Strokkur erupts every 8 - 10 minutes
Day 1 - Golden Circle & South Coast
From Reykjavik we will take the Golden Circle route, taking us to visit Thingvellir National Park (Þingvellir), Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir geothermal area. After stops at a couple of iconic South Coast waterfalls we will end our day close to the well-known Eyjafjallajokull glacier. Your accommodation will be in the countryside not far from the town of Vík, we hope the northern lights will appear in the evening.
Day 1 in detail...
We leave Reykjavik and head to Thingvellir National Park (Þingvellir) where the world’s oldest existing parliament was founded in the 10th century. Thingvellir is a unique place because two great continents meet there. Here you can see where the Eurasian and North-American tectonic plates have drifted apart, they move quite slowly, approximately 1.5 cm each year. When Þingvellir is wearing its winter coat it is just as breathtaking as it is during the summer months, of course, it also offers a very different experience, with a covering of snow these vistas are incredibly photogenic. We travel onwards to Gullfoss Waterfall and the Geysir Geothermal Area. At Gullfoss we admire the roaring waterfall whose mighty flow stems from the glacial river, Hvítá, this is your first chance to really feel the grandeur and power of Icelandic nature. Now for a different experience! At Geysir Geothermal Area we’ll meet the Great Geysir, the geyser that all the other geysers are named after. We will also witness the nearby geyser, Strokkur, erupting powerfully, hot water and steam are spewed about 30 m (100 ft) into the air every 5 to 10 minutes.
We drive towards the mighty Eyjafjallajökull Volcano in the setting sun, stopping along the way at Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. Seljalandsfoss is quite special because you are able to walk behind the waterfall, which gives you another perspective on these 60 m high falls. There is one final stop before we come to our accommodation for the night, the beautiful Skógafoss Waterfall, which descends elegantly into the Skógá River. Our accommodation for the night is located in the countryside, not far from this waterfall, beneath the looming cliffs of Eyjafjöll. Vík is the nearest village but you will be staying out in the darkness of the countryside, the perfect place to wait and hope for the appearance of the Aurora Borealis, the famous Northern Lights. Your guide will check the aurora forecast and weigh up the chances of seeing them.
Reynisfjara black sand beach
Day 2 - Vík - Skaftafell - Glacier Lagoon - Höfn
Busy day. We‘ll will visit Reynisfjara black sand beach and make stops at many other places including Mýrssandur, Eldhraun, we will go glacier hiking from Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park and end our day at Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and the Diamond Beach. You will spend the night in Höfn, close to Vatnajökull glacier.
Day 2 in detail...
We start the second day of this tour by taking a look at the black sand beach, Reynisfjara. You will be astonished by the impressive rock stacks and intricate basalt columns. The Reynisdrangar cliffs and sea stacks are located close to the shore, according to an Icelandic folklore legend, these were formed when a fishing vessel filled with trolls became petrified. The Reynisdrangar Cliffs are best viewed from the church at Vík, the small village to the east of the black sand beach. From Vík we continue our travels across the vast sand fields of the South Coast, these were formed by flash floods, stemming from subglacial volcanic eruptions over the centuries. Your guide will most likely tell you some fascinating stories about the settlement of Iceland and some rich folklore tales as you go on your way, as many famous Icelandic Sagas are set in the southern lowlands.
We cross the great sand plains of Mýrdalssandur and also drive across the mighty lava field of Eldhraun, your guide will probably tell you how this lava field came into being in the eighteenth century. That particular volcanic eruption nearly wiped out the entire population of Iceland, the King of Denmark actually contemplated evacuating the entire island of Iceland. On our way to Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park we drive across the vast volcanic sands of Skeiðarársandur. Our glacier guide will take you on an unforgettable three-hour glacier hiking tour, exploring an outlet glacier of Vatnajökull, the largest volume glacier in all Europe. This blue/white ice world is totally spellbinding, your guide will show you how to use the glacier equipment and tell you all about the glacier. You will see some amazing ice features and learn how these are formed by the glacier. Make memories to treasure forever!
With Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajökull, filling the horizon to our left we will drive to our final stop, the majestic Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon. At Jökulsárlón we will admire the icebergs which break off from the retreating glacier, filling the lagoon with crazily shaped and often massive icebergs. These icebergs float out to the nearby sea, the Diamond Beach is just a short walk from the ice lagoon, here you will see some icebergs which have been brought onto the beach by the tide. Your country hotel will be in the area around Höfn, this is quite an isolated place so it is perfect for viewing the northern lights, should they show up.
Jökulsárlón and the magical northern lights
Day 3 - East Fjords - Djúpivogur - Egilsstaðir
We begin in Hornafjordur (Hornfjörður), in this area our chances of seeing reindeer are very good. Your will see the amazing nature around Hvalnes and Lóns before we stop at Djupivogur for more nature and culture. We will come to Lagarfljot, this lake is home to the giant Lagarfljot worm, and take a hike to two amazing waterfalls, Hengifoss and Litlanesfoss. Hopefully, all of our nights will be northern lights nights, but we never know!
Day 3 in detail...
Moving on from the area around the village of Höfn (in Hornafjörður) we have a good chance of spotting some reindeer along the way, as they are commonly seen in this area. We drive on through very sparsely populated areas under imposing mountains, the narrow road we traverse clinging to steep hillsides, to our right there are endless ocean views.
Meandering through deserted fjords with glistening sands, peculiar cliffs, and colorful sharp-peaked mountains we will see Hvalnes, an incredibly remote peninsula. Before we reach Djúpivogur we will enjoy the dramatic and extremely diverse scenery around Lóns and the beautiful fjord of Álftafjarðar. In this area you will also see the really stark scenery formed by the landslides at Þvottárskriður. We stop at Djupivogur (Djúpivogur), a tiny village where Sigurdur Gudmundsson (Sigurður Guðmundsson), a world renowned artist, has installed an unusual work of art for us all to enjoy, we give you time to soak up the atmosphere in this wild and isolated place. Our drive continues through one remote village after another, each of these places has its own story of struggles, defeats, and victories. Now for an invigorating three-hour hike, you will see Hengifoss, a glorious waterfall with a height of 128 m, making it the second highest waterfall in Iceland, these falls are incredibly beautiful and photogenic. Litlanesfoss is an equally stunning and photogenic waterfall, framed by imposing angular basalt columns. Your hike will also take you to see the colored layers within the rock-face of an amazing gorge, these layers were formed by volcanic eruptions over thousands of years.
We rest for the night at a country hotel close to Lake Lagarfljot (Lagarfljót), supposedly, the giant worm, Lagarfljotsormur, resides in the depths of the lake - this is Iceland’s version of the Loch Ness Monster. Maybe the northern lights will dance for us tonight? On this tour our search for them never ends!
Námaskarð geothermal area
Day 4 - Dettifoss - Mývatn - Godafoss - Akureyri
From the Lake Lagarfljót area we journey to Modrudalur, near Modrudalsoraefi (try to pronounce that!) on our way to visit Dettifoss Waterfall. We‘ll also go to the colorful geothermal area of Namaskard, before replenishing our energy at Myvatn Nature Baths, you can enjoy bathing, take a stroll to see the views, or relax in the café. Your day will end near Akureyri.
Day 4 in detail...
We start the day by seeing more of the East of Iceland. We, maybe, take one last look at Lake Lagarfljot trying to catch a glimpse of the squirmy monster that might be lurking in the depths. This is a very picturesque area, the largest forests in Iceland can be found here. Our journey will then take us through expansive areas of desert-like wasteland. There is a stark and threatening kind of beauty, which is greatly enhanced by a strong sense of isolation, as mountains span the horizon, making this drive an amazing experience in itself. The region is not entirely lifeless, reindeer sometimes graze on the frozen moors of Modrudalsoraefi (Möðrudalsöræfi). We will stop at Modrudalur (Möðrudalur) to see the most isolated farm in Iceland and visit the farm´s coffee house, at 469 m this is the highest restaurant in Iceland.
As you approach Möðrudalur you cannot fail to see the unusual church built by an eccentric nineteenth century farmer. You get time to enjoy a bite to eat at the café, maybe you would like to try a kleina (a traditional Icelandic pastry) with your coffee. We drive on to Dettifoss Waterfall, this is the most powerful waterfall in Europe. Whilst standing next to this giant waterfall, we will actually feel the earth trembling beneath our feet. These trembles are not earthquakes, they are caused by the sheer force of the water, you will learn about the forces of nature which shaped this unique canyon. Traveling through magnificent scenery we will arrive at the softer, greener, and totally surreal scenery around Lake Mývatn. We admire Myvatn Lake then travel to our next stop, the incredible geothermal fields at Namaskard (Námaskarð). You will be astounded by their multi-colored splendor, as technicolor mud pools bubble, steam vents hiss noisily, and a lunar-landscape surrounds you. The theme of unearthly vistas continues! At your next stop we will show you the crazy lava formations at Dimmuborgir, this place is known as ´the Dark Castles’. Your guide will, I am sure, tell you how they were formed and share some local Icelandic folklore with you. Next up is the opportunity to cultivate some tranquility with a wonderful soak at Mývatn Nature Baths! The baths are filled with natural alkaline water which is the perfect temperature to relax in. There is a small extra fee for bathing, this can be paid when you book or when you arrive at the baths. Enjoying the café or taking a walk to see the views are options for those who don´t want to go in the water.
Totally rejuvenated, we get back on the minibus and head towards Akureyri. One last stop is made at Goðafoss Waterfall, we are sure the beautiful crescent shape will totally enthrall you. Thorgeir, the heathen chieftain from Ljósavatn Farm, threw statues of the old Norse Gods into Godafoss Waterfall to demonstrate the beginning of Christianity in Iceland. Your accommodation will be near Akureyri, in the heart of Eyjafjordur (Eyjafjörður), a truly sensational fjord. Hopefully, the northern lights will dance their magic across the night sky!
Akureyri city center
Day 5 - Whale watching in Dalvík - Siglufjörður -Tröllaskagi - Bifröst
There is a lot to see and experience today. You will see the sights around Akureyri and the stunning mountain views of Eyjafjordur on your way to Dalvík for a whale watching trip, you can also have a go at sea angling if you want. We journey around Trollaskagi, a breathtaking peninsula, and stop at Siglufjordur, a lovely fishing town with a well-preserved history.
Day 5 in detail...
One thing is for sure, this is a great day for wildlife enthusiasts - whales, porpoises, dolphins and fields filled with Icelandic horses. Moving on from Akureyri, the second largest community in Iceland, our journey will follow the western coastline of Eyjafjörður, you will get views of Hrísey, the little island in the middle of this fjord, Eyjafjörður means ‘Island Fjord’. You will be enchanted by Dalvík, a traditional and charming fishing community, the harbor is kept busy with fishing boats, the ferry to Grímsey, and, of course, whale watching boat trips! Our whale watching guides will escort you on an amazing trip searching for the largest mammals alive. Humpback and minke whales are seen, together with dolphins, porpoises, a plethora of ocean birdlife, and sometimes seals. To see a whale in its own habitat is always so special! The largest mammal of all, the majestic blue whale, has even been sighted on these tours. If you want you can try sea angling and taste the freshest fish imaginable!
Your next stop is at Siglufjörður, in the early twentieth century this fishing town found itself at the center of an incredible herring-based success story. Enormous shoals of herring appeared off the coast, and people from all over Iceland came to Siglufjörður to work in the fishing industry. By the mid-twentieth century, the fabulously large shoals of herring had disappeared, along with the gold-rush-like excitement that had permeated the town. Today, the signs which these amazing times left behind give this town under the magnificent mountains a special atmosphere. Your journey continues around a peninsula linked to many Icelandic legends, Tröllaskagi (the Troll Peninsula). As well as the always stunning coastal views you will see enchanting villages and farming communities as your guide tells you some fascinating stories. Horse farming is bigger in this area than any other part of Iceland, you will see many fields of ‘chubby’ Icelandic horses. Actually, although, of course, they are perfectly well-fed, these short but strong horses are muscular rather than fat! Passing through more agricultural land we will arrive at our hotel in the little university community of Bifröst. Maybe, the forecast will be good and we can indulge in some northern lights spotting! Will those balletic sky dancers appear on our final evening?
Make sure to snap a photo!
Day 6: Borgarfjörður - Reykholt - Hraunfossar - Hvalfjörður - Reykjavík
On your final day we take you to see more incredible natural wonders and Reykholt, the historic home-place of Snorri Sturluson, a famous writer of Icelandic Sagas. Exploring Borgarfjörður, we also see Deildartunguhver hot spring, the Hraunfossar cascade and Barnafoss waterfall.
Day 6 in detail...
Today we will show you the best of Western Iceland, this region secured a place as one of Lonely Planet´s best holiday destinations in 2016. Just so that you will feel nicely invigorated there is a short hike at your first attraction! We shall head up to the rim of Grábrók, standing at the peak of this volcano crater will give us fabulous views over the lava field and beyond.
Onwards to see some Borgarfjörður stunners, first on the agenda is Deildartunguhver, this boiling hot spring has a flow rate which is more voluminous than any other European hot spring! Continuing, we will visit a couple of waterfalls, which, actually couldn’t be more different from one another. Hraunfossar is a very beautiful sweeping cascade, it is made up of a multitude of small springs which emerge from the edge of the lava field. With refreshing and very pure glacial water gushing out of coal-black lava, this is a totally magical and compelling sight. We will also show you the nearby and very beautiful Barnafoss Waterfall, your guide will, no doubt, tell you the Icelandic legend connected to the naming of these falls. Barnafoss means ‘Children´s Falls’, and the legend conveys the tragic tale of two children who died there.
We would not want you to leave Iceland without knowing something about one of the country’s most famous sons, Snorri Sturluson, this man was an incredible scholar, historian and lawyer who lived at Reyholt. He is probably best remembered as the author of some Icelandic Sagas, many say some knowledge within Norse mythology would have been forgotten if Snorri had not written about it in the Icelandic Sagas. Snorri´s lifetime extended over the end of 12th and early part of the 13th Centuries. Our final visit is to the historic site of Reykholt, we will show you Snorralaug, the hot spring bathing pool where Snorri would have bathed. Certainly, this pool is known to have existed before Snorri´s lifetime, it is believed it was constructed in the 10th Century, this would make it a contender for the title of ‘The oldest man-made structure in Iceland’. You can stand within the landscapes which surrounded Snorri and dip a finger in ‘his’ pool, today the water is still, reassuringly, quite warm.
Northern lights over Hraunfossar
Returning to Reykjavík we will show you the dramatic scenery and wildlife around Hvalfjörður. We expect to arrive in the capital around 17:00-18:00 (depends on the weather). You will be dropped off in Reykjavík.
Relax in the famous Blue Lagoon after the tour (optional extra).
Optional Blue Lagoon extension: You can also book this tour with a Blue Lagoon extension (admission included). After the 6 day tour around Iceland you are dropped off at your chosen drop-off location. You will have time to have dinner and then at 19:30 you will picked up for the Blue Lagoon transfer. After relaxing in the Blue Lagoon you are taken back to the same location.
When departing from the Blue Lagoon back to Reykjavik, you can choose either 22:15 or 23:15 departure, just let the bus drive know.