Visit Iceland and see glaciers, geysers and geothermal hot springs

Travel to Iceland and delve into the ancient land of Vikings and volcanoes on this 5-day Icelandic adventure. Marvel at geothermal hot springs, witness the steamy eruptions of a giant geyser, touch the tongue of Europe's biggest glacier and scale giant waterfalls. Travel through Iceland's desolate lands, so mysterious and ethereal that they have inspired artists, poets and musicians for centuries. The ancient, untamed beauty of Iceland will stay with you forever.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Reykjavik, Iceland
Finish
Reykjavik, Iceland
Country
Iceland
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer
Code
BMRI
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • There's a lot more to Iceland than ice (and Bjork). Ford the fjords, glaciers, volcanoes, black sands and thermal springs of this magical land in the world's far north

  • Discover Iceland's fascinating history of Reykjavik, and visit the astonishing Lutheran church of Hallgrimskirkja

  • The Eurasian and American tectonic plates may now be pulling apart in Thingvellir National Park, but over a thousand years ago this was the site where Iceland's first parliament came together

  • Hike to the tongue of Europe's biggest glacier and marvel at the walls of ice in Skaftafell National Park

  • Southern Iceland is a world of striking contrasts. Walk past blue-white icebergs at the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, and soak up the silence of the surrounding grey sand desert

Is this trip right for you?

  • Iceland can be an expensive destination in many ways, from museum entrance fees to visiting a cafe, but especially in terms of eating out. Your leader will be able to advise on how to save money. In remote areas the only option for dinner will be at the guesthouse we are staying at. Please stock up on food at a supermarket prior to arrival if you would like to opt out eating at the guesthouse's restaurant.

  • The destinations visited on this trip can be cold throughout the year, especially at the start and end of the season and at night. Please bring appropriate clothing for adverse weather conditions. There may be the rare occasion where your leader has to alter the itinerary and activities due to the weather. In this case an alternative will be offered.

  • Due to the remote locations we visit, there are a few long drives on this trip. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the scenery and spend some time getting to know the other members of your group.

  • As accommodation on this trip is multi-share, single travellers will share a room with other travellers of the same sex. Twin share, quad share and multi share are possible depending on the season and the make-up of the group. A single supplement is not available to be booked on this trip. Hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together/apart. Please also be aware that many guesthouses in Iceland offer shared bathrooms rather than en-suite facilities. Rooms in Iceland can be small, and at times you may be accommodated a short walk away from the main building.

Itinerary

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 9th 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm today – see reception for more details. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand. You can check in at the joining point hotel anytime after 2pm. While early check-in is not guaranteed, feel free to store your luggage until needed.
This morning take a short guided walk of Reykjavik, and visit the old harbour, the city center, the famous Hallgrimskirkja church and the Pearl monument. Following the route of the 'Golden Circle' head out to Þingvellir National Park, home to the Parliament Plains. Þingvellir was the location of Iceland's first parliament, founded in 930 and ostensibly the world’s oldest, and is the location of the Silfra fissure, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates slowly pull apart. The resulting gap is partly filled with fresh water and is clearly visible. From here head to the Geysir geothermal area, checking out the Strokkur Geyser – get a thrill as the geyser swells with blue water before erupting and shooting a cloud of water some 20-30 metres in the air. Finally, be spellbound by the immense beauty and sheer power of the Gullfoss (Golden) double waterfall on the Hvita River, before proceeding to your guesthouse in the Hvolsvöllur region. The guesthouse is the leader in responsible tourism and sustainability in Iceland. Since the arrival of the first settlers to Iceland, deforestation has taken place in order to make space for pastures. Overgrazing has then led to soil erosion. With this in mind, the owners had the idea to start a tree planting project on their land to contribute to lowering CO2 and counteract soil erosion. You will have the option to join the effort and head out into the hills surrounding the property to plant trees yourself.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Reykjavik City Tour
  • Golden Circle (Thingevellir National Park, Strokkur Geysir, Gullfoss Waterfall)
Optional Activities
  • Responsible Travel Tree Planting Activity - ISK1950
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Total driving distance approximately 250 kilometres / 3-4 hours
Begin the day with a visit to a breathtaking waterfalls, Skógafoss. Skógafoss is a giant of a waterfall, 25 metres wide and also dropping down 60 metres. You can get up close and feel its power, and also climb a (long) windy set of stairs up to a stunning viewpoint. From here, continue along Iceland's beautiful South Shore to take in more of the country’s renowned natural wonders, spotting bird colonies on the promontory of Dyrhólaey, which is rich in birdlife and Iceland's southernmost point. You’ll also see the amazing stepping-stone rock formations of Reynisdrangar and its night black sand beach Reynisfjara. Continue to the one of Iceland's undisputed highlights, the glacier lagoon of Jökulsárlón.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Skogafoss Waterfall
  • South Shore Visit
  • Glacier Lagoon (Jokulsarlon)
Optional Activities
  • Boat ride on Glacier Lagoon (Jokulsarlon) - ISK4500
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Total driving distance approximately 300 kilometres / 4-5 hours
Today drive to Skaftafell National Park, where you'll have the option to take a walk on Europe's biggest ice cap – Vatnajokull – which has around 30 glaciers flowing out from it. No experience is necessary to partake in the hike. Alternatively just embark on a hike to the glacier tongue. It’s sobering to think that the glacier is retreating due to rising world temperatures, and in some years the glacier may be gone. Later on today, journey on to the black sand seaside town of Vik for some free time to explore. With the sea on one side and high cliffs on the other, this dramatically positioned quaint little village is Iceland's most southerly mainland settlement. In the afternoon it is time to head back to Reykjavik to enjoy all the capital has to offer.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Skaftafell National Park
Optional Activities
  • Glacial Walk on Vatnajokull Glacier - ISK9000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Total driving distance approximately 450 kilometres / 6-7 hours
Today is departure day and time to say 'sjaumst'. As there are no activities planned, you are able to depart the hotel at any time. If you wish to stay on in Reykjavik we are happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Please speak to your travel agent at the time of booking. Iceland's capital has an eclectic arts and music scene, an abundance of quirky cafes and a laid-back vibe. Perhaps browse some of the city's great art galleries. If you feel like something more active, you can take a ride on an Icelandic horse, see killer whales just off-shore on a whale watching expedition, or pull on a dry suit to snorkel between two tectonic plates in the Silfra Fissure, a unique experience that you can't find anywhere else in the world. Alternatively, while away the hours with a soak in the geothermal waters of the famous Blue Lagoon.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The Blue Lagoon has limited availability, and during peak times tickets sell out far in advance. We recommend you book your time slot online in advance if you would like to be sure of a certain time/date for your visit: bluelagoon.com.

Meals

2 breakfasts

Transport

Private minibus

Accommodation

Guesthouse (3 nights), Hotel (1 night)

Included activities

  • Reykjavik City Tour
  • Golden Circle (Thingevellir National Park, Strokkur Geysir, Gullfoss Waterfall)
  • Skogafoss Waterfall
  • South Shore Visit
  • Glacier Lagoon (Jokulsarlon)
  • Skaftafell National Park

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
Please note that a single supplement is not available on this trip, as many of the properties we use on this trip have only a limited number of rooms. If a single room becomes available at check-in for any of the nights, there may be the option to upgrade to a single room and pay the surcharge locally for that night.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Iceland Express trips score an average of 4.19 out of 5 based on 16 reviews in the last year.

Iceland Express, September 2017

Els Cortens

Iceland Express, September 2017

Lisa Paschal