Best of South Iceland

Small group exploration of the South
8 days
Jul - Sep
General Prices
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Explore the most interesting sights in South Iceland while staying in just 3 hotels, so there are no long daily drives. You will visit the Golden Circle sites, explore the interior highlands of Landmannalaugar, the glacial valley of Þórsmörk, and the wonders of Vatnajökull National Park. Discover the green valleys, high mountains, moon landscapes, lava fields, waterfalls, hot springs and glaciers that South Iceland is famed for.

Day 1 Reykjavik Arrival
On arrival at Keflavik Airport transfer by coach 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 Reykjavik.

Day 2 Reykjavik - Reykjanes Peninsula and Blue Lagoon - Hella 
At 09:30 meet your tour guide and fellow travellers and depart Reykjavik. We start by travelling to the Reykjanes Peninsula with its hot springs, mountains, bird cliffs, moon-like landscapes and fishing villages. Then enjoy the warm, geothermal mineral rich waters of the famous Blue Lagoon. In the afternoon we explore Krýsuvík, an area with amazing solfataras, fumaroles, mud pots and hot springs - the soil here is coloured bright yellow, red and green! We continue through lava fields and coastal landscapes to Strandarkirkja, a small, beautiful wooden church, which has long been a beacon for sailors. The church is known locally as the "miracle church" due to the belief that it has profound, divine powers. Next stop is the charming fishing village of Eyrarbakki, with its large number of charming old houses from the period 1890-1920; here we visit the local Maritime and Folk Museum. In the evening we reach Hella, a small village in South Iceland, where we stay for the next 3 nights.

Day 3 Landmannalaugar & Þjorsardalur  
Today we take a day trip from Hella to Landmannalaugar, an oasis in the barren highlands, surrounded by colourful rhyolite mountains. You can explore the area on your own, or join your guide for a short hike (90 mins return) through a lava field and up into the slopes, through a landscape with an incredible spectrum of colours. There is also a natural geothermal stream where you can enjoy a refreshing swim. On the way back to Hella, we stop in the Þjórsárdalur Valley at the beautiful Hjálparfoss Waterfall, 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. This valley is dominated by Mount Hekla, one of Iceland's most active volcanoes; over 20 eruptions have occurred since 874! (please note if Landmannalaugar is inaccessible due to weather we will travel only to the Þjórsárdalur Valley today). 2nd overnight in Hella.

Day 4 Golden Circle 
Today we take another day trip from Hella to visit three of Iceland's most important spots: Gullfoss Waterfall, Geyser hot springs area 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. The original geyser is now dormant and has been replaced by Strokkur, 'the Churn', which erupts at 5-10 minute intervals. Next is Gullfoss, 'the Golden Falls', a majestic double waterfall that tumbles 34 metres into the Hvítá River below. We continue to Skálholt, one of Iceland's most historic and holy places, the centre of ecclesiastic power for more than 700 years. 3rd overnight in Hella.

Day 5 Westman Islands
In the morning we drive to the Landeyjeahofn where we get ferry. A short ferry ride brings us to the Westman Islands, where we explore the town of Heimaey and this extraordinary island by foot and by bus. The volcanic eruption in 1973 is considered the largest natural disaster in Iceland in recent history. During our tour to the Westman Islands, we explore bird cliffs, walk up a volcano crater and visit "Pompeii of the North", a volcanic excavation project. There you observe a "house" which was dug up from the thick layer of pumice after 40 years. There is also an exhibition about Surtsey Island that was born by volcanic eruptions between 1963-68 and preserved today by UNESCO. You have the afternoon free to wander around the town of Heimaey, with its birds and signs of recent volcanic eruptions. We travel with the 5pm ferry back to the mainland and continue to our accommodation near the village of Vík in South Iceland, where we stay for two nights.

Day 6 Vatnajökull National Park, Hike & Glacial Lagoon  
This is a day packed with fun activities and breathtaking scenery. We travel to Vatnajökull National Park, which has Iceland's highest mountains and Europe's largest glacier. A 5km (round-trip) hike takes us through the National Park to Svartifoss Waterfall, which is surrounded by impressive basalt columns. In the afternoon, we visit the famous Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon for a cruise, sailing between icebergs of all shapes and sizes, which float in the clear blue water. After the cruise, there is time to walk down to the black sand beach in search of icebergs that have floated all the way from the glacier lagoon into the Atlantic Ocean. 2nd overnight near the village of Vik in South Iceland. 

Day 7 South Coast & Reykjavik 
We start the day with a stroll along the black lava beach and birds cliffs at Reynisfjara. Next we stop for an easy 1.5-2hr glacier hike in the impressive Sólheimajökull glacier tongue.  An experienced glacier guide leads you safely through the glacial wonderland of strangely shaped ridges, deep crevasses, huge water cauldrons and different ice formations. Continue to 62m high Skógafoss waterfall and then head further west to Seljalandsfoss where you can walk along the trail behind it and through to the other side. Return to Reykjavík, where we will enjoy a short city sightseeing tour before checking in at the hotel. Overnight in Reykjavik.  

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

2020 departures:  14, 28 June; 12, 26 July;   09, 23 August;   06 September 

Includes: Arrival & departure transfer by coach; 6 day fully escorted coach tour with English-speaking guide or driver/guide; 7 nights accommodation in standard rooms with private shower/wc; daily breakfast; visit to two National Parks, entrance & use of towel at the Blue Lagoon including silica mud mask; boat trip on Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon; Vatnajökull 1.5-2hr guided 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 Dyrhólaey, Vík 5th & 6th nights.

Nordic Travel is 100% Australian owned and operated

Price per person FROM:
Double AUD$ 3536.00
Single AUD$ 4556.00

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. 

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

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