This five-day tour is perfect for those who are after an express jaunt around to Iceland’s hotspots. See the wonders including the Golden Circle, southern Vik, and Jokulsarlon’s glacial lagoon.. Explore Reynisfjara, the famous beach where black sand meets towering basalt columns and rocky cliffs where seabirds rest.. Spend time exploring Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, perhaps walking along nearby Diamond Beach where chunks of icebergs wash up on the black sand, or opting for a lagoon cruising experience.. Stand at the bottom of Skogafoss – a waterfall with a 60-metre cascade – then hike along a winding wooden staircase to the fall’s crest for views of the coastline.
Want a big adventure in a short amount of time? Travel to Iceland and explore the ancient land of Vikings and volcanoes on this five-day Lonely Planet Experience. Traverse the Golden Circle and marvel at the explosive power of the Geysir Geothermal Area and Gulfoss waterfall. Walk the black sand beaches of the Jokulsarlon lagoon and decide whether take an optional walk on the mighty Myrdalsjokull glacier. This fast-paced adventure focuses on the natural, untamed beauty of Iceland – taking you straight to the heart of the action with a local leader by your side.
Breakfast Included: 2 Lunches Included: Dinner Included:
Hallo! Welcome to Iceland. The world's northernmost capital of Reykjavik lies just below the Arctic Circle. The city sees around four hours of sunlight a day in winter and 22 hours or more in summer. Surrounded by volcanic peaks and crystalline ocean, and boasting a vibrant arts and nightlife scene, Reykjavik's contrasts are utterly beguiling. Why not arrive early and head to the National Museum, which depicts the history of Iceland from the ninth century (when the first Vikings from mainland Scandinavia arrived and settled) to the present day, or join locals who gossip and chatter in the Laugardalslaug Geothermal Pool.
Golden Circle / Hvolsvollur Area
Head out of town early this morning to follow the Golden Circle driving route towards Thingvellir National Park. Thingvellir was the location of Iceland's first parliament, founded in AD930, and is also the site of the Silfra Fissure, where tectonic plates are pulling apart and exposing some pretty wild rock shelves. Continue on to the Geysir Geothermal Area and check out the Strokkur Geyser – it swells with blue water before erupting and shooting a spout some 20–30 metres in the air. Finally, witness the sheer power of the Gullfoss (Golden) Waterfall on the Hvita River. After your Golden Circle tour, head to tonight's accommodation in the Hvolsvollur region. This guesthouse is a leader in local responsible tourism and sustainability. The owners started a tree planting project on their land to contribute to lowering atmospheric carbon dioxide and counteract soil erosion. Tonight, you’ll have the option to join the effort and head out into the hills surrounding the property to plant trees yourself.
Myrdalsjokull / South Coast / Reynivellir
Begin the day with a visit to the breathtaking Skogafoss – a giant waterfall, 25-metres wide and dropping 60 metres. Get up close and feel its power, then climb a long and windy set of stairs to a stunning viewpoint. Next up is one of Europe's biggest ice caps – Myrdalsjokull – which covers the active volcano Katla. Choose whether to join an optional hike over the glacier tongue – no experience is necessary. It’s sobering to think that the glacier is retreating due to rising world temperatures and may soon be gone. If you don't want to take the glacier walk, perhaps explore the area around the glacier tongue. Alternatively, Skogafoss waterfall has a number of walking trails, or you can visit the Skogar folk museum. Afterwards, continue along Iceland's South Shore, spotting bird colonies on the promontory of Dyrholaey, Iceland's southernmost point. You’ll also see the amazing stepping-stone rock formations of Reynisdrangar and its black sand beach, Reynisfjara. Continue to your overnight stop in the countryside near Reynivellir.
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon / Vik / Reykjavik
This morning, visit one of Iceland's undisputed highlights: the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon. Consider jumping on an optional cruise among the icebergs, or just take a walk along the shore down to Diamond Beach, where icebergs from the lagoon wash up on its black sands. Later today, head to Vik for lunch. With the sea on one side and high cliffs on the other, this dramatically positioned small village is Iceland's most southerly mainland settlement. In the afternoon, complete your southerly loop by heading back to Reykjavik. Here, join your local leader for a short guided walk of the capital to visit the old harbour, city centre and Hallgrimskirkja church. The evening is free for you to enjoy all the capital has to offer, so why not get a group of your travel crew together for dinner.
With no activities planned for today, it’s time to say 'sjaumst' to your group leader and fellow travellers. That doesn’t mean your adventure has to come to an end! If you’d like to spend more time in Reykjavik and surrounds, we’ll be happy to book additional accommodation (subject to availability). What happens next is up to you – maybe a snorkelling adventure in the Silfra Fissure or a soak in the famous Blue Lagoon. Nearby is the currently erupting Fagradalsfjall volcano. See basaltic lava bubbling from the central vent, making its way down the flank of the cone. Make sure you pre-book your full day tour to see this fiery spectacle. You’ve got the power to choose your own adventure, so be sure to check your Lonely Planet app for inspiration.