This authentic tour takes you around Iceland but differs from many round tours by taking you across the island on the Kjölur route as well as into the interior to the volcanic landscapes of Askja and Laki and to the colourful Rhyolite Mountains of Landmannalaugar. It also includes the most important highlights of the ring road such as Skagafjörður district, Mývatn nature paradise, the rugged fjord landscapes of the east, the glacier world of the massive glacier of Vatnajökull and the black coast line of the south.
Small groups (max. 12 participants) for a more informative stay.
14 – 24 July 2017
11 – 21 August 2017
13 – 23 July 2018
10 – 20 August 2018
Duration: 11 days / 10 nights
Minimum number of participants 4, maximum 12.
Also available upon request for private groups.
Day 1: Arrival
Arrival in Iceland and transfer to your hotel in Reykjavík. Free day in Reykjavík depending on the time of arrival.
Day 2: Þingvellir National Park, Geysers, Gullfoss Waterfall, Highland Route Kjölur & Hveravellir
You meet your guide in the hotel reception at 8:00 am. We leave the city and drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site and national Park Þingvellir, where we enjoy a walk in the Almannagjá canyon to the waterfall Öxarárfoss and explore the old parliament site.
From here, we continue our journey through the small village Laugarvatn to the Geyser geothermal area, where we see the very active geyser Strokkur erupting spectacularly every five minutes or so.
We drive further to the impressive Gullfoss waterfall before we start our trip over the interior highland route of Kjölur, through the desolate landscape between the glaciers of Langjökull and Hofsjökull until we reach Hveravellir. Here we can take a dip in a warm natural pool.
In the late afternoon we arrive in Skagafjörður, where we‘ll visit the small turf church in Víðimýri before heading to our accommodation.
Day 3: Herring & Folk Music on the "Troll Peninsula" & Akureyri
Driving along the east coast of the Skagafjörður fjord, we reach the Tröllaskagi peninsula (literally “Troll Peninsula”) and arrive at the fishing village of Siglufjörður, a former center of herring processing.
We learn about the “herring golden age” in Siglufjörður and Iceland in the local Herring Era Museum before we leave Siglufjörður via the newly built tunnel of Héðinsfjarðargöng into Ólafsfjörður Fjord and the Ólafsfjarðargöng tunnel brings us onwards to Eyjafjörður Fjord and Akureyri, the Capital of the North. Before we check in at our accommodation we take a short drive around town and a stroll through the town‘s centre.
Day 4: Akureyri & Lake Mývatn
We continue our journey over the Vaðlaheiði plateau to the majestic Goðafoss waterfall. Afterwards we explore the surroundings of Lake Mývatn. A walk along the pseudo craters of Skútustaðir and in the lava field of Dimmuborgir as well around the boiling hot mud springs of Námaskarð. We‘ll go for a relaxing bath in the Nature Baths while enjoying the view of the Lake Mývatn in the evening.
Day 5: Dettifoss Waterfall & Askja Volcano
An early start is needed as this will be a long day. We follow the ring road towards the east and just before heading into the highland, we take a detour to see the massive Dettifoss waterfall.
We pass Mt. Herðubreið on our way to the lunar landscapes of the volcano Askja and the Víti crater. We take the roads from Askja via the highland plateau of Fljótsdalsheiði into the Fljótsdalur valley and further to our accommodation in or near Egilsstaðir.
Day 6: Fjord Landscapes of the East
We drive along the coast through the fjord landscapes of East Iceland, with its characteristic sheer precipices and narrow coastline. We‘ll have several opportunities to take walks along the coast.
We‘ll take a detour to the lighthouse at Stokksnes for a short walk along the rough coastline with chance of seeing seals and sea birds. Our accommodation for the night is located near the village Höfn.
Day 7: Glacier Lagoon, Skaftafell & Svartifoss Waterfall in the Vatnajökull National Park
First stop of the day is by the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, where we’ll join a boat tour on the lagoon amidst the drifting icebergs. We are highly likely to catch a glimpse of seals when walking along the river or along the shore of the lagoon.
In Skaftafell we‘ll take a easy hike to Svartifoss waterfall. An optional glacier hike on the glacier tongue Svínafellsjökull is available from Skaftafell.
Afterwards we drive to our accommodation.
Day 8: Laki Craters
Today we go on an excursion to the 25 km / 15.53mi long row of craters at Lakagígar, also called Laki for short. The devastating volcanic eruption that took place here in 1783 left an area of 565 km2 / 351mi2 covered in lava fields.
On the way back from Laki, we stop for in the beautiful Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon.
Day 9: Nature Reserve Fjallabak & Landmannalaugar
From the lava field of Eldhraun, created in the Laki volcanic eruption, we turn right on to the mountain road over the Fjallabak area.
We stop in the Eldgjá canyon before continuing to the colourful rhyolite mountains of Landmannalaugar, where we can take a dip in the warm natural pool and opt for one of the many hiking routes the area has to offer.
Afterwards we drive through the Dómadalur valley to our accommodation near the south coast.
Day 10: Black South Coast & Reykjavík
We drive to the south coast near Reynisdrangar in the morning. Here we enjoy the view of the glaciers and the black coastline with its basalt columns and rock formations.
On our way back we stop at Þorvaldseyri to visit an exhibition Iceland erupts, telling the story of the farmers who live in the vicinity of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano.
Back in Reykjavík it’s time to part with your guide. You’ll have the remainder of the day and the evening free to your disposal. You might want to take a walk in the city centre. Suggestions for restaurants and tips for activities are available on request.
Day 11: Departure
The time of your departure determines your plan for the day. If you leave in the afternoon or in the evening you will have time to explore Reykjavík further and/or stop by the Blue Lagoon on the way to the airport. You might also want to prolong your stay in Reykjavík in order to have more time for activities such as a whale watching tour, a riding tour, museum visits or better time for a visit to the Blue Lagoon.
Departure transfer from your accommodation to the airport or prolong your stay in Reykjavík – further information on request.
Accommodation in rooms with shared facilities:
Price per person sharing a double room EUR 5.545
Price per person in a single room EUR 6.425
- 2 nights in Reykjavík.
- 8 nights in the country.
- Breakfast and dinners outside Reykjavík.
- Professional English speaking driver-guide. German speaking guide upon request.
- Private vehicle during the tour.
- Return Flybus airport transfers.
- Activities and entrance fees:
- Highland facilities fees - Kjölur, Askja, Fjallabak and Landmannalaugar.
- Church Víðimýri.
- Herring Era Museum.
- Nature Baths and rental of towel.
- Boat tour on Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon (April - October)
- Ice Cave tour (November - March)
- Iceland erupts exhibition
- All taxes and service fees.
Not included: International flights – available on request from Esja Travel, activities not mentioned in the itinerary and drinks.