Summer tour: Explore the best of South Iceland on this 8 day that starts and ends in Reykjavik. Heading along the southern coast of Iceland you'll visit thundering waterfalls, watch geysers & hot springs bubble and hike over ancient glacial ice.
Welcome to Reykjavik and the start of your Icelandic adventure! Take the included FLYBUS transfer from the airport to our hotel in Reykjavik. The remainder if the day is at leisure so why not go for a walk around the city – the beauty of Reykjavik is you can see many of the top sights in a very short space of time.
Reykjavik - Blue Lagoon - Reykjanes Peninsula - Hella. Meet your guide and the rest of the group this morning before departing Reykjavik and heading to the Reykjanes Peninsula. Our first stop will be at the world famous Blue Lagoon, where you can take some time to relax in the mineral-rich geothermal waters. We then continue out further on the Reykjanes peninsula famous for hot springs, picturesque mountains, bird cliffs, light houses and quaint fishing villages.
This afternoon we visit Krýsuvík geothermal fields, with its steaming colorful soil and hot springs. We then visit the charming fishing village of Eyrarbakki, including the local Maritime and Folk Museum. This evening we reach our destination of Hella.
Overnight: Hella | Breakfast
Hella - Landmannalaugar - Þjórsárdalur Valley - Hella. Today we head off the beaten track, quite literally, taking the unpaved road to Landmannalaugar. Located in Fjallabak Nature Reserve, this collection of rhyolite mountains offers up a dazzling array of colours. You'll have the option to explore the area on your own or join the short guided hike through a rough lava field. You might wish to make the 90 minute round trip hike to the stunning Brenninsteinsalda, known as the rainbow mountain of Iceland, or you can take a dip in the natural geothermal stream.
Making our way back to our accommodation this afternoon we'll stop at Þjórsárdalur Valley. First visit Hjálparfoss waterfall, this waterfall is split in half by an interesting Basalt rock formation. We then visit the Viking farm ruins at Stöng, sitting at the bottom of the notorious Mt Hekla, it was completely buried in an huge eruption in 1104. We then take a leisurely walk to Gjáin, an oasis of green in an otherwise rocky and baron moonlike landscape.
Please Note: Due to weather conditions it may not always be possible to visit Landmannalaugar.
Overnight: Hella | Breakfast
Hella - Golden Circle - Hella. Today we visit three of Iceland's most famous locations, in what is known as the Golden Circle. We start with Thingvellir National Park, which was once the Viking Parliament area and is now a UNESCO world heritage site. It's a picturesque part of Iceland and sits within a valley caused by the separation of 2 tectonic plates. You'll find jagged cliffs and rough terrain. We continue to Geysir Hot Springs, from where the English word Geyser originates from. The original Geysir is now dormant, however, you'll be sure to see the impressive Stokkur which tends to erupt every 5-10 minutes with varying degrees of intensity. We finish the morning at Gullfoss waterfall, often referred to as 'the golden falls'. This impressive and powerful double waterfall drops 34 metres down to the Hvita River. Continuing to the historic and holy place of Skalholt to learn about the religious historical significance of Skalholt and its church, before returning to our hotel.
Overnight: Hella | Breakfast
Hella - Westman Islands – Vik. Today we explore the town of Heimaey and this extraordinary island by foot and by bus, after arriving by ferry. The volcanic eruption in 1973 is considered the largest natural disaster in Iceland in recent history. The eruption began on January 23 in the outskirt of the town of Heimaey - the only populated island in the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago. After the evacuation of the 5300 residents, and during the 5 months while the eruption lasted, there was much uncertainty as to whether or not the island could ever be repopulated.
During our Westman Islands tour we’ll walk up a volcano crater and visit the “Pompeii of the North”, a volcanic excavation project, where we see a house which has been uncovered by the thick layer of pumice after 40 years. There is also an exhibition about Surtsey Island that was born by volcanic eruptions between 1963-68 and preserved today by UNESCO. The afternoon is free to explore the town of Heimaey before traveling back on the 4 pm ferry to the mainland, and onwards to Vik.
Overnight: Vik | Breakfast
Svartifoss Waterfall & Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
Vik – Vatnajökull National Park – Vik. Vatnajökull, Europe’s second largest national park, offers wonderful scenic views and encompasses Iceland’s highest mountains and Europe’s largest glacier. A 5km round-trip hike takes us to Svartifoss Waterfall, which is surrounded by impressive basalt columns.
After lunch we will cruise the famous Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, sailing between the icebergs which float in the clear blue water. Following, there is free time to go down to the black sand beach, the so-called Diamond Beach, where you might be lucky to glimpse icebergs that have floated all the way from the glacier lagoon into the Atlantic Ocean. The contrast between the diamond like icebergs and the black lava beach is quite incredible.
Overnight: Vik | Breakfast
Black Lava Beach
Vik & Reynisfjara Beach - Skogafoss - Reykjavik. Today we start our journey back to Reykjavik, through the sandy desert of the southern shores of the country. Our first stop is the village of Vik and the adjacent Reynisfjara black lava beach with incredibly beautiful natural rock formations and caves. We can opt to enjoy easy 2 hour guided glacier hike in the impressive Sólheimajökulll glacier tongue, through the icy wonderland of strangely shaped ridges, deep crevasses, enormous water cauldrons and different ice formations.
This afternoon we visit the thundering Skogafoss Waterfall. Measuring 62 metres in height, it's often possible to see rainbows appear at the waterfall due to the amount of spray given off. Come prepared and bring a raincoat and good boots, as you will get wet! Reaching Reykjavik later in the day your guide will give you a short tour of the city to finish the day before you reach your hotel.
Overnight: Reykjavik | Breakfast
Today your Southern Iceland Explorer tour comes to an end with included FlyBus transfer to Keflavik Airport.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. Prices shown are per person when there are 2 persons sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' is compulsory for solo travellers or if your booking party cannot reach the minimum of 2 persons in a room and the amount needs to be added to the per person price. The single supplement offers the comfort of your own room and is also available to any other person wanting their own 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 Cabin, Reykjavik
Just a short walk from the waterfront, Hotel Cabin offers comfortable accommodation, rooms are modern and cosy with en suite facilities. The hotel also boasts a buffet restaurant and lobby bar as well as complimentary Wi-Fi for all guests. The city centre is an interesting 15 - 20 minute walk away and the local geothermal Laugardalslaug swimming pool is a 5 minute walk away.
Arhus Cottages, Hella
Located in the heart of Hella, Arhus Cottages offer comfortable and homely accommodation just a stones throw from the famous Ranga River. Guest cottages have an alpine style to them and are complete with en suite facilities, fridge and kitchenette. Arhus also has a restaurant and bar that serve up a delicious array of local and international dishes as well as refreshing Icelandic beer. Why not grab a warm tipple and sit outside on the decking whilst waiting for the Northern Lights to appear? Located in the middle of the small countryside town of Hella in Southern Iceland.
Hotel Hella, Hella
Just off Iceland's ring road, Hotel Hella offers comfortable accommodation in Hella village. Guest rooms are classically decorated and well furnished. The hotel offers free Wi-FI and a great restaurant across the street. There is also a communal TV lounge to relax in with fellow travellers. Hotel Hella is the perfect place to base yourself when exploring this beautiful part of southern Iceland.
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