13-day: Grand Circle


Sample program for 13 days/12 nights

Grand Countryside.jpgMountains, rivers, glaciers and volcanoes will unfold as we take you exploring in four easy stages. Only four hotels are used during the round trip outside Reykjavík which makes the days more relaxed and the evenings a time to ponder and talk to your fellow travellers about your time spent in ever-changing scenery. There will also be opportunities to do some walking in the beautiful countryside. Three contrasting boat trips included in this tour will make you wonder if you have travelled to many different countries... icebergs on the south coast, lush green islands in the west, perhaps whales in the north. This is truly a classic and comfortable Iceland discovery! 

HIGHLIGHTS and EXPERIENCES included:

  • Whale watching tour, weather permitting
  • Visit two National Parks
  • Bird watching boat trip around the islands of Breiðafjörður fjord
  • Soak in the Nature Baths at Lake Mývatn
  • Boat trip on glacial lagoon among floating icebergs (May-Sept)
  • Glacier activity at Vatnajökull National Park
  • Skógar folk museum with turf houses
  • Horse show featuring special gaits of the Icelandic horse
  • Stay in only four hotels in the countryside – less packing, more relaxation time
  • One to two hours of walking on average a day


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: Blue Lagoon or whale watching depending on arrival time or departure time.

Golden Circle - Thingvellir.JPGDay 2: REYKJAVÍK-GOLDEN CIRCLE-WEST ICELAND, 
340 km (211 miles)
We leave Reykjavik and drive to the famous double falls at Gullfoss and Geysir hot springs, with a stop by some man-made beauty at the church of Skálholt. We see some history at Þingvellir National Park, site of the ancient Viking Parliament, before continuing to Reykholt. There’s more history here, as this is the home of the 13th-century poet, Snorri Sturluson. We stay in West Iceland for the next two nights. 

Included choice of activitiesHiking on route or visit lava cave.

Bird watching cruise Breiðarfjörður.JPGDay 3: FISHING TOWN & BIRD WATCHING CRUISE, 360 km (223 miles)
Enjoy a day excursion to the amazing Snæfellsnes Peninsula and its lovely “capital”, the charming fishing town of Stykkishólmur. Then it’s off to sea, cruising around Breiðafjörður Fjord, home to thousands of seabirds. Back on land, a uniquely Icelandic treat awaits us at Bjarnarhöfn, where they make Hákarl, the fermented shark. In the afternoon we stop at Europe’s most powerful hot spring Deildartungahver and the lava waterfalls of Hraunfossar

Botanical Garden Akureyri.JPGDay 4: FROM WEST TO NORTH, 445 km (276 miles)
We travel through old lava fields, fertile farmlands and fjord landscapes to Northwest Iceland where we are introduced to the Icelandic horse. Then it’s over a high mountain pass to Akureyri, the capital of North Iceland. We spend the next three nights in the fishing town of Húsavík

Included choice of activitiesHorseback riding or turf farm & turf church visit.

Whale watching Husavik -Humpback blowing.JPGDay 5: WHALE WATCHING AND LEISURE TIME, 3 km (2 miles) 
The day starts with a 3-hour whale watching tour from Húsavík or Akureyri, weather permitting. We have the afternoon free to write postcards, relax and wander around town. There are some interesting museums and you can visit the church, too! 


Day 6: GEOLOGICAL WONDERS AND NATURE BATHS, 150 km (93 miles)
Namaskard in Iceland (3).JPGWe visit the waterfall Goðafoss, en-route to Lake Mývatn. This lake is known for its lush vegetation and countless species of birds, some of which are not found anywhere else in Europe. The unusual lava field Dimmuborgir will be explored and we will walk up to the rim of the ash crater Hverfjall. All of our work is rewarded with a soak in the natural hot springs at Mývatn Nature Baths, before heading back to our accommodation. 

Day 7: FROM NORTH TO EAST, 310 km (192 miles)
Dettifoss waterfall.JPGToday starts with a scenic drive around Tjörnes Peninsula and on tour departures from June to September a visit to the magnificent waterfall Dettifoss, the most powerful in Europe, part of Vatnajökull National Park, before heading through the uninhabited highlands to East Iceland where we stay for the next three nights. 


Day 8: FOREST, WATERFALLS AND MOUNTAINS, 140 km (87 miles)
in East Iceland.JPGIt’s a pretty drive around Lake Lögurinn to Egilsstaðir - please keep an eye out for the monster. We visit the unusual farm mansion at Skriðuklaustur, which was built by a well-known writer. When conditions are right, we can walk up to Hengifoss, one of the highest waterfalls in Iceland. We also take a pretty drive over a mountain pass down to the fishing village of Seyðisfjörður

Day 9: THE SECRET OF THE EAST, 195 km (121 miles)
Borgarfjördur Eystri.JPGBorgarfjörður Eystri is a short wide fjord and grassy fertile valley with a charming fishing village of the same name, and the capital of Iceland’s elf community in East Iceland. Magnificent colourful mountains and numerous beautiful rocks and rare stones are found here. This day tour takes you off-the-beaten-paths!


Day 10: FJORDS, GLACIER AND ICE, 460 km (285 miles)
Glacial lagoon boat trip.JPGWe enjoy the dramatic fjord landscape, twisty roads and fishing villages of the East Fjords. Soon we see Vatnajökull, Europe’s biggest glacier, which dominates Southeast Iceland. We experience the glacier on a boat trip (May-Sept) among the floating icebergs in the glacial lagoon Jökulsárlón. For the next two nights, we stay in the Vatnajökull National Park region. 

Day 11: EUROPE’S LARGEST NATIONAL PARK & GLACIER ACTIVITY, 80 km (50 miles)
We have the whole day to relax, walk, and explore Skaftafell and Vatnajökull National Park. 

Value-added and included activity depending on season: Glacier hike or superjeep/snowmobile tour or a visit to natural ice-cave (mid-November to mid-March).

Seljalandsfoss, South Iceland.jpgDay 12: FROM THE SOUTH TO REYKJAVÍK, 300 km (186 miles)
Our return to Reykjavík goes through the fertile meadows and sandy desert of the south coast, overlooked by mountainous cliffs and glaciers. There are spectacular black lava beaches and several beautiful waterfalls on the way, such as Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss,  and we may spot puffins and even some seals. There’s a short visit to the folk museum at Skógar with its turf houses, before arriving back at the capital. 

Day 13: DEPARTURE HOME50 km (31 mls)
Private transfer from your accommodation in Reykjavík to Keflavík airport.

Note: 

  • This tour is fantastic if you appreciate an average of 1-2 hours of walking each day.
  • Total mileage in 11 days (without airport transfers) is about 2.785 km (1.727 miles) which is an average of 255 km (158 miles) per day, about 3,5 hours per day will be spent driving. On some days the driving might be longer than on some other days.
DEPARTURE DATES:  This itinerary is ideal for the period May to September 

INCLUDED:
  • 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.

PRICE: contact our group department for an offer - email groups@gjtravel.is