Witness the diversity of Iceland’s natural phenomena – bubbling volcanic solfataras, rootless craters, glacial lakes and geothermal lagoons.. Stunning no matter when you see it, Gullfoss is more than simply Iceland’s largest waterfall, and in the sunlight, it’s graced by a dazzling rainbow!. On your journey from Skaftafell, you’ll drive through fields of lava created by Laki’s famous volcanic eruption of 1783.. Raise a glass to the stunning natural scenery with a schnapps and traditional Icelandic delicacy tasting overlooking the Arctic Ocean.
Explore the beautifully rugged landscapes of Iceland’s western peninsulas with soaring coastal cliffs, centuries-old volcanic glaciers and idyllic waterfalls on a nine-day small group adventure. Enjoy a boat cruise between icebergs at Glacier Lagoon, trek around vast waterside craters, visit local artisans in Grundarfjordur and charming fishing villages, and dip your toes in the Arctic Ocean. See the highlights of Iceland with expert local knowledge and time to explore – you’ll get a true taste of this Northern European outpost.
Breakfast Included: 8 Lunches Included: Dinner Included: 6
Arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland's quirky capital, and settle into your hotel. There are no activities planned until tonight's group meeting at 6 pm, but if you arrive early, take a stroll and acquaint yourself with the world's northernmost capital. Perhaps take a trip to the National Museum to see the permanent exhibition on the history of Iceland from the ninth century to the present. As there is not much time spent in Reykjavik on this trip, you may want to consider booking some additional days in the capital before or after your trip. If you wish to spend more time here, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).
Thingvellir National Park / Borgarfjordur / Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Today you’ll board a private vehicle and drive to Thingvellir National Park (Parliament Plains) – the original location of Iceland’s first parliament from AD930, and a geological phenomenon. From here enter the Borgarfjordur area and visit the stunning waterfalls of Hraunfossar (Lava waterfalls) and Barnafossar (Children’s waterfalls). Continue to Deildartunguhver – Europe’s hottest water spring. In the afternoon head to your overnight stay in the southern part of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Once settled in, meet up with your group for an included dinner.
Snaefellsnes Peninsula / Skagafjordur
Today you will continue around the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and its magnificent glacier Snaefellsjokull, an icecap covering a dormant volcano underneath. Places you’ll visit today include basaltic pebble beaches framed by strange lava formations, and Arnarstapi, where a short stroll along the coastal cliffs gives you access to the rich birdlife and other wonders of nature. Continue to the pretty town of Grundarfjordur, where you’ll stop and meet a local artist by the name of Liston, who will show you his workshop. This is a great opportunity to have a look at his stone carving pieces and to interact with a local artisan. Afterwards, drive to your overnight stay in Saudarkrokur in Iceland's north, located on beautiful Skagafjordur Fjord.
Trollaskagi Peninsula / Akureyri
Drive around the picturesque Trollaskagi Peninsula and visit the small fishing town of Siglufjordur. Explore the compact town centre, dwarfed by towering mountains on three sides, and opening up to the fjord on its northern side. Further along the stunning coast you’ll have the special opportunity to dip your toes in the Arctic Ocean and enjoy an Icelandic schnapps tasting, accompanied with some local delicacies. You group leader will offer you some specialties of the region – think shark, lamb’s head, liver sausage and dried fish. They’re not called delicacies for nothing! Continue to the town of Akureyri, Iceland's second town, where you will have the afternoon to enjoy at leisure. Perhaps visit the church or join a whale watching adventure from the town’s port.
Lake Myvatn / Modrudalur Valley
Start the day by driving to the waterfall Godafoss, also known as The Waterfall of the Gods. Continue to Lake Myvatn, one of the most interesting geological and geographical areas of the northern hemisphere and in Iceland. Visit a number of geological anomalies lining the lake’s shoreline, including the lava labyrinth of Dimmuborgir and the pseudo-crater group at Skutustadir, and the boiling mud pots and sulphuric vents of Namaskard. From Lake Myvatn, drive to the magnificent waterfall Dettifoss. You will spend the night in the Modrudalur Valley, a settlement in Iceland's highlands.
East Fjords / Jokulsarlon / Skaftafell
This morning after breakfast, continue back to the coast and along the beautiful coastal region of Iceland's East Fjords, with spectacular landscapes, high mountains and deep fjords. If you are lucky you may spot a seal or two! Drive to the famous Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon for an unforgettable boat tour on the milky blue waters and between floating icebergs, originating from Vatnajokull, Europe’s largest ice cap. Afterwards, continue on to Skaftafell for the night.
Skaftafell National Park / Vik / South Coast / Hvolsvollur Area
Visit Skaftafell National Park and walk to the tongue of the glacier of the same name. Drive over the black sands and lava formations caused by the Laki eruption of 1782-1783 (an event that has shaped Iceland's history and culture) to the village of Vik. From here continue to the beautiful scenery of Iceland's South Shore, with sights including the Solheimajokull glacier and the towering black rocks of Reynisdrangar. If the sky is clear you will be able to see the Eyafjallajokull volcano. In the afternoon you will visit the waterfalls of Seljarlandsfoss and Skogafoss before arriving at your overnight stop in the Hvolsvollur Valley. Here our local friends will give you an insight into how the eruption of Eyafjallajokull volcano in 2010 has affected the lives of the residents in this area of Iceland. The guesthouse is the leader in responsible tourism and sustainability in Iceland. Since the arrival of the first settlers to Iceland, deforestation has taken place in order to make space for pastures. With this in mind, the owners had the idea to start a tree planting project on their land to contribute to lowering CO2 and counteract soil erosion. Join the effort and head out into the hills surrounding the property to plant trees yourself!
Golden Circle / Reykjavik
From Hvolsvollur, drive to the geyser geothermal area for the spouting hot springs of Geysir (after which all other geysers were named) and Strokkur, the most reliable of the geysers, erupting every ten minutes, on average. Don’t stand downwind if you don’t want a hot shower! Then it’s on to Gullfoss (the Golden Waterfall) where, on a sunny day, you can see rainbows shimmer in the spray above the waterfall. In the afternoon, drive back to Reykjavik for a short city tour before checking into your hotel. The evening is free for you to explore the streets of Iceland’s capital, so perhaps join the locals in one of the many cafés.
With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave any time after breakfast. Those looking to extend their stay can arrange additional nights' accommodation at the time of booking the trip (subject to availability). Use your time in Reykjavik to soak up the local art scene and café culture or pay a visit to the bubbling Blue Lagoon – an absolute must when in Iceland.