Explore glaciers, geysers and geothermal hot springs in Iceland

Travel to Iceland and delve into the ancient land of Vikings and volcanoes on this eight-day 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.

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Terms & Conditions

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.

  • Spend the evening at the quirky farm town of Modrudalur, an isolated settlement and the highest inhabited place in Iceland.

  • Walk to the mottled blue, grey and black tongue of Vatnajokull glacier, an ice cap so large it covers eight per cent of the country.

  • Glide past blue-white icebergs on a boat tour of Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and soak up the silence of the surrounding grey sand desert.

  • Visit tiny villages and detour off the beaten path with the kind of flexibility that’s only possible when you’re part of a small group and travelling in a private vehicle.

Is this trip right for you?

  • A remote location and high-performing currency are just two reasons Iceland can be an expensive destination. This affects things like museum entrance fees and outdoor activities, but is especially noticeable when eating out. Your leader will be able to advise on how to save money, but 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 extremity of the weather makes for incredible scenery, but it also means Iceland can be very cold, especially at the start and end of the season and at night. Please bring appropriate clothing for adverse weather conditions. On the rare occasion where your leader must alter the itinerary due to the weather, an alternative will be offered.

  • In order to access what’s off the beaten track, a few long drives are in order. 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 twin-share, solo travellers will share a room with other travellers of the same gender. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. Please note that a single supplement is not available on this trip. For those travelling as a duo, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together. In some cases, bathroom facilities will be shared rather than ensuite.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020.
View the 2019 itinerary
Hallo! Welcome to Reykjavik, which 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. Your adventure kicks off with a welcome meeting at 6 pm at your accommodation. If you arrive early, why not 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 perhaps 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
You can check in at the joining point accommodation any time after 2 pm. While early check-in is not guaranteed, you can store your luggage until needed. Please note that the guest rooms may be spread across several buildings, no more than a 5-minute walk from each other, along a quiet street in central Reykjavik. It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
Make an early start to beat the crowds on the Golden Circle route. Head 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 are slowly pulling apart. The resulting gap is partly filled with fresh water and is clearly visible. From here head to the Geysir geothermal area, checking out Strokkur and watching as the geyser swells with blue water before erupting and shooting 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 in the Hvolsvollur region, our overnight stop for the night. 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. Join the effort to counteract this and head out into the hills surrounding the property to plant trees.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Golden Circle (Thingevellir National Park, Strokkur Geysir, Gullfoss Waterfall)
  • Responsible Travel Tree Planting Activity
  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
Optional Activities
  • Fludir Secret Lagoon - ISK3000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Total driving distance today is approximately 300 kilometres, or 4-5 hours. Please note that the tree planting activity is only possible during the summer months from mid-May to mid-September and depends on weather conditions. Today is a full day of activities so our arrival at the guesthouse will be at around 8 pm.
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 a strenuous 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 walk on the mottled blue, grey and black face of Skaftafellsjokull, one of the tongues of epic ice cap Vatnajokull. 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, located on another lagoon that is sheltered by a black sandbar.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon Boat Tour
  • Skaftafell National Park
  • Skogafoss Waterfall
  • Rocks of Reynisfjara
Optional Activities
  • Vatnajokull Glacier Walk - ISK9500
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Total driving distance today is approximately 300 kilometres, or 4 hours.
Take a scenic drive along the rugged coast of the East Fjords. 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 being written in French. You’ll also stop at Djupivogur which became a member of the cittaslow movement in 2013 and is aiming to be the Happiest Town in Iceland, and drop by Egilsstadir, home to the mythic Lagarfljot Wyrm. Continue along mountain roads into the highland to the farm village of Modrudalur. At 469 metres (1539 feet) above sea level, Modrudalur is the highest inhabited place in Iceland, and snow can be seen almost year-round. Stretch your legs with a walk to the farm's church, built in 1949 by farmer Jon Adalsteinn Stefansson in memory of his wife. Spend the evening in this unique town, which is small but rich in history.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • East Fjord Scenic Drive with stops: Djupivogur, Faskrudsfjordur
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Total driving distance approximately 400 kilometres and will take 5—6 hours. Today's drive is all about the stunning scenery with plenty of stops for sightseeing.
Set off for magnificent Dettifoss, Europe's mightiest waterfall at 100-metres wide and with a 45-metre drop into the craggy shores of Jokulsargljufur canyon below. It’s so powerful that it’s vibrations can be felt underfoot. Continue to volcanic Lake Myvatn. Next is Namaskard, where steam rises from the sulphuric terrain and it’s 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. Continue to the crescent shaped Godafoss waterfall, where legend says a lawmaker priest threw the idols of the Norse gods when Christianity became Iceland’s official religion in AD 1000. Travel on to Akureyri and settle into your accommodation for the evening.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Namaskard Boiling Mud Pools, Dimmuborgir & Skutustadir Crater Group
  • Dettifoss Waterfall
  • Lake Myvatn
  • Godafoss Waterfall
Optional Activities
  • Myvatn Nature Baths - ISK4300
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Total driving distance today is approximately 250 kilometres, or 3 hours.
Situated at the head of Iceland's longest fjord, Akureyri is the nation's second-largest city. Embark on a short walking 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. Ask your leader for details. Later, continue to 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. Look forward to an included home-cooked dinner this evening. If you are up for it, you can also join in a cooking class with your host and help prepare tonight's meal.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Akureyri Walking Tour
Optional Activities
  • Akureyri Whale Watching Excursion (seasonal) - ISK19990
  • Cooking Class - ISK1500
  • Lysuholslaug Thermal Pool (seasonal) - ISK1000
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
Total driving distance today is approximately 400 kilometres or 6 hours.
Continue exploring the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, beginning with the basaltic pebble beach Djupalonssandur. Continue to the white beach at Budir, then go on to Arnarstapi, where a short stroll along the coastal cliffs exposes you to rich bird life and other wonders of nature. Next up is Lysuholslaug, where you can bathe in thermal pools (depending on the seasons) or check out the pony-sized Icelandic horses grazing in the fields. In the afternoon head back to Reykjavik to complete your circuit of Iceland, passing beautiful Hvalfjordur (Whale Fjord) along the way. The rest of the evening is yours for the taking. Perhaps head out for dinner with your fellow travellers and toast with a glass of Brennivin, a savoury schnapps.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Snaefellsnes National Park
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Total driving distance today is approximately 300 kilometres, or 4 hours.
Today is departure day and time to say sjaumst (see you soon)! Check out time is at midday. If you are departing later, you can arrange with reception to store your luggage at the hotel. If you wish to spend more time in Reykjavik, we'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Please speak to your booking agent at the time of booking. 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, or see killer whales just offshore on a whale watching expedition. Alternatively, while away the hours with a soak in the geothermal waters of the famous Blue Lagoon.
Optional Activities
  • Maritime Museum - ISK1700
  • Harpa Concert Hall - Free
  • Nauthólsvík Thermal Beach - Free
  • Perlan Museum - ISK3900
  • Volcano House - ISK1790
  • Whale Watching (Seasonal) - ISK9000
  • Blue Lagoon - ISK11000
  • Settlement Exhibition - ISK1700
  • Saga Museum - ISK2200
  • Whales of Iceland Museum - ISK2900
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

6 breakfasts, 2 dinners

Transport

Private minibus with free Wi-Fi

Accommodation

Guesthouse & Farm Stay (7 nights)

Included activities

  • Golden Circle (Thingevellir National Park, Strokkur Geysir, Gullfoss Waterfall)
  • Responsible Travel Tree Planting Activity
  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
  • Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon Boat Tour
  • Skaftafell National Park
  • Skogafoss Waterfall
  • Rocks of Reynisfjara
  • East Fjord Scenic Drive with stops: Djupivogur, Faskrudsfjordur
  • Namaskard Boiling Mud Pools, Dimmuborgir & Skutustadir Crater Group
  • Dettifoss Waterfall
  • Lake Myvatn
  • Godafoss Waterfall
  • Akureyri Walking Tour
  • Snaefellsnes National Park

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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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