See southern Iceland at its scenic best with this six-day summer tour. Explore the charming capital of Reykjavik and head out to sea on a whale-watching cruise. Enjoy a therapeutic dip in the brand new Sky Lagoon, explore the island of Heimaey on the Westman archipelago, and admire the plunging waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. Watch the world-famous lava show at Vik, sample local beer at a microbrewery, and hike amongst the colourful rhyolite mountains of Landmannalaugar.
This morning we embark on a city tour of Reykjavik. Take in sights including the famous Hallgrimskirkja church, National Museum, City Hall, and Houses of Parliament.
Later, we enjoy a 3-hour whale-watching cruise. All manner of species come to the food-rich waters of Iceland to feed in summer, and you may be able to spot dolphins, humpback whales, blue whales, orca, and more during the cruise. We then visit the Whales of Iceland exhibition, home to many life-sized whale models and a virtual reality experience.
Then we enjoy a visit to the Sky Lagoon, Iceland's latest attraction, set to rival the famous Blue Lagoon. The Sky Lagoon is man-made, but filled with Iceland's natural geothermal water and looks out over the harbour of Reykjavik. Relax in the warm waters and perhaps enjoy a glass of champagne as you let the lagoon rejuvenate you.
Overnight: Reykjavik | Breakfast
The Westman Islands
Reykjavik - The Westman Islands - Hella. Leaving Reykjavik, we travel to the coast and board a ferry to Heimaey, the only inhabited island in the Westman archipelago. In 1973, half of the island's settlements were destroyed by a volcanic eruption, triggering a huge evacuation effort. Residents managed to save the harbour from destruction by pouring cold seawater on the lava to direct it away from this important infrastructure. We'll take a bus and walking tour of the island, including a visit to the "Pompeii of the North", a volcanic excavation project. We'll also have the chance to walk up the volcano crater.
As well as the 4,500 residents who still live on Heimaey, approximately 8 million puffins make the island their summer home, and you'll be able to see these beautiful birds by the hundred. Many other migratory species also visit the Westman Islands in summer to feed and breed, so who knows which species you may spot!
You'll have plenty of time to explore Heimaey town and its surrounding areas independently before we return to the mainland and head to our overnight accommodation in Hella.
Overnight: Hella | Breakfast
Today we experience the true forces of nature which make Iceland so special. Firstly, we'll see the plunging Seljalandsfoss waterfall, and take a walk behind the cascade. We also take in Skogafoss waterfall, which tumbles 62 metres.
We visit the Skogar Folk Museum to admire the traditional turf houses, before stopping at the Myrdalsjokull glacier. We also pass the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which wreaked havoc on European air travel when it erupted in 2010.
In the village of Vik we attend the famous lava show. We see lava flowing along the ice, and feel the immense heat radiating from it. We then travel to the black lava beach of Reynisfjara. Our walk along the beach will allow us to spot yet more of Iceland's birdlife, as well as impressive rock formations and basalt columns.
The last stop of today is the Solheimajokull glacier. Marvel at this sheet of ice and join an optional hike on the glacier. We return to Hella for the night.
Overnight: Hella | Breakfast
Hella - Landmannalaugar - Reykjavik. Leaving our hotel in Hella, we transfer to a highland vehicle and drive along the unpaved road to Landmannalaugar. These incredible mountains were formed by rhyolite lava, which is of a different sort to many volcanic formations. The effect is a series of "rainbow" mountains, with lots of interspersing colours, including reds, yellows, and browns. Sizzling sulfur springs are still visible and steamy vapour rises from the land. We'll enjoy a picnic lunch in the area and there is free time to explore and take a dip in a natural geothermal stream.
We'll stop to see the beautiful Hjalparfoss waterfall before arriving at the Olvisholt microbrewery. Here you'll learn about the brewing process in Iceland and, most importantly, sample a selection of proper Icelandic beer. We then return to Reykjavik where the evening is at leisure.
Overnight: Reykjavik | Breakfast, Lunch
Our tour comes to an end today. Enjoy breakfast in the hotel before an included Flybus Shuttle transfer to Keflavik Airport for your onward flight.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. 'Twin Share' prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. 'Single Room' prices are applicable to those who don’t have anyone to share a room with or anyone wanting the privacy of a single room.
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.
Fosshotel Baron, Reykjavik
Situated in the centre of Reykjavik, the Fosshotel Baron is a classic Icelandic hotel with excellent facilities. Guest rooms are cosy with comfortable beds, televisions and en suite facilities. The hotel also benefits from complimentary Wi-Fi and a buffet breakfast. Warm soup and baked bread is also available at a small charge for all guests from 5 - 10pm everyday - great for those winter evenings.
Hotel Stracta, Hella
In the sleepy village of Hella, Stracta Hotel offers fantastic modern accommodation in a great location. Guest rooms are designed in a Nordic style with bright interiors and comfortable beds. Guests can enjoy meals at the Restaurant Gardur on the second floor - affording stunning views of the beautiful countryside around. Why not grab a tasty beverage and sit out in the hot tubs in the evening - waiting for the Northern Lights to appear? Perfectly located in the centre of Hella near the Ranga River.