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Day 1: Arrival

Highlights: The Blue Lagoon Kleifarvatn Krysuvik Hvalsneskirkja Church Hveragerdi

Geothermal Lagoon – Flower Village – Geothermal Greenhouses

Approximate distance: ca 100km / 62 miles

Pick up the car at the airport and start your Iceland experience.

From Keflavik International Airport we recommend driving the southern coast of the Reykjanes peninsula towards your first overnight stay in the charming village of Hveragerdi. The south coast road lets you view the primordial bubbling steam and mud pots Krysuvik geothermal field and the mysterious-looking Lake Kleifarvatn. You can also view a beautiful coastal church where fishermen prayed for luck and protection from danger.

Hveragerdi village is one of the few sites in the world located directly on top of a geothermal area and, because of its many greenhouses heated by hot water from nearby springs, it is often called the “flower village.“

If your flight is early, you might consider stopping along the way at the Blue Lagoon for a relaxing swim in the geothermal mineral waters.

Important:  Please note that Blue Lagoon admission must be booked in advance

Overnight stay in Hveragerdi

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Day 2: Thingvellir - Gullfoss - Geysir

Highlights: Gullfoss Geysir Thingvellir National Park Skalholt Kerid Laugarvatn Fontana Nature Baths

National Park with Geological Wonders (UNESCO) – Exploding Geysers – Massive Waterfall

Approximate distance: ca 240 km / 150 miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Today take in the beloved Golden Circle of natural wonders.  Drive from Hveragerdi to Thingvellir National park, the site of the ancient Icelandic parliament and a jewel of nature. The park offers a stunning volcanic landscape of mountains and lava flows.  Many interesting historical events happened in the park, and you can also see ruins of former buildings.  Trails around the park have signs pointing out some of these incidents.

Today you will also visit the famous geothermal area of Geysir and the beautiful Gullfoss waterfall. Another interesting site on the Golden Circle route is Skalholt, a medieval cultural center and the original “capital” of Iceland.  Today it is still a major cultural center with regular events, and a beautiful Lutheran Cathedral graces the site.

Overnight in the Golden Circle area.

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Day 3: Kjolur - Hveravellir - Skagafjordur

Highlights: Hveravellir Kjolur

Wilderness Interior – Highland Geothermal Area – Natural Bathing Pool –  Glacial Rivers

Approximate distance: ca 230 km / 143 miles

Breakfast at your hotel.  Today’s route leads over the historical highland track Kjolur (car category 5.0 or higher required; track open from mid-June to mid-September).  As you drive this track leading between two glaciers, you’ll be seeing the same landscapes that Vikings and outlaws saw in the old days as they rode from North Iceland to Thingvellir for the annual Parliament.  We recommend that you take a break here and enjoy the vast views and the serene peace in one of Europe’s last wilderness areas.

Midway on the route, Hveravellir is an active geothermal field.  Hiking trails showcase colorful landscapes and steam vents.  You can also visit a cave where outlaws hid over the centuries. The most famous of these was the 18th century outlaw couple, Eyvindur-Fjalla and Halla.  Hveravellir has a hot-spring fed natural pool where you can relax (required a small admission/service fee, not included).  The trail emerges into the valley of Skagafjordur fjord with its flat-topped mountains and glacial rivers.

Overnight in North Iceland.

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Day 4: Akureyri - Lake Myvatn

Highlights: Akureyri Godafoss Myvatn Dimmuborgir Krafla Myvatn Nature Baths

Akureyri – Waterfall “Of the Gods” – Bizarre Lava Formations – Geothermal Activity – Rich Birdlife

Approximate distance: ca 190 km / 118 miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Drive to Akureyri, the “capital of the north,” where you can take some time to enjoy this beautiful and culturally-rich town. Stop at Godafoss waterfall, famous for its beautiful and Viking history, before driving to the intriguing Lake Myvatn area. The Myvatn Nature reserve is fascinating both for its diverse birdlife (especially waterfowl) and for its geological wonders.  Some of the volcanic features include the pseudo craters at Skutustadir, the Dark Lava Citadels of Dimmuborgir, the Krafla Volcano area, and the multi-colored steaming slopes of Namaskard.  Myvatn also offers great outdoor opportunities, including horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking.

At the end of the day, we recommend you take a swim in the azure-blue geothermal waters of the Myvatn Nature Baths (not included).

Overnight in North Iceland

Please Note:  The Ring Road route today contains a toll tunnel.  More information on the tunnel and fees is here. 

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Day 5: Husavik - Dettifoss - Egilsstadir

Highlights: Dettifoss Jokulsargljufur National Park Húsavík Ásbyrgi

Whale Watching Village – Glacier- Carved Gorge – Europe’s Most Powerful Waterfall

Approximate distance: ca 320 km / 199 miles

Breakfast at your hotel.  Today you will be visiting the northern part of Vatnajokull National Park, the largest one in Western Europe.  The vast park covers 14% of Iceland’s surface.  This section of the park is characterised by vast glacier river canyons, curious lava formations and glacial waterfalls.

From Lake Myvatn drive to the charming fishing village of Husavik.  Known as the whale-watching capital of Iceland, Húsavík offers whale-watching in traditional oak fishing boats or RIB boats.  Travel around the ancient, fossil-rich Tjornes peninsula on the edge of the Arctic Circle to the northern gateway of Vatnajokull National Park. The park’s visitor center provides excellent, interactive information on the area’s wildlife and geology.  Visit the impressive horseshoe-shaped Asbyrgi canyon, which has a variety of beautiful walking trails that suit different hiking levels.  It is also possible to take a horseback riding tour through the canyon.

Continue on to visit the echoing rocks and troll-like formations of Hljodaklettar.  The crowning highlight is the mighty Dettifoss waterfall, the largest waterfall in Europe. After the park visit, continue east to Egilsstadir.

Overnight in East Iceland.

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Day 6: East Fjords - Hofn

Highlights: Egilsstadir Skriduklaustur Hallormsstadur The Wilderness Center Petra’s Minerals Seydisfjordur Hengifoss

Narrow Fjords – Steep Mountains – Picturesque Coastline – Mineral Collection

Approximate distance: ca 300 km / 186 miles

Breakfast at your hotel.  Today you will be visiting East Iceland and the East Fjords.  The Egilsstadir area has Iceland’s largest forest, Hallormsstadir.  If you are a history enthusiast, we recommend a visit to the Wilderness Center on the edge of the Icelandic highlands. Here you can see an interactive display of how Icelanders lived in the highland frontier in the old days.

Drive south through the spectacular coastline of the East Fjords with charming fishing villages and towering mountains that plunge vertically into the sea.  Each village has its own beautiful landscape and character.  Reydarfjordur has sites famous to World War II history.  Faskrudsfjordur has a French influence from its days as a base for French fishermen.  In Stodvarfjordur you can see a unique stone collection.  Remember to give yourself plenty of time to drive carefully and enjoy the amazing scenery. One of these is the Almannaskard pass, which offers a striking view of Vatnajokull glacier and the coastal area. Emerge from the East Fjords and into Southeast Iceland.

Overnight in the Hofn area.

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Day 7: Jokulsarlon - Skaftafell - Kirkjubaejarklaustur

Highlights: Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon Vatnajokull Skaftafell National Park Svartifoss Waterfall

Europe’s Largest Glacier – Glacial Lagoon with Icebergs – Glacier-Ringed Green Oasis

Approximate distance: ca 220 km / 137 miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Today you will be in the vicinity of the southern section of Vatnajokull National Park, named after Europe’s largest glacier. This part of the park is characterized by ice, glacier tongues and lava landscapes.  As you drive along, the vast glacier will be in your sight from different angles. The popular Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon offers a beautiful view of the glacier, and the floating icebergs will leave a deep impression on you.

Head onwards to the park’s Skaftafell area, an ice-ringed green oasis with various hiking routes. One special place to visit in Skaftafell is Svartifoss waterfall, with its black basalt columns. You can also get closer to the area’s beauty with an optional ice hiking tour on one of Vatnajokull‘s  glacial tongues. Continue along the south coast, crossing over vast black sand plains created by glacial floods.

Overnight in South Iceland

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Day 8: Landmannalaugar - Reykjavík

Highlights: Landmannalaugar Hekla Thjorsardalur Reykjavik Hallgrimskirkja The Sun Voyager

Multicolored Highland Mountains – Lava Fields – Hot Spring Bathing – Hekla Volcano

Approximate distance: ca 240 km / 149 miles

Breakfast at your hotel.  Today you will be getting another view of the highlands, this time in the colorful southern wilderness! Travel along the Fjallabaksleid highland interior track, passing by wild mountains and deeply-carved green valleys. Cross several unbridged rivers to Landmannalaugar, a magnificent area surrounded by colorful rhyolite mountains.
Great hiking trails take you through a mysterious landscape of steam vents and bright colored slopes. There is also the option of bathing in a natural warm pool, so do not forget to bring a swimsuit and towel (bathing service fee not included)!   You will also have different views of towering Hekla, Iceland’s most frequently erupting volcano through the day.

After visiting Landmannalaugar, explore the ever changing scenery of Thjorsardalur, a valley sculpted by Hekla’s past eruptions, before heading back to Reykjavik.

Note:  If you prefer not to visit Landmannalaugar, you can continue along the south shore exploring black sand beaches, bird colonies, towering waterfalls and crossing fertile farmlands towards Reykjavik.

Overnight in Reykjavik.

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Day 9: Departure

Highlights: Reykjavik The Blue Lagoon Keflavik

Approximate distance: ca 52 km / 32 miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Drive back to Keflavik International Airport. * We recommend departing 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 check-in will start 2 hours before your departure.

If you did not visit the Blue Lagoon on your way to the city on your first day 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 8×24 hour rental days starting at the time of rental. If your flight arrives early on day 1 and departs late on day 9 an additional supplement will be necessary unless you choose to return the car in Reykjavik when the 8 day rental is up and use our Flybus Plus departure transfer.

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