Day 1 The Golden Circle & South Coast
The day begins with an early-morning pickup at your accommodation or central location in Reykjavík. We leave the city bound for one of Iceland's most famed attractions - the Golden Circle. Explore the Þingvellir National Park, discovering why this UNESCO World Heritage Site holds a special place in the heart of every Icelander. Continue onward toward Geysir, a geothermically active hot spring area. We then complete the Golden Triangle with a visit to the thunderous Gullfoss waterfall, largely considered one of the most beautiful Icelandic waterfalls. We continue along the south coast, stopping at the magnificent Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls before making our final stop at Reynisfjara black sand beach, home of the legendary Reynisdrangar peaks.
We conclude our first full day of sightseeing with an overnight in the charming town of Vík.
Stay at Hotel Dyrholaey or similar
Day 2 Vík - Skaftafell - Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon - Höfn
Enjoy an early breakfast before venturing south toward Skaftafell and Vatnajökull National Park. Within this 13,600 km2 protected wilderness we will visit natural treasures such as Vatnajökull glacier, Hvannadalsnúkur, the highest peak in Iceland, Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Stop for photos and scenic views before heading to the Skaftafell Glacier, where we will embark on an exciting glacier hike led by a certified guide. Equipped with crampons and all necessary glacier equipment, explore this vast area of brilliant blue, deep crevasses and extraordinary views. Rejoin the minibus and head toward yet another magical glacier experience at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Be sure to look out the window as we approach the lagoon, as you will glimpse a procession of mystically floating icebergs broken free from the retreating Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier. These glittering blue icebergs eventually make their way to the sea at Diamond Beach, a black sand beach close to the Glacier Lagoon. Here, the icebergs washed ashore come to rest. Take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the translucent icebergs against the coal-black sand.
We stop for the evening to rest at a hotel near Höfn.
Stay at Hofn Inn Hotel or similar
Day 3 East Fjords - Djúpivogur - Egilsstaðir
Today we leave behind the Vatnajökull National Park area, continuing along the twisting and turning road, flanked on each side by the coast and majestic mountain peaks, toward the town of Egilsstaðir. This picturesque town is located on the banks of the Lagarfljót River, and is home to the legend of Largarfljótasormurinn, the Largarfljót worm. Tales of the giant Largarfljót worm, which is said to reside in the lake and show itself from time to time, are firmly established within Icelandic folklore. Stop along the way at Djúpivogur, a remote fishing village. The North Atlantic waves wash over the black sandy beach and a rich birdlife thrives - most Icelandic birds can be spotted around the area.
We will also have the opportunity to move our legs with an easy 3-hour hike to Hengifoss, one of the highest waterfalls in Iceland. Look out for layers of red strata threading their way through the cliff walls around the waterfall, and also for the towering cascade of the hike's second waterfall, Litlanesfoss. Stop for a moment to enjoy the cascading falls, appreciating a truly photogenic moment.
After our hike we make our way to our accommodation in the picturesque town of Egilsstaðir.
Stay at Hotel Valaskjalf or similar
Day 4 Dettifoss, Lake Mývatn, Goðafoss - Akureyri
Today we will experience the stunning scenery of North Iceland. The drive north from Egilssaðir takes us through vast and remote landscapes, passing by the Möðrudalur farm on the way to the Dettifoss waterfall. Standing at 469m, the Möðrudalur is the highest farm in Iceland. The thundering Dettifoss Waterfall is the most powerful waterfall in all of Europe, and the Jökulsá á Fjöllum River dropps 44m through the rugged canyon.
We continue onwards to the colorful mud pools and fumaroles of the Námaskarð geothermal area, making a stop at the Mývatn Nature Baths. Here you will have the opportunity to bathe in the natural hot spring pools (optional activity - additional entrance costs apply).
After a refreshing time in the baths, we head toward the Hverfjall volcanic crater and Dimmuborgir lava formations. The Dimmuborgir, often called "dark cities", tower above the earth like giant fairytale giants, creating a unique, otherworldly landscape. We continue our drive around Lake Mývatn, stopping at the beautiful Goðafoss Waterfall before arriving to our country hotel outside Iceland's second largest city.
Stay at Hotel Dalvik or similar
Day 5 Whale watching from Dalvík - Siglufjörður -Tröllaskagi - Bifröst
Rise early this morning - a full day of adventure awaits! As we make our way to the charming fishing village of Dalvík we are treated to an unforgettable view of Eyjafjörður, the longest fjord in Iceland (visibility and weather permitting). Our arrival in Dalvík marks the beginning of today's highlight tour - a whale watching experience offering the chance to see Humpback whales, dolphins and porpoises, and, occasionally, seals and blue whales. If you wish, you will also have the opportunity to try your hand at a little sea angling. Upon return to Dalvík, we will enjoy a barbecue from today's catch across the Eyjafjörður Fjord.
We continue around the Tröllaskagi peninsula, driving along roads flanked by the towering mountains of Iceland's best ski resorts and the stunning fjord, eventually arriving at the historical village of Siglufjörður. The villages in northernmost Iceland give you a feel for life in Icelandic villages seemingly at the end of the world. We end our day in Bifröst, a small university community. Overnight in a country hotel, ready for tomorrow's adventure.
Stay at Hotel Laugarbakki or similar
Day 6 Borgarfjörður - Reykholt - Hraunfossar - Borgarnes
Our attention today is focused around the Borgarfjörður in Western Iceland. Our first stop is a quick hike to the Grábrók volcanic crater, offering breathtaking views of the lava fields and distant landscapes. We continue toward the Deildartunguhver hot springs, giving our legs a chance to rest in the warm thermic waters of the most powerful hot springs in Europe. Today we also have the chance to visit two very different yet imposing waterfalls, the Hraunfossar and the Barnafoss. Our final stop today is Reykholt, an important place to medieval Icelandic history. We will also have the chance to stand by Snorralaug, the hot spring pool which bears the name of Snorri Sturluson, the 12th/early 13th century scholar, lawyer, historian and saga writer. Stand by the pool where Snorri is reputed to have bathed and contemplate the threads of Icelandic history which were woven together here.
After a full day filled with the wonders of Icelandic history and beauty, we are dropped off at our hotel in the Borgarnes are.
Stay at Hotel Borgarnes or similar
Day 7 Borgarnes-Snaefellsnes Peninsula-Reykjavík
Enjoy a leisurely morning before your expert Snæfellsnes guide picks you up around 10am. Snæfellsnes is a truly magical place, and its diverse scenery is typified by sharp coves with craggy cliffs, black pebble and sand beaches, contrasted against shimmering glaciers. Our first stop is the beach of Ytri-Tunga, home to seals and many bird species. The Ytri-Tunga is an unusual beach in Iceland in that it features soft golden sand and gently undulating dunes with wild grasses. Our exploration of Snæfellsnes continues onward through the spectacular countryside, making stops at the charming coastal villages of Arnarstapi and Hellnar before our arrival at Snæfellsness National Park. Here, we will venture into the 8000 year old Vatnshellir lava tube cave for a caving tour with a specialist caving guide (optional activity - additional entrance costs apply). For those that opt to not enter the cave, you will have the chance to stroll around the moss covered lava landscapes and admire views of Snæfellsjökull glacier. This is the glacier made famous by the novelist Jules Verne. He chose this glacier for the entry point into the underworld when he wrote Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Onwards to the magnificent black pebble beach at Djúpalónssandur, framed by striking cliffs. This coastline is very beautiful but it can be treacherous, evidenced by the remains of the British Trawler, Epine, which was shipwrecked here.
Lastly, we set our sites toward Reykjavík. We will stop at the legendary Kirkjufell, which is often considered the most photographed Icelandic mountain. We will arrive to Reykjavík around 20:00, where you will be dropped off at your original pick-up location. Spend your last evening in Iceland reminiscing back on a week full of adventure and unforgettable natural beauty.
Catch an evening departure or overnight on your own in Reykjavík.