Day 1: Reykjavik
Arrival and a quick visit of Iceland’s capital.
Pick up you rental car in Keflavik any time of the day. Your first stop will be Reykjavik. Our capital is a great city to explore on foot; however, if you wish to take a tour of the greater Reykjavík area that is highly recommended. You could also use the day to visit one of the cities excellent museums or have a scenic view of Reykjavík from the tower of church Hallgrímskirkja.
Day 2: The Golden Circle
Driving distance approx. 350 km / 221 mi.
A day packed with the most visited and celebrated landmarks of Iceland.
You will start the day driving to Þingvellir Iceland’s first National Park. There you can take a walk through one of the most amazing rift valleys in the world which also used to hold the Icelandic parliament from 930 to 1798. The next destination is the mother of all hot springs Geysir. Although Geysir now most lies dormant you will not be disappointed for its neighbour Strokkur that erupts approximately every 5 minutes. Thereafter a visit to Gullfoss waterfall will close The Golden Circle (on a sunny day take care to look for rainbows in the surrounding drizzle). Then you will head back to Route 1 where you can first visit and a walk behind the beautiful Seljalandsfoss and then stop at the minuscule village Skógar famous for its folk museum and another great waterfall Skógarfoss. After such an active day rest will be needed so head for the lovely Vík; the southernmost village in Iceland for a good nights rest.
Day 2: The Golden Circle
Driving distance approx. 260 km / 158 mi.
The glaciers and volcanic beaches of Southern Iceland
Look forward to waking up on one of the most extraordinary beaches in the world. Although swimming is not recommended (actually prohibited and dangerous) the view on the ebony volcanic beach of Vík is more than enough to satisfy any visitor. This scenic place which faces the Atlantic on one side and volcano Katla on the other is awe-inspiring and if you get a chance to talk to one of its friendly inhabitants be sure to ask them about the regular evacuation drills performed there. After Vík you will head toSkaftafell which is a part of Vatnajökull (the largest glacier in Europe) National Park.Skaftafell is a favourite hiking and camping ground for many Icelanders and is far known for its picturesque mountain landscape. The next stop after the Skaftafell is Jökulsárlónglacier lagoon which has severed as a shooting location for Hollywood blockbusters such as ‘Die Another Day’, ‘Tomb Raider’ and ‘Batman Begins’. A guided boat tour of the lake is recommended in order to get a better view of the icebergs and to learn a little bit more about the visible effects that global warming has had on the lagoon. Last stop of the day is the village of Höfn where you can stay in a hotel or guesthouse.
Day 4: East Iceland and Lake Mývatn
Driving distance approx. 418 km / 259 mi.
Tranquillity, tundra and leashed and unleashed power in an Icelandic Dreamland
On the 4th day you will undertake a little over 400 km which is actually not that much given that the entire East Coast of Iceland will be explored. This beautiful and diverse drive will take you past the lovely fishing village of Djúpivogur and the capital of East Iceland: Egilstaðir. Before reaching Egilsstaðir you will find the largest forest in IcelandHallormstaðarskógur or if you are interested in hydrothermal energy a visit to the controversial Kárahnjúkar Plant will certainly prove educating (there exists a documentary about the construction of the plant called Dreamland or Draumalandiðwhich looks at the matter from the environmentalist’s perspective). The drive towards Lake Mývatn from the Eastfjords is a spectacular one through the rough tundra landscape of Jökuldalur and Möðrudalsöræfi Once in the Mývatn area such attractions as the pass of Námaskarð, volcano Krafla, the mystical Dimmuborgir (Dark cities) lava fields, Ásbyrgi canyon and Dettifoss (the most powerful waterfall in Europe) await your arrival. This is truly an extraordinary region which merits an overnight stay for further exploration during morning hours.
Day 5: Akureyri and the great giants of Húsavík
Driving distance approx. 250 km / 156 mi.
Lake, rivers and the sea – along with a second touch of Icelandic city life
If yesterday was not enough for you to explore the surroundings of Mývatn then today can also be employed e.g. to examine pseudo craters or even for fishing. However if you want to see something more impressive that the gorgeous salmon of Laxá (note “Salmon River”) the perfect next stop would be Húsavík the whale capital of Iceland. A whale watching tour is recommended there; however, is you prefer to stay on dry landHúsavík boosts of an excellent whale museum or an interesting alternative the renowned Phallological Museum which contains specimens of all the mammals of Iceland (including humans and whales). From there the road lies to Iceland’s second largest urban area Akureyri after a quick stop at the waterfalls of the gods; Goðafoss. Akureyri is a vibrant city which has a vibrant night life, plenty of restaurants, museums and swimming pools, a variety of hotels and guesthouses as well as a spectacular view.
Day 6: West Iceland
Driving distance approx. 239 km / 149 mi.
Take you pick of the varieties of the West
The last day of driving offers various possibilities. There are many detours which you can take on the way back from Akureyri; however, it is probably best to stick to only one. The first option would be to explore the beautiful Tröllaskagi (“Troll-peninsula”) where a must see is the historic Siglufjörður and its award winning Herring Museum. A second option would be to take a tour of Snæfellsnes the home of the enigmatic Snæfellsjökullwhich has supposedly attracted aliens, universal forces and of course visitors of the centre of the Earth! The largest town of the peninsula is Stykkishólmur which is definitely worth a visit and if you stop there make sure to hike the short distance up to the village’s lighthouse. The third option would then be to take on the so called “Saga Circle” which includes a visit the historic site of Reykholt, the “Lava waterfalls” Hraunfossar andBarnafoss along with Deildartunguhver, which is the largest hot spring in Europe. Other sights along the way include e.g. the crater Grábrók and the Settlement Exhibition in the town Borgarnes. After a long and exciting day head for Reykjavík where you can stay in a hotel or guesthouse and perhaps have a late night swim.
Day 7: Departure
Thank you for your stay!
On the last day we will provide transfer to Keflavik airport with FlyBus. If your flight is in the afternoon you can explore the city further, visit shopping mall Kringlan or what we would recommend would be to stop at the Blue Lagoon and get to know this unique place while treating yourself to some relaxing spa treatment after a week full of activities. Thank you for your stay and we look forward to seeing you again!