Scenic Trails – Soft Hiking

Escorted TourIceland


From $4,075 USD
June 17 - September 2, 2018
10 Days / 9 Nights

Scenic trails, soft hiking in the Icelandic highland, whale watching near Akureyri. Visit Asbyrgi National Park, Thorsmork Nature Reserve and Nature Spas.

Overview

Get off the beaten track and explore Iceland's lesser-known highlights with our Scenic Trails tour, soft hiking in the Icelandic highland and Whale watching in the Arctic Sea near Akureyri. Explore Iceland's legendary landmarks and significant sights such as Asbyrgi (Bastion of the Gods) and Thorsmork Nature Reserve. While traversing the country, you'll visit unexpected places and go on simple hikes, allowing you to enjoy Iceland's diverse landscapes.

Operation

June 17 - September 2, 2018

Departure

Guaranteed departures 2018
June 17
July 8, 29
August 12
September 2

Price

  • June - August 2018
  • from $4,555 per person in double room
  • from $5,965 single room

  • September 2018
  • from $4,075 per person in double room
  • from $5,145 single room

Included

  • 8 day guided tour as per itinerary from/to Reykjavik
  • 2 nights accommodation w/facilities in Reykjavik
  • 7 nights accommodation w/facilities in countryside
  • Breakfast daily except arrival day
  • 4 x dinners in the countryside (day 2, 5, 6 and 7)
  • Icelandic meat-soup dinner at a local's home (day 3)
  • 4 x lunch boxes (day 6, 7, 8 and 9)
  • Hiking in the Siglufjordur area with local guide (day 3)
  • Entrance to the Herring Era Museum (day 3)
  • Service fee at Landmannalaugar Hot Springs (day 8)

Not Included

  • Dinners in Reykjavik
  • Meals other than mentioned in itinerary
  • Beverages with meals other than coffee/tea and fresh tap water
  • Optional tours and activities
  • Any service not specifically mentioned under "included"
  • Service fee $25

Please note

  • All departures are guaranteed with minimum of 2 participants
  • Maximum group size: 17 people
  • Hikes range from 1-3.5 hours
  • This tour combines enjoyable short hikes with sightseeing in a small coach or tour van.
    Hikes offered during the tour are a mixture of moderate-level hikes and easy nature walks.
    Participants do not need to be expert hikers, but they should be in good physical condition.
    The trip hiking is also designed to be flexible: each day’s hiking will be adjusted to your group’s general fitness level, weather and trail conditions.
  • The guide has the right to change hiking routes in the itinerary based on weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances.
  • Information provided in the itinerary about each day's hikes is a general guide. Actual times may vary based on weather and trail conditions.

Day 1 ARRIVAL ICELAND

On your own, transfer to Reykjavik. We recommend the easy and convenient FlyBus Plus transfers, which can be booked through us. If your flight lands early in the day, a great suggestion is to explore Reykjavik, the largest municipality in Iceland.

If you would enjoy a scenic walk on your arrival day, Reykjavik has many local walking trails that take you by the seaside and through pretty neighbourhoods.

Dinner is on your own. Reykjavik offers a multitude of restaurants and/or coffee-houses, making dinner a great way to get better acquainted with Iceland's capital.

Please note guaranteed early check-in is not included in the price. Most hotels begin check-in around 14:00 (2:00pm). Overnight stay in Reykjavik (airport transfer not included).

Highlights: Reykjavik | Parliament House | Perlan | Solar Voyager | Harpa Concert Hall

Optional: Airport transfer with Flybus Plus | Airport transfer: Arrival via Blue Lagoon | Blue Lagoon Entrance and Extras

Day 2 REYKJAVIK - HVALFJÖRDUR - BORGARFJÖRDUR (B, D)

Whale Fjord - Tallest Waterfall - Elfin Folklore
Breakfast at your hotel. Begin the day with a short orientation tour of Reykjavik. Drive along the scenic coastline of Hvalfjördur Fjord, one of Iceland's longest and deepest, on the way to Glymur. This is Icelands highest waterfall, which descends gracefully in streaming ribbons down a 200-meter (658 foot) drop into a massive canyon adorned in lush, green moss. Both the fjord and the waterfall are linked to a local legend about a mythical whale that swam up the waterfall into the lake at the top. Eerily enough, whale bones have been found here! Spend some time hiking in the area to enjoy different views of the waterfall and surrounding nature. Dinner and overnight stay in the Borgarfjördur area.

Hiking information for Glymur waterfall:
Distance: 5 km / 3,1 miles
Elevation: 357 m / 1.1172 ft
Walking time: About 4 hours

Note: Part of the trail includes walking through a small river on a natural bridge in the water. The crossing is not difficult but good to know about it. (Some people like to carry along a pair of wading shoes to use during this part of the trail, but this is not required)

This is a general guide. Actual times may vary based on weather and trail conditions. Our expert guides will assess and choose the actual hiking routes and hiking duration for each day based on weather and the fitness/experience level of your group.

Highlights: Reykjavik | Glymur | Hvalfjördur Fjord | Hraunfossar | Deildartunguhver

Day 3 BORGARFJÖRDUR - VIDIDALUR VALLEY - SIGLUFJÖRDUR (B)

Elven Waterfall - Intriguing Crater - Lava Rock Canyon - Seaside Basalt Columns
Breakfast at your hotel. Continue your discoveries of Borgarfjördur with a refreshing short walk to Glanni, a multi-tiered waterfall rumoured to be a home for elves and trolls. You will then visit the 3,500 year old Grabrok crater, which has hiking trails taking you to the top of the crater for remarkable views over moss-covered lava fields. The hike up the crater is steep, but steps have been built on part of the route to make the hike easier.

Continue your scenic journey as you cross Holtavorduheidi plateau, the gateway between North and South Iceland. Head to the Vididalur Valley and its rushing river. Here you will hike in Kolugljufri, a lava rock canyon that leads to a hidden waterfall.

Continue to the charming village of Hofsos and take a short stroll down to Stadarbjargarvik inlet to admire a group of beautifully geometric basalt columns located right at sea level. Then drive on to the stunning Trollaskagi (Troll Peninsula) with its amazing views of mountains and fjords, en route to Siglufjördur town.

Overnight stay in Siglufjördur for the next two nights. Dinner is on your own at one of the town‘s charming restaurants. Tonight recharge your body and soul with a soak in the hotel’s geothermal hot tubs. With a view over the harbor and the fjord, the hot tubs are a perfect setting for relaxation.

Nature walk information for Glanni waterfall:
Distance: 350 m / less then a mile
Elevation: Very little
Walking time: About 10 minutes

Hiking information for Grabrok:
Distance: Varies
Elevation: 90 m / 296 ft
Walking time: About 1 hour

Hiking information for Kolugljufur:
Distance: Varies, route chosen by guide
Elevation: Very little
Walking time: About 30 minutes to 1 hour

Nature walk information for Stadarvikurbjarg:
Distance: Minimal
Elevation: Very little
Walking time: About 5-10 minutes

Highlights: Siglufjördur | Grabrok | Glanni Waterfall | Hofsos

Day 4 SIGLUFJÖRDUR - TROLL PENINSULA HIKING - LOCAL HERITAGE (B)

Award Winning Herring Era Museum - Spectacular Hiking - Traditional Meat Soup Dinner
Today's Hiking Level: Varies, based on group activity level

Breakfast at your hotel. Trollaskagi, The Troll Peninsula, is a hidden gem in Iceland, a bit separated from the rest of the country by its high mountain range. The area is home to numerous little-known hiking routes showcasing the area’s spectacular scenery.

In the morning visit the award-winning Herring Era Maritime Museum, where the harbor atmosphere of the early 20th century is brought to life in three historical buildings.

In the afternoon, take an exciting and scenic hike. This afternoon’s hike is led by an expert local guide who will decide which trail is best to explore based on the experience level of the group and trail conditions. The total hiking time is variable, based on group experience. Those who do not wish to participate in the locally-guided hike can stay behind in Siglufjördur and enjoy a light walk in the scenic areas around the village with the tour group guide.

After an active day in the outdoors, visit the home of a local resident for a home-cooked meal of hearty Icelandic meat soup featuring local ingredients.

Overnight in Siglufjördur, where you can enjoy the hotel’s geothermal hot tubs.

Hiking information for Siglufjördur area:
Distance: Varies, route chosen by guide
Elevation: Varies, route chosen by guide
Walking time: Varies, route chosen by guide, max 4-5 hours

Highlights: Siglufjördur | The Herring Era Museum | Siglufjardarskard

Day 5 GODAFOSS - HVERFJALL - LAKE MYVATN (B, D)

Waterfall of the Gods - Geothermal & Volcanic Activity - Outdoor Nature Spa
Breakfast at your hotel. The day begins with spectacular views of mountains and coast as you head along the Troll Peninsula and Eyjafjördur fjord. Make a short stop in Akureyri, the colorful "capital" of North Iceland. After some time to enjoy the atmosphere of this charming town, head to picturesque Godafoss, the 'Waterfall of the Gods' before heading to Lake Myvatn Nature Reserve, a geological wonderland of wildly contrasting nature.

With the powerful peaks of Mt. Hverfjall and Krafla volcano as a backdrop, Lake Myvatn has a surprising serenity that is ideal for light hiking. Summertime is peak birding season, so it's good to have some binoculars on hand to catch diverse species, possibly even the rare Barrow's golden eye. Begin your Myvatn adventure with a hike to Hverfjall crater. In the vicinity is Dimmuborgir, where you’ll take a walk among strange "Dark Castles" with their rugged stacks of towering rocks.

Next, hike up to Mt. Leirhnjukur hot spring area, which is part of the Krafla volcanic area and teems with ancient lava flows and fissures. Afterwards, visit the Namaskard geothermal field to view boiling fumaroles and violently bubbling pools of mud. The tour will then make a stop at the Myvatn Nature Baths where you can see how the locals benefit from the geothermal activity. There will be a chance for an optional swim in the warm and soothing waters. Dinner and overnight in the Myvatn area.

Hiking information for Hverfjall:
Distance: 4 km / 2,5 miles
Elevation: 190 m / 623 ft
Walking time: About 2-2,5 hours

Nature walk information for Dimmuborgir:
Distance: 2,4 km / 1,5 miles
Elevation: Very little
Walking time: About 1 hour

Hiking information for Leirhnjukur:
Distance: 5 km / 3 miles
Elevation: 50 m / 164 ft
Walking time: About 2-3 hours

Highlights: Godafoss | Myvatn | Hverfjall | Krafla Geothermal Center | Myvatn Nature Baths | Dimmuborgir

Day 6 ASBYRGI - JÖKULSARGLJUFUR - DETTIFOSS (B, D)

Edge of the Arctic - Horseshoe Canyon - Europe's Mightiest Waterfall - Echoing Rocks
Breakfast at your hotel. Today you will be hiking in the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park, the largest national park in Western Europe. The park is named after vast Vatnajökull Glacier and covers about 14% of Iceland’s surface.

Begin with a trip around the fossil-rich Tjörnes Peninsula on the edge of the Arctic Circle to Vatnajökull National Park. Your first discovery in the park is the enormous horseshoe-shaped Asbyrgi canyon. According to Norse mythology, the canyon is the hoof-print left by Sleipnir, the god Odinn‘s magical eight-legged horse. Take a trail leading to the bottom of the canyon with views of an enchanting pond as well as an area where you can look over the canyon.

Continue onwards to Hljodaklettar or 'Echo Rocks', a distinctive cluster of angular rock columns. The unique shape of the rocks creates interesting acoustics and echoes. Hlodaklettar is near Jökulsargljufur, Iceland‘s longest canyon. The canyon was carved by a river flowing from Vatnajökull Glacier.

Spend the remainder of your afternoon exploring the lush vegetation and forested areas of Hlodaklettar where stones stand like troll sentinels. (hiking route can be adjusted to the level of the group).

The day ends with an unforgettable visit to Europe’s mightiest waterfall, Dettifoss, a thundering cascade of glacial water and mist among shattered cliffs. An easy trail leads you down to the waterfall. Afterwards, return to the Lake Myvatn area for your overnight. Dinner and overnight in the Myvatn area.

Hiking information for Asbyrgi:
Distance: 1 km / less then 1 mile
Elevation: Very little
Walking time: About 30 minutes to 1 hour

Hiking information for Hljodaklettar:
Distance: 10 km / 6 miles
Elevation: About 50-100 m / About 164 - 328 ft
Walking time: About 4-4,5 hours (several trails combined)

Highlights: Asbyrgi | Hljodaklettar | Dettifoss

Day 7 KJÖLUR - HVERAVELLIR - GULLFOSS - GEYSIR (B, D)

Historical Highland Track - Glacial Views - Geothermal Scenery - Golden Falls - Active Geysers
Breakfast at your hotel. Today you will head into the uninhabited interior via Kjölur mountain track. This route goes back to Viking times and heads straight through Iceland's uninhabited interior highlands, passing between the mighty Langjökull and Hofsjökull glaciers. See Iceland's true remoteness and nature at its rawest. This area of black sand deserts has numerous scenic walking paths along the way, dotted with hidden geothermal treasures and green oases. Your group will stop at Hveravellir, multi-colored geothermal with a natural pool that is perfect for a relaxing break.

The Kjölur highland route emerges into civilization again in the Gullfoss and Geysir area. Gullfoss, the majestic waterfall of sparkling mist and golden charm is situated on the Hvita River, which is fed by Iceland's second largest glacier, Langjökull. The intriguing great geysir area is nearby, a steamy geothermal field of bubbling mud and high-shooting hot springs.

Dinner and overnight in the Hella area. A perfect way to unwind is a soothing soak in the hotel's geothermal hot tub and sauna, located in a garden area.

Highlights: Gullfoss | Geysir | Hveravellir | Kjölur

Day 8 DAY IN LANDMANNALAUGAR (B)

Brilliantly - Colored Wilderness - Hekla Volcano - Hot Springs
Breakfast at your hotel. Iceland's southern uninhabited interior sets a surreal stage for today's adventure. The uninhabited wilderness of Landmannalaugar and Fjallabak reveal geological influences in volcanic craters, multi coloured rhyolite mountains, steaming lava fields, and the ominous Hekla volcano.

There are many beautiful walking trails in the area, and a crater-filled lake lush with brown trout. Today your guide will choose the best route for your group based on your overall experience level and trail conditions. Hiking times vary based on route chosen.

Afterwards, enjoy the benefits of this geothermal area with a refreshing swim in Landmannalaugar's hot-spring fed river, one of the most scenic, unique springs in Iceland. Overnight in the Hella area. Dinner is on your own.

Hiking information for Landmannalaugar:
Distance: 8,5 km / 5 miles
Elevation: About 400 m / About 1.312 ft
Walking time: About 5-6 hours (several trails combined)

Highlights: Landmannalaugar | Hekla

Day 9 THORSMÖRK - SELJALANDSFOSS - REYKJAVIK (B)

Thor's Playground - Glacial Views - Walk behind a Waterfall
Breakfast at your hotel. Thorsmork Nature Reserve (also known as the Thor's Playground) should be on every nature lover's bucket list. This enchanted hidden valley is nestled between two glaciers and protected by rivers and mountains. On the way to Thorsmork, stop at Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where you can gain a different perspective by walking behind the curtain of cascading water.

Once within Thorsmork, walk along marked trails in the beautiful scenery of delicate trees and green grass surrounded by towering mountains and glacial tongues. Your guide will choose the best route for your group based on your overall experience level and trail conditions. Hiking times vary based on route chosen.

After a beautiful day here, the tour heads to Reykjavik. Overnight stay in Reykjavik. Dinner is on your own.

Hiking information for Thorsmork:
Distance: 5-6 km / 3-4 miles
Elevation: About 200-300 m / About 656 - 984 ft
Walking time: About 5-6 hours (several trails combined)

Highlights: Thorsmork | Seljalandsfoss | Reykjavik | Skogafoss

Day 10 DEPARTURE REYKJAVIK (B)

If your flight is in the afternoon we recommend taking the time to explore Reykjavik or to enjoy a relaxing dip in the popular Blue Lagoon on your way to Keflavik airport. (Airport transfer not included, but we would be happy to arrange it for you.)

Note: We reserve the right to alter routes without prior notice due to road conditions.

Important: Hikes range from 1-3.5 hours.
These are soft adventure hikes with intermediate (moderate) level of difficulty. Participants do not need to be expert hikers, but they should be in reasonable physical shape. The guide will assess and choose the hiking routes for each day based on weather and the fitness/experience level of the group. The guide has the right to change hiking routes in the itinerary due to road conditions, based on weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances without prior notice. 

Most hiking paths in Iceland are not paved. Hiking paths have natural surfaces, sometimes based on old sheep tracks. Rail terrain can have lava rocks, loose gravel, soft dirt and muddy areas. Hiking poles are highly recommended.

What to bring:
Good waterproof hiking shoes (necessary)
Wind and waterproof jacket and trousers
Warm hat
Gloves
Scarf or bandanna
A day pack (for items you might use during the walks)
Hiking poles (recommended)
Water bottle/Flask (fill it with Iceland’s fresh, healthy tap water- it’s a greener alternative to bottled water!)
Swimsuit and towel (for Landmannalaugar on day 8)

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