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Day 1: Arrival

Highlights: Reykjavik Reykjavik City Hall Laugardalur Harpa Concert Hall Hallgrimskirkja

Arrival in Iceland – The world’s northernmost capital city

Approximate distance: 50 km / 30 miles

Once you have landed at Keflavik Airport in Iceland, please pick up your luggage and head through customs. Collect your rental car at the airport make sure you receive a tablet with protective case and chargers, and proceed to your hotel in Reykjavik. The rest of the day is yours to rest and use at your own leisure.

If you have arrived early today, you have a treat waiting for you! Though Reykjavik may be small, it is a vibrant city full of culture and activities. A great way to shake off jet lag is a swim in one of the city’s outdoor geothermal swimming pools. Swimming areas have lap pools, hot tubs of various temperatures and often a steam bath. This is a great way to enjoy daily life in Iceland.

Since you’re going to be visiting areas with glaciers, we suggest visiting the interactive Wonders of Iceland exhibit at the Perlan museum. There you will learn interesting facts about glaciers in a fun way, including visiting a man-made ice cave. You can also get a great intro to the power of volcanoes, earthquakes and geothermal areas. After visiting the exhibit, we recommend checking out the observation deck which provides a 360° view of the city.

The Reykjavik City Hall is also a nice place to visit to get to know more about Iceland.  A huge 3-D relief map of Iceland shows you the location of the glaciers, mountains and coastline you will see on your trip.

Please note check-in for most hotels begins at 14:00 – 16:00 (2:00pm – 4:00pm)

Overnight in Reykjavik.

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Day 2: Reykjavik to Borgarfjordur

Highlights: Hvalfjordur Fjord Borgarnes Settlement Center of Iceland Deildartunguhver Hraunfossar Barnafoss Haafell Farm

Whale Fjord – Europe’s Most Powerful Hot Spring – Magical waterfalls

Approximate distance: 155 km / 96 miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Today, head to the scenic Borgarfjordur region via the Hvalfjordur tunnel (if you don’t want to take the tunnel, you can take the scenic coastal road instead (adds additional 17 km / 10 miles to the trip). Borgarfjordur is a popular area among locals from Reykjavik, who enjoy coming here for holidays. It’s also been gaining popularity with international visitors for its exotic landscapes and Viking history. We suggest a stop in Borgarnes town where you can learn about the first Viking settlers in the area at the popular Settlement Museum. Visit Deildartunguhver, Europe’s most powerful hot springs, the beautiful Hraunfossar (the Lava Falls), where melted water from a glacier flows through interesting lava formations. Nearby is Barnafoss (the Children’s Falls) and its brilliant blue waters. Near Deildartunguhver you can indulge in hot spring relaxation at the Krauma natural geothermal baths. Krauma is known for its “fire and ice” experience since it combines Deildartunguhver’s hot spring waters with cool spring water that originates from the mountains.

Tonight, you are well situated to catch a glimpse of the famous northern lights, if Mother Nature decides to cooperate.

Overnight in the Borgarfjordur area (2 nights).

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Optional Tours:

Day 3: Borgarfjordur – Langjokull Glacier

Highlights: Snorrastofa – Reykholt Husafell Vidgelmir

Langjokull Glacier and Icelandic Sagas

Approximate distance: varies

Breakfast at your hotel. Today you’ll explore the marvelous Borgarfjordur region. Here’s a hidden gem filled with enchanting volcanic scenery, glacial views, and Viking age history. Langjokull glacier offers exciting adventures such as exploring an ice cave and tunnel built into the icy-blue heart of the glacier. Start with an adventurous ride up the glacier in a monstrous 18-wheeled vehicle. Once in the tunnel, you’ll view a glacier from the inside and learn how these icy wonders are formed. Another interesting area activity is a guided visit to the colorful Vidgelmir lava cave. If you’re interested in culture, visit Reykholt, home of a medieval chieftain who penned some of Iceland’s greatest Sagas. Another beautiful place to visit is the scenic Husafell nature area. An exotic experience here is a guided winter hike to the Husafell Canyon Baths, stone-lined hot pools in the secluded highlands.

Overnight in the Borgarfjordur area.

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Day 4: The Golden Circle

Highlights: Thingvellir National Park Geysir Gullfoss Laugarvatn Fontana Nature Baths

National Park with Geological Wonders – The Golden Falls – Spouting Geysers

Approximate distance: 199 km / 124 miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Today you’ll be visiting some of Iceland’s best-known national wonders! Head for the UNESCO-listed Thingvellir National Park, where the world’s oldest parliament met for centuries on the shores of Iceland’s largest lake. This is also the meeting point of the tectonic plates that divide the North American and European continents, giving you the rare chance to take a walk between two continents. Visit the quirky geothermal fields of Geysir. Stroll along a footpath around colorful bubbling mud pools and spouting geysers. The most famous of these is Strokkur, which erupts about every ten minutes. Then visit the dramatic, two-tiered Gullfoss waterfall, a spectacular sight in winter when frozen mid-cascade. You can get magnificent views of the waterfall from different angles on a variety of paths.

While in the area you can experience two interesting hot spring experiences.. Laugarvatn Fontana is built on top of a hot spring, and its steam baths are good for your skin and joints. The Secret Lagoon is a lovely historical stone-lined natural geothermal pool with its own tiny geyser nearby. Why not take a break and indulge in some hot spring relaxation? We’re happy to book a visit to either (or both!) hot springs for you.

If you want to try Icelandic treats stop at Efstidalur dairy farm, where you can have delicious ice cream in the dairy barn. The building lets you look in on “the girls,” the Icelandic cows whose milk is used for the ice cream.

Overnight in the Hella or Hvollsvollur area.

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Day 5: South Coast

Highlights: Eyjafjallajokull Skogafoss Skogar Museum Reynisdrangar Cliffs Vík Hofn

Thundering Waterfall – Black Sand Beaches – Sea Cliffs & Stone Arches

Approximate distance: 380 km / 236 miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Travel along the south coast, one of Iceland’s main farming areas. You’ll see many farms and shaggy haired herds of Icelandic horses as you head along the Ring Road. See the magnificent waterfall Skogafoss, site of hidden treasure. (Make sure you have your camera ready- Skogafoss makes a fantastic backdrop for a selfie). Nearby is Skogar Folk Museum, well known throughout Iceland for being the best of its kind with a collection of mementos from this region’s past housed in beautifully preserved old turf-roofed buildings.

Make a stop in Vik village where you can admire stunning views of a black sand beach and the black basalt columns of Reynisdrangar. You will also see glaciers from the road, including Myrdalsjokull and Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajokull.

Continue on to Hofn, a bustling fishing town located under the watchful gaze of Vatnajokull Glacier. It is always interesting to take a walk by the harbor and see the daily life. The town is known for the excellent quality of its langoustines (Norway lobsters). Several restaurants serve this specialty. One place popular with locals and visitors alike is Pakkhus, a casual restaurant located in a renovated 1930s warehouse. It has a relaxed charm and decor that people enjoy, as well as a great selection of courses.

Overnight in the Hofn area.

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Day 6: Vatnajokull National Park

Highlights: Vatnajokull Vatnajokull National Park Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon Skaftafell National Park

Vatnajokull Glacier – Western Europe’s Largest National Park – Glacial Lagoon with Icebergs

Approximate distance: 209 km / 130 miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Your hotel is perfectly situated to make a full day of exploring glacial wonders in Vatnajokull National Park, Western Europes largest national park.  Visit the park’s majestic Skaftafell area, which is located between two glaciers and offers several winter hiking possibilities. Continue to Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, where blue, white, turquoise and black-streaked icebergs shift and dance. The mystical lagoon is enormous and has been the backdrop for many major feature films and programs, including Game of Thrones. It is a special place for photographers who enjoy the challenge of catching the icebergs in just the right light conditions. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for seals resting amid the glaciers.

The Diamond Beach nearby has recently become popular, especially for photographers. Icebergs from the Glacier Lagoon wash up on the beach here. The contrast of crystalline ice against the black sand is striking. This is also a good area to glimpse seals.

Another intriguing area to see floating glaciers is the Fjallsarlon lagoon. The nearby Fjallsjokull glacier is the source of the huge chunks of ice drifting in the lagoon. Fjallsarlon is often much quieter than the Glacier Lagoon, so a great place to visit if you want to experience the mystic beauty of glacier lagoon in a quieter setting.

Another interesting place to visit is the Thorbergur Centre, dedicated to the life a popular 20th-century Icelandic author. The building has been designed to look like a shelf of old-fashioned books and is a popular photo stop. The restaurant is also a great place to visit and features meals made with ingredients from nearby farms. One of the specialities is farm-raised Arctic char. The museum and restaurant are open in the winter daily except Mondays and holidays between 12:00 and 17:00 (12pm to 5pm).

Tonight, if the weather conditions are optimal, you might catch northern lights playing across the sky.

Overnight in the Kirkjubaejarklaustur area.

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Day 7: South Coast to Reykjavik

Highlights: Seljalandsfoss Selfoss Hveragerdi Hellisheidi Geothermal Plant Eyrarbakki

Seljalands Waterfall – Volcano Center – Geothermal Village

Approximate distance: 265 km / 165 miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Drive along the scenic south coast back to the west. We suggest a stop in Vik for the new Icelandic Lava Show. Here you can safely experience the dramatic impacts that happen when molten lava interacts with glacial ice. This is something that has occurred in Iceland’s recent past when glacier-capped volcanoes (such as Eyjafjallajokull) erupted. Another suggestion for outdoor adventurers is a SuperJeep tour to visit a natural ice cave in the area.

Visit Seljalandsfoss, a waterfall that you can walk behind (subject to the trail conditions). You’ll also be passing through landscapes impacted by Eyjafjallajokull volcano, famous for its 2010 eruption. If the skies are clear you might even get a glimpse of the glacier-crowned volcano. You can get more insights into Iceland’s dramatic volcanoes and earthquakes with a visit to the interactive Lava Centre.

The Bobby Fischer Center in Selfoss is dedicated to the world-famous American chess master who defeated Russian Boris Spatsky in the 1972 Match of All Time in Iceland. Bobby Fischer lived his last years in Iceland and is buried in a nearby cemetery. (During the winter, you can call in advance to make an appointment to visit the museum).

The town of Hveragerdi is great to take a break and enjoy the peaceful village atmosphere. Hveragerdi is famous for its geothermal greenhouses where flowers and vegetables are grown year-round. The town has several charming restaurants featuring local cuisine, as well as a small geothermal park.

Return to Reykjavik in the late afternoon/early evening.

Overnight in Reykjavík.

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Day 8: Departure from Iceland

Highlights: Reykjavik Keflavik Viking World The Blue Lagoon

Return to Keflavik International Airport

Approximate distance: 50 km / 30miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Drive back to Keflavik International Airport**. We recommend departing from your hotel in Reykjavik no later than at least 3 hours before your flight departure. It takes approximately 1 hour to drive to the airport, and the check-in will start 2 hours before your departure.

If you did not visit the Blue Lagoon earlier but have some free time today, you might want to use the opportunity en route to the airport. For this detour, please be sure to allow for at least 2-2,5 hours extra so you’ll have ample time at the lagoon. Your rental car should be returned to the airport service area, which is located only 2 minutes from the airport building. A shuttle will then transport you to the departure hall.

**Please note that the package price is based on 7 x 24-hour rental days starting at the time of rental. If your flight arrives early on day 1 and departs late on day 8, an additional supplement will be charged unless you choose to return the car in Reykjavik when the 7-day rental is up and use our Airport Direct departure transfer.

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