Grand Tour of Iceland

Escorted TourIceland

BEST SELLER
From $5,975 USD
June 4 - August 27, 2018
12 Days / 11 Nights

Grand Tour of Iceland, coach tour around Iceland features Snæfellsnes Peninsula and the West Fjords. Visit 3 National Parks and cruise between icebergs.

Overview

The Grand Tour of Iceland, an unforgettable journey around Iceland, visits the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and the magical West Fjords. Explore some of the world's finest waterfalls, erupting geysers, stunning fjords, magical lagoons, active volcanoes, majestic glaciers, powerful lava flows as well as tranquil lakes with rare-breeding bird life. A combination of touring by bus, light walking, soft adventures and experiencing Icelandic culture and history.

Operation

June 4 - August 27, 2018

Departure

June 4, 11, 25
July 9, 23, 30
August 6, 20, 27

Price

  • from $5,975 per person in double room
  • from $7,360 single room
  • from $5,975 in triple room

Included

  • Arrival and departure transfer by FLYBUS airport shuttle (no guide)
  • 2 nights in Reykjavik, Hotel Klettur (first and last night)
  • 8 nights hotels in countryside
  • 11x breakfast
  • 1 x lunch, day 6
  • 10 x dinner (3-course or buffet)
  • Visit to three National Parks
  • Entrance and visit to lava cave on the Snæfellsnes peninsula
  • Ferry trip to the West Fjords
  • Entrance fee to Folk and Transport museum at Hnjotur
  • Visit to Erik the Red homestead
  • Horse show in northwest Iceland
  • Entrance to Herring museum
  • Visit to micro beer Brewery
  • Entrance fee and towel to Myvatn Nature Baths
  • Visit to Petra's stone collection in the East Fjords
  • Boat trip between floating icebergs on Jøkulsarlon Glacial Lagoon
  • Documentary film at Lava Center in town Hvolsvollur
  • Average of 1-2 hours easy walking per day

Not Included

  • International airfare & airport taxes
  • Dinner in Reykjavik on first night
  • Dinner in Akureyri (day 7)
  • Gratuities
  • Personal insurance / personal items
  • $25 Service fee

Please note

  • Arrival day: Monday
  • Tour starts on Tuesdays at 09:00 from Reykjavik
  • Tour ends on Fridays around 18:00 in Reykjavik followed by a farewell dinner same evening
  • Group size: Maximum 20 passengers
  • Accommodations in Country Hotels, Guesthouses and Farms, rooms with shower/toilet
  • This tour has an average of 1-2 hours light walking each day, mostly short walks of 5-20 minutes, to explore and reach many of the natural treasures around Iceland. It is an easy tour for nearly everyone to participate. Grand Tour of Iceland is NOT a hiking/walking tour, but most trails in Iceland are nature trails, which include uneven terrain, gravel, stairs and unpaved trails.

Day 1 WELCOME TO REYKJAVIK

Monday
The Flybus shuttle brings you from Keflavik International airport to Reykjavik where you spend the first night in Iceland. We provide you with ideas how to explore Iceland's capital on your own. (50 km/31 mi)

Hotel Klettur ****

Day 2 GOLDEN CIRCLE (B, D)
Tuesday

We see classic highlights today. Explore Gullfoss, the beautiful double "Golden Falls" and walk through the active geothermal area of Geysir, where Strokkur "the churn" spouts up to 25 meters (70 feet) every five to seven minutes. The next stop is the ancient Viking Parliament area and UNESCO world heritage site of Thingvellir National Park. The Thingvellir plain is situated on a tectonic-plate boundary where North America and Europe are slowly tearing away from each other. As a result, the plain is scarred by dramatic fissures, ponds, and rivers, including the great rift Almannagja. We continue our journey along the scenic Hvalfjordur fjord. Overnight in Borgarnes, West Iceland. (290 km/180 mi)

Icelandair Hotel Hamar ****

Day 3 SNÆFELLSNES PENINSULA - LAVA CAVE - WESTMAN ISLANDS (B, D)
Wednesday

Today, we explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, which juts out from Iceland's West Coast like a long arm with a clenched fist at its tip, and which is in many ways a microcosm of the whole island. A rugged mountain chain runs its length, capped by the 1,446-meter Snæfellsjökull glacier, a mystical cone-shaped strato volcano. We travel around the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, through lava fields, and along the ocean with many classic Icelandic photo opportunities. We see the most popular sites at the Snæfellsnes National Park where volcanic craters, lava flows, an ice cap, glaciated peaks, fjords, sandy beaches, and high cliffs shape its landscapes. We follow the adventure of Jules Verne's classic science-fiction novel about "The Journey to the Center of the Earth".

Do not miss your chance to go on your own trip to the interior of the earth under the glacier Snøfellsjökull! This lava cave tour takes you 35 meters underground and about 200 meters into the lava tube called Vatnshellir. During the trip, you reach two different sections of the cave by a long and narrow spiral staircase. The upper section has great features and unique formations of lava statues carved on the sides of the lava tube. In the lower part of the lava cave, you experience total quietness and even total darkness when your guide switches off the light. The duration of the lava cave tour is approximately one hour.

In the afternoon, we catch the car ferry Baldur from Stykkisholmur to Brjanslaekur in the West Fjords. On the 2,5 hour journey over Breidafjordur Bay, we pass the island of Flatey, which is inhabited only during the summertime. If the weather is nice, you enjoy a magnificent view of the bay's countless islands as well as the glacier Snaefellsjokull. We will stay two nights in the area of Patreksfjordur. (290 km/180 mi)

Fosshotel West Fjords ***

Day 4 ICELAND'S WESTERNMOST POINT (B, D)
Thursday

We follow the coastline and stop at the folk and transport museum in Hnjotur. We continue through a very remote and sparsely populated region to the bird cliffs of Latrabjarg, the largest seabird cliff and the westernmost point of Iceland and Europe where you can see puffins from mid-May till mid-August. We take a walk in the wilderness to the top of the highest bird cliff in Iceland. Latrabjarg is known in the world for its density of Nordic birds. Puffins, razorbills, guillemots, fulmars, cormorants, kittiwakes and other cliff birds flock either in hundreds, thousands and even in millions. Latrabjarg is a place where you can get very close to the seabirds, and even if you're not into bird watching, you are entertained by the comic puffins and mesmerized by the sheer number of birds. If weather and road conditions allow we travel to Raudisandur beach with 10 km red sand. The magnificent hues of the sand differ with daylight, tights, and weather. This pure sand beach is home to countless of seabirds and seals and is an oasis of unique tranquility. Forget everything, except maybe getting the perfect shot of the ever-changing hues of yellow, orange and red. (150 km/93 mi)

Fosshotel West Fjords ***

Day 5 BEAUTIFUL WEST FJORDS (B, D)
Friday

We travel over mountains and along the shore of scenic fjords until we reach the majestic fjord Arnarfjördur, surrounded by high mountains. At the bottom of the fjord, we come across the unique waterfall Dynjandi with its seven levels of plunging water, declared the country's most beautiful waterfall by the people of Iceland. We continue over a mountain pass. The trip continues along the southern shores of the West Fjords which is a route less traveled and is characterized by sheer cliffs, deep cut bays and narrow stretches of coastal lowland. We overnight at the remote Vogur Country Lodge in West Iceland. This overnight location is a truly peaceful and beautiful place close to Breidafjördur Bay, giving you the feeling of being all alone in Iceland. (320 km/199 mi)

Country Lodge Vogur ****

Day 6 HEADING NORTH - AKUREYRI (B, L, D)
Saturday

In the morning we travel mostly off-the-beaten-path, see abandoned farms, beautiful little country churches, and Icelandic horses. At Haukadalur, there's a rather authentic replica of the homestead of Erik the Red, the famous explorer who founded the Icelandic colony in Greenland. His son Leif-the-Lucky, born in Haukadalur, Iceland, was the first European to set foot in North America. Now the excavated and reconstructed farm in Haukadalur is a living Viking museum, a fun, informative and a photogenic place. The landscape is dominated by mountains, lakes, valleys, sea and wide open spaces.

We head north and stop at a local farm for lunch and a horse show where we learn about the unique qualities of Iceland's special breed. Afterward, we travel through the fertile farmlands and fjord landscapes of Northwest Iceland before we reach the charming town of Akureyri, Iceland's second-largest city. We will stay two nights in the capital of North Iceland. (350 km/217 mi)

Hotel Kea ****

Day 7 AKUREYRI - NORTHERNMOST TOWN (B, D)
Sunday

During a 6-hour excursion, we see spectacular fjord landscapes while traveling to Siglufjördur, Iceland's northernmost town and known as the herring capital of the North Atlantic. Siglufjördur is located on the mountainous Trollaskagi Peninsula. On the way, we pass small fishing villages and stop at a deserted valley that even most Icelanders have not seen. Included is a visit to the Herring Museum and also beer tasting at Kaldi, a local micro-brewery. The rest of the day is free at leisure. Maybe you like to go shopping, visit a geothermal swimming pool, stroll through the local botanical garden or try an optional whale watching or horseback riding tour at 17:00. Overnight and dinner in Akureyri. (160 km/99 mi)

Hotel Kea ****

Day 8 GEOLOGICAL WONDERS - NATURE BATHS (B, D)
Monday

We explore Godafoss, the waterfall of the Gods, and continue to Lake Myvatn, known for its abundant bird life and amazing volcanic lava landscapes. Visit pseudo craters, walk in the mysterious lava field Dimmuborgir, see the tephra cone Hverfjall, explore the hot springs, fumaroles and bubbling mud pools of Namaskard. Travel to the explosion crater lake Viti in the Krafla geothermal fields. In the afternoon relax and soak at the Myvatn Nature Baths. Overnight near Lake Myvatn. (150 km/93 mi)

Hotel Laxa ****

Day 9 THE SECRET OF THE EAST (B, D)
Tuesday

We travel to Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall in the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park. The round-trip walk takes about 40-60 minutes. Continue east through the bare and sometimes deserted landscape with mountains all around. Along the way, we stop at Modrudalur, the all-year residence at the highest altitude in Iceland, 469m above sea level. In the summertime, they run a service center there which is a perfect place to enjoy the view of Herdubreid, the queen of the Icelandic mountains. Visit the church at the farm, built by hand in 1949 by the former farmer in the memory of his late wife.

From there we head through the uninhabited highlands to East Iceland. We explore the northernmost fjord on the East Fjord mountain range. The isolated village Bakkagerdi at Borgarfjördur-Eystri has only 120 inhabitants, a charming village, built snugly next to the steep mountainside. Driving to there is dramatic and rewarding. The colorful mountains are unique and impressive. Experience an unusual opportunity to visit a traditional Icelandic fishing village, still relying on the small boat fishing. Even so, Borgarfjördur-Eystri is one of Iceland's most beautiful treasures, this off-the ring road location remains still seldom visited.

There is a coffee house in the village, displaying some works of Johannes Kjarval, a well-known Icelandic painter who grew up in Borgarfjördur-Eystri. His hometown and its landscape have much influenced his job. We also see the remarkable altarpiece, an extraordinary artwork painted by Johannes Kjarval. Borgarfjördur-Eystri is home to an extensive population of elves – judging by the 172 local folk tales involving elves. In the village, we find Alfaborg, a protected site where the queen of elves is believed to live in a uniquely shaped rock castle. The elf stories provide a fascinating lecture, especially for the younger generation. We continue to the local harbor to look out for kittiwakes, puffins, and other seabirds. Overnight and dinner at a local guesthouse. (290 km/180 mi)

Country Guesthouse Alfheimar

Day 10 FJORDS, GLACIERS AND ICE (B, D)
Wednesday

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 en route we visit Petra's fascinating rock collection. A naturalist and a collector are two terms that have been used to describe Petra since she was a little girl. From the day she opened her eyes for the first time she perceived her surrounding differently from most of her compatriots, and it is almost as her parents knew when they named her. The word "Petra" simply means "stone" in Greek. Petra collected for nearly 80 years this unique treasure of rocks, crystals, zeolites, quartz and more, all from the nearby area in the Eastfjords. The rocks and stones are beautifully laid out in her home and garden. Her descendants proudly take good care of this unique exhibition.

In the afternoon we see Vatnajökull, Europe's biggest glacier, visible all over Southeast Iceland. Past the town of Höfn, we stop for a boat ride among the floating icebergs on the magnificent Jökulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, considered one of the highlights around Iceland. Spend the night near Skaftafell in the southern part of Vatnajökull National Park. (430 km/267 mi)

Country Guesthouse Alfheimar ****+

Day 11 VATNAJOKULL NATIONAL PARK - THE SOUTH (B, D)
Thursday

Today we visit Vatnajökull National Park which covers about 14 % of Iceland, making it Europe's 2nd largest national park in terms of area after Yugyd Va in Russia. We explore the region of Skaftafell that is nestled below Iceland's highest mountain and the second biggest strato volcano in Europe, the 2,110-meter high Hvannadaihnjukur. We walk close to one of the many glacial tongues in the area – a Kodak moment. We cross a sandy desert and drive along the south coast, always between the sea, rugged mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls. We stroll along the black lava beach and bird cliffs near the village of Vik.

We stop at the Skogafoss waterfall, another must-see location in South Iceland. The crashing water creates a mist that results in frequent and magical rainbows, just adding some more memorable experiences to the sheer beauty of this stunning scenery and place. Afterward, we reach Seljalandsfoss waterfall where you can follow a slick and wet trail and walk right behind the falls. Come prepared and bring a raincoat and good boots as you will get wet.

Then we visit the Lava Center in Hvlosvöllur, where we watch a documentary film about volcanic eruptions in the past years in Iceland. Farewell dinner at a local restaurant in Reykjavik and we will spend the last night of the Grand Tour in Iceland's capital. (370 km/230 mi)

Hotel Klettur ****

Day 12 DEPARTURE REYKJAVIK (B)
Friday

The Flybus airport shuttle picks you up at your hotel and takes you the Keflavik International airport. (50 km/31 mi)

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