Grand Tour of Iceland - 12 Days/ 11 Nights (0)
Grand Tour of Iceland - 12 Days/ 11 Nights
Maximum group size: 20 people
Price per person:
DOUBLE / TWIN ROOM: 5195 EUR
TRIPLE ROOM: 5195 EUR
SINGLE ROOM: 6395 EUR
VIP-seating supplement: 450 EUR
MEALS: 11x breakfast and 9x dinner (3-course or buffet). Dinner in Akureyri (day 7) and first night in Reykjavík not included.
ALSO INCLUDED: Visit to three National Parks, admission to settlement center in Borgarnes, entrance and visit to lava cave on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, ferry trip to the West Fjords, entrance fee to folk and transport museum at Hnjótur, visit to Erik the Red homestead, horse show in northwest Iceland, entrance to Herring museum, visit to micro beer brewery, entrance fee with towel to the Nature Baths at Lake Mývatn, visit to stone collection in the East Fjords, boat trip between floating icebergs on glacial lagoon, visit to multimedia presentation at Eyjafjallajökull volcano information center; Average of 1-2 hours easy walking per day.
PRE & POST NIGHTS IN REYKJAVÍK: Included in this tour program, ask if you require extension nights.
AIRPORT TRANSFERS: Included in the program and price. Airport transfers are operated by the FLYBUS shuttle and are not guided.
ACCOMMODATIONS: We overnight in simple but charming guesthouses, farms and tourist-class hotels, many of them set in the most stunning locations. All rooms have private shower/wc.
- Reykjavik: Hotel Klettur (first and last night)
- Borgarfjörður: Icelandair Hotel Hamar (1 night)
- Snæfellsness: Hotel Framnes in Grundarfjöður or Hotel Stykkishólmur (1 night)
- West Fjords: Countryhotel Flokalundur or Fosshotel West Fjords (1 night)
- Dalir region: Country Lodge Vogur (1 night)
- Akuryeri: Hotel Kea (2 nights)
- Lake Myvatn: Hotel Laxá (1 night)
- East Iceland: Country Guesthouse Alfheimar in Borgarfjöður Eystri (1 night)
- Vatnajökull national park: Hotel Skaftafell or Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon (1 night)
Note that above hotel list is subject to change and that double rooms in Iceland are normally twin beds.
OPTIONAL VIP SEATING: Supplement for guaranteed window seat on our fully escorted coach tours which includes a window seat and next seat remaining empty (a passenger gets actually two seats). Seats will be reserved in the front rows of the bus, first comes, first get.
NATURE FEES: There is a possibility that some of the nature attractions around Iceland might charge an entrance fee during the trip. These entrance fees are not included in the tour price and need to be paid by all tour members additionally on the spot, when entering any of these nature sites. Locations, amount of entrance fee, form of payment and other details are not known at the present time and are subject to change.
Day 1, MON: WELCOME TO ICELAND (50 km/31 mls)
The Flybus shuttle brings you from Keflavík International airport to Reykjavík where you spend the first night in Iceland. We provide you with ideas how to explore Iceland's capital on your own.
Day 2, TUE: GOLDEN CIRCLE (290 km/180 mls)
We see classic highlights today. We explore Gullfoss, the beautiful double "Golden Falls" and we walk through the active geothermal area of Geysir, where Strokkur "the churn" spouts up to 25 meters (70 feet) every five to seven minutes. A visit to the ancient Viking Parliament area and UNESCO world heritage site of Þingvellir National Park tops the day off before travelling along the scenic shores of Hvalfjörður fjord.
Overnight in Borgarfjörður, West Iceland.
Day 3, WED: SNÆFELLSNES PENINSULA AND LAVA CAVE (190 km/118 mls)
This morning we are introduced to the Icelandic sagas in the settlement center in Borgarnes. The Snæfellsnes Peninsula "the peninsula of the snowy mountain" juts out from Iceland's west coast, like a long arm with a clenched fist at its tip, and is in many ways a microcosm of the whole island. A rugged mountain chain runs its length, capped by the 1,446 meter Snæfellsjökull, a mystical cone-shaped strato volcano. We travel around the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, through lava fields and along the ocean with many classic Icelandic photo opportunities. We visit the most popular sites at the national park where volcanic craters, lava flows, an ice cap, glaciated peaks, fjords, sandy beaches, and high cliffs shape its landscapes.
We follow the adventure of Jules Verne's classic science fiction novel about the journey to the center of the Earth. Do not miss your chance to go on your own trip to the interior of the Earth under the glacier Snæfellsjökull! This lava cave tour takes you 35 meters underground and about 200 meters into the lava cube called Vatnshellir. During the tour you reach two different sections of the cave by a long and narrow staircase. The upper section has great features and unique formations of lava statues curved on the sides of the lava tube. In the lower part of the lava cave you experience total quietness and even total darkness when your guide switches off the light. The total duration of the lava cave tour is approximately one hour.
Overnight in the Grundarfjörður/Stykkishólmur area.
Day 4: THU: ICELAND'S WESTERNMOST POINT (230 km/143 mls)
We need to wake up early and catch the morning car ferry Baldur from Stykkishólmur to Brjánslækur in the West Fjords. On the way over Breiðafjörður bay, the ferry stops on the island of Flatey. If the weather is nice you enjoy a magnificent view of the bay's countless islands as well as the glacier Snæfellsjökull. We follow the coastline and stop at the folk and transport museum in Hnjótur. We continue through a very remote and sparsely populated region to the bird cliffs of Látrabjarg, the westernmost point of Iceland (and Europe) where you can see puffins from mid-May till mid-August. We take a memorable walk in the wilderness to the top of the highest bird cliffs in Iceland. Látrabjarg is known in the world for its density of Nordic birds. Puffins, razorbills, guillemots, fulmars, cormorants, kittiwakes and other cliff birds flock either in hundreds, thousands and even in millions. This is a place where you can get very close to the seabirds and even if you're not into birdwatching, you are entertained by the comic puffins and mesmerized by the sheer number of birds.
Overnight at Flokalundur or Patreksfjörður.
Day 5, FRI: BEAUTIFUL WEST FJORDS (260 km/162 mls)
We travel over mountains and along the shore of many scenic fjords until we reach the majestic fjord Arnarfjörður, surrounded by high mountains. At the bottom of the fjord we come across the unique waterfall Dynjandi with its seven levels of plunging water, declared the country's most beautiful waterfall by the people of Iceland. We continue over a mountain pass and travel along the southern shores of the West Fjords. This is a route less travelled and is characterized by sheer cliffs, deep cut bays and narrow stretches of coastal lowland. We overnight at the remote Vogur Country Lodge in West Iceland. This is a truly peaceful and beautiful place close to Breiðafjörður Bay, giving you the feeling of being all alone in Iceland.
Day 6, SAT: HEADING NORTH (350 km/217 mls)
In the morning we travel mostly off-the-beaten path, see abandoned farms, beautiful little country churches and Icelandic horses. At Haukadalur, there's a rather authentic replica of the homestead of Erik the Red, the famous explorer who founded the Icelandic colony in Greenland. His son Leif-the-Lucky, born in Haukadalur, Iceland, was the first European to set foot in North America. Now the excavated and reconstructed farm in Haukadalur is a living Viking museum, a fun, informative and a photogenic place. The landscape is dominated by mountains, lakes, valleys, sea and wide open spaces. We head north and stop at a local farm for a horse show where we learn about the unique qualities of Iceland's special breed. Afterwards we travel through the fertile farmlands and fjord landscapes of Northwest Iceland before we visit the charming town of Akureyri, Iceland's second largest city. We stay 2 nights in the capital of North Iceland.
Day 7, SUN: NORTHERNMOST TOWN (160 km/99 mls)
During a 6 hours excursion we see spectacular fjord landscapes while travelling to Siglufjörður, Iceland's northernmost town and known as the herring capital of the North Atlantic. Siglufjörður is located on the mountainous Tröllaskagi Peninsula. On the way we pass small fishing villages and stop at a deserted valley that even most Icelanders have not seen. Included is a visit to the Herring Museum and also beer tasting at a local micro-brewery. The rest of the day is free at leisure. Maybe you like to go shopping, visit a geothermal swimming pool or join an optional whale watching tour at 17:00 or 20:30.
Day 8, MON: GEOLOGICAL WONDERS AND NATURE BATHS (150 km/93 mls)
We explore Goðafoss, the waterfall of the Gods, and continue to lake Mývatn, known for its rich bird life and extraordinary volcanic lava landscapes. We visit pseudo craters, walk in the lava field Dimmuborgir, climb up to the rim of the ash crater Hverfjall, see the hot springs and bubbling mud pools of Námaskarð, and travel to the crater lake Víti in the Krafla geothermal fields. In the afternoon relax and soak at the Mývatn Nature Baths.
Overnight near lake Mývatn.
Day 9, TUE: THE SECRET OF THE EAST (290 km/180 mls)
We travel to Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall in the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park. From there we head through the uninhabited highlands to East Iceland. We explore the northernmost fjord on the East Fjord mountain range. The isolated village Bakkagerði has only 120 inhabitants and is a charming village, built snugly next to the steep mountainside. Driving to Borgarfjörður Eystri is dramatic and rewarding. The colorful mountains are simply unique and impressive. We experience an unusual opportunity to visit a traditional Icelandic fishing village, still relying on small boat fishing. There is an art gallery in the village, displaying the work of Jóhannes Kjarval. He is a well-known Icelandic painter who grew up in Borgarfjörður Eystri and his hometown and its landscape have much influenced his work. Borgarfjörður Eystri is home to an extensive population of elves – judging by the 172 local folk tales involving elves. On the outskirts of the village is Álfaborg, a protected site where the queen of elves is believed to live within a uniquely shaped rock castle. The elf stories provide a fascinating lecture especially for the younger generation.
Day 10, WED: FJORDS, GLACIERS AND ICE (450 km/280 mls)
It's a day to admire the dramatic fjord landscape and its tiny fishing villages at the end of twisty roads in the East Fjords and en route we visit an interesting stone collection. In the afternoon we see Vatnajökull – Europe's biggest glacier that is visible all over Southeast Iceland. Past the town of Höfn, we stop for a boat ride amongst the floating icebergs on the glacial lagoon at Jökulsárlón. The night is spent near Skaftafell on the southern part of Vatnajökull National Park.
Day 11, THU: VATNAJÖKULL NATIONAL PARK AND THE SOUTH (340 km/211 mls)
Visit Skaftafell at the Vatnajökull National Park, covered by ice and nestled below Iceland's highest mountain, the 2,110 meter high Hvannadalshnjúkur. We walk close to one of the many glacial tongues in the area – a kodak moment. We cross a sandy desert and drive along the south coast, always between the sea, mountainous cliffs, glaciers and waterfalls. We stroll along the black lava beach and bird cliffs near the village of Vík. At the Eyjafjallajökull Information Center we learn how it is to live next to a glacier and an active volcano. We stop at the Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls. Farewell dinner at a nice gourmet restaurant in Reykjavík and the last night is spent in Iceland's capital.
Day 12, FRI: DEPARTURE HOME (50 km/31 mls)
The Flybus airport shuttle picks you up at your hotel and takes you the Keflavík International airport.
Total mileage in 10 days is about 2,710 km (1,683 miles) which is an average of 271 km (169 miles) per day. You spend about 4 hours per day on the bus, depending on road conditions, traffic and daily distances. On some days, especially in the West Fjords, the driving might be longer than on some other days. This tour has an average of 1-2 hours light walking each day, mostly short walks of 5-20 minutes, in order to explore and reach many of the natural treasures around Iceland. Most trails in Iceland are nature trails which include uneven terrain, gravels, stairs and not paved trails.
Most hotels, farms and guesthouses used on this tour are simple tourist-class category, many of them set in the most stunning locations