SUMMER TOUR: Pack all of southern Iceland's main sites into three quickfire days, perfect if you're short on time or stopping over in the country on your way to Europe or North America! Take in the highlights of the Westman Islands, see the plunging Seljalandsfoss waterfall and the famous Eyjafjallajokull volcano. Walk on the black lava beach of Reynisfjara, relax in a natural hot spring, and admire the colourful rhyolite mountains of Landmannalaugar.
The Westman Islands
Reykjavik - The Westman Islands - Hella. Welcome to Iceland! A Flybus Shuttle transfer from Keflavik International Airport to Reykjavik is included. Departing from Reykjavik at 9am this morning we head southeast to the coast, where we 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. Amazingly, only one person was killed during the eruption, and residents managed to save the harbour from destruction by continuously 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.
Please note: If you would like to book pre-tour accommodation in Reykjavik, then we would be happy to arrange this for you on request.
Waterfalls, volcanoes & glaciers
Today we experience the true forces of nature which make Iceland so special. Firstly, we'll see the plunging waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. There's a path that winds its way directly behind Seljalandsfoss, which we will walk along and feel the spray from the waterfall.
We'll also see the traditional turf houses of the Skogar Folk Museum and the Myrdalsjokull glacier before passing 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, when a volcanic eruption is re-enacted on a small scale. You'll 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 - this is informative and an easy walk for anyone with moderate fitness.
Overnight: Hella | Breakfast
Hella - Landmannalaugar - Reykjavik. Leaving our hotel in Hella for the final time, we 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 will then return to Reykajvik where our tour comes to an end. A Flybus Shuttle transfer will take you to Keflavik International 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.
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.