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Day 1: Arrival:

Highlights: Keflavik Reykjavik Hallgrimskirkja Harpa Concert Hall The Sun Voyager

Approximate distance: ca 50 km / 30 miles

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.

Our Iceland Travel Staff Culinary suggestions:

  • Enjoy Cook and Dine at Salt Eldhus, a hands-on late morning or early evening cooking lesson in English.You’ll learn about Iceland’s unique culinary culture and the New Nordic cuisine using fresh, Icelandic ingredients. The course is in English and led by professional chefs from Salt Kitchen (this course must be pre-booked).
  • Get a fantastic introduction to Icelandic culture and indulge in samples of Icelandic food and beer with the “Meet the Locals” experience at the Tin Can Factory. Two versions are available: Afternoon (includes lunch and a traditional Icelandic bread/cake buffet) and Evening (includes dinner and learning how to make Icelandic pancakes)
  • Pop by Café Loki, a small and friendly family-run café located across from Hallgrimskirkja Church in the centre of Reykjavik. The restaurant’s cuisine is inspired by traditional Icelandic home recipes that have been passed on from one generation to the next.
  • Discover Iceland’s version of street food: upmarket, food-truck style kiosks at two new food halls. Hlemmur Food Hall is near the main shopping street, Laugavegur. Grandi Matthöll is in the Grandi neighbourhood of the Old Harbor.
  • Join a food walk, a small-group guided tour of the old city area. During the trip you’ll visit several restaurants to sample delicious food popular with Icelanders
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Day 2: Gullfoss, Geysir and the South Coast:

Highlights: Gullfoss Geysir Eyjafjallajokull Seljalandsfoss Skogafoss Vík Reynisdrangar Cliffs

Approximate distance: 299 km / 186 miles

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. There is also an excellent Ethiopian restaurant in town.

 

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Day 3: Skaftafell - Jokulsarlon - Vik:

Highlights: Skaftafell National Park Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon Svartifoss Waterfall

Approximate distance: 395 km / 245 miles

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.

If you’re itching for barbecue and a cold beer the Smidjan Brugghus in Vik specializes in their own craft beer, along with other Icelandic labels. Their barbecue and grill items include slow-cooked barbecued ribs and pulled pork, great burgers, along with legendary french fries that are “possibly made by unicorns.”

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Day 4: Thingvellir - Borgarfjordur:

Highlights: Thingvellir National Park Barnafoss Hraunfossar Borgarnes Snorrastofa – Reykholt Deildartunguhver

Approximate distance: 340 km / 211 miles

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:

Our Iceland Travel Staff Culinary suggestions:

The restaurant at Krauma geothermal baths offers bistro-style courses with produce from West Iceland farms. Two signature dishes are an appetizer featuring cheese and cured meats from a traditional goat farm and a colorful salad with vegetables from a nearby greenhouse farm.

The Settlement Centre in Borgarnes offers a fascinating insight into the history of the Iceland’s settlement by Vikings. After looking at the exhibits, check out the excellent restaurant on site. Choose from an assortment of traditional Icelandic dishes such as fish soup and grilled lamb. A local favorite is the vegetarian wellness lunch buffet, featuring home-made soups, salads, pasta courses and bread. Don’t forget to leave room for a slice of homemade cake.

Beer aficionados might enjoy visiting the countryside microbrewery, Stedji. Their Visitor Centre’s 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 13:00 and 17:00 (1:00 pm and 5:00 pm)

The Ljomalind Country Market in Borgarnes is open daily week 12:00 – 17:00 (12:00pm – 5:00pm; closed on national holidays). 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. You can also try the sampler “Taste from the Area” that features samples of delicious food products from the market.

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Day 5: Snaefellsnes peninsula:

Highlights: Snaefellsjokull National Park Arnarstapi Shark Museum Stykkisholmur

Approximate distance: ca 330 km / 200 miles

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 Borgarfjordur area.

Culinary Suggestions:

  • Anyone with an interest in Iceland’s culinary heritage should not miss the Bjarnarhofn Shark Museumfounded by the country’s last shark farmer. You’ll learn about this unique delicacy and, if you’re brave, have a taste. The museum is open daily 10:00 – 17:00 (10:00 am – 5:00 pm).  
  • The House of Food (Bjargarsteinn) in Grundarfjordur is little restaurant in an adorable renovated early 20th century house with a lovely view over the seacoast. The menu changes based on the best products each season, with good seafood, lamb and vegetarian offerings. 
  • Stykkishólmur town is considered one of Iceland’s most eco-friendly communities. The town’s Sjarvarpakkhusid restaurant is commited to low environmental impact. They get ingredients from local fishermenfarmers, and breweries. Diners enjoy the view over the island-filled Breidafjordur Bay and watching the fishing boats and fishermen at work. 
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Day 6: Reykjanes Peninsula - Blue Lagoon:

Highlights: The Blue Lagoon Kleifarvatn Sandgerdi Grindavík The Saltfish Museum Viking World

Approximate distance: 189 km / 117 miles

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.

Optional recommendation: 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. (Due to high demand, The Blue Lagoon entrance needs to be booked in advance. Let us know at booking time if you would like to add the entrance fee to your booking.)

Overnight in Reykjavik.

Culinary Suggestions:

Salthusid Restaurant (The House of Bacalao) is located in Grindavik and is open for dinner. The menu features beautifully-presented seafood. The specialty is salted cod, but the restaurant also offers salmon, lobster, arctic charr. If you prefer meat courses, you can enjoy Icelandic lamb and beef specialties. The restaurant is open 17:00 – 21:00 (5:00pm – 9:00pm).

Grindavík is also home to Hjá Höllu (At Halla’s), a family-owned, cozy restaurant specializing in light, healthy soups, salads, pizza, and main courses. Ingredients are organic. The menu changes weekly. The restaurant is open 11:00 – 17:00 (11:00 am – 5:00 pm). The kitchen closes at 15:00 (3:00 pm), but people can get sandwiches, beverages, smoothies, and desserts until closing time.

Lava Restaurant at the Blue Lagoon is a fine dining experience using locally-sourced ingredients. Built into an 800 year-old lava cliff, the restaurant looks out over the Blue Lagoon. The fish of the day comes right from Grindavik’s harbor. Lunchtime fixed menus (two and three-course options) provide a great overview of Icelandic favorites with a unique flair. A feature of the restaurant’s dinner menu is the 4-course tasting menu, a very elegant way to experience the range of Icelandic cuisine.

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Optional Tours:

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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