8 days / 7 nights
Experience the incredible variety and natural wonders of both South and North Iceland in one amazing itinerary! Combining two of our best itineraries gives you one amazing trip with great experiences and great value.
Day 1: Arrival in Iceland
Please note: If you have added extra nights in Reykjavík before your tour, the guide will meet your group for the start of the tour on Day 2 according to the standard “Hidden Powers and Northern Lights/Arctic Powers Combo” itinerary.
Upon arrival, head through passport control, collect your bags and go through customs to the Arrival Hall. The FlyBus transfer shuttle is waiting outside the arrival hall. Please show your confirmation information to the attendant on board and let him or her know the hotel you are using in Reykjavík. Important: The FlyBus is a shared bus transfer. You will not be met directly in the airport by a driver.
Ingolfur Arnarson, the first settler of Iceland, built his farm on the peninsula where Reykjavik stands today. The town got its name “Smoky Bay” after the columns of steam that rose from the hot springs in the area and made such a deep impression on the first settlers. If you are arriving earlier in the day, you might consider adding a day tour. We’d be happy to make suggestions based on your interests.
Dinner this evening is at your leisure. Reykjavik offers a multitude of restaurants and/or coffee-houses, making dinner a great way to get better acquainted with Iceland's capital.
Please note guaranteed early check-in is not included in the price. Most hotels begin check-in around 14:00 (2:00pm).
Day 2: Thingvellir - Geysir – Gullfoss
Northern Lights Centre - National Park with Geological Wonders (UNESCO) - Exploding Geysers - The Famous Golden Falls
Breakfast at your hotel. Start the day by visiting the fascinating Aurora Reykjavik Northern Lights Centre. You’ll get a great introduction to northern lights, how they are formed and the folklore surrounding them. If you have a camera, the staff at the center will also show you how to capture northern lights on film and help you with adjusting the settings for this.
Then head onwards to Thingvellir National Park (UNESCO World Heritage site) where the world’s oldest parliament met for centuries on the shores of Iceland’s largest lake.
Continue through farmland areas to the geothermal fields of Geysir with bubbling mud pools and the high-spouting Strokkur hot spring. Last but not least, visit the dramatic two-tiered Gullfoss waterfall, a spectacular sight in winter when frozen mid-cascade. Stop at Skalholt, Iceland’s capital during the Middle Ages and now a culture center with a beautiful church. During the day you will also visit the town of Laugarvatn. The town is built around three hot springs, and the residents have cleverly harnessed the hot springs for heating, greenhouses and even cooking. You’ll visit a unique outdoor geothermal bakery at the Laugarvatn Fontana spa where Icelandic rye bread is baked in the hot sands. Try some of the freshly baked read, hot from the ground. It’s especially delicious slathered in Icelandic butter.
If weather conditions are right, your guide will take you on a northern lights hunt on foot in the area outside your hotel tonight, or on the evening of Day 3 or 4.
Dinner and overnight in the south coast area.
Day 3: Iceland’s South Shore – Eyjafjallajokull Volcano - Southeast Iceland
Waterfalls – Lava Centre - Glacial Views - Black Sand Beaches
Breakfast at your hotel. Drive along the South Shore, an area of Iceland that is especially beautiful to view in the winter. This is one of the main farm regions of the country, and the road will pass by typical Icelandic farms, often with Icelandic horses in the fields. This part of Iceland is home to the wonderful LAVA Centre, an interactive, high-tech educational exhibition depicting volcanic activity, earthquakes and the creation of Iceland over millions of years. Enjoy both the exhibit and viewing an interesting film about Icelandic volcanoes at the Centre‘s cinema. Continue onwards. If the skies are clear you might see the area’s two most famous volcanoes in the distance: Mount Hekla (last eruption 2000) and Eyjafjallajokull (last eruption 2010). You might also possibly catch a glimpse of Westman Islands archipelago off the coast of Iceland.
Stop at the spectacular waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. Both of them are a “must-see” for photographs. If trail conditions are right, you might be able to walk behind Seljalandsfoss falls.
Head onwards, passing Myrdalsjokull Glacier, to visit Reynisfjara beach. Take a walk on the black sands, admiring the extraordinary rock formations and thundering waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Cross a vast lava field created from a very destructive 18th-century eruption as you head into Southeast Iceland.
Dinner and overnight stay in Southeast Iceland.
Day 4: Skaftafell National Park - Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon
Western Europe's Largest National Park - Glacial Lagoon with Icebergs - Europe's Largest Glacier
Breakfast at your hotel. Today enter the southern area of Vatnajokull National Park, named after Europe’s largest glacier. This national park is also the largest one in Western Europe, and the total park area covers almost 14% of Iceland. Drive through vast sand plains created by glacial outwashes as you head east en route to the Vatnajokull area. Visit Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon where you can enjoy the breath-taking sight of icebergs floating in the fantastic 180m (591 ft.) deep glacial lagoon. Nearby is the dramatic beauty of the Diamond Beach, where shrinking icebergs settle on the black sands before they drift out to sea.
Then view Svinafellsjokull, one of the most beautiful of the glacial outlets emerging from Vatnajokull. Visit the national park’s famous Skaftafell area, a site of outstanding natural beauty dominated by several magnificent glaciers. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Hveragerdi - Blue Lagoon – Reykjavik
Greenhouse Village – Thundering Waves - Geothermal Lagoon
Breakfast at your hotel. Head back along the beautiful South Coast, enjoying a different view of the winter landscapes. Visit the village of Hveragerdi, which is one of the few sites in the world located directly in the middle of a geothermal area. Hveragerdi is often called ""The Flower Village"" because of its many greenhouses heated by hot water from nearby springs. Turn onto a southern coastal road and follow alongside the shoreline with its breath-taking sea waves, passing through a deserted community that once was a flourishing center for the region.
The trip then takes you through the surreal landscapes of the Reykjanes peninsula, where you can enjoy a dip in the famous Blue Lagoon, a unique wonder of nature with pleasantly warm, mineral-rich water in the middle of a black lava field. Return to Reykjavik, where the evening is at your own leisure. Dinner is on your own.
Day 6: Reykjavik - Akureyri – Godafoss Waterfall - Lake Myvatn Nature Reserve
Active Geothermal Area – Surreal Volcanic Landscapes– Basalt Citadels – Relaxing Hot Springs
Breakfast at your hotel. On your own, transfer to the Reykajvík Domestic Airport (cabs are plentiful). Meet the tour group at Reykjavik Domestic Airport, Air Iceland Connect check-in. Please note Reykjavik Domestic Airport is different from Keflavik Airport. Airport transfer is not included; the airport is about a 5 – 10-minute ride from most city hotels. Please arrange to arrive no later than 45 minutes before your flight for check-in.
A representative of Iceland Travel will be at the airport to meet your group and assist with check-in for the flight. If the skies are clear, you’ll get great views of Iceland’s interior wilderness on the 50-minute flight.
Meet your local guide and driver at Akureyri Airport and start on your North Iceland exploration! The day begins with a drive through beautiful alpine scenery and a look over Eyjafjordur, Iceland’s longest fjord. Your route takes you to the unforgettable Lake Myvatn area, a geological wonderland where the MidAtlantic ridge that divides North America from Europe is clearly visible.
View the pseudo-craters at Skutustadir and the lava formations that rise out of the lake itself. Take a walk among the fantastical basalt formations at Dimmuborgir, the “Dark Citadels.” Some of the most bizarre attractions in the region are the bubbling mud pits and vibrant colors of Namaskard geothermal area. As you walk along the paths in this area you might even feel like you are on another planet!
Looming over the area is Krafla, the volcano whose eruptions created this bizarre wonderland and whose energy provides power and hot water to the region. Myvatn’ s fantastical landscapes have made it a filming location for the popular HBO Game of Thrones series, as well as several Hollywood movies. Top off your amazing Myvatn visit with a relaxing soak in the geothermal Nature Baths before overnighting at your hotel. The Nature Baths are a favorite among both locals and visitors. You can relax in the brilliant blue waters and enjoy the natural steam baths set above a natural hot spring.
Dinner and overnight in Lake Myvatn area. You can sign up for a free northern lights wake-up call so that you don’t miss out if the auroras decide to make an appearance this evening.
Day 7: Lake Myvatn Nature Reserve – Husavik – Godafoss – Akureyr
Charming fishing town - Geothermal Seawater Spa with Ocean views – Waterfall of the Gods – the Capital of the North
Breakfast at your hotel. Today you´ll get a chance to visit two fun and very different North Iceland communities. Head to the Arctic Coast and the charming town of Husavik. This bustling community has a pretty harbor area and is a very nice place to see life in a town near the Arctic Circle. Husavik is a favorite destination for its whale watching, but now it is becoming even better known thanks to the GeoSea Geothermal Sea Baths. GeoSea is a unique spa that uses the area’s unique geothermal sea water. The spa is constructed in a way that, as you relax, you can look directly out into the sea and the Arctic Circle.
After some time to recharge in this amazing setting, head to Godafoss (the Waterfall of the Gods). Here glacial water thunders around surrounding lava to create a beautiful half-circle shaped cascade.
Travel on to Akureyri, the beautiful northern town that has become internationally popular as a winter recreation destination. After a brief tour of the town, check into your hotel. The rest of the day is open to enjoy Akureyri. Though small in population the “capital of North Iceland” has a lively culture and outdoor recreation scene. You’ll find activities to suit all interests. Enjoy exploring the museums, galleries and cafes. If you like outdoor fun, visit the nearby Hlidarfjall ski resort, just minutes away by cab, or take a swim in the geothermal pool complex.
Dinner is on your own at one of Akureyri’ s many restaurants. Overnight in Akureyri.
Day 8: Akureyri – Eyjafjordur Fjord – Trollaskagi Peninsula – Siglufjordur – Akureyri- Reykjavik
Mountain and Fjord Views – Historical Town – Award-Winning Museum – Icelandic Delicacies
Breakfast at your hotel. Wind along the roads of beautiful Eyjafjordur, Iceland’s longest fjord, and then onto the Trollaskagi (Troll Peninsula). Known as the “Icelandic Alps,” Trollaskagi offers some of the highest mountains in Iceland; the views of steep mountains plunging to the black-sand coastline are breath-taking. The surreal rock formations make it easy to see how the peninsula got its name.
Drive through three mountain tunnels and pass through colorful fishing villages. Visit Siglufjordur, a town with beautifully-preserved historical buildings set in a scenic fjord. After lunch (on your own), visit the award-winning Herring-Era Maritime Museum. Many Icelandic historians believe it was Siglufjordur’ s herring “gold rush” of the early 20th century that helped bring modernization to Iceland. At the museum, you will be introduced to the history of the herring fishing industry and be invited to explore the museum’s three buildings before sampling traditional rye bread, local herring and Icelandic schnapps.
Next, visit the tiny community of Arskogssandur (population 130), where you’ll visit Kaldi, Iceland’s first microbrewery. See how this craft beer is made and learn about the interesting history of the company. And, of course, you’ll also have a taste some of the locally brewed beer.
Afterwards you will drive to Akureyri Airport in time to check in for your flight to Reykjavik. The trip ends in Reykjavik Airport.
Note: Overnight in Reykjavik is not included. We are happy to book one for you, as well as private transfers from the Reykjavik Domestic Airport to your Reykjavik hotel and we can also assist you with setting up transfers to Keflavik Airport on your departure day from Iceland.