Welcome to Iceland
Breathtaking landscapes, picturesque villages with brightly painted houses, and a vibrant music scene make Iceland an incredible destination. The population of fewer than 330,000 people is proud to welcome you to their unique country and enthusiastic to share their musical traditions and hear your ensemble perform.
The country’s geographic isolation kept its musical traditions largely unaffected by outside influences until the 18th century. An example is its unique rhythm, called Hákveða, which has disappeared from the music of other Nordic countries. Another uniquely Icelandic tradition is known as Rímur—epic tales sung as alliterative, rhyming ballads that are based on poetry from the Viking Age.
Let us help you bring your choir to Iceland to discover this exhilarating corner of the earth first-hand. Spend time exchanging music with a local choir and learning about each other’s lives and cultures, look for whales in the waters just below the Arctic Circle, and take in the fantastic vistas at Thingvellir, the vast plain where Iceland’s ancient parliament was established in 930 A.D. Of course no visit to Iceland would be complete without a visit to the Blue Lagoon, a unique oasis on the island’s southern tip.
Enjoy a concert tour of Iceland and let yourself by immersed in all that Iceland has to offer as you share your music with local people.
Depart from North America for Keflavik Airport near Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital.
Welcome to Iceland! Enjoy an introduction to Reykjavik to get a feel for this lively, picturesque city with its colorful, corrugated metal houses uniquely located among some of the world’s most breathtaking natural wonders.
Later this morning, board a domestic flight to Akureyri, Iceland’s “capital of the north.”
Check into your hotel and take some time to settle in and refresh. A rehearsal can be arranged. In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner of Icelandic specialties as your tour manager previews the days ahead.
Begin your first full day in Iceland with an excursion around the Tröllskagi Peninsula and its many picturesque villages. Make a stop in Siglufjördur, considered by many to be Iceland’s loveliest town. Enjoy a coffee break in one of its inviting cafes or a visit to the award-winning herring era museum.
Continue your journey to the tiny town of Hofsos, home to the Icelandic Emigration Centre, which is dedicated to the Icelandic emigrants to North America.
Travel back to Akureryi in the afternoon and visit a local community venue where your singers will be invited to perform a concert for residents. Meet and mingle with your audience following the performance.
This morning, embark on an excursion to Lake Mývatn, a birdwatcher’s paradise. Along the way, stop at Dimmuborgir, where you have the opportunity to walk over mesmerizing lava formations, and explore Námaskarð, a fascinating area dominated by multicolored pools of boiling mud. Continue your excursion with a stop at the Goðafoss waterfall, the “waterfall of the gods”.
In the afternoon, return to Akureyri to warm up for your performance.
Early this evening, visit a local church to perform a friendship concert with an Icelandic choir. Enjoy singing for a local audience and each other and getting to know one another through your shared love of music.
In the morning, check out of your hotel and fly back to Reykjavik. Enjoy a guided tour of Iceland’s capital to see Höfði House, the unique Hallgrimskirkja (church), the fishing harbor, and the old city.
Check in to your hotel in Reykjavik and take some time to settle in and refresh.
This afternoon, you may want to visit the Settlement Exhibition, a former archaeological dig site, or you may enjoy just strolling through the picturesque streets and shopping for unique Icelandic handicrafts.
In the morning, embark on an excursion along the famous “Golden Circle.” Begin by visiting Thingvellir National Park. A combination of natural phenomena and historical significance make this park inseparable from the fabric of Icelandic national life.
Continue on to Gullfoss, also known as the Golden Waterfall. Only a few minutes’ drive from Gullfoss are the famous Great Geysir and Strokkur, one of the most active geysers in the area.
In the afternoon, continue on to Skálholt, once the site of an ancient bishopric. Visit its new church and perform an a cappella concert for your fellow visitors. Return to Reykjavik for the night.
This morning, depart Reykjavik for a trip over the Hellisheiði mountain pass. You will see the towering, ice-capped volcano Eyjafjallajökull and make a stop at the seashore.
Return to Reykjavik in the afternoon to prepare for your final concert in Iceland.
Early this evening, transfer to a Reykjavik church, such as Langholtskirkja or Neskirkja, where your choir will be invited to perform a friendship concert with a local choir. There will be time for fellowship with your hosts following the concert.
A farewell dinner will be arranged to complement your performance schedule.
Check out of your hotel and transfer to the Blue Lagoon, a unique oasis in a black lava field on the Reykjanes Peninsula. Take a refreshing dip in the warm, mineral-rich water—a most excellent activity before boarding your long flight home!
From here, transfer to Keflavik Airport and board your return flight to North America.
Our friendship concerts are a featured experience on our tours and are at the heart of our mission to foster cultural connections through music. We benefit from a vast international network in the choral world built over our thirty years' experience of helping choirs share their music both in the United States and abroad. Your choir will share a venue and a concert program with a host choir from the region. Your singers will have the chance to hear their host choir's repertoire (often showcasing local musical styles) and to share your own repertoire in turn. Fellowship time usually follows the friendship concert, giving both choirs the chance to mingle and enjoy the camaraderie of creating cross-cultural connections through a shared love of music.
Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and the world's most northerly capital. Located in the southwestern corner of the country, the city was originally settled in 870 AD by Ingólfur Arnarson, a Norwegian who allegedly left his home due to a blood feud. Iceland remained under Norwegian rule until 1380, when Norway—and thus Iceland—fell to Denmark. Because Reykjavik was Iceland’s only city for such a long period of time, its history directly parallels the Icelandic quest for independence. The Republic of Iceland was founded in 1944 and the former King was replaced by a president elected by the people and seated in Reykjavik. Today Reykjavik is a prosperous city with a metropolitan area of over 200,000 inhabitants from over 100 different countries. The city has a vibrant cultural life with an architecturally stunning new concert hall and a wide offering of smaller music events and venues, such as the lovely Langholtskirkja and Neskirkja churches.
The rugged mountains, sparkling fjords, and crystal-clear light of northern Iceland provide sheer endless opportunities for discovery and inspiration. Three peninsulas jut out into the Arctic Ocean and their curving coastal roads surprise visitors with one delightful sight after another. Sweeping vistas take turns with colorful villages nestled between fjords and stark mountainsides, the otherworldly area around Lake Mývatn offers world-class bird watching, and whale-watching expeditions depart from several northern towns and take you within a stone's throw of the Arctic Circle. The northern "capital" of Akureryi boasts a vibrant cultural life that belies its small size. Add your music to the mix and learn about Icelandic musical traditions by performing a friendship concert here with a local choir!
Within an easy day's drive from Reykjavik lie a number of truly awe-inspiring sites of natural wonders and cultural significance. There is Thingvellir, the site of Iceland's ancient parliament and also a unique geological site where you can see the rift between two of the earth's tectonic plates. Within an easy drive are Gullfoss, one of Iceland's most impressive waterfalls; the Great Geysir, which lent its name to all other hot springs around the globe; and Skálhult, the site of an ancient bishopric and a lovely venue for mid-day concert.