Volcanoes and Waterfalls
- Day 1 - 27 July: Akureyri, Kolugljúfur Canyon, & Grábók Crater
After picking up participants in Laugar and Húsavík, we will leave Mývatn by driving west to Akureyri, often called the Capital of the North. Akureyri offers many attractions, including a beautiful church with stained-glass windows and an extensive botanical garden. After a short stop in the city center, we will continue driving.
We will drive over a mountain pass and through beautiful valleys on our way to the small town of Blönduós. Here, we will take a break to purchase lunch in town.
After lunch, we'll continue driving south until we stop at Kolugljúfur Canyon, where several waterfalls plunge down into the gorge. We will also stop at Grábók Crater, which towers over a lava field that is overgown by soft patches of moss. An easy walking path leads up and round the rim of the crater, which offers a fantastic view over the surrounding area and distant mountains.
We will end our day with dinner at a country hotel called Hotel Bifröst.
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
- Day 2 - 28 July: Lava Cave Exploration & Golden Circle
After breakfast at the hotel, we will begin our day with a drive through the countryside, leaving the ring road for the first time. Our first stop will be a quick visit to Deildatunguhver, a hot spring that boasts the highest water flow in Europe.
We will then drive to Viðgelmir Lava Cave. At base camp, we will gear up with helmets and headlamps, and then take a short walk across the field to the opening of the lava tube. Viðgelmir Cave offers an unforgettable experience - at nearly 1600 meters long, it is Iceland's largest lava cave, and it offers stunning colours and rock formations that we can observe as we make our way along wooden walkways that have been installed to make exploration easier. The tour will last for approximately 1.5 hours.
After the tour, we will continue our drive to Hraunfossar waterfall, which translated means "lava waterfalls." Here, we can see countless creeks streaming out from under lava formations and dropping down into the Hvitá river. Just above Hraunfossar is Barnafoss waterfall - we will take some time to explore the surroundings, as well as purchase lunch or other refreshments at the restaurant on site.
After lunch, we will drive toward Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park. This is one of the few places on earth where continental drift - that is, the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates drifting away from each other - can be observed. Apart from being fascinating geologically, Thingvellir is also important historically. It is the site of the first known formal parliamentary system, which was established in 930 AD on the plains under the grand wall of Almannagjá.
The next destination is Geysir geothermal area, a hotspot for geothermal activity. We will wait for Strokkur, the most active geyser in the area, to erupt. Every 5-10 minutes, it blows hot water roughly 20-25 meters in the air. A short drive away is our final attraction for the day: Gullfoss waterfall. Also known as 'The Golden Falls,' this waterfall descends in two cascades into the deep gorge of the Hvítá glacial river.
We will end our day with dinner and some good rest at Hotel Borealis near Sog River.
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
- Day 3 - 29 July: Landmannalaugar
After breakfast, we begin our journey toward the Southern Highlands! We will head toward Selfoss and then drive along the course of Þjórsá, the longest Icelandic river. We will make a stop at Hjálparfoss waterfall along the way to the Hrauneyjar Highland Center, where we have a chance to purchase snacks or refreshments.
We will continue along the highland track to one of the most colourful areas of Iceland: Landmannalaugar. Translated this name means 'people's pools,' as it is historically best known for its natural geothermal baths. Today, visitors to the area delight in truly unique geological and aesthetic formations which are caused by special types of rocks that dazzle in shades of red, pink, green, blue, and golden yellow. We will stop for a hike through the colorful lava fields, take time to enjoy our packed lunches, and/or take a relaxing dip in the geothermal river at the edge of the lava fields.
From Landmannalaugar, we will take a slightly different scenic route back from the highlands which will bring close to Mt. Hekla, the most notorious Icelandic volcano. Due to its many eruptions, it was known in the middle ages as the entrance to hell!
We will finish our day in the small town of Hella at Hotel Stracta, where we will enjoy a buffet dinner.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- Day 4 - 30 July: Inside the Volcano Tour
We will begin our day with breakfast at the hotel. Our first stop will be at the iconic waterfall known as Seljalandsfoss, where we will have the chance to walk behind the waterfall. 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 the continue to the town of Hvolsvöllur where we visit the Lava Center. Visitors can view a short film and walk through the interactive, high-tech educational exhibition that paints a picture of volcanic activity, earthquakes, and the creation of Iceland.
After this break, we will drive to the ski resort at Bláföll where we will meet for the 'Inside the Volcano' tour - a journey toward the center of the earth, and an experience like no other! First, we will meet with our guide and embark on a 45-50 minutes hike towards the Þríhnúkagíur crater. We will receive safety instructions and suit up in harnesses and helmets. After this, the group will be split into smaller parties of 6-7 people to descend into the crater. Each group will board a small, open lift that will lower you deep into the magma chamber. Expert guides will accompany us during our time in the magma chamber as we explore and marvel at the unique rocks and the immensity.
Please note that for this tour you do not need prior knowledge of climbing or hiking, but you should have a moderate fitness level to complete the hike (approx. 3.5 km/2 mi each way).
When everyone has returned to the surface, we will hike back to base camp. There we will enjoy a cup of traditional Icelandic meat soup (vegetarian option is availabe) to warm ourselves up before getting back on the bus and finishing our day at Hotel Cabin in Reykjavík.
- Day 5 - 31 July: Departure Day
Sadly, it is time to bid farewell to Iceland after breakfast at the hotel. Guests are responsible for arranging their own shuttle bus to Keflavík airport.
- Price Information
Shared double room: 2495 EUR
Single room supplement: +450 EUR
Private bus with driver as per itinerary
Local English-speaking guide as per itinerary
4 nights accommodation
1 packed lunch (Day 3)
Inside the Volcano Tour (includes guided hike, all safety gear such as harnesses, helmets, etc., and traditional Icelandic meat soup with coffee/tea)
Admission fee to Lava Center (exhibition and short film)
Viðgelmir Guided Lava Cave Tour
Shuttle from Reykjavík to Keflavík Airport
Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
Travel and health insurance
Anything else not mentioned under "Inclusions"