Travelling along roads and off the beaten tracks aboard a specially adapted, comfortable 4WD mountain 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. When combined with other major attractions such as the Geysir geothermal area, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, and Dettifoss waterfall, this tour is a spectacular experience. The tour starts and finishes with 1 night in Reykjavik.
Day 1 Reykjavik Arrival
Coach transfer from Keflavík Airport to your hotel or nearest bus stop 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 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. Overnight at Berjaya Reykjavik Natura Hotel or similar.
Day 2 Thingvellir – Gullfoss – Geysir
National Park with Geologial wonders - Exploding Geysers - Massive Waterfall
After breakfast, meet your tour guide and group at the hotel and start your adventure. 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. 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 Hella area at Stracta Hotel or similar.
Day 3 Hvollsvollur – Vik – Dyrholaey – Kirkjubaejarklaustur
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 at the Klaustar Hotel or Geirland or similar.
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. Then join a zodiac boat tour on Fjallsarlon Lagoon, to see the stunning sight of icebergs in the icy seawater up close. See the Diamond Beach area, where glittering shards of ice rest on a black sand beach. 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 - Þjórsárdalur
Multi-coloured Mountains of the Interior - Lava Fields - Hot Springs with Bathing - Hekla Volcano
Today we drive along the scenic and rugged Fjallabaksleið interior track to Landmannalaugar. This magnificent area is surrounded by colourful rhyolite mountains and is one of Iceland'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 at the Hrauneyjar Highland Hotel or similar.
Day 6 Þjórsárdalur - Sprengisandur Highland Route - Laugar/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 three nights in the Lake Mývatn area at Country Hotel Narfastadir or similar.
Day 7 Lake Myvatn - Dettifoss - Ásbyrgi - Tjörnes
Europe’s Mightiest Waterfall – Magnificent Canyon – Volcanic Wonderland
Today you will visit the northern part of Vatnajokull National Park, as well as Lake Myvatn. Some of the most visually bizarre attractions in the region include the colourful boiling mud pits of Hverarond and the still-warm lava fields of Krafla volcano, teeming with lava flows, fissures and explosion craters. The journey continues to Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall located in the awe inspiring Jokulsargljufur canyon. Discover the impressive high walls of the horseshoe-shaped canyon of Asbyrgi and drive around the Tjörnes peninsula. Afternoon visit to the town of Husavik. Dinner and second overnight in the Lake Mývatn area at the Country Hotel Narfastadir or similar.
Day 8 Askja Caldera
Queen of the Mountains – Trip to another Planet – Volcanic Crater Lake
Today, you’ll be visiting the Askja caldera located in Vatnajokull National Park’s Odadahraun desert area. Your route will pass by the spectacular table-shaped mountain of Herdubreid, Iceland’s Queen of Mountains. View the vast Askja caldera, formed by a volcanic eruption during the last Ice Age. You’ll also take a walk to see the mountain-ringed Lake Askja and Viti crater. During the day you’ll also visit Drekagil, the Dragon Valley. Dinner and third overnight in the Lake Mývatn area at the Country Hotel Narfastadir or similar.
Day 9 Arctic Coast Way - Akureyri - Laugarbakki
Waterfall “Of the Gods” – The Capital of the North – Scenic Historical Fjord
Today, your route takes you along the Arctic Coast Way. 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 - perhaps visit the amazing botanical gardens, see Listagil artist's district, explore the shops or relax in a local café. Afterwards, the tour continues on the Troll Peninsula past tiny, colourful fishing villages to the 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 at Laugarbakki Hotel or similar.
Optional that can be pre-booked: Forest Lagoon entry and towel rental, flexible duration. With views overlooking one of Iceland's longest fjords, Eyjafjörður, the spa's unique location surrounded by birch and pine trees truly sets it apart. During the visit to the Forest Lagoon guests will experience the view, tranquility and energy of Vaðlaskógur, the forest that surrounds the baths.
Day 10 Vatnsnes Peninsula - Hvammstangi – Eiriksstadir
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. This off-the-beaten path peninsula is part of the Arctic Coast Way, which focuses on the enchanting and wild wonders that border the Arctic Circle. 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, two 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 Snaefellsnes area at Hotel Stykkisholmur or similar.
Day 11 Snæfellsjökull National Park - Reykjavik
Snaefellsjokull Glacier - Pebble Beaches - Sea Cliffs with Birdlife - Quaint Fishing Villages
Today is spent exploring the Snæfellsjökull 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! You’ll also see Kirkjufell, one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland. 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. Overnight at Center Hotel Grandi or similar.
Day 12 Reykjavik Departure
Coach transfer from your hotel or nearest bus stop to Keflavik Airport where your tour arrangements end.
04, 11 July
01, 22 August
Maximum group size: 24 persons
Some of the roads will be bumpy on the highland wilderness tracks
All departures may be guided in bi-lingual English/French
Pre and post nights can be added in Reykjavik - please enquire