Approx. 3700 km: This is a very special trip, giving you the opportunity to see an enormous lot of Iceland, and always stay in the nicest and most tasteful or original hotels in each area. The tour includes the whole circle as well as the Snæfellsnes peninsula.
- Duration days13, 14, 15 or 16
- Accommodation typeBoutique
- Available Spring to Autumn 30.03.19 - 19.10.19
- Day 1
After disembarking from Norröna, you drive from Seyðisfjörður to Egilsstaðir, making short stops at the waterfalls along the way. After a look around in Egilsstaðir, you drive through Skriðdalur valley and over Breiðdalsheidi mountain pass, to Breiddalur valley, where the children at some of the farms sell colourful stones they have found in the mountains. Alternatively, you can drive along the east fjords, and make a stop on the way at the famous Petra Stone Museum. Then you drive further over winding roads, enjoying lovely views. You pass the tiny village of Djúpivogur and from there you continue to Höfn, a larger community and an important fisheries harbour. You stay overnight in this area.
- Day 2
First you drive to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, where large icebergs float around. It's possible to make an optional boat-trip on the lagoon. Then, take some time to visit Skaftafell national park and walk to Svartifoss waterfall, (1½ hrs walk in total) before continuing along the south coast. You cross Skeiðarársandur, an outwash plain of black sand, at the foot of the glacier. Then you have the opportunity to stop at the tiny chapel of Núpsstaður and a bit further at the interesting basalt columns of Dverghamrar. Next you pass Kirkjubæjarklaustur village and then you cross Mýrdalssandur outwash plains until you come to the village of Vík. Close by it's possible (after 25 June) to drive up to Dyrhólaey cliff to see the puffins. Visit Skógar folk museum and Skógafoss waterfall before checking into your hotel for the night.
- Day 3
Today, you have a choice. You can opt to visit the Westman Islands, where a volcanic eruption destroyed part of the village on Heimaey island in 1973. This was a flourishing village, depending economically mostly on fisheries. The lava, however, threatened to close off the harbour, which would have been a disaster. But instead of giving up, people decided to pump millions of tons of cold water onto the lava stream, to make it coagulate faster, and they were rewarded with success. Today it is again a prospering fishing village, and by now some of the houses that were destroyed are being excavated, which is very interesting. To go there, you drive to the tiny airfield of Bakki, from where you take a small airplane for the five-minutes flight. On the island it is possible to take a 2 hours excursion, and you can also make a boat trip and visit the lovely Natural History museum. It is advisable to book the flights in advance, and of course Smyril Line will do that for you, just say the word!
The other alternative is, to explore the lovely valley of Þjórsardalur. This valley was once a lovely farming area, but in 1104 it was destroyed by an eruption of Mt. Hekla. If the weather is favourable you might get some good views of this notorious volcano. You can visit the excavated ruins of the farm Stöng, as well as it’s reconstruction (entrance fee!) close by. There are the waterfalls Hjálp (twin falls) and Iceland’s 3rd highest: Háifoss and you mustn’t miss the charming little valley Gjáin. You can drive past Búrfell Power plant before returning to the south coast, where you will drive to your hotel in Hveragerði or Selfoss.
- Day 4
Today you visit Iceland's highlights. First, you drive to Gullfoss waterfall, which many people think is Iceland’s most beautiful. It falls into a deep canyon in two parts, the first one 20 m high, the second one 11 m. From there you drive to the Geysir hot spring area, where many hot springs are bubbling and boiling. The most famous is the spouting spring Strokkur, which ejects a high column of boiling water every 5 minutes or so. After this you continue to Laugarvatn village and over a mountain road to Þingvellir national park. This is where the ancient parliament was founded in the year 930. Also, this area is of great geological interest, since it’s situated directly on the mid-Atlantic ridge, which divided Europe and America. Therefore, there are many large fissures in this area, which can easily be seen. After a walk in this beautiful area, you drive to Reykjavik for the next overnight.
- Day 5
This is a whole day to explore Iceland's capital. There are lots of things you can do, including shopping in the main shopping street or either of the two big shopping malls, visiting some of the many museums and galleries, going for a walk in a lovely nature area at the edge of the city or strolling through the centre with its many cafeterias and coffee houses. You can also decide to make a daytrip to Kulusuk in Greenland (must be booked well in advance), go on a whale watching safari, go bowling, go horseback riding, visit the botanic garden or go for a swim in the lovely geothermic pools (see visitreykjavik.is).
- Day 6
Today, we recommend a visit to Reykjanes peninsula. One of the highlights on this tour is Krísuvík, an area with some solfataras and hot springs, mostly boiling mud. From there, you can continue along the south side of the peninsula, driving through a very picturesque lava field. Your next stop would be in Grindavík, a small fishing village, and from there you drive to the famous Blue Lagoon. This is a lake, filled with geothermal hot water which is very rich in minerals, resulting in a real blue colour. A visit to this modern spa and a bath in the lagoon is a very refreshing experience. From there you can drive on to the edge of the peninsula, visiting the so-called "toe", with a superb view of the ocean. Then you return to Reykjavík, and from there you continue your trip to Hvalfjörður, a picturesque fjord, where you stay overnight.
- Day 7
Today you explore the lovely county of Borgarfjörður. You start with a visit to Iceland’s largest hot spring, Deildartunguhver, which provide people with hot water for house heating as far as 60 km away from the spring. Then you drive to Reykholt village, where the 13th century historian Snorri Sturluson lived. It’s still possible to see his miniature private swimming pool in this small village and if you’re interested in history a visit to the Snorri Museum is indicated. Your next goal is Hraunfossar waterfalls, a series of small waterfalls that tumble straight out of the lava, a strange and magnificent sight. Close by is the summer resort of Húsafell, where you can visit a lovely swimming pool, and if you fancy there is a farm in this area which offers riding tours. From there you drive to Borgarnes village, and along the south side of Snæfellsnes peninsula to the next hotel.
- Day 8
An interesting drive awaits you today, all around Snæfellsnes peninsula. Your first stop will be at Arnarstapi birdcliffs. A walk here is recommended strongly, because there are many lovely basalt formations, as well as lots of nesting birds, such as kittiwakes and arctic terns. At the tip of the peninsula there are many lovely places to stop such as Þúfubjarg bird cliff (this involves a short walk away from the main road) and Djúpalónssandur beach – where a rocky path brings you down to an impressive black beach. Also, you might get good views of Snæfellsjokull glacier, which is also an old volcano – as can be seen from the many lavafields that surround the mountain. Then you drive along the north side of the peninsula, through various fishing villages, such as Ólafsvík and Grundarfjörður, and possibly Stykkishólmur (10 km detour). Finally, drive along Skógaströnd, enjoying some nice views over Breiðafjörður fjord, to Búðardalur village and from there to your hotel.
- Day 9
A long day, driving along the southern coast of the West Fjord area. It’s a remote area, but there are lovely views of Breiðafjörður bay and the impressive mountains at the other side. Sometimes, you can see seals along the coast. It’s nice to make a stop in Vatnsfjörður, close by Flókalundur, and take a short walk into this nature reserve. Just past Flókalundur you continue along the Barðastrand area to the small museum at Hnjótur, which is well worth a stop. From there the route brings you to Látrabjarg, the westernmost tip of Iceland, where impressive bird cliffs rise out of the ocean. Overnight is in the area.
- Day 10
Today you turn north and drive over high mountain passes north, to arrive at the highlight of today: the waterfall Dynjandi. This is actually a collection of 5 waterfalls, so you should take some time to explore! It’s possible to climb all the way up, along a small track, to get close to all 5 falls. Finally you drive via Þingeyri village to Ísafjörður, and you will have come time to explore this charming fishing town. There are some lovely old houses and interesting museums. We also recommend a drive to the nearby village of Bólungarvík, where an old fishermen’s hut was turned into a small museum, which is quite an experience. It might also be possible to make a boattrip on Ísafjarðardjúp fjord. (50 km) Overnight in Ísafjörður.
- Day 11
Today you drive along Ísafjarðardjúp, one of the least inhabited areas of Iceland apart from the highlands. The landscape is impressive, with its winding roads along the various fjords. In earlier times, there were quite some farms in this area, but the distances in this area are rather large and there is not much flat land, which makes farming rather difficult. So nowadays there are no farms anymore in this area, it is mostly uninhabited. After driving around quite a few of these fjords, you drive over Steingrimsfjarðarheiði high plateau, to Hólmavík village. This is a small and friendly fishing village, where you can also shop and tank! After this you drive south along the Strandir coast, an area with some agriculture. This area is also famous for the quantities of driftwood that are found along the coast. Finally, you drive into the Hrútafjörður area and you stay overnight here, or close by Blönduós. (350-370 km)
- Day 12
First you continue to Skagafjörður County, famous for horse breeding. It’s possible to visit the Glaumbær torf farm museum. This house was lived in until 1939, and it gives you a very good idea about how people lived in Iceland from late 19th century until the beginning of the 20th century. Then you drive over Öxnadalsheiði to Eyjafjörður fjord. Then you drive to Akureyri, the most important town of the north, where you can enjoy some shopping and sightseeing. There’s a very lovely botanic garden in the town and we recommend a visit. Overnight is in Akureyri.
- Day 13
In the morning, you drive via Goðafoss waterfall, one of Iceland’s most charming falls, to Lake Mývatn, your next base (330-350 km). The rest of the day you will spend sightseeing at lake Mývatn. We recommend visits to the pseudo-craters of Skútustaðir, Dimmuborgir lava labyrinth (where the strange lave formations provide shelter for quite a lot of vegetation), the tephra volcano Hverfjall (which you can climb if you fancy), the impressive solfataras at Námaskarð and Leirhnjúkur (where boiling mud pools and colourful sulphur precipitations provide a very picturesque view), and caves filled with natural hot water. Overnight again in the Mývatn area. (50-100 km)
- Day 14
Today you drive north along Tjörnes peninsula. First you make a stop at Húsavík fishing village where it’s possible to make a whale watching boattour and where you can visit the charming church. Then you continue north along the peninsula and drive to Ásbyrgi, a horse-shoe shaped gorge, where a small forest shelters along the 100 m high rock walls. A short walk is indicated. Another highlight of this day is Dettifoss waterfall, which is Europe’s mightiest - no other waterfall has such a lot of water! It’s 44 m high. You can walk down along a rocky path until you get very close by the waterfall, so you can thoroughly enjoy it. Then you drive east, past Grímsstadir and over Möðrudalsheiði highland plateau east. On the way, you might enjoy a lovely view of Mt. Herðubreið (in good weather!). After that you continue through Jökuldalur valley to Egilsstaðir village, the most important town of the east. Overnight stay in Egilsstaðir or Seyðisfjörður.
- Day 15
In the morning you drive the 30 km back to Seyðisfjörður, to catch the ferry.
Deluxe accommodation is only available for the special boutique itineraries, because that trip is designed around the nicest hotels in the country. Mostly, we use hotels for this tour, but there are also a few farms, which each have their own atmosphere. In all cases, the accommodation is of a good standard. One hotel can be very small and personal, while another is special because of its wonderful surroundings, and a third one has some extra luxury. In all hotels, the rooms have shower and toilet, and in many there is TV and telephone in the rooms. Breakfast is included and is always a buffet breakfast. People can eat as much as they like, but it is not allowed to take food away from the buffet.
Note: we reserve the right to reverse the itinerary.