Events & Excursions

Receptions, Manuscript Exhibit & Congress Dinner

Reception at City Hall

Date: Wednesday 16 July
Time: 16:30 – 18:00
Venue: City Hall

The City Council invites you to the opening reception at Reykjavík’s City Hall, which is located in the city centre by the pond (Tjörnin). Light refreshments will be served.

We will meet at the main entrance of HT at 16.15 and walk in groups down to City Hall.

Included in the registration fee.


Reception at the University of Iceland

Date: Thursday 17 July
Time: 17:30 – 19:00
Venue: Háskólatorg (HT)

The School of the Humanities, University of Iceland, invites you to a reception in Háskólatorg (HT) upper level, following the final session of the day.  Light refreshments will be served.

Included in the registration fee.


Congress Dinner

Date: Saturday 19 July
Time: 19:00 
Venue: Kolabrautin (the Concert Hall Norðurljós, or Northern Lights) 

The Congress dinner will be held at the spectacular venue Harpa, Conference and Concert Centre. Pre-dinner reception will be held in Hörpuhorn, the open area in front of the main concert hall (Eldborg) on the second floor. From the main entrance take the stairs to the second floor.  The reception will be to your right when coming up the stairs. Dinner will be served in the concert hall Norðurljós (Northern Lights), also on the second floor.  There will be a cash bar in the dining hall.

Due to the unprecedented interest in the Congress Dinner we have moved the venue from Kolabraut to Norðurljós to accommodate delegates..

Harpa is located in the city centre at the waterfront. Do take the time to enjoy the building – an architectural feat that has received multiple awards – and the views over Reykjavík and the waterfront offered by the glass façade. For the location of Harpa see here.

Do note that the Congress Dinner is optional and must be booked and paid in advance when registering for the Congress. Places are limited so do reserve early. Tickets can be found in your delegate pack. Please make sure to bring your ticket with you.


Manuscript Exhibit

Date: Tuesday 15 July-Friday 18 July
Time: Several slots are available in the afternoon on Tuesday before the Congress begins and in the afternoons on Wednesday and Thursday during sessions and during the half-day excursion on Friday. Each visit is an hour long.

The Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies invites delegates to a manuscript exhibit that has been set up exclusively for the delegates of the New Chaucer Society Congress in Reykjavík.

(Image by permission of the Árni Magnússon Institute)

The Institute is named after Árni Magnússon (1663-1730) and hosts, along with the sister Institute in Denmark (Den Arnamagnæanske Samling), his remarkable collection of books and manuscripts. Árni Magnússon bequeathed his collection to the University of Denmark upon his death. In 1971 a treaty was signed between Denmark and Iceland and subsequently the collection was divided between the two countries, a decision that has aroused international attention and has been considered by Icelanders a most magnanimous gesture. The collection includes approximately 3000 manuscripts and manuscript fragments, half of which are located in Iceland. Among those preserved in the Árni Magnússon Institute in Reykjavík are such invaluable cultural artefacts as the Codex Regius of the Poetic Edda and the Book of Flatey (Flateyjarbók) containing the kings´ sagas.

Do note that the manuscript exhibit is optional and must be booked and paid in advance when registering for the Congress. Only thirty visitors are allowed per visit to protect the manuscripts so do make sure to reserve your preferred date and time early. Tickets can be found in your delegate pack. Please make sure to bring your ticket with you.


Social Program – Excursions and Other Events

We recommend good walking shoes for the day tours and suggest that you bring clothing suited for rain and wind so that you will be prepared for possible weather changes.

Afternoon Excursions on Friday 18 July

Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is a unique geothermal spa situated in the youngest lava field in west Iceland. Once there you have many recreational options such as walking in the Blue Lagoon’s spectacular surroundings, bathing in the milky blue-green water, relax in a geothermal steam bath or release the stress from your shoulders under a Blue Lagoon waterfall.

Date: Friday 18 July
Departure: 14:00
Pick-up: At venue site
Duration: 4 hours

Blue Lagoon - Bathing:
Included: Bus and bathing fee
Price: 9,900 ISK, per person

Blue Lagoon - Visitors only (no bathing):
Included: Bus and visitors pass
Price: 5,100 ISK, per person


Whale-Watching  ***FULLY BOOKED***

The summer season is great for whale watching, when the wildlife in the bay is at its peak. This is the time when the migrating whales and birds entertain us with their magnificent presence in the happy company of the resident whales. Commonly seen are mink whales, white-beaked dolphins, harbour porpoises and humpback whales. During the puffin season, between mid-May and mid-August, we stop by one of the puffin islands for a closer look at these charismatic birds.

Date: Friday 18 July
Departure: 14:00, be there 15 minutes earlier
Location: Ægisgarður 5 (Reykjavík´s old harbour), see location here (do note that the location of departure has changed)
Duration: 3–3.5 hours
Included: Comfortable trip on our whale watching boat with inside and outside viewing areas
Price: 8,000 ISK, per person

* This tour is operated with Elding


Þingvellir

No single place epitomises the history of Iceland and the Icelandic nation better than Þingvellir National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) by the river Öxará. At Þingvellir, Parliament (or Alþingi) was established around 930 and continued to convene there until 1798. Major events in the history of Iceland have taken place at Þingvellir and therefore the place is held in high esteem by all Icelanders. Today Þingvellir is a protected national shrine. In the last few decades, research has made it clear that Þingvellir is a natural wonder on an international scale, where the geologic history and the bio system of Lake Þingvallavatn form a unique entity. The Þingvellir area is part of a fissure zone running through Iceland, being situated on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The faults and fissures of the area reveal the rifting of the earth's crust.

Date: Friday 18 July  
Departure: 14:00
Pick-up: At venue site
Duration: 4 hours
Included: Guided tour and bus
Minimum participants: 20
Price:  6,500 ISK, per person


Day Tours on Sunday 20 July

Golden Circle Tour

This popular excursion introduces you to some of the best known historical sites and natural phenomena in Iceland. We will start by visiting the Þingvellir National Park, where the Icelandic Parliament, Alþingi, was founded in the year 930 AD. Þingvellir is a geological marvel and its tectonic plate boundaries form breath-taking scenery. We will then continue to the beautiful Gullfoss waterfall, where we will be able to walk so close to the edge that we might even feel the mist of the glacial water on our faces.

From Gullfoss we will drive towards the geothermal area around the incredible spouting hot springs of Geysir and Strokkur. We proceed to Skálholt church, the ancient seat of the Icelandic bishops. From there we travel towards Hveragerði, a small and charming horticultural village.

Date: Sunday 20 July
Departure: 9:00
Pick-up: At venue site
Duration: 8–9 hours
Included: Guided tour, bus and lunch at Hotel Geysir
Minimum participants: 20
Price: 12.000 ISK, per person


Reykholt and Þingvellir

This special tour takes you to Reykholt in Borgarfjordur, which is one of Iceland's major historic sites, a cultural centre of past and present. The cultural heritage of this place is mainly based around the residence of saga writer and historian, Snorri Sturluson, who lived in Reykholt between 1206 and 1241. People visit Reykholt mainly for its history. The greatest attractions are Reykholt's famous antiquities (pool, passageway, old farmstead and hot water and steam channels dating from Snorri's time), which Snorrastofa and the National Museum of Iceland supervise and introduce to visitors. You will be offered lunch at Reykholt and the administrator of Reykholt will guide you through its history in his vibrant narrative style. From Reykholt we drive through Kaldidalur passing Hraunfossar and Húsafell.

No single place epitomises the history of Iceland and the Icelandic nation better than Þingvellir National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) by the river Öxará. At Þingvellir, Parliament (or Alþingi) was established around 930 and continued to convene there until 1798. Major events in the history of Iceland have taken place at Þingvellir and therefore the place is held in high esteem by all Icelanders. Today Þingvellir is a protected national shrine. In the last few decades, research has made it clear that Þingvellir is a natural wonder on an international scale, where the geologic history and the bio system of Lake Þingvallavatn form a unique entity. The Þingvellir area is part of a fissure zone running through Iceland, being situated on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The faults and fissures of the area reveal the rifting of the earth's crust.

Date: Sunday 20 July
Departure: 10:00
Pick-up: At venue site
Duration: 9 hours
Included: Guided tour, bus and lunch at Fosshotel (Reykholt)
Minimum participants: 20
Price: 18,000 ISK, per person


Reykjanes Peninsula and Blue Lagoon

The lava-scarred Reykjanes peninsula lies on one of the world's major plate boundaries, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. According to the continental drift theory the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates are continuously drifting apart with great forces under the gaping rifts. As the plates diverge, linear fractures, known as fissures form due to stresses created by the tension that builds up as the plates move away from each other. The Bridge between the two continents at Sandvík is a small footbridge over a major fissure which provides clear evidence of the presence of a diverging plate margin. The bridge was built as a symbol for the connection between Europe and North America.

Next you will enjoy all the qualities the Blue Lagoon has to offer! The Blue Lagoon is a unique geothermal spa situated in the youngest lava field in west Iceland. Once there you have many recreational options such as walking in the Blue Lagoon’s spectacular surroundings, bathing in the milky blue-green water, relax in a geothermal steam bath or release the stress from your shoulders under a Blue Lagoon waterfall.

Date: Sunday 20 July
Departure: 09:00
Pick-up: At venue site
Duration:  7 hours
Included: Guided tour, bus, bathing fee and/or visitors pass and lunch at the Blue Lagoon
Minimum participants: 20
Price w/ bathing fee: 17,900 ISK, per person
Price w/ visitors pass only: 13,100 ISK, per person


Open Events

Student Evening 

Date: Tuesday 15 July
Time: 17:00
Venue: Stúdentakjallarinn (the Student Cellar)

The graduate student assistants at the Congress will be hosting a social evening for graduate students in Stúdentakjallarinn (the Student Cellar), a bar/ restaurant located in the basement of HT on campus. All students attending the Congress are welcome.

Open event.


Polyglot Reading of the General Prologue 

Date: Thursday 17 July
Time: 19:30
Venue: Stúdentakjallarinn (the Student Cellar)

The Global Chaucers project invites delegates to a polyglot reading of the General Prologue at Stúdentakjallarinn (the Student Cellar), a bar/restaurant located in the basement of HT on campus. The event is organised by Candace Barrington on behalf of the project. Attendance is free and open to all.

Open event.


External Events

The group Saga Tiata will be doing a reading and showing a pilot film of a Nigerian adaptation of the Miller´s Tale, The Miller´s Tale: Wahala Dey O, on Wednesday 16 July.  For those interested in the film further information can be found here: http://www.sagatiata.net/.  Do note that this is an independent event and that those interested will have to book their ticket through Tjarnarbio´s ticket sales.  The local organisers are not responsible for the event or admission.