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About tour

Get a chance to visit the highlands and travel along the famous Ring Road of Iceland in a small group. Visit some of the most famous and well-known places around Iceland!

This 9-day Iceland tour is a great option for people who really want to see the most beautiful places in Iceland. You go further, explore more, and stray off the beaten track. Get up close and personal with glistening glaciers, majestic volcanoes, vast highlands, gushing geysers, awesome waterfalls, and Landmannalaugar, the pearl of the highlands. Soak in a natural geothermal pool, watch the whales of the north, meet travelers from all over the world, and craft incredible memories.

Highlights

  • Vestmannaeyjar Islands
  • Puffin Watching
  • Eldheimar Museum
  • Mt. Eldfell, South Coast of Iceland
  • Vík Village
  • Kirkjubæjarklaustur
  • Eldhraun Lava Fields
  • Mt. Laki
  • Lakagígar Craters
  • Eldgjá Volcano Canyon
  • Landmannalaugar
  • Iceland Highlands
  • Hjálparfoss Waterfall
  • Golden Circle (Gullfoss, Geysir & Þingvellir National Park)
  • South Coast (Seljalandsfoss Waterfall, Skógafoss Waterfall, Vík)
  • Vatnajökull National Park
  • Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
  • Diamond Beach
  • Glacier Hiking
  • Hengifoss Waterfall
  • Wilderness Center
  • Lake Mývatn
  • Myvatn Nature Baths
  • Akureyri
  • Whale Watching
  • West Iceland
  • Geldingadalir Volcano

Included

  • Pick-up & Drop-off in Reykjavík
  • 8 Night Hotel Accommodation w/ Private Bathroom and Breakfast
  • Guided Small-Group Experience
  • Eldheimar Museum Admission
  • Vestmannaeyjar Ferry
  • Landmannalaugar Facility Fees
  • Free WiFi on the Bus
  • Glacier Hiking on Vatnajökull Glacier
  • Whale Watching Tour

What to bring

  • Warm outdoor clothing
  • A waterproof jacket and pants
  • Headwear and gloves
  • Swimsuit
  • Good hiking shoes are recommended

Tour Snapshot

Availability June - Sept
Duration 9 days
Departs From Reykjavik
Level Easy Suitable for most people in fair condition.
Minimum age 8 years
Ratio 1:19 Guide to client ratio
Meet on Location No
Pick Up Yes

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  • Expert Guides
  • Small Group Experience
  • Free Wifi
  • Fast & Secure Payment
  • No Booking Fees

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Itinerary

This 9-day Highlands and Around Iceland tour will give you the best experience. During the first three days, you will get a chance to discover the Highlands of Iceland, the wonderful colorful Landmananalaugar, explore lava fields, and glimpse majestic volcanoes. On your fourth day, you will start exploring the Ring Road of Iceland.

On the morning of the first day of your tour, you'll get picked up from your accommodation in Reykjavík. The tour will then head to the southern part of Iceland. The first stop of the day is at Landeyjarhöfn harbor, where you will embark on a ferry to the Vestmannaeyjar Islands. After about a 30-minute ferry ride to Vestmannaeyjar Island, we will go straight to the southernmost part of the main island, Stórhöfði Cape. It's an ideal location to get up close to the oldest inhabitants of the island, the Atlantic puffins.

Next up is Eldheimar Museum, a volcano museum dedicated to the remembrance of the volcanic eruption of 1973, when the entire population had to be evacuated from the island to the mainland in the middle of the night. After the museum, you will have the opportunity to go on a short hike up to Mt. Eldfell Volcano or spend some time in the town before heading back to the mainland in the afternoon.

Once back on the mainland, you'll travel along the south coast of Iceland, getting some coastal views and the infamous Mt. Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, which erupted back in 2010, causing massive interruptions of air traffic across Europe and North America. We'll then make a stop at the scenic coastal village of Vík, where you will have some time to wander around the village or go down to the black sand beach. From Vík, there's about an hour-long drive through the Eldhraun lava fields to the hotel where you'll stay for the night.

Day Highlights
  • Vestmannaeyjar Islands
  • Stórhöfði Cape
  • Eldheimar Museum
  • Mt. Eldfell Volcano
Included
  • Guided Minibus Tour
  • One night at a hotel
Accommodation
Adventure Hotel Geirland
or similar

After breakfast, you´ll start the adventure of the day at the majestic Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon. Hiking alongside the canyon is like being in a fairy tale painting. After exploring the canyon, you'll venture further into less-traveled area of Iceland, to Laki and Lakagígar, which are part of the UNESCO National Park of Vatnajökull. Once we are at Mt. Laki, we'll hike to the top of the volcano, where you can get a great view of the site. You will see the Lakagígar craters that were formed in an eruption from 1783-1784, one of the biggest volcanic eruptions in historic times. The eruption and the ash coming from it caused famine in Europe, which eventually altered history as it’s said that the famine was the beginning of the French Revolution. We'll continue to drive around the highlands, making a couple of shorter stops before coming back to the main road. There we’ll make a stop at the small village Kirkjubæjarklaustur, where you have free time to walk around. You can check out Systrafoss Waterfall, Systrastapi Rock or Kirkjugólf (Church Floor), which are basalt columns and stone slabs. From there, it's just a short drive back to the hotel.

Day Highlights
  • Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon
  • Laki and Lakagígar
  • Kirkjubæjarklaustur
  • Systrafoss Waterfall
  • Systrastapi Rock
  • Kirkjugólf
Included
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Guided Minibus Tour
  • One night in a hotel
Accommodation
Adventure Hotel Geirland
or similar

In the morning, you'll have breakfast and then check out of the hotel before getting back on the road. We'll start heading back toward Reykjavík, but we'll be taking you off the beaten track by driving on the scenic F road, known as Fjallabaksleið nyrðri. Our first stop of the day is at Eldgjá Canyon, which is part of the same volcanic system as Katla Volcano. It is the largest volcanic canyon in the world at about 40 km long, 600 meters wide and 270 meters deep. We’ll hike in the canyon and explore Ófærufoss Waterfall. From Eldgjá, we’ll continue further to Landmannalaugar, a pearl of the highlands. At Landmannalaugar, you'll have the opportunity to explore the lava field Laugahraun, hike to colorful Mt. Brennisteinsalda and/or soak in a natural geothermal pool. After roughly a couple of hours at Landmannalaugar, we will continue making our way back to Reykjavík before nightfall. Before reaching Reykjavík, we will make a short stop at Hjálparfoss Waterfall, which is situated in Þjórsárdalur Valley.

Your accommodation will be in Reykjavik.

Day Highlights
  • Eldgjá Canyon
  • Ófærufoss Waterfall
  • Landmannalaugar
  • Mt. Brennisteinsalda
  • Hjálparfoss Waterfall,
  • Þjórsárdalur Valley.
Included
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Guided Minibus Tour/Return to Reykjavík
  • One night at a hotel in Reykjavik
Accommodation
Hotel Island
or similar

Please be ready at your pick-up location in Reykjavík at 08:00 am. The pick-up process takes up to 30 minutes, so depending on where you are located in Reykjavik you may have to wait a few minutes. The first day of this round trip is mostly focused on exploring the attractions of the famous Golden Circle.

We will visit Þingvellir National Park, which is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its geological and historical significance. It was here that the Icelanders founded their historic Parliament in 930 CE, Alþingið, one of the first democratic governments in the world. The Law Speaker had one of the most dramatic “platforms” in the world from which to proclaim the law. The cliff of the mighty rift valley stood at his back. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge runs right through Þingvellir. The Eurasian and North American tectonic plates continue to edge apart, slowly widening the rift valley. The Geysir hot spring area will be our next destination.

Geysir is the spouting hot spring, which gave its name to this phenomenon when the English word “geyser” was adopted. Watch the Strokkur hot spring erupt in great jets of hot water and steam every few minutes and see the bubbling fumaroles. The mighty Gullfoss Waterfall is the final Golden Circle attraction. See the dreamy golden-hued mist rising from the spray as the Hvítá (the White River) pours down from Langjökull (the Long Glacier) roaring through the rugged canyon. Gullfoss drops 32 meters in two stages.

On the way to our accommodation at a country hotel near Kirkjubæjarklaustur, we will visit both Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls. Seljalandsfoss is a very unusual waterfall because it is possible to walk behind the cascade, giving a unique vantage point.

After you stop at your hotel for the night, if the conditions are good you can go out searching for the Northern Lights with the help of your guide (only in September). 

Day Highlights
  • Þingvellir National Park
  • Geysir Hot springs
  • Gullfoss Waterfall
  • Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
  • Skógafoss Waterfall
Included
  • Breakfast at a hotel
  • Guided tour in minibus
  • Visit to the highlights of Golden Circle
  • Visit the most famous waterfalls of the South coast
  • One night at Hotel close to Vík
Accommodation
Adventure Hotel Geirland
or similar

We explore the atmospheric Reynisfjara black sand beach with the glorious Reynisdrangar peaks and visit the basalt column cave. Then it is over to the glaciers!

We pass the great Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, which houses one of the most famous and feared volcanoes beneath its ice, the capricious Katla. In good visibility, you will get a glimpse of the great fire maestro! Witness the results of previous volcanic eruptions as we drive across the Eldhraun lava field to Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park. Skaftafell is a true oasis, with green birch forests and lush vegetation, a verdant jewel in the midst of the rough black sand desert.

We will take a three-hour glacier hike, guided by our specialist glacier guide, on an outlet glacier of Vatnajökull, which is the largest glacier in Europe.

Next on the agenda is the famous Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. Gaze in wonder at the magical iceberg-filled lagoon and see the famous Diamond Beach. Its coal-black sands are peppered with glittering crystal, blue-and-white icebergs, which have been washed ashore. You will feel like you are in a film scene, and in a way, you will be! Footage of James Bond films and other movies have been shot here.

Our accommodation for the night will be at a guesthouse in the South East area. From September to April, slip away from the guesthouse at night to chase the Northern Lights.

Day Highlights
  • Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
  • Vatnajökull National Park
  • Jökulsarlón Glacier Lagoon
Included
  • Breakfast at Hotel close to Vík
  • Visit to Reynisfjara
  • Guided Glacier Hike on Vatnajökull Glacier
  • Certified Glacier Guide
  • Specialized glacier gear
  • Visit to Jökulsarlón and the Diamond Beach
  • One night at a guesthouse
Accommodation
Adventure Hotel Hof
Woman exploring exposition in Wilderness Center

Today, we will explore the East Fjords of Iceland. We continue threading our way along the coastline, driving some narrow roads around Hvalnes, a very beautiful and remote peninsula, and the stretch around the Þvottárskriður landslides between Lóns and Álftafjarðar.

We will stop at Djúpivogur, a traditional small fishing village that is also home to a fine outdoor sculpture, Eggin í Gleðivík (meaning The Eggs of Merry Bay).

At day's end, we arrive at the Wilderness Center, a place of history and adventure in Northern Europe's vast wilderness. Try hiking, biking, or horse riding, and learn about Icelandic life at the museum. Stay in cozy rooms, enjoy local food, and relax in the warm pool after a day outside.

After the baths, we will jump in the car again and move on to Egilsstaðir, the largest town in East Iceland, where we will relax in a hotel for the night.

Day Highlights
  • Djúpivogur Fishing Village
  • The town of Egilsstaðir
  • Wilderness Center
Included
  • Breakfast at the guesthouse
  • Visit to the small fishing village of Djúpvogur
  • Free access to Wilderness Museum
  • One night at accommodation
Accommodation
Wilderness Center
or similar

Today, we are on our way to the north of the country. From Egilsstaðir, we drive to Stuðlagil Canyon, one of the world’s most enchanting basalt rock formations.

We then explore the mystical landscapes around the lake at Mývatn. From here, it just gets more surreal as we head to the steaming lunar landscapes of the Námaskarð geothermal area. See boiling hot springs, steaming fumaroles and technicolor bubbling mud pots. The wonders continue when we visit the amazing Dimmuborgir formations, known as the Dark Castles!

Our next stop is the Mývatn Nature Baths, also known as the "Blue Lagoon of the North," a serene geothermal spa located close to Lake Mývatn. Relax in the warm blue water, surrounded by North Iceland's volcanic landscapes. Whether you're swimming in the lagoon or exploring the saunas and relaxation areas, it's a relaxing break in nature. (Optional extra)

The wide and dreamy crescent-shaped waterfall, Goðafoss, is the last stop of the day before we journey to Eyjafjörður, an outstandingly beautiful fjord with high mountains.

Our accommodation for the night will be at a country hotel in Akureyri.

Day Highlights
  • Mývatn Lake
  • Myvatn Nature Baths (optional extra)
  • Námaskarð geothermal area
  • Dimmuborgir formations
  • Goðafoss Waterfall
Included
  • Breakfast at accommodation
  • Guided visit to all the highlights
  • Time to explore the magnificent landscapes
  • One night at a hotel close to Akureyri
Accommodation
Berjaya Akureyri Hotel
or similar

Occasionally, there is time to make a short stop at Akureyri, the Capital of the North. We always drive through this charming town, passing through the really mesmerizing scenery along Eyjafjörður (the Island Fjord) on the way to the little fishing town of Dalvík.

Your whale-watching boat trip departs from the traditional working harbor. During the 3-hour boat trip, you can expect to spot humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins, minke whales, and sometimes even a majestic blue whale showing up in the bay. If you are lucky, you might see one!

When we step ashore, we drive to Siglufjörður, a charming fishing village with a rich history. In the early 20th century, there was a gold rush atmosphere when the remote community became the herring fishing capital of the Atlantic. Your journey around Tröllaskagi (the Troll Peninsula) will show you some of the best ocean scenery and skiing areas in Iceland. The characterful small villages on this peninsula will really give you a good insight into how life was and is lived in the remote Icelandic villages. Our drive will take us through some thriving agricultural areas on our way to Laugarbakki.

Your accommodation for the night will be at a small hotel in Laugarbakki.

Day Highlights
  • Akureyri - Capital of the North
  • Whale Watching from Dalvík
  • Siglufjörður Fishing Village
Included
  • Breakfast at a Hotel close to Akureyri
  • Akureyri & Eyjafjörður Fjord
  • 3 hour Whale Watching sail tour
  • Visit to Siglufjörður
  • One night at a hotel in Borgarnes
Accommodation
Hotel Laugarbakki
or similar

On this, our final day, we will find ourselves in West Iceland – an area which Lonely Planet voted as one of the best destinations in 2016. Your day will begin with a short hike up to Grábrók, a volcano crater. On a clear day, there are fabulous views over the lava field and the whole area. Borgarfjörður has many splendid sights and we will focus on these today. We stop at Deildartunguhver hot spring, the legendary waterfall, Barnafoss, (the Children´s Waterfall), and the Hraunfossar cascade, the atmospheric very low and wide falls where the water emerges, literally straight out of the lava field.

Next on the agenda is the historic and picturesque site of Reykholt, home to Snorri Sturluson, the Icelandic historian, lawyer, politician, poet and the author of some Icelandic Sagas. See Snorralaug, Snorri´s pool, dabble your fingers and feel the temperature of the water in the place where Snorri is likely to have bathed! We will drive around the scenic fjord, Hvalfjörður (Whale Fjord), on our way to back Reykjavík. We expect to arrive in the city around 5 – 6 pm.

Day Highlights
  • Borgarfjörður
  • Deildartunguhver hot spring
  • Barnafoss Waterfall
  • Hraunfossar cascade
  • Reykholt
  • Hike up to Grábrók, a volcano crater
Included
  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Visit to the highlights of Borgarfjörður
  • Visit to the historic sight of Reykholt
  • Drop off in Reykjavík

Solo travelers are required to choose the single room supplement when booking if they want a guaranteed private room. If the single room fee is not paid, they might be roomed with another solo traveler of the same gender.

Pick-up is at 08:00 am from your hotel or a nearby meeting point in Reykjavík. Picking everyone up can take up to 30 minutes, your patience is much appreciated. Available pick-up points: Arctic Adventures’s pick-up list.

Attractions Map

Explore the top attractions of the tour with our interactive map

FAQ

We always recommend booking a multi-day tour starting at least one day after arriving in Iceland. If you’re flying in from the US or will be landing early (4-6:30 am) you should be able to join the tour, but some risks would follow (i.e if the flight gets delayed) and could, therefore, miss out on the tour.

If you are not sure that you have suitable gear for your tour, we offer some necessary items for rent. For most of our multi-day tours, we rent out waterproof jackets and pants as well as hiking boots. You can book these items and more under the selection “Extras” in the booking widget when booking your tour on our website.

If you have already booked the tour and wish to add some rental gear to your booking, you can do so at least 24 hours prior to your tour starting by using our customer portal - My Adventures, or contacting our customer care.

We drive on average around 300 km (186 miles) per day on our multi-day tours. You will be spending approximately 4-5 hours in the car each day. We do of course stop on multiple locations throughout the tour for sightseeing, activities, bathroom breaks and lunch stops.

We do welcome participants of all ages older than the listed minimum age for each tour. We have people of ages ranging from 8-99 years joining our multi-day tours.  Our average group usually consists of participants between the age 20-55 years. We do get a lot of solo travellers joining our tours, as well as families and friends.

If you have difficulties participating in any of the activities included in the tour, for example, a glacier activity, you are more than welcome to skip it. You can explore your surroundings in the meantime or wait elsewhere. Our guide should be able to drop you off at a nearby place where there are some services available.

For multi-day tours, each participant is allowed to bring a small backpack and 1 piece of luggage weighing a maximum of 20 kg (44 lbs). If you have more or heavier luggage with you, you will need to book storage for the surplus luggage before you arrive, there is a small fee for using this facility. Luggage storage in Reykjavík can be added during the booking process of your order in the extras section.

* The combined dimensions of each bag must not exceed 158 cm (62 in).

Breakfast is included at all the hotels we stay in during the tour. The breakfast will be a typical breakfast buffet, offering bread, toppings, cereal, yogurt, fruits, coffee, and tea etc.

Your guide will also find a good place for the group to eat lunch. We always try to choose places that have a wide selection of dishes on the menu, so there will be options available for everyone. The dinner is usually at the hotels we stay at for the night.

If your tour includes accommodation, breakfast is always included during the tour at the hotel/guesthouse restaurant.

Meals and beverages are otherwise not included on your tour. (Unless it’s specifically stated in the description of the tour)

On our multiday tours, we will be making stops at restaurants and convenience stores where you will be able to purchase all necessities. Cash is not necessary, as credit cards are almost always accepted. Having a small amount of cash doesn’t hurt though.

A single supplement is available if you want to have your own room, but you are not required to pay a single supplement. If you are a single traveler and do not wish to book a single room, you’ll be roomed with another traveler of the same gender.

When booking with Arctic Adventures, you are guaranteed an accommodation at a nice country hotel and/or a guesthouse. The hotels we have partnered up with are all of the same standard and offer nice rooms with made-up beds. The rooms come with private or shared bathrooms, depending on your booking. The standard room is a twin room but it’s possible to request a double room or a triple room, with no extra charge.

If you are traveling solo, you will have to add the single room fee if you wish to have a single room.

All hotels have free Wi-Fi. Towels, a hairdryer and a kettle are accessible at all of the hotels. Hotel breakfast is included!

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