Across the Wilderness

Classic routes and more in a fantastic 4WD coach
11 days
June - August
Itinerary
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Travelling along roads and mountain tracks, aboard a specially adapted comfortable 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
UNESCO World Heritage Site with Geological Wonders - Beautiful Golden Falls - Exploding Geysers
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 plant small trees as part of a re-forestation programme. Finally, onwards to beautiful Gullfoss (the Golden Falls), amongst the most impressive waterfalls in Iceland. Dinner and overnight in the Hvolsvöllur area.

Day 3 Vík – Dyrhólaey – Kirkjubæjarklaustur
Thundering Waterfalls - Seabird Colony - Black Sand Beaches of the South Shore - Lava Fields
Admire 2 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 the barren Mýrdalssandur outwash plains. Then pass through the vast Eldhraun lava field, the largest lava flow across the earth since the end of the last Ice Age. Plese note Dyrhólaey is closed during nesting season (mid-May to late-June). 2 overnights in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur area, including dinner.


Day 4 Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon-  Skaftafell
Glacial Lagoon with Icebergs - Scenic Glacial Park - Europe's Largest Glacier
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 the Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon, where huge icebergs are found floating slowly out to sea. Here you can join an optional boat tour among the frozen masses (this tour can be purchased locally only). We then 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. 2nd overnight in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur area.

Day 5 Kirkjubæjarklaustur - Landmannalaugar  - Þjórsárdalur
Multi-coloured Mountains of the Interior - Lava Fields - Hot Springs with Bathing - Hekla Volcano
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 most stunning sights, consisting of deep valleys and sculptured, often mossy, mountains, many formed in volcanic eruptions under ice-age ice caps. Together, they create an exceptionally colourful environment.  You can take a short walk here, or a relaxing swim in 
a warm stream, created by the meeting of hot and cold springs. Dinner and overnight in the Þjórsárdalur area.

Day 6  Þjórsárdalur - Sprengisandur Highland Route - Lake Myvatn
Wild Heart of Iceland and Black Sand Desert 
Today we head northwards, to discover hidden parts of the  interior, as we explore the vast, desolate wilderness that is the Sprengisandur highland route. This is the longest stretch between the South and North and is a vast, barren black desert. We will make several crossings over unbridged glacial rivers, along this rugged track which runs between the glaciers. (If
Sprengisandur is closed, we will take the Kjolur highland route instead). Dinner and overnight in the Lake Mývatn area for 2 nights.

Day 7 Tjörnes - Ásbyrgi - Dettifoss - Lake Mývatn
Glacial River Gorge -  Geothermal Wonderland - Rich Birdlife - Bizarre Lava Forms & Craters
Today we travel through Húsavík and around the Tjörnes peninsula, the northern most point of our journey. Here we discover the serene, horseshoe-shaped Asbyrgi canyon, with walls over 100m high; legend says 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 the expansive Jökulsárgljúfur canyon; stand by and listen as the waters thunder past. The uniquely beautiful Lake Mývatn Nature Reserve follows - this is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers, and an area of bizarre mud pits, geothermal activity,  peculiar lava forms, fissures and explosion craters. 2nd overnight in the Lake Myvatn area.

Day 8 Lake Mývatn -  Akureyri - Skagafjörður
Waterfall "Of the Gods" - The Capital of the North - Viking Horses
Today visit Goðafoss waterfall before continuing to Akureyri, the vibrant capital of the  north and the second largest urban area in Iceland. Here you have time at leisure - 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 of the unique Icelandic horse. It is also home to many important sites relating to the classic Icelandic Sagas. Dinner and overnight in the Laugarbakki area.

Day 9 Skagafjörður  - Hvammstangi - Eiríksstaðir - Fellsstrond 
Historical Farmlands - Birthplace of Leif Eiriksson
Today's journey takes us around the 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 the  birthplace of his son, Leifur Eiríksson, 2 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 the Fellstrond area. 

Day 10 Fellsstrond  - Snæfellsjökull National Park and Glacier - Reykjavik 
Snaefellsjokull Glacier - Pebble Beaches - Sea Cliffs with Birdlife - Quaint Fishing Villages
Today is spent exploring the 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 will find the Centre of the Earth!Continue on to the pebbled beach at Djúpalónssandur, then 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.

Departures 2018: 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 coach transfers; accommodation in 3 star hotels with private facilities 2 nights in Reykjavik and 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); fully escorted 4WD coach tour (Days 2-10) with English-speaking guide.

                                            Nordic Travel is 100% Australian owned and operated

Price per person FROM:
Double AUD$ 6134.00
Single AUD$ 7710.00

Includes: return airport coach transfers; accommodation in 3 star hotels with private facilities 2 nights in Reykjavik and 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); fully escorted 4WD coach tour (Days 2-10) with English-speaking guide.

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