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Day 1: Arrival

Highlights: Reykjavik City Hall Tjornin Pond Harpa Concert Hall Reykjavik The Sun Voyager

Good to Know: Generally, on Day 2 – 11  there will be no more than 45 minutes to one-hour driving between each tour stop.  You’ll arrive at each night’s accommodation in the late afternoon.

 

Please note: If you have added extra nights in Reykjavík before your tour, the guide will meet your group for the start of the tour on the morning of Day 2 according to the standard “Across the Wilderness” itinerary.

 

Arrival at Keflavik airport. Transfers to Reykjavik are not included in the tour. We would be happy to arrange shared or private transfers for you, so let us know at booking time. Depending on when you arrive in Iceland, you might enjoy stopping at the Blue Lagoon on your way from the airport to Reykjavik. We’ll be happy to arrange a transfer for you, as well as entrance to the Blue Lagoon.

If you are arriving earlier in the day, you might consider adding a day tour or a visit to the Blue Lagoon or Sky Lagoon. We’d be happy to make suggestions based on your interests. One of our favorite activities after a long flight is to visit one of the neighborhood geothermal pools. It is so refreshing to relax in the warm water, breathing in the fresh Icelandic air. It’s a great way to get to see Icelandic daily life and maybe meet a few locals. It’s also nice to take a stroll in the old city center, perhaps visiting one of the museums or relaxing with a cup of coffee in a cozy café.

Dinner this evening is at your leisure. Reykjavik offers a multitude of restaurants and/or coffee-houses, making dinner a great way to get better acquainted with Iceland’s capital.

Please note that hotels in Iceland start check-in around 14:00 (2:00pm), and early check-in is not guaranteed. Most hotels will be happy to store your luggage if you are not able to check in early.

 

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Day 2: Thingvellir – Gullfoss – Geysir

Highlights: Geysir Hot Spring Thingvellir National Park Gullfoss Waterfall

Viking Heritage site with Geological Wonders – Glorious Waterfall & Exploding Geysers

Breakfast at your hotel. Meet your guide at the hotel and start your adventure! Your first day begins with a visit to Thingvellir National Park, the ancient site of the world’s first parliament. Here you can see the dramatic continental drift between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Your guide will share interesting facts about some of the interesting historical events that have happened at Thingvellir.

An hour’s drive away, visit the popular Geysir geothermal area. The most active geyser, Strokkur, shoots water high into the air every few minutes, but you’ll also see several other boiling pools and hot springs.

Head onwards to Iceland’s most popular waterfall, the impressive two-stage Gullfoss (“Golden Falls”). A series of easy footpaths lead around the waterfall, giving you the chance to get excellent views from different angles.

Dinner and overnight stay in the Hella area.

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Day 3: Hvolsvollur – Vik – Dyrholaey – Kirkjubaejarklaustur

Highlights: Skogafoss Waterfall Seljalandsfoss Waterfall Eyjafjallajokull Glacier Eldhraun Lava Field Reynisdrangar Cliffs Dyrholaey Promontory

Thundering Waterfalls – Seabird Colony – Black Sand – Lava Fields

Breakfast at your hotel. Start the day by driving along the highway, making a stop at two impressive waterfalls: Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. Head to the black sand beaches to enjoy the far-reaching views from Dyrholaey headland, where thousands of puffins and other sea birds’ nest (puffins seen between May and mid-August). Enjoy a stop in the quaint village of Vik before crossing the Myrdalssandur volcanic ash outwash plains created by flowing water from nearby glaciers. Your day ends after passing through the vast Eldhraun lava field, the world’s largest recorded single lava flow in the last 10.000 years.

Dinner and overnight stay in the Kirkjubaejarklaustur area for the next two nights.

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Day 4: Jokulsarlon – Skaftafell

Highlights: Hvannadalshnjukur Peak Skaftafell National Park Vatnajokull National Park Vatnajokull Glacier Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon Oraefajokull Glacier Svartifoss Waterfall

Glacial Lagoon with Icebergs – Scenic Glacial Park – Europe’s Largest Glacier

Breakfast at your hotel. Today you will be in the area of Vatnajokull National Park, the largest national park in Western Europe. The day starts with a drive through beautiful scenery towards Vatnajokull, the largest glacier in Europe. You will also get a view of Hvannadalshnjukur, the country’s highest peak. The highlight of the day will surely be the Fjallsarlon and Jokulsarlon lagoons, where huge icebergs dance around in icy seawater. Experience this stunning sight up close on a Zodiac tour among Fjallsarlon Lagoon’s icebergs. You will also view the much-photographed Diamond Beach area, where glittering shards of ice rest on a black sand beach. Continue on your way, passing by several outlet glaciers from Vatnajokull. Along the route you also will get magnificent views of Skaftafell, a glacier-crowned wonderland within Vatnajokull National Park.

Dinner and overnight stay in the Kirkjubaejarklaustur area.

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Day 5: Landmannalaugar

Highlights: Hekla Volcano Landmannalaugar Nature Reserve Thjorsardalur Valley

Multi-colored Wilderness Mountains – Lava Fields – Hot Spring Bathing

Breakfast at your hotel. It’s now time to leave the asphalt behind and meander along the scenic, rugged Fjallabaksleid interior track to Landmannalaugar, an astonishing area surrounded by colorful rhyolite mountains. The surreal beauty of the uninhabited interior reveals deep valleys and sculptured mountains, many formed by volcanic eruptions that happened beneath glaciers during the Ice Age. After a nice walk in the nature reserve (optional), enjoy a relaxing bath in a warm brook created by the convergence of hot and cold springs. It’s an authentic Iceland experience!

Dinner and overnight stay in the Thjorsardalur Valley area.

Note: Today some of the roads will be bumpy since you’re on highland wilderness tracks, but it’s all part of the adventure! The views will be amazing!

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Day 6: Sprengisandur Trail

Wild Heart of Iceland and Black Sand Desert

Breakfast at your hotel. Today, wilderness adventure awaits! It’s time to head north through the very heart of Iceland. Discover the hidden treasures of Iceland’s uninhabited interior along the black sands of the Sprengisandur highland route. With only rough tracks and un-bridged glacial rivers, your group will rely on your experienced driver to navigate the rugged passage between the glaciers. This is a true taste of Iceland’s wild side. You’ll also discover how this route holds legends and ghost stories. It is even inspiration for one of the country’s most famous folk songs! (If Sprengisandur is closed due to road conditions, your group will take the Kjolur highland route instead.)

Dinner and overnight stay in the Myvatn area for the next 3 nights.

Note: Today some of the roads will be bumpy since you’re on highland wilderness tracks, but it’s all part of the adventure! The views will be amazing!

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Day 7: Lake Myvatn – Dettifoss – Asbyrgi – Tjornes

Highlights: Myvatn Lake Dimmuborgir Lava Pillars Hverfjall Crater Jokulsargljufur National Park Asbyrgi Canyon Vatnajokull National Park Dettifoss Waterfall Husavik GeoSea Baths

Europe’s Mightiest Waterfall – Magnificent Canyon –– Volcanic Wonderland

Breakfast at your hotel. Today you will visit the northern part of Vatnajokull National Park, as well as Lake Myvatn. Travel to the unforgettable Lake Myvatn area, a geological wonderland and paradise for bird watchers. Some of the most visually bizarre attractions in the region include the colorful boiling mud pits of Hverarond and the still-warm lava fields of Krafla volcano, teeming with lava flows, fissures and explosion craters. The journey continues to Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, located in the awe-inspiring Jokulsargljufur canyon. Discover the impressive 100 meter – (328-feet) high walls of the horseshoe-shaped canyon of Asbyrgi. According to Norse mythology, the canyon is the hoof-print left by Sleipnir, the magical eight-legged horse of the pagan god Odinn. Drive around the Tjornes peninsula, the northernmost point of your journey. In the afternoon drive to the town of Husavik where you have the option to experience GeoSea spa’s geothermal saltwater baths.

Dinner and overnight stay in the Lake Myvatn area.

 

Optional activity – You MUST book and pay for this activity in advance to ensure a spot for you. Let us know during the booking process if you would like add this activity.

GeoSea geothermal bathsSoak in the naturally hot seawater while enjoying the spectacular mountain view | Duration: flexible | Includes: Bathing fee | Not included: Swimsuit and towel rental

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Day 8: Askja Caldera

Highlights: Askja Volcanic Area Vatnajokull National Park

Queen of the Mountains Trip to another Planet – Volcanic Crater Lake

Breakfast at your hotel. Today, you’ll be visiting the Askja caldera (a sunken crater) located in Vatnajokull National Park’s Odadahraun desert area. Askja’s geographic isolation and otherworldly terrain are reasons why NASA leaders used it as a training site for astronauts who went on moon missions in the 1960s and 1970s.

Your route will pass by the spectacular table-shaped mountain of Herdubreid, Iceland’s Queen of Mountains. View the vast Askja caldera, formed by a volcanic eruption during the last Ice Age. You’ll also take a walk to see the mountain-ringed Lake Askja, formed by a powerful 19th century volcanic eruption. The same eruption created an imposing crater called Viti, “the gate to Hell.” Standing at the edge of Viti crater and viewing its vast size and the brilliantly turquoise water is an amazing experience.

During the day you’ll also visit Drekagil, the Dragon Valley, famous for its strangely shaped lava formations.

Dinner and overnight stay in the Lake Myvatn area.

Note: Today some of the roads will be bumpy since you’re on highland wilderness tracks, but it’s all part of the adventure! The views will be amazing!

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Day 9: Along the Arctic Coast Way

Highlights: Godafoss Waterfall Skagafjordur Fjord Akureyri Trollaskagi Peninsula Siglufjordur Saudarkrokur Hofsos

Waterfall “Of the Gods” – The Capital of the North – Scenic Historical Fjord

Breakfast at your hotel. Today, your route takes you along the Arctic Coast Way, Iceland’s first scenic byway. The route takes you alongside the beautiful coastline and tranquil villages, a contrast to the rugged majesty of the highlands you’ve enjoyed the last few days.

Start your adventure with a visit to Godafoss (“Waterfall of the Gods”), one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. Continue to Akureyri, the vibrant “Capital of the North”. Enjoy some free time to explore this colorful and charming town. Some activities might include a visit to the delightful botanical garden, or enjoying the culture, art and fine food of the Listagil artists’ district.

Travel on the Troll Peninsula (Trollaskagi), where the rugged rocks indeed look like frozen trolls. Have your camera ready for the breathtaking views where steep mountains meet the vast Arctic Ocean. You’ll also enjoy the views of tiny and colorful fishing villages cradled in the magnificent setting. One of these villages is Siglufjordur, site of an interesting 20th century herring “gold rush.” Today the town is known for its outdoor recreation such as summer hiking and winter skiing.

Your route then continues to the Skagafjordur area, known as the traditional heart of horse breeding in Iceland. This fjord also holds many historical sites from the classic Viking-age Sagas.

Dinner and overnight stay in the Laugarbakki area.

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Day 10: Vatnsnes Peninsula - Hvammstangi – Eiriksstadir

Highlights: Vatnsnes Peninsula Hvitserkur Cliff Eiriksstadir Viking Home

Historical Farmlands – Mysterious Scenic Peninsula – Birthplace of Leif Eiriksson

Breakfast at your hotel. Your journey continues around Vatnsnes Peninsula, which holds the extraordinary rock formation of Hvitserkur, a 15 meter (49 feet) tall cliff jutting out straight from the sea. This off-the-beaten path peninsula is part of the Arctic Coast Way, which focuses on the enchanting and wild wonders that border the Arctic Circle. This is an area where the sea and the sky seem to meet, and there are inspiring views far into the distance. You might even see seals resting close to the beach.

In the afternoon, drive through rolling farmlands and across Laxardalsheidi heath to the Viking Age house at the Eric the Red Museum. This was the original homestead of Eric the Red, as well as the birthplace of his son, Leifur Eiriksson. These men are two of the most legendary Vikings in the world. In a replica of a grass-roofed house, meet modern day Vikings who will show you crafts and activities from 1.000 years ago.

Dinner and overnight stay in the Snaefellsnes area.

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Day 11: Snaefellsjokull National Park

Highlights: Arnarstapi Snaefellsjokull National Park Djupalonssandur Beach Hellnar Kirkjufell Mountain Eldborg Crater

Snaefellsjokull Glacier – Pebble Beaches – Sea Cliffs with Birdlife – Quaint Fishing Villages

Breakfast at your hotel. Today you will explore the amazing variety of natural landscapes in Snaefellsjokull National Park. The park’s crown jewel is Snaefellsjokull glacier, which covers a dormant volcano that last erupted in 250 AD. In addition, you’ll also see Kirkjufell, one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland. Walk along the uniquely pebbled seascape of Djupalonssandur beach. At the picturesque harbor village of Arnarstapi, you can see magnificent basalt rocks in stacked formations and perhaps take a walk along the unique hiking trail linking the historical settlements of Arnarstapi and Hellnar. At the end of the afternoon, your journey leads back to Reykjavik. Your guide will bid you farewell at your hotel.

Overnight in Reykjavik. Dinner is on your own.

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Day 12: Farewell to the Land of Fire and Ice

Breakfast at your hotel. Please note that this might be a light breakfast if you are taking an early morning flight. Transfer on your own to the international airport for your departure flight. The airport transfer is not included, but we are happy to help you arrange shared or private transfers. We recommend you depart your hotel no later than three hours before your departure flight.

We wish you a pleasant trip back to your homeland and hope to see you in Iceland again!

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