Hiking & Walking Iceland


National parks and the interior highlands. Glacier hike and boat tour between floating icebergs

iceland_walking_and_hiking_adventure_2015_map.jpgThe world at your feet with an average of 3-4 hours hiking and walking a day in some of the most stunning nature in South Iceland. You visit the Golden Circle sites, explore the interior highlands of Landmannalaugar, the glacial valley of Þórsmörk, the fascinating volcanic landscapes at Lakagígar and the glacial wonders of Vatnajökull national park. Your Icelandic adventure includes daily hiking, bathing in geothermal lagoons and rivers, climbing volcano craters, walking on glaciers and zodiac cruising between floating icebergs. With a maximum group size of 20 persons, this program includes six full days of touring, exploring and hiking in South Iceland and the interior highlands. You discover national parks, green valleys, high mountains, moon landscapes, lava fields, waterfalls, hot springs and glaciers. You explore Icelandic highlights and secrets. There is a lot to see but little to carry, as the tour bus will convey your luggage. 

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 first night in Iceland. 

Gullfoss waterfall.jpgDay 2: GOLDEN CIRCLE (190 km/118 miles) 
We start our adventure in Iceland with a 1-2 hour hike at the ancient Viking Parliament area and UNESCO world heritage site of Þingvellir National Park. We visit 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 and explore Gullfoss, the beautiful double “Golden Falls”. We continue to the “Secret Lagoon”, a natural hot spring in a small village called Flúðir, where you can get an authentic Icelandic bathing experience. The surroundings of the geothermal pools and its steam rising into the air give a magical feeling to the place. We will stay 3 nights in South Iceland.

Walking today: 1-2 hours, 2-4 km, elevation 100-200 meters

Hiking in Landmannalaugar.jpgDay 3: LANDMANNALAUGAR (290km/180 mls) 
Today we drive to Landmannalaugar, an oasis in the barren highlands, surrounded by colourful rhyolite mountains. Depending on fitness level and hiking experience of group members and subject to weather conditions, we hike from the hut in Landmannalaugar. The trail goes through a rough lava field to an amazing hot spring field and up the slopes of Brennisteinsalda with its incredible spectrum of colours. We return via Grænagil gorge that can only be described as simply spectacular and beautifully colourful. In Landmannalaugar there is also a natural geothermal stream where you can enjoy a refreshing bath. Have swimwear and towel ready. We continue our trip passing close to Hekla, one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes. On the way back to our accommodation we stop at the beautiful waterfall Hjálparfoss in Þjórsárdalur valley, surrounded by amazing basalt rock formations.

Walking today: 3-4 hours, 6-7 km, elevation about 300 meters

Þórsmörk.jpgDay 4: ÞÓRSMÖRK (130 km/81 miles) 
We start the day at the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall and continue to Þórsmörk, a broad valley named after Thor, the Viking God of Thunder. This beautiful valley is surrounded on three sides by steep mountains and glaciers. Fording raging glacial rivers and gentle streams is a big part of the great adventure. The landscape is dramatic with Eyjafjallajökull volcano towering on one side and the massive glacial river Markarfljót flowing on the other. We walk to explore the aftermath of the immense fast flowing flood, caused by the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in April 2010, which destroyed a glacial lagoon and left a blackened area.

Þórsmörk is one of the most popular hiking areas in Iceland, and it is breathtaking to stand on top of the many hills and mountains in this region. There are many different hiking options. We select the trails according to the weather and the fitness of the group. If everybody is ready for a 4-5 hour long challenging hike and a maximum of 800 meters ascend, we might be able to enjoy jaw-dropping views. You see the rumoured Icelandic Highlands at its best - volcanoes, glaciers, high mountains, glacier-made valleys and canyons, glacier rivers, lava fields and much more gems that the Icelandic nature holds captured.

Walking today: 4-5 hours, 7-8 km, elevation about 800 meters

Lakiagigar, Iceland.jpgDay 5: LAKI (340 km/211 miles) 
We travel along the south coast of Iceland towards Kirkjubæjarklaustur and into the highlands. The craters in Laki, called Lakagígar, were formed in one of the world's largest mixed eruptions in recorded history. This continuous series of explosions emitted a vast quantity of lava and substantial amounts of volcanic ash from a fissure stretching 25 km across the area west of the Vatnajökull ice cap. The craters are regarded as a globally unique phenomenon and are a protected natural monument. Laki is a very remote location and one of the unique places within the Vatnajökull National Park. It is, however, a very fragile area, so visitors are asked to treat the nature with utmost respect. There are numbers of hiking trails, and we explore this volcanic wonderland during a 1,5-2 hour hike. We also visit Fagrifoss which means “beautiful waterfall” in Icelandic, and the name isn't a bad match. An easy climb leads to the view of the impressive waterfall, and you can only hear the roar of the water. We will stay for two nights next to Europe‘s largest glacier and beneath Iceland‘s highest mountain.

Walking today: about 2 hours, about 4-5 km, elevation about 300 meters

Glacier Hike Vatnajökull.jpgDay 6: GLACIER HIKE & GLACIAL LAGOON (140 km/87 miles) 
This is a day packed with fun activities and breathtaking sceneries. We start with a moderate 3,5-hour glacier hike in the majestic surroundings of Svínafellsjökull. The glacier is hemmed in by some of Iceland´s most spectacular peaks. We climb the Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue up to the deep glacier valley between the summits of Hvannadalshnjúkur and Hrútsfjall. An experienced glacier guide leads you safely through the glacial wonderland of strangely shaped ridges, deep crevasses, huge water cauldrons and different ice formations. In the afternoon we head over to the famous glacier lagoon for a ride on a Zodiac adventure cruise, sailing between the icebergs of all shapes and sizes, which float in the clear blue water. After the Zodiac experience, there is time to go down to the black sand beach to take a closer look at the icebergs that have floated all the way from the glacier lagoon into the Atlantic Ocean.

Walking today: 3-4 hours, 4-6 km, elevation about 100-150 meters

Vatnajökull National Park.jpgDay 7: VATNAJÖKULL NATIONAL PARK AND THE SOUTH (340 km/211 miles) 
Skaftafell is today a part of the Vatnajökull National Park, the largest national park in Europe. The area nestles under the slopes of Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier and is dominated by Iceland’s highest peak Mount Hvannadalshnjúkur (2,110 meters). This area used to be one of the most isolated communities in Iceland because of the ice cap on its north, the harbourless sandy beach of the Atlantic Ocean to the south and the wild glacial rivers in the barren sands to the east and the west. The landscape has been formed through thousands of years by different influences of fire, ice and water and the mild climate is characteristic for Skaftafell compared to the rest of southern Iceland. We hike up to the waterfall Svartifoss (Black Fall), which is surrounded by black basalt columns, and from there to Sjónsker (View Cliff) where we have a magnificent view of Mount Hvannadalshnjúkur and the area that was flooded during an eruption under the ice cap in the year 1996. Now it is time to return towards Reykjavík. We cross the sandy desert of the south coast, overlooked by rugged cliffs, glaciers and waterfalls. We stroll along the black lava beach and bird cliffs near the village of Vík and stop at Skógafoss waterfall before arriving back at Iceland’s capital.

Walking today: 2 hours, 5-6 km, elevation about 200 meters

Day 8: DEPARTURE HOME (50 km/31 mls)
Private transfer by bus (no guide) from your accommodation in Reykjavík to Keflavik airport.

MODERATE HIKING
The Iceland Walking & Hiking Adventure Tour is accessible and suitable to all those with good health and those who are doing some sport regularly and can walk/hike 4-6 hours without much carrying. This tours is based on moderate daily hiking of 2-5 hours, 4-16 km and with an elevation of 200-800 meters. Minimum age: 14 years

NOTE:

  • Total mileage in 6 days is about 1,430 km (887 miles) which is an average of 238 km (148 miles) per day. You spend about 3 hours per day on the bus, depending on road conditions, traffic and daily distances. On some days, especially in the interior highlands, the driving might be longer than on some other days. This tour has an average of 2-5 hours moderate hiking/walking each day and is suitable for fit people who are doing sport regularly and can walk/hike 4-6 hours with carrying only a daypack.
INCLUDED: 
  • Private arrival transfer with guide
  • 6-day escorted coach tour with a professional guide or driver-guide
  • Private departure transfer (without guide)
  • 7 nights accommodation in rooms with shower/wc
  • 7x breakfast, 3x picnic lunch (day 3,4,5) and 2x 3-course dinner or buffet (day 5,6)
  • Visit to two national parks
  • Entrance & towel to the "Secret Lagoon" in Flúðir
  • Zodiac boat trip on glacial lagoon
  • Vatnajökull glacier hike
  • An average of 3-4 hours moderate hiking/walking per day
PRICE: contact our group department for an offer - email groups@gjtravel.is