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 10-day Icelandic adventure. Marvel at geothermal hot springs, witness the steamy eruptions of a giant geyser, touch the tongue of Europe's biggest glacier, see lava that's still warm after 20 years 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.


Start
Reykjavik, Iceland
Finish
Reykjavik, Iceland
Destination
Iceland
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
BMSI
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll 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 on a tour of Reykjavik, which includes a visit to 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 in Skaftafell National Park

  • Southern Iceland is a world of striking contrasts. Glide past blue-white icebergs on a boat tour of 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 outdoor activities, 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 either twin or multi share, single travellers will share a room with other travellers of the same sex. 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 most hotels and 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. Please note that a single supplement is not available on this trip.

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
  • Guesthouse (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. Please note that the guest rooms may be spread across a number of buildings all situated along a quiet street in central Reykjavik, a 5-minute walk from each other.
Make an early start to beat the crowds on the 'Golden Circle' route. Head first to Thingvellir National Park, home to the Parliament Plains and location of Iceland's first parliament. Thingvellir also contains 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. Be spellbound by the immense beauty and sheer power of the Gullfoss (Golden) double waterfall on the Hvita River, before proceeding to a remote farm the Hvolsvollur region. Since the arrival of the first settlers to Iceland, deforestation has made space for pastures. Join the effort to counteract this and head out into the hills surrounding the property to plant trees. Later, pay a visit to the immense Seljandsfoss waterfall, where a you can trek behind the 65-metre high cascade showers moss covered rock. In the evening, get cooking with your group for a self-catered dinner at our guesthouse.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Golden Circle (Thingevellir National Park, Strokkur Geysir, Gullfoss Waterfall)
  • Responsible Travel Tree Planting Activity
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Total driving distance approximately 300 kilometres / 4-5 hours
Begin the day with a visit to the breathtaking Skogafoss waterfall. At 25-metres wide with a 60-metre drop, this waterfall roars. You can feel it’s power up close with an hour-long walk up a windy set of stairs up to a stunning viewpoint. The black sands and bizarre, rectangular rock formations of Reynisfjara are up next. Then, travel to Skaftafell National Park, where you have the option to traverse the mottled blue, grey and black face of Svinafellsjokull, one of the tongues of Vatnajokull. If you would prefer, you can take a visit to the Skaftafell Visitor Centre and the Skaftafell Glacier Lagoon, where icebergs jut from the still water. Cap off a busy day by cruising between jagged icebergs in an included boat tour of Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. From here it is not far to our overnight stay, picturesquely located on another lagoon sheltered by a black sandbar.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon Boat Tour
  • Skaftafell National Park
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Total driving distance approximately 300 kilometres / 4 hours
Take a scenic drive along the rugged coast of the East Fjord’s, making stops along the way. Enjoy spectacular views of high mountains, deep fjords, spectacular waterfalls, glaciers, and quaint fishing villages. Make stops along the way at small but notable towns like Faskrudsfjordur, where historical ties have resulted in street signs written in French. Stop at the wooded village of Egilsstadir, home to the mythic Lagarfljot Wyrm – a serpentine monster that allegedly lives in the lake the town sits beside. You’ll have a free evening to do as you please in this charming little spot, perhaps head out for dinner in town – local specialties include reindeer and mushrooms.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Total driving distance approximately 400 kilometres / 5-6 hours. Today's drive is all about the stunning scenery, with plenty of scenic stops for photos.
Journey further through this black and green wonderland, making a stop in Seydisfjordur, a bohemian and quirky town filled with multi-coloured houses that sit beaneath steep, towering mountains. Continue along mountain roads into the Icelandic interior and the highland village of Modrudalur. At 469 metres (1,539 feet) above sea level, Modrudalur Valley is the highest inhabited place in Iceland, and snow can be seen almost year round. You’ll arrive around lunchtime, and the rest is up to you. As a relatively flat valley, it’s the perfect place to break out your hiking shoes.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Total driving distance approximately 200 kilometres / 3 hours.
From Modrudalur you will drive to the magnificent Dettifoss waterfall, Europe's mightiest waterfall. It’s so powerful that the vibrations can be felt in the nearby rocks. The falls are 100-metres wide, with a 45-metre drop down into the craggy shores of Jokulsargljufur canyon below. Then, continue to Lake Myvatn, where recent and old volcanic activity has shaped the landscapes of the area, making it one of the most interesting geological regions in the northern hemisphere. Watch steam rise from the red, sulphuric terrain of Namaskard and its hard to believe you’re on Earth and not Mars. Take a walk around the lava stacks and caves of Dimmuborgir and then observe the massive pseudo craters of Skutustadir. If you like, you can even take a soak in the hot blue waters of the Myvatn Nature Baths. Later, enjoy an included dinner at your guesthouse for the evening, nearby Narfastadir.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lake Myvatn
  • Dettifoss Waterfall
  • Namaskard Boiling Mud Pools, Dimmuborgir & Skutustadir Crater Group
Optional Activities
  • Myvatn Nature Baths - ISK4300
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Total driving distance approximately 200 kilometres / 4 hours.
This morning, drive to the impressive Godafoss waterfall (the Waterfall of the Gods). It’s said that into this 30-metre-wide, gently curving waterfall, a pagan priest symbolically threw the idols of the Norse gods in the year 1,000, signifying Christianity becoming Iceland’s official religion. From Godafoss continue on to Akureyri. Situated at the head of Iceland's longest fjord, Akureyri is the nation's second largest city. Embark on a short guided tour of the town, taking in the striking church and other local sights. If you’re travelling between May and December, you might have the option to partake in a whale watching excursion. Otherwise, there is plenty more to see, including museums and botanical gardens. In the afternoon, journey on to Gauksmyri, where you'll spend the night.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Godafoss Waterfall
Optional Activities
  • Akureyri Whale Watching Excursion - ISK19990
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Total driving distance approximately 300 kilometres / 4 hours
Continue your journey into Snaefellsnes National Park, home to the magnificent Snaefellsjokull Glacier, which played a starring role in Jules Verne's 1864 novel 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth'. Ditch your luggage at your family-run guesthouse and then head to the basaltic pebble beach Djupalonssandur. Visit a rural church and the white beach at Budir, and Arnarstapi, where a short stroll along the coastal cliffs exposes you to rich bird life and other wonders of nature. If you’d like, you could bath in the natural pools of Lysuholslaug (open seasonally only), or perhaps explore the land on horseback with a short ride around Lysuholl. In the evening, you may wish to partake in a cooking class, learning the art of Icelandic fare.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Snaefellsnes National Park
Optional Activities
  • Lysuholslaug Thermal Pool (seasonal) - ISK1000
  • Lysuholl Riding Centre - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Total driving distance approximately 400 kilometres / 5 hours. Please note that much of today's drive is on an unpaved road which may be rough in places.
Today head back towards Reykjavik to complete your circuit of Iceland, passing beautiful Hvalfjordur (Whale Fjord) along the way. Upon arrival at midday, enjoy a one-hour guided walking tour of the city, through the pedestrian zone and the Hallgrimskirkja church – intended to resemble glaciers and mountains. The rest of the evening and afternoon are yours for the taking with pleenty of sights to choose from. Later in the evening you may wish to have a final dinner with your fellow travellers.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Reykjavik Walking Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Total driving distance approximately 200 kilometres / 3 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. Check out time is at midday. If you are departing later, you can arrange to store your luggage at the hotel. As limited time is spent in Reykjavik on this trip, it’s recommended to stay a few extra days. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Please ask your travel consultant for details.
Optional Activities
  • Blue Lagoon - ISK9500
  • Whale Watching (Seasonal) - ISK9000
  • Volcano House - ISK1590
  • Whales of Iceland Museum - ISK2900
  • Saga Museum - ISK2100
  • Settlement Exhibition - ISK1650
  • Perlan Museum - ISK2900
  • Harpa Concert Hall - Free
  • Maritime Museum - ISK1650
  • Silfra Fissure Snorkelling Day Trip - ISK20490
  • Laugarvatn Fontana Geothermal Baths - ISK3800
  • Nauthólsvík Thermal Beach - Free
  • Fludir Secret Lagoon - ISK3000
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

9 breakfasts, 3 dinners

Transport

Private minibus

Accommodation

Hotel (2 nights), Guesthouse & Farm Stay (6 nights), Hostel (1 night)

Included activities

  • Golden Circle (Thingevellir National Park, Strokkur Geysir, Gullfoss Waterfall)
  • Responsible Travel Tree Planting Activity
  • Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon Boat Tour
  • Skaftafell National Park
  • Lake Myvatn
  • Dettifoss Waterfall
  • Namaskard Boiling Mud Pools, Dimmuborgir & Skutustadir Crater Group
  • Godafoss Waterfall
  • Snaefellsnes National Park
  • Reykjavik Walking Tour

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is not available on this trip.

COSTS & PRICES
Iceland can be an expensive destination in many ways, from museum entrance fees to outdoor activities, 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. Stock up on food at a supermarket prior to arrival if you would like to opt out eating at the guesthouse's restaurant. Please make sure you read the trip notes carefully in order to know what is and what isn't included in the trip price.

Essential trip information

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