If you are looking for an extra-ordinary winter experience, this is it!

Staff review:Thorsteinn Mar

Reviewed October 4, 2018

Travel to West and South Iceland in the Winter Wonders and Delicious Detours road trip. See a great array of contrasting landscapes with some great tasting detours.

Experience an array of landscapes and natural wonders during northern lights season, while enjoying an introduction to Iceland’s culinary traditions, on the Winter Wonders and Delicious Detours, a driving adventure through West and South Iceland. Iceland’s dramatic southern coastline provides a stunning backdrop to discover this active volcanic zone. West Iceland highlights include unique lava formations, the inspiring Snaefellsjokull glacier-volcano, and historical sites from the Sagas. A number of stops and tasty excursions are offered as optional along the way to experience Iceland’s wholesome culinary culture.

What’s in it for you?

  • Digital itinerary with the Iceland Travel Companion.
  • Electronic version of Iceland Travel Booklet. Prior to your arrival we will send you an electronic version of our Iceland Travel Guide booklet. You can start preparing yourself for your upcoming Iceland trip and be prepared for your Iceland adventure!
  • Flexibility. With comprehensive maps and your own vehicle, drive at your own pace. Choose your preferred stops during the day and hunt for northern lights in the evening.

Highlights

  • Enjoy a variety of optional culinary stops and excursions, including baking bread underground using geothermal heat, visiting a dairy farm and joining a tasting tour through Reykjavik.
  • Discover the famous natural wonders of the Golden Circle route.
  • Walk along the banks of the famous Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, with its blue-tinted icebergs floating among curious seals.
  • Explore Iceland’s literary heritage in the areas where the most dramatic events of the Sagas took place centuries ago.
  • Relax in the warm, healing waters of the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa.

Included

  • 2 nights in Reykjavik, including breakfast
  • 4 nights in countryside hotels, including breakfast
  • Rental car for 6 days with unlimited mileage, CDW, theft protection and VAT**
  • GPS system with car and additional authorised driver
  • Car pick-up/drop-off at Keflavík international airport
  • Airport service charge
  • Access to our emergency phone line, open 24 hours
  • Tablet with a new travel app called Iceland Travel Companion (picked up at Keflavik airport with your car rental). The app includes:• Thousands of points of nature sites, historic places, and road side services
    • Safety guidelines and the apps of the Icelandic Meteorological Office and The Icelandic Road Administration
    • Useful information about your booking, including detailed descriptions of confirmed hotels,  and  a GPS road guide to each hotel
    • A map view of the Iceland road trip
    • Detailed pdf travel book about Iceland in English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and French

**Please note that the package price is based on 6 x 24-hour rental days starting at the time of rental. If your flight arrives early on day 1 and departs late on day 7, an additional supplement will be charged unless you choose to return the car in Reykjavik when the 6- day rental is up and use our FlyBus departure transfer.

Not included:

  • Breakfast on arrival day
  • International airfare
  • Personal travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Gasoline/petrol
  • Admissions and activities
  • Beverages, snacks, lunches, dinners unless otherwise noted in itinerary
  • Guaranteed early check-in (check-in time for most hotels in Iceland is 1400 (2:00pm)
  • Any service not specifically listed under “included”

Important

Due to high demand, accommodation in Reykjavik for New Year’s Eve cannot be guaranteed. 

Must be 21 years of age to rent a car, 23 years of age to rent car cat. 5.0 or higher.

Our road trip packages are designed by our team of travel experts. They are created for people like you who want to experience the very best of what Iceland has to offer. To get the best value Iceland Travel has to offer, book our road trips online. Please note that changes to the packages will incur a service fee.

With our exclusive road trip app you don´t have to worry about missing out and you will always find your way to your hotel after a full day of traveling. It is easy to book day tours and activities in the app when you are on the road.

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Day 1: Arrival

Highlights: Keflavik Reykjavik

Approximate distance: ca50km / 30miles

Arrival in Iceland – The world’s northernmost capital city – Reykjavik’s best restaurants

Once you have landed at Keflavik Airport in Iceland, please pick up your luggage and head through customs. Collect your rental car at the airport and proceed to your hotel in Reykjavik. The rest of the day is yours to rest and use at your own leisure.  Please note check-in for most hotels begins at 14:00 (2:00pm)

Overnight in Reykjavik.

Culinary suggestions:

Enjoy Cook and Dine at Salt Kitchen School, an afternoon cooking lesson in English, where you learn about Iceland’s unique culinary culture and the New Nordic cuisine using fresh, Icelandic ingredients. The course is led by professional chefs from Salt Kitchen (this course must be pre-booked).

Pop by Café Loki, a small and friendly family-run café located across from Hallgrimskirkja Church in the centre of Reykjavik. Its location offers a beautiful view across the city, the church and the Blafjoll Mountains. The restaurant’s cuisine is inspired by traditional Icelandic home recipes that have been passed on from one generation to the next. Café Loki offers a variety of combination platters for a great overview of the best food that Iceland has to offer.

Enjoy a fun 60-minute “educational course“at Bryggjan Brewhouse Microbrewery/Restaurant‘s Brewery School. The class includes information on beer-making as well as samples of craft beer and delicious home-made appetizers.

Saegreifinn restaurant, located in a former fisherman‘s hut in the Old Harbour, serves excellent lobster soup and fresh-grilled fish skewers in an informal setting.

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Day 2: Gullfoss, Geysir and the South Coast

Highlights: Gullfoss Geysir

Approximate distance: ca330km / 200miles

Thundering waterfalls – Exploding geysers – Cliffs & stone arches – Black sand beaches of the South Shore

Head out of the city and drive to Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir hot spring, highlights of Iceland’s famous ‘Golden Circle’. Continue your trip, stopping at highlights such as Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls, and the majestic Eyjafjallajokull and surrounding area, the site of the infamous volcanic eruption in 2010.

Overnight in Vik area.

Culinary Suggestions:

This particular region of Iceland is known as the breadbasket of Iceland, as there are many farms here.  This means you have many excellent dining options:

The small café at Fontana Geothermal Baths bakes traditional sweet rye bread using the earth’s natural geothermal heat. At 14:30 (2:30pm) every day, you can watch as the bread is removed from its cooking tins in the ground and taste it fresh with plenty of Icelandic butter (this experience must be pre-booked).  If you don’t have time to wait for the tour we still recommend you try a slice of the cafe‘s rye bread topped with smoked trout from the lake.

The Efstidalur II traditional cattle farm is just a 10-minute drive from Gullfoss waterfall. The restaurant, overlooking the cowshed, offers local beef and vegetables as well as homemade milk products such as ice cream, feta cheese and skyr (a thick, nutritious yogurt-like product). During your stop, you can watch the dairy cows through a big window in the dairy barn. The Ice Cream Barn and restaurant are open daily 11:30-20:30 (11:30am – 8:30pm) except for 24-26 December, 31 December and 1 January.

Fridheimar is a charming horse farm and greenhouse facility near Fludir. Clean geothermal and hydroelectric energy provides resources to grow many types of organic fruits and vegetables. The farm is most famous for its tasty tomatoes. An on-site restaurant specializes in delicious tomato-based dishes like tomato soup and green tomato and apple pie. The restaurant is open daily between 12:00 and 16:00 (12:00pm – 4:00pm) except for 24-26 December, 31 December and 1 January.  In order to guarantee a table, please call ahead in advance for a reservation.

The area of Fludir is famous for its delicious organic mushrooms.  The new Farmers Bistro is a restaurant located on a farm that cultivates mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes and more.  The bistro has excellent mushroom soup, home-made bread, vegetable wraps, as well as exotic ice cream flavours.

 

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Day 3: Skaftafell - Jokulsarlon - Vik

Approximate distance: ca479km / 295miles

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

Visit the majestic Skaftafell area, which is located between two glaciers and offers many hiking possibilities. Continue to the shimmering icebergs of Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon before returning to the charming village of Vik in the afternoon.

Overnight in Vik area.

Culinary Suggestions:

Thorbergur Cultural Centre & Café offers homemade cakes and specialties such as farm-raised arctic char (trout) from a nearby farm, as well as other traditional local food, free-range Icelandic lamb and traditional lamb meat soup with bread. Please call ahead to make sure they are open.

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Day 4: Thingvellir - Borgarfjordur

Approximate distance: ca335km / 208miles

National Park of Geological Wonders (UNESCO) – Europe’s Most Powerful Hot Spring

Drive to the UNESCO-listed Thingvellir National Park, site of the ancient Icelandic parliament and a jewel of nature. The park itself is situated in a stunning volcanic landscape of mountains and lava flows on the edge of Iceland’s largest lake. Continue to Borgarfjordur fjord and visit the historic site of Reykholt, the remarkably beautiful Hraunfoss and Barnafoss waterfalls and Deildartunguhver, the most powerful hot spring in Europe.  We recommend a visit to the nearby Krauma natural geothermal spa, where you can relax in pools fed by a perfect blend of water from Deildartunguhver and nearby glacial springs.

Overnight in Borgarfjordur area.

Culinary Suggestions:

The Settlement Centre in Borgarnes offers a fascinating insight into the history of the Icelandic settlement and the Saga era. After taking a look at the exhibits, continue your sensory journey through time at the Settlement Centre’s popular restaurant. The large windows, stripped wooden floors and modern furniture give it a wonderfully stylish vibe. Choose from an assortment of traditional Icelandic dishes such as fish soup and grilled lamb. Don’t forget to leave room for a slice of homemade cake.

Beer aficionados might enjoy visiting the countryside microbrewery, Stedji.  Their new tasting room gives you the opportunity to see the operations and sample some distinctively different beers.  Stedji is open every day except Sundays and holidays between 12:00 and 17:00 (12:00pm and 5:00pm)

The Ljomalind Country Market in Borgarnes is open six days a week from 13:00 – 18:00 (1:00pm – 6:00pm). This sustainable country market was created by women from the region. Discover home-made treats like ice cream, candy, cheese and jams, as well as handicrafts and herbal remedies.  This is a nice stop for getting picnic lunch ingredients and tasty souvenirs for friends at home.  It´s a good idea to call to reconfirm opening times at 437 1400.

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Day 5: Snaefellsnes peninsula

Approximate distance: ca330km / 200miles

Sea Cliffs – Rock Formations – Quaint Fishing Villages

Explore the countless natural wonders of the Snaefellsnes peninsula, which happens to be a national park. With mountains to one side and the sea to the other, visit the wind-tangled Arnarstapi sea cliffs and the rocky beach of Djupalonssandur before driving along the north coast through bustling fishing villages.

Overnight in Borgarnes area.

Culinary Suggestions:

Anyone with an interest in Iceland’s culinary heritage should not miss the Bjarnarhofn Shark Museum, run by the country’s last shark farmer. You’ll learn about this unique delicacy and, if you’re brave, have a taste. Please call ahead to make sure they are open.

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Day 6: Reykjanes Peninsula - Blue Lagoon

Approximate distance: ca207km / 128miles

Volcanic Landscapes – Bubbling Mud Pools – Active Fishing Community – Geothermal Spa

Drive to the Reykjanes peninsula and visit the moonlike lava fields around Lake Kleifarvatn.  Another suggested stop is at the Krysuvik geothermal area with bubbling mud pools. Visit Grindavik fishing village, famous for its heritage of producing saltfish (bacalao).  Saltfish is undeniably responsible for the prosperity of the Icelandic nation, particularly during the late 19th and early 20th century when the industry was at its peak.

Relax at the famous Blue Lagoon with a refreshing dip in the pleasantly warm geothermal waters, rich in silica and minerals that are great for the skin.

Overnight in Reykjavik.

Culinary Suggestions:

Vitinn Seafood Restaurant in the small town of Sandgerdi offers a delicious crab feast, as well as other seafood options. Their speciality is rock crab; this is one of the few restaurants in Europe offering this treat fresh from the sea.

Salthusid Restaurant (The House of Bacalao) is located in Grindavik, a town famous for its saltfish processing.   The menu features beautifully-presented seafood.  The specialty is salted cod, but the restaurant also offers salmon, lobster, arctic charr.  Those who prefer meat courses can enjoy Icelandic lamb and beef specialties.

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Day 7: Departure

Highlights: Keflavik

Return to Keflavik International Airport.**

We recommend departing the hotel approximately 3 hours prior to the departure of your international flight.

**Please note that the package price is based on 6 x 24-hour rental days starting at the time of rental. If your flight arrives early on day 1 and departs late on day 7, an additional supplement will be charged unless you choose to return the car in Reykjavik when the 6- day rental is up and use our FlyBus plus departure transfer.

Please note: The northern lights are a natural phenomenon and therefore sightings can not be guaranteed.

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