Join Us For Our Inaugural Culinary Tour of Iceland: August 16th-23rd

Breathtaking Iceland

We are excited to announce our inaugural culinary adventure in Iceland, a nation that has become a second home to me over the years. Its extraordinary people, landscape and cuisine never cease to amaze and inspire and I am thrilled to invite you to explore the unique beauty of Iceland with me.

No other culinary tour of this nation offers the unique gastronomic adventures of Iceland Culinary Tours. Hosted by myself and Icelandic chef Kjartan Gislason, each day is designed to ignite your senses, fuel your dreams, and inspire your sense of adventure.

Between dips in geothermal pools, afternoons of Icelandic horseback riding, and sailing tours to remote northern islands, you will be introduced to many of the traditional food producers Jody is profiling in the cookbook she is co-writing with chef Gunnar Karl Gislason of Dill in Reykjavik.

These visits will provide one-of-a-kind opportunities to learn about the fascinating culinary history of Iceland from the people who are sometimes single-handedly preserving their nation’s gastronomic traditions. Jaw-dropping vistas of thunderous waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, and smokey geysers will exalt our imaginations as unforgettable meals with some of Iceland’s most celebrated chefs sate our appetites.

Our trip was recently featured in CNN, Departures Magazine and About.com.

We invite you to join us on this unforgettable Arctic culinary adventure!

Duck Eggs in a Bed of Eiderdown

Friday, August 16th:
Reykjavik:

Early morning pickup from Keflavik International Airport.

After checking into the Marina Hotel in Reykjavik, we’ll enjoy an introductory  breakfast at the Slipp Restaurant with a welcome toast of Icelandic inspired cocktails.

We will stretch our flight legs with a short walking tour of Reykjavik down one of the city’s most iconic shopping streets, stopping along the way at favorite shop to sample a few of the town’s most iconic culinary treats.

Our journey will end at Kex, one of Reykjavik newest and most urbane restaurants, where we will enjoy a gastropub inspired lunch and complimentary microbrews.

We will spend the afternoon in the company of the nation’s First Lady Dorrit Mousaieff, who is not only a beloved political figure in Iceland, but also a passionate gastronome. It’s guaranteed to be an afternoon you will never forget!

Our evening concludes with Dinner at Dill, one of the Iceland’s most popular restaurants. Dill is owned and operated by Gunnar Karl Gislason, the chef who introduced New Nordic cooking to his nation. It holds a special place in host Jody Eddy’s heart since it is the restaurant that inspired her upcoming Icelandic cookbook that she is co-writing with Gunnar for Ten Speed Press.

Chef Gunnar Karl Gislason collecting stones for serviceware at his restuarant Dill in Reykjavik.

Gunnar will prepare a tasting menu for our group that seamlessly incorporates the best of  the pristine ingredients of Iceland. It will be an unforgettable meal in the company of an amazing chef whose cuisine is only rivaled by his graciousness and irresistible personality.

The book profiles many of the traditional food producers we will visit on our trip. To taste their products in Gunnar’s cuisine after having met so many of them personally will tie the trip together in a way that no other experience could. It will be a special evening in celebration with new friends of the extraordinary nation of Iceland and its magnificent culinary treasures. Dinner will include a complimentary cocktail.

Saturday, August 17th:
Southern Iceland:

We will begin the day with breakfast at the Marina Hotel followed by a scenic drive through the lava fields of Hellisheithi to southern Iceland.

Along the way, we’ll stop at Fridheimar, an organic tomato greenhouse that uses nothing but geothermal water and electricity to grow its impossibly sweet tomatoes. We will fortify ourselves with a warming bowl of tomato soup and a bloody mary before a horseback ride through the trails surrounding the greenhouse.

We’ll stop for lunch at Kjot & Kunst, for a dizzying array of traditional Icelandic specialties cooked using nothing but geyser heat. The billowing clouds of geyser smoke surrounding the restaurant as our meal cooks is the true definition of earth cooking if ever there was one!

Before checking into Hotel Ranga, a four-star luxury resort in the southern village of Hvollsvollur, we’ll visit the Geysir Geothermal Field, after which all other geysers the world over are named. Will cook eggs and sweet rye bread for us in the bubbling heat of a hot spring. Our geothermal snack will be accompanied by sweet Icelandic butter, pickled herring and a shot of caraway-spiked Brennivin.

Fortified, we’ll visit the extraordinary sight of Gullfoss, a raging waterfall without rival, the brave among us can hike down to its base or just feel free to enjoy the breathtaking view from the top. On our way back to the hotel, we’ll cater to the sweet-tooth with a visit to Langamyri, a shop producing rhubarb caramel and birch syrup, delicacies of the area.

For dinner we will indulge in a three-course dinner of Icelandic delicacies at Hotel Ranga’s elegant restaurant. Dinner begins with a complimentary cocktail.

An Icelandic goat, a species on the verge of extinction until saved by one of the producers we will visit on our journey.

Sunday, August 18th
The southern island of Vestmannaeyjar:

After breakfast at Ranga, an early morning ferry ride will whisk us to Vestmannaeyjar, an island affording countless culinary and recreational adventures. On the way to the ferry, we’ll visit Seljalandsfoss, the southern region’s most iconic waterfall, where we will refresh ourselves by walking behind the fall’s cascade of water.

We will visit an excavation site that earned the moniker “Pompeii of the North” when it was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1973.

A lunch of regional enticements will be served on the beach, complete with a complimentary round of beer from one of Iceland’s microbreweries.

For the brave souls in our group, there will be the opportunity to participate in the island tradition of rope-swinging on the practice grounds used to train locals who swing between ledges to collect seabird eggs. Don’t fret if your rope-swinging skills are a little dusty, it’s just as much fun to watch.

A sailing tour of the islands will provide an opportunity to scout for seals and puffins as we take in the striking beauty of this Arctic island.

Dinner will be enjoyed at the industrial Slippurinn Restaurant, a warehouse style new dining spot on Vestmannaeyjar. The meal will begin with a complimentary cocktail. We’ll catch the late ferry back to the mainland to rest up at Hotel Ranga for the exciting day to follow

                Traditional Icelandic turf houses with rhubarb growing at their doorsteps.

Monday, August 19th
The West

After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll set out for the west, a region rich with unique culinary opportunities.

Our first visit will be with Johanna Thorvaldsdottir, near the village of Haafelli Borgarbyggth. Johanna is an extraordinary woman who nearly single-handedly saved the Icelandic goat from extinction. She will introduce us to her beloved goats and guide us on an inspiring tour of her farm, where she is reviving ancient Icelandic traditions such as goat cheese making that were nearly lost when the goat population plummeted to only 60 animals. Johanna’s story is one of hope and a realized dream and is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression.

A lunch of traditional Icelandic dishes will be served at Johanna’s cozy cafe, concluding with a bowl of her delectable goat’s milk ice cream.

After bidding farewell to Johanna and her goats we will head west to Djupalonssandur, a beach of round black rocks strewn with red seaweed. It’s a dramatic sight to behold. After attempting to lift the beach’s famous lifting stones and exploring remnants of a shipwreck strewn across the beach.

Lunch at the Marina Hotel in Reykjavik

Our hotel this evening is located in a setting so sublime you’ll catch your breath at the first site of it. Hotel Budir is nestled at the base of snow-capped mountains and a maze of glacial rivers. The hotel’s floor-to-ceiling windows offer views spectacular enough to match the New Nordic dinner that will be enjoyed in the hotel’s restaurant. A complimentarycocktail will kick-off the evening’s festivities and the night will conclude with Kjartan offering a hay-smoking hay-smoking demonstration at the edge of the water.

An Icelandic horse with the best view in the world.

Tuesday, August 20th
The North

After breakfast at Hotel Budir, we will visit a hakarl producer to learn about the ancient (and notorious) tradition of fermenting the Greenland shark. A tasting will be offered for those with more courageous palettes before we set off for northern Iceland.

We will enjoy a lunch of creamy fish soup and waffles with fresh cream and rhubarb syrup at Hellnar Cafe which overlooks a magnificent rocky beach.

Following lunch, we will stop by Erpsstadir Dairy to learn about the process of skyr production. Complimentary bottles of Icelandic microbrews will be offered on the ride to Hotel Hofstadir, a farmhouse style hotel and restaurant affording extraordinary panoramic views of natural Iceland at its very best.

Dinner will be enjoyed at the hotel’s rustic restaurant specializing in the region’s local bounty that might include everything from Arctic char and lamb to horse and freshly plucked-from-the-sea shrimp. A complimentary cocktail will conclude the evening.

Just another breathtaking morning drive in Iceland....

Wednesday, August 21st
The North

We will jump-start the day with a dip in the warm, electric blue geothermal waters of Hofsos before visiting the northern village of Siglufjordur. Here, we will visit a herring museum to learn about a tradition that sustained the economy of Iceland for decades.

For lunch we will dine at Hannes Boy Cafe, a gorgeous restaurant situated on the marina of Siglufjurthur and watch the drama of the harbor and its fisherman unfold before us.

Following lunch, we will visit Bruggsmithjan Brewery to sample a few of their microbrews and take a tour of the facilities.

We will spend our afternoon in the jovial company of Elvar Reykjalin, a traditional bacalao producer who sustains his entire village with his company Ektafiskur. Surrounded by a harbor of snow-capped mountains, Elvar will discuss with us a tradition integral to Iceland’s economy and take us through the process, step-by-step, as we sip on his famous (or is it infamous?) moonshine.

The evening will conclude at the Foss Hotel in the cozy village of Husevik where we will enjoy a traditional Icelandic dinner in a cozy farmhouse.

Skate drying in an Arctic ocean wind

Thursday, August 22nd
The North

The day will commence with a private whale watching tour where we will hopefully spot a minke or humpback whale, seabirds and a seal or two. This trip will include sea fishing for those who would like to try their hand at catching one of Iceland’s pristine fish.

We will enjoy our lunch at Salka Restaurant in Husevik with Europe’s Master Chef judge Eythor Runarsson, who will prepare our lunch for us. Following lunch we’ll visit a traditional Arctic char smoker who will share with us the tradition that he is keeping alive one glorious smoked Arctic char fillet at a time.

The afternoon will be spent with a rye bread baker, who will provide us with a cooking demonstration in her home on the process of preparing the traditional sweet Icelandic rye bread also known as rugbraud. Once the batter is prepared, we will visit a geyser field where the bread is baked in ovens in the ground using the heat from the geysers.

To warm ourselves up, we’ll visit the Nature Baths of Myvatn before a special dinner prepared by our entire group in collaboration with Eythor and Kjartan. It will include a cheese making demonstration along with a sampling of traditional Icelandic foods such as fermented seabird eggs, smoked puffin and pickled lamb’s unmentionables. Dinner will include complimentary cocktails.

Following dinner, we will spend one more night at Foss Hotel in Husavik.

Hardfiskur Production

Friday, August 23rd
A Final Farewell

We will fly back to Reykjavik in the morning on a short one hour flight. We’ll have a farewell lunch at The Sea Baron, a traditional Icelandic restaurant in Reykjavik complete with a salty, retired Icelandic fisherman owner to entertain us and lumpsucker, Moby Dick on a stick, seagrass soup, and grilled sea cucumber to nourish us. We’ll depart for Keflavik following lunch.

Please note: Reykjavik’s exciting Culture Night  takes place on Saturday, August 24th. Should you wish to extend your trip in Iceland through the duration of the weekend to experience one of the country’s most dynamic annual events, we would be happy to provide you with logistical and hotel information.

Extraordinary Hotel Budir

The trip includes:

All meals (not including alcoholic beverages except where noted)

All transportation

All hotels

All entrance fees and tickets to trips and excursions noted in the agenda

The flight from Akureyri to Reykjavik

The West

DISCLAIMER:
Please note that even in the summer, Iceland’s weather can be unpredictable. Should we run into a day of rain (or even snow… you never can tell!) alternate plans will be made for events such as beach dining, ferry crossings etc. Also note that events might change due to unforeseen closures or other circumstances beyond our control (such as volcanic eruptions… just kidding, sort of…this is Iceland after all).

A breathtaking view around every corner

TOTAL COST: $4250*

* This price is for a double room. We will be happy to match you with a roommate should you be a solo traveler. Should you prefer a single room, a supplemental fee of $550 applies.

The trip will include a total of 12 guests

To book your trip or for more information please email: icelandculinarytours@gmail.com

Visit our facebook fan page for more information, updates and more photos at:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Iceland-Culinary-Tours/147108762057447

Follow us on twitter at:
https://twitter.com/#!/search/users/icelandculinary

Jody Eddy also leads day long culinary tours in Reykjavik and the surrounding region for those with a curious palate but limited time. Tours are personally tailored to your interests and are a fun and unique way to explore the cuisine of extraordinary Iceland. For rates and more information, contact icelandculinarytours@gmail.com.

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