North Iceland Coastal Charm

Self Drive TourIceland


From $855 USD
May 1 - September 30, 2020
6 Days / 5 Nights

The Arctic Coast Way opened in June 2019 as Iceland's first scenic byway. Lonely Planet chose the Arctic Circle Way as its Top 2019 Destination in Europe.

Overview

North Iceland Coastal Charm, the Arctic Coast Way opened in June 2019 as Iceland’s first scenic byway. Lonely Planet chose the Arctic Circle Way as its Top 2019 Destination in Europe. The 559 mi route, also called the Diamond Circle, follows the North Atlantic Ocean; its six peninsulas reaching far out into the ocean. Highlights are black sandy beaches, spectacular cliffs, glacial river deltas and fjords to high mountains and spectacular waterfalls.

Operation

May 1 - September 30, 2020

Departure

daily, May 1 - September 30, 2020

Price

  • Rates for Quality Class*
  • Car type 1.0, Toyota Yaris or similar
  • from $945 per person, based on 4 adults in 2 double rooms
  • from $1,125 per person, based on 3 adults in 1 double + 1 single room
  • from $1,015 per person, based on 2 adults in 1 double room
  • Rates for Comfort Class**
  • Car type 1.0, Toyota Yaris or similar
  • from $855 per person, based on 4 adults in 2 double rooms
  • from $1,025 per person, based on 3 adults in 1 double + 1 single room
  • from $950 per person, based on 2 adults in 1 double room
  • Rental car for 5 days

    *Our 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 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 hotels and guesthouses, all rooms have private facilities. Your final night will be in a 4 star hotel in Reykjavik.

Included

  • Accommodation for 5 nights
  • Breakfast buffet daily (except arrival day)
  • Rental car for 5 days
  • CDW, theft protection, unlimited mileage and VAT 
  • Free GPS system and no charges for an additional driver
  • Fuel 
  • Car pick up/drop off at Keflavik International Airport
  • Emergency phone line available 24/7
  • Service fee and taxes
  • 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 in Iceland
    Service fee and taxes

Not included

  • International airfare
  • Airfare to/from Akureyri (we can help arrange this for you)
  • Hotel nights in Reykjavik (we can help arrange these for you)
  • Breakfast on arrival day
  • Beverages, snacks, lunches, dinners unless otherwise noted
  • Fuel expenses
  • Tolls (tunnels, roads and other route tolls), unless specified
  • Upgrade to higher category car
  • Meals and beverages
  • Admissions, ski rental and activities other than those noted
  • Admission to ski areas and ski equipment
  • Guaranteed early check-in (check-in time for most hotels in Iceland usually starts 14:00 16:00
  • Guaranteed late check-out
  • Any service not specifically listed under "included"
  • Personal insurance / personal items

Please note

  • Type of vehicle recommended: 1.0 or higher. Visiting Dettifoss Waterfall: Category 2.0 (Toyota Auris or similar) 
  • Must be 21 years of age to rent a car, 23 years of age to rent car cat. 5.0 or higher
  • Children 2-11 years old: USD 83 per night when one child shares a double room with 2 adults
  • Children 12 years and older pay full price as adults
  • Children's accommodation consists of an extra bed/mattress on the floor
  • **Please note that the package price is based on 5 x 24-hour rental days starting at the time of picking up your car. If your flight to Akureyri arrives early on day 1 and departs late on day 6, you will be charged a supplement for the additional day.

Tour Options

Day 1 VOLCANIC WONDERS OF LAKE MYVATN

Waterfall of the Gods - Volcanic Wonderland – Mysterious lava formations - "Martian" landscapes
Approximate distance: 215km / 134mi

Pick up your car from the Akureyri airport. The day begins with a drive through beautiful alpine scenery en route to Godafoss (the Waterfall of the Gods). Here glacial water thunders around surrounding lava to create a beautiful half-circle shaped cascade. Travel to the unforgettable Lake Myvatn area, a geological wonderland that includes the peculiar lava formations at Dimmuborgir, and the pseudo-craters at Skutustadir Some of the most bizarre attractions in the region are the bubbling mud pits and vibrant colors of Namaskard geothermal area (it's like walking on another planet- perhaps even Mars?) Looming over the area is Krafla, the volcano that created this bizarre wonderland and whose energy provides power and hot water to the region. Myvatn' s fantastical landscapes have made it a filming location for the popular HBO Game of Thrones series, as well as several Hollywood movies (Oblivion, Fast and Furious).

Overnight in Lake Myvatn area. A great evening activity is a visit to the Myvatn Nature Baths where you can relax in the azure blue waters in a tranquil wilderness setting. Restaurants in the area offer local specialties such as arctic char, locally smoked lamb and geothermally baked rye bread. Overnight in Lake Myvatn area.

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

Day 2 HUSAVIK - ASBYRGI CANYON - AKUREYRI (B)

Whale Watching and Ocean Spa – Ancient Canyon – Magnificent fjord setting – Northern Iceland's "capital"
Approximate distance: 265km / 165mi

Breakfast at your accommodation. We suggest today to take a visit to Husavik, a charming fishing town known for its great whale-watching opportunities. In addition to whale watching, you can enjoy Husavik's relaxing GeoSea Baths. The baths are healthy and soothing geothermal ocean water, and the view over the Arctic Circle is beautiful.

Perhaps you might also like to visit the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland’s largest national park. Drive around the Tjörnes peninsula to Northern Vatnajökull National Park, where you can visit Asbyrgi, a magnificent horse-shoe shaped canyon. A series of trails leads to the canyon's lake and scenic overlooks. (We also recommend visiting the park's visitor center, which has great interactive information about the park and updates on the trail and road conditions).

After your visit to Husavik and/or Asbyrgi, head to Akureyri, the largest town and "capital" of North Iceland.

The rest of the day is open to enjoy Akureyri and surroundings. This town has gained an international reputation for its combination of small-town charm and a great cultural scene. Take a stroll down the art gallery street and catch the vibes of North Iceland's creative culture at a coffee shop. Enjoy outdoor fun just on the town’s doorstep. The surrounding Eyjafjördur area also has a nice focus on local food culture with microbreweries, family-run bakeries, ice cream shops and a cafe located on a dairy farm. A great selection of restaurants and pubs makes Akureyri a great town for friendly nightlife.

Several farms in the area also offer guided farm visits where you'll meet Icelandic sheep, goats and horses and even visit a reconstruction of an old-fashioned turf stable. We definitely recommend visiting the fantastic Akureyri Geothermal Swimming Pool. It is one of the largest in the country and has a variety of pools, hot tubs and a steam room you can enjoy. After your swim, do like the Icelanders do and enjoy a hot dog or an ice cream cone. A great evening activity suggestion is whale watching, with tours departing the Akureyri harbor. Overnight in Akureyri area.

Please Note: The Ring Road route today contains a toll tunnel. 

Late May/early June – Sep: if you have a vehicle 2.0 or higher, you might also consider visiting Dettifoss, Europe's largest waterfall, by taking Roads 864 and 862. Visit Dettifoss, Asbyrgi Canyon, then head to Husavik via Road 85 and then on to Akureyri. Roads 864 and 862 open in late May/early June, subject to weather conditions. Please note Roads 864 and 862 are gravel roads, and you must heed warning signs in the area if road conditions are not ideal for driving.

Highlights: Godafoss | Akureyri | Kjarnaskogur | Akureyri Folk Museum | Nonni House

Day 3 THE TROLL PENINSULA (B)

Scenic Coastal Roads - Charming Villages - Troll Peninsula - Historical Siglufjördur
Approximate distance: 82km / 51mi

Breakfast at your accommodation. You will be following scenic and winding coastal roads. Remember to listen to the weather forecast and take the driving at a slow pace, both to enjoy the view and to be safe. Drive along Eyjafjördur Fjord and to the area of Trollaskagi, the Troll Peninsula and Siglufjördur Fjord overlooking the North Atlantic and nearby Artic Circle. See waterfalls drop into the ocean and pass through charming fishing villages en route to Siglufjördur. This town is considered one of Iceland’s most beautiful, with carefully preserved old houses and new buildings cleverly constructed to blend in with the historical architecture.

On the way, you might consider a visit to the one-of-a-kind Beer Bath Spa with a skin-soothing geothermal bath made from a mixture of beer, water, hops and yeast. Though this mixture is not drinkable, you can enjoy a glass or two of local craft beer while you bathe. (spa visit must be booked in advance). If you like quirky museums, visit Dalvik town's wonderfully eclectic Hvoll Museum. Discover some local history, including the story of Iceland‘s most famous giant. Dalvik and the town of Hauganes are both great areas for enjoying a whale watching tour.

The Troll Peninsula is ideal for people who want to experience Iceland's beauty and outdoor fun away from the tourist crowds. The peninsula was molded by ancient glaciers that left behind powerful mountains, beautiful valleys and gorgeous mountain lakes.

Siglufjördur is also an excellent base to explore the area's history and culture. The town's award-winning Herring-Era Museum takes you back to the days of the early 20th century when a herring "gold rush" changed both Siglufjördur and Iceland. The town also offers an artisan chocolate shop, a family-owned microbrewery, Segull 66, and dining at several restaurants with a home-like ambience. If you're into suspense and mysteries and saw the television series Trapped, you might recognize some of the buildings. Both seasons of the show were filmed in Siglufjördur. Overnight in Siglufjördur area.

Highlights: Hrisey | Trollaskagi - Troll Peninsula | Siglufjördur | Dalvik
Optional: Arctic Whale Watching (from Dalvik)

Day 4 HISTORY - HERITAGE -  OUTDOOR FUN (B)

Peninsulas and Fjords – Saga Island – Local Heritage – Outdoor Adventure
Approximate distance: 215km / 134mi

Breakfast at your accommodation. Today you'll be following scenic and winding coastal roads. Remember to listen to the weather and forecast and take the driving at a slow pace, both to enjoy the view and to be safe.

Today is open for you to explore Skagafjördur. This is one of the country’s best areas to discover Iceland. If you are interested in history, visit the church at Holar which has expertly preserved artefacts and a beautifully crafted turf house from Iceland's pre-Protestant era. If you want to enjoy a swim with a great view, visit the Hofsos Swimming Pool (nicknamed by locals as the "Infinity Pool"). Created and given to the village by an artist and architect duo, this public swimming pool is set up with an optical illusion. It seems to extend forever into the ocean and has fantastic views of Drangey Island.

Drangey is the legendary hideout of the Viking saga outlaw, Grettir the Strong. Between mid-May and August you can take a guided boat tour out to Drangey. The tour departs from Saudarkrokur town's harbor. Take a boat to Drangey Island, then hike with your guide to the top of the island on a trail bringing you into good viewing of seabirds, including puffins (Puffins best seen mid-May to early August).

Holar has interesting buildings of religious and historical significance reflecting 900 years of Icelandic history, including a beautiful church. Don’t forget to visit the Icelandic Horse History Center (Skagafjördur is known for its excellent horses).

If you are interested in Medieval/Viking history and battle strategies, we suggest a visit the new 1238: Battle of Iceland exhibit in Saudakrokur town. Innovative virtual reality transports you into the past and the fateful Battle of Orylyggsstadir, part of a fatal civil war. (The battlefield is located in North Iceland.)

If you are interested in Icelandic handicrafts, the Tannery Visitor Center is a unique Icelandic tannery (also in in Saudarkrokur) that includes fish skin among its quality products. The center is open weekdays 8:00 – 16:00.

You can also enjoy amazing activities in the Skagafjördur area such as horseback riding and river rafting. Overnight in Siglufjördur area.

Highlights: Drangey Island | Skagafjördur Heritage Museum - Glaumbær | Skagafjördur Fjord | Icelandic Emigration Center | Hofsos | Saudarkrokur | Grettislaug Geothermal Pool

Day 5 SIGLUFJÖRDUR - AKUREYRI (B)

Farewell to the Mountains and Fjords
Approximate distance: 75km / 47mi

Breakfast at your accommodation. Today drive back to Akureyri, visiting towns and enjoying a last outdoor adventure en route or a visit to the Beer Spa. There's also plenty time to enjoy Akureyri's museums, galleries and restaurants. Overnight in Akureyri area.

Highlights: Akureyri | Hrisey

Day 6 FAREWELL TO THE NORTH (B)

Breakfast at your accommodation. Drop off your car at Akureyri airport before your flight back to South Iceland. We suggest departing your hotel no later than 90 minutes before your flight.**

**Please note that the package price is based on 5 x 24-hour rental days starting at the time of picking up your car. If your flight to Akureyri arrives early on day 1 and departs late on day 6, you will be charged a supplement for the additional day.

Highlights: Akureyri

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