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Best of South Iceland Tour

5 days
4 nights

Rates

Dates

Rates:

PER PERSON IN USD:

$ 2,395.00 (double occupancy (May & Sep)
$ 2,395.00 (triple occupancy (May & Sep)
$ 3,015.00 (single occupancy (May & Sep)
$ 2,690.00 (double occupancy (Jun-Aug)
$ 2,690.00 (triple occupancy (Jun-Aug)
$ 3,530.00 (single occupancy (Jun-Aug)
$ 325.00 (vip seating)

Dates:

May 26, 2017 - May 30, 2017 sold
Jun 30, 2017 - Jul 04, 2017 sold
Sep 01, 2017 - Sep 05, 2017 sold

Hotels:

Simple but clean hotels and cottages  – rooms with private shower/wc. Most of our groups will stay at the following accommodations (subject to change):
  • First and last night: Hotel Cabin in Reykjavík (small standard rooms - 10m2)
  • 2nd, 3rd and 4th night: Árhús Cabins in Hella, South Iceland
  • 5th and 6th night: Hotel Skaftafell, Vatnajökull National Park

 

Included:

  • Arrival & departure transfer by FLYBUS airport shuttle (no guide)
  • 6-day escorted coach tour with an English speaking guide or driver-guide
  • 7 nights accommodation in rooms with shower/wc
  • 7x breakfast 
  • Visit to two national parks
  • Entrance & towel to Blue Lagoon including silica mud mask and one drink of your choice
  • Boat trip on Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon
  • 1,5 to 2-hour glacier hike
  • Entrance fee to Eyrarbakki Maritime and Folk Museum

Highlights & Experience:

  • Small groups, maximum 20 persons
  • Excellent value for money
  • Bathe in the Blue Lagoon, walk on lava and explore two national parks
  • Easy hike on a glacial tongue on Europe's largest glacier
  • Boat trip between floating icebergs on Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon
  • Cross glacial rivers by bus and explore the interior highlands of Landmannalaugar and Þórsmörk 
  • Visit Brennisteinsalda Volcano in Landmannalaugar, the rainbow mountain of Iceland
  • On September departures, there is a chance to see the Northern Lights

Itinerary:

Best of South Iceland tour is a great opportunity to visit the most beautiful sights while staying in the countryside rather than taking long drives from Reykjavík. This tour covers the best of south Iceland from only three different overnight locations. Visit the Golden Circle, the Landmannalaugar interior highlands, the glacial valley of Þórsmörk, and Vatnajökull National Park.  Enjoy occasional short walks, climbing volcano craters, a boat trip between floating icebergs, bathing in the geothermal Blue Lagoon,  walking on glaciers,  and taking pictures. This small group (max. 20 persons) program includes six full days of exploring and adventure in South Iceland and the interior highlands. You will stay in simple and clean hotels and cabins with private facilities, visit national parks, volcanic fields, green valleys and high mountains, lunar landscapes, waterfalls, hot springs, and glaciers. 

Day 1  : WELCOME TO ICELAND (31 mi)

The Flybus shuttle brings you from Keflavík International Airport to Reykjavík where you spend the first night in Iceland. We provide ideas how to explore Iceland's capital on your own. Overnight in Reykjavik.

Day 2  : THE BLUE LAGOON & REYKJANES PENINSULA (125 mi)

At 09:30 meet your tour guide and fellow group members and travel to the Reykjanes Peninsula with its hot springs, mountains, bird cliffs, lunar landscapes and fishing villages. We warm up in the geothermal mineral rich waters of the famous Blue Lagoon. In the afternoon we explore Krýsuvík, an area with solfataras, fumaroles, mud pots and hot springs. The soil is colored bright yellow, red and green. We continue through lava fields and coastal landscape to Strandarkirkja, a Lutheran parish church on the southern coast of Iceland. This small, beautiful wooden church, has been a beacon for those traveling at sea and is often referred to as the "miracle church" with the locals' longstanding belief that it has profound, divine powers. Next stop is the charming fishing village of Eyrarbakki with a large number of preserved houses from the period 1890-1920, and therefore a visit is like a journey 100 years back in time. We visit the local Maritime and Folk Museum. In the evening we reach Hella, a small village in South Iceland, where we stay for three nights in simple cottages. You might take a walk south alongside the riverbank to experience complete solitude and tranquility. Overnight in Hella area (B)

Day 3  : LANDMANNALAUGAR & ÞJÓRSÁRDALUR (180 mi)

Today we drive the rough unpaved road to Landmannalaugar, an oasis in the barren highlands, surrounded by colorful rhyolite mountains. Group members have the options to explore the area on their own or join the guide for a short hike through a rough lava field and up the slopes with an incredible spectrum of colors. The highlight is a 90-minute round-trip hike up toward Brenninsteinsalda, the rainbow mountain of Iceland, which is one of the most spectacular volcanic mountains in Landmannalaugar. The name in English translates to "sulfur wave". It comes from the yellow sulfur spots which have colored its sides. But there are other colors too: green from copper, black and blue from lava and ashes, red from iron in the earth and white from silica. It could very well be the most colorful mountain of Iceland, and so its picture is often found in books and calendars. The mountain is still "hot" where you can see sizzling sulfur springs and vapor at its sides. For this hike, good boots and walking poles are helpful. In Landmannalaugar there is also a natural geothermal stream where you can enjoy a refreshing bath. Have swimwear and towel ready. On the way back to our accommodation, we stop at the beautiful waterfall Hjálparfoss in Þjórsárdalur valley surrounded by unusual basalt rock formations. Nearby we explore the Viking farm ruins at Stöng, which was completely buried in pumice during one of Mt. Hekla's bigger eruptions in 1104. A leisurely hike brings us to Gjáin, a green oasis in an otherwise rocky, barren moon-like landscape. Þjórsárdalur is off-the-beaten-path and is dominated by Mt. Hekla and other volcanoes in the vicinity. Hekla is one of Iceland's most active volcanoes; over 20 eruptions have occurred since settlement in 874. During the Middle Ages, Europeans called the volcano the "Gateway to Hell". Please note that in case Landmannalaugar is not accessible during May and June departures, we travel only to Þjórsárdalur valley on that day. Overnight in Hella area (B)

Day 4  : GOLDEN CIRCLE (143 mi)

Today, we visit three of Iceland's most famous spots: Þingvellir National Park, Geyser hot springs, and Gullfoss waterfall. We start the day at the ancient Viking Parliament area of Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site. The Þingvellir plain is situated on a tectonic-plate boundary where North America and Europe are slowly tearing away from each other. As a result, the plain is scarred by dramatic fissures, ponds, and rivers, including the great rift Almannagjá. Next stop is at the Geysir geothermal fields with a variety of hot springs and bubbling pools where you see the steam pumping from the ground as if beneath it there were lots of little smoking devils. The original geyser is now dormant and has been replaced by Strokkur, "the Churn", which erupts at 5-10 minute intervals. Gullfoss, "the golden falls", is a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river originating from the glacier Langjökull. After the three "must-see" sights on the Golden Circle, we add a little extra. There is a small waterfall called Faxi, "the Main". Nearby, we show you a traditional sheep pen, where Icelandic farmers sort the sheep in September after the sheep had been rounded up in the mountains. We continue to Skálholt, which is one of Iceland's most historic and holy places. It was the center of ecclesiastic power in Iceland for more than 700 years. The first bishopric was founded here in 1056, with the first bishop, Ísleifur, taking the seat. From then on, it became the center of learning, culture and worldly power in Iceland. The church in Skálholt has the most beautiful altarpiece made with mosaic and colorfully stained windows, both designed by a famous Icelandic female artist. You might like to visit the local geothermal swimming pool with hot tubs to top off your sightseeing day the Icelandic way. Overnight in Hella area (B)

Day 5  : ÞÓRSMÖRK & VATNAJÖKULL NATIONAL PARK (187 mi)

We start the day at the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall where you can follow a slick and wet trail and walk right behind the falls. Come prepared and bring a raincoat and good boots, as you will get wet! We continue to Þórsmörk, a broad valley named after Thor, the Viking God of Thunder. This beautiful valley is an oasis surrounded on three sides by steep mountains and glaciers. A big part of the great adventure is fording raging glacial rivers and gentle streams by bus. The landscape is dramatic with Eyjafjallajökull volcano towering on one side and the massive glacial river Markarfljót flowing on the other. We explore the aftermath of the large fast flowing flood caused by the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in April 2010, which destroyed a glacial lagoon and left a blackened area.
Þórsmörk is one of the most popular hiking areas in Iceland. Depending on the weather, we enjoy a leisurely hike through nature. You see the rumored Icelandic Highlands at its best - volcanoes, glaciers, high mountains, and glacier-made valleys and canyons, glacier rivers, lava fields and many more gems that the Icelandic nature holds captured. After our Þórsmörk adventure trip, there is a long drive to our next overnight location at Vatnajökull National Park. We will stay for two nights at the simple but well located Hotel Skaftafell, next to Europe‘s largest glacier and beneath Iceland‘s highest mountain. Overnight in Vatnajökull National Park (B)

Day 6  : GLACIER HIKE & GLACIAL LAGOON (87 mi)

The day today is packed with fun activities and breathtaking sceneries. We start with an easy 1,5 to 2-hour glacier hike in the majestic surroundings of Svínafellsjökull, suitable for beginners. The glacier is hemmed in by some of Iceland´s most spectacular peaks. An experienced glacier guide leads you safely through the icy wonderland of strangely shaped ridges, deep crevasses, enormous water cauldrons and different ice formations. In the afternoon we head over to the famous Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon for a cruise, sailing between the icebergs of all shapes and sizes, which float in the clear blue water. After the glacial lake experience, there is time to go down to the black sand beach in case we find icebergs that have floated all the way from the glacier lagoon into the Atlantic Ocean. Overnight in Vatnajökull National Park (B)

Day 7  : THE SOUTH COAST & REYKJAVÍK (220 mi)

We cross the sandy desert of the south shore, overlooked by rugged cliffs, glaciers, and waterfalls. We stroll along the black lava beach and bird cliffs at Reynisfjara. We see interesting basalt columns, and rock formations called the petrified trolls. About 10 km west of Vík is the rocky plateau at Dyrhólaey, which rises dramatically from the surrounding plain. We walk to the lighthouse, observe birds on the cliffs, and enjoy the spectacular views of the black beaches, the sea and surrounding mountains and glaciers. Our next stop is the thundering Skógafoss waterfall, which tumbles 62 meters over a rocky scarp, kicking up vast sheets of mist. The Best of South Iceland program ends with a short Reykjavík city tour before we reach the hotel in Iceland's capital. Overnight in Reykjavik (B)

Day 8  : DEPARTURE HOME (31 mi)

The Flybus airport shuttle picks you up at your hotel and takes you to Keflavik airport. (B)

Notes:

  • Total mileage in 6 days is about 1,510 km (942 miles), which is an average of 252 km (157 miles) per day. You spend about 3,5 hours per day on the bus, depending on road conditions, traffic, and daily distances. On some days, especially in the interior highlands, the driving might be longer than on some other days. 
  • The hotels and cabins used on this tour are simple but clean, and all rooms offer private facilities. 
  • On September departures, there is a chance to see the Northern Lights.
  • In case Landmannalaugar is not accessible during May and June departures, we travel only to Þjórsárdalur valley on that day.
  • This tour includes some walking on uneven terrain and natural trails.

OPTIONAL VIP SEATING: Supplement for a guaranteed window seat on our fully escorted coach tours which includes a window seat and the next seat remaining empty (a passenger gets actually two seats). Seats will be reserved in the front rows of the bus, on first comes - first served basis.