GUIDED ICELAND CIRCLE
Join a fantastic escorted bus tour around Iceland. Explore the island of fire and ice and go with an international group on Iceland's ring road. Discover stunning scenery and dramatic landscapes. A local expert guide helps you explore the unspoiled Icelandic countryside with volcanoes, lava fields, hot springs, mountains, fjords, glaciers, and waterfalls.
This escorted tour takes you both to classic nature hotspots and lesser-known sights. The tour includes several soft adventures and cultural visits. Some outdoor activities might differ between seasons depending on weather and road conditions.
- DEPARTURES: 2018/2019: Every Tuesday & Friday all year
- MIN. NR OF PARTICIPANTS 1
Itinerary: Guided group travel 8 days / 7 nights
Day 1, TUE or FRI: WELCOME to ICELAND (50 km/31 mls)
Individual transfer by Flybus shuttle bus from Keflavik Airport to Icelandair Hotel Natura in Reykjavík or similar where you spend the night. We provide ideas how to explore Iceland's capital on your own. Dinner suggestions as well!
Day 2, WED or 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 harbor.
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. The overnight location is either at Icelandair Hotel Akureyri or similar.
Pictures from the tour.
Day 3, THU or SUN: THE 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 contains a unique blend of minerals, silicates, and geothermal micro-organisms. The warm, soothing waters benefit both skin and spirit alike.
The overnight location is either at Sel-Hotel Mývatn or a hotel in the Húsavík area.
Day 4, FRI or 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 moon-like surrounding to East Iceland. With some luck, we might spot an Arctic fox or see reindeer. From June to August the tour includes a detour to Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall in the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park.
The overnight location is either at Icelandair Hotel Hérað or Álfheimar Guesthouse in Borgarfjörður-Eystri.
Day 5, SAT or 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 and on the route we visit Petra's impressive 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 often 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 some time at Europe's second largest national park, which has Iceland's highest mountains, an alpine environment, and Europe's largest glacier.
The overnight location is either at Icelandair Hotel Kirkjubæjarklaustur or Hotel Höfn.
Day 6, SUN or WED: SOUTH COAST (240 km/149 mls)
A beautiful drive with many natural wonders awaits us today as we head across the Eldhraun lava field, cross the sandy desert of the south coast, overlooked by rugged cliffs, glaciers, and waterfalls.
The world-famous Reynisfjara shore, near the village Vík, is widely regarded as the most impressive black sand and pebble beach in Iceland and features an amazing cliff of regular basalt columns resembling a rocky step pyramid. Out in the sea are the spectacularly shaped basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar. In the small village of Skógar, there is Skógafoss waterfall which is 62 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 65-meter 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!
The overnight location is either at Icelandair Hotel Flúðir or Hotel Eyjafjallajökull or Hotel Fljótshlíð.
Day 7, MON or 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, "the golden falls", which is a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river and attracts travelers in summer and winter.
We venture inland to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site, and an area of exceptional geological and historical interest. The Þingvellir area is part of a fissure zone running through Iceland, situated on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The faults and fissures make evident the rifting of the earth's crust.
As we return to Reykjavík, we take you for a short city tour to show highlights of the world's northernmost capital. Overnight is either at Icelandair Hotel Natura or similar.
Day 8, TUE or FRI: DEPARTURE HOME (50 km/31 mls)
Individual transfer by Flybus airport shuttle to Keflavík Airport.