Private pick-up from Keflavik airport, with transfer to your accommodation in Reykjavik. If you arrive early, spend the day exploring the city at your own leisure. We’ll offer advice and recommendations, depending on weather and whim. In the evening, enjoy a good Icelandic dinner before checking the legendary night-life of the capital.
HÁIFOSS, ICELAND’S SECOND HIGHEST WATERFALL.
Get ready for a jam-packed day, because we have a lot of ground to cover. Þingvellir, Geysir, and Gullfoss in the morning, We’ll climb to From there we take a true mountain track with river crossings to Þjórsárdalur, of course stopping at Háifoss, Iceland’s second highest waterfall. Finally, we arrive in Þjórsárdalur valley, where we’ll be staying for the night, with our choice of Stöng, Gjáin, Þjóðveldisbær and other great sights.
BEHIND-THE-MOUNTAINS TRACK SYÐRA FJALLABAK
Regardless of weather, taking the Syðra Fjallabak route is a treat, even for your seasoned guide. We’ll explore behind Mýrdalsjökull glacier, cross Mælifellssandur glacier outwash plains, a 4×4 adventure sometimes, and top the day with the Öldufell alternative route towards civilization. Overnight in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur for two nights.
KISS-A-GLACIER AND GLACIAL LAGOON
Today is the Kiss-a-Glacier and Glacial Lagoon leg of our intense Iceland exploration. Attractions include the old farm and turf church of Núpsstaður, we’ll explore Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue, hopefully with an opportunity to touch and experience. A guided glacier walk with crampons and ice picks can be arranged. We also visit the stunning Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon before heading back to Kirkjubæjarklaustur.
Today we’ll adopt a steady pace along the Northern Fjallabak route, walking and gawking in weird, colorful Mars-like scapes and sights. In Landmannalaugar, hiking and bathing in the warm natural pools is a given, and on our way northwards, gaping explosion craters. Overnight in Hrauneyjar highland centre.
SPRENGISANDUR INTERIOR CROSSING, ASKJA, VITI CRATER
This is a big, big day. We take the Sprengisandur interior track, the longest route between points of civilisation in Iceland. At Nýidalur mountain refuge, we turn east onto the rough, tough Gæsavatnaleið route to Askja. There we hike to and take an optional bath in the sulphurous Víti explosion crater. Overnight is in sleeping bags in the hikers hut in the aptly named Den of Dragons Gully, Drekagil, with further striking hiking opportunities.
ASKJA, KVERKFJÖLL ICE CAVES
Leaving Askja and heading to Kverkfjöll, you’ll be blown away by the surrounding landscape. A short hike takes us to the famous Kverkfjöll ice caves. As an option, we can do a drive detour to the controversial Kárahnjúkar hydroelectric dam. We’ll overnight in the unique, cosy Möðrudalur á Fjöllum turf roofed farm accommodation, or the nearby Grímstunga farm.
DETTIFOSS WATERFALL, JÖKULSÁRGLJÚFUR CANYON, HÚSAVÍK
We’ll explore the monstrous Dettifoss waterfall, Ásbyrgi canyon and more of Jökulsárgljúfur national park, time permitting. We’ll also be navigating the Tjörnes peninsula, or perhaps drive across it to the town of Húsavík, the whale watching capital of Iceland, on a nice primitive track. Ascending the mountain Húsavíkurfjall for wide-open views over Skjálfandi Bay and more, you’ll even have opportunity for whale watching. Tonight we stay in the Húsavík area.
MYVATN, KRAFLA HOT SPRINGS, DIMMUBORGIR, AKUREYRI
Adventures continue at lake Mývatn, including getting up close and personal with Krafla caldera, seething with steamy geothermal action. Amble between the dramatic lava rock formations of Dimmuborgir and other highlights. We’ll be staying overnight in Akureyri, with free time to enjoy the botanical gardens or browse shops. In the evening, do check out the great geothermal pool complex.
Departing from Akureyri to Strandir in the morning, we’ll head for remote North Strandir, a haunting and mostly unpopulated and unvisited seascape. Smothered in Siberian driftwood, this place is home to more than a few cranky old ghosts. Overnight in Kirkjuból or Laugarhóll.
LATRABJARG CLIFFS, BREIDAVIK
We’re off to Barðaströnd, the south coast of the West Fjords. On the way to precipitous Látrabjarg cliffs, the western most tip of Iceland, we’ll enjoy yellow sand beaches, a warm pool or two, great views, and the quirky Hnjótur local heritage and aircraft museum. You’ll get ample time to discover the area as we stay in a guesthouse in remote Breiðavík or the small but charming fishing village Bíldudalur.
STYKKISHÓLMUR, FLATEY ISLAND
Now for the fishing towns of Patreksfjörður and Tálknafjörður, with an excellent geothermal pool. Fish for your lunch or dinner off the harbor piers. One high point of interest is Selárdalur in Arnarfjörður, a once densely inhabited, now deserted valley at “the end of the world.” A ferry takes us to the “going a 150 years back in time” Flatey Island or town of Stykkishólmur, with dinner aboard the ferry. Overnight in Flatey or Stykkishólmur.
Early rise, a boat will take us to Stykkishólmur (if we stay in Flatey), followed by seeing the Snæfellsnes peninsula and national park with mt. Snæfellsjokull being the areas crown jewel. More fishing villages are open to visit: Grundarfjörður and Ólafsvík on the north side perhaps, maybe Öndverðarnes, Djúpalónssandur, Hellnar, Arnarstapi, or Búðir on the south side. The day ends with a drive to Reykjavík.
While it’s sad to end such a memorable trip, a breather in the city will be a lovely way to recuperate before packing up and going home to process your mountains of memories. Additions available by request.
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