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Iceland Encompassed



  • 19 Sep
  • -
  • 28 Sep 2051
  • |
  • 10 days


per person

Availability: 1 places

    Also known as the ‘land of fire and ice’, Iceland is famous for its wild landscapes and ancient fishing settlements.  Located in the North Atlantic Ocean, Iceland’s setting provides the perfect opportunity to see varied wildlife – a paradise for bird watchers and whale enthusiasts alike.

    Encompassing all the best that Iceland has to offer, this ten-day adventure follows the ring road around the sparsely populated island. Beginning in the world’s northernmost capital, Reykjavik, we visit some of Iceland’s most famous sites, including the natural wonders of the Golden Circle. From here we journey south to the beaches and floating icebergs at the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. We meet the locals and learn about Iceland’s maritime history and culture in the Eastern Fjords, before visiting nature baths and bubbling mud pools at the volcanic and geothermal north.There will be the opportunity to search for the many species of whale that inhabit the waters of Iceland, including Humpback, Minke and Orca. Journeying through snow-capped mountains and rugged landscapes we’ll visit the western coast, learning legends of trolls and the history of charming fishing villages, stretching back to Viking times.

    With opportunities en route to hike crevasses of Skaftafell glacier, and walk the dramatic coastline between two rural villages, there will be plenty of time to appreciate the remarkable panoramic views Iceland has to offer. This is an unforgettable adventure you don’t want to miss.

    Day 1


    The tour starts late this morning at the hotel. There will be a chance to freshen up, before taking a short, guided tour of the city this afternoon. The tour will take in some of Reykjavik’s cultural highlights including the National Museum, providing us with a fascinating insight into Icelandic history, and the Whales of Iceland exhibition with huge life-sized models of the many species of marine wildlife inhabit the shores of Iceland. This evening we’ll head to a local restaurant for dinner where we can enjoy traditional Icelandic cuisine, before heading back to our hotel.

    Day 2


    Today we will set off early to tour Iceland’s South West ‘Golden Circle’ route, where we will see several amazing natural sites. First, we will stop at the UNESCO site of Thingvellir National Park, where we will learn about its fascinating cultural history, including the formation of the National Parliament of Iceland, dating back to 930 AD, and witness its unique geological landscape. Here we can literally straddle two continental plates – North America and Eurasia. After lunch at the Friðheimar tomato farm, we will visit the 3,000 year old Kerid Crater, boasting vivid red volcanic rock and a turquoise water at its centre. We will then drive to Geysir Geothermal Area where we can witness the active geyser, Strokkur, frequently blasting water many metres high. We will also visit Gullfoss waterfall, also known as the Golden Falls, with water cascading into the canyon of the Hvítá river below. Before heading back to our hotel, we will visit Efstidalur dairy farm where we can sample the homemade ice cream.

    Day 3


    Today our journey will take us to the South Coast of Iceland, where we will see two of Iceland’s highest and most spectacular waterfalls – Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. For those who are up for it, there will be the opportunity to hike across the crevasses of the nearby Sólheimajökull glacier. Alternatively, there will be plenty to explore in the area around the glacier itself. After lunch we will drive to the black sand beach of Reynisfjara, providing an amazing view of rock formations in the icy blue waters, including the Reynisdrangar basalt sea stacks. This southern area of Iceland is considered a paradise for bird watchers and depending on the time of year you can see puffins nesting in the cliffs, amongst many other species. On the opposite side of the lagoon we visit the small promontory Dyrhólaey – the southernmost point in mainland. Later this afternoon we will gain an insight into volcanic activity at the live Lava Show in the town of Vik, our overnight stop.

    Approximate walking time 2-3 hours with crampons (glacier equipment included).


    Day 4


    This morning we will have the option to visit a cave in the strange and spectacular Mýrdalsjökull glacier, where we will be guided through the unique ice formations. We will journey on to Skaftafell National Park, a famous location for its use on many films and awe-inspiring waterfall views. We will also explore Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon - known as the Crown Jewel of the South – by boat, to see the broken icebergs floating towards Diamond Beach, where icebergs lie scattered across the black sand. After exploring this picturesque landscape, we will drive on to our hotel in Hofn.

    Approximate walking time 2-3 hours with crampons (cave equipment included).


    Day 5


    Today we will venture to explore the Eastern Fjords of Iceland. Our first stop will be Djúpivogur, to meet a retired fisherman, Jón, and his fascinating stone collection and handcrafted souvenirs. Nearby, we will visit the geothermal area of Namaskaro Pass and see its colourful landscape and remarkable geological features including steam vents and bubbling mud pools. Later this afternoon there will be the opportunity to visit Myvatn Nature Baths – a quieter alternative to Blue Lagoon - to relax in the geothermally-heated pools. We will drive alongside Lake Lagarfljot, en route to our hotel for the evening.

    Day 6


    This morning we will explore Lake Myvatn and its stunning surroundings. The vast lake spans has been shaped by surrounding volcanic eruptions, filling it with many islands. For lunch we will head to the Icelandic Cow Farm, Kaffi Kú, where we will have a tour around the farm and have the chance to sample some of the farm produce and local waffles at the family run cafe. This afternoon we will visit the lava field at Dimmuborgir where there are many fascinatingly shaped lava pillars. Finally, we will have the chance to see the beautiful Godafloss waterfall, before heading to our hotel in Akureyri.

    Day 7


    This morning - subject to local conditions - we will go whale-watching from the village of Hauganes, searching for the many species of whale that inhabit the waters of Iceland, including Humpback, Minke and Orca. Alternatively, you can spend some time exploring the coastal town of Akureyi, before heading west to the town of Reykholti, where we will check into our hotel for the evening.

    Day 8


    Today we will set off early to visit the western coast of Iceland, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, famous for its ancient fishing settlements and wild landscape. Our first stop is to the beautifully picturesque mountain of Kirkjufell, located at 463m above a charming fishing town, featured in Game of Thrones. Later this morning we will admire the 360-degree view of the surrounding Snæfellsjökull National Park from the Saxhóll Volcanic Crater. Today we will see two contrasting beaches: the volcanic black pebbled beach of Djúpalónssandur, and later the white sand beach of Ytri-Tunga. This afternoon we will walk the dramatic coastline between two small fishing villages – Hellnar and Arnarstapi – and learn the legends of trolls and history of the area, stretching back to Viking times. Finally, we will visit the tiny, romantic Black Church of Búdir, with its impressive mountainous backdrop and historic graveyard. On our way back to Reykholti we stop for dinner at a local restaurant.

    Approximate walking distance 2.5km. Approximate walking time 1 hour.


    Day 9


    Today we will head to the district of Borgarfjörður. We will first visit Europe’s most powerful thermal spring Deildartunguhver, used to power many Icelandic nearby homes. On our route today we will also see two famous waterfalls: firstly, a fascinating series of waterfalls known as Hraunfossar – translating to ‘Lava Falls’; and secondly, Barnafoss with water bursting out of a narrow channel through the canyon. Finally, will then head back to Reykjavik via mountain Esja overlooking the city. On arrival in Reykjavik we will have some free time for some last-minute shopping, before heading out to a local restaurant for our farewell dinner.

    Day 10


    The tour ends this morning in Reykjavik. Anyone travelling on the suggested group flight will transfer to the airport after breakfast.