Around Iceland: nature, culture, history and whale watching - 9 days / 8 nights
This round-the-island tour shows you the ever-changing scenery of the Icelandic countryside, through mountains and valleys, with volcanoes, glaciers, rivers, hot springs and waterfalls. This is an ideal tour for those who want to experience the very best of the variety of Icelandic landscape, culture and history in 8 days. You visit two of Iceland's three National Parks and there are opportunities to do some walking in the beautiful countryside most days during the tour. Accommodations are in country hotels, simple and clean, and all rooms are with private facilities.
Highlights and experiences included:
- Whale watching, weather permitting
- Boat trip on glacial lagoon among floating icebergs
- Introduction to the Icelandic horse
- One to two hours of walking on average a day
- Visit two National Parks
- Soak in the Nature Baths at Lake Mývatn
- Visit to Skógar folk museum with turf houses
- Learn about Icelandic sagas in the settlement center
Day 1: Welcome to Iceland (50 km/31 mls)
Private airport transfer by coach & guide from Keflavík International airport to Reykjavík where you spend the night.
Day 2: Land of Sagas, 170 km (105 miles)
After a Reykjavík city tour head north from Iceland's capital to West Iceland where we are introduced to the Icelandic sagas in the settlement center in Borgarnes. The afternoon is filled with impressive natural spots: Deildartunguhver, one of the most voluminous hot springs in Europe and Hraunfossar, the unique waterfall that drains from under vast lava fields into the river Hvítá. End the day with Icelandic history at the cultural site at Reykholt. Overnight is in West Iceland.
Day 3: From West to North, 445 km (276 miles)
The day starts with climbing a volcano crater within an old lava field in West Iceland. Afterwards we travel through the fertile farmlands and fjord landscapes of Northwest Iceland, with a visit to the beautiful town of Akureyri, Iceland's second largest city. Then stop at Goðafoss, "the waterfall of the Gods," before reaching our accommodation in Northeast Iceland where we stay for the next two nights.
Day 4: Whale Watching, Geological Wonders and Nature Baths, 150 km (93 miles)
The day begins out to sea with a 3 hour whale watching cruise from Húsavík (weather permitting). We tour the Lake Mývatn area, considered one of the most fertile areas in the world so close to the Arctic Circle. The lake's unique features are shaped by nature - strange lava formations, pseudo craters, attractive bays filled with thousands of birds. There is a stroll through the lava field of Dimmuborgir and soak at the Mývatn Nature Baths.
Day 5: From North to East, 330 km (205 miles)
We start today by exploring the geothermal area of Námaskarð and seeing the impacts of volcanic activity at Krafla. Then we travel to Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall in the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park. From there we head through the uninhabited highlands to East Iceland, where the night is spent.
Day 6: Fjords, Glaciers and Ice, 460 km (285 miles)
It's a day to admire the dramatic fjord landscape and its tiny fishing villages at the end of twisty roads in the East Fjords. Soon we see Vatnajökull - Europe's biggest glacier that is visible all over Southeast Iceland. Past the town of Höfn, we stop for a boat ride amongst the floating icebergs on the glacial lagoon at Jökulsárlón. The night is spent near Skaftafell on the southern part of Vatnajökull National Park.
Day 7: Vatnajökull National Park and the South, 340 km (211 miles)
Visit Skaftafell at the Vatnajökull National Park, covered by ice and nestled below Iceland's highest mountain, the 2110 meter Hvannadalshnjúkur. Then cross the sandy desert of the south coast, overlooked by mountainous cliffs, glaciers and waterfalls. We stroll along the black lava beach and bird cliffs near the village of Vík. Iceland's past comes alive at the Skógar Folk museum with its turf houses. Overnight in South Iceland.
Day 8: Ring The Golden Circle to Reykjavik, 210 km (130 miles)
We see classics today. Start with a horse show that introduces the unique qualities of Iceland's special breed. Follow this with Golden Circle sights: Gullfoss the beautiful double "Golden Falls"; the active geothermal area of Geysir, where we can see Strokkur "the churn" spout up to 25 meters (70 feet) every five to seven minutes. A visit to ancient Viking Parliament area of Þingvellir National Park tops it off before returning to Reykjavík.
Day 9: Departure home (50 km/31 mls)
Private transfer by bus (no guide) from your accommodation in Reykjavík to Keflavík airport.
This tour has an average of 1-2 hours of walking each day, meaning several short walks of 10-30 minutes to see and explore the different nature and history sites. It is an easy tour for nearly everyone to participate in. This is not a hiking/walking tour.
The total mileage in 7 days (without airport transfers) is about 2.105 km (1.305 miles) which is an average of 300 km (187 miles) per day, about 4 hours per day will be spent on the bus. 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
Duration: 9 days / 8 nights
Accommodation: Tourist class & country hotels – rooms with shower/wc
Meals: 8x breakfast and 6x dinner (3-course or buffet). Dinner on Reykjavík nights not included but can be added on request.
Group Size: ideal for groups 10-50 persons.
- Arrival airport transfer by private bus & guide
- Fully escorted 7 day coach tour with a professional guide
- Departure airport transfer by private bus (no guide)
- 8 nights accommodation in simple tourist class hotels - rooms with shower/wc
- 8x breakfast & 6x dinner
- Visit to two National Parks
- Whale watching tour (weather permitting)
- Boat trip on glacial lagoon
- Introduction to Icelandic horse
- Entrance fee and towel rental at the Lake Mývatn Nature Baths
- Entrance fee to Icelandic settlement center in West Iceland
- Entrance fee to Skógar folk museum
- Average of 1-2 hours walking per day
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