(8 days/7 nights)
Tour Code: SH1
June – August 2017: £2227 (double/twin/triple room); £2779 (single room)
September 2017: £2057 (double/twin/triple room); £2609 (single room)
Prices are per person, excluding flights
If you would like to combine the convenience of group touring (maximum 20 people, minimum age 14) with plenty of opportunities to get out and walk in the dramatic Icelandic landscape, this trip is for you. With an average of 3-4 hours hiking a day, you will visit the sites, explore highlands and valleys, volcanic landscapes and the glacial wonders of Vatnajökull National Park. Your adventure also includes bathing in geothermal lagoons and rivers, climbing volcanic craters, walking on glaciers and cruising between floating icebergs. Accommodation is in a simple guesthouse, cottage and hotel, in rooms with private facilities.
DAY 1 (Sun): WELCOME TO ICELAND (50 km)
The Flybus shuttle brings you from Keflavík International Airport to the where you spend your first night. Depending on your arrival time, we will provide you with ideas on how to explore Iceland’s capital on your own.
DAY 2 (Mon):
Your adventure begins with a 1-2 hour hike at the ancient Viking Parliament area and UNESCO world heritage site of Thingvellir National Park. You then visit the active geothermal area of Geysir, where Strokkur (“the Churn”) spouts up to 25 m every few minutes, and explore Gullfoss, the beautiful double “Golden Falls”. You then continue to the Secret Lagoon, a natural hot spring, for an authentic Icelandic bathing experience. Stay for three nights at the Árhus Cottages in Hella in South Iceland. Walking today: 1-2 hours, 2-4 km, elevation 100-200 m
DAY 3 (Tue): LANDMANNALAUGAR (290km)
Landmannalaugar is an oasis in Iceland’s barren interior highlands, surrounded by colourful rhyolite mountains. The exact route and duration of today’s hike will depend on the fitness level and hiking experience of the group – and on weather conditions. The trail goes through a rough lava field to an area of hot springs and up the slopes of Brennisteinsalda with its incredible spectrum of colours, before returning via the spectacular Grænagil gorge. In Landmannalaugar there is also a geothermal stream, where you can enjoy a refreshing bathe. On the way back to your accommodation you will pass close to Hekla, one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes, and stop at the beautiful Hjálparfoss waterfall, surrounded by extraordinary basalt rock formations. Walking today: 3-4 hours, 6-7 km, elevation about 300 m
DAY 4 (Wed): THÓRSMÖRK (130 km)
First stop today is at the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall and then it’s on to Thórsmörk, a wide valley named after Thor, the Viking God of Thunder. This beautiful valley is surrounded on three sides by steep mountains and glaciers. Fording raging glacial rivers and gentle streams is a big part of the adventure! The landscape is dramatic with Eyjafjallajökull volcano towering on one side and the massive glacial river Markarfljót flowing on the other. During today’s walk you will discover the aftermath of an immense fast-flowing flood, caused by the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, which destroyed a glacial lagoon and left a blackened area – and caused huge disruption to international air travel in April 2010. There are several hiking options and trails will be selected according to the weather and the fitness of the group. The most challenging takes 4-5 hours, with a maximum 800 m ascent, but offers spectacular views. Walking today: 4-5 hours (max), 7-8 km, elevation about 800 m.
DAY 5 (Thu): LAKI (340 km)
Today you travel along the south coast of Iceland towards Kirkjubæjarklaustur and into the highlands. The craters in Laki comprise a protected national monument and were formed in one of the largest mixed eruptions ever recorded, which emitted vast quantities of lava and ash from a fissure stretching 25 km across the area west of the Vatnajökull ice cap. This is a very fragile area so visitors are asked to treat the nature with respect. You will explore this volcanic wonderland during a 2 hour hike. An easy climb leads to Fagrifoss, which means “beautiful waterfall”. You will stay for 2 nights at the simple but well located Hotel Skaftafell, next to Europe’s largest glacier and beneath Iceland‘s highest mountain. Walking today: about 2 hours, about 4-5 km, elevation about 300 m.
DAY 6 (Fri): GLACIER HIKE & GLACIAL LAGOON (140 km)
An action-packed day starts with a moderate 3.5 hour hike in the majestic surroundings of the Svínafellsjökull glacier, which is hemmed in by some of Iceland´s most spectacular peaks. An experienced glacier guide will lead you through a wonderland of strangely shaped ridges, deep crevasses, huge water cauldrons and varied ice formations. In the afternoon, you travel to the famous Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon for a Zodiac adventure cruise, sailing between the icebergs which float in the clear blue water. Afterwards, there will be time to go down to the black sand beach to take a closer look at the icebergs that get stranded there en route to the sea. Walking today: 3-4 hours, 4-6 km, elevation about 100-150 m.
DAY 7 (Sat): VATNAJÖKULL NATIONAL PARK AND THE SOUTH (340 km)
Skaftafell is today a part of the Vatnajökull, the largest national park in Europe. The area nestles under the slopes of Europe’s largest glacier and is dominated by Iceland’s highest peak, Mount Hvannadalshnjúkur (2,110 m). This area used to be home to one of the most isolated communities in Iceland because of the ice cap on its north, the harbourless sandy beach to the south and the wild glacial rivers in the barren sands to the east and the west. You will hike up to the Svartifoss (“Black Fall”) waterfall, which is surrounded by black basalt columns, and from there to Sjónsker (“View Cliff”) for a magnificent view of Mount Hvannadalshnjúkur. Heading back towards , you cross the sandy desert of the south coast, overlooked by mountainous cliffs, glaciers and waterfalls, taking the opportunity for a stroll along the black lava beach and bird cliffs near the village of Vík and a stop at Skógafoss waterfall before arriving back in Iceland’s capital. Walking today: 2 hours, 5-6 km, elevation about 200 m.
DAY 8 (Sun): DEPARTURE DAY (50 km)
Transfer by Flybus shuttle to Keflavík International Airport for your flight home.
Please note: This tour is suitable for those who are in good health and are able to walk/hike for up to 6 hours at at time. Good hiking boots and warm and waterproof clothing are essential and hiking poles are recommended. The total distance covered is around 1,430 km and you will spend an average of 3 hours per day on the coach.
Nature fees: It is possible that some of the natural sites visited on this tour may charge a small entrance fee. These are not included in the price and must be paid locally on the day.
- Arrival & departure airport transfers by Flybus shuttle
- Fully escorted bus tour with an English speaking guide
- 7 nights’ guesthouse, cottage and hotel accommodation in ensuite rooms with breakfast
- 3x picnic lunches (Days 3, 4 & 5) and 2x 3-course dinners or buffet (Days 5 & 6)
- Entrance to two national parks
- Entrance, with towel, to the Secret Lagoon
- Zodiac boat trip on Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon
- Vatnajökull glacier hike
Departures: with an English speaking Guide
- 2, 30 July 2017
- 27 August 2017
Note that there are additional departure dates with a German Speaking guide, please contact us for more information.
For bookings, or to check availability, please contact us here
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