Spectacular West

Self Drive TourIceland


From $1,175 USD
May 1 - September 30, 2020
7 Days / 6 Nights

Spectacular West, 7-day self-drive tour to West Iceland, visit the mysterious Westfjords, home to some of Iceland's most spectacular scenery and wildlife.

Overview

Spectacular West self-drive tour travels along West Iceland and the varied landscapes of Snæfellsnes Peninsula, a showcase of lava formations, geothermal activity and Viking Saga history. The remote Westfjords are the least populated area in Iceland where steep mountains plunge into deep fjords, rugged seabird cliffs hang over beaches, steamy thermal pools hide among rugged heaths, and Dynjandi waterfall drops 100 meters off the edge of a mountain.

Operation

May 1 - September 30, 2020

Departure

Daily, May 1 - September 30, 2020

Price

  • Rates are based on Quality class
  • from $1,335 per person, based on 4 adults in 2 double rooms
  • from $1,675 per person, based on 3 adults in 1 double + 1 single room
  • from $1,455 per person, based on 2 adults in 1 double room
  • Car category 2.0, Compact 2wd, Toyota Auris or similar
  • Rates are based on Comfort class
  • from $1,175 per person, based on 4 adults in 2 double rooms
  • from $1,445 per person, based on 3 adults in 1 double + 1 single room
  • from $1,290 per person, based on 2 adults in 1 double room
  • Recommended Car category 2.0, Toyota Auris or similar
    Rates in USD, per person. Rental Car for 6 days.

Included

  • Accommodation for 6 nights, your choice of Quality or Comfort class hotels
  • Breakfast buffet daily (except arrival day)
  • Rental car for 6 days
  • CDW, theft protection, unlimited mileage, VAT 
  • Free GPS system and no charges for an additional driver
  • Car pick up/drop off at Keflavik International Airport
  • Tablet with a new travel app called Iceland Travel Companion, including:
    Your hotel bookings with check-in and check-out dates
    A map view of your entire trip
    Thousands of points of nature sites, historic places, and road side services
    In-app purchase feature to book day tours or activities directly into the app
    Road Guide in several different languages, safety guidelines and the apps of the Icelandic Meteorological Office
    and The Icelandic Road Administration
    Detailed Travel Booklet – Electronic version in English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and French
  • Customer care service during office hours
  • 24-hour Iceland Travel emergency line assistance while you are in Iceland
  • Service fee and taxes

Not Included

  • International airfare & airport taxes
  • Breakfast on arrival day
  • Fuel
  • Beverages, snacks, lunches, dinners unless otherwise noted
  • Tolls (tunnels, roads and other route tolls), unless specified
  • Admissions and activities other than those noted
  • Any service not specifically listed under "included"
  • Guaranteed early check-in (check-in time for most hotels in Iceland is 2:00pm)
  • Guaranteed late check-out
  • Travel insurance
  • *Ferry across Breidafjordur Bay (can be added into the package)
    *We highly recommend adding the one-way ferry to this tour. Please let us know at booking time and we will be happy to set up the ferry booking for you.

Please note

  • Types of cars recommended: 2.0 or higher
  • You must be 21 years of age to rent a car, 23 years of age to rent car category 5.0 or higher.
  • Please note that the package price is based on 6 x 24-hour rental days starting at the time of rental. If your flight arrives early on day 1 and departs late on day 7 an additional supplement will be necessary unless you choose to return the car in Reykjavik when the 6 day rental is up and use our Flybus Plus departure transfer.
  • Accommodation used in our tours is a combination of comfort and quality hotels, farmhouses and guesthouses. All rooms have a private shower or private bath and WC. Breakfast is included and most offer dinner services during the summer season. The pre- and post nights in Reykjavik are in a 4 star hotel centrally located.

    Quality Class self-drive holidays allow you to spend your days exploring rural Iceland, knowing your nights will be spent in the most comfortable accommodation each area has to offer. Stay in quality guesthouses and hotels, all rooms have private facilities. Your final night will be in a 4 star hotel in Reykjavik.

    Our Comfort class self-drives offer you the chance to travel around Iceland in a worry free spirit, staying in accommodation with private facilities without stretching your budget. Throughout your stay you'll be residing in a combination of standard hotels, farmhouses and guesthouses. Your final night will be in a 3 star hotel in Reykjavik.

Tour Options

Day 1 ARRIVAL REYKJAVIK

Geothermal Lagoon - Flower Village - Geothermal Greenhouses
Approximate distance: 100 km / 62 miles

Pick up the car at the airport and start your Iceland experience.

From Keflavik International Airport, we recommend driving the southern coast of the Reykjanes peninsula towards your first overnight stay in the charming village of Hveragerdi. This village is one of the few sites in the world located directly on top of a geothermal area and, because of its many greenhouses heated by hot water from nearby springs it is often called the "flower village"

If your flight arrives early in the day, you might stop at the Blue Lagoon (a short distance from the airport) for a chance to relax in the soothing geothermal mineral waters. Overnight stay in Hveragerdi.

Important: Please note that admission to the Blue Lagoon must be booked in advance.

Highlights: Hallgrimskirkja | Tjornin | National Gallery | Solar Voyager | Perlan

Optional: Blue Lagoon Entrance and Extras

Day 2 HVERAGERDI- SNÆFELLSNES PENINSULA - STYKKISHOLMUR (B)

Massive Crater - Pebble Beaches - Glacier-Capped Volcano
Approximate distance: 355 km / 221 mi

Breakfast at your accommodation. Travel along the western coast towards the Snæfellsnes peninsula. You'll pass through Borgarfjördur, a pretty region of mountains, rivers and charming farmhouses. Pass the perfectly formed Eldborg crater, which looks as if it belongs on the moon. You can take a hike up the crater to look into its depths and to check out the amazing landscape.

Explore the extraordinary variety of natural wonders along the peninsula from the rich bird life at Arnarstapi sea cliffs to pleasant hiking along the shiny pebble beach at Djupalonssandur.

Throughout the day enjoy the sight of Snæfellsjökull glacier, the icy cone-shaped peak which covers a dormant volcano that last erupted in 250 AD. Also keep an eye out for Kirkjufell, Iceland's most photographed mountain.

You can enjoy one-of-a-kind guided activities in the region such as glacier hiking on Snæfellsjökull, visiting Vatnshellir lava cave, whale watching near Olafsvik, and sea kayaking in the vicinity of the popular Kirkjufell mountain. Or just take time to enjoy a cup of Icelandic coffee and pastries at an outdoor café and savor the peaceful ocean views.

The day ends in, Stykkisholmur, a charming eco-friendly town with beautiful wooden buildings originally brought over from Norway in the 1800s. Overnight in Stykkisholmur or similar in the Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

Highlights: Eldborg Crater | Budahraun Lava Field | Snæfellsjökull National Park | Arnarstapi | Hellnar | Berserker Lava Field | Dritvik | Djupalonssandur | Kirkjufell | Shark Museum | Stykkisholmur

Day 3 STYKKISHOLMUR - WESTFJORDS (B)

Quaint Fishing Villages - Ferry on Breidafjördur Bay - Europe's Largest Bird Cliffs
Approximate distance: 229 km / 143 mi

Breakfast at your accommodation. Today you can choose to take a ferry to the Westfjords or drive the scenic coastal route.

Driving option: Drive the scenic coastal roads to the southern West Fjords area of Brjanslækur and, from there, on to Latrarbjarg. Please note this will add an additional hour and 211 km/131 miles to your trip.)

Ferry option: Sail across Breidafjördur Bay, which is home to more than 3,000 tiny islands inhabited with nesting seabirds and playful seals. (Please note the ferry cost is not included in the package price.) You will pass by the island of Flatey, a beloved summer holiday area for Icelanders.

Upon reaching the remote Westfjords, drive along the southern coast of the Westfjords. Raudasandur is a gorgeous stretch of beach where you can see the sand change colors in different areas. Colors range from white to yellow to red to black. It's a treat for the camera, so we suggest taking some time to enjoy the views.

Next explore the area's main attraction, Latrabjarg cliffs, the westernmost point in Europe. The remarkable 441-meter-high (1,447 ft) sea cliffs are alive with millions of playful puffins, gannets, guillemots and razorbills. This beautiful natural sculpture has been recognized by both Lonely Planet and National Geographic as one of the greatest wildlife spectacles in the world. The cliffs make a stunning viewpoint to the beautiful beaches below during the Midnight Sun of summer. Remember to be careful while you are here since the cliff is very high. Do not approach the end of the cliff unless you are on all fours or sitting.

If you do not want to take the ferry, you can drive along scenic coastal roads to the southern West Fjords area of Brjanslæekur and, from there, on to Latrarbjarg. (Adds an additional hour and 211 km/131 miles to your trip.) In September, the ferry does not operate all days, and driving the coastal roads is the best option. Overnight in the Patreksfjördur area.

Please note: After Sept 1. the ferry Baldur departs once per day and does not sail on Saturdays. If you are planning this trip in late August or September, please make sure Day 3 is not on a Saturday.

From Stykkisholmur: 15:00 (3:00pm)*
From Brjanslaekur: 18:00 (6:00pm)*
*This schedule is subject to change

Highlights: Breidafjördur | Flatey Island | Latrabjarg | Patreksfjördur

Day 4 BILDUDALUR - THINGEYRI - ISAFJÖRDUR (B)

Rugged Heaths - 'Thunderer' Waterfall - Capital of the Westfjords
Approximate distance: 175 km / 109 mi

Breakfast at your accommodation. Travel across the spectacular Westfjords, keeping an eye out for thermal bathing springs hidden among the rugged heaths. The town of Bildudalur has a curious and entertaining Sea Monster Museum where you can discover local legends of mysterious ocean creatures .

At Dynjandi waterfall, the thunderous power of the main cascade drops 100 meters (329 ft) off the edge of a mountain. The waterfall base provides views seaward over lush valleys, making it an ideal picnic stop. You’ll actually see six different waterfalls as you walk from the parking lot up to Dynjandi, a very nice experience.

Continue on, enjoying local communities. The town of Thingeyri is a nice place to stop, especially its Simbahollin Café. The owners restored a beautiful old house for the café, sparking a community-wide renovation. The village is charming, and the café has legendary waffles. The café also offers guided horseback riding tours in the area.

Continue to Isafjördur, the largest town in the area and the honorary capital of the Westfjords.

The town has some of the country's oldest buildings, beautifully preserved. Several locally guided walking tours can connect you with the town's history, folklore and culinary heritage. If you like adding in an activity, we recommend sea kayaking. The area has peaceful water for kayaking, and it is an interesting way to get a closer view of bird life. Overnight in Isafjördur area.

Highlights: Talknafjördur | Bildudalur | Dynjandi | Thingeyri | Isafjördur | Isafjördur Maritime Museum

Optional: Seal Watching in Raudasandur (from Patreksfjördur)

Day 5 ISAFJÖRDUR - HOLMAVIK - LAUGAR SAELINGSDALUR (B)

Uninhabited Fjords - Seal and Birdlife - Remote Arctic Wilderness
Approximate distance: 355 km / 221 miles

Breakfast at your accommodation. Drive the numerous uninhabited inlets of Isafjardardjup Fjord, with its beautiful coastline teeming with seals and bird life, towards Holmavik village. The Arctic Fox Center in Sudavik is an interesting place to visit and learn about these charming animals that are so prevalent in the Westfjords.

We recommend an excursion to the Strandir coast, one of the least-visited corners of Iceland. This remote and desolate wilderness has an air of mystery, where you can hike the breathtaking moorlands, soak in natural geothermal pools and learn about ancient sorcery and witchcraft. We definitely recommend a stop at the Museum of Sorcery and Witchcraft. The Westfjords has long been associated with tales of witchcraft and magic, and this museum describes this interesting history.

Head out of the Westfjords and into Western Iceland. End your day in the fertile green valleys of Laugar in Saelingsdalur, an area rich in ancient Sagas and tales of elves. Overnight in the Laugar in Saelingsdalur area.

Highlights: Vigur Island | Isafjördur | Holmavik | Strandir Coast

Day 6 LAUGAR SAELINGSDALUR - BORGARFJÖRDUR - REYKJAVIK (B)

Viking Heritage - Mysterious Waterfalls - Europe's Most Powerful Hot Spring
Approximate distance: 270 km / 168 miles

Breakfast at your accommodation. Drive to Eiriksstadir, the Viking Age home of Erik the Red and birthplace of his son Leif Eriksson, who discovered North America. See the turf-covered replica of his longhouse and the adjacent excavation site where you can stand on Leif's doorstep and share his magnificent view overlooking Haukadalur valley.

Head through Borgarfjördur, one of Iceland's best kept secrets. This is a beloved vacation spot for Icelanders from Reykjavik. It contains a charming mix of miniature forests, waterfalls, caves and views of Langjökull Glacier. If you want to add some adventure to your day, a visit to the colorful Vidgelmir caverns or the unique Into the Glacier ice cave is an unforgettable experience. The charming Husafell area has a mix of hiking trails that suit all skill levels, including a history-themed trail.

Visit Hraunfoss waterfall where the water shimmers from moss-covered lava into cerulean waters below. The nearby Barnafoss Falls have a mysterious secret to reveal. Be sure to stop at Deildartunguhver, Europe's most powerful hot spring, where you can buy organic tomatoes grown using geothermal heat. Deildartunguhver you can also enjoy the Krauma natural geothermal spa, which uses a blend of the hot spring’s water and glacier cold springs. The spa's restaurant specializes in dishes made with ingredients from area farms and greenhouses.

Borgarfjördur is also a great area to discover handicrafts and tasty farm-fresh treats. The Ullarselid Wool Center at the Icelandic Agricultural Museum in Hvanneyri sells handicrafts made from wool and other materials, Nearby is Hespa's House, where you can see how wool is dyed with natural Icelandic plants. Stedji is a microbrewery located on a farm. You can visit the tasting room and try some really unique brews. Ljomalind Farmer's Market in Borgarnes has handcrafts and delicious food items that make great souvenirs.

Continue via Hvalfjördur (the Whale Fjord) to Reykjavik. Overnight in Reykjavik.

Highlights: Eiriksstadir Viking Home | Deildartunguhver | Hraunfossar | Barnafoss | Borgarnes | Settlement Center of Iceland | Hvalfjördur Fjord | Husafell

Optional: Into the Glacier - Classic Tour (from Husafell Hotel or Klaki Base Camp)

Day 7 REYKJAVIK DEPARTURE (B)

Approximate distance: 52 km / 32 miles

Breakfast at your hotel. Drive back to Keflavik International Airport and even stop at Blue Lagoon as it is on your way to the airport, if you did not have time to do it on your arrival day.*

If you did not visit the Blue Lagoon on your way to the city on your first day but have some free time today, you might want to use the opportunity en route to the airport. For this detour, please be sure to allow for at least 2-2,5 hours extra so you’ll have ample time at the lagoon. Your rental car should be returned to the airport service area, which is located only 2 minutes from the airport building. A shuttle will then transport you to the departure hall.

Optional: Blue Lagoon Entrance and Extras

*Please note that the package price is based on 6 x 24-hour rental days starting at the time of rental. If your flight arrives early on day 1 and departs late on day 7 an additional supplement will be necessary unless you choose to return the car in Reykjavik when the 6 day rental is up and use our Airport Direct departure transfer.

Note: Although the road quality in the Westfjords has improved drastically during the last decade, it is still an area where it is vital for your safety to drive slowly on winding, gravely and unpaved roads.

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