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Day 1: Arrival

Highlights: Keflavik The Blue Lagoon Hveragerdi Hveragerdi Hot Spring Area

Geothermal Lagoon – Flower Village – Geothermal Greenhouses

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. 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 Islendingur, 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 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.”

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

Approximate driving distance: 100 km / 62 miles

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Day 2: Reykjavik – Hvalfjordur – Borgarfjordur

Highlights: Hvalfjordur Fjord Husafell Glymur Waterfall Hraunfossar Waterfalls Deildartunguhver Hot Spring

Whale Fjord – Fabulous Hiking Opportunities – Europe’s most powerful hot springs – Lava Falls

Breakfast at your accommodation. Drive along the scenic coastline of Hvalfjordur Fjord, one of Iceland’s longest and deepest. This area has quite a few excellent hiking routes, several which pass by interesting historical sites. The scenic Husafell area in Borgarfjordur is another hiking option. It is one of Icelanders’ beloved nature getaways, and you can find scenic hiking paths that suit different hiking levels.

For experienced hikers, Glymur waterfall in Hvalfjordur is an option, but please note this trail requires a good level of fitness and hiking over some challenging terrain, including walking directly through a river. Glymur is Iceland’s second highest waterfall, descending gracefully in streaming ribbons down a 200-metre (658 foot) drop into a massive canyon adorned in lush, green moss. Both the fjord and the waterfall are linked to a local legend about a mythical whale that swam up the waterfall into the lake at the top. Eerily enough, whale bones have been found here! The only way to reach the waterfall is by hiking to it.

The hike is a scenic adventure. Be ready to tackle narrow dirt trails, walk through a cave, and navigate steep, rocky and often muddy areas. Part of the trail includes walking through a small river on a natural log bridge while holding on to a suspended wire.

You will need to have good hiking boots and bring drinking water and snacks. Some people like to carry along a pair of wading shoes to use during the water crossing on the trail, but this is not required.

Before heading to your accommodation, visit the amazing Hraunfossar “Lava” waterfalls and Deildartunguhver, the most powerful rushing hot springs in Europe. The Krauma Natural Geothermal spa near Deildartunguhver is a wonderful way to relax after a day of hiking adventures.

Overnight in the Borgarfjordur area.

Approximate driving distance: 210 km / 131 miles

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Day 3: Reykir – Hofsos – Siglufjordur

Highlights: Glanni Waterfall Hofsos Trollaskagi Peninsula Siglufjordur

Elven waterfall – Intriguing Crater – Lava Rock Canyon – Seaside Basalt Columns

Breakfast at your accommodation. It is nice to start your day in Borgarfjordur with a refreshing short walk to Glanni, a multi-tiered waterfall rumored to be a home for elves and trolls. We also suggest visiting the 3.500-year-old Grabrok crater, which has hiking trails to the top of the crater, for remarkable views over moss-covered lava fields. The hike up the crater is steep, but steps have built on part of the route to make the hike easier. Continue your scenic journey as you cross Holtavorduheidi plateau, the gateway between North and West Iceland.

Head to the Vididalur valley and its rushing river. Here you might visit Kolugljufi for a fun hike in this lava rock canyon. Continue to the charming village of Hofsos and take a short stroll down to Stadarbjargarvik inlet to admire a group of beautifully geometric basalt columns located. Then drive to the stunning Trollaskagi (Troll Peninsula) with its amazing views of mountains and fjords to your destination in Siglufjordur town.

Enjoy the evening in this charming town with friendly restaurants and a great view of the fjord.

Overnight stay in Siglufjordur for the next two nights.

Approximate driving distance: 335 km / 208 miles

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Day 4: Siglufjordur and the Troll Peninsula

Highlights: Siglufjordur The Herring Era Museum Trollaskagi Peninsula Drangey Island

Today you have the option of contacting topmountaineering.is for guided tours of the area.

Breakfast at your accommodation. Trollaskagi, The Troll Peninsula, is a hidden gem in Iceland, a bit separated from the rest of the country by its high mountain range. Siglufjordur is becoming known for its excellent outdoor recreation possibilities. Exciting guided tours from the area include kayaking, boating and day hikes led by an excellent locally based mountain guide. We’re happy to help set up a tour with you. Other activities in the area include deep sea fishing, horseback riding and golf.

This is also a great area for culture, history and nature. The Herring Era Maritime Museum brings to life the early 20th century herring migration that transformed Iceland into a modern nation. Holar is a great area for discovering Iceland’s heritage, with buildings representing nine centuries of history. You can take a guided boat tour to Drangey Island, a great place for birdwatching and discovering the legend of the Viking outlaw who lived here (Grettir the Strong.) Relax in the geothermal waters of the Infinity Pool in Hofsos. The pool’s clever design seems as though you are swimming right in the ocean, and you’ll have great views of Drangey Island.

Or simply enjoy the atmosphere of Siglufjordur. The town has great restaurants, an art gallery, a folk music center, its own microbrewery (Segull 67), and an artisanal chocolate shop.

Overnight in the Siglufjordur area.

Approximate driving distance: variable

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Day 5: Godafoss – Hverfjall – Lake Myvatn Wonders

Highlights: Akureyri Godafoss Waterfall Myvatn Lake Krafla Volcano Hverfjall Crater Myvatn Nature Baths

Waterfall of the Gods – Geothermal & Volcanic Activity – Outdoor Nature Spa

Breakfast at your accommodation. The day begins with spectacular views of mountains and coast as you head along the Troll Peninsula and Eyjafjordur fjord. Make a short stop in Akureyri, the colorful “capital” of North Iceland. After some time to enjoy the atmosphere of this charming town, drive to picturesque Godafoss, the “Waterfall of the Gods,” where you can walk on footpaths giving you different views of the falls.

Head on to the Lake Myvatn nature reserve, a geological wonderland of amazing landscape contrasts. With the powerful peaks of Mt. Hverfjall and Krafla volcano as a backdrop, Lake Myvatn has a surprising serenity that is ideal for light hiking. We also suggest bringing a flynet for your face since there can be non-biting midges around the lake.

Summertime is peak birding season, so it’s good to have some binoculars on hand to catch diverse species, possibly even the rare Barrow’s golden eye. You might Begin your Myvatn adventure with a hike to Hverfjall crater.

Visit the enchanting Dimmuborgir, where a series of trails leads around the strange “Dark Castles” with their rugged stacks of towering rocks. Local legends have it that this area is full of guardian spirits, including elves and trolls. You can indeed feel as though you are in a different world when you walk through this area. Take a walk through the Martian- like terrain of Namaskard geothermal field. Here you’ll view boiling fumaroles, brightly colored slopes and violently bubbling pools of mud.

A great way to end the day is with a visit to the Myvatn Nature Baths where you can have a relaxing swim in these azure blue geothermal springs (not included in price). It’s a relaxing reward for an adventurous day in the outdoors!

Overnight in the Lake Myvatn area.

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

Approximate driving distance: 180 km / 112 miles

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Day 6: Vatnajokull National Park – Asbyrgi – Jokulsargljufur – Dettifoss

Highlights: Vatnajokull National Park Asbyrgi Canyon Hljodaklettar Rocks Jokulsargljufur National Park Dettifoss Waterfall

Edge of the Arctic – Horseshoe Canyon – Europe’s Mightiest Waterfall – Echoing Rocks

Breakfast at your accommodation. Today you will be hiking in the northern part of Vatnajokull National Park, the largest national park in Western Europe. The park is named after vast Vatnajokull Glacier and covers about 14% of Iceland’s surface.

Drive around the fossil rich Tjornes Peninsula on the edge of the Arctic Circle as you head to Vatnajokull National Park. Your first discovery in the park is the enormous horseshoe shaped Asbyrgi canyon. According to Norse mythology, the canyon is the hoof-print left by Sleipnir, the god Odinn‘s magical eight-legged horse. There are several trails here of varying difficulties. You can walk down to the canyon’s lake and view birdlife or hike up high to look down on the canyon area.

Continue onwards to Hljodaklettar or “Echo Rocks”, a distinctive cluster of angular rock columns. The unique shape of the rocks creates interesting acoustics and echoes. Hljodaklettar is near Jokulsargljufur, Iceland’s longest canyon. The canyon was carved by a river flowing from Vatnajokull Glacier.

Explore the lush vegetation and forested areas of Hljodaklettar where stones stand like troll sentinels- several trails run through this surreal area, and it is fun choosing which route best fits your hiking style.

The day ends with an unforgettable visit to Europe’s mightiest waterfall, Dettifoss, a thundering cascade of glacial water and mist among shattered cliffs. An easy trail leads you down to the waterfall. Afterwards, return to the Lake Myvatn area for your overnight.

Overnight in the Myvatn area.

Approximate driving distance: 215 km / 134 miles

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Day 7: Kjolur – Hveravellir – Gullfoss – Geysir

Highlights: Kjolur Highland Road Hveravellir Geothermal Area Geysir Hot Spring Gullfoss Waterfall

Historical Highland Track – Glacial Views – Geothermal Scenery – Golden Falls and Active Geysers

Note: Expect some roads you drive on today to be quite bumpy with areas where you will need to drive slowly. Expect driving time to be around 6,5 hours.

Breakfast at your accommodation. Today you will drive into the wilderness heartland via the Kjolur mountain track. This route goes back to Viking times and heads straight through Iceland’s uninhabited interior highlands, passing between the mighty Langjokull and Hofsjokull glaciers.  You will see Iceland’s true remoteness and nature at its rawest. This area of black sand deserts has numerous scenic walking paths along the way, dotted with hidden geothermal treasures and green oases. The highlands also hold ghost stories and tales of outlaws, including the famous couple Eyvindur and Halla.

You should definitely make a stop at Hveravellir, a multi-colored geothermal field with a natural pool that is perfect for a relaxing break. (Not included in price: bathing fee paid in Hveravellir). While in Hveravellir, be sure to check out the cave where outlaws used to hide from travelers riding through the area. It’s quite something to imagine what it must have been like living here in primitive conditions and far from other people!

The Kjolur highland route emerges into civilization again in the Gullfoss and Geysir area. Gullfoss, the majestic waterfall of sparkling mist and thundering water, is situated on the Hvita River, which is fed by Iceland’s second largest glacier, Langjokull. The intriguing great Geysir area is nearby, a steamy geothermal field of bubbling mud and high-shooting hot springs.

Overnight in the Hella area.

Approximate driving distance: 465 km / 289 miles

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Day 8: Day in Landmannalaugar

Highlights: Landmannalaugar Hekla Volcano

Hekla Volcano – Brilliantly-Colored Wilderness – Hot Springs

Note: Expect some roads you drive on today to be quite bumpy with areas where you will need to drive slowly. You will also need to drive through some unbridged rivers.

Breakfast at your accommodation. Iceland’s southern highland wilderness sets a surreal stage for today’s adventure. The uninhabited areas of Landmannalaugar and Fjallabak are a geological paradise with volcanic craters, multi-colored rhyolite mountains, steaming lava fields, and the ominous Hekla volcano.

There are many beautiful walking trails in the area. You can find out more information on trails and conditions from Landmannalaugar’s information desk and the mountain hut wardens.

Afterwards, we suggest you enjoy the benefits of this geothermal area with a refreshing swim in Landmannalaugar’s hot spring fed river, one of the most unique natural springs in Iceland. (Not included, entrance paid at Landmannalaugar)

Overnight again in the Hella area.

Approximate driving distance: 205 km / 127miles

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Day 9: Hella – Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss Falls – Thjorsardalur – Reykjavik

Highlights: Thorsmork Valley

Walk behind a Waterfall Volcanic Vistas Glacial Views

Breakfast at your accommodation. Visit two waterfalls on the South Shore. Seljalandsfoss has a trail that leads behind the falls themselves. Skogafoss is a beautiful waterfall to photograph. You can also walk up a series of steps near the falls to get a good view of the area.

There are several options of places you can visit and hike. One option is to visit Thorsmork Nature Reserve (also known as the Thor’s Playground). This enchanted hidden valley is nestled between two glaciers and protected by rivers and mountains. If you wish to visit Thorsmork, please contact your Iceland Travel representative.  We’ll be happy to book a round-trip scheduled highland bus transfer, or a guided day visit to Thorsmork to/from Hella using a large 4X 4 vehicle and a driver who knows how to handle Iceland’s glacial rivers.

We do not advise driving to Thorsmork yourself. The mountain road to Thorsmork (F249) is extremely rough and rocky to drive and best suited for big 4X4 Jeeps or specially designed buses. The road also requires crossing rapid glacier rivers with no bridges by driving directly through the water. Crossing glacial rivers is very dangerous, as the water conditions change suddenly and can become deadly.

As a scenic hiking alternative to Thorsmork, we recommend taking the route through the Thjorsardalur valley. This is a gorgeous area with volcanic formations, waterfalls, forests and ponds. Visit the lovely Hjalparfoss falls and the mystical miniature landscapes of Gjainn valley. Stong is a Viking-age manor farm that was buried by a volcanic eruption. A replica of the long house shows how it would have looked (there is an admission fee to go inside the long house). Several places in Thjorsardalur, including Stong, were used as filming locations for the Game of Thrones television series. Your Wapp app can point out good hiking trails in this area.

After this amazing day, head to Reykjavik to enjoy your final night in Iceland’s lively cultural capital.

Overnight stay in Reykjavik.

Approximate driving distance: 335 km / 208 miles

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Day 10: Departure

Breakfast at your accommodation. 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.

Approximate driving distance: 50 km / 30 miles

**Please note that the package price is based on 9 x 24-hour rental days starting at the time of rental. If your flight arrives early on day 1 and departs late on day 10 an additional supplement will be necessary unless you choose to return the car in Reykjavik when the 9-day rental is up and use our Airport Direct departure transfer.

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