- Discover the beauty and power of Iceland’s wilderness, an area that few travellers visit
- Visit beloved “must see” natural wonders of the Golden Circle region and the South Shore
- Get a taste of adventure with travel on unpaved mountain tracks in a specially-outfitted vehicle
- Relax with hot spring bathing in the natural springs of Landmannalaugar
- Enjoy short guided walks/hikes that give you more insights into natural wonders
- Excellent locally-based guides who know and are passionate about Iceland
- Take part in protecting Icelandic nature with a visit to Iceland Travel’s Reforestation project
- Enjoy the benefits of a small-group tour
- Stay in comfortable three-star hotels well-situated to experience Iceland’s nature and wilderness
Nine days / Eight nights
Starts / ends in in Reykjavík
Dates of tour operation: 21 June 2019 - 30 August 2019
With a specially 4×4 mountain coach, travel off the beaten track through the untamed highlands of Iceland, highlighted by the multi-coloured mountains of the Landmannalaugar Nature Reserve and the barren black sands of Sprengisandur. When combined with other major attractions such as the Geysir geothermal area, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, and Dettifoss waterfall, this tour is sure to conquer the hearts of all first-time visitors, as well as those who have been here before. The tour includes some short, guided nature walks/hiking that let you experience more of Iceland’s natural beauty. With our flexible itinerary there’s always plenty of time to stop and experience the magnificence of Icelandic nature.
8 Day Itinerary
Day 1: Thingvellir – Gullfoss – Geysir
The first day of your tour begins with a visit to Thingvellir National Park, the ancient site of the world’s first parliament. Here you can see the dramatic continental drift between the North-American and Eurasian tectonic plates. An hour’s drive away, the popular Geysir geothermal area awaits. The most active geyser, Strokkur, shoots water high into the air every few minutes, but you’ll also witness several other boiling pools and hot springs. Next your group will take part in Iceland Travel’s reforestation program, located in Haukadalur valley. You can help your group plant a total of five trees, which not only allows you to leave your mark in Iceland but also for your tour group to reduce your carbon footprint! Then you will head onwards to Iceland’s most popular waterfall, the impressive two-stage Gullfoss (“Golden Falls”).
Dinner and overnight stay in Hvolsvöllur area.
Day 2: Hvollsvollur – Dyrholaey – Vik
Breakfast at your hotel. Start the day by driving along the highway, making a stop at two impressive waterfalls: Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. Head to the black sand beaches to enjoy the far-reaching views from Dyrholaey headland, where thousands of puffins and other seabirds’ nest (puffins generally seen between May and mid-August. Enjoy a stop in the quaint village of Vik before crossing the Myrdalssandur volcanic ash outwash plains created by flowing water from nearby glaciers. The day ends after passing through the vast Eldhraun lava field, the world’s largest recorded single lava flow in the last 10.000 years.
Dinner and overnight stay in the Vik area for the next two nights.
Day 3: Vik - Jokulsarlon – Skaftafell – Vik
Breakfast at your hotel. The day starts with a drive through beautiful scenery towards Vatnajokull, the largest glacier in Europe. You will also get a view of Hvannadalshnjukur, the country’s highest peak. The highlight of the day will surely be surely Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, where huge icebergs dance around in icy seawater. Continuing on your way, pass by several outlet glaciers from Vatnajokull, visiting at least one of them. Along the route you also will get magnificent views of Skaftafell, a glacier-crowned wonderland within Vatnajokull National Park.
Dinner and overnight stay in the Vik area.
Day 4: Vik - Landmannalaugar - Thjorsardalur Valley
Breakfast at your hotel. Today some of the roads will be bumpy since you’ll be on wilderness tracks, but the views will be amazing! It’s finally time to leave the asphalt behind and meander along the Fjallabaksleid interior track to Landmannalaugar, an astonishing area surrounded by colourful rhyolite mountains. The surreal beauty of the uninhabited interior reveals deep valleys and sculptured mountains, many formed in volcanic eruptions under glaciers during the Ice Age. After a nice walk (optional) enjoy a relaxing swim in a warm brook created by the convergence of hot and cold springs.
Dinner and overnight stay in the Thjorsardalur area.
Day 5: Thjorsardalur - Sprengisandur Wilderness Track – Laugar
Breakfast at your hotel. Today wilderness adventure awaits! It’s time to head north through the very heart of Iceland. Discover hidden treasures of Iceland’s uninhabited interior along the Sprengisandur highland route, a vast, barren, black desert connecting Iceland´s north and south. With only rough tracks and un-bridged glacial rivers, your group will rely on your experienced driver to navigate the rugged passage between the glaciers. This is a true taste of Iceland’s wild side—bumpy roads and driving through rivers are a part of the amazing experience! (Note: If Sprengisandur is closed, your group will take the Kjolur highland route instead.)
Dinner and overnight stay in the Laugar/Lake Myvatn area for the next 2 nights.
Day 6: Laugar - Tjornes – Asbyrgi – Dettifoss – Lake Myvatn – Laugar
Breakfast at your hotel. After travelling on the gravel roads of the highlands, the smooth highways of the north make the fully-packed day seem more comfortable. Travel through the town of Husavik and around the Tjornes peninsula, the northernmost point of your journey. Discover the impressive 100 meter (328 feet) high walls of the horseshoe-shaped canyon of Asbyrgi. According to Norse mythology, the canyon is the hoof-print left by Sleipnir, the magical eight-legged horse of the pagan god Odinn. The journey continues to Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, located in the awe-inspiring Jokulsargljufur canyon. Next travel to the unforgettable Lake Myvatn area, a geological wonderland and paradise for bird watchers. Some of the most visually bizarre attractions in the region include the mud pits of Hverarond and the still-warm lava fields of Krafla, teeming with lava flows, fissures and explosion craters.
Dinner and overnight stay in the Laugar/Lake Myvatn area.
Day 7: Laugar - Akureyri – Skagafjordur- Laugarbakki
Breakfast at your hotel. Start the adventure today with a visit to Godafoss, one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. (The name means “Waterfall of the Gods.) Continue to Akureyri, the vibrant “Capital of the North.” Enjoy some free time to explore this colourful and charming town. Some activities might include a visit to the delightful botanical garden, a swim in the local geothermal pool, or perhaps enjoying the culture, art and fine food of the Listagil artists’ district. The route then continues to the Skagafjordur area, known as the traditional heart of horse breeding in Iceland. This area also boasts many historical sites from the classic Sagas. Tonight, horseback riding on a purebred Viking horse might be an appealing option, as would be an invigorating walk in the picturesque surroundings.
Dinner and overnight stay in the Laugarbakki area.
Day 8: Laugarbakki - Hvammstangi – Vatnsnes Peninsula – Budardalur
Breakfast at your hotel. Your journey continues around Vatnsnes Peninsula, which contains the extraordinary rock formation of Hvitserkur, a 15 meter (49 feet) tall cliff jutting out straight from the sea. You might even see seals resting close to the beach. In the afternoon, drive through rolling farmlands and across Laxardalsheidi heath to the Viking Age house at Eiriksstadir. This was the original homestead of Erik the Red and the birthplace of his son Leif Eiriksson. These men are two of the most legendary Vikings in the world. In a replica of a grass-roofed house, meet modern day Vikings who will demonstrate the lifestyle from 1000 years ago, sharing their crafts and knowledge.
Dinner and overnight stay in the Budardalur area.
Day 9: Budardalur - Snaefellsjokull National Park – Reykjavik
Breakfast at your hotel. Today is spent exploring the amazing variety of natural landscapes in Snaefellsjokull National Park. The park’s crown jewel is Snaefellsjokull glacier itself, which covers a dormant volcano that last erupted in 250 AD. Walk along the uniquely pebbled seascape of Djupalonssandur beach. At the picturesque harbour village of Arnarstapi, you can observe magnificent basalt rock in stacked formations and take a walk along the unique hiking trail linking the settlements of Arnarstapi and Hellnar. Afterwards the journey leads back to Reykjavik, where the tour ends. The tour bus will drop you off at Bus Hostel, where you will be transferred to a pre-arranged bus stop in Reykjavik.