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Highlands and Lowlands

South, East, North and the Highlands
Landmannalaugar, Iceland © Shutterstock

Take the less travelled tracks and discover the wild side of Iceland’s natural beauty, from colourful geothermal highlands to fertile green coastal lowlands. Visit the country’s top Ring Road attractions as well as the ever-changing views in Iceland’s beautiful interior wilderness. Explore the legendary Kjolur and Landmannalaugar routes that weave through exotic landscapes that will inspire you. Additional nights can be added in Reykjavik at the end of the tour. 


Day 1 Arrival in Keflavik – Hveragerði 100km

Geothermal Lagoon – Flower Village – Geothermal Greenhouses
Pick up the car at the airport and start your Iceland experience. From Keflavik International Airport we recommend driving the southern coast of the Reykjanes peninsula towards your first overnight stay in the charming village of Hveragerði. The village is one of the few sites in the world located directly on top of a geothermal area and because of its many greenhouses heated by hot water from nearby springs it is often called the flower village. Depending on your arrival time in Iceland it is ideal to visit the renowned Blue Lagoon to relax in the geothermal water. Overnight in Hveragerði.

Day 2 The Golden Circle 165km

National Park with Geological Wonders (UNESCO) – Exploding Geysers – Massive Waterfall
Drive to Thingvellir National Park, site of the ancient Icelandic parliament and a jewel of nature. Visit the Golden Circle natural wonders, the famous Geysir hot-spring area and the mighty Gullfoss Waterfall. While in the area, perhaps relax in one of the hot spring-fed pools that make Iceland so famous. The Secret Lagoon is a historical swimming pool with an all-natural feel and its own little geyser and the Laugarvatn Fontana steam baths are a local favourite. Overnight in the Golden Circle area.

Day 3 Kjölur – Hveravellir – Skagafjörður 245km

Uninhabited Interior - Geothermal Area – Natural Bathing Pool – Glacial Rivers
Today's route leads over the highland track Kjölur (4WD needed, track open from mid-June to mid-September), driving through the colourful thermal area Hveravellir between the glaciers Langjökull and Hofsjökull. Keep a look out for Kjalfell (Keel Mountain), the mountain resembling an overturned boat. This is the mountain that lent its name to the trail. Midway on the route, stop to visit Hveravellir, an active geothermal field. Hiking paths can bring you through multicolored landscapes and steam vents. Continue on Kjolur, enjoying vast views of the northern mountains ahead of you. The trail emerges into the valley of Skagafjordur fjord with its flat-topped mountains and glacial rivers. Overnight in Northwest Iceland.

Day 4 Akureyri – Lake Mývatn 300km

Waterfall "Of the Gods" – Lava Formations & Geothermal Activity - Rich Birdlife
Drive to Akureyri, the second largest town in Iceland outside the capital area. If you’re looking for some morning geothermal relaxation, head to the Skogarbod (Forest Baths) near the town. Stop at Goðafoss waterfall before driving to the beautiful Lake Mývatn area. The Myvatn Nature reserve is fascinating for both diverse birdlife and geological wonders. Some of the volcanic features include the pseudo craters at Skutustadir, the Dark Lava Citadels of Dimmuborgir, the Krafla Volcano area, and the multi-colored steaming slopes of Namaskard. Overnight in Lake Mývatn area.

Day 5 Húsavík – Dettifoss – Egilsstaðir 335km

Whale Watching – Glacier Carved Gorge – Europe's Most Powerful Waterfall
Today you will be visiting the northern part of Vatnajokull National Park. From Lake Mývatn you drive around Tjörnes peninsula. Travel through the fishing village of Húsavík to Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, including the impressive horseshoe-shaped Ásbyrgi canyon and the mighty Dettifoss Waterfall. Continue east to Egilsstaðir. Overnight in East Iceland.

Day 6 East Fjords – Höfn 295km

Narrow Fjords – Steep Mountains – Picturesque Coastline
Drive south through the spectacular coast line of the East Fjords with charming fishing villages and towering mountains that plunge vertically into the sea. Each village has its own beautiful landscapes and character. Eskifjordur has an interesting fishing history. Reydarfjordur has sites famous to World War II history. Faskrudsfjordur has a French influence from its days as a base for French fishermen. In Stodvarfjordur you can see a unique stone collection with an interesting local heritage. Overnight in Höfn area.

Day 7 Jökulsárlón – Skaftafell – Kirkjubæjarklaustur 215km

Europe's Largest Glacier – Glacial Lagoon with Icebergs – Europe's Largest National Park
Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon by Vatnajökull Glacier offers a beautiful view of the glacier and the floating icebergs will leave a deep impression on you. Diamond Beach is nearby. Onwards to Skaftafell National Park, a green oasis with various hiking possibilities. Continue along the south coast for an overnight stay in the South Iceland area.

Day 8 Landmannalaugar – Reykjavik 315km

Multicoloured Mountains of the Highlands – Lava Fields – Hot Springs with Bathing – Hekla Volcano
Travel along the Fjallabaksleið highland interior track to Landmannalaugar, a magnificent area surrounded by colourful rhyolite mountains, with the option of bathing in a natural warm pool (do not forget to bring your swimsuit!). Spot the towering Hekla, the legendary Icelandic volcano, after exploring Thjórsárdalur Valley, before heading back to Reykjavík. If you prefer, instead of heading to Landmannalaugar, you can continue along the south shore exploring black sand beaches, bird colonies, towering waterfalls and crossing fertile farmlands towards Reykjavik for overnight. Note: If you prefer not to visit Landmannalaugar, you can continue along the south shore exploring black sand beaches, bird colonies, towering waterfalls and crossing fertile farmlands towards Reykjavik.

Day 9 Reykjavik Departure 52km

Arrangements end with the return of your rental car to Keflavik International Airport today.

2024 departures: 20 June - 15 September

The first night of your tour is spent in the Hveragerði area, a small town about 45km from Reykjavik, to enable you to then head off into the countryside the next day without having to go through Reykjavik.

Additional nights can be added in Reykjavik at the end.

Choose from three different levels of accommodation:

- Shared facilities
- Standard rooms in budget hotels, guesthouses and farmhouse accommodation
- First night in Hveragerdi includes private facilities

- Private facilities
- Standard rooms in comfort hotels, guesthouses and farmhouse accommodation

- Private facilities
- Standard rooms in quality hotels and guesthouses
- Superior rooms in comfort hotels and guesthouses

The names for individual accommodations are not available prior to booking, as the tour package is based on specific hotel/price categories and not on specific hotels/accommodations. The exact location of the countryside hotels will vary according to availability- the itinerary indicates the region for each overnight stay (with the exception of the last night which is always in Reykjavik itself).

The price is based on 8 x 24-hour rental days starting at the time of car pick up and finishing at the same time. Additional use of the car beyond this time frame will incur additional days rental fee.

Minimum group 5.0 medium 4WD required for this tour. For other car types in higher categories please enquire. 

If you would like to have dinner in the hotel restaurant, we recommend making a reservation with the hotel reception desk at the time of check-in at each hotel en-route.

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