Best of South Iceland

Small group exploration of the South
8 days
May - Sep
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Explore the most famous sights in South Iceland from the countryside, without the need for long daily drives from Reykjavík. This small group tour focuses on some fabulous guided day excursions and explorations from only 3 different overnight locations in Southern Iceland. You visit the Golden Circle sites, explore the interior highlands of Landmannalaugar, the glacial valley of Þórsmörk, and the glacial wonders of Vatnajökull National Park. Your Icelandic adventure includes short walks here and there, bathing in the geothermal Blue Lagoon, climbing volcano craters, walking on glaciers, a boat trip between floating icebergs and lots of time to take pictures. The programme includes six full days of touring, exploring and adventure in South Iceland and the interior highlands, so you can discover the national parks, green valleys, high mountains, moon landscapes, lava fields, waterfalls, hot springs and glaciers that showcase both Iceland's highlights and secrets.

Day 1 Reykjavik Arrival
On arrival at Reykjavik's Keflavik Airport transfer by airport express bus to your hotel. The city centre is a small area characterised by eclectic and colourful houses, good shopping, dining and drinking. Reykjavík has recently established itself as a haven for food lovers, with numerous restaurants taking advantage of the abundance of local seafood, meat and game.Reykjavik has many wonderful museums including the National Museum displaying artefacts from the first settlement to the modern age, giving an excellent overview of Iceland’s history and culture, the Reykjavik 871+2 Settlement Museum, an archaeological museum based around a 10th-century Viking longhouse unearthed in 2001, the Reykjavik Art Museum and the National Gallery. Overnight in Reykajvik.

Day 2: Blue Lagoon and Reykjanes Peninsula 
At 09:00 meet your tour guide and fellow group members and travel to the Reykjanes Peninsula with its hot springs, mountains, bird cliffs, moon-like landscapes and fishing villages. We warm up in the geothermal mineral rich waters of the famous Blue Lagoon. In the afternoon we explore Krýsuvík, an area with solfataras, fumaroles, mud pots and hot springs. The soil is coloured bright yellow, red and green. We continue through lava fields and coastal landscape to Strandarkirkja, a Lutheran parish church on the southern coast of Iceland. This small, beautiful wooden church, has been a beacon for those travelling at sea and is often referred to as the "miracle church" with the locals' longstanding belief that it has profound, divine powers. Next stop is the charming fishing village of Eyrarbakki with a large number of preserved houses from the period 1890-1920 and therefore a visit is like a journey 100 years back in time. We visit the local Maritime and Folk Museum. In the evening we reach Hella, a small village in South Iceland, where we stay for three nights in simple cottages.

Day 3: Landmannalaugar & Bjorsardalur  
Today we drive to Landmannalaugar, an oasis in the barren highlands, surrounded by colourful rhyolite mountains. You an option to explore the area on your own or join the guide for a short hike through a rough lava field and up the slopes with incredible spectrum of colours (90 minutes return trip). In Landmannalaugar there is also a natural geothermal stream where you can enjoy a refreshing bath. Have swimwear and towel ready. On the way back to our accommodation we stop at the beautiful waterfall Hjálparfoss in Þjórsárdalur Valley, surrounded by extraordinary basalt rock formations. Nearby we explore the Viking farm ruins at Stöng and enjoy a leisurely hike to Gjáin, a green oasis in an otherwise rocky, barren moon-like landscape. Þjórsárdalur is off-the-beaten-path and is dominated by Hekla and other volcanoes in the vicinity. Hekla is one of Iceland's most active volcanoes; over 20 eruptions have occurred since 874. During the Middle Ages, Europeans called the volcano the "Gateway to Hell". N.B. if Landmannalaugar is inaccessible in May to June we travel only to the Þjórsárdalur Valley that day.

Day 4: Golden Circle 
A day to visit three of Iceland's most important spots: Gullfoss waterfall, Geyser hot springs and Þingvellir National Park.  We start the day at the ancient Viking Parliament area of Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site. The Þingvellir plain is situated on the tectonic-plate boundary where North America and Europe are slowly tearing away from each other. As a result, the plain is scarred by dramatic fissures, ponds, and rivers, including the great rift Almannagjá. Next stop is at the Geysir geothermal fields with a variety of hot springs and bubbling pools where you see the steam pumping from the ground as if beneath it there were lots of little smoking devils. The original geyser is now dormant and has been replaced by Strokkur, "the Churn", which erupts at 5-10 minute intervals. Gullfoss, "the golden falls", is a double waterfall that tumbles 34 metres into the Hvítá river originating from the glacier Langjökull.  Then see a small waterfall called Faxi, "the Main". Nearby, we show you a traditional sheep pen, where Icelandic farmers sort the sheep in September after the sheep had been rounded up in the mountains. We continue to Skálholt, which is one of Iceland's most historic and holy places. It was the centre of ecclesiastic power in Iceland for more than 700 years. The first bishopric was founded here in 1056, with the first bishop, Ísleifur, taking the seat. From then on, it became the center of learning, culture and worldly power in Iceland. The church in Skálholt has the most beautiful altarpiece made with mosaic and colorfully stained windows, both designed by a famous Icelandic female artist. 

Day 5: Þórsmörk & Vatnajokull  
We start the day at the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall and continue to Þórsmörk, a wide valley named after Thor, the Viking God of Thunder. This beautiful valley is surrounded on three sides by steep mountains and glaciers. Fording raging glacial rivers and gentle streams is a big part of the great adventure. The landscape is dramatic with Eyjafjallajökull volcano towering on one side and the massive glacial river Markarfljót flowing on the other. We walk to explore the aftermath of the immense fast flowing flood, caused by the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in April 2010, which destroyed a glacial lagoon and left a blackened area. Þórsmörk is one of the most popular hiking areas in Iceland. Depending on weather we enjoy a leisurely hike through nature. You see the rumored Icelandic highlands at their best - volcanoes, glaciers, high mountains, glacier made valleys and canyons, glacier rivers, lava fields and many more gems that the Icelandic nature holds captured. After our Þórsmörk adventure trip, we drive to our next overnight location at Vatnajökull National Park where we we stay for 2 nights.

Day 6: Glacier Hike & Glacial Lagoon  
This is a day packed with fun activities and breathtaking scenery. We start with a moderate 1.5-2 hour glacier hike in the majestic surroundings of Svínafellsjökull. The glacier is hemmed in by some of Iceland´s most spectacular peaks. An experienced glacier guide leads you safely through the glacial wonderland of strangely shaped ridges, deep crevasses, huge water cauldrons and different ice formations. In the afternoon, we head over to the famous Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon for a cruise, sailing between the icebergs of all shapes and sizes, which float in the clear blue water. After the glacial lagoon experience there is time to go down to the black sand beach to take a closer look at the icebergs that have floated all the way from the glacier lagoon into the Atlantic Ocean.

Day 7: South Coast & Reykjavik 
We cross the sandy desert of the south coast, overlooked by mountainous cliffs, glaciers and waterfalls. We stroll along the black lava beach and bird cliffs near the village of Vík, travel to the lighthouse and bird cliffs at Dyrholaey and stop at 62 metre high Skógafoss waterfall. Enjoy your Reykjavík city sightseeing tour before arriving at your hotel. 

Day 8: Departure 
Transfer by coach to Keflavik airport and end of arrangements. 

Departures 2018: 13, 20, 27 May; 03, 10, 24 June; 08, 22, 29 July; 05, 12, 19, 26 August;  02, 09, 16, 23 September 

Includes:  Arrival & departure transfer by coach; 6 day fully escorted coach tour with English-speaking guide or driver guide;  7 nights accommodation in rooms with private shower/wc; 7 x breakfasts; visit to two national parks, entrance & use of towel at the Blue Lagoon including silica mud mask; boat trip on Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon; Vatnajökull 1.5-2 hour glacier hike; entrance fee to Eyrarbakki Maritime and Folk Museum.

Maximum group size 20 persons

Accommodation is at the following hotels or similar: Hotel Cabin Reykjavik first & last nights; Árhús Cottages in Hella South Iceland 2nd, 3rd & 4th nights; Hotel Skaftafell Vatnajökull National Park 5th & 6th nights.

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Price per person FROM:
Double AUD$ 3193.00
Single AUD$ 4008.00

Includes:  Arrival & departure transfer by coach; 6 day fully escorted coach tour with English-speaking guide or driver guide;  7 nights accommodation in rooms with private shower/wc; 7 x breakfasts; visit to two national parks, entrance & use of towel at the Blue Lagoon including silica mud mask; boat trip on Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon; Vatnajökull 1.5-2 hour glacier hike; entrance fee to Eyrarbakki Maritime and Folk Museum. 

The price here shown is for departures in May and September

Price per person FROM:
Double AUD$ 3579.00
Single AUD$ 4694.00

Includes:  Arrival & departure transfer by coach; 6 day fully escorted coach tour with English-speaking guide or driver guide;  7 nights accommodation in rooms with private shower/wc; 7 x breakfasts; visit to two national parks, entrance & use of towel at the Blue Lagoon including silica mud mask; boat trip on Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon; Vatnajökull 1.5-2 hour glacier hike; entrance fee to Eyrarbakki Maritime and Folk Museum. 

The price here shown is for departures in June, July and August