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Day 1: Arrival in the Land of Fire and Ice:

Highlights: The Blue Lagoon Viking World Gunnuhver Hveragerdi Hveragerdi Hot Spring Area

Approximate driving distance: 100 km / 62 miles

Once you have landed at Keflavik Airport, please pick up your luggage and head through customs. Collect your rental car at the airport and proceed to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time in Iceland, we suggest that you take some time to explore the Reykjanes Peninsula (a UNESCO GeoPark site) before you head to Reykjavik.

Reykjanes is a great introduction to Iceland’s unique geology and volcanoes. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge dividing the European and North American tectonic plates cuts through the area. You’ll see unusual and stunning craters, lava cliffs, fissures and the Mid-Atlantic ridge itself. You can even walk on a bridge that divides Europe and North America. We also recommend a stroll in the surreal Gunnuhver area where you can view quirky colorful mud pools and steam vents bubbling away. If you are a Viking history buff, we recommend the Viking World museum, famous for the Íslendingur, a Viking ship replica that sailed between Iceland and North America in 2000.

Several charming fishing villages and lighthouses dot the peninsula, and the area has a reputation for tasty seafood fresh from the ocean. Reykjanes is home to the renowned Blue Lagoon, and you might enjoy the chance to relax in the soothing azure waters. Important: admission to the Blue Lagoon needs to be booked in advance. We can help you with that!

Drive along mystical lava landscapes of the South Coast road to the charming village of Hveragerdi for your overnight. The road takes you past rocky beaches with thundering waves. Hveragerdi is perfect for getting to know typical small-town Icelandic culture, but with a unique twist. Hveragerdi 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.”

Overnight in the Hveragerdi area.

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

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Day 2: Geysir - Gullfoss - Skogar - Dyrholaey - Vik:

Highlights: Geysir Gullfoss Seljalandsfoss Eyjafjallajokull Skogafoss Dyrholaey Vík

Exploding Geysers – Waterfalls – Black Sand Beaches of the South Shore

Approximate Driving Distance: 285 km / 177 miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Start your day by driving to the area of famous Golden Circle natural wonders. Explore Gullfoss, the “Golden Waterfall”, and the nearby Geysir hot spring area to see the famous Geysir and Strokkur, as well as numerous other hot springs and boiling mud pools. Continue along the south shore and stop to admire the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss before continuing to Dyrholaey* and the black sand beaches of Iceland’s South Shore. Continue to the village of Vik.

Overnight in the Vik area.

*Dyrholaey is closed for the bird nesting season between mid-May and 25 June

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Day 3: Day 3: Vatnajokull National Park - Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon - Hofn

Highlights: Eldhraun Lava Field Vatnajokull National Park Skaftafell National Park Svartifoss Waterfall Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon Vatnajokull

Lava Fields – Glacial Lagoon with Icebergs – Europe’s Largest Glacier

Approximate Driving Distance: 289 km /180 miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Continue your journey on the Ring Road. Cross Eldhraun, the largest lava flow recorded on the planet in historical times. Visit Kirkjubaejarklaustur town, the former site of a 12th-century Catholic convent. The tour continues over the Skeidararsandur sands to Skaftafell, a beautiful glacial area within Vatnajokull National Park. Continue to the stunning Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon to see the birthplace of icebergs. Nearby is the famous Diamond Beach, where glittering chunks of ice rest on black sand. Throughout the day you will also enjoy magnificent views of the mighty Vatnajokull Glacier.

Overnight in the Hofn area.

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Day 4: Hofn - East Fjords - Egilsstadir:

Highlights: Hofn Egilsstadir Eskifjordur Faskrudsfjordur The Wilderness Center

Narrow Fjords – Steep Mountains – Picturesque Coastline – Legendary Lake Monster

Approximate Driving Distance: 255 km / 158 miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Drive from Hofn through the Almannaskard pass, stopping to admire the majestic coastline. Continue to the towering mountains plunging vertically into the sea that form the magnificent East Fjords. You’ll also pass villages, each with their own special history and charm. The road brings you to Egilsstadir town, located near Iceland’s largest forest and a lake said to be home to a legendary (friendly) monster. The area is also getting a name for itself for its excellent locally sourced cuisine. If you have time in your schedule, we suggest a visit to the Wilderness Center, a living history experience where you can enjoy an interactive exhibit and excellent locally sourced meals. Another relaxing suggestion is a refreshing swim in the Vok Baths, floating geothermal pools near Egilsstadir.

Overnight in the Eastfjords area.

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Day 5: Lake Myvatn Area:

Highlights: Egilsstadir Dettifoss Myvatn Dimmuborgir

Highland Desert – Bizarre Lava Formations – Geothermal & Volcanic Winter Wonderland

Approximate Driving Distance: 259 km /161 miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Explore the empty vastness of the highland desert plateau Modrudalsoraefi as you head towards the Lake Myvatn area. Visit Namaskard pass with its boiling mud pools and vibrant colors. Explore the natural beauty of the Lake Myvatn area, including the pseudo craters at Skutustadir and the Laxa Salmon River. Myvatn also offers fun outdoor activities such as mountain biking, horseback riding on excellent trails and even summer cart rides or winter dogsledding with Siberian huskies. The azure blue geothermal waters of the Myvatn Nature baths are a pleasant way to end a beautiful day.

Overnight in the Lake Myvatn area.

October& April: Please note that it is not possible to visit Dettifoss between October and mid- May, as the roads to the waterfall are not open for winter travel. We recommend following famous Ring Road 1 from Egilsstadir to Myvatn.

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Day 6: Lake Myvatn Area - Akureyri - Siglufjordur:

Highlights: Dimmuborgir Godafoss Akureyri Siglufjordur The Herring Era Museum

“Waterfall of the Gods” – Colorful Northern “Capital” – The Beautiful Troll Peninsula

Approximate Driving Distance: 165 km / 103 miles

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

Breakfast at your hotel. Start your day by exploring Myvatn’s peculiar lava formations of Dimmuborgir. Visit the magnificent Godafoss waterfall, where you can walk on paths giving you different views of the water. Afterwards, visit Akureyri, the colorful northern “capital” of Iceland. The town has charming buildings and a beautiful view of the Eyjafjordur Fjord.

After spending some time in Akureyri, continue along the coastal roads of Eyjafjordur and the Troll Peninsula. This is a breathtaking drive along steep mountains with amazing views over the Arctic Sea and black sand coastline. The destination is Siglufjordur, set in a beautiful fjord of the same name. This town has some of the finest timber buildings in the country, beautifully restored to their original glory. Depending on when you arrive in town, we suggest a visit to Siglufjordur’s award-winning and popular Herring-Era Maritime Museum. The museum recreates the atmosphere of the early 20th century, when Siglufjordur was transformed into a “frontier” boom town, thanks to a large migration of herring.

Overnight in Northwest Iceland.

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Day 7: Skagafjordur - Borgarnes:

Highlights: Skagafjordur Fjord Skagafjordur Heritage Museum – Glaumbaer The Icelandic Seal Center Borgarnes

Icelandic History and Horses – Fertile Farmlands – Glacial Rivers

Approximate Driving Distance: 340 km /211 miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Afterwards, head along majestic mountains and narrow passes to Skagafjordur, considered to be one of the finest places in Iceland for horse breeding. Holar was one of Iceland’s cultural centers and has buildings from nine centuries of Iceland’s history that you can visit. Medieval and military history buffs might enjoy the new 1238: Battle of Iceland exhibit in Saudakrokur town. Cutting-edge virtual reality technology brings to life the drama and history of a pivotal 13th century battle that changed Iceland’s people forever. The Glaumbaer turf manor house at the Skagafjordur Regional Museum is an interesting glimpse into how people lived in Iceland until the early 20th century. Glaumbaer was an inspiration for the manor farm in Hannah Kent’s award-winning novel Burial Rites (a movie is now in production).

If you’re interested in horses, the farm of Lytingsstadir also has a replica of a turf barn and an exhibit about the history of horses in Iceland, as well as a chance to meet some friendly horses. You can also take horseback riding tours from the farm.

The town of Hvammstangi’s Seal Center is a great place to learn about seals and perhaps join a guided excursion to look for seals by boat.

Cross the Holtavorduheidi plateau through Borgarfjordur to the beautiful town of Borgarnes.

Overnight in the Borgarfjordur area.

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Day 8: Borgarfjordur - Thingvellir – Reykjavik:

Highlights: Deildartunguhver Hraunfossar Thingvellir National Park Reykjavik

Europe’s Largest Hot Spring – Picturesque Waterfalls – National Park with Geological Wonders (UNESCO)

Approximate Driving Distance: 209 km / 130 miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Drive to Deildartunguhver, the most powerful hot spring in Europe. The nearby Krauma Natura Hot Spring Spa is a great place to enjoy a refreshing morning bath surrounded by gorgeous landscapes.

Stop to admire the beautiful Hraunfossar waterfall before continuing via Hvalfjordur fjord to Lake Thingvallavatn, Iceland’s largest lake and Thingvellir National Park. This UNESCO heritage site is where the world’’ oldest continuing parliamentary government was founded in the 10th century. It is also the place where the North American and European tectonic plates meet.

After your visit here, head on to Reykjavik, Iceland’s culturally vibrant capital city. Enjoy exploring the city’s many dining options. You might also enjoy late afternoon and evening activities such as a visit to Wonders of Iceland or FlyOver Iceland. During the summer evenings there are activities you can book, such as whale watching or ATV rides. During October and early April there are options for northern lights viewing.

Overnight in Reykjavik.

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Day 9: Departure:

Highlights: Keflavik

Return to Keflavik International Airport

Approximate distance: ca 50km / 30miles

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 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.

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