DAY 1 FRI: WELCOME to ICELAND
50 km/31 mls
Individual transfer by Flybus shuttle (no guide) from Keflavik Airport to Icelandair Hotel Natura in Reykjavík where you spend the night. We provide you with ideas how to explore Iceland's capital on your own, and dinner suggestions as well.
DAY 2 SAT: VOLCANO CRATER, SEALS, FJORDS & MOUNTAINS
425 km/264 mls
At 09:00 meet our tour guide and depart from Icelandair Hotel Natura. Travel west, passing the town of Borgarnes and climb the Grábrók volcano crater. In the afternoon visit a natural history & seal museum in a small fishing village in Northwest Iceland and stroll around the local harbour. Further north we stop at the turf church of Víðimýri which has been extensively restored to its original form and is widely considered one of the purest and most beautiful examples of traditional Icelandic architecture. We continue along scenic fjord landscape and over several mountain passes until we reach Akureyri, the capital of North Iceland. Overnight at Icelandair Hotel Akureyri.
DAY 3 SUN: CAPITAL OF NORTH ICELAND, LAKE MÝVATN & GEOTHERMAL BATHS
120 km/75 mls
In the morning we explore Akureyri, a charming town of 17000 inhabitants, visit the botanical garden and enjoy the panoramic view over Eyjafjörður fjord. In the afternoon we travel to a prominent spot in Iceland's history, Goðafoss, the waterfalls of the Gods. We continue to Lake Mývatn which is known for its geological wonders and active bird life during summer. We stop at the bizarre lava formations at Kálfaströnd followed by a walk around the many pseudocraters and end an exciting day with a relaxing soak at Mývatn Nature Baths that contain a unique blend of minerals, silicates and geothermal micro-organisms. The warm, soothing waters benefit both skin and spirit alike. Overnight at Sel-Hotel, Lake Mývatn.
DAY 4 MON: LAVA LABYRINTH, HOT SPRINGS & TRAVEL EAST
250 km/155 mls
In the morning we hike in a lava labyrinth at Dimmuborgir "the dark castles", hoping to get a glimpse of the trolls who are said to live there. After an optional lunch, we visit the hot spring area of Námaskarð with bubbling mud pools and steaming solfataras. We head through the uninhabited highlands and lunar surrounding to East Iceland. With some luck, we might spot an Arctic fox or see reindeer. Subject to road conditions, we visit Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall in the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park. Overnight at Icelandair Hotel Hérað.
DAY 5 TUE: FJORDS, GLACIER AND ICE
470 km/292 mls
It's a day to admire the dramatic fjord landscape and its tiny fishing villages at the end of twisty roads in the East Fjords. En route we visit an interesting stone and mineral collection. In the afternoon we see Vatnajökull – Europe's biggest glacier that is visible all over Southeast Iceland. Past the town of Höfn, we stop at Jökulsárlón, a glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs, and we explore the extraordinary site and might see seals swimming in arctic waters. You can walk on the black sandy beach where large icebergs get stranded. Depending on the season optional boat trips are available. We travel along the southern part of the glacier Vatnajökull and spend time at Europe's largest national park, which has Iceland's highest mountains, an alpine environment, and Europe's largest glacier. Overnight at Icelandair Hotel Kirkjubæjarklaustur.
DAY 6 WED: SOUTH COAST
240 km/149 mls
A beautiful drive with many natural wonders awaits us today. We head across the Eldhraun lava field and cross the sandy desert of the south coast, overlooked by rugged cliffs, glaciers and waterfalls. We stroll along the black lava beach of Reynisfjara near Vík. In the small village of Skógar, there is Skógafoss waterfall which is 60 meters high and is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. Further west we stop at the Eyjafjallajökull Information Center and learn about living next to a glacier and an active volcano. We continue to the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall which plunges over the mountain. There is an interesting trail that goes behind the fall – if you are prepared to get wet! Overnight at Icelandair Hotel Flúðir.
DAY 7 THU: ICELANDIC HORSES & GOLDEN CIRCLE
160 km/99 mls
We explore classics today as we travel the route of the Golden Circle sights. We start the day at Friðheimar, where you learn about the Icelandic horse, its unique qualities and history and visit a geothermal greenhouse. Later on, we see steam from the Geysir geothermal fields as we arrive. There is a variety of hot springs and bubbling pools. The original geyser is now dormant but has been replaced by Strokkur "the Churn" which erupts at 5-10 minute intervals. We continue to Gullfoss, "Golden Falls", which is a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river and attracts travellers in summer and winter. We travel inland to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site. As we return to Reykjavík, we take you for a short city tour to show highlights of the world's northernmost capital. 2-night stay at Icelandair Hotel Natura.
DAY 8 FRI: LEISURE DAY IN REYKJAVIK
Optional super jeep tour to Þórsmörk glacial valley.
DAY 9 SAT: TRAVEL TO WEST GREENLAND
Airport transfer and flight from Reykjavik to Ilulissat. Transfer and welcome meeting at 4-star Hotel Arctic. Guided city walk of Ilulissat, welcome dinner and midnight sailing trip to the famous Ilulissat Icefiord that is the world's largest ice sculpture park.
DAY 10 SUN: HUNTER’S SETTLEMENT
By boat to the small settlement Oqaatsut/Rodebay with a local population of about 40 persons dependent on fishing and hunting - an entirely different world compared to the nearby town of Ilulissat. Guided walk through the village before enjoying lunch at the old trading station.
DAY 11 MON: INUIT SETTLEMENT AT ILULISSAT ICEFJORD
Guided walking tour of the old Inuit settlement in the Sermermiut Valley on the famous Ilulissat Icefjord that was inscribed on UNESCO's world heritage list in 2004. Learn about local history and Inuit customs and admire the views across the majestic icebergs. Rest of the day free at leisure to hike along the Icefjord and explore the town of Ilulissat. Farewell dinner at Hotel Arctic.
DAY 12 TUE: TRAVEL BACK TO ICELAND
Spend some time in the morning to explore the town of Ilulissat and last minute Greenland shopping. Return by flight to Reykjavik and stay two nights in Iceland’s capital at Icelandair Hotel Natura.
DAY 13 WED: BUS & ENTRANCE TO BLUE LAGOON
Non-guided return bus transfer to the famous Blue Lagoon where you get to soak off your travels in the warm mineral-rich waters.
DAY 14 THU: DEPARTURE HOME
50 km/31 mls
Individual transfer by Flybus shuttle (no guide) to Keflavík Airport.