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Day 1: Arrival in Iceland

Highlights: Reykjavik National Museum Hallgrimskirkja

Upon arrival in Keflavik International Airport, head through passport control, collect your bags and go through customs to the Arrival Hall.  Airport transfer is not included, but we are happy to help you arrange shared or private transfers.

Once in Reykjavik, check into your hotel.  If you arrive early in the day, you might want to explore Reykjavik’s old town area, location of many museums and galleries. You might also enjoy visiting one of the city’s outdoor geothermal swimming pools where you can shake off your jetlag. In the afternoon you could take one of our day tours, such as whale watching or horseback riding, both bringing you close to Iceland’s nature and landscape.

Dinner is on your own. Reykjavik offers a multitude of restaurants and/or coffee-houses, making dinner a great way to get better acquainted with Iceland’s capital.

Tonight will be an information meeting (around 18:00-6:00pm) for people in the group to meet each other and to learn more about the tour.

Overnight stay in Reykjavik at Icelandair Hotel Natura (according to advised accommodation list).

Included on this day:

  • Informational meeting at the hotel

 

Please note that most hotels begin check-in between 14:00 and 16:00 (2:00pm and 4:00pm).

Please note:   If you have added extra nights in Reykjavik before your tour, the guide will meet your group for the start of the tour on Day 2 according to the standard “South Coast, Golden Circle and Snaefellsnes” itinerary.

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Day 2 : Reykjavik – Snaefellsnes peninsula- Borgarfjordur

Highlights: Snaefellsjokull National Park Arnarstapi Hellnar Kirkjufell Borgarnes

Glacier-crowned Volcano –  Volcanic Formations –   Fishing Villages – Icelandic tales – Lava Cave

Breakfast at your hotel.  Meet your local guide in the hotel lobby.  Depart Reykjavik with your guide and driver traveling northwest via an undersea tunnel through Hvalfjordur (Whale Bay) on your way to the rugged coastline Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

Known as “Iceland in a Nutshell” this area will show you an astonishing variety of natural landscapes that can be seen in Iceland, but in one area.  This is part of  the remote and tranquil Snaefellsjokull  National Park, named after the peninsula’s magnificent glacier-crowned volcano (last eruption: 250 AD).  The mountain is said to be protected by a benevolent spirit, and you’ll surely feel recharged as you drive through this beautiful park.

You’ll visit secluded and charming fishing villages as you head along the northern peninsula. View Iceland’s most photographed mountain, Kirkjufell, and its surrounding fjord teeming with herring and orca whales. In nearby Grundarfjordur village, you’ll meet a local storyteller in his home for some funny insights, facts and fables about the Icelanders.

Continue along the coastline, making some amazing stops to admire columnar basalt formations and the crashing waves of the North Atlantic.  The afternoon’s highlight a visit to the spectacular Vatnshellir, an 8000 year-old lava cave located at the foot of the mystical Snaefellsjokull glacier. An expert cave guide will show you the amazing and beautiful features of Vatnshellir. The road then leads to the Borgarfjordur, a scenic and historical area of West Iceland

Dinner and overnight in West Iceland at B59 Hotel (according to advised accommodation list).

If weather conditions are favorable tonight, you may head out on foot with your guide to search for the elusive Aurora Borealis in the area of your hotel.  Otherwise, the northern lights hunt would be on another night of your tour (subject to weather conditions)

Included on this day:

  • Breakfast
  • One-course dinner
  • Local storyteller visit in Grundarfjordur town
  • Guided visit to Vatnshellir Lava Cave, safety equipment included
  • Northern Lights hunting kit and guided hunt on foot (if conditions allow)

Approximate Driving Distance:  369 km (229 miles)

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Day 3: Thingvellir National Park – Gullfoss – Geysir

Highlights: Thingvellir National Park Gullfoss Geysir

Ancient parliament and Mid-Atlantic Ridge –  Golden Waterfall – Lively Geysers

Breakfast at your hotel before heading on to the famous Golden Circle route.  Iceland’s Golden Circle showcases a trio of celebrated natural attractions. Start with a visit to Thingvellir National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), where Viking settlers established an annual assembly in AD 930. This parliament has now become the world’s oldest ongoing. Thingvellir is also a geological masterpiece, as it marks the visible site of the mid-Atlantic Ridge where the North American and Eurasian continental plates meet. You can walk along a path taking you between the canyon marking the location of the ridge.

Head through scenic farmlands to the celebrated Gullfoss waterfall, believed by many to be Iceland’s most beautiful falls.  Nearby is the Geysir Hot Spring Area, alive with boiling mud pits, steam vents, and exploding geysers. The most famous of these is Strokkur, a high-spouting geyser that erupts every ten minutes.

As a local and cultural treat today,  you’ll stop at tiny Laugarvatn village for a taste of traditional “hot spring bread“ that has been cooked in the warm ground by geothermal hot springs.

Overnight and Dinner in the South at Icelandair Hotel Fludir or Hotel Gullfoss (according to advised accommodation list).

Included on this day:

  • Breakfast
  • One-course dinner
  • Geothermal bakery experience at Laugarvatn Fontana Baths
  • Northern Lights hunting kit and guided hunt on foot (if conditions allow)

Approximate Driving Distance: 235 km (146 miles)

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Day 4: LAVA Center- Seljalandsfoss- Skogafoss – Eldhraun – Southeastern Iceland

Highlights: Hekla Seljalandsfoss Eyjafjallajokull Skogafoss Vík Eldhraun Lava Field

Scenic Waterfalls – Lava Center –  Volcanic Views – Lava Flow –  Magnificent Glaciers

Breakfast at your hotel.  Drive along the iconic South Shore , an area of Iceland that is beautiful to view in the winter. This is one of the main farm regions of the country, and the road will pass by typical Icelandic farms, often with Icelandic horses in the fields.  Depending on the weather, you might also get a glimpse of beautiful Mount Hekla, Iceland’s most frequently-erupting volcano. South Iceland is home to the LAVA Center, an interactive, high-tech educational exhibition depicting volcanic activity, earthquakes and the creation of Iceland over millions of years. Enjoy both the exhibit and viewing an interesting film about Icelandic volcanoes at the Center‘s cinema. As you travel onwards, you might get a glimpse of Eyjafjallajokull, the famous ice-capped volcano whose 2010 eruption halted air traffic worldwide.

Stop at two spectacular waterfalls, each with its own charm and character. Depending on the trail conditions you can walk behind Seljalandsfoss. Skogafoss is one of the country’s most photographed waterfalls and is said to be the hiding place for ancient treasure.

Head onwards, passing over Eldhraun, the surreal and vast lava landscapes that were created in one single flow – the largest known in history.

You will start seeing views of glaciers as you head into the southeast Iceland, and the region of Vatnajokull, Europe’s largest glacier.

 

Dinner and overnight stay in Southeast Iceland at Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon (according to advised accommodation list).

Included on this day:

  • Breakfast
  • One-course dinner
  • Lava Center exhibition and volcano film

 

Approximate Driving Distance: 315 km (196 miles)

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Day 5: Glacier Lagoon – Vatnajokull Park - Vik

Highlights: Vatnajokull Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon Reynisdrangar Cliffs Vík

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

Breakfast at your hotel.  Today you’ll be in the  southern area of Vatnajokull National Park, named after Europe’s largest glacier. The entire park covers almost 14% of Iceland’s landmass, and it’s considered the largest national park in Western Europe.

Start with a visit to Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon where you can enjoy the  breath-taking sight of icebergs floating in the deep glacial waters.  With luck, you might also see seals relaxing in the area. Nearby, is the stunning Diamond Beach where crystal clear remains of icebergs linger on the black sand before disappearing into the ocean.  Then visit the national park’s famous Skaftafell area, a beautiful “fire and ice” region created by volcanic activity and ringed by many glaciers.  This is the home to Svinafellsjokull, one of the most beautiful of the glacial outlets emerging from Vatnajokull.

Head west, passing through vast sand plains created by glacial outwashes as you head east.  The road leads to Vik, Iceland’s southernmost village.  Visit Reynisfjara beach, where you can take a walk on the black sands, admiring the extraordinary rock formations and thundering waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

Dinner and overnight in Vik at KEA Hotel Katla (according to advised accommodation list).

Included on this day:

  • Breakfast
  • One-course dinner

Approximate Driving Distance: 300 km (186 miles)

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Day 6: Reykjanes – Blue Lagoon - Reykjavik

Highlights: Kleifarvatn Krysuvik Grindavík The Blue Lagoon Reykjavik

Reykjanes Seacoast – Moon-like landscapes –  Colorful Geothermal Area – Relaxing Spa

Breakfast at your hotel.  Today you’ll take a beautiful coastal road that leads onto the breath-taking Reykjanes peninsula.  Reykjanes was designated a UNESCO Geopark in 2915 because of its many interesting geothermal and volcanic features, and it’s a fantastic place to explore.

Visit Strandarkirkja, a pretty wooden church typical of those in rural Iceland. There is a long-standing tradition that prayers in the church  have helped provide luck and success to fishermen working on the dangerous seas in the area. The small church is built right into the coast with amazing views of the turbulent ocean waves meeting volcanic rocks and black sands. Look for a quaint set of painted elf houses nestled in the church grounds.

Drive to Lake Kleifarvatn, set in fascinating, stark, moon-like surroundings. Near the lake’s southern end lies Krysuvik, where powerful jets of steam escape from deep below the earth’s crust and sulphurous steam rises from numerous geothermal vents. You can see numerous small hot springs, brightly-colored mud pots, boiling pools and other types of geothermal activity. Continue under low mountains along the shoreline to stop by craggy cliffs rising sheer from the sea. This is home to Grindavik, a town with a sizeable fishing fleet. After a lunch stop in Grindavik (lunch is on your own), head for the world-renowned Blue Lagoon. Set in a black lava field, this geothermal spa is a lagoon filled with warm mineral-rich seawater that provides the ultimate interaction and relaxation with Iceland’s raw nature.
Here you can enjoy a lovely soak in the healing waters of the lagoon a unique wonder of nature with pleasantly warm, mineral-rich water in the middle of a black lava field.

Return to Reykjavik, where the evening is at your own leisure.

Overnight in Reykjavik at Icelandair Hotel Natura (according to advised accommodation list). Dinner is on your own.

Included on this day:

  • Breakfast
  • One-course dinner
  • Blue Lagoon Comfort entrance with towel, silica mud mask and a drink of your choice

Approximate Driving Distance: 300 km (186 miles)

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Day 7: Departure

Transfer to the international airport for your departure flight.  Please note that this might be a light breakfast if you are taking an early morning departure flight. Airport transfer is not included, but we are happy to help you arrange shared or private transfers.  We recommend you depart your hotel no later than three hours before your departure flight.

Included on this day:

  • Breakfast
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