Join this summer holiday and enjoy eight days of adventure in Iceland! With one trip you can cross hiking on the largest glacier in Europe, going inside a volcano, sailing among icebergs, walking behind a waterfall, and many more surreal experiences off your bucket list.
Over the span of eight days and seven nights, we will take you along the south coast to famous places of natural beauty, such as the Golden Circle, Reynisfjara black sand beach, and the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. This package also offers you the chance to fly to the north to visit Lake Mývatn or head west to the great Snæfellsnes peninsula.
The tour offers more optional activities and destinations, so you can tailor it to your interests. If you love to swim, snorkeling in Silfra gorge on your day touring the Golden Circle will make it way cooler. For some fast fun, go snowmobiling on Langjökull or walk the ice tunnels under the glacier.
If you want to experience the fire side of Iceland and witness as many volcanos, craters, and geothermal activities as possible, you should not miss out on the Þríhnjúkagígur volcano tour, which sports the only place on earth that you can go inside of a volcano.
Another thrilling option is to take off to the north for Day 6. The moon-like landscape of Lake Myvatn and its surrounding areas will make you feel like an astronaut on an interstellar space mission.
If you want something more romantic and picturesque, head off to Snaefellsnes peninsula in the west, often referred to as "Iceland in miniature." Walk around the cute fishing villages and visit Mount Kirkjufell, and you will end the day with a refreshed spirit and some beautiful photos!
If you've tired yourself out with all this activity by Day 7, you can stay in the city and explore the cafés and souvenir shops of Reykjavik. Or, if you're determined to see it all, you can take a day trip to Snæfellsnes peninsula for more scenes bursting with nature's beauty.
Due to limited availability and high demand for summer accommodation and these unique activities, we recommend that you book as soon as possible, so we can make your dream trip to Iceland a reality this summer. So don't hesitate to book! Check availability by choosing a date.
The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa and is the single most popular attraction in Iceland.
The water is rich in silica and sulphur that helps make your skin shine like a baby. The Blue Lagoon also operates a Research and Development facility that helps find cures for skin ailments using the mineral-rich water.
The temperature in the bathing and swimming area is very comfortable, and averages 37–39 °C (98–102 °F). There´s a restaurant there and it´s a truly romantic and beautiful place one should not miss while in Iceland.
Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and the northernmost capital of a sovereign state in the world.
Despite a small population (120.000 and more than 200.000 in the Greater Reykjavik area), it is a vibrant city that draws an ever increasing number of visitors. It is the financial, cultural and governmental centre of Iceland. It also has a reputation of being one of the cleanest and safest cities in the world.
The city of Reykjavik is located in southwest Iceland by the creek of the same name. Throughout the ages, the landscape has been shaped by glaciers, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and the area is geothermal. Much of the current city area area was subglacial during the Ice Age, with the glacier reaching as far as the Álftanes peninsula, while other areas lay under the sea. After the end of the ice age the land rose as the glaciers drifted away, and it began to take on its present form.
The coastline of Reykjavik is set with peninsulas, coves, straights and islands, most notably the island of Videy, and seabirds and whales frequent the shores. The mountain ring as seen from the shore is particularly beautiful. Mount Esja is the highest mountain in the vicinity of Reykjavik and lends its distinct feature to the whole area. This majestic mountain is also highly popular for climbing. Other notable mountains that can be seen from the seaside are Akrafjall and Skardsheidi and on clear days one may even see as far to the legendary Snaefellsjokull glacier, at the end of the Snafellsnes peninsula.
The largest river to run through the city is Ellidaa in Ellidaardalur valley, which is also one of Iceland‘s best rivers for salmon fishing.
There are no trains or trams in Iceland, but most people travel by car. The city also operates a bus system. There are two major harbours in town, the old harbour in the centre and Sundahofn in the east. The domestic Reykjavik Airport is located at Vatnsmyrin, not far from the city centre and close to Oskjuhlid and Perlan. The international Keflavik Airport at Midnesheidi heath then lies around 50 km from the city. Cars, jeeps and bicycles can be readily rented in the city and many organized tours are also being offered.
The local arts scene is strong in Iceland, with both annual events and single ones, many of whom have hit the international stage. For the annual ones please check our articles Best Annual Events in Iceland and the Top Ten Festivals in Iceland. Major events taking place in Reykjavik include the Iceland Airwaves, Gay Pride, RIFF (The Reykjavik International Film Festival), The Reykjavik Literature Festival, Cultural Night, the Reykjavik Arts Festival, Food & Fun, the Reykjavik Fashion Festival and the Sónar music festival.
Among famous people from Reykjavik are artists Bjork Gudmundsdottir, Sigur Ros, writers Halldor Laxness (born in Laugavegur) and Arnaldur Indridason and mayor Jon Gnarr. For more well-known and fairly-well known Icelanders, check our article on the subject.
You might also want to check our article on some of the many things to see and do in Reykjavik, such as visiting the city‘s many museums, exhibitions and galleries, checking out live music, visiting the Harpa music hall or the theatres, visiting the lighthouse at Grotta, the main shopping street of Laugavegur, visiting the old harbour and the flea market, going on a bird- and whale watching tour or visiting Videy island. We also have a top ten list of things to do.
Make sure to visit the public square of Austurvollur, one of the city‘s most popular gathering places, where you‘ll also find the national parliament, Althingi, the state church a statue of independence hero Jon Sigurdson, as well as cafés, bars and restaurants. Austurvollur was central in the 2008 protests, along with Laekjargata, home to the House of Government. You are also not likely to miss the great church of Hallgrimskirkja that towers over the city from the hill of Skolavorduholt, wherefrom you‘ll get a great view of the city.
Try a walk by the city pond, greet the many birds that frequent the area and visit the city hall, stationed by its banks. The Hljomaskalagardur is a beautiful park that lies by the pond, it ideal for a nice walk and sometimes concerts get held there. Further off is the campus of the university of Iceland, the Nordic house and the Vatnsmyri wetland, a particularly pleasant place, but be mindful of not disturbing the wildlife there and keep to the pathways.
For a nice swim on a warm day, we particularly recommend Nautholsvik beach.
Visit the Laugardalur valley, home to one of the city‘s best swimming pools, as well as the Asmundarsafn gallery, a beautiful botanical garden and a domestic zoo. A walk by the Aegissida beach, with it‘s old fishing sheds, in the west part of Reykjavik also holds a particular charm. The aforementioned Elllidaardalur valley is also a popular resort.
Another place that offers one of the city‘s best (and free) views is Perlan, up in Oskjuhlid hill. The hill itself is a popular resort, with over 176.000 trees and great opportunities for walking and cycling.
Travel to Alftanes to see the president‘s house at Bessastadir, which is also a historical site in it‘s own right, having been the educational centre of Iceland for centuries. Nearby is a beautiful lava field, Galgahraun, well worth a visit, though there is currently an environmental struggle going on as to it‘s future state.
The city is furthermore a short drive from many of Iceland‘s major attractions, most famously the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon. In close vicinity you‘ll also find the Heidmork preservation area, a favourite pastime resort of the people of Reykjavik, as well as the Blue Mountains, one of Iceland‘s most beloved skiing venues.
Check our Best of Reykjavik guide further for tips on the best cheap things to do in Reykjavik, some of the best restaurants in the city, happy hours, the top ten value places to eat and our two articles on the famous Reykjavik nightlife; Nightlife in Reykjavik and Nightlife and mating.
Finally, we‘d like to stress that these are only some suggestions of the many things you might check out in Reykjavik. Whatever you choose to do, we hope you‘ll be able to make the most of your visit and we wish you a pleasant stay in our capital.
Jokulsarlon is a glacier lagoon in the south of Vatnajokull national park that is easily reached by the Ring Road.
Covered in thick glacial ice until the 1930’s when the glacier started retreating, the lagoon today measures 7 square miles (20 km2). More than 300 feet of ice still breaks away each year, reshaping the lagoon and filling it with icebergs - causing an alarmingly beautiful sight.
The water is freezing cold and contains a mixture of salt and freshwater giving it a blue-green color. There is plenty of fish and birdlife by the lagoon and the vast sand area of Breiðamerkursandur, and hundreds of seals stay there in winter.
Vatnajökull is the largest glacier in Europe covering 8% of the island of Iceland. Vatnajökull National Park - which encompasses the earlier national parks of Skaftafell and Jökulsárgljúfur - is the largest protected area in Europe and believed by many to be the most beautiful place on earth.
In this area you'll find some of the most stunning and diverse sights in Iceland. Among those are Iceland's highest peak, Hvannadalshnjúkur, its most active volcano, Grímsvötn, beautiful waterfalls such as Svartifoss by Skaftafell and Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall, stunning canyons such as Jökulsargljúfur and Ásbyrgi, and the breathtaking Jökulsárlon, an ice-riddled glacier lagoon that is one of the most beautiful attractions in Iceland.
The glacier itself covers a surface area of about 100 km2. The thickness of the ice is generally around 400-600 meters, at its thickest around 950 meters. Under the glacier are valleys, mountains and plateuas as well as active volcanoes, most notably Grimsvotn and Bardarbunga, both the largest and most active of these. Then there are Esjufjoll, a glorious volcanic mountain island, surrounded by the glacier on all sides.
Vatnajokull has over 30 outlets, some of the major ones being Dyngjujokull and Bruarjokull to the north and Breidamerkurjokull, Oraefajokull, Skeidararjokull and Sidujokull towards the south. On the west side from the north are smaller glaciers Eyjabakkajokull, Hofsjokull, Flaajokull Heinabergsjokull and Skalafellsjokull.
The highest peak of Iceland then lies to the south, Hvannadalshnjukur in the Oraefajokull outlet, reaching 2109 m, according to latest measurements.
Many rivers have their sources at Vatnajokull, including some of the greatest glacier rivers in the country. To the North are Jokulsa a Fjollum and Skjalfandafljot, to the Northeast are Jokulsa a Bru, and Jokulsa i Fljotsdal and to the south are Jokulsa i Loni, Hornafjardarfljot, Jokulsa a Breidamerkursandi, Skeidara, Nupsvotn, Hverfisfljot and Skafta.
The area around the glacier is highly varied. The highland plateu to the north is divided by glacier rivers which see massive floods in the summer. This is a highly volcanic region, where the volcanoes Askja, Herdubreid, Kverkfjoll and Snaefell tower over the scene. In this area is also the Jokulsargljufur preservation area with its magnificent canyon and the mighty glacier ricer Jokulsa a Fjollum where you'll find stunning waterfalls such as Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall. Further north are the Hljodaklettar echoing caves and the horse shoe-shaped Asbyrgi canyon, among other incredible sights.
Broad wetlands lie near the glacier and in the vicinity of Snaefell, further east. Particularly notable is the Eyjabakkar oasis, one of the largest nesting places for pink feeted geese in the world and located north of the Eyjabakkajokull outlet. To the east is also the stunning Jokulsarlon.
South of Vatnajokull, majestic mountain ridges characterise the scene, with outlet glaciers lying between them and reaching onto the lowlands. The Skaftafell preservation area is located there, with its rich flora and home to the beautiful waterfalls Hundafoss and Skogafoss, the latter famed for its with its magnificent columnar basalt formations.
To the south lies the vast sand desert Skeidararsandur, reaching all the way to the sea. The glacier river Skeidara runs through it and the sand was indeed created by great glacier bursts from Skeidara, with its origins in volcanic activity at Grimsvotn.
To the west of Vatnajokull there is strong volcanic activity as well. Some of the world's greatest fissure and lava eruptions happened there, at the Eldgja volcanic chasm and the Lakagigar craters in the 18th century. Vonarskard pass, to the northwest is also worth checking out, a highly colourful geothermal area that connects the North and South of Iceland.
Fans of the James Bond films might recognize the glacier from A View to a Kill and the stunning Jokulsarlon from Die Another Day, though the events of the former were supposed to take place in Siberia.
Scenes by the Wall in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones were also shot by Vatnajokull and further scenes were shot at lake Myvatn, another Iceland's major attractions.
Skogafoss is one of the biggest and most beautiful waterfalls of the island with an astounding width of 25 meters and a drop of 60 meters.
This is one of the most popular waterfalls in Iceland for travellers to visit. It is located in South Iceland, not far from Skogar, which itself features a highly interesting regional museum. Due to the amount of spray the waterfall often produces a single or double rainbow on sunny days.
Seljalandsfoss in the river Seljalandsa in South Iceland is one of the most sought waterfalls in the country.
Seljalandsfoss has a narrow cascade but is one of Iceland's highest waterfalls, at 63 meters. The waterfall is highly picturesque and has the rare distinction that one can actually walk behind it.
Geysir is a famous hot spring in Haukadalur valley in South Iceland. Part of the ‘Golden Circle', Geysir gives its name to hot springs all over the world.
Though Geysir itself is hardly active anymore, the area features spectacular hot springs such as the powerful Strokkur, which spouts a vast amount of water every 10 minutes, around 15-20 meters into the air, Smidur and Litli-Strokkur.
North of Geysir are fumaroles, i.e. unlike the hot springs that emit hot water, only steam and gas emanate from these. You may be able to observe bright yellow stains at the fumaroles, this is native sulphur, which crystallizes from the steam. At the southern part of the geothermal area, called Thykkuhverir, you‘ll find various mud pots. Such mud pots are actually fumaroles that boil up through surface water/groundwater and may become steaming fumaroles during dry spells, rather than the usual boiling mud pots.
About 2 km from Geysir is an old preserved natural pool called Kúalaug. One can bathe in it and it has room for 3-5 people at a time, but care should be taken, as the area around the pool is very delicate. The temperature is 39-43°C, depending on how you are positioned in the pool. The water is slightly muddy, as the pool is built on soil, and the bottom is slippery due to algae, so caution is advised.
In Haukadalur there has also been tree planting in recent times and today the forest Haukadalsskógur is one of the largest in South Iceland. Aspen, various types of pine, and other plants have been tried out there and experiments and research continue. We also recommend visiting the tree museum, built in the memory of forester Gunnar Freysteinsson. There are good paths and roads in the forest and the wood is specially designed to accommodate wheelchairs.
Haukadalur has been a church site since ancient time. The current wooden church was last rebuilt in 1938 but the variety and appearance of the church dates back to 1842, making it one of the oldest of its kind in Iceland.
Haukadalur is indeed a historical place. It was settled during the age of settlement and scholar Ari “The Wise“ Thorgilsson grew up there. The first pastoral school in Iceland was also built there.
For accommodation, Hotel Gullfoss is about 7 km from the Geysir area, and closer still is the Hotel Geysir.
Gullfoss (translated to ‘Golden Falls’) is one of Iceland’s most iconic and beloved waterfalls, found on the Hvítá river canyon in south Iceland. The water in Hvítá river travels from the glacier Langjökull, finally cascading 32m down Gullfoss’ two stages in a dramatic display of nature’s raw power.
Because of the waterfall’s two stages, Gullfoss should actually be thought of as two separate waterfalls. The first, shorter stage of the waterfall is 11m, whilst the second stage is 21m. The canyon walls on both sides of the waterfall reach heights of up to 70m, descending into the 2.5km long Gullfossgjúfur canyon (geologists indicate that this canyon was formed by glacial outbursts at the beginning of the last age.)
In the summer, approximately 140 cubic metres of water surges down the waterfall every second, whilst in winter that number drops to around 109 cubic metres. With such energy, visitor’s should not be surprised to find themselves drenched by the waterfall’s mighty spray-off.
In the early days of the last century, Gullfoss was at the centre of much controversy regarding foreign investors and their desire to profit off Iceland’s nature. In the year 1907, an English businessman known only as Howells sought to utilise the waterfall’s energy and harboured ambitions to use its energy to fuel a hydroelectric plant.
At the time, Gullfoss was owned by a farmer named Tómas Tómasson. Tómas declined Howell’s offer to purchase the land, stating famously “I will not sell my friend!” He would, however, go on to lease Howells the land, inadvertently beginning the first chapter of Icelandic environmentalism.
It was Tómas’ daughter, Sigríður Tómasdóttir, who would lead the charge. Having grown up on her father’s sheep farm, she sought to get the lease contract nullified, hurriedly saving her own money to hire a lawyer. The ensuing legal battle was an uphill struggle; the case continued for years, forcing Sigríður to travel many times by foot to Reykjavík if only to keep the trial moving. Circumstances became so difficult that Sigríður threatened to throw herself into the waterfall if any construction began.
Thankfully, in 1929, the waterfall fell back into the hands of the Icelandic people. Today, Sigríður is recognised for her perseverance in protecting Gullfoss and is often hailed as Iceland’s first environmentalist. Her contribution is forever marked in stone; a plaque detailing her plight sits at the top of Gullfoss.
Besides Gullfoss, visitors can enjoy the views from Gullfoss Cafe, a locally run delicatessen that serves a wide variety of refreshments and meals. The menu has options to tantalise everyone’s taste buds; hot soups, sandwiches, salads and cakes. There is also a shop on site where visitors’ can browse and purchase traditional Icelandic souvenirs.
Thingvellir is one of the most important sites to visit in Iceland for its landscape, history and cultural value.
The Icelandic parliament was founded in Thingvellir in 930 and remained there for centuries.Thingvellir is surrounded by a beautiful mountain range and is the site of a rift valley, marking the crest of the Mid-Atlantic range. Today it is a natural park, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and considered a vital part of the ‘Golden triangle’ (with Geysir and Gullfoss). Of particular note is the magnificent gorge Almannagja, which marks the eastern boundary of the north American plate and into which the beautiful waterfall Oxararfoss falls.
Other notable attractions within the park include the beautiful lake Thingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland, the Silfra fissure, one of the world's top dives, and Gjabakkahellir, one of Iceland's most interesting lava tubes.
Snaefellsnes is a large peninsula extending to the west from West Iceland ending with a national park, Snaefellsjokull National Park, where the glacier towers over the scenery, as can sometimes be seen from Reykjavik, lending its beauty to the area.
The peninsula stretches over 100 km to the west as a mountain ridge that includes active volcanoes and is unique in the variety of mountains found.
A few small and beautiful villages are located on the south side and a few fishing villages are on the north side: Rif, Hellissandur, Olafsvik, Grundarfjordur and Stykkisholmur. The last one is highly popular for travelers, featuring a volcano museum and a ferry that takes you across the fascinating Breidafjordur bay to Brjanslaekur on the south border of the Westfjords.
Other museums you might want to check out are the Maritime Museum at Hellissandur, the regional museum Pakkhusid at Olafsvik, and, last but not least, the shark museum at Bjarnarhofn, indeed listed as the nr. 1 Snafellsnes attraction by Lonely Planet Travelers. Also, many of the Icelandic sagas take place at Snaefellsnes.
Snaefellsnes has an abundance of interesting sights. At the national park, you can witness the impressive lava formations of Djupalonssandur creek and test your strength on its four stones, see the two massive lava formations that compries Londrangar, explore the Saxholl volcanic crater and enjoy the echo of 'The Singing Cave', Songhellir. You may also hike on the majestic Snaefellsjokull glacier. The glacier has strong ties with folklore and was the setting for Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Other sights we can recommend at Snaefellsnes recommend include Raudfeldsgja canyon, east of the national park and the rugged and colourful Berserkjahraun lava field, near Bjarnarhofn, on the north side of the peninsula.
Last, but not least, Snaefellsnes is one of the main setting for Laxdaela saga. Chieftain Snorri godi, Gudrun Osvifursdottir, Bolli Thorlakssson all lived there as well as his namesake Bolli Bollason, the first West Norse member of the Varangian guard, an elite unit of the Byzantine army. Iceland's most famous mass murderer, Axlar-Bjorn, also lived at Snaefellsnes.
The world-famous Reynisfjara shore, near the village Vik in Myrdalur on Iceland's South Coast, is widely regarded as the most impressive black-sand beach in Iceland.
To reach Reynisfjara you can either drive there yourself. Here you will find the largest and cheapest car rentals in Iceland. Or you can join this summer tour to the South coast, or this winter tour to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
Reynisfjara is a black pebble beach and features an amazing cliff of regular basalt columns resembling a rocky step pyramid, which is called Hálsanef. Out in the sea are the spectacularly shaped basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar. The area has a rich birdlife, including puffins, fulmars and guillemots.
The waves at Reynisfjara are especially strong and unpredictable, and fatal accidents have occurred at this beach, so people are advised to take extra care when visiting the area.
According to folklore, two trolls attempted to drag a ship to land but were turned to stone as daylight broke, turning them into the Reynisdrangar stacks, clearly visible from the beach.
Vik in Myrdalur valley is the southernmost village on the Icelandic mainland, located 186 km from the capital Reykjavik.
Vik is important as a service centre for the inhabitants and visitors of the marvellous Reynisfjara beach.
Reynisfjara is widely considered one of the most beautiful beaches on earth (see for example Islands Magazine). This black pebble beach boasts an amazing cliff of regular basalt columns called Gardar, which resembles a rocky step pyramid and out in the sea are the spectaculary shaped basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar. The area has rich birdlife, including puffins, fulmars and guillemots.
Starting time : Flexible
6 nights of accommodation in Reykjavik (different levels available; breakfast not included for Super Budget level; breakfast included for Comfort and Quality levels; more detailed info below)
Airport transfer on arrival/departure
Blue Lagoon standard entrance (upgrades available) and return transfer
Golden Circle sightseeing tour in a minibus (upgrades available with other activities)
South Coast 2-day minibus tour with glacier hiking
1 night of accommodation in a country hotel in Vatnajokull National Park during the 2-day south coast tour (breakfast included, private bathroom depending on availability)
Detailed Itinerary with fun and practical information on the nature, history and culture of Iceland
Hands-on travel agent to oversee your itinerary
Warm outdoor clothes
The Inside the Volcano tour only runs from May 15 to October 15. If you choose this tour for Day 5, please note that you are not allowed to wear cotton or jeans as the outer layer during your trip to the Þríhnjúkagígur volcano tour. Please wear suitable waterproof clothes and sturdy hiking shoes for this trip. The crater is always about 5–6°C (42–43°F) inside, so it is important to keep warm and dry.
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.
Due to highland roads being inaccessible earlier, the day tour to Landmannalaugar is only available from June 17th. Although it is summertime, the Icelandic weather can be very unpredictable. Please bring appropriate clothing. Please be aware that your itinerary may have to be rearranged to fit your arrival date and time better.
After landing at Keflavik International Airport, take the airport transfer through the lava fields of Reykjanes peninsula to our cute little smoky bay - Reykjavik, the northernmost capital in the world.
After your arrival, multiple opportunities await at the capital. Reykjavík is rich in culinary culture and will please you with its variety of restaurants and darling little cafés downtown. You can stroll the city streets, investigate the Old Harbor area with its fishing boats and whale watching ships, or see what's playing at a variety of theaters or clubs with live music.
On this first full day, you will head for Golden Circle, THE most famous sightseeing route of Iceland. The route mainly consists of three sights: Þingvellir National Park, Geysir, and Gullfoss waterfall.
Þingvellir is the home of the first Icelandic democratic parliament, founded over 1000 years ago. It stands on the edge of two tectonic plates, linking Europe and America. The two mammoths pull apart at each other, forming awe-inspiring clefts and canyons.
The best-known crack is Silfra, a water-filled crevasse with incredibly clear water. If you are in the mood for an adventure, join a snorkeling tour to swim literally between two continents. With visibility reaching over 100 metres, Silfra is ranked as the top 3 locations for cold water diving.
The English word geyser got its name from great Icelandic Geysir, which is your next stop. At the Haukadalur valley, rich in Sagas and geothermal hot springs, you will see some geysers. While the original Geysir has been in a napping mode for decades, its brother, Strokkur, never disappoints. It hurls boiling water up to 60 meters into the air. Pro travel tip: never stand downwind, you will get drenched.
The third and final stop is the wonderful Gullfoss waterfall, the King of Icelandic waterfalls. Glacial water from Langjökull glacier passes through Hvítá, the white river, before rushing down 30 meters in two tiers to the canyon below. Clothed in sunlight during the long days of summer, the gorgeous "Golden Waterfall" proves its name worthy.
The trip will be arranged on a mini-bus. We want to keep things personal, no 80 people monster buses and umbrella guides, please. If you fancy some adventure along the way, we have also arranged multiple options, such as snorkeling in Silfra and snowmobiling on Langjökull glacier to whiz over the vast, white ice.
More possibilities available to spice up the day. If you just crave relaxation, you could visit Blue Lagoon on this day, where you'd head through the Reykjanes peninsula on the scenic route before taking a relaxing soak.
If you have arranged additional activities with your Golden Circle tour, it is best to schedule your visit to the Blue Lagoon on either your arrival or departure day instead, so you will have time to take full advantage of its restorative powers. The Lagoon is world-famous for its healing, mineral-rich waters - This is not a place you want to rush.
The guide will take you back to the city after a day of nature. If it's the weekend, why not check out the bars and our nightlife?
Today, you have a fulfilling day of nature and some optional icy activities, so put on proper shoes and a good jacket, and you'll be off to the south coast.
Driving along the coastline, under the glaciers Eyjafjallafjökull and Mýrdalsjökull, you'll see a couple of the most wonderful waterfalls and greatest sites in the south of Iceland.
The first stop is the Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which flies off the black cliffs, surrounded by greenery. Take a walk around the waterfall, and you will be rewarded with a viewpoint that is very rare: from behind the water curtain.
30 km away is Skógarfoss, another wonderful waterfall that rushes down in a thick blanket of water. From the viewing platform at the top of the waterfall, you can see the whole area with a bird's eye view.
You'll continue over the black sands of Sólheimasandur, driving under the now famous glacier volcano Eyjafjallajökull. It had a slight cold in 2010 and coughed up enough ash to stop all European air traffic for days. Another giant, the Mýrdalsjökull glacier will hover above as you head further east, making a stop at Reynisfjara black sand beach.
This black coastline is where the powerful Atlantic Ocean crashes upon the land. The cliffs framing the beach consist of uniquely shaped hexagonal basalt columns and present a surreal sight. No wonder sci-fi movies often use this location as a backdrop of alien worlds. Afar above the sea stands the great rock stacks Reynisdrangar, looking longingly over to the Dyrhólaey arch, where puffins keep their nests.
Further ahead are the Skaftafell National Park, where glacier tongues flow down the slopes, and the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, where enormous icebergs float serenely.
You will spend the night along the South Coast.
You'll start your day by the glacier lagoon. We highly recommend the optional boat ride among the massive icebergs. The seals in the lake are curious creatures. Try whistling, and they might pop their heads above the water or swim closer to check you out. A perfect Kodak moment right there.
It is time for the journey home, but not before a glacier hike. Our experienced guides provide all climbing equipment and will lead you over the ice cracks and across the age-old, sometimes kilometers thick ice.
After you have mastered the art of hiking on crampons (which we supply, no worries), you'll have the chance to arm yourself with an ice axe and spikes and try your hand at ice climbing.
You will see more places along the way home, if time and weather permit. You'll arrive back in the capital in the evening. Have a good local beer to reward yourself after two days of sightseeing and activities.
Some people come to Iceland to see glaciers and snow. Other to see the great power of the earth on this land of fire. Now you can choose which side you'd like to know better.
Today you have two options to go deep into the nature of Iceland, each option representing an opposite side of the coin: into a glacier or inside the magma chamber of a volcano.
If you choose the first option, you'll ride a Superjeep monster truck on top of Langjökull glacier where a man made tunnel has been carved into the thick blue ice, creating an underground maze of corridors, rooms, halls and even a chapel. Blue light dances off the frozen walls which record centuries of geological history in their layers. If you are one of the cool crowd, this trip is for you.
If you're more of a firecracker, take the second option of today to visit Þríhnjúkagígur, the only place on earth that allows you to go inside a volcano.
After a Superjeep ride to the oval lava dome, you'll descend over 100 m (more than 300 ft!) down into this now empty magma chamber of the dormant giant. The bottom is the size of a football field. The deepest channels run nearly 200 meters underground.
The most amazing part is the colours left behind by the burning lava, created when the minerals in the stone were set alight by the intense heat. The color palette ranges from red to blue, painting the halls into a fantasy theatre.
After a game of hot and cold, you'll return to the city for the night, as tomorrow is yet another adventure.
Another day full of great options. You can either fly to the north capital Akureyri and head out to the famous Mývatn lake or take a tour to the Snæfellsnes peninsula in the west, with all its scenic fishing villages and romantic paths.
If you choose to go up north, you'll start your day at Reykjavík domestic airport, from where you will take a 45-minute flight to the idyllic town of Akureyri. Sometimes called 'The Danish town' due to the heavy Danish cultural influence there in the early 1900s, Akureyri is known as one of the best skiing areas in the country and the home of the northernmost botanical garden in the world.
From Akureyri airport, our local guide from the north will take you on a minibus and head east, to the Lake Mývatn area. This incredible location owes its geological importance to its location. Same as Þingvellir, it stands on the continental rift between the European and American tectonic plates.
Though the cracks are not as deep or as wide as in Þingvellir, Mývatn sports lava fields of unparalleled beauty and size. At Dimmuborgir, also called "the dark cities," the lava has formed incredible, tall sculptures that rise into the air in various forms. It is said that the Hidden People hold court in this place, and certain high rock stacks carry names such as 'The Church' or 'The Castle.'
You'll continue your excursion by visiting Námaskarð geothermal site, where hot springs of mud bubble and the earth boils. Locals have used the hot ground as a baking oven throughout time, burying dough in metal boxes to perfect the slow-bake recipe of hverabrauð – hot spring bread. Other amazing sites include the Krafla volcano site, the numerous tuff craters and small lava craters in the area, and, of course, the beautiful Mývatn lake itself.
If you'd rather head west, Snæfellsnes is the place you will visit today. Taking its name from the great glacier that stands on the edge of the peninsula (literally called 'The snowy mountain'), this place was made famous by French sci-fi author Jules Verne in his classic adventure Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
The glacier has been considered a possible entrance to hell since the Middle Ages. In Verne's book, Snæfellsnes is the gateway to a fantastic underground world eventually leading the characters to the earth's core!
Snæfellsjökull National Park holds wonderful sights: The black sands and rock formations at Djúpalónssandur offer an opportunity to test your worth on the old stones of power. In the past, young sailors had to hold up rocks that stated their strength and by that, their salary.
You'll also see the Bárðarlaug lake, where a great and mythological Jötunn, Bárður Snæfellsás, used to stay. Along the southern coastline of the peninsula, plenty of birdwatching and a seal colony await. Last but not least, snap a shot of the iconic Kirkjufell mountain.
Whichever you choose, the end of your day will be in Reykjavík, where the city once more greets you with all its options of fun.
This day is sure to be a hit, no matter if you are the type who feels that four days of nature is enough or the one who never wants to leave the green wilderness. Again, two choices are on the table. The first is a day in the city, getting to know the culture and culinary tastes of the locals, and the latter is a trip to one of the hidden oases in the highlands, Landmannalaugar.
If you choose to stay in town, you'll have the chance to travel around the city, enjoy the various museums and locales of interest on your own, or join a guided tour. You could take a walk with a guide through the old town, or a bus to the wider area, or opt for a more cultural approach.
Reykjavík and Icelanders in general love good food, and a food walk with a knowing guide (suitable for vegetarians/vegans and omnivores alike) is an excellent way to get into the former food-scarce mentality that later spawned a keen interest in high-quality cooking and access to great ingredients local and foreign alike. If you're more of a night owl, you might prefer an evening tour out of the local microbreweries, and the much loved School of Beer, a fun evening of learning and tasting.
Your other option is to hop on a mountain truck and take a ride up between the mighty glaciers Langjökull and Hofsjökull, to a place that has been a popular pit stop on journeys across the highlands: Landmannalaugar. This geothermal area has wondrous charm, amazing hiking paths and of course, the wild hot springs. Here you can enjoy the wilderness in its purest form, indeed Iceland at its best.
Fabulous colours fill the area where the geothermal energy has affected the chemical structure in the rocks and cliffs, giving them a weird, reddish-rainbow look. On your way to this oasis of the highlands, you will pass the crater lake Ljótipollur ('Ugly puddle' – named by some grumpy settler), and see one of Iceland's most loved active volcanoes, Hekla.
Spend your last night in the lovely capital.
If your flight leaves in the afternoon, you have a few options on your last morning, such as whale watching, shopping or just having a leisurely breakfast in a café by the waterfront.
An airport shuttle will pick you up at your hotel and get you safe and sound to the airport in time for your flight, so your last day will be as hassle-free as possible.
Until next time!
See our accommodation levels below. Single person bookings will be arranged in a single room, while bookings of 2 or more people will share twin/double room(s) or triple room(s). If you are traveling in a group, but prefer a single room, please make separate bookings. For multi-day guided tours, accommodation cannot be upgraded and the levels below do not apply. We always do our best to accommodate special requests, which may incur additional costs.
Rooms or dormitory beds with shared bathrooms in guesthouses or hostels, such as HI Hostels. Located in the capital region. Breakfast is not included.
Rooms with a private bathroom at three-star hotels such as Fosshótel Barón, or quality guesthouses. Located in the city center or in close vicinity. Breakfast is included.