Iceland Spas and Nature Wonders
Grand Tour - from highlands to coasts and fjords
In this tour over 23 days you will enjoy all the remarkable spas around Iceland, the most attractive spots on the Ring Road and the Highlands - and you will even travel to the remote Westfjords. The unique nature of the Westfjords region is almost untouched and uninhabited and attracts many visitors. We will organize the tour so that you do not have to change hotels every night. Light hikes are blended with sightseeing in between spending time relaxing in our wonderful spas.
Duration: 23 days
Available: Jul - Sep
Note: This itinerary can easily be rearranged according to your wishes.
Accommodation: 1 night in the Reykjavik area and 21 nights in country hotels.
Included: Hotel pick up & drop off KEF airport, guided spa tour.
Bring with you: Warm clothes, sturdy shoes.
For further information:
Arrival at Keflavik International Airport. Transfer to the Selfoss area.
Your driver-guide will meet you and transport you from the airport to your accomodation at a country hotel situated in a beautiful wooded area near to the town of Selfoss.
Grafningur - Thingvellir - Laugarvatn Fontana Spa - Geysir - Gullfoss
We will take the road via Grafningur to Thingvellir National Park. From there we drive to the village of Laugarvatn and visit the Fontana Spa. In the afternoon we will drive east to visit the the geothermal hot spring area of Geysir and also Gullfoss, the Golden Waterfall. We will then drive you back to your accommodation.
Reykjanes Peninsula - Hveragerdi Mud Baths
We take the road south to the peninsula of Reykjanes which displays some of the more rough and rugged examples of Icelandic nature, young lava fields and hot spring areas. We will visit the hot springs at Seltun and the Lake Kleifarvatn before we go to explore the fishing village of Grindavik. We then head to Reykjanesta, where we will see the Mid Atlantic Ridge appear from the sea and and visit the hot spring area at Gunnuhver and the Bridge between two Continents. Next we will make the journey back to the hot spring village of Hveragerdi where you will be able to relax and dispel any tiredness in the unique mud baths. From here we will drive you back to your accommodation.
Kerid - Skalholt - Landmannalaugar
We drive to the crater of Kerid and to Skalholt which was the capital place of Iceland in olden times before we continue to Thjorsardalur where you see the waterfall of Hjalparfoss and Stong, a Viking farm. Later we will take the highland road to Landmannalaugar, a truly amazing geothermal area which is probably the most renowned and prestigious highland paradise in Iceland, situated at around 600 metres above sea level. On our way we will stop at Lake Frostastadavatn and Ljotipollur or "Ugly Pool", despite the name this crater is uniquely impressive and is situated in beautiful surroundings which bear no comparison to other similar natural phenomena in the country. At Landmannalaugar you could enjoy bathing in the natural pool. Your guide will take you on a short hike to explore more of the area. In the afternoon we will drive south to your accommodation at a nice country hotel.
Day tour to Thorsmork Valley - the paradise for hikers and nature lovers
Today begins when we drive east which on a clear day will give you a great view of the volcanoes of Hekla and the glacier of Eyjafjallajokull. We will have a stop at Seljalandsfoss Waterfall where it is possible to take a walk behind the cascade and to enjoy the beauty of nature all around us. Next we will drive into the valley of Thorsmork where you will be able to hike with your guide - this valley offers a good variety of hiking routes. For descriptions and more information please see here: http://www.extremeiceland.is/en/day-tours/thorsmork - We will drive you back to your accommodation in the afternoon.
South Coast - Skogafoss - Kirkjubaejarklaustur
We will head east to the mighty Skogafoss Waterfall before we visit the Skogar Folk Museum. Then we drive on to see the promontory of Dyrholaey and the village of Vik and also the beach at Reynisfjara - all places worth walking around and enjoying. From Vik we will drive across the sand plain of Myrdalssandur where you will be able to look up to the central volcano of Katla which is under the ice-cap of Myrdalsjokull, a glacier.
East of Myrdalssandur we will come to two enormous lava fields, the Eldgjarhraun lava field, which was formed from the Earth’s largest volume single eruption lava flow in historic times. This massive single eruption took place in the year 934 in the volcanic rift of Eldgja which is almost 60 kilometres long. Journeying further east we will travel through the lava field of Skaftareldahraun, formed in a huge eruption in the Lakagigar crater-row which started 1783 and lasted for 8 months. A lot of farms and their farmlands were destroyed in the aftermath of this eruption because of ash-fall and most of the livestock subsequently died. The lava field spreads over an area of 656 sq. kilometres and contains 14 cubic kilometres of lava. We will drive you to your accommodation in the Kirkjubaejarklaustur area.
Day tour to the Highlands - Langisjor lake
We head into the highlands and drive over unbridged rivers to Eldgja, a volcanic rift, we hike inside the rift to Ofaerufoss Waterfall before we continue our drive to the wonderful area of the Fjallabak Reserve. We will notice the high mountain of Sveinstindur near the lake (rising to 1090 metres). Many people consider that hiking up Sveinstindur will give you the most fabulous mountain view in Iceland - providing the opportunity to see over a vast area including the volcano of Hekla, craters of Lakagigar, the lava field of Skaftareldahraun, the glacier of Oraefajokull and last but not least - the magnificent Lake Langisjor. This lake is situated between mountains and glaciers and is 20 km long with a water level 670 metres over sea level - the water is crystal clear and the environment is extremely beautiful. In the afternoon our drive will take us in south and back to our accommodation.
Skaftafell - Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
We begin the day with a drive to see Foss a Sidu (a waterfall) and to Dverghamrar cliffs and across the sand plains of Skeidararsandur where we will drive over big glacial rivers with a view up to the glacier of Vatnajokull and other glaciers around this area.
In Skaftafell you are able to enjoy a hike with your guide to Svartifoss Waterfall before we head east to Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon where you could enjoy a boat tour sailing in between the icebergs. We continue driving east which on clear day will give you an excellent view of the outlet glaciers creeping down from the main glacier of Vatnajokull. You will arrive at your accommodation in the fishing town of Hofn in good time for you to enjoy a delicious lobster dinner.
Eastfjords to Egilsstadir
Today we will travel north from the town of Hofn to the Eastfjords - to see Alftafjordur, Hamarsfjordur and Djupivogur which have some nice little villages to visit including Breiddalsvik, Stodvarfjordur and Faskrudsfjordur. We then drive through the tunnel to Reydarfjordur and Egilsstadir where you will have your overnight accommodation.
Upper Eastfjords - Around Lagarfljot Lake
Today we will take you on a drive around Lake Lagarfljót, you will also see the Museum of Skriduklaustur and enjoy a hike to the Hengifoss Waterfall which falls a dramatic 128 metres from the cliffs. We will drive to see the scenic fjords of Seydisfjordur and Mjoifjordur before we return to our accommodation at Egilsstadir.
Lake Myvatn area - Jardbodin Spa
We head over the highland plateau on our way to Lake Myvatn. We will then hike to Mount Hverfjall, a beautifully formed tephra crater which is 2500 years old, about 1 km in diameter and 140 metres deep. We will walk in Dimmuborgir, seeing the rock formations which were formed about 2,000 years ago when a natural dike stopped a flow of lava. A few parts of the lava flow cooled down and solidified in bizarre forms. These unique lava formations stayed when the dike was breached and the still fluid lava could leak out and left Dimmuborgir, the "Dark Castles". We will enjoy the spa at Jardbodin in the afternoon (www.jardbodin.is). Your accommodation will be in the Myvatn area.
Hverarond - Jokulsargljufur
We drive to the mud pits of Hverarond which are so hot that they actually boil ... so be careful when you take a walk! We head east to Jokulsargljufur National Park where your guide will take you to Dettifoss - Europe’s mightiest waterfall. It falls into the river Jokulsa a Fjollum which flows from the Vatnajokull Glacier and collects water from a large area in North East Iceland. It is reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe, its flow volume is estimated to be between 200 and 500 cubic metres of water per second, depending on the season and the summer ice melt. The falls are 100 m wide and drop down 44 metres into the canyon of Jokulsargljufur.
We will visit Asbyrgi which can certainly be counted amongst nature’s great wonders, a 3½ km long horseshoe-shaped canyon with walls up to 100 metres high which is occupied by fulmars during the breeding season. Enjoy walking through the birch and willow woodland at the bottom of the canyon and see the thriving birdlife at Botnstjorn (a pond). In the late afternoon we will drive you to your accommodation at Myvatn.
Myvatn area - Husavik - Akueyri, the Capital of the North
The morning will provide the opportunity to take short hikes to places around Myvatn such as Hofdi and the pseudo craters at Skutustadir. Next we will head to the fishing town of Husavik where we will enjoy a whale watching tour. In the afternoon we will drive you to the waterfall of Godafoss (Waterfall of the Gods), one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland. It is not very tall but admirers never fail to point out the separate cascades forming an elegant semicircular arc, the swirling patterns in the blue-green (or sometimes brown) water, and the strange bubbly quality of the surrounding lava. From here we will drive to the town of Akureyri where you will have overnight accommodation.
Dalvik - Svarfadardalur valley - fjords of Olafsfjordur and Siglufjordur
Today we will travel north from Akureyri along the bay of Eyjafjordur to Dalvik, Olafsfjordur and Siglufjordur, villages which are located in magnificent scenery alongside the fjords. Siglufjordur is a particularly scenic and historic fishing village, situated on the magnificent peninsula of Trollaskagi which with its high mountains and deep fjords is renowned for its beauty. During the summer visitors come to see the mountains, lake and the black sandy shores in this area. There is also the very informative Herring Era Museum (Síldarminjasafn Íslands) which tells the story of the rise and fall of herring fishing in Siglufjordur, attracting visitors from all over the world. We arrive back in Akureyri in the afternoon.
Akureyri - Skagafjordur valley
We will enjoy a walk in the morning before driving west through the valleys to travel to the district of Skagafjordur, which is well known for its horse breeding and prosperous farmlands. We will stop at historical places, museums and natural places of special interest. In the afternoon we drive you to your accommodation at a nice horse farm. If you wish you could go horse riding or maybe attend a horse show.
We travel west towards the West Fjords and then travel north along the fjords of Hrutafjordur, Bitrufjordur, Kollafjordur and Steingrimsfjordur where we will stop at the village of Holmavik. We will then drive along the mountain pass of Steingrimsfjardarheidi to arrive at the beautiful fjords of Isafjordur and Mjoifjordur where you will have accommodation.
Along the scenic fjords of Isafjardardjup to Isafjordur fjord
Our drive will follow the coastline taking us through the fjords of Skotufjordur, Hestfjordur, Seydisfjordur, Alftafjordur and Skutulsfjordur which are strung like pearls along our route to the town of Isafjordur. Here you will have leisure time to enjoy taking light and easy walks around the pictureseque old town in the afternoon.
More fjords: Onundarfjordur - Dyrafjordur - Dynjandi Waterfall - Arnarfjordur
Today you will be able to enjoy the region of the Westfjords which has sometimes been dubbed “the most famous unknown place in Iceland” as we follow the roads alongside the fjords of Sugandafjordur, Onundarfjordur, Dyrafjordur and Arnarfjordur. We will see the waterfall of Dynjandi, one of the highlights of the Westfjords - it really is a must to see this with your own eyes. All of the Westfjords region boasts a unique and almost untouched and uninhabited natural environment which is very attractive to visitors. The cliffs and valleys are packed with birds, the uninhabited fjords offer a moment of silence and tranquillity, and the Arctic fox proudly roams the mountains and inlets. In this area of long distances and deep fjords the waterfalls are high, the streams pure and tranquility prevails.
We will drive through the villages of Bildudalur, Talknafjordur and Patreksfjordur on our journey to Latrabjarg, the most westerly part of Europe. The cliff hosts millions of birds and is often vital for their survival, hosting up to 40% of the total world population of some species such as the Razorbill. It is Europe's largest bird cliff, 14 km long and up to 440 m high. Your overnight accommodation will be in this area.
Raudisandur - Bardastrond - Flatey - Stykkisholmur
We visit the beach at Raudisandur, a unique place to visit and a somewhat hidden secret of Iceland. We travel to Vatnsfjordur where the early settler Hrafna Floki settled around the year 860, however, he experienced a very harsh winter with snow and ice which resulted in the loss of his entire stock. It is told that he named this land Iceland before his departure from the country. Other settlers, Vikings with more survival skills, came here just a few years later and managed to survive. We will then drive you to the village of Brjanslaekur where we will take the ferry across Breidafjordur Bay to the lovely and interesting town of Stykkisholmur where where you will have overnight accommodation.
Day tour around Snaefellsnes Peninsula
We will enjoy a walk in Stykkisholmur, its location led to it becoming a centre for trade, transport and services in Breidafjordur early on in Iceland’s history. Stykkisholmur is in fact a museum of old houses which have recently been renovated, giving the town a charming look, such as Kuld‘s House, Norwegian House, Egill‘s House, Clause‘s House, Tag and Rig and of course the Old Church. The oldest building, the Norwegian House (Norska Husid), is the Snaefellsnes Folk Museum. A renowned museum is Roni Horn's Show at the Library of Water (www.Vatnasafn.is).
From Stykkisholmur we travel to the fishing villages of Grundarfjordur and Olafsvik and then onto the Snaefellsnes National Park where the famous glacier of Snaefellsjokull is situated. This is the only National Park in Iceland to extend to the seashore, covering an area of 170 sq. kilometres. This coastline is extremely varied and is filled with birdlife during the breeding season. The coastal plain is mostly covered by lava which flowed from the glacier or nearby craters. The omnipresent glacier of Snaefellsjokull towers majestically over the Park, signs of volcanic activity and lava trails are clearly visible on its flanks. On the glacier´s north side from the plain in the valley of Eysteinsdalur there is a path which encircles this alluring and steep mountain.
We will enjoy a hike inside the National Park to explore Djupalon, Dritvik, Londrangar, Hellnar and Arnarstapi. We will also stop by the old church at Budir before we drive you back to your accommodation in Stykkisholmur.
Borgarfjordur Valleys - Hraunfossar Falls - Reykjavik
We travel south through the beautiful provinces in south Snaefellsnes and to the valleys of Borgarfjordur. We will stop at Reykholt, one of Iceland's major historic sites, a cultural centre of both past and present. The cultural heritage of this place is mostly centred around the residence of the saga writer and historian, Snorri Sturluson, who lived in Reykholt between 1206 and 1241. You will see famous antiquities such as the pool, passageway, old farmstead and hot water and steam channels dating from Snorri's time.
We will also stop to see the waterfalls of Hraunfossar and Barnafoss which are beautiful and unusual natural phenomena. The Hraunfossar falls are clear, cold springs which well up through the lava and run in falls and rapids into the Hvita River. Barnafoss has been evolving through recorded history, as the river has dug itself down through the lava and runs in a deep and narrow ravine. There used to be a stone arch spanning the river, forming a bridge between the districts at either side of the river. The name "Barnafoss" (Children's Falls) is related to the local folk story about two boys from nearby who lost their lives when they fell into the falls from the stone bridge. We will then drive you back to Reykjavik where you will have accommodation.
Reykjavik City Tour - The Blue Lagoon
We will take you on a Reykjavik City Tour to visit all of the main attractions. After lunch we will drive to the Blue Lagoon where you will be able to enjoy this amazing bathing place for a few hours. The Blue Lagoon (www.bluelagoon.com) is one of Iceland’s most unique and popular attractions. In the evening we will drive you back to your accommodation in Reykjavik.
Your driver- guide will take you to Keflavik International Airport in time for your flight.