Skaftafell National Park, Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, East Fjords, Lake Myvatn, Snaefellsnes National Park, Eyjafjallajökull, Landmannalaugar, South Coast, Vik,...
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Iceland is all about the majesty of its natural curves brought by millennia of geothermal activity. Your custom tailored tour will take you deep within the Golden Circle and along the volcanic ridges and thundering waterfalls, the towering black cliffs and the textured basalt columns that reflect in glassy waters. Find hidden hot springs with a view of pastel colored hills as you feel icy mist that rises from the base of huge waterfalls. Discover the tuft-roofed homes as they shine green with...
Reykjavik – Arrive in Iceland and Relax at the Blue Lagoon Spa
As your flight descends into the Keflavik International Airport, you will be able to see the sweeping greenery as it touches the cobalt water of the Atlantic Ocean. You will land and your private transfer will await your arrival at baggage claim. Outside of the airport, you will immediately notice the wide-open spaces and the sense of grandeur. Your first stop will be at the celebrated Blue Lagoon Spa located on the Reykjanes Peninsula, between the airport and the capital city of Reykjavik. The facilities are immaculate and welcoming, and you can change into your bathing suit and rinse off in the cool shower before stepping into the steaming waters of the Blue Lagoon.
The cloudy blue hue will shine against the rugged, rocky hillside border. The steam drifts over the surface and rises along the hills as you take the wooden footpath that leads into the water to dip your toes into the lagoon, which reaches a maximum heat of 102 degrees Fahrenheit. A geothermal power station uses the water to provide energy for the region, and the volcanic activity of the region naturally superheats the water. The minerals in the mud help to soothe skin ailments and relax your body as mud fills the wooden boxes around the lagoon. Visitors can apply the nutritious soil to their faces and arms and let the minerals sink into their skin. The mud will dry along the contours of your face before you wash it away, and you can feel how smooth the nutrients have made your skin from a single application.
Laugarvatn – Explore the Treasured Sites along the Golden Circle
In the morning, you will wake up to the gleaming white concrete tower of Hallgrimskirkja Church. The structure is 240 feet in height and provides a perfect panorama of Reykjavik, from its colorful buildings to the Tjornin Lake, a body of water that divides the city in half. After breakfast, your private transfer will meet you at your hotel and lead you along the iconic roadway known as the Golden Circle. The usual route will take you to three stops, including Geysir, Thingvellir National Park, and Gullfoss.
The wonder of Geysir comes from the geothermal activity, the first of its kind as witnessed by modern European eyes. The geysers’ activity began in the 13th century after numerous earthquakes and a destructive eruption of Mount Hekla. The Great Geysir stopped spouting in the 20th century. However, Strokkur Geyser continues to erupt approximately every 10 minutes. Hot and cold springs meander together around the region as steam rises from the hotbed of geothermal activity. Mud pots boil and shine gray and gold as the Strokkur Geyser shoots boiling water nearly 100 feet into the air. A millisecond before the water bursts into the sky, you can see a wave spill out of the geyser and splash against the small rim of the blowhole.
Laugarvatn – Discover the Lava Fields and Landscape of Landmannalaugar
In the morning, you will travel southwest to the remarkable region of Landmannalaugar. A glacial river and a 15th-century lava flow frame the gravel plain as obsidian and rhyolite mountains radiate with blue, purple, and red as if a painter’s palette spilled over the hillside. The shimmering colors rise into the snow-covered plateau and change the vibrant array of rainbow hues to a pearly-white surface. In the summer, sheep graze on the pasture and follow the small trails along the meandering mountains, and hikers follow the Laugavegur Trail to Thorsmork, taking their time to embrace the scenery and soak in the local, natural hot spring.
The tall grass that sweeps across the plain hides the babbling hot spring. The water moves from beneath the mountains, heated by the pockets of magma and geothermal activity before emerging to wind along the landscape as it merges with the cold current. You can step onto the boardwalk and dip your toes into the convergence of hot and cold water to find your own perfect balance. You can even submerge your body up to your neck as the current and flow of the water depends on the amount of people inside the pool, making for a uniquely communal environment. Your time in the warm water with the view to the rainbow colored hills is a moment you will never forget.
Vik – Visit striking Waterfalls and Exciting Seaside Cliffs on the South Coast
Wake ready for a journey to the charming town of Vik, located near the black sand basalt beaches that overlook the turquoise sea. Your scenic drive will take you past Skogafoss Waterfall, situated on the Skoga River. The cliff had formed Iceland’s former coastline before the water receded more than three miles, so the cliff now marks the clear distinction between the highlands and coastal lowlands of the island. Skogafoss stands at a height of 200 feet and width of 82 feet, and the amount of spray that rises from the torrent produces a double rainbow that shines against the greenery.
Skogar Folk Museum stands near the falls and preserves the cultural heritage of southern Iceland. A collection of tools, equipment, and handcrafts illuminate the daily tribulations and activities of the previous settlers. Old farmhouses provide insight into the former habitations of the community that date back to the Viking settlements, which remained the primary source of architecture in the region until the 1940s. Tuft roofs slope down to meet prominent stone walls that reach halfway up the building. Wood facades look out to the hillside, and the dark wood contrasts with the lush landscape and the verdant rooftops.
Hofn – See the Black Sand and Outwash Plains, Glaciers, and Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Wake up in the small village of Vik, located near the southern shore that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Myrdalsjokull Glacier spreads across the fierce volcano of Katla and contrasts with the black basalt sand that carpets the coastline. The basalt stacks form incredible pillars along the cliff that appear as blocks and columns to support the plateau. Continue east to Eldhraun Lava Field to see an impressive display of petrified lava from the 18th-century Laki Volcano eruption. The field has 218 square miles of land and provided ample space for the Apollo 11 crew to train for their moonwalks along the lunar landscape. The lava has carved more than 200 caves into the landscape and created a network that spans more than three miles.
The nearby Skaftarstofa Guest Center highlights the undulating landscape found beneath the verdant façade. Continue to Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon to board your private zodiac boat for an excursion out on the water. Pass the towering iceberg that looms nearly 100 feet overhead and glows a bright blue. The crisp aroma of fresh water fills the air, and your guide will break a small piece of ice away from the façade and let you taste the cold, refreshing, pure flavor of an ice cube one thousand years old. After that, traverse the extent of Iceland’s deepest lake that reaches a depth of approximately 820 feet.
Egilsstadir – Traverse the Fishing Villages and Fjords of the East Coast
In the morning, you will leave the town of Hofn and head eastward through the Almannaskard Tunnel. The roadway reaches a length of nearly one mile long at an elevation of more than 260 feet above sea level. In the west, you can see the mountains along with the dramatic ice caps of Vatnajokull Glacier. In the east, the glacier disappears, replaced by the jutting landscape and meandering hills of radiant fjords. The black sandy shores break the waves of the North Atlantic Ocean, and the landscape itself garners legend and myths that include elves and trolls. The village of Djupavogshreppur stands on Iceland’s southernmost point of the East Fjords, where birch forests add a herbaceous scent to the sky.
The open sea brings a refreshing breeze that drifts along the quiet streets. You will come to find the dramatic cliffs of the fjord to be an enticing, yet familiar, characteristic of the landscape as you travel. French fishers founded the town more than 400 years ago, and the people maintain their links to the town’s fishery heritage, along with the influences of the French and the Norwegian. You will be able to see the cliffs of the island of Papey off of the coast as puffins build their nests in the crevices that are buried into the stone. The puffins circle the air before diving down into the sea in search of an easy catch, submerging their entire bodies to emerge with a fish in their beak.
Myvatn – Visit Waterfalls, Glaciers, and Gorges en route to Husavik Village
The wonders of the landscape will continue to engage your senses as the drama brings a mixture of verdant foothills and icy blue waters, jagged peaks, and quiet villages. Today you will follow the path into the highlands, a region that was virtually inaccessible to settlers to hosted outlaws willing to deal with unfamiliar scenery and inclement weather. Modrudalur is the highest settled farm in Iceland at an altitude of 1,538 feet, and you will exit the Ring Road to visit the farm, located 13 miles away from Road No. 1. A farmer in the 1940s erected the small church on the property in memory of his wife, and the pearly façade and red roof contrast with the surrounding field and distant plateau.
The frame of Vatnajokull Glacier will return to your view on the horizon. When you return to the Ring Road, you will pass Dettifoss, a powerful waterfall that reaches a height of 144 feet with a width more than 320 feet. The water brings an uproar as it tumbles into Jokulsargljufur, Iceland’s largest canyon. Sediment from Vatnajokull Glacier feeds into the river that forms the waterfall, which accounts for the cloudy hue. The fury with which the waterfall moves almost makes the ground beneath your feet tremble as the cold mist rises into the air from the river below.
Akureyri – Relish the Unique Landscape Surrounding Lake Myvatn
Lake Myvatn sits in Iceland’s northeast region and shapes the indescribable landscape. A series of gigantic volcanic eruptions formed the region, creating lava tubes, craters, and mud pits when the geothermal activity blended with the cool waters of the lake. Hverfjall is a crater more than 450 feet deep and with a diameter wider than a half mile, and you=u can walk along the barren landscape, including the rugged, craggy edges of the perimeter. Once on the surface of the former crater, you will be able to feel the immense power of volcanic eruptions. You will also have a terrific view of the rusty red mountains that roll along the horizon, along with the steaming pockets of mud springs and steam vents that are located in the foothills.
When the mud bubbles burst, you may jump a little, adding another layer of wonder to the outlandish natural scenery. At Dimmuborgir, you will immerse yourself in a place where mythology meets the land. The lava field rises in distinct pillars and shapes the areas around the trails as the black, brown, and gray columns contrast with the blossoming leaves that are located at the base of the incredible formations. Legends say that the region is home to trolls and elves that built the rock formations for shelter centuries ago. One of the most impressive formations is known as the Church. Steps lead to a cave where the back and front remain open to the air, but the basalt rock forms a textured ceiling reminiscent of a house of worship.
Borgarfjordur – Half-Day Horseback Riding Excursion and Hot Springs
In the morning, wildfowl swarms the lake in search of fish and midge flies. Magnificent lava formations rise out of the shallow turquoise water like castle pillars. After breakfast, you will leave the mixture of rustic and fantastical scenery for the northern region of Skagafjordur, home to vast plains, reflective waters, and a special connection to breeding Icelandic horses. Glacial rivers foam with whitewater around the protruding boulders as adventurers jump from helicopters down onto the Trollaskagi Mountains to ski the fresh powder. You will make your way to a ranch with more than 40 years experience of bringing visitors through the breathtaking region.
The Icelandic horse is a descendent of a Norwegian breed, which arrived in Iceland around 1,100 years ago. The horse is known for its smaller stature as most reach an average height of 56 inches. When you arrive on the property, you will look at the grazing horses to find their noticeable spirit that reflects the landscape. Your guide will help you to mount your horse, and you can trot around the ranch for a few minutes to get acquainted with your horse. Leave the property and along the banks of the River Svarta as the wide valley encompasses the tall grass that is framed by the flat-topped mountains. The river will splash against the banks while a light breeze carries the herbaceous scent of the grass. Every step you take on horseback will bring you a deeper connection to the countryside and the culture of this remarkable region.
Snaefellsnes – Witness Snaefell Glacier and Stykkisholmur Village Birdlife
Today your private transfer will meet you at your hotel and lead you to the secluded reaches of Iceland’s west. The strange landscape of Snaefellsjokull National Park encompasses volcanoes and glaciers, including Snaefellsjokull Glacier. The enigmatic figure overtakes an active volcano and rises to a height of 4,744 feet above sea level. The glacier also stood at the heart of Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. Lava field pillars encircle small ponds as country homes contrast with the rugged surroundings with pristine white walls and red roofs. Your scenic drive will bring you to Breidafjordur Bay where the body of water reaches a length of more than 75 miles with a width of 30 miles.
Mountains border the lake’s glassy surface while white-tailed eagles soar overhead before swooping down to the water and scooping up an unsuspecting fish. Seals rush up to the shore and bask in the spreading sunlight. In the town of Stykkisholmur, you will find quiet, colorful homes preserved from the 19th century. A ferry brings visitors and locals alike to the timeless island of Flatey, home to pastel-painted buildings in a welcoming fishing community. Arctic terns populate the sky near the shoreline, and you can see the nearly 40 other small islands that are scattered throughout the bay. Puffins intersperse the grassland as rams and sheep graze in the shade cast by the barns. The island will feel contemporary and historical at the same time with stunning views of the water, coastline, birdlife, and everyday life of the locals in summer.
Reykjavik – Revel in Snaefellsnes Peninsula’s Beauty en route to Reykjavik
Tonight you will return to the familiar streets of Reykjavik and settle into the cosmopolitan atmosphere. Before reaching the colorful city, you will continue along the Ring Road to absorb the stunning scenery of your final excursion. Hellnar is a fishing village located on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, and the village was once the largest located along the Snaefellsjokull Ice Cap. The ancient site was once a major port of call for fishing vessels in the region that dates back to the 16th century. A freestanding rock known as Valasnos protrudes east of the bay, while the cave of Badstofa overlooks the water. A hole in the roof allows the sunlight to pour into and spread over the rock formation for a bright interior against the usual black sediment.
You can hear the waves lapping against the shoreline as the sea breeze carries a slightly salty aroma that contrasts with the sweet scent of the wild flowers. You will continue to Reykjavik and notice your view of the great peak of Eldborg. The crater has a prominence of nearly 200 feet above the mountains. Its cone shape provides a splendid landmark to follow as you move across the scenery. The volcano last erupted 5,000 years ago and was mentioned in the medieval chronicles of Iceland known as the Sagas. You can reach the base of the mountain by trekking along the lava field, and at the trailhead, you will quickly see the importance of the mountain, the field, and the magnitude of Iceland’s geothermal activity.
Reykjavik – Depart for Home
A three-dimensional map of Iceland fills the Reykjavik City Hall as the building was erected in the 1990s and practically leads into Tjornin Lake, creating a fabulous illusion of a submerged structure. The café provides an unparalleled view of the ducks and geese that swim along the lake’s surface, and in the background of the city, you can spot the familiar cone of Eldborg Volcano. The settlement museum provides insight into the history of Iceland, along with a multimedia look at the first settlers with artifacts from the many archeological excavations in the heart of the city.
An excavation uncovered a longhouse from the 10th century to show the preserved wall fragments from the city’s oldest preserved structure. After your time spent circling the Ring Road, Reykjavik will feel like an enormous city as it bustles with endless wonders to discover and plenty of culture to enjoy. When you are ready, your private transfer will meet you at your hotel lobby and escort you to Keflavik International Airport for your flight home.
- Enjoy a horseback riding excursion on the back of an Icelandic horse to traverse the stunning scenery of Skagafjordur
- Travel the lava field trails around Dimmuborgir to experience the mixture of marvelous landscape and wondrous mythology
- Witness the startling power of Dettifoss Waterfall, one of the most magnificent waterfalls in all of Europe
- Relish the inherent charm found in small fishing villages and farms situated across the plains and fjords
- Search the dramatic sea cliffs for signs of avifauna, from arctic terns to puffins
- Travel across the glacial waters of Jokulsarlon Lagoon and taste the pure water that drips from icebergs that are 1,000 years old
- Discover the cliffs of Iceland’s former coastline, now home to waterfalls and caves that overlook the current shore
- Immerse yourself in the historical culture of the island at folk museums and settlement exhibits that depict regional history and island heritage
- Soak in the marvelous hot springs around Iceland, from the luxurious Blue Lagoon to the hot pools hidden in the plains
- Stroll along the trails around Landmannalaugar to absorb the majesty of the natural rainbow hues that streak the mountainside
- Experience the treasures of the Golden Circle, home to erupting geysers and fissures visible to the naked eye and caused by the continental drift
The drifting tectonic plates cause the ridges to widen inside Thingvellir National Park. The cliff demarcates the former coastline and contains a waterfall with an open cave which offers a view of the sea and the land. Geysers erupt with power and passion as sheep graze on the nearby frontier. Barren craters provide insight into the prehistoric movement of the land as the fjords contain the quiet villages and rugged mountaintops. Your 12-day tour of Iceland will highlight the brilliant landscape and culture with a focus on how the geothermal activity of the island has shaped its surroundings. You will arrive at Keflavik International Airport where your private transfer will meet you at baggage claim to escort you to the celebrated Blue Lagoon to relax in the hot spring before you settle in Reykjavik for the night.
Travel next along the Golden Circle to see the spectacular spouting geysers, cascading waterfalls, and textured ridges that are caused by the continental drift. Journey over the lava fields and the lunar landscape of the Landmannalaugar Mountains to see the natural colors of the hills, along with the refreshing waters of the hot springs. Continue south to pass two spectacular waterfalls before you visit the Skogar Folk Museum. Stroll along the coast at Dyrholaey cliffs to see the avifauna and unique jutting rocks before enjoying a restful night in the town of Vik. The following day, traverse the black sand plains of Myrdallsandur and the lava field of Eldhraun en route to Skaftafell National Park. At Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, you can step aboard a zodiac boat and cruise around the drifting icebergs and glacier tongue.
Move next to the East fjords to visit the charming fishing villages and remarkable islands that are home to puffins and arctic tern. The next day, you will explore the Modrudalur Highlands to see Dettifoss Waterfall and relish the panoramic view of Asbyrgi Gorge and tranquil surroundings at the fishing village of Huvasik. Wake the next morning to enter into the fantastical landscape of Lake Myvatn National Park. Spend your day trekking across the pseudo craters or some actual craters as well, and then watch the boiling mud pits and the Godafoss Waterfall. Move next to follow the trails through the lava pillars at Dimmuborgir.
Wake the next day to make your way to the northeast region of Skagafjordur for a horseback-riding excursion. Traverse the Holtavorduheidi Moors and learn about the Borgarfjordur heritage, and then the next day will bring you to the natural wonders of Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Revel in the scenic drive to the gorgeous town of Stykkisholmur, and then take the ferry from Breidafjordur Bay to the island of Flatey for a trip back in time. Continue the next morning towards Reykjavik and then delight in the sits at Hellnar, Arnastapi, and the Eldborg Craters. Conclude as your private transfer will meet you at your hotel and bring you to Keflavik International Airport for your flight home.
$4,195 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
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Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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