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Day 1: The Westman Islands:

Highlights: Seljalandsfoss Vestmannaeyjar Eldheimar Exhibition

Amazing Waterfall – Lava Fields – Volcanic Aftermath – Magnificent lava fields

Approximate distance: 170 km (106 miles)

Transfer from a pre-arranged bus stop in Reykjavík to the tour’s meeting point. Please check your confirmation for your pre-arranged bus stop details in Reykjavík. Please be at the pre-arranged bus stop no later than 15 minutes before the pick-up time.

Make sure that your phone number and e-mail are listed with Iceland Travel so we can contact you if needed.

Drive along the south shore, one of Iceland’s most volcanic regions. Pass alongside farmlands built in the shadow of towering volcanic mountains. You’ll see many signs of how the volcanoes of the area have powerfully altered the landscape. If the skies are clear, you may even catch views of two of Iceland’s most famous volcanoes: Hekla (last eruption 2000) and Eyjafjallajokull (last eruption 2010).

In Hvollsvollur town, visit the LAVA Centre, an interactive, high-tech exhibition about volcanic activity, earthquakes and the creation of Iceland over millions of years. It’s a perfect introduction to how natural volcanic and earthquake forces created Iceland – and continue to shape the island.

Next visit the impressive Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where the intrepid adventurer can take the trail that leads behind the waterfall.

Travel along the farmlands of the south coast to Landeyjahofn harbor. Take a 30-minute ferry ride to the Westman Islands, enjoying the view of volcanic islands and seabirds. Your destination is Heimaey Island, the largest of the Westman Island archipelago. It is the only inhabited island. Life here is quite a bit different from the “mainland” Iceland, and you’ll discover some of the unique culture and history on a drive around the area.

Visit windy Storhofdi Point with its fantastic views over the area.(During mid-May through the beginning of August you might also see puffins here.) Take a walk up to the crater of a volcano that erupted only three decades ago.You can still see the steam rising from the ground and the brilliantly red and black lava deposits that form bizarre shapes. The view from up here and over the sea and islands is simply stunning!

Next, take a trip back in time and visit Eldheimar Museum. You’ll learn about the catastrophic 1973 eruption that covered many homes on Heimaey in lava and changed the residents’ lives forever. You’ll see where lava flowed over houses and where grass and moss now grown in among the lava. The volcanic flows also created an amazing time capsule; wandering through Eldheimar gives you a peek into Icelandic daily life in the early 1970s.

The rest of the afternoon is open for you to explore the island on your own. Walk along the harbor and check out the 17th-century earth fort built to protect the islands from pirate raids. Catch some interesting and timeless photos of the replica of a Viking age stave church built in the year 2000. Take a swim in the public swimming pool, which uses geothermally warmed sea water. Soak in the vibes of the charming and lively fishing town, home to the family-owned Brothers micro-brewery and several restaurants known for great seafood and a charming local feeling. Or simply sit by the sea and enjoy the sounds of the waves and the calls of the sea birds and the peaceful atmosphere of the islands.

Overnight in the Westman Islands. Dinner on your own.

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Day 2: South Shore – Skogar – Vik:

Highlights: Skogafoss Reynisdrangar Cliffs Dyrholaey Vík

Powerful Volcanoes – Amazing Waterfall – Unforgettable Glacier Experience Black Sand Beaches

Approximate distance: 115 km (71miles)

Breakfast at your hotel. Yesterday’s focus was on volcanoes. Today the focus is on glaciers! Take the morning ferry back from the Westman Islands to continue your exploration of the south coast. You will now be in the area of Katla Geopark, a UNESCO site designated for its unique volcanic and glacial features. The park is named after the glacier covered Katla volcano. Start with a visit to photogenic Skogafoss waterfall, where legends say an ancient treasure is hidden.

Soon you will be in the area of Myrdalsjokull Glacier. Visit Solheimajokull, a glacier outlet from Mydralsjokull glacier. Solheimajokull is a fantastic opportunity to discover glaciers up close. You can choose one of two unforgettable glacier experiences (Both activities are great for beginners; no previous experience is needed).

Glacier Hike- Strap on crampons, pick up an ice axe and follow an expert glacier guide on Solheimajokull itself. You’ll explore the glacier’s surface, discovering amazing ice formations and learn interesting facts about how glaciers form. (Duration: 2 – 2,5 hours) Note: Minimum age for tour is 8 years old and a minimum shoe size of European 34 (U.S. 25)

Glacier View Kayaking – Enjoy Solheimajokull from a different angle on an easy kayak tour. Paddle a special sit-on-top kayak in a natural lagoon that flows out from Solheimajokull glacier. Follow your guide’s kayak on this easy tour as you paddle between stunning icebergs. Enjoy views of the glacier you can only see from the water. (Duration: 2,5 hours) Note: minimum age for kayaking is 12 years old

Afterwards, continue your journey. Visit the magical black sands of Reynisfjara beach. Here you can witness powerful waves and amazing basalt column structures carved by the power of the sea. Walking along the beach and hearing the thundering waves is a reminder of nature’s power.

Head to the village of Vik for your overnight. Vik has become a base for a variety of activity tours. This evening you might like to try a Zip Line adventure or a horseback ride along the black sand beach. We can book these tours for you in advance.

Dinner and overnight stay in Vik.

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Day 3: Vik– Skaftafell – Jokulsarlon:

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

Skaftafell and Glacial beauty – Europes largest Glacier – Glacial Lagoon with Icebergs

Approximate distance: 399 km (248 miles)

Breakfast at your hotel. Today you’ll be visiting the southern area of Vatnajokull National Park, named after Europe’s largest glacier. Vatnajokull National Park covers 14% of Iceland’s surface, making it the largest national park in Western Europe. Throughout the day you’ll also have views of massive Vatnajokull glacier.

Start the day by crossing Eldhraun, the largest single flow of lava ever to flow on the face of the Earth. The cataclysmic eruption happened in 1783-1784 AD and affected the climate across mainland Europe.  The vast lava moss-covered lava formations are surreal. Head across a landscape of black sand plains and braided rivers created when glacier capped volcanoes erupted. It’s hard to believe that this black sand desert was actually created by ice!

Visit Skaftafell, a beautiful glacier-ringed valley in Vatnajokull National Park. The contrast of black volcanoes, silvery glaciers and small green forests is strikingly beautiful. Continue to the stunning Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon to see floating icebergs and maybe a curious seal or two. Spend a few moments here taking in this unforgettable site. Nearby is the Diamond Beach, a black sand area where broken bits of ice bergs come to rest before they eventually drift to sea.

Now it’s time to enjoy the beauty of ice and water even more with a boat trip! Head to the Iceberg Lagoon, another (and quieter) glacier lagoon in the area. Take a Zodiac boat tour amid the floating ice bergs, viewing the different shapes and shades of blue. Enjoy the guide’s interesting insights about the glacier and the area’s history and nature.

Return to Vik for your overnight. Dinner is on your own.

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Day 4: Gullfoss – Geysir – Thingvellir – Reykjavik:

Highlights: Geysir Gullfoss Thingvellir National Park

Lively Geysers and Golden Falls – National Park with Geological Wonders (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Approximate distance: 295 km (183 miles)

Breakfast at your hotel. Today you will visit the Golden Circle region, perhaps one of Iceland’s most famous areas. It’s also a fascinating place to discover more about Iceland’s volcanic and glacial powers, with a bit of Viking history on the side.

Start off byheading for the Geysir geothermal field. The very earth steams with volcanic heat. Underground hot springs erupt as geysers. The most famous geyser is Strokkur, a hot spring that spouts high in the air every few minutes. But there are many other smaller yet very interesting geysers and bubbling mud pools.

Travel onwards to Gullfoss, one of Iceland’s most impressive waterfalls. Gullfoss is created by a glacial river, Hvita, that thunders over two ledges into a deep canyon. Several footpaths lead around the falls, each giving you a different view.

The next stop is Thingvellir National Park, where the Viking-age parliament met for centuries on the shores of Iceland’s largest lake. Thingvellir is where Iceland became a nation, and many important decisions and historical events happened here. Thingvellir is  also a fascinating place geologically; the North American and European tectonic plates meet, allowing you to walk between continents.

After some time to explore the wonders of Thingvellir, head back to Reykjavik.

The tour ends in Reykjavik. You will be transferred from the tour’s end point to a pre-arranged tour bus stop in Reykjavik. Please check your travel documents for your SmartBUS transfer details.

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