Route description - Iceland and Greenland 2 weeks
Thursday: Seyðisfjørður - Dettifoss - Húsavík 280 - 330 km
After disembarking from Norröna, you could have a good look around Seyðisfjörður village, which has a little technical museum. Then, drive to Egilsstaðir making short stops at the waterfalls along the way. After a look around in Egilsstaðir, head through the long and fertile valley of Jökuldalur, from where the road leads you up to Möðrudalsheiði, a desert-like plateau. Then, you drive north over Hólssandur until you reach Dettifoss, Iceland’s mightiest waterfall. Next, you visit Ásbyrgi, a horseshoe shaped canyon, before driving to Húsavík. You can have a look around in the picturesque harbour or visit the interesting local museum and/or the Whale Museum, before heading to your hotel.
Excursion: Depending on where you spend the night, you could go on a whale-watching trip out of Húsavík either this afternoon or the following morning (about 3 hours).
Friday: Mývatn - Akureyri 180-220 km
Today you spend most of the day exploring Lake Mývatn and its surroundings. At Skútustaðir there are pseudo-craters. Dimmuborgir is a beautiful lava labyrinth with otherworldly lava formations that provide shelter for lush vegetation, a walk here is definitely recommended. Make sure you also visit the Námaskarð solfataras with their bubbling grey mudpots, yellowish sulphur precipitations and unforgettable smell. In addition, you could hike up Mount Hverfjall or visit Grjótagjá – a small gorge filled with hot water, or Stóragjá, a similar gorge. It is also possible to visit the Nature Baths, filled with naturally hot water. In the afternoon you drive via Goðafoss waterfall to Akureyri. You stay overnight in Akureyri, Dalvík or possibly in Varmahlíð
Saturday: Akureyri - Laugarbakki - Stykkishólmur about 440 km
You could spend a little more time in Akureyri if you would like. When you are ready to leave, drive to the county of Skagafjörður famous for its horse breeding. There it is possible to visit the old Glaumbær peat farm, dating from the end of the 19th century.
Excursion: In Skagafjörður you can go horseback riding or on a river rafting tour (about 3 hours total). You continue along the main road to the village of Blönduós, a nice little village. On the way from there to the Laugarbakki area, where you stay overnight, you can take some lovely detours to see a big rock in the sea, a remarkable rock formation and a nice little waterfall. You will drive along the fjord Hrútafjörður and then over Laxárdalsheiði to the northern side of Snæfellsnes peninsula. If you like, you can make a short detour to visit the museum dedicated to Leifur Eiríksson, who travelled widely and even went from Greenland on to America where he landed around the year 1000. Next, you follow the coastline along Skógarströnd and arrive at the charming fishing village of Stykkishólmur.
Excursion: You can take a boat trip out of Stykkishólmur, sailing among the islands of Breiðafjörður Bay. There will be plenty of birds to watch and basalt columns to admire.
Sunday: Stykkishólmur/Ólafsvík - Snæfellsnes - Borgarnes/Reykholt 250-290 km
First, you follow the northern coastline of the peninsula past a few small, but charming fishing villages. Then you get the chance to explore the marvels of the tip of the peninsula, such as the impressive Djúpalónssandur beach (from which you can hike to Dritvík, about 3 hrs.), the cliff at Þúfubjarg, and one of the highlights of the area: Arnarstapi. There, kittiwakes nest among basalt columns and you can observe them at very close range. A walk along the coastline here is not something to be missed. Afterwards you drive along the south side of the peninsula, where you can stop at Gerðuberg, Iceland’s longest row of basalt columns. Next, you continue to the village of Borgarnes where you could visit the Settlement Centre. You will spend the night in this area (or possibly in Reykjavík, if the trip to Greenland should start one day earlier. In that case, you will visit Borgarfjörður on the second Thursday).
Monday: Borgarnes/Reykholt - Borgarfjörður - Reykjavík 190-240 km
Today you have the chance to visit some of the marvels of Borgarfjörður, a lush farming county. Your first stop is at Deildartunguhver, which is Iceland’s largest hotspring, producing 180 l of near boiling water per minute. Next you visit Reykholt, where you can see the mini pool built by 13th century historian and politician Snorri Sturluson. You will also spot Hraunfossar, a whole row of little waterfalls tumbling out of the lava, into a passing river. A bit further on there is also a waterfall, which is less unusual, but worth seeing. You can also drive to Húsafell, a summer resort in a small birch forest, where another wonderful swimming pool is to be found. Then you continue along the Hvalfjörður fjord to Reykjavík, where you will spend a few nights.
Tuesday: Reykjavík -Ilulissat
In the morning, you take a flight from the domestic airport in Reykjavík to Ilulissat in Greenland. At the airport you will be met by a guide and taken to the hotel for an information meeting. Next, you go on a guided city walk. After that, you have the chance to explore this modern Greenlandic town north of the Polar Circle and experience the unique Disko Bay. A welcome dinner is included and you will stay at hotel Arctic.
Today you can go on optional excursions from Ilulissat.
Examples: Calving glaciers and gigantic icebergs: Majestic icebergs are situated in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ilulissat Ice Fjord, right outside the town, and can be experienced at close range on our Midnight Cruises or during full day excursions where we cruise close to the impressive glacier of Eqip. Isolated Settlements: On other excursions we sail to small remote old world settlements, where Greenlandic hunters still live largely according to ancient traditions. Breakfast and farewell dinner. Accommodation: Hotel Arctic
Thursday: Ilulissat - Reykjavík
Breakfast at the hotel. Farewell coffee at the hotel with your guide. Transfer to the airport. Afternoon flight with Air Iceland from Ilulissat to Reykjavik Domestic Airport. Overnight in a hotel in Reykjavík.
Today you can spend the whole day exploring Iceland's capital, Reykjavík. It has a small, but cosy city centre, lots of museums, many wonderful swimming pools to enjoy, bowling alleys, and even offers hiking opportunities just outside the city in a nature reserve. We do recommend a visit to the very interesting National Museum. There are also two shopping malls and a main shopping street in the centre.
Excursion: In Reykjavík you can go on a whale-watching boat trip (about 3 hours), or horseback riding in the neighbouring town of Hafnarfjörður. There is also the option of a trip on a quad bike.
Saturday: Reykjanes Peninsula - 140 - 180 km
This day would be an opportunity for an excursion to Reykjanes peninsula, with a visit to the Bessastaðir church and the steam vents and boiling mudpots of Krísuvík.
Excursion: You might like to drive to the famous Blue Lagoon, filled with naturally hot mineral-rich water. There, you can take a refreshing bath in the curious surroundings of lava fields and a geothermal plant. You will have to book this in advance.
In Grindavík there is a nice museum on the theme of salted fish, which you might like to visit. Then you can drive to the tip of the peninsula to take in the magnificent seascapes from the viewing point, there is also an area with hotsprings. At the end of the day you drive back to Reykjavík.
Sunday: Reykjavík - Þingvellir - Geysir - Gullfoss - Selfoss area about 250 km
In the morning you drive to Þingvellir National Park, where the ancient parliament was founded. This area also boasts very interesting geological features and you can take a walk through one of the large fissures. Then you continue over Lyngdalsheiði pass to the village of Laugarvatn, where there is a nice spa, and from there to the Geysir area, where the famous spring Strokkur sends its water columns high into the air every 5 minutes or so. Next, you visit Gullfoss, one of the most beautiful waterfalls of Iceland.
Excursion: Not far from Gullfoss, you can go on two exciting excursions: a Riverjet Boat trip (about 1 hour) or a River rafting trip (about 2 hours).
Finally, you drive back to the main road in the south for your next overnight stay.
Monday: Selfoss/Hella - South Coast - Kirkjubæjarklaustur/Skaftafell 170 - 300 km
In the morning you continue towards the east, and you will pass the waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. Also, you can visit the lovely Folk Museum of Skógar.
Excursion: In the Skógar area you can take a snowscooter trip on Mýrdalsjökull glacier (total about 2 hours).
Next, you might visit the bird cliff of Dyrhólaey, where puffins can be seen until mid August, and from there you continue to the small village of Vik. Then, you drive over the Mýrdalssandur outwash plains to Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Your overnight stay can be here, or further east in Skaftafell or Hof.
Tuesday: Kirkjubæjarklaustur - Skaftafell - Glacier Lagoon - Höfn area 150-220 km
Today you continue further east. On the way you can make a stop at Dverghamrar with its basalt columns, and then you arrive to the Skaftafell National park. You can spend quite a bit of time enjoying the marvels of the Skaftafell National Park. It is possible to drive all the way to the glacier tongue Svínafellsjökull, and there are plenty of opportunities for hiking in the Park. A walk to Svartifoss waterfall (1 1/2 hrs. in total) is a must.
Excursion: In Skaftafell you can participate in a glacier hike excursion, about 2 hours, on Svínafellsjökull. From Skaftafell you continue to the glacier lagoon Jökulsárlón, where you can marvel at the icebergs floating in the lagoon.
Excursion: It is possible to go on an optional boat trip on the lagoon, either in an amphibian boat or in a zodiac. You will most likely continue further east along the coast to the Höfn area for your overnight stay.
Excursion: In the Höfn area you can take a snowscooter trip on Vatnajökull glacier.
Wednesday: Höfn - Egilsstaðir 250-280 km
Today you begin by driving along the steep slopes of Hvalnes to the fishing village of Djúpivogur, where you can have a look around. From there, you drive along the Eastern Fjords with their lovely landscape. A tip: visit Petra’s Stone Collection in the tiny village of Stöðvarfjörður. Petra’s garden and most of her house is filled with the most colourful and sparkling semi-precious Icelandic stones. After circling the fjords you drive over Fagridalur pass to Egilsstaðir, the main village in east Iceland (with a wonderful swimming pool). You spend the night in or near Egilsstaðir.
Thursday: Egilsstaðir - Seyðisfjörður 27 km
In the morning you drive back to Seyðisfjörður to catch the ferry.