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8 days - Whale Watching and boutique accommodation on this independent tour of Iceland.
Take a journey into the Icelandic countryside with this 8-day self-drive tour. North Iceland is also well know for a number of historic coastal towns, each with its own character that builds on the history and culture of the locals. Stay in some of these coastal towns as you explore this unique region.
Your drive brings you to numerous historical sites, intimate fishing villages and natural attractions, including the magical Snæfellsjökull glacier, Kirkjufell Mountain, Hvitserkur stack, Kolugljúfur canyon and secret hotsprings.
Whale watching is the final highlight of the week where you will be surrounded by birds and beautiful scenery, while observing dolphins and minkes, humpbacks or even blue whales.
- Day 1
- Arrive Reykjavik and transfer into town
- Day 2
- Reykjavik - optional activities such as 'Inside the Volcano' tour or visit the Blue Lagoon
- Day 3
- Travel north via the Golden Circle to the heart of Stykkisholmur
- Day 4
- Explore Snæfellsjökull glacier and it´s surrounding area
- Day 5
- Head east exploring rock stacks, rivers and historic sights as you go
- Day 6
- Visit Kolugljúfur gorge and waterfalls on your way to the small Icelandic fishing village, Siglufjörður
- Day 7
- Whale Watching
- Day 8
- Departure day
- Start/End Place
- Reykjavik, Iceland tours
- Country Visited
- Iceland tours
- 8 Days
- Self Guided
- Easy independent self-drive holiday suitable for singles & couples
- Rental car for 6 days Car type B (VW Golf or similar, manual), with unlimited mileage and CDW insurance
- Flybus+ shuttle transfer to hotel
- Air Iceland flight, Akuryeri to Keflavik Airport
- Transfer from the airport
- Hire car delivery to your hotel
- Rental manual car for 6 days Car type B (VW Golf or similar), with unlimited mileage and CDW insurance. GPS included.
- Accommodation outside of Reykjavik in boutique accommodation with private facilities and breakfast included
- 2 nights in a deluxe room in Reykjavik, breakfast included
- Flight Akureyri to Reykjavik day 8
- Whale Watching day 7
- 24-hour emergency service
- Taxes and service fees
- Extra car insurance, such as S-CDW and gravel protection.
- International flight tickets to/from start and end points, any airport taxes, travel insurance, visas, gratitudes and any items of personal nature.
- Optional activities can be arranged before you leave. During peak season, they can book out early so please ask us for further details.
Day 1 - Arrive Reykjavik and transfer into town
On arrival, transfer to your central hotel. After settling in, start exploring this lovely capital. Be sure to check out the design stores and cool cafes in central Reykjavik.
In the evening you can enjoy a gourmet dinner at one of Reykjavik's many fine restaurants - taste the fresh Atlantic seafood or free-range lamb that Iceland is famous for.
Day 2 - Reykjavik - optional activities such as 'Inside the Volcano' tour or visit the Blue Lagoon
Reykjavik is an easy city to explore on foot or bike. Feel the fresh air on your face with a visit the harbour and perhaps enjoy a food tour of this small capital. If you're interested in experiencing the city's thriving coffee culture, head to the main street, Laugavegur, to enjoy its various shops and cosy cafes.
Optional day tours include the 'Inside the Volcano', the Blue Lagoon or the 'Inside the Glacier' tour which we would recommend booking before you travel.
Optional Add Ons
Day 3 - Travel north via the Golden Circle to the heart of Stykkisholmur
Pick up your car today and drive north to the heart of Stykkisholmur (2hrs 15 mins driving time direct). On the way, take a tour of known as the Golden Circle: erupting hot springs at Geysir, Gullfoss waterfalls and Þingvellir National Park. The Gullfoss waterfalls are Iceland's most popular and easily accessible from Reykjavik, therefore, rather crowded in the peak season. These two-tiered waterfalls are spectacular and involve a short walk from the car park.
Þingvellir is one of the most frequently visited tourist sites in Iceland where you can become better acquainted with Iceland's history and traditions. You can join guided tours of the site and also find short hiking trails to help you explore Þingvellir National Park.
Your stay tonight is in a small fishing town by the beautiful Breiðafjörður with it´s numerous islands. Everything is within walking distance from your hotel such as museums, restaurants, the swimming pool and the beautiful harbour; the gateway to Breidafjordur Bay.
AccommodationSmall historic hotel
Day 4 - Explore Snæfellsjökull glacier and it´s surrounding area
Options today include exploring Snæfellsjökull glacier and it´s surrounding area. You can take an organised tour to reach the top of the glacier by either ski touring, ice-climbing or on a SnowCat.
From the top of the glacier it´s possible to go underground while exploring Vatnshellir Cave, an 8000 years old lava tube. It´s also possible to go horseback riding and birdwatching today.
Just thirty minutes away is the town Grundarfjörður where Kirkjufell, the most photographed mountain in Iceland, is located. Go for a boat ride touring Breidafjordur Bay with it´s innumerable islands, it´s various wildlife and try some local sushi.
Day 5 - Head east exploring rock stacks, rivers and historic sights as you go
Today, head north east to Laugarbakki (approx 2hrs driving time). You can take a detour to visit the unique sea front hotsprings at Drangsnes. Alternatively, swim beach front at Hvammstangi or arrange a seal watching and sea angling tour. If you have time, we recommend a visit to Hvítserkur, a 15 m-high sea stack just off shore on the eastern side of Vatnsnes. There is a good seal spotting place at the estuary of the Sigridarstadir lake, south from the stack.
AccommodationNewly renovated country hotel
Day 6 - Visit Kolugljúfur gorge and waterfalls on your way to the small Icelandic fishing village, Siglufjörður
This morning on your drive, be sure to explore the Kolugljúfur canyon, near Víðidalur. You will come to Kolugil Farm which stands beside the Víðidalsá river. Just below the farm, the waters flow peacefully downwards to plunge into the deep, rugged gorge called Kolugljúfur. Their journey then sends them cascading over many waterfalls which bear the name Kolufossar Falls in honour of the giantess, Kola.
It is a breathtaking sight to drive across the bridge and watch the calm waters of the river suddenly leap and tumble onwards over so many impressive falls - a sight which will leave no one unmoved.
Another two hour drive will have you arriving in a small local fishing village, Siglufjörður. With a community of only 1,300 people, you will feel welcomed and can enjoy a wide range of local activities and things to see. Firstly, check into your newly built hotel and take a walk along the charming marina to watch the 'catch of the day' being brought in. You can also observe the comings and goings with an outdoor table at one of two nice marina-side restaurants which also is a great spot for a chance to chat with the friendly locals.
Visit the Folk Music Centre, the award-winning Herring Era Museum or go hiking, the best way to explore Siglufjordur’s stunning surroundings. You can either hike cross-country with a map and compass, use one of the marked-out routes or visit the northernmost planted forest on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, with a beautiful little waterfall as its hidden gem. Sigló is also a birdwatcher's paradise, with a number of species nesting in the town during the summer months, including the Arctic Tern, which has the longest regular migration by any known animal.
Day 7 - Whale Watching
This morning, we have included a whale watching sailing boat tour as it is one of the highlights of the North. The tour included will vary depending on the time of year and involves a return drive to Hjalteyri.
Be sure to arrange a dinner on the hotel pier tonight to celebrate your final night in Iceland.
Day 8 - Departure day
After breakfast, return your car to the Akureyri airport and fly to Reykjavik.
Price per person, twin share. Due to the current volatility of the Icelandic Króna (ISK) and car hire costs, this price is indicative. We are happy to individually quote this tour for you.
30 Sep 2023
30 Sep 2023
The accommodation in this itinerary comprises some of Iceland’s best countryside boutique properties, which are in short supply during the peak summer season Jun-Aug. Booking early is essential. Should our selected properties not be available for your specific dates, we will look for alternatives, which in most cases will mean a downgraded standard.
In regards to gravel roads; technically you’re not recommended to take a hire car on gravel roads, but in Iceland you may not have a choice. Some guesthouses are located on gravel roads. Consider getting extra car insurance with gravel protection if it is something that might worry you.
The hire car cannot be driven in the Highlands area. If you wish to 4WD, please ask us about our Highlands Self-Drive itinerary.
Please note that the authorities of Reykjavik City has announced changes to the current arrangement for tour bus traffic in Reykjavik City Centre, effective from 15th of July, 2017. The area where buses are not allowed to drive has been increased in size, and locations, numbers and names of the designated bus stops have been changed.
This may affect the pick-up and drop-off locations for your activities and transfers. If you have airport transfers with FlyBus, you will need to carry your luggage (200 metres to 300 metres) to / from the bus stop to your hotel.
Activities in Iceland:
Along our self-drive routes of Iceland, there are many different options for things to do, with new activities becoming available virtually every second month. Along with a GPS, map and driving notes included on arrival in Iceland, we include suggested activity sheets with our documents for each of the main driving regions. If you are trying to decide which self-drive itinerary to do, based on activities available, let us know and we will give you more specific details.
If you are travelling during the peak period, we suggest asking us about what you might like to book beforehand. But, each traveller is different and a lot of the experience of Iceland is just to be there and take things as they come. We do suggest doing a little research yourself if you have a particular focus and then let us help you out.
Interactive Tour Map
Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours with 50 Degrees North. Please ensure that you have this organised as we will need to see proof of this upon issuing your tour documentation. Please contact us for a quote or visit http://www.suresave.net.au/