Day 1: WELCOME TO ICELAND (50 km/31 miles)
Individual transfer by Flybus shuttle bus from Keflavik Airport to Icelandair Hotel Natura in Reykjavík where you spend the night.
Day 2: VOLCANO CRATER, SEALS, FJORDS & MOUNTAINS (425 km/264 miles)
At 09:00 meet our tour guide and depart from Icelandair Hotel Natura. Travel west, passing the town of Borgarnes and climb the Grábrók volcano crater. In the afternoon visit a natural history & seal museum in a small fishing village in Northwest Iceland and stroll around the local harbour. Further north we stop at the turf church of Víðimýri which has been extensively restored to its original form and is widely considered one of the purest and most beautiful examples of traditional Icelandic architecture. We continue along scenic fjord landscape and over several mountain passes until we reach Akureyri, the capital of North Iceland. Overnight location is at Icelandair Hotel Akureyri.
Day 3: THE CAPITAL OF NORTH ICELAND, LAKE MÝVATN & GEOTHERMAL BATHS (120 km/75 miles)
In the morning we explore Akureyri, a charming town of 17000 inhabitants, visit the botanical garden and enjoy the panoramic view over Eyjafjörður fjord. In the afternoon we travel to an important spot in Iceland's history, Goðafoss, the waterfalls of the Gods. We continue to Lake Mývatn which is known for its geological wonders and active bird life during summer. We stop at the bizarre lava formations at Kálfaströnd followed by a walk around the many pseudocraters and end an exciting day with a relaxing soak at Mývatn Nature Baths that contains a unique blend of minerals, silicates and geothermal micro-organisms. The warm soothing waters benefit both skin and spirit alike. Overnight location is at Hotel Reynihlíð.
Day 4: LAVA LABYRINTH, HOT SPRINGS & TRAVEL EAST (250 km/155 miles)
In the morning we hike in a lava labyrinth at Dimmuborgir "the dark castles", hoping to get a glimpse of the trolls who are said to live there. After an optional lunch, we visit the hot spring area of Námaskarð with bubbling mud pools and steaming solfataras. We head through the uninhabited highlands and moonlike surrounding to East Iceland. With some luck, we might spot an Arctic fox or see reindeer. From June to August the tour includes a detour to Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall in the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park. Overnight location is at Icelandair Hotel Hérað
Day 5: FJORDS, GLACIER AND ICE (470 km/292 miles)
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 on the route we visit an interesting stone and mineral collection. In the afternoon we see Vatnajökull – Europe's biggest glacier that is visible all over Southeast Iceland. Past the town of Höfn, we stop at Jökulsárlón, a glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs, and we explore the extraordinary site and might see seals swimming in arctic waters. You can walk on the black sandy beach where large icebergs get stranded. Depending on the season optional boat trips are available. We travel along the southern part of the glacier Vatnajökull and spend time at Europe's largest national park, which has Iceland's highest mountains, an alpine environment, and Europe's largest glacier. Overnight location is at Icelandair Hotel Kirkjubæjarklaustur.
Day 6: SOUTH COAST (240 km/149 miles)
A beautiful drive with many natural wonders awaits us today as we head across the Eldhraun lava field, cross the sandy desert of the south coast, overlooked by mountainous cliffs, glaciers and waterfalls. We stroll along the black lava beach of Reynisfjara near Vík. In the small village of Skógar, there is Skógafoss waterfall which is 60 meters high and is one of the most impressive waterfalls in the country. Further west we stop at the Eyjafjallajökull Information Center and learn about living next to a glacier and an active volcano. We continue to the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall which plunges over the mountain. There is an interesting trail that goes behind the fall – if you are prepared to get wet! Overnight location is at Icelandair Hotel Flúðir.
Day 7: ICELANDIC HORSES & GOLDEN CIRCLE (160 km/99 miles)
We explore classics today as we travel the route of the Golden Circle sights. We start the day at Friðheimar, where you learn about the Icelandic horse, its special qualities and history and visit a geothermal greenhouse. Later on, we see steam from the Geysir geothermal fields as we arrive. There is a variety of hot springs and bubbling pools. The original geyser is now dormant but has been replaced by Strokkur "the Churn" which erupts at 5-10 minute intervals. We continue to Gullfoss, "the golden falls", which is a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river and attracts travellers in summer and winter. We travel inland to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. As we return to Reykjavík, we take you for a short city tour to show highlights of the world's northernmost capital. Overnight is at Icelandair Hotel Natura
Day 8: DEPARTURE HOME (50 km/31 miles)
Individual transfer by Flybus airport shuttle to Keflavík Airport.
DAILY DRIVING: Total mileage without airport transfer is 1.665 km (1.032 miles) which is an average of 278 km (172 miles) per day. You spend about 4 hours per day on the bus, depending on road conditions, traffic and daily distances. On some days the driving might be longer than on some other days.
NOTE: During the offseason, from September to May, in rare cases, a change of itinerary might be necessary especially for winter programs in Iceland, should snow, road and weather conditions not allow to follow the scheduled itinerary, and certain outdoor activities/day trips might be cancelled. In this case, no refund will be given, but the travel company will try to find reasonable alternatives where and whenever possible.