For a leisurely full circle tour of Iceland, this popular year-round guided holiday packs in a huge amount. Visit all of the best of Iceland’s highlights and must-see places while travelling around famous the ring-road route 1, from huge landscapes to small museums, fjords, glaciers, lagoons and more. Perfect for bucket list or stop-over travellers keen to see as much as possible in just 8 days. Great if you want to travel with friends yet without any of the hassle of planning beyond picking a date. Comfortable Icelandic hotels, modern coach with free wifi and Northern Lights programme in the winter.
8 days/7 nights
Iceland Full Circle: Tour Code ALL9293
Departures all year round. From Mid-Sept to Mid- April includes Northern Lights activities programme included. Arrive in Iceland on Friday or Tuesday.
DAY 1: WELCOME TO ICELAND
International flights to Iceland arrive at Keflavik airport, and we’ll have arranged with you in advance the details of your time of arrival and transfer to the hotel. It’s usually about a 45-minute journey from the airport, and while you travel though the Reykjanes peninsula it’s a great opportunity to get a feel for how different a place Iceland is! Depending on the time of your arrival, we will be happy to suggest some ideas on how to explore Iceland’s capital, perhaps a Northern Light Hunt, an introduction to Iceland, or a great place to eat.
DAY 2: WEST ICELAND TO AKUREYRI
After breakfast, depart in the company of your professional guide to follow the coast from Reykjavik heading north. Very soon the landscape becomes a dramatic patchwork of mountains, ocean and fjords. There is an easy hike on the brick red volcano crater at Grábrók from where the road ascends over high heathland and on to Hvammstangi, home to Iceland’s seal centre and exhibition. At Víðimýri stop to see a fine example of an Icelandic turf church, and later a chance to explore the small and charming city of Akureyri, the country’s northern capital where you’ll be staying overnight. In the winter months, there’s a chance to see the Northern Lights this evening.
DAY 3: LAKE MYVATN AND GEOTHERMAL BATHS
With the morning free to spend in Akureyri try to find time to visit the church and the Botanic gardens before setting off for Lake Mývatn where you stay tonight. Leaving Akureyri, there are beautiful views of Eyjafjörður and the surrounding agricultural area together with more woodland than is usual for Iceland. Your first waterfall of this trip, Goðafoss, is a splendid to see and enjoy, and is soon followed by your arrival at Mývatn and its mysterious lakes, curious pseudo craters, tephra volcanic cones and stunning variety of birdlife. Relaxation awaits to end the day at the geothermal Nature Baths before checking in to your hotel. In the winter months, there’s a chance to see the Northern Lights this evening in this spectacular winter wonderland location!
DAY 4: LAVA ‘CASTLES’ AND HOT SPRINGS
Before leaving the Mývatn area you’ll visit the strange labyrinth of lava at Dimmuborgir, (reportedly also the home of trolls) and the colourful and steaming geothermal springs at Námaskarð before heading across one of the most remote stretches of Iceland’s main road to the town of Egilsstaðir where you will stay overnight. In the summer months (June to August) the smaller local roads are accessible and a visit is included to the waterfall Dettifoss. Egilsstaðir lies on the edge of Lagarfljót, a beautiful ribbon lake making a lovely setting for this small town which also marks the edge of the East Iceland region.
DAY 5: GLORIOUS EAST FJORDS
The fjords of East Iceland are quite different from those that you’ve glimpsed so far. Winding roads, dramatic coastline, ocean views and high mountains all lie in store today. Each is different from the next, some with tiny fishing villages others with small towns. Included today is a stop at a private and incredibly large stone and mineral collection gathered from this area of Iceland. As you head south the landscape becomes dominated by the mighty Vatnajökull glacier, Europe’s largest, and the harbour town of Höfn where you stay overnight. In the winter months, there’s a chance to see the Northern Lights this evening. Please note that the weather and daylight can affect the itinerary for today.
DAY 6: VATNAJOKULL GLACIER AND JOKULSARLON LAGOON
Today is one of the most spectacular days to spend in Iceland. Already acquainted with the scale and beauty of the landscape, the first stop for the day is to see the spectacular Jökulsárlón iceberg lagoon, formed by the breaking of ice from the glacier into the lagoon that flows a short distance out to the ocean. Here you can walk, watch and admire both on the lagoon shore and on the ‘diamond’ black sand beach strewn with glassy ice fragments of the icebergs. If you wish, you can also take a boat ride amongst the icebergs (weather permitting), a highly recommended extra if this is available. From the lagoon, the journey continues over the Eldhraun lava field and vast sandy deserts with the Highland to the right and ocean far away to the left. At Vik, Iceland’s mouth South easterly point, see the basalt cliffs at Reynisfjara and after that follow the past Skógafoss waterfall and then to Seljalandsfoss waterfall which (weather permitting) you can take the path and walk behind the plunge pool if you don’t mind getting wet! The day ends with a visit to a new and excellent lava exhibition which brings the why and how of volcanoes and eruptions to life really very well. Your overnight stay is nearby, and in the winter months, there’s a chance to see the Northern Lights this evening.
DAY 7: ICONIC AND HORSES
To begin the day there’s a morning visit to an innovative tomato farm to find out how this greenhouse production works. This is followed by an opportunity to meet and greet some Icelandic horses and learn about this unique breed. From there, the highlights of the day include the waterfall and huge gorge at Gulfoss, the geothermal area at Geysir (and of course a chance to watch the geyser ‘Strokkur’) and to the Thingvellir National Park to see the lake, tectonic plate boundary and historic Parliament fields. From there, the journey continues into Reykjavik where you spend your final night in Iceland.
DAY 8: DEPARTURE DAY
We will have arranged with you either the details of your departure and transfer to the airport, or your plans to spend more time in Reykjavik before you leave.
- 7 nights’ accommodation in twin rooms with private ensuite, in 3* and 4* hotels
- 6 days’ escorted tour with and English-speaking guide or driver-guide
- Arrival and departure airport transfers
- Maximum group size of 30 guests
- 8 x substantial breakfasts
- Entrance fee to all visits included in the itinerary
- Entry to Natural History and Seal Museum in Hvammstangi
- Entry to Víðimýri turf church
- Entry to the Myvatn Nature Baths
- Entry to stone and rock collection
- Entry to exhibition and film at Lava centre
- Entry to geothermal greenhouse and horse stables
- 2 x guided Northern Light Searches (mid-Sept to mid-April)
- Free wifi on the bus
- Snow and ice grippers and flashlights (winter departures)
- Your pre-travel questions answered
- Your documentation, travel information pack, detailed itinerary and travel vouchers
- 100% financial protection guarantee
- Price per person from £1565
- An extra day to explore more of Reykjavik
- More time to visit locally or further afield
- Relax in the world-famous Blue Lagoon before you fly
- Welcome to Iceland: private meet and greet with direct airport transfers
- Please ask us about booking flights and ATOL protection for your holiday
- Drinks and meals other than those listed
- Your flights to and from Iceland
- Travel Insurance
- Single room supplement
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