East Iceland Highlights
- Day 1 - 27 July: Vök Baths & Hengifoss Waterfall
After picking up participants in Laugar and Húsavík, we will leave Mývatn by driving east across lava fields and the Möðrudalsöræfi desert land, crossing a glacial river along the way. We will make a stop in this apparent wilderness at the farm of Möðrudalur. This is the highest inhabited farm in Iceland at 469 meters above sea level, and they run a highland cafe, Fjallakaffi.
From there, we will drive down off the desert highland plateau into a lush valley where we should see several waterfalls descending from the hills that loom above the road. The next stop will be at the Vök Baths on the beautiful Lake Urriðavatn. This is a hot spring destination like no other - the hot water is so pure, it's certified as drinkable! Admission to the baths, 2 drinks, and towel rental is included in the package (see 'inclusions').
After some time at the baths, we will continue to to Seyðisfjörður, a harbour town located in the heart of what is considered to be Iceland's most beautiful fjord. We will then backtrack slightly to drive along the shores of Lake Lagarfljót. Along the way, we'll have the chance to hike up to the Hengifoss waterfall. At 128 meters high, this is the third highest waterfall in Iceland - but what really makes it special is the eye-catching patterns woven by red clay and black basalt on the cliff face behind the narrow ribbon of water. The hike up takes approximately one hour, and along the way there is a possibility to stop at the smaller, but just as beautiful, Litlanesfoss waterfall.
We will continue onto Breiðdalsvík, our final destination for the day, where we will enjoy dinner and stay at Hotel Bláfell.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- Day 2 - 28 July: Glacier Lagoon & Skaftafell National Park
After breakfast at the hotel, we will continue driving south along the coastal ring road, which offers beautiful panoramic views. When we reach the area of Höfn, we will hopefully get a good view of Iceland's largest glacier, Vatnajökull, which we follow for the rest of the day. One of its outlet glaciers ends in an ever-growing glacial lagoon known as Jökulsárlón. Icebergs break off and float across the lagoon, down a short river and out to the ocean. Here, we will embark on an amphibian boat tour that will take us from land across the lagoon so we can experience the magical ice up close. If we are lucky, we might spot some seals playing around in the lagoon or nearby on the shore of "Diamond Beach" - known as such because chunks of ice become stranded in the black sand and glitter like diamonds.
After our boat tour, we will continue by bus down to Skaftafell National Park, where you will have the afternoon to explore. Perhaps you want to walk through the birch forest to Svartifoss waterfall, or follow the mountainside to the glacial morraine. Or perhaps you just want to relax and enjoy the late sun. We will eat dinner and spend the night at Hotel Laki in the area.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- Day 3 - 29 July: Vík, Skógafoss, & Seljalandsfoss
We begin the day with breakfast at the hotel. We will then drive through moss-covered lava fields and the sands of glacial rivers until we reach the village of Vík, where the famous black sand beach stretches as far as the eye can see. There is also an impressive view of the Reynisdrangar cliffs rising out of the ocean - no fears about bad weather, either, as the cliffs look even more mystical when shrouded in fog.
The drive continues along the Eyjafjöll mountains with views of the Eyjafjallajökull glacier - under which rests the infamous volcano of the same name that erupted in 2010 and caused disruption in air traffic all over Europe. The next stop is Skógafoss, one of the most impressive waterfalls along the way. One can ascend to the top of the waterfall, and on a clear day, the view out is spectacular.
Further along there is also a chance to stop at the iconic Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which is known for the fact that visitors can walk behind it. Don't forget your raincoat if you do so! A short walk away is another gem hidden in the narrow gorge: Gljúfrabúi, which translated means "canyon dweller." If you wish to enter the fairy-like cave into which Gljúfrabúi drops, make sure your footwear is waterproof.
We will end our day in the small town of Hvolsvöllur. Here, we will visit the Lava Center, where we can learn all about volcanoes, seismic activity, and the most recent volcanic eruptions. Visitors can view a short film and walk through the interactive, high-tech educational exhibition. We will have dinner and sleep at Hotel Hvolsvöllur.
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
- Day 4 - 30 July: The Golden Circle
Our exploration of Iceland comes to a close with a tour of some of the most iconic sites in the country: the Golden Circle. Centered around three key attractions, the Golden Circle describes a commonly driven loop that incorporates all three. The first stop is the famous Gullfoss waterfall, also known as 'The Golden Falls.' This waterfall descends in two cascades into the deep gorge of the Hvítá glacial river, and it is not uncommon to spot a rainbow in the vicinity.
From Gullfoss, it is just a short drive to the Geysir geothermal area. The most active of the geysirs, called Strokkur, spouts a column of water roughly 20-25 meters into the air every 5-10 minutes. Be ready with your camera!
Finally, we will continue on to Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park. Thingvellir is known as the birthplace of the nation of Iceland, and it is where Viking chieftains established the first assembly in 930 AD - which makes it the earliest known version of a formal parliamentary system. The park also contains unique geology and natural landscapes, and visitors can observe what is known as the continental drift, where the North American and Eurasion tectonic plates are drifting apart. This is one of the few places in the world where such a shift can actually be seen!
We will arrive in Reykjavík early in the evening, where we will stay at Hotel Cabin.
Meals: Breakfast and lunch
- Day 5 - 31 July: Departure Day
Sadly, it is time to bid farewell to Iceland after breakfast at the hotel. Guests need to arrange their own shuttle bus to Keflavík airport.
- Price Information
Shared double room: 1895 EUR
Single room supplement: +490 EUR
Private bus with driver as per itinerary
Local English-speaking guide as per itinerary
4 nights accommodation
Admission fee to Vök Baths, including 1 herbal drink, 1 drink at the pool bar, and towel rental.
Amphibian boat tour on Jökulsárlón
Admission fee to Lava Centre (exhibition + short film)
Shuttle bus from Reykjavík to Keflavík Airport
Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
Anything else not mentioned under "Inclusions"