Across the Wilderness

Classic routes and more in a fantastic 4WD coach
11 days
Jun - Aug
Itinerary
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Travelling along roads and mountain tracks, aboard a specially adapted 4WD coach, enables you to combine some of Iceland's classic routes and famous points of interest. These include the uninhabited and volcanic highlands, one of Europe’s vastest areas of wilderness, Landmannalaugar Nature reserve and the barren black sands of Sprengisandur. This tour truly showcases the country's diverse nature.

Day 1: Arrival Reykjavik
On arrival, take the airport bus to your hotel for overnight in Reykjavík. The city centre is a small area characterised by eclectic and colourful houses, good shopping and dining. Iceland's capital has recently established itself as a haven for food lovers, with numerous restaurants taking advantage of the abundant local seafood, meat and game. There are also great musuems including the National Museum displaying artefacts from the first settlement to the modern age, giving an excellent overview of Iceland’s history and culture, and the Reykjavik 871+2 Settlement Museum, an archaeological museum based around a 10thC Viking longhouse unearthed in 2001. Reykjavik Art Museum and the National Gallery can also be visited.

Day 2: Reykjavik - Thingvellir - Gullfoss - Geysir - Hvolsvöllur
Leave Reykjavik this morning and start with a visit to Thingvellir National Park, the ancient site of the world's first parliament and a jewel of nature, where you can see the continental drift between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. Next, travel to nearby Geysir geothermal area, to witness boiling pools and hot springs. The most active geyser, Strokkur, shoots water high into the air every few minutes. Our next stop is Haukadalur Valley, where you can help to plant some trees as part of a re-forestation programme. Finally, it is onwards to beautiful Gullfoss (Golden Falls), amongst the most impressive waterfalls in Iceland. Dinner and overnight in Hvolsvöllur area.

Day 3: Vík – Dyrhólaey – Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Admire two classic waterfalls, Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss, before enjoying great views from Dyrhólaey headland, where thousands of puffins nest during summer. A stop in quaint Vik village follows, before crossing Mýrdalssandur outwash plains.  Pass through the vast Eldhraun lava field, the largest lava flow across the earth since the end of the last Ice Age. N.B. Dyrhólaey is closed during nesting season (mid-May to late-June). 2 overnights in Kirkjubæjarklaustur area, including dinner.

Day 4: Jökulsárlón - Skaftafell
The day starts with a drive through beautiful scenery towards Vatnajökull Glacier, the largest in Europe and Iceland's highest peak, Hvannadalshnjúkur. Today's highlight is Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon, where huge icebergs are found floating slowly out to sea. Optional excursion - boat tour among the frozen masses. We continue past several outlet glaciers from
Vatnajökull and stop to visit at least one. En-route, enjoy magnificent views of Skaftafell, a glacial wonderland within Vatnajökull National Park. 

Day 5: Landmannalaugar
Today we drive along the primitive Fjallabaksleið interior track to Landmannalaugar. This magnificent area is surrounded by colourful rhyolite mountains and is one of Icleand's must sees, consisting of deep valleys and sculptured, often mossy, mountains, many formed in volcanic eruptions under ice-age icecaps. Together, they all create an exceptionally colourful environment. If you wish, there is time for a short walk, before taking a relaxing swim in 
a warm stream, created by the meeting of hot and cold springs. Dinner and overnight in Þjórsárdalur area.

Day 6: Sprengisandur 
Today we head Northwards, through the heartland. Discover hidden parts of the  interior, as we explore the vast, desolate wilderness that is Sprengisandur highland route. This is the longest stretch between the South and North and is a vast, barren black desert. There will be several crossings over unbridged glacial rivers, along this rugged track which runs between the glaciers. (If
Sprengisandur is closed, we take Kjolur highland route instead). Dinner and overnight in Lake Mývatn area for 2 nights.

Day 7: Tjörnes - Ásbyrgi - Dettifoss - Lake Mývatn
Today we have a busy day, packed full with various landscapes. Travel through Húsavík and around Tjörnes peninsula, the northernmost point of your journey. Discover the serene horseshoe-shaped, Asbyrgi canyon with walls over 100m high. Legend has it, that this is the hoof-print left by Sleipnir, the magical eight-legged horse of the Norse god Óðinn. Continue to Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe, located in expansive Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. Stand by it's side and listen as the waters thunder past. The uniquely beautiful Lake Mývatn Natiure Reserve follows and is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers. Don't miss the bizarre mud pits at Hverarönd geothermal region, as well as peculiar lava forms, fissures and explosion craters at Krafla.

Day 8: Akureyri - Skagafjörður
Today visit Goðafoss waterfall before continuing to Akureyri, the vibrant Capital of the North - the second largest urban area in Iceland. Here you have time at leisure, so you may like to visit the amazing botanical gardens, take a dip at the geothermal pool complex, go shopping or just relax in a local café. Afterwards, the tour continues to Skagafjörður area, renowned for breeding the unique Icelandic horse. It is also home to many important sites relating to the classic Icelandic Sagas. Dinner and overnight  in Laugarbakki area.

Day 9: Hvammstangi - Eiríksstaðir - Fellsstrond 
Today's journey heads around Vatnsnes Peninsula to see an extraordinary rock form, Hvitserkur; a 15m cliff jutting straight out from the sea, where seals often rest near the beach. Onwards through rolling farmlands, across Laxárdalsheiði heath, to a Viking Age house at Eiríksstaðir. This is the original home of Erik the Red and also  birthplace of his son, Leifur Eiríksson, two of the world’s most famous Vikings. In a replica turf-roofed house, modern day vikings demonstrate a 1000 year old lifestyle, as they share their knowledge and crafts. Dinner and overnight in Fellstrond area. 

Day 10: Snæfellsjökull National Park and Glacier 
Today is spent exploring Snæfellsnes National Park, including Snæfellsjökull glacier. This covers a dormant volcano which last erupted in 250 AD. According to Jules Verne, this is where you'll find the Centre of the Earth nearby. Continue on for the pebbled beach at Djúpalónssandur, then we stop at the picturesque harbour village of Arnarstapi to see magnificent columnar basalt rock formations. Walk between Arnarstapi and Hellnar villgaes, before we drive back to Reykjavik, for overnight. 

Day 11: Departure
Arrangments end with your coach transfer to Keflavik Airport.

2018 departures: 21 and 28 June; 05, 12, 19, 26 July; 02, 04, 09, 16, 18, 23, 30 August.

Group size: maximum 19 persons

Includes: Return airport transfers; 3 star hotels with private facilities 2 nights in Reykjavik, 8 nights in the countryside, breakfast daily; 8 dinners in the countryside (Days 2-9); participation in the Reforestation Project in Haukadalur (Day 2); entrance to Eriksstadir Museum (Day 9); coach tour (Days 2-10) with English-speaking guide.

Excludes: Optional tours purchased through your guide when the tour starts.
Blue Lagoon (Day 1 on arrival or Day 11 on departure - flight time dependent), Boat tour on Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon (30-40mins, Day 4), Horse-riding tour in Gauksmyri (1.5hrs, Day 8), Whale watching from Reykjavik (2.5-3hrs, Day 10).  

Please note: the price may vary according to your dates of travel.

Nordic Travel is 100% Australian owned and operated

Price per person FROM:
Double AUD$ 5925.00
Single AUD$ 7447.00

Includes: Return airport transfers; 3 star hotels with private facilities - 2 nights in Reykjavik, 8 nights in the countryside, breakfast daily; 8 dinners in the countryside (Days 2-9); participation in the Reforestation Project in Haukadalur (Day 2); entrance to Eriksstadir Museum (Day 9); coach tour (Days 2-10) with English-speaking guide.

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