Iceland
Destinations
10 days
Duration
9, Budget, nights
Accommodation

TAKE THE WHEEL AND PREPARE TO BE AMAZED

Just as the name indicates, on this popular route you’ll navigate Iceland’s legendary and scenic “Ring Road,” and traverse the magical Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Along the way, visit some of the country’s most spectacular natural attractions, including Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss and Goðafoss waterfalls and the lunar landscapes of Lake Mývatn, complete with craters and unearthly rock formations.

Duration: 10 days / 9 nights

Type: SELF-DRIVE

Dates:  MAY TO SEP

Departure: DAILY

Driving distance: 1880/1168 KM/MI

 

Additional information

MonthMay, sep

1

Day 1:

WELCOME TO REYKJAVÍK

On arrival to Keflavik Airport, you will be greeted by a driver who will take you to your accommodation in Reykjavík. After settling in, the rest of the day is free for you to explore the vibrant city centre with its abundance of museums, restaurants and bars to suit all tastes. If you’re interested in checking out Icelandic design or experiencing the city’s thriving coffee culture, head to the main street, Laugavegur, and enjoy its various shops and cosy cafes.

2

Day 2:

THE GOLDEN CIRCLE

Collect your rental car in the morning and begin your journey on the classic “Golden Circle” route, home to some of Iceland’s most popular attractions. Start with a visit to the fascinating Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you can walk on a path in the rift valley between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Next on the route is the Haukadalur geothermal area, where you can see Geysir—the original “geyser”—and its more active neighbour, Strokkur, which spouts water every few minutes. End the circle with visits to the majestic Gullfoss waterfall and the old implosion crater of Kerið.

Spend the night in the Hvolsvöllur area.

Driving distance approx. 230 km / 143 mi.

3

Day 3:

WATERFALLS AND VOLCANIC BEACHES

Start with visits to the fairytale-like Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where you can experience walking right behind the misty cascade, and the gorgeous 60-metre high Skógafoss waterfall just a short drive down the road. Further ahead at Vík, you can make a stop at the black volcanic beach south of the village, from where you can view the rock formations Dyrhólaey and Reynisdrangar. The last stop of the day is to the stunning Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon. You also have a chance today to join an exciting guided excursion by foot or snowmobile on a glacier!  

Spend the night in Kirkjubæjarklaustur/Skaftafell area.

Driving distance approx. 157 km / 97 mi. 

4

Day 4:

GLACIERS AND ICEBERGS

Enjoy Skaftafell, part of the immense Vatnajökull National Park and a place of great natural beauty with many interesting hiking trails, including a short path to the beautiful Svartifoss waterfall. This area is also full of opportunities for more adventurous pursuits, such as guided glacier-walking or ice-climbing excursions. Then, head to the amazing Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, where you can join a boat ride among the maze of floating icebergs (optional). 

Spend the night in the Höfn or Djúpivogur area.

Driving distance approx. 208 km / 129 mi.

5

Day 5:

FJORDS AND FISHING VILLAGES

Your drive along East Iceland today is characterised by spectacular fjords, tranquil fishing villages, rugged tundra and sweeping landscapes. On arrival to the otherworldly Lake Mývatn, you have an abundance of unusual natural wonders to explore, including the Krafla volcano, the curiously-coloured Námaskarð pass, the massive crater of Hverfell and the lunar-like pseudo-craters at Skútustaðir.

Spend the night in the Lake Mývatn area.

Driving distance approx. 430 km / 267 mi.

6

Day 6:

LUNAR LANDSCAPES OF LAKE MÝVATN

Use this day to further explore the surroundings of Lake Mývatn. You can start the day with an optional whale-watching trip from the village of Húsavík, “The Whale Watching Capital of Europe”. Then, drive through Jökulsárgljúfur—part of Vatnajökull National Park, visiting such sights as the hoof-shaped Ásbyrgi canyon and the most powerful waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss. End the day by bathing in the relaxing geothermal waters of the Mývatn Nature Baths, where you can experience the glow of the midnight sun.

Spend the night in the Lake Mývatn area.

7

Day 7:

EXPLORE NORTH ICELAND

Spend the first half of the day around Lake Mývatn. We recommend a visit to Goðafoss (“The Waterfall of the Gods”) on your way to the charming town of Akureyri, where you will find interesting shops and museums as well as the world’s most northerly botanical garden.

After your break in Akureyri, you can either head straight to Skagafjörður or take a detour on the way there to Tröllaskagi (“The Peninsula of the Trolls”), where you can enjoy fantastic scenery of beautiful mountains, cliffs and fjords. Then, continue through Siglufjörður, which was once the centre of Iceland’s herring fleet, and make a stop at Hofsós to relax in the thermal pool (optional) before arriving to Skagafjörður, an area known for its abundance of purebred Icelandic horses.

Spend the night in Northwest Iceland.

Driving distance approx. 301 km / 187 mi.  

8

Day 8:

JOURNEY TO SNÆFELLSNES PENINSULA

Head to Snæfellsnes Peninsula today. On the way you’ll see the countless mounds of Vatnsdalshólar and the beautiful Þingeyrarkirkja church. You may also wish to make stops to the living museum at Eiríksstaðir, home of famous Viking Erik the Red, and the hot geothermal pool of Guðrúnarlaug. Or pay a visit to Stykkishólmur, a picture-perfect fishing village overlooking Breiðafjörður Bay. Here, you can take a walk up to the small hill overlooking the harbour, Súgandisey, for a wonderful panoramic view over the town, sea and surrounding mountains.

Spend the night on Snæfellsnes Peninsula / Borgarfjörður area.

Driving distance approx. 335 km / 208 mi.

9

Day 9:

SNÆFELLSJÖKULL NATIONAL PARK AND SNÆFELLSJÖKULL GLACIER

Experience the unique Snæfellsjökull National Park, with amazing birdlife, lush valleys and lava fields. It is ideal to drive around the peninsula, exploring Dritvík Cove, Lóndrangar Cliffs as well as Hellnar and Arnarstapi Cliffs with its bursting bird-life and the small villages on the coast. You might wish to test your strength at the stones of the black volcanic beach of Djúpalónssandur like the seamen in past times. On Snæfellsnes, you can choose from a variety of actitivities such as horse riding, hiking, taking a boat-cruise (in summer) or simply relax and take in the glacier’s alleged supernatural energy.

Spend the night in Reykjavík.

Driving distance approx. 219 km / 136 mi. 

10

Day 10:

DEPARTURE

On your day of departure, a shuttle bus will collect you from your hotel in Reykjavík and deliver you back to Keflavík International Airport ahead of your scheduled flight.

If your flight is in the afternoon, you can fit in a relaxing visit to the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa or even take a short guided tour of the volcanic Reykjanes Peninsula (optional; not included).

WHAT’S INCLUDED Don’t worry, we’ve got this covered.

INCLUDED

Private transfer from Keflavik airport to Reykjavik

Accommodation (budget/comfort/quality) for 9 nights

Daily Breakfast

Rental car of your choice with unlimited mileage, CDW and VAT for 8 days

Free in-car unlimited wi-fi, use of GPS & two authorised drivers for the duration of the vehicle rental period

Information meeting with your travel consultant (optional)

Semi-private transfer from Reykjavik to Keflavik airport on departure

Map of Iceland and detailed personal itinerary

Iceland Travel Guide

Driving in Iceland Pamphlet

Temporary use of a mobile phone

24/7 Helpline

Taxes & service fees

NOT INCLUDED

Flights to/from Iceland

Personal travel insurance

Gasoline/Petrol

Tunnel Fees

Meals, drinks & entrance fees, unless otherwise stated

Optional activities – can be added on request

Any services not listed above as “Included”

The advertised price is per person in double sharing room (Budget Accommodation) and 1 Hyndai car rental for 2 traveling together.

For different cases and price add-ons please check the prices section. 

Accommodation Types:

BUDGET (Included it in the base price)

Rooms with shared WC and shower (or bath) in farmhouses, guesthouses or well-appointed hostels. All provide breakfast (included in the price).

COMFORT
Rooms with private WC and shower (or bath) in a three-star hotel or well-appointed guesthouse. All provide breakfast (included in the price).
QUALITY
Rooms with private WC and shower (or bath) in a three- or four-star hotel or the best accommodation available in the area at the time of booking. All provide breakfast (included in the price).

Rental Car:

HYUNDAI I20 (MANUAL)  (Included in the base price) OR SIMILAR

  • Type: A
  • Description: Economy sub-compact hatchback
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 2
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Manual*
  • *upgrade to automatic available upon request

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SKODA OCTAVIA STATION (AUTOMATIC) OR SIMILAR

  • Type: D
  • Description: Station wagon
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

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HIGHLIGHTS A selection of the many incredible things you can see while in Iceland.

JÖKULSÁRLÓN GLACIER LAGOON

Film buffs will recognise Jökulsárlón from such blockbusters as Tomb Raider, Batman Begins, and 2 James Bond films: A View to a Kill and Die Another Day. It’s not surprising why famous directors would choose this amazing location as a backdrop!

This extremely picturesque glacial lagoon at the southern edge of the Vatnajökull glacier is regarded as one of Iceland’s greatest natural wonders. Huge chunks of ice regularly calve off the glacier and make their way to the sea via the glacier lagoon.

The view from the shore is unforgettable, but boat tours onto the lagoon to navigate the maze of icebergs are also available to get up close and personal with the azure ice. Boat tours are operated daily from May 15th to September 15th.

From land or on the water, you’re also likely to spot playful seals swimming in the chilly waters, much to the enjoyment of onlookers.

The water in Jökulsárlón is frigid and the ice bergs flip and roll on their own without warning, so please do not wade into the water or attempt to climb on the ice.

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GULLFOSS

Gullfoss, or the ‘Golden Waterfall’, is a breathtaking two-tiered waterfall that drops 32 metres into a narrow canyon 70 metres deep and 2.5 kilometres long. From the car park there’s a footpath leading to a viewing platform where you can experience the waterfall in all its glory.

Standing above the falls is a stone memorial to Sigríður Tómasdóttir, who, a number of years ago, threatened to throw herself into the falls in protest against foreign investors who wanted to buy the waterfalls and use them as a power supply. The government eventually intervened, bought the falls and made them the property of the Icelandic nation.

Caution should be exercised at many Icelandic natural attractions. Do not stray from clearly marked paths and respect all warnings and signs.

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GEYSIR

The famed hot spring Geysir is located in the Haukadalur valley in southwestern Iceland. It was first mentioned in Icelandic literature in 1294 when the valley was hit by a series of strong earthquakes and a devastating eruption of Mount Hekla.

Geysir has been dormant for many years, with exception of renewed activity in 2000 after an eruption at Mount Hekla. Otherwise, its neighbour, the geyser Strokkur, erupts every 10 minutes or so and is the area’s main attraction.

geyser

LAKE MÝVATN

Mývatn is a shallow eutrophic lake situated in an area of active volcanism in the north of Iceland, not far from Krafla volcano. The lake and its surrounding wetlands have an exceptionally rich population of water birds, especially a variety of ducks.

The lake was created by a large basaltic lava eruption 2300 years ago, and the surrounding landscape is dominated by volcanic landforms, including lava pillars and rootless vents.

The effluent river Laxá is known for its rich fishing for Brown Trout and Atlantic salmon.

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SNÆFELLSJÖKULL NATIONAL PARK

Snæfellsjökull National Park encompasses a large area of Snæfellsnes Peninsula’s western tip. This is Iceland’s oldest national park, named for the area’s most prominent attraction— the 1446 metre tall Snæfellsjökull stratovolcano and its dazzling glacier, which can sometimes be seen 150 km away in Reykjavík.

This magical mountain was the setting for Jules Verne’s epic 1864 novel Journey to the Centre of the Earth and among New Age believers it is considered one the planet’s major energy centres.

Snæfellsjökull is also popular in the paranormal community; on 5th November 1993 hundreds of international UFO enthusiasts gathered here in hopes of greeting alien visitors… they left disappointed.

Although there is plenty of folklore surrounding Snæfellsjökull, its volcanic history has thankfully been a bit less active—it last erupted around 250 AD.

The National Park includes many other stunning landforms surrounding the volcano, such as the Djúpalónssandur pebble beach, the Saxhóll volcanic crater, the two massive lava formations at Lóndrangar, Sönghellir (singing cave), Rauðfeldargjá, the “hidden waterfall” and numerous unusual rock formations and lava fields.

A drive around this park is like visiting a land before time, with its unique geological features and diverse bird species that far outnumber any humans in the area. The National Park Visitor Centre in Hellnar is a good place to stop for detailed maps or information about hiking or other activities here.

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SKAFTAFELL

Iceland’s largest national park at 5,000 km2 is a place of immense natural beauty and one of Iceland’s most visited places during the summer.

The variety of landscapes is astounding in Skaftafell. Here you can expect to see lush vegetation, icebergs, canyons, hanging valleys, ice tunnels and arches, glacial rivers, and much more.

Guided glacier tours and hikes are available year-round; please check with the Skaftafellsstofa Visitor Center for more information or ask your travel consultant.

Never attempt to climb or hike on a glacier without an experienced guide. Always heed all signs and warnings and stay on marked trails and paths.

SKAFTAFELL

SELJALANDSFOSS

One of Iceland’s most visited waterfalls, after Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss is situated along the Seljalandsá river where the waterway plummets 40 metres over a cliff face. Seljalandsfoss is unique among waterfalls, as the shape of the cliff over which it falls allows visitors to walk behind the chute via a footpath at the base of the falls.

You can get to the waterfall from the Seljaland farm along the Ring Road. A little further to the west there are several other falls, among them the fascinating Gljúfrabúi.

Always exercise caution when walking behind Seljalandsfoss. The path can be slippery, especially during the winter months.

SKÓGAFOSS

Located at the foot of the impressive Eyjafjöll mountain range is Skógafoss, a magnificent 60-metre high waterfall where, according to legend, the first Viking settler in the area hid a treasure in the cave behind the cascade.

This is also one of Iceland‘s most photogenic landmarks; since the waterfall produces a lot of mist, rainbows are a common sight on sunny days. Nearby is the Skógar Folk Museum, which boasts an array of interesting artefacts including an original turf farm that shows how people lived hundreds of years ago.

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KIRKJUFELL

Kirkjufell (Church Mountain) is a 463m high mountain on the north coast of Iceland’s Snæfellsnes peninsula, near the town of Grundarfjörður. The mountain is popular with photographers in Iceland thanks to its unusual shape. From some angles it appears to be broad and flat topped, but when viewed from the south it is strikingly thin, coming to a point at the top, like a fin.

The surrounding area, including Kirkjufoss, are also spectacular for hikers and photographers alike.

Kirkjufell
Kirkjufell – West Iceland

DYRHÓLAEY

Looming over the Reynisfjara black volcanic beach is Dyrhólaey, a 120-metre high promontory jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a spectacular sight to behold with its natural arch and prominent hole, sculpted over millennia from the force of the waves. Owing to its unique shape, its Icelandic name translates to “door hill island”.

Though you can get a lovely view of Dyrhólaey from the beach, you can also drive up to the top for a different perspective over the area and to get a photograph with the century-old lighthouse.

Want to see puffins? This is a great spot in summertime for viewing the abundant seabirds that call the cliffs home. Just keep in mind that the puffins need a little privacy during their nesting season, so access to the top is closed each year around May and June.

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REYNISFJARA & REYNISDRANGAR

Reynisfjara is without a doubt the most famous beach in all of Iceland, and you’ll see it featured on postcards and brochures throughout the country, as well as on pretty much any travel blog or video about Iceland.

What sets Reynisfjara apart from all the rest are its black volcanic sands, smooth pebbles, unique rock formations, overall moody atmosphere and—more on this below—huge waves crashing on the shore.

From the beach you have a view to the Reynisdrangar sea stacks. These bizarre looking rock pillars are said to be petrified trolls that were caught outside at sunrise and frozen in time, but some strongly believe that they’re actually basalt columns that were once part of the extensive shoreline cliffs that remained standing while other parts were battered down by the ocean. Whichever story you choose to believe, they’re a sight to behold.

Also along Reynisfjara are the stunning Hálsanefshellir sea cave and the Gardar cliff, which is composed of dark basalt columns that some say resemble a pyramid or organ pipes. From the shore you’ll also have spectacular views of the arched cliff of Dyrhólaey looming over the sea.

If all this sightseeing has left you hungry, a light meal or a coffee can be found at the Black Beach Restaurant near the beach. The nearby town of Vík also features a service station with a fast food diner and a café.

Extreme caution is to be exercised at all times while visiting Reynisfjara. Stay far back from the water’s edge and heed all signs and warnings. Though the beach is stunning, please be careful as rogue waves are common and the current is very strong. The reason for these monster waves and strong current? The only land south of Vík and Reynisfjara is Antarctica. That’s a lot of unobstructed space for the Atlantic currents to travel before crashing into Iceland!

ÁSBYRGI

The lush Ásbyrgi canyon is more than one kilometre wide and over three kilometres long, shaped like a massive horseshoe.

Legend has it that the canyon acquired its distinct horseshoe shape thanks to Sleipnir, the 8-legged flying horse of Norse god Odin. While Odin was out on a joy ride with Sleipnir one fine day, the horse accidentally touched one of its giant hooves onto the earth, creating the mighty canyon.

Though this explanation for the canyon’s unique shape is completely reasonable and believable, geologists assert that two massive floods from Vatnajökull glacier are responsible for its formation, the first 10,000 years ago and the second 3,000 years ago.

The large rock “island” in the centre of the canyon, and its high surrounding walls have sheltered the area enough to allow for lush greenery to grow throughout. The acoustics also make the odd passing car sound like a warbling spaceship. It’s a very special place for a hike or just for a quick picnic.

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GOÐAFOSS

Goðafoss, (“Waterfall of the Gods“) is among the most beautiful falls in the country. Though it is not very tall, the cascade is divided into two horseshoe-shaped falls, making it unique among Icelandic waterfalls. Not far above the falls the river Skjálfandafljót divides in two, forming the island Hrútey.

According to the Sagas, Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði threw his statues of pagan gods into the falls upon deciding that Iceland would officially convert to Christianity in the year 1000.

HÚSAVÍK

If you like whales, Húsavík is the place to be. This fishing village of 2,300 inhabitants is a perfect tourist spot with impressive views of the Kinnarfjöll mountains across the bay, easy hikes through varied landscape and good trout fishing.

More recently, the town has become well known as the whale watching capital of Europe and many tour boats are available from the harbour.

Don’t miss the Church in Húsavík. Built in 1907, it is said to be the most beautiful wooden church in Iceland.

JÖKULSÁRGLJÚFUR NATIONAL PARK

The Jökulsárgljúfur National Park was established in 1973 and is part of the larger Vatnajökull National Park. The park’s namesake, the Jökulsárgljúfur Canyon, is one of the largest and most dramatic of Iceland’s river canyons at 24 kilometres long and up to 100 metres deep.

Carved of fire, ice and water, this canyon has captivated visitors for centuries and shelters an impressive array of flora and fauna under its cliffs. The park’s visitor center, Gljúfrastofa, is open from 1 May through 30 September and houses an exhibition on the park’s history and geology.

KRAFLA & LEIRHNJÚKUR

REYKJAVÍK

The capital of Iceland, Reykjavik or ‘Steamy Cove’, named after its geothermal location, is a vibrant city with a lively culture and fun-filled nightlife, not to mention the oldest Parliament – the Althingi – in the world.

With a relatively small population of 200,000 people living in the Greater Reykjavik area (2/3 of the country’s total population), Reykjavik boasts panoramic views of the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean on almost all sides. In the summer, you can sit by the harbour at midnight and watch the sun dip slightly below the horizon before it makes its way up again. The city is unique for its numerous wells that allow all the city’s residents to enjoy inexpensive central heating and a smoke-free city.

 Reykjavik

ÞINGVELLIR

Þingvellir was declared a national park in 1930. A law was passed designating Þingvellir as “a protected national shrine for all Icelanders, the perpetual property of the Icelandic nation under the preservation of parliament, never to be sold or mortgaged.”

Þingvellir has been the site of many special moments in history. The Icelandic parliament, The Althingi, was established here around 930 AD and on 17 June 1944, Icelanders celebrated their independence from Denmark in Þingvellir.

Furthermore, in 2000, Þingvellir was the perfect place to celebrate the millennium. Þingvellir plains are located on the north Atlantic rift that splits Iceland between the North American and Eurasian continents.

EGILSSTAÐIR & LAGARFLJÓT

Egilsstaðir, located in the heart of east Iceland in the valley of Fljótsdalshérað, is a home to 3500 inhabitants. The first house in Egilsstaðir was built in 1944, and since then the town has grown steadily.

In years gone by, Egilsstaðir was the site of an ancient assembly and a place where Iceland’s criminals were executed.

Lagarfljót is a lake in the East by the town of Egilsstaðir. It is bordering this lake that Iceland’s largest forest, Hallormsstaður, is situated. The lake is long and narrow, measuring 25 km in length but just 2.5 km at its widest point, and is a beautiful area to circumnavigate by car or to explore by boat. A tour boat called Lagarfljótsormurinn, sails daily in the summer months.

Lagarfljótsormurinn (the Lagarfljót Worm) is also the name of the ancient sea worm that is believed to call the lake home.

SIGLUFJÖRÐUR

Siglufjörður was one of the world’s leading herring ports from the turn of the 19th century until the late 1960’s. Today, it still boasts all the charms of a small fishing village with its colourful old buildings, lively harbour and mountainous fjord setting.

For a glimpse of what life was like here in the heyday of herring, the village’s Herring Era Museum (Síldarminjasafnið) is well worth a visit. The awardwinning museum delivers visitors back to the times when a booming fishing industry prevailed in North Iceland.

The museum, composed of 5 exhibition buildings along the Siglufjörður coast, is the largest maritime museum in Iceland and features artifacts from the early days of herring fishing in the country, including ships, machinery and historical documentation. Historic buildings once instrumental in the processing of herring have been meticulously restored to their former glory to welcome and educate visitors.

For a taste of the local fishermen’s catch of the day, take a seat at the Hannes Boy Restaurant. The building in which the present day restaurant is housed was a fish factory during the town’s booming herring era. It has since been lovingly restored, and its location along the harbour allows diners to see local fishermen come ashore with their catch of the day, much of which is served in the restaurant.

 

DETTIFOSS

The most powerful waterfall in all of Europe, you’ll hear Dettifoss’ mighty rumble long before you see it. This prevailing chute stands 45 metres high and is 100 metres across, allowing an epic 193 m3 of water to cascade into Dettifoss’ gorge every second.

The falls got its big blockbuster moment in the science-fiction film Prometheus in 2012. It’s rushing white waters and surrounding harsh, rocky terrain provided for a convincing alien landscape.

The falls are visible on the east and west banks of the Jökulslá river, though the view from the west bank is slightly obstructed by the fall’s mist and there are no facilities there. On the east bank there are walking paths, an information panel installed by the national park service, and public restrooms. Whichever side you access Dettifoss on, be careful on the surrounding rocky terrain.

KERIÐ

Kerið is an exquisite crater not far outside of the classic Golden Circle route that is a must-see for anybody to explore on their way out of Reykjavík. The 55 metre deep crater is 3000 years old, and is part of the larger Tjarnarhólar area, a collection of crater-hills.

You’ll notice upon walking up to its rim that Kerið has a lake in its bowl. The story goes that when the water level rises in Kerið, it falls an equal amount in the small lake on the mountain Búrfell in the Grímsnes district, and vice versa. It’s like some mystical seesaw!

Kerið is a protected natural site. A small parking lot is adjascent to the crater off Route 35, and marked footpaths guide visitors to its rim.KERIÐ

NÁMASKARÐ

Just outside of Mývatn, along the Ring Road is Námaskarð. This geothermal area located by the pass over Mount Námafjall is also called Námafjall, Hverir or Hverarönd, interchangeably. The area draws many visitors to its Martian-like terrain; the mountainside is stained neon green, orange and stark white thanks to the various gases escaping from subterranean vents.

But before you even reach the steaming vents, boiling mud pools and multi-coloured sands, you’ll probably smell the characteristic “rotten egg” Sulphur stench from the car… and you’ll be smelling it long after your walk around the marked paths. Iceland truly is an experience for all the senses!

AKUREYRI

Akureyri, the largest town outside of the greater Reykjavik area, is situated in innermost Eyjafjörður fjord. It is an old trading station and also an important fishing town and is full of stuff to see and do.

Around Town:

It’s hard to miss the Akureyrarkirkja, a prominent church perched high on a hill, whose twin towers dominate Akureyri’s skyline. This Lutheran church was designed by Guðjón Samúelsson and consecrated in 1940. On a clear day, you can see tremendous views of the nearby fjord and mountains from the back of the church.

The Old Town is a collection of houses and buildings still standing not far outside the very centre of town. Together they give visitors a glimpse into the early history of Akureyri. Some of the historic buildings still standing are the old theatre, the old school house and the hospital built in 1827. Also in the old part of town is Laxdalshús, a beautiful wooden home built in 1795. Many of the residential houses in this part of town are also quite old and make for charming surroundings for a stroll.

Part of Old Town and one of Akureyri’s landmarks is Nonnahús (Nonni House), the childhood home of the Icelandic writer and Jesuit priest Jón Sveinsson, who went by the pen name Nonni.

Built in 1850, the house is now one of the town’s oldest buildings and serves as a museum dedicated to Nonni’s children’s books, which were published in over 40 different languages. It is open to visitors in the summer and by request during wintertime.

If swimming laps or playing a game of Marco Polo is your thing, the public swimming pool in Akureyri is oft considered one of the best in Iceland. The facilities – located just behind the landmark Akureyrarkirkja – have it all! Two 25 metre outdoor pools? Check. Indoor and outdoor pools? Check. Water slides? Check! Splash pool? Check! Steam bath, sauna and four hot pots with massage jets? Check, check and check!

For just a few hundred krónur admission, it’s worth a visit while in the capital of the North.

Northern Nature:

On the hill overlooking the old town of Akureyri you’ll find Lystigarðurinn, the world’s northernmost botanical garden. First established as a park in 1912, the botanical garden was introduced in later years and now exhibits an impressive collection of both Icelandic and foreign flora. It is open to visitors from 1 June through 30 September.

Not far outside of town is Kjarnaskógur, a marvelous green space featuring more than 1 million trees, all planted within the past 50-years. The area is equipped with several marked hiking routes, as well as a mountain biking trail, playgrounds, barbecue facilities, a volleyball court, and shelters for bird-watchers around the Hundatjörn marsh. In the winter months, when weather permits, some trails are converted for the use of cross-country skiers.

If visiting in the winter months, you’ll be glad to know that Akureyri is Iceland’s ski resort town, with the nearby Hlíðarfjall mountains seeing a lot of activity in the colder months of the year. The slopes range from 500 to 1000 metres above sea level, guaranteeing plenty of snow during the winter months. Ski and snowboard rental is available, if you didn’t bring your gear along.

Museums & Attractions:

The Christmas spirit is alive and well year-round, and at the Christmas Garden (Jólagarðurinn) you can buy yuletide souvenirs, taste some local treats and learn all about Icelandic Christmas traditions, including the 13 Yule Lads and the “Christmas Ogress” and her child-eating cat. The vivid red house a 10 minute drive outside of Akureyri also features a fairytale tower complete with the world’s largest Christmas calendar, a play area for young visitors and beautiful gardens for everybody to enjoy.

If you’re more fascinated by the history of aviation than Santa’s elves, then a visit to the Aviation Museumis right up your alley. Housed in an airport hangar a short drive outside of central Akureyri, visitors to the museum will find a detailed history of aviation in Iceland and the lives of Icelandic pilots portrayed through images and video. Also on display are a number of airplanes, including the first aircraft owned by Loftleiðir Airline, Iceland’s oldest ambulance airplane and the first glider built in Akureyri 1937. The museum is open to visitors daily from June through August and on weekends in May.

Last but not least, Safnasafnið, or the Icelandic Folk Art Museum, is built on a hill overlooking Eyjafjörður. The museum exhibits folk art together with works by modern artists and houses an impressive book collection. There’s also an old fashioned garden which adds to its charming atmosphere. The museum is open daily from 17 May through 31 August.

Important Notes on prices

– Price is per person in double sharing room (Budget Accommodation) and 1 Hyndai car rental for 2 traveling together.

– For a third traveller, the cost is 5,316 AED, please select the extra adult at checkout.

– Travellers traveling Solo need to select the single room/car Supplement of 4,503 AED at checkout – Total cost for single travellers 11,803 AED

Travellers Cost
2 8,150 AED Per person
Extra Adult 5,316 AED
Single traveler in single room 11,803 AED
Children (up to 2) 0 AED
Enfant 0 AED

Upgrades:

Upgrade to Comfort accommodation 1,355 AED
Upgrade to Quality accommodation 4,525 AED
Upgrade to SKODA OCTAVIA STATION Automatic 585 AED
Seljalandsfoss iceland
KERIÐ
SKAFTAFELL
Reykjavik

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 4 reviews
April 24, 2018

We had a great time! The itinerary gave us good ideas to choose from but we found other things to do. There were things on the itinerary that were not open until May. So… We found other things to do. We saw beautiful falls, glaciers, horses, Puffins, seals, northern lights, sheep, Reindeer, geyser, black sand beach, hot spas, sunshine, blue sky, mountains, mountains and more mountains. It made it easier for us with all the hotels booked.

April 24, 2018

Review for ICELAND FULL CIRCLE CLASSIC – Self Drive

April 24, 2018

Review for ICELAND FULL CIRCLE CLASSIC – Self Drive

July 21, 2018

Review for ICELAND FULL CIRCLE CLASSIC – Self Drive

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