Overview

Unplug from modern life in the untouched wilderness of East Iceland. Enjoy hot springs, traditional Icelandic food, and night walks!

Highlights

  • Hengifoss Waterfall
  • The medieval monastery at Skriðuklaustur
  • Iceland Wilderness Center
  • A night walking tour
  • An abandoned farm of Kleif
  • Tasting traditional Icelandic food
  • Cable ferry river crossing
  • A lookout for reindeer
  • Natural hot springs
  • Fljótsdalsheiði Moors
  • Stuðlagil Canyon
  • Lake Mývatn Geothermal Area
  • Lake Myvatn Nature Baths
  • Godafoss Waterfall

If East Iceland isn’t on your wish list, it’s time to put it on your radar. Here’s why: nature with no tourists in sight, food made with the greatest respect for local tradition, striking historical places, and wild reindeer in majestic landscapes. Discover it all on this trip to East Iceland. Relax in secluded hot springs and sleep in a museum at the Icelandic Wilderness Center, a stellar lodging by the edge of Northern Europe’s largest wilderness. Authentic Iceland is yours to discover!

  • Personal Experience
  • Trusted Tour Operator
  • Small group experience
  • Expert guides
Availability Apr-Nov
Duration 5 days
Departs From Egilsstaðir
Level Easy Suitable for most people in fair condition.
Minimum age 12 years
Accommodation Included
Ratio 1:16
Meet on Location Yes
Pick Up Yes

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What's included

Included

  • Accommodation as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • English speaking tour guide
  • Transfer upon arrival and departure
  • All transport during the tour
  • All entrance fees to exhibitions and pools

What to bring

  • Warm outdoor clothing
  • Good hiking shoes
  • Waterproof pants
  • A pair of gloves
  • Warm hat

Not Included

  • Transport from Reykjavik

Contact us for more Information about this tour

Itinerary

Information

Meeting Point Info

  • The tour departs from Egilsstaðir, the capital of East Iceland. Egilsstaðir is only an hour away from Reykjavik by air. There are scheduled flights from Reykjavik to Egilsstaðir 3-4 times every day.
  • If you have extra days, you can also reach Egilsstaðir by car. Driving from Reykjavik to Egilsstaðir takes about 8 hours. The trip is not short but is an adventure in and of itself! En route, you’ll pass roaring waterfalls, hot springs, and majestic glaciers. 
  • We’ll pick you up from Egilsstaðir Airport (first flight in the morning) or your hotel in  Egilsstaðir around 8:30 a.m. 

Drop-off Place

  • We’ll drop you off at Akureyri Airport around 6 p.m. (18:00) on day 5. 

Today begins your epic East Iceland adventure! This morning walk up to Hengifoss Waterfall, the third-largest cascade in Iceland. The falls plummet 420 ft (128 m) into a brown gorge and is the biggest attraction in East Iceland. Marvel at the force of nature in action!

Then enjoy our hearty lunch buffet before exploring the exhibition at Skriðuklaustur, the site of a late 15th-century monastery and the home of the famous Icelandic writer Gunnar Gunnarsson. The author won European acclaim for his novels in Danish. At the height of his fame, only the works of Goethe sold better.

Next discover the forested Lagarfljot Lake, which harbors the Icelandic version of the Loch Ness monster. Over a cup of coffee, hear stories about the monster called the Lagarfljót Worm. 

Then travel to the Icelandic Wilderness Center, where you explore historic exhibits and get an intimate look at traditional Icelandic lifestyle. Discover how Icelanders lived for centuries in harsh but stunning wilderness.

After dinner, listen to stories from the old days in a common room loft at the Wilderness Center. Feel the tranquility of this authentic dormitory styled as baðstofa, the traditional living room of Icelandic farms.

Day Highlights
  • Hengifoss Waterfall
  • Skriðuklaustur Historic Site
  • Lagarfljot Lake
  • Iceland Lake Monster
  • Interactive exhibitions at the Wilderness Center
Included
  • Accommodation
  • Meals

After breakfast, prepare to be charmed by a very unique place in Iceland — traditional turf stables. Visit a farmer that keeps all his sheep in old-style stone and turf houses. Feel transported to another era as you explore the sheep sheds.

Next travel up to Fljótsdalsheiði, a vast area of moorland stretching into the highlands. Ride around the vast heath on the lookout for reindeer. Then lunch in the highlands before continuing with your adventure. Depending on the weather and road conditions, visit either Hafrahvammaglúfur Canyon or enjoy the beauty of Eyjabakkar and Sanddalur Valley.

End the day at Laugarfell Highland Hostel and take a dip in the soothing waters of the onsite hot pot while reliving the day’s excitement.

Day Highlights
  • Traditional turf stables
  • Fljótsdalsheiði Moors
  • lookout for reindeer
  • Hafrahvammaglúfur Canyon (depending on the weather)
  • Eyjabakkar and Sanddalur Valley
  • Natural Hot Springs
Included
  • Accommodation
  • Meals

Begin the day with a short hike that takes you to astonishing waterfalls. The shimmering falls will vie for your attention, so don’t forget to bring your best camera!

After lunch, watch an old silent film in the local church at Valþjófsstaður. The film tells the story of the famous outlaw Eyvindur of the Mountains. The inner door of the church is an exact replica of the famous Valþjófsstaður door on display in the National Museum of Iceland.

Later, return to the Wilderness Center and prepare for a nocturnal adventure. Warm yourself up with hot chocolate and pancakes before setting out on a dusk walk towards the abandoned farm of Kleif. Your guide will share with you real, often funny stories of former occupants.

Thrill-seekers can cross the 164-ft (50-m) wide Jökulsá River in a traditional cableway.

For dinner, taste local food at the Wilderness Center.

Day Highlights
  • Waterfalls Hike
  • Film screening at Valþjófsstaður Church
  • A night walk tour
  • An abandoned farm of Kleif
  • River crossing in a cableway
Included
  • Accommodation
  • Meals

After breakfast, visit the entertaining exhibition of Vatnajökull National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest national park in Western Europe. Along the way, stop at an old turf smokehouse and taste smoked lamb, one of Iceland’s delicacies.

Then it’s time for some Icelandic fun! Try your hand at all sorts of wilderness games.

This evening, savor a wilderness feast. Locals and guests cook dishes together with local ingredients and talk about authentic Icelandic food. Later revel in evening entertainment with singing and playing. 

Day Highlights
  • An exhibition of Vatnajökull National Park
  • Smoked lamb tasting
  • Wilderness games
  • Local Icelandic food feast
  • Evening entertainment
Included
  • Accommodation
  • Meals

Today go back into the highlands to see Stuðlagil Canyon, one of the most awe-inspiring basalt rock formations in Iceland. Then travel to Möðrudalur, the highest inhabited place in the country, at 1,539 ft (469 m). Soak up views of Mt. Herðubreið as you listen to stories about the eccentric Icelandic painter Stórval.

After lunch at Möðrudalur, stop by an old mountain hut near the glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum. Get to know Mountain-Bensi, who set off into the wild in the dead of winter in search of lost sheep. He is the main character in the novella The Good Shepherd by Gunnar Gunnarsson.

Then explore the geothermal Lake Mývatn region, admiring bubbling mud pools and steam vents. Surrounded by volcanic landscapes, the area is so magical that it hardly seems real. A visit to the famous Mývatn Nature Baths is the cherry on the top of your vacation. Enjoy milky pools and steam baths — geothermally heated of course!

Your last stop is Goðafoss Waterfall (Waterfall of the Gods), one of the most blissful places in Iceland.

We’ll drop you off at Akureyri Airport around 6 p.m. (18:00).

Day Highlights
  • Stuðlagil Canyon
  • Möðrudalur, the highest farm in Iceland
  • Mt. Herðubreið
  • Lake Mývatn Geothermal Area
  • Mývatn Nature Baths
  • Godafoss Waterfall
Included
  • Meals

Accommodation Info

  • You’ll spend 3 nights at the Wilderness Center, an authentic and peaceful hideaway in a remote eastern valley. On the 2nd night, you’ll stay at Laugarfell Highland Hostel,  where you can relax in natural hot springs that are as warm as bathwater.
  • Accommodation is for two people per room. If you wish, you can upgrade your accommodation to a private room during the booking process. 

Practical Info

  • You’re about to embark on an unforgettable winter expedition in East Iceland. To make the absolute most of your adventure, it’s essential to be prepared. 
  • For your comfort, make sure to bring warm outdoor clothing, good hiking shoes, waterproof pants, a pair of gloves, and a warm hat. 
  • Don’t forget to bring a flashlight (for hiking misty trails) and a camera!

Please Note

  • For a guaranteed departure, a minimum of 2 persons is needed. 
  • The itinerary of this tour is subject to change due to weather conditions.

FAQ

This is a great question. We ask all participants to be ready from the start of the pickup time indicated. This is because you may well be the first pick up of the day. Please be at your assigned location at the start time that you chose when booking the tour.

Here you should wait for your guide.

Have your email and phone number listed with us so we can contact you if we run into any trouble finding you.

View our pick-up locations in Reykjavík.

Before and during activities on the multi-day tours consumption of alcohol is prohibited. If we suspect that a participant is intoxicated, we will prohibit them from joining the activity.

After the activities of the day are finished, you are welcome to have a drink and relax.

Yes, we do. Langjökull Ice Cave is a magical experience, the tour has no minimum age and is a wonderful option for the whole family. Whale Watching with our partner company Elding has been a favourite with families traveling with young children, these guys have a great success rate in seeing whales (upwards of 98% in the summertime).

Another option would be the Landmannalaugar Safari on this tour you get to explore parts of the Icelandic highlands and bathe in natural hot springs. Most of our super jeep tours are also suitable for children over the age of 6 years old. If you would like a nice and relaxing experience we would also recommend the Golden Circle & Secret Lagoon tour.

Your safety is our number one priority! Keeping this in mind, Arctic Adventures reserves the right to adjust the itinerary and/or take different routes depending on conditions. Please read more information in our cancellation policy.

Yes, there is a specially trained and certified guide on each of our tours. The only exception to this is for our self-drive tours.

All of our tours are guided in English.

No, for all your questions and concerns you would need to contact our customer service.

The standard in Iceland is 230V and 50Hz and we use F-type power sockets and plugs, so you might have to bring an adaptor if you are visiting from UK, USA, Canada or other countries using a different voltage, Hz or plugs.

Our tours are split into four different categories that help participants to understand what to expect from the tour. The categories are Easy, Moderate, Challenging and Demanding. Each tour is rated making it easier to find tours that suit you.

For further information about the difficulty ratings and descriptions.

We’ve partnered with the Kolviður Fund in a new carbon offsetting program, which passengers can select to participate in at the time of booking.

The Kolviður Fund is the oldest, most respected carbon offsetting program in Iceland. With your support, one tree will be planted in special Kolviður forests in Iceland to carbon offset your tour with us.

Kolviður forests are strategically planted to absorb the maximum amount of CO2 and the forests are protected for a minimum of 60 years. During their lifetime the trees absorb carbon and store it in their root system, trunk, and branches. Trees also prevent soil erosion and maintain storage of carbon in the soil.

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