Round About Iceland

Tour ID: SNA01

Tour Info

Duration: 10 Days
/ 9 Nights
Countries: Iceland
Seasons: Summer
Available: April - October
Travel Style: Self-Drive Tours

Embark on an Icelandic adventure where each day reveals nature’s wonders. From the vibrant streets of Reykjavík to the rugged coastlines of the South Shore, your journey will unfold amidst cascading waterfalls, majestic glaciers, and charming villages rich in history. Explore the diverse landscapes of Vatnajökull National Park, encounter whales in Húsavík, and marvel at the geological wonders of the Golden Circle.

Scenic sightseeing

From $2,100 pp

Highlights:

✔ Reynisfjara black beach
✔ Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier
✔ Diamond Beach
✔ Dettifoss waterfall

Price Includes:

✔ Accommodation with private facilities and breakfast
✔ Rental car including unlimited mileage, VAT, Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW), Gravel Protection (GP), Theft Protection (TP).*
✔ Pickup and drop off of rental car at the airport
✔ Detailed suggested itinerary for each day.
✔ Emergency telephone service
✔ * Please note that one day of car rental equals 24 hours. If a car is picked up at 12:00, it must be dropped off before 12:00 the following day to stay within the 24-hour period. For example, if a tour includes a 4-day rental (4x24-hours), the guest needs to adhere to this time limit. Exceeding it will incur charges for an extra day. Therefore, it is essential to specify the flight times during the booking process.

Price Excludes:

✖ Fuel expense and parking fees
✖ Items not included in the itinerary

Itinerary

Arrive Reykjavik Airport, collect your rental car and embark on your journey, traversing the otherworldly lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula. This unique volcanic landscape, adorned with moss-covered rocks and framed by distant mountains, serves as a mesmerizing gateway to Iceland’s natural marvels. Spend your first night in Reykjavík, the country’s vibrant capital.

Driving along Iceland’s south coast is an expedition through some of the island’s most breathtaking scenery. Begin your journey with a visit to Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where water cascades over a cliff into a serene pool, allowing visitors to walk behind the falls for a unique perspective. Continue along the coast to Skógafoss, where powerful waters plummet from a great height, creating a mist that dances in the light.

Further along, Dyrhólaey presents a rugged promontory with panoramic views of the ocean and coastline, including the iconic arched rock jutting into the sea. Nearby, Reynisfjara beach amazes visitors with its black sands, towering basalt columns, and the powerful waves of the North Atlantic crashing against the shore. Your journey culminates in Vík í Mýrdal, a charming village known for its picturesque church set against a backdrop of dramatic cliffs and the endless ocean.

Departing from the charming village of Vík, known for its dramatic black sand beaches and iconic sea stacks, your route leads you towards the enchanting realm of Vatnajökull National Park. As you drive eastward, the road brings you closer to the majestic glaciers spilling from the ice cap of Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier. The Skaftafell area within the park serves as a gateway to glacier hikes and stunning views of Svartifoss waterfall, framed by basalt columns.

The journey’s highlight awaits at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and the nearby Diamond Beach, where icebergs from the glacier float in a tranquil lagoon before washing ashore on a black sand beach, sparkling like diamonds under the sunlight. Your adventure culminates in Höfn, a picturesque fishing town with panoramic views of Vatnajökull and a reputation for some of the best lobster in Iceland. This drive from Vík to Höfn offers an intimate experience with the island’s most captivating natural phenomena.

Setting off from Höfn, your drive to Egilsstaðir takes you on an unforgettable journey through the East Fjords, a region famed for its dramatic landscapes, quaint villages, and serpentine roads that hug the coastline. This route reveals a lesser-traveled side of Iceland, where the raw beauty of nature speaks volumes. As you leave Höfn, the scenery transitions to the rugged coastline of the East Fjords, where steep mountains plunge into deep, narrow fjords. Each twist and turn presents a new vista, with the ocean’s vast expanse on one side and towering cliffs on the other.

The drive takes you through a series of charming fishing villages and hamlets, each with its own unique character. Djúpivogur is a delightful stop, known for its art installations and birdlife. Further along, the road winds through Fáskrúðsfjörður, where French fishermen once wintered, leaving a cultural imprint that lingers to this day. As you reach the northern part of the fjords, the landscape softens, revealing fertile valleys and rivers teeming with salmon. Egilsstaðir, the largest town in the East, serves as the gateway to the region’s interior, including the mystical Lake Lagarfljót, home to tales of serpentine monsters and hidden forests.

Before arriving at Lake Mývatn, visit the Krafla area, which includes the Víti crater and the Krafla lava fields. Víti, a large explosion crater filled with blue water, was created during the Krafla fires, a series of volcanic eruptions in the 1970s and 1980s.

Nearby, the steaming fumaroles and boiling mud pots of the Námaskarð geothermal area display the earth’s inner heat at the surface, painting the ground in vivid colors. A visit to the Mývatn Nature Baths offers a relaxing interlude. Continue to Grjótagjá, a small lava cave with a thermal spring inside, historically a popular bathing place and more recently a filming location for “Game of Thrones.”

As you continue your journey, the volcanic crater of Hverfjall presents an opportunity for a short hike. This tephra cone volcano boasts a nearly perfectly circular rim with a diameter of about one kilometer. A hike to the rim provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Next, explore the Dimmuborgir lava formations, a maze of towering stacks and caves that create a mythical atmosphere, with legends claiming it as home to elves and trolls. Finally, visit the pseudo craters at Skútustaðagígar, offering a fascinating glimpse into the geological processes shaping Iceland’s dynamic landscape.

Head north to Húsavík, a coastal town known as the whale-watching capital of Iceland. Once in Húsavík, consider booking a whale-watching tour to encounter minke and humpback whales, and even orcas during certain times of the year. Don’t forget to visit the Húsavík Whale Museum, which offers in-depth information about marine life in Icelandic waters. If whale watching isn’t for you, consider a drive to Ásbyrgi and back. This 125 km (78 miles) round trip is well worth the visit, as Ásbyrgi is a stunning glacial canyon known for its distinctive horseshoe shape. The canyon is surrounded by high cliffs and encloses a lush, forested area, a rarity in Iceland.

After Húsavík, drive south towards Goðafoss, one of Iceland’s most majestic waterfalls. Known as the “Waterfall of the Gods,” Goðafoss holds historical significance as the site where the law speaker Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði made Christianity the official religion of Iceland by throwing his pagan idols into the falls around the year 1000.

Continue your journey to Akureyri, a city known for its charming atmosphere and cultural vitality. Spend time exploring the city’s attractions such as the Akureyri Botanical Garden, the Akureyri Church, and the bustling downtown area.

Leaving Akureyri, drive west towards the historical valley of Skagafjörður, renowned for its horse breeding and significant role in Icelandic sagas. Taking a detour from the main road, you can delve into Viking history at the Icelandic Emigration Center in Hofsós and explore the medieval turf houses at Glaumbær. Continue your journey over the Holtavörðuheiði highland road to Borgarfjörður.

Arriving in Borgarfjörður, your first stop is Reykholt. Once the home of Snorri Sturluson, a medieval historian, poet, and politician, Reykholt offers a deep dive into the saga age. Visit Snorri’s pool, an early geothermal pool, and the museum dedicated to his life and works. Next, head to Deildartunguhver, Europe’s most powerful hot spring. The sheer volume of boiling water produced here is awe-inspiring.

A short drive brings you to the unique Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls. Hraunfossar, known as the ‘Lava Waterfalls,’ is a stunning series of cascades emerging from beneath a lava field, creating a breathtaking view. Nearby, Barnafoss, or ‘Children’s Falls,’ has its own tragic saga that adds a mystical aura to its rushing blue waters.

Finally, immerse yourself in the rich saga history at the Settlement Centre in Borgarnes, which provides insight into Iceland’s early history and the sagas that have shaped Icelandic culture.

Embarking on a drive around the Snæfellsnes Peninsula immerses you in a landscape brimming with geological diversity, mythical aura, and captivating coastal vistas. This region, often referred to as “Iceland in Miniature,” distills much of the nation’s essence into one easily accessible peninsula.

Begin your journey with a stop at the Gerðuberg basalt columns, a striking cliff of geometrically perfect hexagonal columns that form a beautiful natural structure. Next, visit Ytri Tunga beach, known for its golden sands and the opportunity to see seals lounging on the rocks during the summer months.

As you continue, explore the small fishing villages of Arnarstapi and Hellnar. Take a leisurely walk along the coastal path connecting the two villages to appreciate stunning sea stacks and the raw power of the Atlantic. Arnarstapi’s harbor is particularly picturesque, and the area is rich in birdlife.

Driving further, you enter Snæfellsjökull National Park, dominated by the glacier-capped Snæfellsjökull volcano, a famous landmark said to be one of the seven great energy centers of the earth. The park offers various hiking trails, scenic viewpoints, and access to caves like Vatnshellir, a remarkable lava tube that delves deep into the volcanic underworld.

Another essential stop is Djúpalónssandur, a beautiful black pebble beach where remnants of a historic shipwreck still lie scattered near the shore. The beach is surrounded by dark lava formations and dramatic cliffs, providing a unique setting for exploration and photography.

No tour of Snæfellsnes would be complete without visiting Kirkjufell, a beautifully symmetrical mountain near Grundarfjörður, famed as one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland. Its distinct shape and the nearby Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall make it a photographer’s dream.

Drive south towards Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Þingvellir is a place of significant historical, cultural, and geological importance, as it was the site of the world’s oldest recorded legislative parliament (Alþingi) and lies on the rift between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Explore the walking trails, Almannagjá fissure, and Öxarárfoss waterfall. Continue your journey to the Geysir geothermal area in Haukadalur valley. Although the Great Geysir is mostly dormant, its neighbour Strokkur erupts every few minutes, shooting boiling water up to 30 meters into the air. The surrounding area is dotted with hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles.

A short drive from Geysir brings you to Gullfoss, one of Iceland’s most stunning waterfalls. Gullfoss, or ‘Golden Falls,’ cascades down a deep gorge, creating a spectacular display of nature’s power. There are several viewpoints to appreciate the waterfall’s beauty from different angles. After exploring the Golden Circle, head back to Reykjavík.

Check out and return your rental vehicle to Keflavík International Airport.

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Scenic sightseeing

From $2,100 pp

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