue down to the car park near Hveragerði where our bus waits us. Short drive back to our hotel.
Overnight: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trek: approx.14km

Day 3 (Friday 22 November 2024):

Hengill – Mt. Vorduskeggi
After a good breakfast we drive up to the Mt Hengill area. From there we will hike up to Vörðuskeggi Peak (805m). From the top you will enjoy views of Lake Þingvellir and Langjökull to the north and Eyjafjallajökull and the distant Westman Islands. From there we will hike up to Mt Skeggi the highest peak in Hengill heritage site. We will then return to our hotel for dinner and a jacuzzi!
Overnight: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trek: approx. 13-14km

Day 4 (Saturday 23 November 2024):

Pingellir National Park – Reykjavik
A short drive brings us to the National Park of Thingvellir where we will hike along the fault lines that divides America and Europe. After the hike we drive to Reykjavik for your celebration dinner in town.
Overnight: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trek: approx. 10km

Day 5 (Sunday 24 November 2024):

Reykjavik
A free day to relax or explore Reykjavik at your leisure. An optional trip to the Blue Lagoon will be available to book should you wish.
Meals: Breakfast, dinner

Day 6 (Monday 25 November 2024):

Reykjavik – UK
Today we take the flight home back to UK.
Meals: Breakfast

 

N.B. This itinerary may change due to weather, the ability of the group and so on. We will do our best to keep to the itinerary but we cannot be held responsible for changes outside of our control. In all circumstances your guide and tour leader will have the final say in the interest health and safety.

Costs & How to pay

Registration fee: £350
and then either…

Sponsorship: £3600

or

Flexi: £1800 trip costs* and £1800 sponsorship

or 

Self Fund: £1800 trip costs* and raise as much as you can for University Hospitals Birmingham Charity.

NB. Bookings on this trip are now subject to availability and may be subject to flight surcharges.

SPONSORSHIP

This option is for those who wish to raise sponsorship to cover both the costs of the trip (flights, accommodation, food, guides etc.) and a donation to University Hospitals Birmingham Charity. There is a minimum sponsorship amount  that you are required to raise in order to participate.

  • A registration fee is payable at the time of booking.
  • 80% (£2,880) of the sponsorship  must be paid to University Hospitals Birmingham Charity by 2nd September 2024.
  • The remaining balance of £720 must be paid to University Hospitals Birmingham Charity by the departure date.

FLEXI

This option is for those who choose to pay the trip costs* (flights, accommodation, food, guides etc.) themselves while still raising some funds for the charity.

  • A registration fee is payable at the time of booking.
  • 80% (£2,880) of the sponsorship must be paid to University Hospitals Birmingham Charity by 2nd September 2024.
  • The remaining balance of £720 must be paid to University Hospitals Birmingham Charity by the departure date.

SELF FUNDING

This option is for those who choose to pay the trip costs (flights, accommodation, food, guides etc.) themselves and raise as much as they can for the charity.

  • A registration fee is payable at the time of booking.
  • Trip costs* of £1,800 must be paid to University Hospitals Birmingham Charity by 2nd September 2024.
  • Any additional fundraising must be paid to University Hospitals Birmingham Charity by the departure date.

*any fundraising undertaken cannot be used to pay for trip costs.

What's included

  • Return flights from UK (inc. current taxes and fuel surcharges),
  • Transfers and transport in Iceland
  • Accommodation in hotels (5 nights)
  • Meals as specified
  • Local guides
  • Different Travel UK tour manager.

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Tips (suggested £50-60pp)
  • Personal expenses (e.g. drinks, souvenirs etc.)
  • Vaccinations

Got a Question?

If you’ve a question about this challenge that you can’t find the answer to within the given information then complete this quick form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Book onto any of our trips between 1st - 30th June 2024 and receive a FREE Different Travel neck buff!*

*Your buff will be given to you either at your pre-departure meeting or the start of your trip.