Midwifery in Iceland

6 - 15 May 2024
  • Medical & Professional Tours

About the tour

Iceland is a magical island humming with energy and natural phenomena that turns everyday experiences - a walk, a drive, a dip in a pool - into something that will take your breath away. Its beauty comes from a vast volcanic landscape where mighty forces shape the earth: geysers and glooping mudflats, rumbling volcanoes swathed in ice and glaciers grinding their way through mountains. Its rich cultural life encompasses a literary legacy that stretches from medieval sagas to contemporary thrillers by way of Nobel Prize winners, as well as life, music and Nordic style.

As well as its wonderful culture and landscapes, the local people are welcoming and creative and have a progressive, egalitarian sensibility. Here, midwives are known as Ljósmóðir or 'Mothers of Light', which reflects the status that the midwives have always held in Iceland, where formal midwifery training first began back in 1761.

Experience the beauty and culture of this remarkable island while gaining insight into its midwifery and maternal services through a wide ranging professional programme, led by Dame Professor Cathy Warwick CBE.

Sigfridur Inga Karlsdottir - National Guide

We are very fortunate to have the services of one of Iceland's most senior midwives, Inga Karlsdottir, as the national guide for this tour. Inga has worked with us on previous midwifery tours to Iceland and is highly respected within the international midwifery community, as well as being well liked for her warmth and generosity.

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Your tour leader

Picture of JBT tour leader, ​Professor Cathy Warwick CBE

​Professor Cathy Warwick CBE

Dame Cathy Warwick was Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives for 9 years and now works independently. Cathy is also Honorary Professor of Midwifery and an Honorary Professor of Midwifery at Kings College London. In 2006 she was awarded a CBE for services to Midwifery and Healthcare and in 2017 was made a Dame. Cathy lectures, writes and advises on midwifery issues with a particular interest in the organisation of care and the promotion of choice for women. Cathy has travelled widely both on her own and with her family, visiting midwifery units in America, Sri Lanka and South Africa. Professor Warwick has previously led successful midwifery study tours to China, India, South Africa, Nepal, Brazil, Cuba, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.

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Itinerary at a glance

  • Day 1: Reykjavik (Sat, 6 May): Arrive and make your way to the hotel. There will be a welcome dinner in the evening
  • Day 2: Reykjavik (Sun, 7 May): Visit the Björkin project and meet the midwives who run it. In the afternoon relax with a trip to the Blue Lagoon, a hot outdoor bath with spectacular scenery
  • Day 3: Reykjavik – Akranes – Akureyri (Mon, 8 May): Visit the biggest hospital in Iceland, Landspítali, and meet with local midwives. Drive to Akranes and visit their hospital which is popular for natural births. Visit Kolugljúfur and Glaumbær before continuing to Akureyri, the second biggest town in Iceland and where you will spend the next two nights
  • Day 4: Akureyri (Tues, 9 May): Visit the multidisciplinary hospital that serves the north and east of Iceland. In the afternoon there will be sightseeing around Akureyri
  • Day 5: Akureyri / Egilsstaoir (Wed, 10 May): Drive onto eastern Iceland visiting Goðafoss, Skútustaðagíar, Dimmuborgir, Hverarönd. Continue to Egilsstaðir, arriving in the late afternoon and check into the hotel before dinner
  • Day 6: Eglisstaoir / Neskaupsstaour /East Fjords / Hofn (Thurs, 11 May): Drive to Neskaupstaður and visit the hospital there to meet local midwives. Continue to the East Fjords to the small sea village of Höfn and overnight
  • Day 7: Hofn / Jokulsarlon / Skaftafell / Vik (Fri, 12 May): Depart this morning for the beautiful glacial lagoon of Jökulsárlón and explore the area with its rich bird life. Continue along the coastline and see the many glacial tongues and one of Iceland's biggest volcanoes, Öræfajökull Glacier. Stop off at the National Park Skaftafell and walk to Svartifoss waterfall. Continue and over night in Vik
  • Day 8: Vik / South Shore / Selfoss (Sat, 13 May): Today head to the south shore of Iceland, known for its beautiful landscapes, waterfalls, black sand and glaciers. Continue along the south shore to Seljalandsfoss waterfall and Skógafoss waterfall. Visit Selfoss Hospital which has birthing rooms for natural births. Check into your hotel
  • Day 9: Selfoss / Golden Circle / Hafnarfjorour (Sun, 14 May): Visit the Golden Circle, stopping first at Thingvallanvatn, Iceland's largest natural lake. Continue to Gullfoss waterfall, the geyser geothermal area where Strokkur spouts its hot water and steam 25 - 30m into the air. Continue to Hafnarfjörður and check into the Viking Hotel. This evening there will be a Viking farewell dinner
  • Day 10: Reykjavik (Mon, 15 May): After breakfast, make your way back to the airport for the flight home or extend your stay

Tour cost

The cost of the tour sharing a room is USD $4,942. The cost of the tour with a room to yourself is USD $5,380

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