Travelling along roads and mountain tracks aboard a specially adapted, comfortable, 4WD coach, enables you to combine some of Iceland's classic routes with 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. The tour starts and finishes with 1 night in Reykjavik.
Coach transfer from Keflavík Airport to your hotel in Reykjavik. Remainder of the day at leisure to explore this fascinating, far Northern city. The city centre is only small and is characterised by eclectic, colourful houses, good shopping and dining. Having recently established itself as a haven for food lovers, numerous restaurants take advantage of an abundance of local seafood, meat and game. There are also many wonderful museums including the National Museum, Reykjavik 871+2 Settlement Museum and National Gallery.
National Park with Geologial wonders - Exploding Geysers - Massive Waterfall
The day begins with a visit to Thingvellir National Park, the ancient site of the world's first parliament. Here you can see the dramatic continental drift between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. An hour's drive away, visit the popular Geysir geothermal area. The most active geyser, Strokkur, shoots water high into the air every few minutes, but you'll also witness several other boiling pools and hot springs. Next your group will take part in Iceland Travel's reforestation program, located in Haukadalur valley. You can help your group plant a total of five trees, which not only allows you to leave your mark in Iceland but also for your tour group to reduce your carbon footprint! Onwards to Iceland's most popular waterfall, the impressive two-stage Gullfoss (“Golden Falls”). A series of easy footpaths leads around the waterfall, giving you the chance to get excellent views from different angles. Dinner and overnight stay in Hvolsvollur area.
Thundering Waterfalls – Seabird Colony – Black Sand Beaches of the South Shore – Lava Fields
Start the day by driving along the highway, making a stop at two impressive waterfalls: Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. Head to the black sand beaches to enjoy the far-reaching views from Dyrholaey headland, where thousands of puffins and other seabirds nest (puffins generally seen between May and mid-August). Enjoy a stop in the quaint village of Vik before crossing the Myrdalssandur volcanic ash outwash plains created by flowing water from nearby glaciers. The day ends after passing through the vast Eldhraun lava field, the worlds largest recorded single lava flow in the last 10,000 years. Dinner and stay in Kirkjubaejarklaustur area for the next two nights.
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. Then join a zodiac boat tour on Fjallsarlon Lagoon. 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.
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.
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 Laugar/Lake Mývatn area for two nights.
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. We 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 and dinner in the Laugar/Lake Myvatn area.
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. Here you can take an optional horse riding. Dinner and overnight in the Laugarbakki area.
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, Leif Eiríksson, 2 of the world's most famous Vikings. In a replica turf-roofed house, modern day vikings demonstrate a 1,000 year old lifestyle, as they share their knowledge and crafts. Dinner and overnight in the Budardalur area.
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 villages, before we return to Reykjavik.
Coach transfer to Keflavik Airport where your tour arrangements end.
Maximum group size: 24 persons
Optional seating choice: Empty Seating – This is for passengers who would like to practise social distancing on the bus, and have a bit more space. Passengers get 2 x seats per person, meaning their seat PLUS an empty seat next to them, including a guaranteed Window Seat.