D1- Snæfellsnes south
In the morning you collect your rental car and make your way north and west out of the city. Your first stop is at the Deildartunguhver, Europe‘s most powerful hot spring. Then you continue along the south coast of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, beautiful and remote. The area has a very distinct volcanic landscape and the coast and cliffs are impressive. You stop for a hike at the Rauðfeldsgjá Canyon (1h) before reaching your accommodation. Visit at the beach at Búðahraun lava field and the former fishing villages of Arnarstapi and Hellnar with ist bizarre rock formations. Night in south Snæfellsnes
D2 - Snæfellsnes north
Start the day with a beautiful coastal walk at the cove of Dritvík and the beach of Djúpalónssandur. On Djúpalónssandur you still find 3 rocks that were used to measure strength of men who wanted to enlist as sailors. Continuing around the peninsula you come to the mountain of Kirkjufell (by many believed to be the most picturesque mountain in Iceland) by the town of Grundarfjörður. Hike around this beautiful coastal mountain. Night in the north west.
D3-Vatnsnes peninsula – seal colony
Continuing north over Laxárdalsheiði moor, you come to a turn up to the Vatnsnes peninsula. Stop at Illugastaðir for a hike along the coast where you find one of Iceland’s largest seal colony. Night in Húnafjörður bay.
D4-Skagafjörður – Öxnadalur – Akureyri – Mývatn
Continuing north on the main road through the beautiful region of Skagafjörður. Possibility to visit the old farmhouses and picturesque church of Glaumbær. After crossing the pass of Öxnadalur you arrive in the mountainous valley of Öxnadalur. There you have a choice of two hiking routes: about an hour’s hike up to Hraunsvatn mountain lake, or for those who want a more demanding hike, Þverbrekkuhnúkur, beautiful trail with fine views over a row of jagged peaks. Drive to Akureyri and on to Mývatn where you spend the night.
There is so much to see in the Mývatn area. The landscape, the birdlife and the surroundings are just magical. The lake itself and the surroundings are packed with various volcanic formations. To name just a few you have mt.Hverfjall, a huge explosive crater, Námaskarð pass with its mud pools and hot spings, Krafla volcano (last eruption in 1984) and the crater Víti, and last but not least the strange rock formations of Dimmuborgir. Night in Mývatn area.
D6-Dettifoss-Jökulsárgljúfur National Park
Heading east and then turning north, the mighty Dettifoss waterfall awaits. The most powerful waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss stands at 100m wide and 45 m high with a flow of 193 m3/s, surrounded by beautiful basalt columns. Next stop is at Jökulsárgljúfur National Park for a hike in Ásbyrgi, a horseshoe shaped canyon with high volcanic cliffs and luscious greenery in its midst. Night in Ásbyrgi area.
The north east is one of the most remote regions in Iceland. Hike around Rauðanes peninsula of the banks of Þistilfjörður bay. Beautiful caves, rock pillars, and a large population of seabirds nesting in the middle of the cliffs above the waters. Take the road south-east along the coast to the eastern fjords. A short hike in Drangsnes. Night in Héraðsflói area.
The day begins with a walk in Stórurð. Fantastic mountain views of Dyrfjöll, a steep mountain of basalt, tuff and rhyolite, heavily glaciated and very alpine style, with amazing colors. Its name ("mountains of the door") comes from the large gap that cuts the massif in two. Then the road to Djúpivogur, through the majestic fjords of the east: the road winds between high and steep mountains, along narrow bays or near strange rock formations that arise from the sea, sometimes through small fishing villages. The rhyolite mountains, with tones of red, yellow or green, tower over the ocean and compete in beauty. Night near Djúpivogur.
D9-Jökulsárlón, Glacial Lake
Follow route 1 along the southeast coast towards the immense glacier of Vatnajökull. South of the glacier you find the Jökulsárlón Glacial Lake decorated with icebergs of all shapes and sizes that have broken of the glacier. There you take a short hike along the lake and the down to the nearby coast. In the beginning of summer it is possible to take a short trip to the cape of Ingolfshöfði to watch seabirds (only possible in June and July) including puffins that nest there. In clear weather you can see the beautiful view of the high mountains and huge outlet glaciers coming down from Vatnajökull. Night in the Öræfi region.
D10-Vatnajökull National Park – Skaftafell NP
A day spent hiking in the hills of Skaftafell national park and ending at the top of Kristínartindar peaks (1126 m ). Skaftafell sits at the foot of Europe‘s largest glacier, Vatnajökull. It is a green oasis of arctic birch sitting between two impressive glacier tongues, with rivers, waterfalls and flowers decorating the landscape. Night in the Öræfi region.
D11 – South Coast - Kirkjubæjarklaustur and Fjarðarárgljúfur canyon
You take the road west along the south coast. Coming to the village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur there is a short hike in the vicinity of the village. Another hiking trail lies along the impressive volcanic canyon of Fjarðarárgljúfur, carved into the landscape by the river. Continuing you head to the village of Vík known for its black beaches where you spend the night.
D12-South Coast – Dyrhólaey peninsula, Vík and the waterfalls of the south
Visit the promontory of Dyrhólaey with views over the ocean and land and seabirds in its cliffs (closed in May and June for the nesting season). Reynisdrangar rock formations stand guard outside the black beaches around Vik. On your way further west along the highway, a stop at the waterfalls of Skógarfoss and Seljalandsfoss is necessary (possible to walk behind the latter one).
A day dedicated to the discovery of the famous landmarks of Gullfoss, Geysir and Þingvellir National Park. You turn inland and through the farmlands of the south to get to the Geysir geothermal area. There you are greeted by the namesake of all geysers and its neighbor Strokkur („Churn“) that erupts every 5-8 minutes. After a hike to view the great waterfall from different angles you head to Þingvellir, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the site of the ancient parliament. It is also where you can clearly see the mid Atlantic rift. Hike on the parliament plains and check out the historical Öxarárfoss waterfall. Return to Reykjavík.