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10 days - Circular highlights tour of Iceland

Experience the "Saga-Island" in the North Atlantic on a circle trip around Iceland being your own master to decide stops and highlights.

Highlights include the Golden Circle region, National parks, whale watching, dramatic East Coast scenery and unique local accommodation. Discover the real Iceland by staying in lovely farms or farm-themed accommodations, connect with locals, and take part in activities, hosted by farmers, around the island. Get a deeper insight into the country's culture and heritage while exploring Iceland on an epic road trip at your own leisure.

Day 1
Arrival into Reykjavik
Day 2
Pick up your car and head South to the Golden Circle
Days 3 - 4
Drive the Southeast Coast of Iceland
Day 5
Visit Skaftafell National Park and Vatnajökull Glacier
Day 6
Explore the East Coast and the fjords.
Day 7
Lake Mývatn
Day 8
Whale Watching near Akureyri and the North of Iceland
Day 9
Visit West Iceland
Day 10
Explore Snæfellsnes Peninsula, return to Reykjavik
Day 11
Transfer to the Blue Lagoon then onto the airport
Start/End Place
Reykjavik, Iceland tours
Country Visited
Iceland tours
Duration
11 Days
Type
Self Guided
Suitability
Independent self-drive tour with some basic accommodation
Code
ICC001

Details

Transportation

By car - self drive.

Included
  • Individual transfers to car rental office from hotel
  • Transfers from airport to hotel
  • Iceland Road driver tablet for the trip
  • Rental manual car for 8 days, with unlimited mileage and CDW insurance (pick up & drop off in Reykjavik).
  • GPS | Global Navigation System
  • 2 nights at Hotel Alda, breakfast included
  • Accommodation for 7 nights, budget or comfort rooms with breakfast, in farm or farm-themed lodgings, depending on availability, with private and shared facilities. Please note that the farm stays are in real working farms.
  • Whale Watching tour included
  • Breakfasts included
  • Bus transfers from hotel to Blue Lagoon
  • Blue Lagoon Entrance
  • Private Transfers from Blue Lagoon to airport
  • 24-hour emergency service
  • Taxes and service fees
Not Included
  • Flight tickets to/from start and end points, any airport taxes, travel insurance, visas, gratitudes and any items of personal nature.
  • Large paper maps
  • Activities are optional and you can choose those that you wish to enjoy. During the peak season, some can be very busy and need to be booked early.
  • Extra car insurance, such as S-CDW andgravel protection.
  • If you wish to hire an automatic car, these are 'on request' and can be difficult to request. Please seek further advice with us .

For a greener option, please ask us about changing your vehicle to a 'green' car; either a diesel or a hybrid.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival into Reykjavik

Arrive Reykjavik and transfer by bus to the city. It is an intimate city with a big personality and some striking landmarks - stroll down to the harbour to visit the Armoury, the new concert hall, the design streets and city hall.

Accommodation
Director's Choice
Hotel Alda
Restaurants
Fiskmarkaðurinn
Sægreifinn
Optional Add Ons
Puffin Watching from Reykjavik

Day 2 - Pick up your car and head South to the Golden Circle

You will be given an individual transfer to the car-rental office in Reykjavik. Pick-up of the rented car. A description with farm guesthouses addresses and a detailed road directions and itinerary will be handed over to you on check-in at your hotel in Reykjavik.

Drive out to the Golden Circle area, rich in history and culture with stunning attractions such as the spectacular Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir Hot Spring area and Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of great historical and geological importance. Þingvellir is the national shrine of Iceland and a key location in the country’s history - the Icelandic Parliament, Alþingi, was established there in 930.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Transportation
Approx. 250 kilometres
Accommodation
Guesthouse in the Gullfoss area.
Optional Add Ons
Horse Riding in Iceland

Days 3 - 4 - Drive the Southeast Coast of Iceland

Breakfast at the guesthouse and then hit the road. Drive along the south coast, with black lava fields, waterfalls and glaciers. The southern coast of Iceland regularly comes up as one of the most beautiful coasts in the world so be sure to take your time and enjoy the trip.

Places of interest today include the Skaftafell National Park, the glacial lagoon Jökulsárlón and the Vatnajökull glacier. You can join a glacier tour if you book in advance.

Meals
2 Breakfasts
Transportation
Approx. 270 Kilometres
Accommodation
Accommodation is in Kirkjubæjarklaustur or Vík area.

Day 5 - Visit Skaftafell National Park and Vatnajökull Glacier

Visit Skaftafell National Park today. Enjoy stunning views of Iceland's highest mountain, Hvannadalshnjukur. There is rich bird life and flora to see and lava fields, volcanoes and glaciers to explore. The uninhabited highlands at Skaftafell National Park span three glaciers on the southern edge of Vatnajökull. The vast expanses of the centuries-old forest and heath are excellent for hiking and glacier exploring.

Vatnajökull Glacier is the biggest glacier in Europe, covering about 8% of Iceland. Under the ice-cap are still active volcanoes and in Grimsvotn volcano, Iceland's most active since the Middle Ages erupted in 1996, 1998 and 2004. For this reason, this area of Iceland has had scenes from two James Bond movies filmed here. The glacier lagoon Jökulsárlón is only 40 minutes drive from your hotel this evening and large icebergs from the glacier float on the lagoon, so remember to take a boat tour and sail amongst the icebergs or try ice climbing.

You can take guided tours to the bird sanctuary of Cape Ingólfshöfði or the lava fields at Laki to walk in the craters. Please talk to us about your optional activities here as they book up early.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Accommodation is in Höfn area.

Day 6 - Explore the East Coast and the fjords.

A dramatic day of driving today in a remote and isolated area. Stop along the way to enjoy views of tall and often uniquely formed mountains on route to the East fjords. Quaint fishing villages and small farms are ideal places to stop for snacks and breaks.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Transportation
Approx. 250 kilometres
Accommodation
Guesthouse in Egilsstaðir area.

Day 7 - Lake Mývatn

After breakfast at the guesthouse, head off to explore the beautiful Lake Myvatn area. The main draw of Lake Myvatn is to simply drive around it, stopping along the way to enjoy a picnic lunch and for plentiful photo opportunities such as the lava formations at Dimmuborgir, Mt. Hverfjall, Krafla volcano and the geothermal area east of Námaskarður.

You have two days here to explore this fascinating region. Ask us about optional activities available in this region.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Transportation
Approx. 240 kilometres
Accommodation
Guesthouse in Mývatn area.
Optional Add Ons
Cave Exploration Lofthellir

Day 8 - Whale Watching near Akureyri and the North of Iceland

This morning, we have included a whale watching sailing boat tour. After your tour, you can then meander back to the main road, take a short detour back to view the beautiful Goðafoss ('Waterfall of the Gods') en route to Akureyri town which has enjoyable goethermal swimming pools, parks and museums.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Transportation
Approx. 210 kilometres plus detour to the Whale Watching tour starting location.
Accommodation
Guesthouse in the Hrútafjörður/Skagafjörður area.

Day 9 - Visit West Iceland

Stop to explore Siglufjörður and Dalvík villages this morning on your way as well as the coast of Skagafjörður and Tröllaskagi, a peninsula known for spectacular natural beauty. Visit the majestic Hvítserkur Cliff off Vatnsnes Peninsula - seals can often be seen basking around on the beach. Visit Glaumbær and Víðimýri Folk Museums to learn about Icelandic history.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Accommodation is in Húnaflói / Skagafjörður area

Day 10 - Explore Snæfellsnes Peninsula, return to Reykjavik

Take time to explore Búðir Church, Arnarstapi village, Djúpalónssandur pebbled beach and admire the mystical Snæfellsjökull Glacier before visiting Grundarfjörður village with its stunning view of Kirkjufell mountain.

At the end of the day, you will be required to drop-off the rented car at the car-rental office in Reykjavik. You will then receive an individual transfer to hotel in Reykjavik. You will get details about the exact time you need to do this when you pick up the car.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Transportation
Approx. 200 kilometres
Accommodation
Hotel Alda
Restaurants
Fiskmarkaðurinn
Matarkjallarinn Food Cellar and Cocktails
Sægreifinn

Day 11 - Transfer to the Blue Lagoon then onto the airport

Transfer to the Blue Lagoon for a soak and a pamper before your departure flight.

Meals
1 Breakfast
Dates & Prices

All prices listed are per person. It is possible to do this as a 8-day tour as well. Due to the current volatility of the Icelandic Króna (ISK), this price is indicative. We are happy to individually quote this tour for you.

Dates
Valid From
Valid To
From Price
Status
Accommodation
1 May 2023
30 Sep 2023
1 May 2023
30 Sep 2023
NZD 4,364
Available
Standard
1 May 2023
30 Sep 2023
1 May 2023
30 Sep 2023
NZD 2,158
Available
Extra for Single

Important Information

Farm Accommodation Standard:

Some farmers in Iceland supplement their low farming income and cater for tourists, and the most natural way of doing that is building cabins on their land. They are reasonably basic, with private facilities in the cabins and rooms. The meals offered on the farm stays are generally traditional home made food featuring locally sourced ingredients from their own farm or neighbouring farms, such as geothermally grown vegetables, organic beef and lamb, freshly caught fish and home baked bread.

This is not a luxury tour.

Children's prices:

Children between the ages of 2 -11 yrs old, sharing with their parents, are an approx. additional $290 per child. Under 2 is free of charge.

Optional Activities:

Please let us know if you wish to prebook any optional activities before departure; some get very busy during the peak summer period.

  • Horseriding
  • 'Inside the Volcano' tour
  • Black Sand Beach ATV tour
  • Fly Fishing
  • Glacier walks
  • Kayaking
  • Seal Safaris
  • River Rafting
  • Bird Watching

Driving in Iceland:

The hire car cannot be driven in the Highlands area. 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. Ask us about what car would suit you - as it depends on the time of year and where you want to go!

When driving in Iceland, plan that all your destinations are going to take longer to reach than planned. Most of the time it is because you are going to make unanticipated stops to check out a waterfall, a viewpoint, a museum, or a shop. Sometimes it is also that traffic is just slow, animals may be crossing the road, or there is bad weather. If you build some extra time into your day, you won’t have to be rushing around at the end of the day.

For more Iceland driving rules and tips and to stay up to date on road conditions, check out the Road Conditions website and for all kinds of safety and travel information in Iceland check out the Safe Travel website. Bookmark both of these websites before you start your drive in Iceland.

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.

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