10 Days

Iceland: Off the Beaten Path

5.0 - Based on 1 travel review
From $4,350
/ Adult

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What's Included

  • Accommodations - Handpicked 4-star hotels & Guesthouses (2 nights in Reykjavik, 1 night in Highlands, 1 night in Kirkjubæjarklaustur, 1 night in Höfn, 1 night in East Fjords, 1 night in Husavik, 1 night in Siglufjörður, 1 night in Laugarbakki)
  • Meals: 9 Breakfasts, 3 Dinners
  • Airport Shuttle
  • Licensed Driver/ Guide for the itinerary outside of Reykjavik
  • Kayaking at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
  • Guided Glacier Hike on Vatnajökull Glacier
  • Entrance at Myvatn Nature Baths
  • Whale Watching Tour in Husavik
  • Entrance fee at Geosea baths

What's Excluded

  • Airfare
  • Airport taxes and excess baggage fees
  • Beverages & Meals not specified
  • Optional Activities
  • Tips for your local guides & drivers
  • COVID Tests (if required)
  • Personal Expenses
  • Travel Insurance
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Overview

Embarking on an off-the-beaten path trip to Iceland is like stepping into a land of raw, untamed beauty and mystique. While most tourists flock to Reykjavik and the Golden Circle, this journey takes you far from the well-trodden routes to discover the hidden gems of this enchanting island. Picture yourself traversing the remote Westfjords, where towering cliffs plunge into the Atlantic Ocean, or navigating the rugged highland interior with its otherworldly landscapes and bubbling hot springs. You'll stumble upon hidden waterfalls cascading down moss-covered cliffs, venture into lava caves illuminated by the soft glow of your headlamp, and soak in natural hot springs secluded from the crowds. This is a journey where solitude and nature's wonders are your companions, and each day brings a new, unforgettable adventure in this land of fire and ice.

Adventure Highlights

  • Begin your journey by exploring Reykjavik, Iceland's vibrant capital city
  • Travel to Vestmannaeyjar Island by ferry to witness witness close-up how volcanic activity affects the community
  • Venture into the remote Icelandic Highlands, known for its rugged landscapes
  • Stay at the Highland Center Hrauneyjar and keep an eye out for the Northern Lights
  • Embark on a captivating hike in Landmannalaugar, surrounded by colorful hills and geothermal wonders
  • Relax in natural hot springs amidst the breathtaking scenery
  • Explore Skaftafell National Park with a hike to Svartifoss waterfall and a glacier hike on Vatnajökull Glacier
  • Witness the contrasting beauty of Diamond Beach
  • Embark on a picturesque drive to the East Fjords, encountering diverse landscapes and coastal villages
  • Experience thrilling whale watching in Húsavík, known as the whale watching capital
  • Explore highlights such as Skagafjörður fjord, Þingeyri medieval church, Vatnsdalshólar, Kolugljúfur canyon, and Hvítserkur sea stack
  • Join a Small Group Tour

    TRIP DATES AVAILABILITY PRICE SPACE LEFT
    August 30, 2024 - September 8, 2024 Available $4,350
    14 Available

    Traveling solo? No problem!
    On our group trips, we offer free roommate-matching and will pair you with a same-sex roommate, so you are never obligated to pay the single supplement fee. 

    Want Your Own Room?
    Single Supplement is available for an additional fee (based on availability)

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    Daily Itinerary

    Upon arrival in Reykjavik, the capital and largest city of Iceland, you’ll take the Flybus Airport Transfer to the marina where our starting hotel is located. There are no scheduled activities on this day, so you are free to arrive any time. Once you get settled in, get your bearings by visiting the observation deck of Hallgrimskirkja, the city’s iconic church, where you can admire the striking architecture and ascend the tower for panoramic views of Reykjavik. Afterward, wander down Laugavegur, the city’s main shopping street, to explore local boutiques and enjoy a cup of Icelandic coffee at a cozy café. For a dose of history, head to the National Museum of Iceland, where you can delve into the country’s rich heritage through fascinating exhibits. Finish your day with a leisurely stroll along Reykjavik’s picturesque waterfront, taking in the stunning views of the harbor and the surrounding mountains. As the evening sets in, savor Icelandic cuisine at one of the city’s excellent restaurants, where you can indulge in fresh seafood and traditional dishes like lamb stew or fermented shark. Reykjavik’s vibrant arts and music scene often provides opportunities for a night of live entertainment, making it a memorable day in the capital city of Iceland.

    INCLUDED:
    –Airport Shuttle

    Overnight in Reykjavik – Berjaya Reykjavik Marina Hotel

    Hotel

    This morning, you’ll be picked up from your hotel in Reykjavik for your drive to the southern part of Iceland. The first stop of the day is at Landeyjarhöfn harbor, where you will embark on a ferry to the Vestmannaeyjar Islands. After about a 30-minute ferry ride to Vestmannaeyjar Island, we will go straight to the southernmost part of the main island, Stórhöfði Cape.
    Next up is Eldheimar Museum, a volcano museum dedicated to the remembrance of the volcanic eruption of 1973, when the entire population had to be evacuated from the island to the mainland in the middle of the night. After the museum, you will have the opportunity to go on a short hike up to Mt. Eldfell Volcano or spend some time in the town before heading back to the mainland in the afternoon.
    After returning to the mainland, we’ll make our way to the Icelandic Highlands, a vast and remote interior region of the country, characterized by its rugged and otherworldly landscapes. This region covers a significant portion of the island’s interior and is one of the most uninhabited and least accessible areas in Iceland. The Icelandic Highlands offer a unique and awe-inspiring wilderness experience for those willing to venture into its challenging and pristine landscapes. It’s a place where you can truly connect with the natural forces that have shaped Iceland over millennia.
    The Highland Center is superbly located for viewing the northern lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, and if weather conditions are favorable, we’ll have a fairly good chance of experiencing this magical phenomenon.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

    Note: We will arrange an alternate plan if weather conditions do not permit as the ferry doesn’t operate in very windy conditions.

    Hiking at Mt Eldfell: 3.2-mile loop; challenging; Est Hiking Time 1 hr
    Estimated Travel Time Reykjavik to Landeyjarhöfn Harbor: 2 hours driving
    Estimated Travel Time Landeyjarhöfn Harbor to Vestmannaeyjar Island: 40 minutes by ferry (each way)
    Estimated Travel Time Landeyjarhöfn Harbor to Highlands: 2 hours driving

    Overnight in the Highland Center Hrauneyjar – Hotel Highland

    Breakfast, Dinner
    Hotel

    The Highland Center Hrauneyjar is close to many of the most beautiful locations in the Highlands, including Landmannalaugar, a geothermal oasis with breathtaking views of the surrounding rhyolite mountains, colorful hillsides, and serene lakes.

    This morning, we’ll lace up our hiking boots and set out on a day hike amidst the stunning scenery of vibrant earth tones against the stark, volcanic terrain. Hiking in Landmannalaugar is a bucket-list experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. In under 2 hours, we’ll cross a lava field and you’ll be treated to some of Iceland’s most awe-inspiring landscapes and geothermal wonders. The Laugahraun Loop leaves the tourist information center and rises onto the Laugahraun Lava Field. Following the trail up a small valley and across a moraine, you’ll come to the base of Brennistensalda. Also known as the ‘sulphur wave’ this yellow and red mountain rises before you as steaming vents surround it with an eerie mist. For those with a bit more energy, you’ll have the opportunity to climb up and go over the top to get an even closer look at the multitude of colors as well as excellent views over the surrounding landscape.

    After a few hours of hiking, you can relax in one of Landmannalaugar’s natural hot springs. These geothermal pools are a perfect way to unwind and soak in the stunning surroundings.
    This evening, we’ll spend the night in a small village located in the southern part of Iceland, known for its stunning natural surroundings and historical significance. The name Kirkjubæjarklaustur translates to “church farm cloister” in Icelandic, hinting at its historical roots. The village was founded in the 12th century and was home to a Catholic convent until the Reformation in the 16th century. Ruins of the convent and its church, Systrafoss, can still be visited today.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

    Hiking at Landmannalaugar: 2.6 mile loop; 656 ft elevation gane; Easy; Est hiking time 2 hrs
    Estimated Travel Time from Highland Center to Kirkjubæjarklaustur: 3 hours driving
    Overnight at Kirkjubæjarklaustur – Hotel Laki

    Breakfast, Dinner
    Hotel

    Begin your day at Skaftafell National Park, where you’ll find yourself surrounded by awe-inspiring landscapes. The park is known for its hiking trails that lead to magnificent viewpoints and picturesque waterfalls. Start your visit with a hike to Svartifoss, a unique waterfall framed by dramatic basalt columns. The trail meanders through lush greenery and provides a glimpse into the park’s diverse flora and fauna.

    Next, embark on an unforgettable glacier hike on Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest glacier. Our knowledgeable guides will provide all of the necessary equipment and a safety briefing. As you step onto the glacier’s ice, you’ll be surrounded by a frozen world of deep crevasses, ice formations, and stunning panoramic views. The experience of walking on the glacier’s surface is both thrilling and humbling, offering a unique connection to Iceland’s glacial landscapes.

    This afternoon, drive to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, one of Iceland’s most iconic and photogenic locations. Here, you can partake in a kayaking excursion on the lagoon, which offers a unique perspective of the massive icebergs floating in the crystal-clear water. Paddle amongst the ice formations, and if you’re lucky, you may even spot seals sunbathing on the ice floes. The tranquility and surreal beauty of the lagoon make kayaking here a truly unforgettable experience.

    After kayaking, take a short drive to the nearby Diamond Beach, located where the lagoon’s icebergs wash up on the black sand shoreline. The contrast of the glistening ice against the volcanic sands is a sight to behold. Stroll along the beach, capture some remarkable photographs, and breathe in the crisp Arctic air.

    End your day in the charming coastal town of Höfn, the lobster capital of Iceland, renowned for its delicious seafood. Many local restaurants serve fresh seafood dishes, making it a must-visit destination for seafood lovers. Don’t forget to try a traditional Icelandic fish stew called “Plokkfiskur.”

    If there is time, make a visit to the Höfn Glacier Museum, which provides valuable insights into the region’s geology, glaciology, and history. It’s an excellent place to learn more about the local environment and the impact of climate change on glaciers.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast
    — Kayaking at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
    — Guided Glacier Hike on Vatnajökull Glacier

    Estimated Travel Time Kirkjubæjarklaustur to Skaftafell: 1 hour driving
    Estimated Travel Time Skaftafell to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon: 1 hour driving
    Estimated Travel Time Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon to Höfn: 1 hour driving

    Overnight in Höfn – Berjaya Höfn Hotel

    Breakfast
    Hotel

    After breakfast, we’ll depart Höfn to the East Fjords for a breathtaking journey filled with stunning natural landscapes and charming coastal villages. As you embark on this scenic adventure, you’ll encounter some of Iceland’s most dramatic scenery.

    As you leave Höfn behind, the road takes you through a diverse range of landscapes. The drive itself is an experience, with winding roads that offer incredible views of the surrounding mountains, fjords, and the vast Atlantic Ocean.

    About halfway through your journey, you’ll reach Djúpivogur, a charming fishing village nestled along the coast. Djúpivogur is known for its colorful houses and rich maritime heritage. We’ll make a stop here and explore the village. You can stroll along the harbor, where fishing boats bob gently in the water, and you might even spot local fishermen going about their daily routines. Don’t forget to visit the Egg Sculpture, a unique art installation that represents the local birdlife and is a symbol of the village.

    Continuing your drive along the winding coastal roads, you’ll soon find yourself in the heart of the East Fjords. This region is characterized by rugged cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and pristine fjords. It’s a paradise for nature enthusiasts and photographers, with numerous opportunities to stop and capture the beauty of the landscape.

    As the day turns to evening, you’ll arrive at the Wilderness Centre, where you’ll spend the night. This rustic and remote accommodation is a perfect place to unwind and immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature. Nestled in the wilderness, the center offers cozy cabins or rooms, a restaurant serving local cuisine, and a chance to experience the charm of rural Icelandic life. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights on a clear night.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

    Estimated Travel Time Höfn to Wilderness Center: 5 hours driving

    Overnight in East Fjords – Wilderness Centre

    Breakfast, Dinner
    Hotel

    The journey from the Wilderness Center to Húsavík is an incredible adventure through the diverse and geologically active landscapes of northern Iceland. Each stop along the way offers a unique experience, showcasing the raw beauty of this remote region.

    As you depart from the Wilderness Center, you’ll first head towards the Námaskarð geothermal area. Here, you’ll witness an otherworldly landscape of boiling mud pots, hissing steam vents, and colorful mineral deposits. The earth’s geothermal forces are on full display, creating a surreal atmosphere.

    After exploring Námaskarð, continue to the Hverfjall Crater, an imposing volcanic tuff ring. Hike to the top for panoramic views of Lake Myvatn and the surrounding lava fields. The crater’s black walls and rugged beauty are a testament to Iceland’s volcanic history.

    Your journey then takes you to Dimmuborgir, an area known for its eerie lava formations. Here, you can explore a labyrinth of twisted lava pillars and caves, some of which are said to be the dwelling places of trolls in Icelandic folklore.

    Continue your journey to Dettifoss, one of Europe’s most powerful waterfalls. Witness the sheer force of glacial meltwater as it plummets into the Jökulsárgljúfur Canyon. The spectacle is awe-inspiring, and you can feel the earth shake beneath your feet.

    Next, you’ll visit Hljóðaklettar, also known as the “Echo Rocks.” These unique lava formations appear as if nature sculpted them with great care. They offer excellent hiking opportunities, and you’ll be amazed by the unusual shapes and acoustics.

    Finally, make your way to Húsavík, a charming coastal town known for its whale-watching tours and picturesque harbor. After a day filled with natural wonders, you can relax in this peaceful setting, enjoy a seafood meal, or take a stroll along the waterfront.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast

    Estimated Travel Time Wilderness Centre to Husavik: 3.5 hours driving
    Overnight in Husavik – Fosshotel Husavik

    Breakfast
    Hotel

    Your day begins early in Húsavík, known as the whale-watching capital of Iceland. You board a comfortable boat and set off into the chilly North Atlantic waters in search of these magnificent marine giants. The excitement builds as you spot humpback whales, minke whales, dolphins, and maybe even a graceful orca. The sight of these majestic creatures breaching and playing in their natural habitat is truly awe-inspiring.
    After your exhilarating whale-watching experience, it’s time to relax and rejuvenate at the GeoSea Baths in Húsavík. These geothermal baths offer a soothing soak in warm seawater while overlooking the stunning coastal scenery. It’s the perfect opportunity to unwind and reflect on the incredible wildlife you’ve just witnessed.

    Afterward, enjoy a delicious Icelandic lunch at a local restaurant in Húsavík, savoring the fresh seafood that the town is known for.

    Leaving Húsavík behind, you journey to the iconic Goðafoss waterfall, which translates to “Waterfall of the Gods.” This majestic cascade is a true natural wonder, with its horseshoe shape and the surrounding dramatic landscape. Take your time to explore the viewing platforms and capture stunning photos of the falls and its surrounding area.

    Continue your drive towards Akureyri, Iceland’s second-largest city, situated along the picturesque Akureyri Fjord. As you arrive, take a leisurely stroll through the charming streets of the town, visiting shops, cafes, and perhaps the Akureyri Church with its distinctive architecture. You can also take in the panoramic views from the harbor, where boats bob gently in the water.
    As the day winds down, make your way to Siglufjörður, a quaint fishing town tucked away in a beautiful fjord. Dubbed the Herring capital of the world, Siglufjörður is considered one of the country’s most historic places. The drive itself offers stunning views of the rugged coastline and surrounding mountains. In Siglufjörður, after checking into your hotel, spend the evening exploring the town. Dine on fresh seafood, visit the town’s maritime heritage at the Herring Era Museum, which provides a fascinating look into the heyday of herring fishing in Iceland, and soak in the peaceful atmosphere before resting for the night.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast
    — Whale Watching Tour in Husavik
    — Entrance fee at Geosea baths

    Estimated Travel Time Husavik to Siglufjörður: 2.5 hours driving
    Overnight in Siglufjörður – Siglo Hotel

    Breakfast
    Hotel

    The journey from Siglufjörður to Laugarbakki takes you on a picturesque road trip through some of Iceland’s most scenic regions. Each stop along the way offers unique experiences and a glimpse into the country’s rich history and natural beauty.

    As you depart Siglufjörður, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding fjords. As you continue your journey southward, you’ll pass through the picturesque Skagafjörður fjord. This region is known for its horse breeding and offers opportunities for horseback riding if you want to experience Iceland’s native horse breed, known for its unique gait, the tölt.

    Heading further south along Route 1, you’ll eventually reach the charming village of Þingeyri on the Westfjords peninsula. Here, you can visit the Þingeyri Medieval Church, which dates back to the 19th century and offers a glimpse into Iceland’s religious and cultural history.

    Continuing on Route 1, you’ll reach Vatnsdalshólar, a cluster of small hills with a dark history. It is said to be the spot where the last execution in Iceland took place in the 19th century. Explore the area and reflect on Iceland’s historical justice system.

    A short drive from Vatnsdalshólar takes you to Kolugljúfur, a stunning canyon carved by the Víðidalsá River. A short hike will lead you to Kolufossar, a series of waterfalls cascading through the canyon. It’s a serene and photogenic spot for a nature break.

    Further along Route 1, you’ll arrive at Hvítserkur, a famous sea stack rising dramatically from the sea. The rock formation is said to resemble a dragon or troll, and it stands as a testament to the relentless forces of nature. It’s a fantastic spot for photography and taking in the coastal beauty of Iceland.

    Finally, continue your journey south until you reach Laugarbakki, a tranquil village on the banks of the Hvítá River. Here, you can unwind and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast

    Estimated Travel Time Siglufjörður to Laugarbakki: 2.5 hours driving
    Overnight in Laugarbakki – Dæli Guesthouse

    Breakfast
    Hotel

    The journey from Laugarbakki to Reykjavík is a scenic drive that takes you through some of Iceland’s most beautiful landscapes and cultural landmarks.

    Your first major stop is Grábrók, a volcanic crater in the middle of a lava field. Hiking up to the rim of Grábrók provides panoramic views of the surrounding lava formations and the distant mountains. It’s a relatively short and easy hike that offers a taste of Iceland’s unique geology.

    Continue your journey to Borgarfjörður, a picturesque fjord known for its natural beauty and historical significance. Here, you can visit the historic Reykholt, once home to the famous medieval writer and scholar, Snorri Sturluson. Explore the Snorrastofa cultural center and learn about Snorri’s legacy. Don’t miss a visit to Hraunfossar and Barnafoss, a pair of stunning waterfalls that seem to flow from beneath the lava fields.

    Next, you’ll reach Hvalfjörður, a picturesque fjord known for its dramatic landscapes. Drive along the scenic coastal road, and if time permits, consider stopping at Glymur, Iceland’s highest waterfall. It’s accessible via a hike and offers fantastic views of the surrounding area.

    Your journey continues to Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with immense historical and geological significance. Þingvellir is where the Icelandic Alþingi (parliament) was established in 930 AD, making it one of the oldest parliamentary meeting places in the world. Explore the park’s walking trails and learn about its unique tectonic features, including the Silfra Fissure.

    Finally, you’ll reach Reykjavík, where we’ll enjoy a final dinner in one of Iceland’s famed restaurants, offering a diverse array of culinary experiences for food enthusiasts.

    INCLUDED:
    — Meals: Breakfast

    Estimated Travel Time Laugarbakki to Reykjavik: 3.5 hours driving
    Overnight in Reykjavik – Icelandair Reykjavik Marina

    Breakfast
    Hotel

    Today is departure day and there are no scheduled activities. At the appropriate time, you will take the Flybus Airport Transfer to the Keflavik Airport. If you have time, we recommend a stop at the iconic Blue Lagoon, one of Iceland’s most famous and iconic attractions, known for its striking milky-blue, geothermal waters and therapeutic properties. Located in the Reykjanes Peninsula, not far from Reykjavik and Keflavik International Airport, the Blue Lagoon is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking relaxation and a unique bathing experience.

    INCLUDED:
    –Meals: Breakfast
    –Airport Shuttle

    OPTIONAL:
    — Visit to the Blue Lagoon (availability TBD)

    Breakfast

    FAQs

    When is the best time to visit?

    September to March and June to August

    Do I need a visa to visit Iceland?

    Iceland is part of the Schengen Area, and visitors from countries within the Schengen Zone do not need a visa for short stays. Check the official Icelandic Directorate of Immigration website for the most up-to-date information.

    Are credit cards widely accepted in Iceland?

    Yes, credit cards are widely accepted in Iceland, and it's a cashless society in many places. However, it's advisable to carry some cash for smaller establishments or remote areas.

    Are there any safety concerns in Iceland?

    Iceland is considered a safe destination. However, travelers should be aware of the changeable weather, especially in the highlands. Respect natural hazards, road conditions, and local guidelines for a safe trip.

    Can I see the Northern Lights in Iceland?

    Yes, the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) can be seen in Iceland, especially during the winter months. The best chances are in remote, dark areas away from city lights.

    What outdoor activities can I do in Iceland?

    Iceland offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, glacier trekking, hot spring bathing, whale watching, and snorkeling or diving in Silfra Fissure.

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    Iceland: Off the Beaten Path

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