The dates for the Grand Tour in 2024. This is minimum 12 nights but can be extended to 13 or 14 with a pre & post night.
What you'll do
Individual transfer (no guide) by Flybus/Reykjavík Excursions shuttle bus from Keflavík Airport to BSI (bus terminal). There you will change buses before being driven to your accommodation in Reykjavík where you will spend the first night. Your travel documents include a separate voucher for the Flybus shuttle, located outside the arrival hall in front of the main airport exit. If you need assistance, contact the Reykjavík Excursions/Flybus representative at their sales counter in the arrival hall. For check in at the hotel use the separate voucher which includes the name and address of your lodgings in Iceland’s capital.
Overnight Stay: Hótel Klettur
At 09:00, meet our tour guide and depart from Hotel Klettur, Mjolnisholt 12-14, 105 Reykjavik. Today we explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, which derives from Iceland’s West Coast. A rugged mountain chain runs its length, capped by the 1,446-meter Snæfellsjökull glacier, a mystical cone shaped stratovolcano. We travel around the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, through lava fields, and along the ocean with many excellent Icelandic photo opportunities. We see the most popular sites at the Snæfellsnes National Park, where volcanic craters, lava flows, an ice cap, glaciated peaks, fjords, sandy beaches, and high cliffs shape its landscape. We follow the adventure of Jules Verne’s classic science-fiction novel “Journey to the Center of the Earth”. Do not miss your chance to go on a trip to the earth’s interior under the glacier Snæfellsjökull! The lava cave tour takes you 35 meters underground and about 200 meters into the lava tube called Vatnshellir.
Overnight Stay: Hótel Hamar
We start the day by catching the car ferry Baldur from Stykkishólmur to Brjánslækur in the West Fjords in the afternoon. On the 2,5-hour journey over Breiðafjörður Bay, we pass the island of Flatey, which is inhabited only during the summertime. If the weather is beautiful, you enjoy a magnificent view of the bay’s countless isles as well as the glacier Snæfellsjökull. We travel over mountains and along the shore of scenic fjords until we reach the majestic fjord Arnarfjörður, surrounded by high mountains. At the bottom of the fjord, we come across the unique waterfall Dynjandi, with its seven levels of plunging water, declared the country’s most beautiful waterfall by the people of Iceland.
Overnight Stay: Fosshótel Westfjords
We follow the coastline and stop at the folk and transport museum in Hnjótur. We continue through a very remote and sparsely populated region to the bird cliffs of Látrabjarg, the most abundant seabird cliff and the westernmost point of Iceland and Europe, where you can see puffins from mid-May till mid-August. We take a walk in the wilderness to the top of the highest bird cliff in Iceland. Látrabjarg is known in the world for its density of Nordic birds. Puffins, razorbills, guillemots, fulmars, cormorants, kittiwakes and other cliff birds flock either in hundreds, thousands or even in millions. Látrabjarg is a place where you can get very close to the seabirds, and even if you’re not into bird watching, you are entertained by the comic puffins and mesmerized by the sheer number of birds. If weather and road conditions allow, we travel to Rauðisandur beach with endless red sand. Well, not endless, but 10 km is a lot. The magnificent hues of the sand differ with daylight, tides, and weather. This pure sand beach is home to countless seabirds and seals and is an oasis of unique tranquillity. Forget everything, except maybe getting the perfect shot of the ever-changing hues of yellow, orange and red.
Overnight Stay: Fosshótel Westfjords
We start the day by travelling over a mountain pass along the southern shores of the West Fjords, a route less travelled and characterized by sheer cliffs, deep cut bays, and narrow stretches of coastal lowland. We reach Erpsstaðir, a family run dairy farm best known for their ice cream and various other dairy products. Take a look at the milk production world and taste their unique ice cream directly from the farm, with local seasonal flavours.
Overnight Stay: Hótel Laugarbakki
Today’s journey is a little bit of the beaten track, around the Vatnsnes peninsula. We pass the fishing village of Hvammstangi, also called the seal capital of Iceland. A gravel road takes us around the peninsula to Hvítserkur, a highlight on the east coast of the region; a mass of igneous rock, about 15 meters high, situated on the seashore where fulmars and gulls live. An old story has it that Hvítserkur is a petrified troll that intended to stone a nearby cloister, but dawn arrived before he could succeed. We continue to Kolugljúfur canyon, where waterfalls cascade into the deep, rugged gorge. It is a breath-taking sight to walk on the viewing platform and watch the calm waters of the river suddenly leap and tumble onwards over so many impressive falls – a sight which will leave no one unmoved. Further north we stop at Víðimýri to visit one of the few preserved turf churches in Iceland. The church was built in 1834 and has turf walls, but timber gables both back and front. We continue along a high mountain road to Akureyri, also called the capital of North Iceland, where we stay for two nights.
Overnight Stay: Sæluhús
Enjoy breakfast in the beautiful surrounding of the botanical garden in Akureyri. Afterwards enjoy a whale watching tour for 2-3 hours in Eyjafjörður – Iceland’s longest fjord right below the Arctic Circle. For additional bonus and fun, try your luck at sea angling towards the end of the tour. In the afternoon see the spectacular fjord landscapes while travelling to Siglufjörður, Iceland’s northernmost town, known as the herring capital of the North Atlantic. Siglufjörður is located on the mountainous Tröllaskagi Peninsula. On the way, we pass small fishing villages and stop at a deserted valley that even most Icelanders have not seen. Included is a visit to the Herring Era Museum in Siglufjörður, Iceland’s largest maritime museum and the only one in Iceland that won the European Museum Awards. We won’t miss the opportunity to taste the herring along with Brennivín, Icelandic schnapps.
Overnight Stay: Sæluhús
We explore Goðafoss, the waterfall of the Gods, and continue to Lake Mývatn, known for its abundant bird life and amazing volcanic lava landscapes. We see pseudo craters, walk in the mysterious lava field Dimmuborgir, see the tephra cone Hverfjall, explore the hot springs, fumaroles, and bubbling mud pools of Námaskarð. We travel to Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, in the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park. The round-trip walk takes about 40-60 minutes. We continue east through the bare and sometimes deserted landscape with mountains all around and head through the uninhabited highlands to East Iceland. We explore the northernmost fjord on the East Fjord Mountain range. The isolated village Bakkagerði at Borgarfjörður-Eystri has only 120 inhabitants; offering an end of the road location. This charming village is built snugly next to the steep mountainside and getting there is a dramatic but rewarding drive. The colourful mountains are unique and impressive.
Overnight Stay: Álfheimar Guesthouse
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. Our first stop will be at Vök baths, a floating geothermal pool in Lake Urriðavatn where guests can soak in hot water within and surrounded by the lake. Later we visit Petra’s fascinating rock collection. A naturalist and a collector are two terms that have been used to describe Petra since she was a little girl. Petra collected for nearly 80 years this unique treasure of rocks, crystals, zeolites, quartz and more, all from the nearby area in the East Fjords. Finally, in the afternoon, we see Vatnajökull, Europe’s biggest glacier visible all-over Southeast Iceland.
Overnight Stay: Fosshótel Vatnajökull
Today we visit Vatnajökull National Park, which covers about 14% of Iceland, making it Europe’s second largest national park in terms of area. We stop for a boat ride amongst the floating icebergs on the magnificent Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, considered one of the highlights on tour around Iceland. Next, we walk along the black sands of the so-called Diamond beach. Afterwards, we explore the region of Skaftafell, which is nestled below Iceland’s highest mountain and the second biggest stratovolcano in Europe, the 2.110-meter high Hvannadalshnúkur. We walk close to one of the many glacial tongues in the area – a true photo moment. We explore the black lava beach, Reynisfjara, and bird cliffs. Finally, we cross a sandy desert before reaching our overnight location, Vík, the southernmost village in Iceland.
Overnight Stay: Hótel Vík
Today we travel along the South Coast of Iceland, between the sea, rugged mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls. We Skógafoss waterfall, another must-see location in South Iceland. The crashing water creates a mist that results in frequent and magical rainbows, just adding some more memorable experiences to the sheer beauty of this stunning scenery and place. Afterwards we visit Skógar folk museum with its turf houses assemblage of traditions of territorial relics on display. Later reach Seljalandsfoss waterfall where you can follow a slick and wet trail and walk right behind it. Come prepared and bring a raincoat and good boots as you will get wet. Then we visit the Lava & Volcano Exhibition Centre focused on geology and active volcanoes and watch a documentary film about volcanic eruptions in the past years in Iceland. Before we end the day we will see one of our classic highlights, the Golden Circle Route. The first to of the route is a visit to a geothermal greenhouse and watch how Icelanders grow tomatoes. Next door, we can take a selfie with an Icelandic horse and learn about its unique qualities and history. We explore Gullfoss, the beautiful double „Golden Falls“, and we walk through the active geothermal area of Geysir, where Strokkur „the chum“ spouts up to 25 meters (70 feet) every five ot seven minutes. The next stop is the ancient Viking Parliamanet area and UNESCO world heritage site of Þingvellir National Park. The Þingvellir plain is situated on a tectonic plate boundary where North America and Europe are slowly tearing away from each other. As a result, the plain is scarred by dramatic fissures, ponds, and rivers, including the great rifht Almannagljá. Farewell dinner at a local restaurant in Reykjavík, Iceland’s capital.
Overnight Stay: Hótel Klettur
Individual transfer by Flybus shuttle from your accommodation in Reykjavik to Keflavik airport.
Fly back to UK