Tour of the Icelandic Highlands - IMGS21

The ultimate Iceland Experience

Difficulty:

EASY

HARD

Price from: 

Adult: 350.000

Departures: Available in summer only

Duration: 13  days

Note: The price given is based on 2 persons travelling together, in dbl room w/pr bath and a Toyota RAV4 (or similar). Price will vary depending on car and accommodation type chosen

  • Description:

    You head out to in your rental 4x4 to Hvalfjörður (the bay of whales) where you visit Glymur which is the highest waterfall in Iceland. Through historic Þingvellir, you traverse the south coast with stops at beautiful Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss waterfalls, and finally visit the village of Vik with its black beaches, and spectacular Dyrhólaey promontory. Skaftafell NP and Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon are next, both nestled under the shadow of Vatnajökull, the biggest glacier in Europe. Head to the interior of the country, visiting Eldgjá (canyon of fire) and Landmannalaugar with its stunning, multicolored rhyolite mountains. Further north lies the immense black desert of Sprengisandur enroute to the stunning lake Myvatn, known for its extremely rich animal and plant life, and the Askja volcanic caldera to the east. Heading back towards Reykjavik, you take the ancient Kjölur road through the highlands, passing through the volcanic massif of Kerlingafjöll mountains. Finally, the must see Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir hot spring before you return to Reykjavík.

    Included: Comfortable 4x4 jeep in the category of your choice, CDW insurance, sleeping bag accommodation in hostels and huts, detailed information pack including maps, lunch equipment (thermos, cooler, etc).

    Accommodation options for this package: Hostels and huts

    Available upon request: Glacier walk, acommodation in Reykjavík, airport transfer to/from Keflavik airport, sleeping bags, SCDW car insurance and GPS (and other items related to the rental car).  Please contact us for more information.

    Available in summer only.

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  • Itinerary:

    D1: Glymur - Þingvellir - Hella. 
    Your journey starts with a drive to the beautiful Hvalfjörður (Whale fjord) along which lay the main route from Reykjavik to west and north Iceland, but has now been replaced with a tunnel across the fjord. At the bottom of the fjord is Botnsdalur, from where you can hike to the highest waterfall in Iceland, Glymur, also famous for its populations of fulmar petrels. Through the Kjósarskarð pass you reach Þingvellir (Parliament Plains) National Park, a national shrine and a UNESCO world heritage site.  The Þingvellir area is part of a fissure zone running through Iceland, being situated on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.  Walk along the fissure which scientists say expands 2 cm a year, check out the crystal clear waters of the Silfra rift or stand in the footprints of ancient lawmakers and chieftains that used to gather there for a general assembly from the year 930 until 1798!  Drive along the scenic lake, past the geothermal power plant of Nesjavallavirkjun and through the agricultural areas of south west Iceland.  Accommodation near Hella.
     
    D2: South Coast. 
    Visit Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, both cascading from the infamous Eyjafjallajökull glacier, known for its eruption in 2010 which disrupted international flights around the world.  Visit the Dyrhólaey peninsula and the village of Vik with its cliffs harboring the largest colony of Arctic terns in the country.  Impressive volcanic canyon Fjadrargljufur, carved in volcanic tuffs by the river running through it.  Stop at Kirkjubæjarklaustur village for a short hike in the area visiting f.ex. the „Church Floor“ and Stjórnarfoss waterfall. Drive across the immense, black flood plains of Skeiðarársandur, to reach Skaftafell National Park with hiking trails and glacier walks in abundance.  Accommodation near Skaftafell.

    D3: Skaftafell NP. 
    Vatnajökull National Park is Europe’s biggest National Park. The southeast part of this park is the area of Skaftafell which is composed of natural birch forest growing between glacial tongues, reaching down almost to sea level - a unique place to visit. Walk through the forest up to Svartifoss waterfall, which is famous for its black basalt columns. On the way you will get fantastic views of Europe’s largest glacier Vatnajökull and its highest peak, Hvannadalshnúkur (2110m). At their lodge in Skaftafell NP, Icelandic Mountainguides can provide you with 2 or 4 hour inspiring walk on the glacier. You will be provided with all the necessary gear (crampons and ice axes) to discover the amazing blue world of ice and explore its ridges and crevasses!  Accommodation near Skaftafell.

    D4: Jökulsárlón - Múlagljúfur. 
    80 km east of Skaftafell is the famous glacial lake Jökulsárlón. This large lake, dotted with icebergs calving from Breidamerkurjökull glacier, is separated from the sea by a coastal strip 200 meters wide! Optional possibility of a boat ride on the lagoon.  Heading back west, the gorges of beautiful Múlagljúfur are ideal for a hike in the afternoon, with great skuas defending their territory and unsurpassed views of waterfalls all around.  Accommodation near Kirkjubæjarklaustur.

    D5: Eldgjá - Langisjór. 
    Drive the rugged mountain track that leads to Eldgjá – the Fissure of Fire. Walk to the Ófærufoss waterfall in the Eldgjá ravine.  In that same area is Langisjór lake above which looms mt.Sveinstindar (1090m).  A relatively easy hike (300m elevation) up the mountain on a marked trail leading all the way to the top, with fantastic views of the surroundings (which, on a clear day can reach quite far).  Close by, the Lakagígar crater row lie dormant, giving witness to the catastrophic eruption that lasted for almost a year, from 1783-1784, wreaking havoc on Iceland and even some parts of Europe.  Accommodation in Hólaskjól mountain hut.

    D6: Landmannalaugar. 
    Arriving in Landmannalaugar where you spend a few hours walking to enjoy the colors of this world famous rhyolite massif. The natural hot spring awaits with its delightful and relaxing waters at the foot of the lava field.  Landmannalaugar is famous for its hiking trails. The most popular routes include the 2 hour hike through the Laugahraun lava field to Mt.Brennisteinsalda ("Sulphur Wave"), the 1 hour hike up Mt. Bláhnjúkur ("Blue Peak") and the 4 hour hike to Ljótipollur crater lake ("Ugly Puddle"). The trails takes you past small gorges, steaming hot springs and yellow mountain ridges.  Accommodation in Landmannalaugar mountain hut.


    D7: Sprengisandur – Nýidalur (Jökuldalur). 
    From Landmannalaugar, the road leads to the Hrauneyjar Highland Center, where the famous Sprengisandur mountain road starts. Considered the most desolate terrain found in Iceland, Sprengisandur is the bleak highland desert east between Hofsjökull – the rounded icecap marking Iceland’s geographical centre – and Vatnajökull’s northwestern front.  It can be a challenging road whose unbridged rivers and stark scenery provide an insight into medieval Iceland’s harsh living conditions.  In the shadow of Tungnafellsjökull glacier lies the Nýidalur valley with marked hiking trails leading up to the glacier and in to Vonarskarð pass with its multicolored geothermal area.  Accommodation in Nýidalur mountain hut.
     
    D8: Sprengisandur - Mývatn.
    And that’s just half of it!  From Nýidalur valley, Sprengisandur road continues north over endless stretches of black sand and otherworldly landscapes, until the lush greens of Bárðardalur valley welcomes you with farms, houses and sheep......and sheep.  To your east lake Mývatn sits on its throne as the queen of Icelandic lakes, with a unique biodiversity and species isolated to this area.  Accommodation in the Mývatn area.

    D9: Mývatn. 
    There is so much to do around lake Mývatn which is one of the largest lakes in Iceland, 37km2.  Cycle around the lake on a rent-a-bike, taste the traditional “Hverabrauð” with smoked trout, take a relaxing bath in the Mývatn Naturebaths, go birdwatching around the lake, visit Sigurgeir´s Bird Museum for an interesting showcase and great information on icelandic birds and their habits.  Get lost in Dimmuborgir lava formations – a great place 
    for hiking, with marked trails that take you around these beautiful natural formations. Beware of the trolls and 
    elves around. Visit the geothermal area Hverir by Námaskarð or the the Krafla area, one of Iceland´s most active 
    volcanic area with a marked hiking trail to Leirhnjúkur, where the lava is still steaming hot since the last eruption in 1984. Hike the marked trail to the top of Mt. Vindbelgur with amazing views over the lake, pseudocraters and the Mývatn region. Accommodation in the Mývatn area.

    D10: Askja. 
    South from Mývatn is Askja, a 50km2 caldera in the Dyngjufjöll mountains, formed, for the most part, at the end of the Ice Age in a major ash eruption which caused the roof of the magma chamber at the heart of the central volcano to subside. The caldera contains several volcanoes, including Víti (explosive volcanic crater). Water has accumulated in the crater,  its temperature is variable - it is around 30°C on average. Víti is a popular bathing site, but if you intend taking a dip, please be aware that the sloping path is very slippery in wet weather.  Accommodation in Dreki hut in Askja.

    D11: Akureyri.
    Driving back past lake Mývatn and towards Akureyri, the biggest town in Iceland outside the capital Reykjavik.  Enjoy this lovely town, with its lively cultural scene, restaurants, cafés and activities. Kjarnaskógur woods is a lovely area for walks and picnics, just on the outskirts of town.  There are boat excursions available, both with sightseeing, whale watching, sea angling, kayaking and more. A visit to one of the local micro breweries is also good fun or a trip out to Hrísey island, lying at the mouth of the fjord.  Accommodation in Akureyri.

    D12: Kerlingafjöll. 
    The ancient Kjölur mountain road will take you towards the Kerlingafjöll massif whose snow capped peaks used to serve as Iceland‘s summer skiing paradise. The day is spent exploring the magnificent landscape of Kerlingarfjöll by foot. Here the contrast of snow and ice and the hot springs are painted in their fullest glory, in a colorful landscape of red, yellow and ochre brown rhyolite mountains. Enjoy the views towards Iceland’s second and third largest glaciers of Hofsjökull and Langjökull.  Accommodation in Kerlingafjöll mountain hut.

    D13: Gullfoss - Geysir - Reykjavík.
    A day where you will get to see some of the most famous sites in Iceland. Your first stop is Gullfoss waterfall (Golden waterfalls), often named the queen of Icelandic waterfalls. From Gullfoss, it is just a short drive to the Great Geysir hotspring in Haukadalur valley. The road takes you next to Thingvellir (Parliament Plaines) National Park, but on the way it would be a good idea to stop in the town of Flúðir and buy locally grown organic vegetables. Þingvellir, is where the „Alþing“ general assembly was established around 930 and continued to convene until 1798. The Þingvellir area is part of a fissure zone running through Iceland, being situated on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The faults and fissures of the area make evident the rifting of the earth's crust. The site is now a World Heritage Site by Unesco.  Return to Reykjavik via Lyngdalsheiði moor. Accommodation in Reykjavík. 

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For availability and more information about this tour please contact us.

Optional extra services

  • Total price for all passengers:

    0 ISK