SUMMER TOUR: Explore the best that Iceland has to offer on this 12-day summer tour around the country. From lava fields to magnificent fjords, you will begin with Iceland's Golden Circle. Highlights include UNESCO heritage-listed Thingvellir National Park, a journey into an underground lava cave tube, whale watching along Eyjafjordur, Iceland's longest fjord and a soak in a geothermal float pool.
Reykjavik - Gulfoss - Borgarnes. Get ready to explore the beauty that Iceland has to offer! Today, we uncover classic highlights as we embark on Iceland's famous Golden Circle Route. Starting with a visit to a geothermal greenhouse, we will watch how Icelanders grow tomatoes. Afterwards, learn about the unique history of the Icelandic horse, and be sure to take plenty of selfies.
Then, explore Gulfoss, home to the beautiful double "Golden Falls," and walk through the active geothermal area of Geysir, where Strokkur "the churn" spouts hot water up to 25 metres (70 feet) every five to seven minutes.
Next stop is an ancient Viking Parliament area, Þingvellir National Park. The UNESCO World heritage site is situated on a tectonic plate boundary where North America and Europe are slowly tearing apart from each other. This has resulted in plains scarred by fissures, ponds, and rivers, including the great rift Almannagjá.
Overnight: Borgarnes | Breakfast, Dinner
Snæfellsnes Peninsula & Ferry trip to West Fjords
Borgarnes - Snæfellsnes - Patreksfjörður. Today, we will explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, which juts out from Iceland’s West Coast. A rugged mountain chain runs its length, capped by the 1,446-meter Snæfellsjökull glacier, a mystical cone-shaped stratovolcano. There are plenty of photo opportunities here, so don't be shy!
As we travel through the Snæfellsnes National Park, make sure to check out the natural wonders encapsulating the area. From lava flows to volcanic craters, to an ice cap, glaciated peaks and fjords, to sandy beaches and high cliffs along the landscape.
If you've ever read Jules Verne's science-fiction classic, "The Journey to the Center of the Earth," get ready to join the adventure. The National Park visit will culminate with a trip to the interior of the Earth, under the Snæfellsjökull glacier. The lava cave tour will take us 35 metres underground, and a whopping 200 metres into the lava tube called Vatnshellier.
The afternoon will conclude with a car ferry Baldur from Stykkishólmur to Brjánslækur in the West Fjords. The scenic 2.5-hour journey will take us over Breiðafjörður Bay, passing the island of Flatey, which is inhabited only during the summertime. If the weather permits, you will enjoy a magnificent view of the bay’s countless isles as well as the glacier Snæfellsjökull.
Overnight: Patreksfjörður | Breakfast, Dinner
Iceland's Westernmost Point
Patreksfjörður. Today we follow along the coastline. Our first stop will be the Folk and Transport Museum in Hnjótur. Afterwards, we continue to the bird cliffs of Látrabjarg, passing through a remote and sparsely populated region along the way.
Látrabjarg is home to the most abundant seabird cliff and is the westernmost point of Iceland and Europe. Embrace the wildlife as we walk through the wilderness to the top of the highest bird cliff. You may spot an array of Nordic birds, including puffins, razorbills, guillemots, fulmars, cormorants, kittiwakes and more.
If weather and road conditions allow, we will then travel to the breathtaking red sand at the tranquil Rauðisandur beach. The magnificent hues of the sand differ depending on daylight, tides, and weather. It is also home to countless seabirds, but if we're lucky we may even spot a seal!
Overnight: Patreksfjörður | Breakfast, Dinner
Beautiful West Fjords
Patreksfjörður - Hvammstangi. Today will take us on a journey over mountains and along the shores of scenic fjords, until we reach the Arnarfjörður fjord. Surrounded by high mountains, we venture to the bottom of the fjord and view the Dynjandi waterfall. Declared the country's most beautiful waterfall, it features seven levels of plunging water, making for a breathtaking view.
We continue over a mountain pass and then along the southern shores of the West Fjords. The route we take is stunning; characterized by sheer cliffs, deep cut bays, and narrow stretches of coastal lowland.
Our final stop of the day is Erpsstaðir, a family run dairy farm. Famous for their delicious ice cream and various dairy products, you will learn about the milk production world. The best part is when you get to sample their unique ice cream directly from the farm! Make sure to have a taste of the local seasonal flavours.
Overnight: Laugarbakki | Breakfast, Dinner
Hvammstangi - Akureyri. Today's adventure will take us off the beaten track and around the Vatnses Peninsula. Passing through the fishing village of Hvammstangi, a gravel road will take us around the pensinsula to Hvitserkur.
Hvitserkur is a mass of igneous rock that sits along the seashore and measures at around 15 metres high. Legend has it that Hvitserkur is actually a petrified troll that forgot to retreat from the light, therefore turning to stone at sunrise.
Our journey continues to Kolugljúfur canyon, where we can watch waterfalls cascade into the deep, rugged gorge. Walk on the viewing platform, and gaze in awe as the calm river waters suddenly tumble onwards over the impressive falls.
We then continue further north, stopping at Víðimýri to visit one of the few preserved turf churches in Iceland. The church was built in 1834 and has turf walls, but timber gables both back and front. We continue along a high mountain road to Akureyri, also called the capital of North Iceland, where we stay for two nights.
Overnight: Akureyri | Breakfast, Dinner
Akureyri. Your day starts with breakfast in Akureyri's botanical gardens. After breakfast, enjoy a 2-3 hour long whale watching tour in Eyjafjörður, Iceland's longest fjord - located right below the Arctic Circle. If you're feeling lucky, you can try your luck at sea angling.
In the afternoon, we will travel to Siglufjörður, Iceland’s northernmost town, known as the herring capital of the North Atlantic and located on the mountainous Tröllaskagi Peninsula. The journey along the way is particularly scenic, boasting spectacular fjord landscapes, and passing by quaint fishing villages. We will stop at a deserted valley, which is unseen even by most Icelanders.
Once in Siglufjörður, we will visit the Herring Era Museum, Iceland's largest maritime museum and the only Icelandic winner of the European Museum Awards. Be sure to taste the herring during our stay, best paired with Brennivin, Icelandic schnapps.
Overnight: Akureyri | Breakfast, Dinner
Geological and Volcanic Lava Wonders
Akureyri - Bakkagerði. Get prepared for a jam-packed day of sightseeing, starting with Goðafoss, the waterfall of the Gods. We continue to Lake Mývatn, known for its abundant bird life and home to amazing volcanic lava landscapes. Here, we can spot pseudo craters, walk through the mysterious lava field of Dimmuborgir, see the tephra cone Hverfjall and explore the hot springs, fumaroles and bubbling mud pools of Námaskarð.
Then, we travel to Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall. Located in the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park, the round-trip walk will take us around 40-60 minutes.
As we continue east, we will travel through bare, deserted landscape surrounded by mountains. Detouring through the uninhabited highlands of East Iceland, we will explore the northernmost fjord on the East Fjord mountain range.
The isolated village Bakkagerði at Borgarfjörður-Eystri has only 120 inhabitants; offering an end of the road location. This charming village is built snugly next to the steep mountainside and getting there is a dramatic but rewarding drive. We will settle here and unwind for the journey ahead.
Overnight: Borgarfjörður Eystri | Breakfast, Dinner
East Fjords and Geothermal Bathing
Bakkagerði - Höfn. Venture across the twisty roads in the East Fjords, admiring the landscape and tiny fishing villages along the way. The first stop is at Vök baths, a geothermal floating pool. Located in Lake Urriðavatn, this is the perfect time for rest and relaxation. Soak in the hot water and enjoy the views from the surrounding lake.
Afterwards, get ready to visit Petra's fascinating rock collection. Petra was a local that collected all the interesting rocks she could find in the nearby Eastfjords. Now, almost 80 years later, the naturalist's collection of unique treasures includes rocks, crystals, zeolites, quarts and more, in a museum for all to enjoy.
In the afternoon we will visit Vatnajökull, Europe’s biggest glacier that is visible all-over Southeast Iceland.
Overnight: Hofn | Breakfast, Dinner
Vatnajökull National Park, Glaciers & Glacier Lagoon
Höfn - Vik. Day 10 begins with a visit to Vatnajökull National Park. Covering around 14% of Iceland's land mass, this is Europe's second largest national park in terms of area.
We will take a picturesque boat ride amongst floating icebergs on the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. This is considered one of the biggest highlights on this tour!
Next, we walk along the black sands of Diamond Beach and explore the region of Skaftafell, nestled below Iceland's highest mountain. In fact, the 2.110-metre high Hvannadalshnúkur is the second biggest stratovolcano in Europe. There are lots of photo opportunities as we walk close to one of the many glacial tongues in the area.
Our last mission of the day is across a sandy desert, where we will reach the southernmost village in island, Vik. This is where we will be spending the night.
Overnight: Vik | Breakfast, Dinner
Vik - Reykjavik. Today is our last full day in Iceland together, so let's make the most of it! We'll begin by travelling along the beautiful South Coast of Iceland, between the sea, rugged mountains, glaciers and waterfalls.
We will spend time exploring the black lava beach, Reynisfjara, and bird cliffs, before stopping at the Skógafoss waterfall. The crashing water creates a mist that results in rainbows. This magical sensation adds to the sheer beauty of this stunning destination.
Afterwards, we visit Skógar Folk Museum which displays traditional turf houses and relics. Later, we stop by Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which has an encircled trail that will take you behind the waterfall! Make sure you bring a raincoat and some boots, as you will definitely get wet.
Finally, we visit the Lava & Volcano Exhibition Centre that focuses on geology and active volcanoes. Our visit includes a documentary film about volcanic eruptions in Iceland.
Our tour group will have one last hoorah with a farewell dinner at a local restaurant in Reykjavik, Iceland's capital.
Overnight: Reykjavik | Breakfast, Dinner
Today our Icelandic experience comes to an end with included FlyBus transfer to Keflavik Airport.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 or 4 persons (dependent on tours). '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.
Hotel Klettur, Reykjavik
Just a short walk to the main shopping street of Laugavegur, Hotel Klettur is a modern hotel believed to be home to many elves! Guest rooms are clean and brightly furnished with comfortable beds and excellent ensuites. A typical Icelandic breakfast is served in the Breakfast Room and there is also a bar serving Iceland's best beers! Head outside to the local pizzeria for dinner and look out for the elves that live under the rocks in the corridor!
Icelandair Hotel Hamar, Borgarnes
Surrounded by an 18 hole golf course, Icelandair Hotel Hamar is one of Iceland's most picturesque locations. Guest rooms are all single-storey and open out directly onto the grounds - allowing fantastic access and views. Guests can take advantage of complimentary Wi-Fi in public areas as well as outdoor hot tubs - perfect for relaxing in and spotting the Northern Lights! The onsite restaurant serves up a fantastic array of local and international cuisine - with a great influence on local produce. Well located just 5 minutes from the town of Borganes.
Fosshotel Westfjords, Patreksfjörður
Nestled deep in the northwest of Iceland, in a small fishing village, the Fosshotel Westfjords is comfortable hotel, offering modern rooms and a cosy restaurant by the sea. The area is a popular gateway to some of Iceland's famous attractions, from bird-watching to hiking and photography. Each room has a flat-screen TV, blackout curtains and offers a stunning view of either the surrounding mountains or fjord.
Hotel Laugerbakki, Laugarbakki
In Midfjordur, midway between Reykjavik and Akureyri, is Hótel Laugarbakki. Stay close to one of Iceland’s best salmon rivers and the natural hot springs, which heat up the entire community. All guest rooms have private bathrooms, a flat-screen TV and a desk. Free WiFi is available in all rooms. Hótel Laugarbakki also features a restaurant, gym and hot tubs making it the perfect spot to unwind after a day exploring the countryside.
Sæluhús Studio Apartments, Akureyri
Located in the heart of Akureyri, Sæluhús Studio Apartments offer comfortable and well-equipped accommodation. With studio apartments and three-bedroom houses available, there is something for everyone. Every apartment has a private bathroom, kitchenette, dining table and balcony. Deluxe options include an outdoor hot tub. The location is ideal for exploring the highlights of North Iceland.
Guesthouse Álfheimar, Borgarfjörður Eystri
Set in a prime seaside location, Guesthouse Álfheimar overlooks the stunning Borgarfjörður fjord on the edge of the fishing village of Bakkagerði. The hotel is locally owned and offers 32 rooms ranging from single to family size. All rooms feature free WiFi a private bath. Each evening the hotel restaurant offers dinner using quality fish or meat supplied by local fishermen and farmers. It is the perfect getaway spot for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers alike.
Fosshotel Vatnajökull, Hofn
With views of Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajökull, Fosshotel Vatnajökull hotel is surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Each room is comfortable and heated, with WiFi, a TV with satellite channels and private bathrooms with a shower. Some rooms also offer a balcony and seating area. There is an in-house restaurant with panoramic views, which adds to the picturesque atmosphere.
Hotel Vik, Vik
Hotel Vik is a family-run hotel located in Iceland's southernmost village. Despite its remote location, the hotel has a contemporary feel and modern rooms, most of which were designed in a nature-style by an Icelandic architect. Each room is spacious and comfortable, offering guests free WiFi, a desk, a flatscreen TV, a wardrobe, and a private bathroom. Superior and Deluxe rooms even feature incredible views of the nearby Black Sand Beach and the ocean. There is a fitness centre, bar and restaurant on site. Each morning, the restaurant serves a delicious buffet or continental breakfast.