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Day 1: Arrival:

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

Approximate driving distance: 100km / 62miles

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, it may be ideal to stop and visit the renowned Blue Lagoon where you can relax in its geothermal waters.  Important:  admission to the Blue Lagoon needs to be booked in advance.  We can help you with that!

Drive along the southern coast of the Reykjanes Peninsula to the charming village of Hveragerdi for your overnight.   This 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.” There are plenty of outdoor and wellness activities to enjoy here, and several restaurants with a unique local focus. There is even a restaurant where the different courses are baked in an outdoor geothermal oven!

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

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Day 2: Thingvellir - Gullfoss - Geysir - South Shore:

Highlights: Gullfoss Geysir Geysir Center Eyjafjallajokull Seljalandsfoss Skogafoss Dyrholaey

National Park with Geological Wonders (UNESCO) – Exploding Geysers – Puffin Colony – Black Sand Beaches of the South Shore

Approximate distance: 392km / 244 miles

Breakfast at your accommodation. Enjoy a day visiting the natural wonders of the Golden Circle region. Gullfoss is considered by many visitors to be Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls.  Geysir is an active geothermal field with many bubbling steam vents and spouting hot springs, including the famous Strokkur geyser.  Visit Thingvellir National Park, site of the ancient Icelandic Viking parliament and a jewel of nature. Here you can see the meeting point between the North American and Europe continents.  Many important historical events happened here. Several walking trails  and hiking trails take visitors to historical points of interest.

Drive along the south shore, viewing Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss, two amazing waterfalls that each have a special charm.

Next visit  the black sand beaches around Vik  and  the area’s Myrdalsjokull glacier.  Depending on your schedule, you can take a snowmobiling or ATV tour in the area.  In the area is also Dyrholaey*, a former island that is known for its excellent birdwatching, including puffins (puffins generally seen in Iceland between mid-May and early August).

Important: Please note that Dyrholaey is closed during nesting season, from about the middle of May until late June.

Overnight in the Vik area.

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Day 3: Kirkjubaejarklaustur - Skaftafell - Jokulsarlon - Hofn:

Highlights: Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon Skaftafell National Park Vatnajokull Hofn

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

Approximate distance: 285km / 177 miles

Breakfast at your accommodation.  Head through Eldraun, the strange-looking lava field created by one of Iceland’s most devastating volcanic eruptions.

Drive through the village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur, site of a medieval convent. Explore Skaftafell, a green oasis nestled below the great Vatnajokull glacier. Skaftafell is part of Vatnajokull National Park, the largest of its type in Western Europe. Continue across black sand plains created by glacial activity. Stop at the incredible Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, a filming location for many Hollywood blockbusters. Also in the area is the Diamond Beach, a popular spot for photographers.  Then head onwards to the charming harbor town of Hofn, also known as the lobster capital of northern Europe.

Overnight in the Hornafjordur area.

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Day 4: Hofn - Djupivogur - Reydarfjordur - Egilsstadir:

Highlights: Skrudur Island Petra’s Minerals Egilsstadir Seydisfjordur The Wilderness Center Hengifoss

Narrow Fjords – Steep Mountains – Picturesque Coastline – Intriguing Stone Collection

Approximate distance: 265km / 165 miles

Breakfast at your accommodation.   Drive along the rugged coastline of the East Fjords. Perhaps you’ll visit Djupivogur village harbor and its unique egg sculptures  or Petra‘s famous stone collection at Stodvarfjordur Fjord.

You can then either drive straight through Fagridalur to Egilsstadir or head along the East Fjords, one of the oldest regions in Iceland, shaped by glaciers during the Ice Age. Although many are uninhabited, each fjord has its own grandeur. The natural harbors in the fjords led to the development of fishing villages that have still hung on to a degree of old-world charm.

Overnight in the Egilsstadir area

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Day 5: Egilsstadir - Dettifoss - Husavik - Myvatn:

Highlights: Jokulsargljufur National Park Dettifoss Ásbyrgi Húsavík Whale Museum

Highland Desert – Europe’s Most Powerful Waterfall – Glacier Carved Gorge – Whale Watching

Approximate distance: 275km / 171miles

Travel across the Modrudalsoraefi highlands renowned for their stark, untouched beauty towards Dettifoss, Europe’s mightiest waterfall.  Then travel through the otherworldly canyon landscapes of Northern Vatnajokull National Park.  Take some time to enjoy the walking trails and viewing points around the magnificent horseshoe-shaped canyon Asbyrgi.

Drive onwards to Tjornes peninsula and the friendly Husavik fishing port. Tonight you might enjoy the opportunity to relax in the soothing warm ocean waters of the GeoSea Geothermal Spa as you look out towards the Arctic Circle.

Important:

Overnight in the Husavik area

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Day 6: Myvatn - Akureyri/Skagafjordur:

Highlights: Myvatn Dimmuborgir Krafla Godafoss Akureyri Myvatn Nature Baths The Christmas Garden

Bizarre Lava Formations – Geothermal & Volcanic Activity – Rich Birdlife – Waterfall “Of the Gods”- The Capital of North Iceland

Approximate distance: 165km / 103 miles

Breakfast at your accommodation.  Explore the highlights of the Lake Myvatn area, including the mystical volcanic formations at Dimmuborgir, the pseudo craters at Skutustadir, the colorful sulfurous slopes of Namaskard, and the Krafla volcanic area. Perhaps you might relax with a visit to the azure blue Myvatn Nature Baths, where you can enjoy the soothing waters and the natural steam baths and sauna.

Drive on to Godafoss waterfall en route to Akureyri, the charming “capital” of North Iceland.

Overnight in the Eyjafjordur or Skagafjordur area

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 7: Akureyri - Reykholt - Borgarnes - Hvalfjordur - Reykjavik:

Highlights: Saudarkrokur Skagafjordur Heritage Museum – Glaumbaer Grettislaug Geothermal Pool Glanni Waterfall Paradisarlaut Barnafoss Hraunfossar Borgarnes

Fertile Farmlands – Glacial Rivers – Folk Museum – Scenic Fjord

Approximate distance: 490km / 305miles

Drive through the historical region of Skagafjordur renowned for horse breeding. You have an option of visiting the old farmstead at Glaumbaer a great example of old Icelandic architecture. Continue to the bay of Hunafloi, where you might visit the Seal Centre and perhaps take a seal watching tour.

Then head across Holtavorduheidi plateau, entering  Borgarfjordur area. Visit the beautiful Hraunfossar lava falls and Deildartunguhver, Europe’s most powerful hot springs.  Near Deildartunguhver is Krauma, the intriguing “fire and ice” geothermal spa that uses water from the springs.

Return to Reykjavik in the evening.

Alternative Route for Today:  Another option if you are traveling between mid-June and August and have a 4WD vehicle is to travel across the barren wasteland on the Kjolur highland road  to the geothermal wilderness oasis at Hveravellir before driving to Reykjavik. This historical route heads through a landscape of black sands, high mountains, and two magnificent glaciers.  (If you take the Kjolur option, alternative distance would be 410 km, 255 miles and about 6 hours)

Important information about Kjolur–  Please note that a 4WD vehicle is needed for this unpaved mountain track-  Car Category 5.0 or higher)  The Kjolur track is generally open mid-June through August, openings subject to weather and road conditions.

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Day 8: Departure:

Highlights: Reykjavik The Blue Lagoon

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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