The Iceland Discovery Tour is operated all year round and designed to include the best highlights of West & South Iceland. Head to the countryside: from the regions of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in the west to the Vatnajökull glacier in the southeast. From mid-September to mid-April profit to search for the Aurora Borealis away from the big city lights.
Highlights and Experiences:
- See amazing Icelandic landscapes mixed with soft adventure and cultural experiences during the day.
- Climb a volcano crater and walk between two continental tectonic plates
- Visit a traditional shark farmer, turf farmsteads and churches
- Relax in the Blue Lagoon and learn about living with volcanoes
- See Icelandic horses and enjoy a fjord cruise
- Natural ice cave tour at Vatnajökull glacier for departures between November 15th and March 15
- Boat trip between floating icebergs for departures May through September
- From mid-September to mid-April the tour is perfect for a Northern lights holiday as we spend most nights in the countryside, away from light pollution, in order to maximise the chances to see the Northern Lights. Track record of 85-98% chance of seeing the Northern Lights.
Day 1: WELCOME to ICELAND (50 km/31 mls)
Private airport transfer from Keflavík International airport to Reykjavík where you spend the night.
Included choice of activities: Horseback riding or whale watching or extra sightseeing, depending on arrival or departure time.
.Day 2: REYKJAVIK CITY TOUR & BORGARFJÖRÐUR SAGA VALLEY
(245 km/152 mls)
Meet your tour guide who shows the highlights of Iceland's
. Then we head west. Borgarfjörður
is known as the Saga valley because of its many important historical events. We get a chance to climb the Grábrók volcano crater
and get warmed at Deildartunguhver
, Europe's most powerful hot spring
which produces 180 litres per second of water that is nearly boiling - 97° Celsius. Hraunfossar
is a series of waterfalls
pouring from beneath a wide lava field. Barnafoss
– the Children’s falls, is nearby with its own tragic tale. We spend two nights in Borgarnes
, West Iceland.
.Day 3: SNÆFELLSNES PENINSULA & FJORD CRUISE
(250 km/155 mls)
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. We travel to the charming fishing town of Stykkishólmur for a cruise in the Breiðafjörður fjord. In the afternoon a uniquely Icelandic “treat“ awaits us at Bjarnarhöfn, where they make Hákarl - the fermented shark. Depending on road and weather conditions, we visit the fishing village of Grundarfjörður, a place with an impressive coastline and mountains, lakes and waterfalls behind the village. Jutting out into the bay rises one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland, Mt. Kirkjufell.
.Day 4: GOLDEN CIRCLE & ICELANDIC HORSES
(220 km/136 mls)
Today we travel along the Hvalfjörður fjord
. The first stop is at an Icelandic wool outlet
store, just to see what they do with all those sheep! We continue inland to Þingvellir National Park
, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We travel the Golden Circle
route and see steam rising from the Geysir
geothermal fields as we arrive. There is a variety of hot springs and bubbling pools. The original geyser is now dormant but has been replaced by Strokkur "the Churn" which erupts at 5-10 minute intervals. On we travel to Gullfoss
, a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river and attracts tourists and travellers in summer and winter. In the afternoon, you learn about the Icelandic horse
, its special qualities and history and visit a geothermal greenhouse
, before we reach the accommodation in South Iceland.
.Day 5: NATURAL WONDERS OF SOUTH ICELAND & EYJAFJALLAJÖKULL VOLCANO
(220 km/136 mls)
Today we travel along the South coast. At the Lava & Volcano Information Center, we learn about living with active volcanoes. Further east, in Skógar, we visit one of Iceland's finest folk museums. This museum contains an outstanding collection of farm and domestic artifacts from Iceland's past and several turf-built houses. Nearby is Skógafoss waterfall which is 60 meters high and one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. In the afternoon we take a stroll on the black lava beach and along bird cliffs at Reynisfjara in South Iceland. We spend 2 nights near Kirkjubæjarklaustur in the Vatnajökull National Park region.
Included choice of activities: 2-hour round-trip walk to the epic plane wreck on the black beach or glacier hike on Solheimajokull glacier or snowmobile tour on Myrdalsjokull glacier.
.Day 6: SKAFTAFELL NATIONAL PARK & VATNAJÖKULL GLACIER
(280 km/174 mls)
Today’s program is all about glaciers, ice and icebergs. We travel to Jökulsárlón
, a glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs, and we explore the extraordinary site and might see seals swimming in arctic waters. You can walk on the black sandy beach where large icebergs get stranded. In the afternoon we visit the tiny turf church at Hof
and spend time at Vatnajökull
, Europe’s largest national park, which has Iceland’s highest mountains, an alpine environment, and Europe's largest glacier.
.Day 7: SOUTH SHORE, REYKJAVÍK & BLUE LAGOON
(370 km/230 mls)
From Kirkjubæjarklaustur we head across the Eldhraun lava field
to the village of Vík
, where we make a photo stop. The black lava beach with high bird cliffs and pounding waves is very impressive. Further west we reach the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall
which plunges from the mountain. There is a trail that goes behind the falling water and offers interesting views if you are prepared to get wet! In the afternoon we get to soak in the famous Blue Lagoon
. Overnight in Reykjavík.
.Day 8: DEPARTURE HOME
(50 km/31 mls)
Private transfer from Reykjavík to Keflavík airport.
Daily driving: Total mileage without airport transfer is about 1.585 km (983 miles) which is an average of 265 km (164 miles) per day. You spend about 3,5 hours per day driving, depending on road conditions, traffic and daily distances. On some days the driving might be longer than on some other days.
Note: In rare cases, a change of itinerary might be necessary during winter programs in Iceland, should snow, road and weather conditions not allow to follow the scheduled itinerary, and certain outdoor activities might be cancelled. In this case, no refund will be given, but GJ-Travel will try to find reasonable alternatives where and whenever possible.
- Private airport transfers
- Private tour with English speaking, professional driver-guide for tour program as per itinerary
- Best available hotels (4-star in Reykjavik, a mix of 3-star and 4-star in the countryside)
- Daily breakfast buffet
- Selection of activities as per tour itinerary
- Parking and entrance fees as per itinerary
- Room & board for driver-guide outside Reykjavik
Value-added and included, depending on season:
- Boat trip on the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon on day 6 (May-Sept) and 2x 3-course dinner or
- Natural ice cave at Vatnajökull glacier from mid-November to mid-March on day 6 or
- 3x 3-course dinner when boat trip on the glacial lagoon or natural ice-cave is not offered.
NORTHERN LIGHTS: This itinerary is ideal as a Northern Lights holiday for the period Mid-September to Mid-April. Note that the time from Mid-December to Mid-January offers only about 5-6 hours of daylight and therefore not an ideal travel time for this tour program.