Off-the-beaten-path 8 Day Summer Vacation Package | Iceland’s South Coast, Westfjords & Highlands
See the very best that Iceland has to offer with this fantastic eight-day summer package where you rediscover the picturesque South Coast and hike up a glacier before exploring some of the country's lesser-known regions, including the majestic Westfjords and the stunning Central Highlands.
This package is particularly suited to returning visitors to Iceland, hence focusing on Iceland's wild and isolated areas. However, it is infused with adventure as you'll get to participate in both a glacier hike and a super jeep tour. Those routinely awe-inspired by nature will also find this package more than satisfying, as will amateur and professional photographers alike.
By opting for a multi-day tour package such as this, you open up a realm of benefits otherwise unavailable to your average traveler in Iceland. For one thing, over your eight days, you will have the opportunity to either follow the default schedule or purchase added activities, like horse riding, and an excursion to the Snæfellsnes peninsula, a helicopter ride, or a visit inside a volcano, to truly cement your holiday here in memory.
Another benefit is that packages do away with the stress associated with holiday planning, as the organization is left to qualified travel professionals. Before arriving, you will be sent an itinerary based on your own preferences with accommodation, tour activities, and transfers already prearranged. Furthermore, if you wish to change the itinerary or add tours, you will have 24/7 contact with an agent who will help you create your perfect holiday.
Hurry now, and you too can experience the delights of Iceland's most beautiful natural regions, not only revisiting some of the most classic attractions but discovering entirely new realms. Check availability by choosing a date.
Day 1 - Arrival
Welcome to Iceland! It's your first day back in the country, the first day of your new adventure, and as you land at Keflavík International Airport, don't be surprised to feel a rush of adrenaline and anticipation.
Thanks to your itinerary, you will already have your open bus ticket readily available, keeping your transfer to Iceland's capital city, Reykjavík, an easy and simple process. This ticket covers both transfers to and from the city at the beginning and end of your time here.
On your way to Iceland's capital city, you could choose to make a stop at the Blue Lagoon. This world-renowned spa is known for its healing waters, vivid azure colors, and luxurious treatments. It is located in the middle of a moss-covered lava field, giving it an otherworldly atmosphere. If you add the Blue Lagoon, it will be arranged according to your flights. If there is no time to visit the lagoon today, it can be added to another day. Your travel consultant will be able to arrange this for you. There is still plenty to see and do in Reykjavik if you have extra free time.
Sit back and relax as you are driven the short ride to your accommodation in the capital. As you watch from the coach window, you'll be staggered by the sheer wealth of natural beauty found on the Reykjanes Peninsula, a region of cragged volcanic fields and ancient mountainscapes.
When you finally arrive at your accommodation, the rest of the day is free for you to do with as you see fit. Now that you're back in one of the most charming cities in Europe, why not spend some time sightseeing the cultural landmarks, such as Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre, Hallgrímskirkja Lutheran Church, or the Perlan Observation Deck?
Or, if you're looking to meet the Icelanders, head out to taste the city's vibrant nightlife, check out a local gallery opening, or even take in a show. The choice is entirely up to you.
Day 2 - The Classic South Coast
Today, you will be stepping into Iceland's most beloved region, the sublime South Coast. With its picture-postcard scenery, charming towns, and a plethora of attractions, it is no surprise that the South is Iceland's most visited region, boasting glistening glaciers, roaring waterfalls, and domineering mountain peaks.
Your day will begin in the city where you will be picked up from your accommodation by minibus. With a small group size and comfortable seating arrangements, you'll find your journey along the coast to be filled with interest and awe; a point immediately is proven upon seeing the first attraction of the day, Seljalandsfoss waterfall.
There, you will quickly rediscover the glittering cave found behind the cascade. This makes Seljalandsfoss a rare sight and is one of the major reasons it is a favorite among landscape photographers.
Skógafoss waterfall, only a short distance away, is much wider than Seljalandsfoss and can be viewed from both the bottom—visitors can get right up to where the water hits the rocks—and from an observation deck above. The large amount of spray ejected by Skógafoss causes rainbows to form in their frame.
Next up on the day's itinerary is the possibility of glacier hiking, one of the most authentically Icelandic experiences open to guests here. If you opt for the activity, you will first meet your friendly and experienced guide, who will give a safety briefing and lesson on how to hike the glaciers and provide you with all of the equipment necessary to keep you safe. This includes a helmet, crampons, and ice poles if required.
As you ascend one of these ancient forces of nature, you will be privy to some truly spectacular views over the landscapes of the South Coast. This is one location where you won't want to forget your camera.
From there, you'll move to the black sand beach, Reynisfjara, an area known for its stunning volcanic pebbles, peculiar basalt cliff faces, and the "rock needles", Reynisdrangar, that stand protruding from the ocean just off-shore.
During your first evening on the South Coast, you will be staying overnight at accommodation in the Vatnajökull National Park area.
Day 3 - The Classic South Coast
At the beginning of your second day on the South Coast, you will visit what is colloquially referred to as “the Crown Jewel of Iceland”, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, in Vatnajökull National Park.
This incredible attraction has an almost tangible, ethereal ambiance, instilling a sense of tranquillity in visitors who love to sit idly watching the lagoon’s enormous floating icebergs. Surrounded by sweeping mountain slopes and glassy glaciers, this is, without doubt, one of Iceland’s most unforgettable regions.
If you opt to take a boat trip at Jökulsárlón, you will be presented the opportunity to see entirely new aspects of the attraction up close. Sailing among the icebergs, you will for sure spot the wildlife of the region, including the lagoon’s curious seal colony and its dive-bombing Skuas.
There, you can walk a short distance to the adjacent Diamond Beach, an area of black shoreline where icebergs from Jökulsárlón wash up on the coast as they make their way into the Atlantic. Diamond Beach is justly named, attracting landscape photographers and filmmakers from across the world who are set on capturing this area’s timeless beauty.
You will make the return journey back to Reykjavík, making stops at a couple of surprise waterfalls along the way.
Day 4 - The Remote Westfjords
With the South Coast fully discovered, it's time to set your sights on one of the country’s lesser-visited regions, the almighty Westfjords. You will first catch a flight from Reykjavík Domestic Airport to the charming village of Bíldudalur in the Westfjords, where you will meet your guides for the next two days. After boarding your iconic super jeep, it’s time to let the adventure begin!
Your first stop of the day will be at the Látrabjarg birdwatching cliffs, home to a wide variety of bird species, including Skuas, Guillemots, Arctic Terns, and of course, the Atlantic puffins. Because this area is a protected reserve and lacks Arctic Foxes, birdlife has thrived here, making it a must for any bird lovers visiting the country.
Given the sheer number of volcanic, black sand beaches found in Iceland, Rauðasandur (aka, “Red Sands”) is the exception to the rule, offering up a tiny slice of the Mediterranean here with its golden sands and pretty surrounding scenery.
You will conclude the day by bathing in a natural hot spring, relaxing your muscles and your mind for your next day in the gorgeous Westfjords. Accommodation will be arranged in the region in private rooms with an en suite bathroom.
Day 5 - The Remote Westfjords
Arnarfjörður fjord is known for its deep history of sorcery and magic, adding a strange, almost haunting ambiance to the area. Your guide will be quick to tell you of the fascinating and imaginative stories that derive from this area,
According to folklore, this fjord has long been the home of monsters and dangerous spirits, and there's little surprise as to why; nature here is fantastical, as though it were taken directly from the pages of an adventure novel, sporting glorious waterfalls and dramatic mountain ranges. From your vantage point at Arnarfjörður, you will have incredible views of Kaldbakur, the tallest peak in the Westfjords.
Next, you will pay a visit to Dynjandi, a 328 ft (100m) high series of waterfalls that tumble down the cliffside in a pyramid formation. Dynjandi is widely regarded to be not just the most beautiful waterfalls in the Westfjords but also in the whole of Iceland.
When your tour is over, you will be driven back to Bíldudalur, where you'll catch your return flight back to Reykjavík Domestic Airport.
Day 6 - A Taste of the Central Highlands
Today, you will have the chance to experience the many joys found in the Icelandic Central Highlands, an area of colorful rhyolite mountain slopes, trickling glacial rivers, and cragged canyons. The Central Highlands are only accessible during the summer months, making this a must for visitors who have only traveled to Iceland during the winter.
Landmannalaugar ("The Pools of the People") is widely considered to be the best location for hiking trails in the whole of Iceland. Not only does it boast the incredible Laugavegur trail, but also countless other smaller hikes and scenic attractions. Thankfully, you'll be tackling this region in a monster 4-wheel-drive, the only vehicle capable of handling the Highlands' rough gravel roads.
As its name suggests, Landmannalaugar is known for its abundance of geothermal hot pools, perfect for a spot of bathing after a long day's hike. Make sure not to forget your swimsuit and towel—you can't get more Icelandic than this!
As an alternative to Landmannalaugar, you could opt-in for a day tour to the Valley of Þórsmörk, equally famed for its incredible natural landscapes. You can choose between an affordable 4WD bus trip or a more intimate Super Jeep version of either route.
Due to the accessibility of mountain roads, tours to highlands won't be available until June. If the highland options are not available during your travel dates, your personal travel agent will find something else to your liking.
Day 7 - Nature or City
Today, there are a variety of memorable experiences available to you. If you opt for the most famous spa in Iceland, the Blue Lagoon, it will be arranged on this day for you to relax after many days of outdoor adventure fully.
The Blue Lagoon is the perfect location to start wrapping up your holiday, allowing you to sit back, soak and relax with a head full of memories. The spa boast serene, aquamarine, and geothermally heated water. It is also abundant in healing silica mud, known for its incredible medicinal properties on the skin.
The Blue Lagoon also has a restaurant, bistro, and bar, with massages, face masks, and local products available to purchase. When your time at the spa is over, you are free to spend the rest of your day exploring Reykjavík.
Those travelers not yet ready to abandon the physical adventure can move their Blue Lagoon visit to their arrival or departure day and opt for one of several exciting tours on offer. One option might be taking a riding trip on the back of the renowned Icelandic horse, a breed known for its reliability, pony-like stature, and five unique gaits.
Horseback riding in Iceland offers the opportunity to see the countryside in an entirely new way, a fact that is just as true for your second possible tour option—a geothermal helicopter tour! Flying high over Iceland’s eclectic landscapes, you will quickly realize that ‘flightseeing’ is, perhaps, the most luxurious and breathtaking means of taking in the country’s features.
Other options this day include a trip inside of the dormant caldera of Þríhnúkagígur volcano. To experience the array of startling colors and intricate rock formations here, you will first take a scenic hike in the surrounding area before descending into the volcano’s underbelly by the elevator shaft. Where else but Iceland could such a thing be possible?
Your final option is to take a full day to the gorgeous, mystical, and distinctive Snæfellsnes Peninsula, an area known for its rugged coastlines, volcanic craters, and fascinating history. Traveling here, you will experience such features as Snæfellsjökull glacier (as made famous in Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”), Lóndrangar bird cliffs, and Djúpalónssandur black pebble beach.
Day 8 - Departure
It’s your last day in Iceland. For those who have a later flight and choose to visit the Blue Lagoon today, you will finish off your stay unwinding before you head to the airport. This is the perfect place to relax as you bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters as you look back on the incredible adventure you have just taken in the land of fire and ice. If your flight is later, there are plenty of things to do in Reykjavik.
You could also contact your travel agent and arrange for a tour such as a whale-watching excursion, a buggy ride, or a caving expedition. When your time in the city is over, you will board a bus transferring you back to Keflavík International Airport, where you will catch your return flight home.
What to bring
Good to know
Wearing cotton or jeans as the outer layer during your trip to the Þríhnjúkagígur volcano tour is not allowed. Please wear suitable waterproof clothes and sturdy hiking shoes for this trip. It's always the same temperature inside the crater – about 5–6°C (42–43°F). The Þríhnjúkagígur volcano tour involves a hike of approximately 3 km (2 miles) each way. The walk usually takes around 45–50 minutes (depending on the condition of people in the group). A guide will be with you at all times during the walk.
Although it is summertime, the Icelandic weather can be very unpredictable. Please bring appropriate clothing. Please be aware that your itinerary may be rearranged to better fit with your arrival date and time.
Accommodation in Reykjavik
See our accommodation levels below and our preferred accommodation partners under each day in the daily itinerary. Super budget level accommodations will be arranged in hostel dorm beds. For budget and comfort levels, bookings for one person will be arranged in single rooms, and bookings for two or more people will share a twin/double or triple room(s). For quality level, odd number groups will always be allocated a single room. If you are travelling in a group, but prefer a single room, please make separate bookings. Teenagers and children will be arranged in the same room with parents. If additional room(s) is needed, additional costs will incur.
For multi-day guided tours, accommodation cannot be upgraded and the levels below do not apply. Guide to Iceland will provide you with the best available accommodation at the time of your booking from our preferred partners. If our preferred partners are fully booked at the time of your booking, we will find another suitable accommodation for you of similar level.
We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs. Press choose a date to find availability.
Dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostels. Located in the capital region. Breakfast is not included.
Private rooms with shared bathroom in guesthouses or hostels such as Capital Inn Guesthouse. Located in the capital region. Breakfast is not included.
Rooms with a private bathroom at three-star hotels such as Hótel Klettur, or quality guesthouses. Located in the city center or in close vicinity. Breakfast is included.
Rooms at four-star design hotels in the city center with a private bathroom at the absolute best locations downtown such as Hotel Alda. Breakfast is included.