Explore the whole of Iceland on this iconic 12-day adventure. Travel through countless lava fields and visit glaciers, waterfalls, black sand beaches, and lagoons. This epic journey will take you underground inside a lava cave and up a glacier. You’ll snorkel between continents and sail a boat between icebergs. You’ll get to know Icelandic wildlife, such as puffins, seals, and whales, before unwinding at some of the country’s best spas.
Your plane will touch ground at Keflavík International Airport on the volcanic Reykjanes Peninsula. After you’ve picked up your bags, a representative from a car rental agency will be waiting for you with the keys to your vehicle for the next 12 days. Start your Icelandic journey right away with a trip to the iconic Blue Lagoon. Unwind after your flight in the warm, mineral-rich waters surrounded by white billowing pillars of steam and dark lava rocks. Afterwards, head to a hotel in downtown Reykjavík, Iceland´s vibrant capital city.
Today, leave the city behind for an epic journey around Iceland. Start with the country’s most famous sightseeing route, the Golden Circle. Your first stop is at Þingvellir National Park, where the earth is literally being torn apart by two tectonic plates. Here, you’ll snorkel in glacial meltwater between these tectonic plates at Silfra fissure. Afterwards, you’ll warm up with a cup of hot chocolate. From there, travel to Geysir Geothermal Area to watch the geyser Strokkur erupt to heights of up to 25 metres (82 ft). The last stop is Gullfoss, a stunning waterfall that falls in two ‘steps’ into an ancient canyon. You will then spend the night at a lovely country hotel in the area.
After breakfast, continue your journey along Iceland’s south coast. On your drive today, you’ll see majestic glaciers to the North and the roaring waves of the Atlantic Ocean to the South. First, stop at two stunning but vastly different waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, before heading to Sólheimajökull Glacier for an icy adventure. Here, you’ll strap on crampons and, led by a trained glacier guide, ascend up the ice on a glacier hike. After taking in the breathtaking views from the top of a glacier, make your way further East to Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach. Then, drive through a black sand desert to your hotel, located in the realm of Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier.
Start the day by heading to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, a stunning, sparkling body of water where giant icebergs float calmly before making their way to the ocean. Here, you´ll get a close-up view of these bergs on a boat tour. You´ll board a speedy Zodiac boat that will get you as close to these massive icebergs as possible so you can capture some amazing photos of this stunning glacial landscape. Afterwards, head to the Diamond Beach, which is located only a few minutes walk away. At this black sand beach, small ice chunks from the lagoon lie scattered on the shore where they glisten in the sunlight. You will then spend another night at your hotel under Vatnajökull Glacier.
East Iceland is one of the most beautiful but least visited places in the country. Behind every corner is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Today, you’ll travel around this gorgeous area, visiting sleeping fishing villages and stunning natural attractions. Stop at Hallormsstaðaskógur, Iceland’s largest forest, for a picnic and admire the view of Lake Lagarfljót, where a mythical monster is said to live. Then, continue your journey of the eastern fjords of Iceland to Borgarfjörður Eystri, a small town known for its large puffin colonies. Spend the night in this charming town.
Today, you´ll travel around the Diamond Circle, North Iceland´s answer to the Golden Circle. Start by visiting the most powerful waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss before stopping at the stunning Ásbyrgi Canyon. From there, head further North to the charming town of Húsavík. Here, you´ll hop aboard a RIB boat for a whale and puffin watching tour. The RIB boat will allow you to cover more ground than a traditional boat, increasing your chances of spotting whales. At the end of the day, head to the Lake Mývatn area, where you will spend the night.
The area around Lake Mývatn was formed in a volcanic eruption over 2,000 years ago. This massive catastrophic event has left its mark on the region because you´ll find strangely shaped lava pillars, geothermal areas, and pseudocraters here. Begin the day by stopping at Lake Mývatn itself, known for its rich flora and fauna. From there, travel to Hveravellir geothermal area and Dimmuborgir lava fields before making your way to the relaxing Mývatn Nature Baths. Here you can unwind after a great day of sightseeing. You will then spend another night in the area.
Start the day by heading to ´waterfall of the gods´, Goðafoss. From there, make your way to the largest settlement in North Iceland, Akureyri. Here, you´ll find museums, restaurants, cafes, galleries and bars. Overlooking the town is the landmark building, Akureyrarkirkja Church, and towering above it all is the iconic Mt. Hlíðarfjall. From Akureyri, make your way to the Troll Peninsula to the fun but relaxing Beer Baths. Here, you´ll unwind in the golden nectar while also drinking it before continuing your journey North to Siglufjörður Town, where you will spend the night.
Today, travel across the Northwest part of Iceland to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The scenery on this part of the journey will change from mountainous regions to farmlands to lava fields, showcasing how diverse Iceland really is. En route, you can stop at the unusually shaped Hvítserkur Rock, which has become a pretty popular photographic attraction in recent years. A short walk away is a beach where you can often find a large seal colony. Finally, make your way to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, where you will spend the night.
The Snæfellsnes Peninsula has long been shrouded in mystery. Stories of trolls and ghosts have been associated with the region for hundreds of years, and Snæfellsjökull Glacier is believed to emit mystical energy. You are sure to see some strange attractions though it is doubtful that you´ll encounter any trolls. Start the day by exploring the cone-shaped Mt. Kirkjufell — the most photographed mountain in Iceland — before travelling to the black pebble beach of Djúpalónssandur. Next, explore the peninsula´s southern coastline with a stop at Lóndrangar Rock Stacks and Arnarstapi Village. Finally, leave Snæfellsnes Peninsula behind and head towards a luxurious resort near Iceland´s central Highlands.
Today, you’ll explore the attractions of West Iceland. Begin the day by heading to Hraunfossar Waterfall, which is actually a series of rivulets that pour from a large lava field. Close by is Barnafoss, a powerful waterfall that rushes forth from the river Hvítá. Next, stop by the historic Reykholt Settlement and Europe’s most powerful hot spring, Deildartunguhver, before having an underground adventure at Víðgelmir Lava Tube. Here, you’ll strap on a helmet and follow in a path molten lava created thousands of years ago. At the end of the day, make your way to Reykjavík, where you’ll spend the night.
On your last day in Iceland, you have the opportunity to explore Reykjavík a little before you leave, if your flight is in the afternoon or evening. You could walk around the downtown area; close to your hotel is Tjörnin Lake, Harpa Concert Hall, and the iconic Hallgrímskirkja church. You can also find Laugavegur shopping street nearby, filled with countless cafes, restaurants, museums and galleries. Then, when the time comes, head back across the lava fields of Reykjanes Peninsula to Keflavík International Airport.
Located in the heart of Reykjavík´s downtown district, the Reykjavik Konsulat Hotel is a fantastic choice for those looking to blur the lines between hotel and home. The hotel is situated in a renovated 19th-century building that once housed a grand department store operated by Consul Thomsen and his family. Here, you´ll find modern amenities mixed with quirky vintage decor, which gives the nod to Reykjavík´s vibrant culture. Each room comes with a balcony, a private bathroom, a seating area, free WiFi, and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. A continental breakfast is served every day. The fitness centre is open 24-hours, and the bathhouse comes equipped with a hot tub, sauna, and a relaxing area.
Skálakot Manor Hotel is surrounded by South Iceland stunning nature. It offers its guests the tranquillity of the countryside as well as Icelandic hospitality. Closeby are some of the area’s most spectacular features, from silvery waterfalls and black sand beaches to glittering glaciers and ancient volcanoes. Each of the fourteen luxurious rooms is decorated in a style inspired by the Art-Deco period and comes equipped with a desk, 43″ HDTV, WiFi, kettle, hairdryer, and a private bathroom. A breakfast buffet is served every day, and the onsite restaurant offers a great selection of food made from fresh, local ingredients.
Fosshótel Glacier Lagoon is located in Vatnajökull National Park, between two of the region’s most popular attractions; Skaftafell Nature Reserve and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. A four-star superior hotel, Fosshótel Glacier Lagoon offers its guests a stay in comfortable and contemporary rooms with high ceilings and large windows overlooking mountains or the North Atlantic Ocean. Each room has a private bathroom with a walk-in shower, a satellite TV, free WiFi, coffee and tea making facilities, and a cooler. In addition, guests will have access to a gym, hot tub and sauna where they can unwind after a day on the road. The hotel has an onsite restaurant that emphasises quality and creativity when serving their dishes made from fresh, local ingredients.
Located in the realm of Europe’s largest glacier, Vantajökull, Fosshótel Vatnajökull offers its guests a peaceful and relaxing stay in beautiful surroundings. The stylish and modern rooms feature hardwood floors, private bathrooms, satellite TV, free WiFi, a fridge, and spellbinding views of Vatnajökull Glacier or surrounding mountains. Nearby is Hornafjörður fjord, famed for the abundance of langoustine in its waters. The onsite restaurant uses ingredients from local farmers and fishermen, and, of course, the spotlight is on the langoustine.
Blábjörg Guesthouse is located in a small fishing village in East Iceland. In fact, it was once a fish factory but has undergone a complete and meticulous renovation. Today, the only fish in the building is in the onsite restaurant, Frystiklefinn, which focuses on healthy options made from local ingredients. Blábjörg´s guests can enjoy fantastic views of the fjord and its teeming birdlife from their bright and modern rooms, which come equipped with a private bathroom, free WiFi, and flat-screen TV. In addition, there is free access to the onsite spa, which includes an outdoor wooden hot tub, whirlpool, steam and infrared sauna. Inside the guesthouse is the Elf Lounge, where visitors can learn about local elf legends or simply relax.
The Mývatn area is filled with unique natural attractions created in an eruption over 2,000 years ago. Amongst these otherworldly wonders, you´ll find Icelandair Hótel Mývatn. The hotel is located a short drive from Grjótagjá Cave, Mývatn Nature Baths, and Lake Mývatn itself. Each room at Hótel Mývatn is tastefully decorated with Icelandic design at the forefront and comes equipped with a private bathroom, tea and coffee maker, and free WiFi. A breakfast buffet is served daily, and onsite is a bar, restaurant, and hot tub. In the winter, the hotel offers a northern light wake-up service for those keen to see the elusive auroras.
Sigló Hótel is considered one of Siglufjörður Town´s landmark buildings. The iconic moss-green house with white window panes that sits by the harbour is featured on countless postcards and promotional photos for the sleepy little town. The hotel is built into Siglufjörður´s small boat marina and provides its guests with a great view of the ocean and surrounding mountains. Rooms come equipped with a desk, flat-screen TV, private bathroom and free WiFi. Other facilities include a 24-hour front desk and room service. A continental breakfast is served every morning at the hotel, and there is a charming cafe/bar inside the hotel. Just behind Sigló Hótel is the marina village with more restaurants. On-site, guests can unwind in a sauna and a hot tub that overlooks the marina.
Located in an 1860s building by the harbour, Hotel Egilssen preserves its classic heritage while simultaneously offering its guests modern amenities. The rooms’ cosy interior is inspired by the sea, and the rooms all have COCO-mat beds made out of organic and natural materials. In the shared lounge is a small library and a bar, and a short walk from the hotels are museums, restaurants and galleries.
Hotel Húsafell is an eco-luxury resort located on the edge of the Icelandic central highlands, a short drive from Langjökull Glacier. The spacious rooms feature a modern design with local artwork, TV, minibar, and toiletries, made from Icelandic herbs. The hotel has a 24-hour front desk, a bar, and an in-house restaurant that offers a variety of Nordic and international dishes.