Grand Countryside


ICELAND’S OUTER CIRCLE - 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 with simple and clean country hotels offering private facilities and good Icelandic hospitality. 

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
  • 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 by coach & guide from Keflavík International airport to Reykjavík where you spend the night.

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. 

Bird watching cruise Breiðarfjörður.JPGDay 3: FISHING TOWN & BIRD WATCHING CRUISE, 360 km (223 miles)
Enjoy a day excursion to the Snæfellsnes peninsula and its “capital”, the charming fishing town of Stykkishólmur. Then it’s off to sea, cruising around Breiðafjörður Fjord, home to thousands of sea birds. 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. 

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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, 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! 

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Namaskard in Iceland (3).JPGDay 6: GEOLOGICAL WONDERS AND NATURE BATHS, 150 km (93 miles)
We 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. 

Dettifoss waterfall.JPGDay 7: FROM NORTH TO EAST, 310 km (192 miles)
Today starts with a scenic drive around Tjörnes Peninsula, and 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. 

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in East Iceland.JPGDay 8: FOREST, WATERFALLS AND MOUNTAINS, 140 km (87 miles)
It’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 lso take a pretty drive over a mountain pass down to the fishing village of Seyðisfjörður. 

Borgarfjördur Eystri.JPGDay 9: THE SECRET OF THE EAST, 195 km (121 miles)
Borgarfjörður 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. 

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Glacial lagoon boat trip.JPGDay 10: FJORDS, GLACIER AND ICE, 460 km (285 miles)
We 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 among the floating icebergs in the glacial lagoon. For the next two nights, we stay in the Vatnajökull National Park region. 

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

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 several beautiful waterfalls on the way 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 HOME (50 km/31 mls)
Private transfer by bus (no guide) from your accommodation in Reykjavík to Keflavík airport.

Note: 

  • This tour has an average of 1-2 hours of walking each day - it is an easy tour in which nearly everyone can participate.
  • 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 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: 13 days / 12 nights 
ACCOMMODATION: Tourist class & country hotels – rooms with shower/wc 
MEALS: 12x breakfast and 10x dinner. Dinner on Reykjavík nights not included but can be added on request.
GROUP SIZE: ideal for groups 10-50 persons. 

INCLUDED:
• Arrival airport transfer by private bus & guide
• Fully escorted 11 day coach tour with a professional guide
• Departure airport transfer by private bus (no guide)
• 12 nights accommodation in simple tourist class hotels - rooms with shower/wc
• 12x breakfast & 10x dinner
• Whale watching tour (weather permitting)
• Bird watching boat trip around the islands of Breiðafjörður fjord
• Visits to two National Parks
• Visit to Skógar folk museum 
• Visit to Bjarnarhöfn shark farm
• Horse show in Northwest Iceland
• Entrance & towel to the Nature Baths at Lake Mývatn
• Boat trip on glacial lagoon
• An average of 1-2 hours of walking a day

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