The Circle of Iceland in Winter 8 Day Guided Adventure

The Circle of Iceland in Winter 8 Day Guided Adventure
On this 8-day guided tour you will travel from Reykjavík around the Ring Road of Iceland seeing attractions such as Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, many waterfalls, Akureyri and the Snæfellsnes peninsula.
The black sand beach, Reynisfjara, can be found along Iceland's South Coast.
Iceland's ice caves form every year, before melting away with the oncoming summer season.
There's nothing so magical as stepping inside of an ice cave for the first time.
Kirkjufell mountain in the Snæfellsnes Peninsula under a thick blanket of snow.
Icebergs glittering on Diamond Beach, only five minutes walk away from Jokusarlon Glacial Lagoon.
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Join this all-encompassing, guided minibus small group tour, travelling the full circle around Iceland to explore and experience the country's most iconic natural attractions. This tour is tailored to travellers who are looking to maximise their vacation time, as well as those looking to experience the full breadth of Iceland's unmatched diversity.  

From the snow-wreathed mountains of the Eastfjords to the rugged, dried lava fields of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, there's no telling of the adventure that awaits. Throughout this eight-day winter journey, you will visit numerous towns and coastal villages, scale glaciers, discover charming lakes, marvel at cascading waterfalls, and so much more. 

There is also ample opportunity to add extra excursions to your trip during the booking process. You can go glacier hiking up Sólheimajökull, venture into a lava tube at Vatnshellir Cave, go horse riding, or partake in the incredible chance to go inside an authentic ice cave.

You will spend time in many of Iceland's national parks and nature reserves, including UNESCO World Heritage site Þingvellir and Vatnajökull National Park. For landscape photographers and nature lovers, these regions offer a fantastic opportunity to revel in Iceland's landscape and geology. 

This is a guided tour, meaning there will be plenty of opportunities to soak up the Icelandic culture, ask questions and garner a true understanding of the geological makeup and natural phenomena that make the country so attractive. 

Every night will conclude with a possible display of the celestial phenomenon,  the Northern Lights. Their appearance can never be guaranteed, but exploring the country in wintertime is one of your best chances of spotting them. You will also retire to the best available accommodation available throughout your entire stay.  

So don't delay—hop on this fantastic guided bus excursion and you too can experience the best of Iceland's natural delights! Check availability by choosing a date.


Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Sep. - Apr.
  • Duration: 8 days
  • Activities: Glacier Hiking, Caving, Horse Riding, Whale Watching, Sightseeing, Northern lights hunting, Hot Spring Bathing, Cultural Activity, Ice Caving
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: 8 years.
  • Languages: English
  • Attractions: Golden Circle, North Iceland, West Iceland , Reykjavík, Akureyri, Jökulsárlón, Vatnajökull, Mývatn, Dimmuborgir, Goðafoss, Snæfellsjökull, Skógafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Geysir, Gullfoss, Eyjafjallajökull, Þingvellir, Katla, Snæfellsnes, Sólheimajökull, Mýrdalsjökull, Skaftafell, Silfra, Sólheimasandur, Eyjafjörður, Borgarfjörður, Húsafell, Höfn, Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach, Hellnar, Reykholt, Borgarnes, Skeiðarársandur, Arnarstapi, Vík í Mýrdal, Egilsstaðir, Hella, Akureyrarkirkja, Fáskrúðsfjörður, Kirkjufell, Reynisfjall, Snæfellsjökull National Park, Reynisdrangar, Öxarárfoss, Haukadalur, Skaftafellsjökull, Námaskarð, Lagarfljót, Vatnshellir Cave, Breiðavík, Lóndrangar, Djúpalónssandur, Hallormsstaðaskógur, Breiðamerkurjökull, South Coast, Diamond Beach, Ring Road, Kjarnaskógur, East Fjords
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : 08:00.

Pick up might take 30-40 minutes. Please be ready at your selected location. Read carefully if you will be picked up at your hotel or at the nearest designated area (Bus Stop). For walking distance to bus stops, please check busstop.is.

Included:
  • 8 day guided tour to the South Coast, East and North of Iceland as well as Snæfellsnes Peninsula, travelling via the Ring Route

  • 7 nights of accommodation in various country hotels with breakfast and a private bathroom

  • Northern Lights spotting

  • Taxes

  • Flights

  • Any additional activities (can be added when booking)

  • Lunch and dinner


What to bring:
  • Warm and waterproof clothing

  • Camera

  • A sense of adventure

  • Winter hiking shoes

  • Swimsuit and a towel


Good to know:

Customers travelling on their own will receive a single room. Reservations for 2 people will be allocated a double room. For bookings of 3 or more, triple rooms will automatically be allocated. For example, a group of 8 will receive 2 triple rooms and 1 double. If these arrangements do not meet your requirements, please contact the provider.

The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, and therefore cannot be guaranteed, but this itinerary is designed to maximise your chances to see them if weather allows. Please be advised that there is no specific Northern Lights hunt on this tour, but your guide will notify you if the conditions are favourable and advise you on how to best spot them.

It can happen, in the case of extreme weather, that an activity is cancelled. If your chosen activity is cancelled, we will assist you with rearranging or booking other activities when possible, and any potential price difference will be refunded to you.

Please note that only pick up and drop-off from designated pick up locations in the greater capital area is available, not from Keflavík International Airport. Therefore, we do not recommend attempting to start this tour on your arrival day in Iceland. Arrival time back to Reykjavík at the end of your tour can vary depending on weather and traffic.

It is highly recommended that you do not book your flight home the same night as bad weather or delays could affect your journey. Please be sure to arrange accommodation for this evening and an airport transfer the next day to take you to Keflavík International Airport for your departure.

Note that Icelandic roads and pavements can be slippery in the wintertime. We recommend you bring shoes with slip-resistant soles or ice-grip shoe covers. The covers can be purchased in most supermarkets and gas stations around the country.



Daily itinerary

Day 1 - The Golden Circle


Strokkur blasting out boiling water at sunrise.


Today, you start your 8-day adventure. After being picked up, you will meet your experienced guide and acquaint yourself with the rest of the group. Then it's on to the real fun: the Golden Circle tour, one of Iceland's most popular attractions. First, you will discover Þingvellir National Park, one of only three national parks in Iceland, and the only site on the mainland with UNESCO World Heritage status.

The reasons for this are immediately apparent. First, this is the site where Iceland's earliest settlers formed what would later become known as the Alþingi, in 930 AD, making it the oldest surviving Parliament in the world. Second, the park is located directly atop the Mid-Atlantic Ridge; both the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates can be seen here, standing out of the earth.

From Þingvellir, you will travel a short distance to two more attractions, Geysir and Gullfoss. The first is a geothermally active area where visitors can see the hot spring Strokkur, spurting out boiling water every five minutes or so—another intriguing insight into the country's geological activity.

From there, you will travel to Gullfoss ("Golden Falls"), one of Iceland's most iconic waterfalls. This powerful feature drops 32 metres over two rocky tiers, an incredible natural display.

If you wish to make this memorable day even more memorable, you can add on a horse riding tour during the booking process and ride the friendly Icelandic horse through the beautiful snowy countryside.

On your first evening, you will spend the night in an area near the Golden Circle, or in Hella village. Throughout your journey, you'll mostly be staying in countryside accommodations, providing excellent opportunities to witness the northern lights, should the skies be clear of clouds.


Accommodation

Below you can see our preferred partners for this night. In the case of these hotels not being an option, an alternative of the same standard will be arranged.

Icelandair Hótel Flúðir

Icelandair Hotel Flúðir is located in the golden circle and is close to Geysir and Gullfoss waterfall. All rooms have wooden floors and a patio with garden access. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Stracta Hotel Hella

Stracta Hotel Hella is a 3-star hotel in the town of Hella. The hotel has an on-site bar with a lounge for guests and a sun terrace. Free access to hot tub. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 2 - The South Coast & Glacier Hike


The black sand beach, Reynisfjara, during the winter.


Your second day will see you travelling down the South Coast of Iceland, one of the country's most beautiful areas. From your accommodations, you will pass scenery of great variety: rustic farmlands, cascading rivers and picturesque waterfalls, including Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss.

On your right side, the rolling blue waves of the Atlantic Ocean complement this Nordic paradise. There will be numerous stops to take photographs and soak up the scenery. There will also be a stop for an additional adventure: a glacier hike on Sólheimajökull (if you opted for that in your booking process).

On the hike, you will trek up the glacier, passing deep crevasses and jagged ridges, all the while taking in the incredible view of your surroundings. The ice itself is deep blue, but the glacier's snowy peaks are blackened by ash from volcanic eruptions.

Before you retire to your accommodations—either in or close to the small coastal village of Vík—you will visit the famous black sand beach of Reynisfjara where you will be able to get an up-close look at the naturally intricate basalt stacks.

The village is also an excellent stop to chow down on delicious, traditional Icelandic food and shop for homemade handicrafts.


Accommodation

Hotel Dyrhólaey

Hotel Dyrhólaey is located 9 km from Vík. It has both a great view of the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier and the ocean. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Hotel Katla

Hotel Katla is a 3-star country hotel situated 5 km east of Vík. Comfortable private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free access to a hot tub and a sauna. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 3 - Jokulsarlon & Ice Caving


The dazzling blue interior of Iceland's ice caves.


Your third day is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip. As you travel across the black sand desert of Skeiðarársandur, the sight of Skaftafell National Park emerges before you in a display of steep mountain ridges, carved ice sheets and dramatic wooded slopes.

As you proceed, you will stop at Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, one of the most iconic spots in the whole of Iceland. Here you will see icebergs of pure white and cerulean blue breaking off from the enormous glacier, Breiðamerkurjökull, then floating out into the lagoon to create an awe-inspiring natural spectacle. If you keep your eyes peeled, you might even spot some resident seals playing in the water or lounging on the icebergs.

On this day you will also have the unique opportunity to explore the insides of a glacier on a trip to one of Iceland's ice caves. The full spectrum of colours is bound to entice you, as is the sense of adventure that comes with descending these icy inlets. If you are visiting between November and March, you'll visit a cave in Vatnajökull glacier. If visiting at other times of the year, you'll step inside the frozen world of the glacier Mýrdalsjökull.

Your night will then be spent in the area under Vatnajökull glacier.


Accommodation

Hotel Edda Höfn

Hotel Edda Höfn is located close to a harbour in a town called Höfn. Guests can enjoy a great view of the ocean in rooms with modern decor. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Hótel Höfn

Hotel Höfn is a 3-star hotel located in Höfn town central. Guests can enjoy a great view of the glacier or the ocean from most rooms. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 4 - The Eastfjords


Vestrahorn, one of the East's most dramatic mountainscapes.


Today, you will continue towards the Eastfjords, one of the most spectacular and untouched wilderness regions in Iceland. The sense of peace and tranquillity that comes with exploring this diverse area can only be described as a true connection to nature.

Because of this region's lack of development, the East provides some of the best opportunities to potentially see wildlife, including herds of roaming wild reindeer.

There are a number of stops this day that, due to their natural splendour, are bound to defy the imagination, including the forest Hallormsstaðaskógur, the lake Lagarfljót, the sweeping fjords of the East and several charming fishing settlements.

Tonight, you will stay in accommodations in the Eastfjords area.


Accommodation

Icelandair Hotel Hérað

Icelandair Hotel Hérað is a 3-star hotel centrally located in Egilsstaðir town. Bright, private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included, with a focus on local ingredients.

Lake Hótel Egilsstaðir

Lake Hotel Egilsstaðir is a 3-star hotel located right by the lake Lagarfljót. It is also within a short walking distance from the centre of Egilsstaðir town. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Spa on site for an additional price. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 5 - Lake Myvatn & Dimmuborgir


Much of the area surrounding Lake Mývatn is geothermal.


At the beginning of your fifth day, you will head inward toward the scenic Lake Mývatn ("Fly Lake"). Thankfully, the flies are nowhere to be seen in the winter months, leaving you free to soak in the atmosphere of the lake and its dramatic volcanic scenery.

One point of interest here is Dimmuborgir ("Dark Castles"), an area characterised by its strange rock formations, some of which come together to resemble a dark, fantastical fort. Legends state that this is the home of the hidden people, but the harsh looking lava fields have also been used as mythical and otherworldly locations for film and television.

Another remarkable site is Námaskarð, a geothermal area of bubbling mud pools and steaming fumaroles. A local custom is to place dough of sweet rye bread in metal containers and bury them in the area overnight, leaving the land to slowly bake the most delicious meal.

During the day, you will also have the option to visit Mývatn Nature Baths, an excellent spa fed by warm and mineral-rich geothermal water.

On your way from Mývatn, you will stop at the waterfall Goðafoss, which is rich with history as well as beauty. As you drive through the Víkurskarð mountain pass, you can take in the stunning views of the surrounding Eyjafjörður fjord and snowy vistas. Soon you will enter Akureyri, where you can look forward to exploring the town, which is full of museums, shops and cafes.

You will spend the evening in the Akureyri area. 


Accommodation

Icelandair Hotel Akureyri

Icelandair Hotel Akureyri is a 3-star hotel centrally located in the town of Akureyri, right next to the swimming pool. Private bedroom and a private bathroom. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

Hótel Norðurland

Hotel Norðurland is located in the centre of Akureyri and is close to many restaurants and shops. Private bedroom and a private bathroom. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 6 - Whale Watching or Beer Spa in North Iceland


Make sure you keep your eyes on the sky as you travel around the country in the winter, you might catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.


Today you will be making your way to the west part of the island. Before you leave the North, however, you will visit some of the region’s spectacular sites. 

First up is the peaceful, picturesque village of Hauganes. This tiny settlement is home to only about 140 people, but it is rich in charm. Here, you can spend some time strolling on the black sand beach found there or walk to the harbour to see the fishing boats bob up and down in the ocean.

If you are looking for some adventure, you could join a whale watching tour from the harbour and try and spot these gentle giants in their natural habitat. Of the many species found there, the great Humpback Whales, Minke Whales, Harbour Porpoise, and White Beaked Dolphins are the most commonly spotted, but there is always a chance to see other types such as Orcas or even Blue Whales.

If, however, you are in a mood for relaxation, but with a twist, the Bjórböðin Beer Spa might be the perfect option for you. There, you’ll have a chance to soak in warm beer and beer yeast, said to do wonders for both your hair and skin. If you wish, you can unwind with a cold beer in your hand as well. 

As you continue your journey, your guide will tell you the folklore about the unique-looking rock, Hvítserkur, which is your next stop. This massive monolith is said to look like a dragon or an elephant drinking out of the surrounding water.

You will then arrive at your accommodations near the town of Borgarnes. Before going to bed, you could spend the evening relaxing in the hotel’s hot tub and gaze up at the sky in hopes of catching a glimpse of the elusive Northern Lights. 


Accommodation

Icelandair Hotel Hamar

Icelandair Hotel Hamar is a hotel just outside of Borgarnes. The hotel has great outdoor activities on site including an 18-hole golf course, outdoor hot tubs, and a great view. There is a restaurant on site. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

B59

The hotel is located in Borgarnes and has impressive sea and mountain views from the rooms. Spa and fitness center are found on site. All bedrooms have private bathrooms that include shower or bath, hairdryer, and free toiletries. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 7 - West Iceland & Snaefellsnes Peninsula


Iceland becomes a winter wonderland when it is blanketed in snow.


Today, you’ll get to explore the beautiful West-Iceland before making your way to the magnificent Snæfellsnes Peninsula. 

You’ll start the day by visiting Deildartunguhver, Europe’s most powerful hot spring where boiling water bubbles up from the ground, which has been dyed red by the water’s minerals, and steam encompasses the area.

Then it is off to Reykholt, which is one of the most important historical locations in the country. It was the homestead of the poet, Saga-author, scholar, law-maker and chieftain, Snorri Sturluson, who was arguably one of the most significant figures of the Middle Ages.

From there, you’ll visit two vastly different but equally stunning waterfalls, Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. The former is actually a series of rivulets that seep through pores in the surrounding dark lava field. The latter, Barnafoss, is a bright blue colour and rushes rapidly through a narrow gorge.

You will then make your way back to your accommodation. Get a good night’s sleep as you will spend the whole day tomorrow exploring the wondrous Snæfellsnes. 


Accommodation

Icelandair Hotel Hamar

Icelandair Hotel Hamar is a hotel just outside of Borgarnes. The hotel has great outdoor activities on site including an 18-hole golf course, outdoor hot tubs, and a great view. There is a restaurant on site. Private bedrooms with private bathrooms. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.

B59

The hotel is located in Borgarnes and has impressive sea and mountain views from the rooms. Spa and fitness centre are found on site. All bedrooms have private bathrooms that include shower or bath, hairdryer, and free toiletries. Free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included.


Day 8 - Snaefellsnes Peninsula In-Depth


Kirkjufell is the most photographed mountain in Iceland.


This is the final day of your tour, sure to round off your trip to Iceland wonderfully. Today, you will explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula further. You will find here a world of dramatic mountainscapes, great cliff-faces, numerous bird species and ancient fishing settlements.

Your first stop will be at Gerðuberg, a stunning cliff made of hexagonal basalt columns. From there, you’ll head to Ytri-Tunga where you’ll see something unusual in Iceland, a white sand beach.

The beach at Ytri-Tunga is not made from black volcanic sand like most beaches in the country but golden sand. Impressive as that is here in this country, the most remarkable sight at Ytri-Tunga is actually the seal colonies which can often be seen lounging about on the beach

From there, you'll head to the black pebble beach of Djúpalónssandur. To get to the beach, you will have to walk through a natural maze of free-standing lava pillars. The scene looks like it was taken straight out of a fairytale. 

Watching over you throughout your journey today is the massive Snæfellsjökull glacier. This natural feature was used as the entrance to the centre of the Earth in Jules Verne's classic sci-fi novel and today, you can go on your own underground adventure. One of Iceland's most extensive lava caves, Vatnshellir, is the next stop. This underground dome is easily accessible and explorable with a good guide.

No tour of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula is complete without a visit to the iconic Kirkjufell mountain, your next stop. This picturesque mountain was featured in Game of Thrones as the 'mountain like an arrowhead', located beyond the Wall. Don't worry, there are no White-Walkers in Iceland (anymore). 

When your excursion of this 90 km long peninsula comes to an end, you will head to Reykjavík, bringing your journey to an end. You can expect to arrive in Reykavík in the early evening, but it is highly recommended that you do not plan to fly out the same night in case of any delays or bad weather. Take the opportunity to explore the world's most northern capital Reykjavík and its exciting nightlife.


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Wonderfully amazing~ this week of late October, we got rain then rainbow, snow white and blue ice, most of all - dazzling dancing northern light!! So lucky to be with JK and these travel mates from Asia and Europe!! JK‘s great driving through the snowstorms gave us cool experience with reassurance. JK also told local stories and shared useful instructions all the way. Everyone was friendly and warm, punctual and helpful! Positive energy made great adventure as well as sweet connection with Aurora Borealis:) Recommend this 8-day Circle of Iceland tour!! The route is well designed with good accommodation and service. More nights widen the chance of seeing northern light! Our last two nights at Reykholt, bright greenlight dancing filled the starry sky...(wonder how Aurora Australis dances)
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A wonderful trip. Our guide Helga is really kind and nice. Our group only ten people, we like a family. Iceland's views are amazing! Especially the South, East and North. The circle can help you to explore it. If you are not interested in west you can choose the 6 days trip. Hotels are nice and clean, very comfortable. Highly recommended this program.
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We had the best time on our 8 day circle tour with our small group! We had 13 people including our amazing tour guide Hildi! It was chilly but we had zero rain the entire time and we loved the itinerary of the trip. We were able to see everything offered, the accommodations were all nice, and we felt it was a perfect mix of sight seeing, exploring, and free time. I highly recommend this tour and I highly praise Hildi as a tour guide!
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My wife and I went on this 8-day tour and it is hands down one of the best vacations we ever had. The tour was packed with a lot of 'Once in a life time' activities focused on the most beautiful raw nature of Iceland and yet it was a relaxing vacation! Our guide Omar was excellent, knowledgeable and funny constantly breaking the ice among the small group of our co-tourists from different countries. He was passionate about introducing us to the local culture and people and also took us to some unique small village restaurants including one that has a 300-cow farm! He went out of his way to make sure we all experienced 'Northern lights' on 3 different days! He also made sure the whole tour was completed like clock work while giving us ample time to explore the places on our own. Hotels we stayed at were very good and the staff were very friendly and helpful. My booking and subsequent customer service experience with Guide to Iceland was excellent! They were very prompt to all my email questions and also accommodated activities that I asked for in the last minute. My wife and I decided to come back to Iceland some time in future even before we left Iceland! I strongly recommend this tour to anybody looking for relaxed vacation packed with nature based activities.
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Our guide August was awesome. He was always on time and went out of his way to explain the people and culture. I have taken other guided trips in other countries and I feel like this trip was the best overall. I have told my friends and family about my experience and recommend they put this trip on their list.
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Amazing trip,had ever weather from sunshine to snow and torrential rain one evening. Warm clothes and water proof clothing and sturdy footwear are a must. Sight seeing , waterfalls, glaciers ,whale spotting and lava fields, Iceland has it all. Our guide/ driver , Helga , was always prepared to allow all the time we needed at our stops. Loved the small group experience, only 13 in our party.
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A big thank you to Jon (Frostie) for his tour of Iceland; his stories of the Sagas (which we have read) , his knowledge of the history and sights were beneficial to all - we loved our 8 day tour. Do yourself a favour -you must visit Iceland.
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Our Tour Guide/Driver, his name is Axel , was excellent. He did a very great job all throughtout the tour, he is the best. The landscapes, sceneries & attractions that we visited were awesome. And most of all , I was very pleased to see the Northern lights 4 times from 4 different hotel grounds on the hotels where we stayed , which was very convenient no need to go to far away places to hunt for the lights. I have 3 friends that are interested to book the same tour that I booked. They were very impressed with all the photos that I posted in FB. Very fortunate to have booked this tour, a wonderful memory for a lifetime.
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This was a fantastic trip. Our guide Omar was very nice, and Iceland itself is totally unique.
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We loved every moment, if you have more than 8 days book more days, Our guide August was informative, passionate and had a wicked sense of humor. He was an excellant driver, especially through the mountains! He was aware of road conditions always keeping safety in mind. The weather? be prprared for everything its Iceland! there were activities everyday, accommodations were cozy and varied from Hotels to country inns. Be prepared to have last minute changes due to weather, we saw everything that was offered and was glad that all arrangements were taken care of. I only wished we had been there longer! Husband's comment "PERFECT"
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