Tour code: CA5
£1535 (double/twin room), £1785 (single room)
Prices are per person, excluding flights
This is an amazing itinerary! If you want to see diversity in the landscape of North Iceland, enjoy waiting to see the view around the next headland and are happy with guesthouse accommodation, this could be the trip for you. The geology is stunning, the sea and sky seem huge and the remoteness, broken up with occasional small fjord-side settlements is very striking. The road to Egilsstadir crosses a magnificent and deserted area of lava fields and mountains, an experience in itself but the holiday also combines this with time spent in the geothermal area near Lake Myvatn and the beautiful wooded shores of Lake Lagarfljót, home of Iceland’s answer to the Loch Ness Monster! With a visit to an extraordinary stone collection, a tasting at one of the best organic farms in Iceland and a walk around the beautiful town of Seydisfjordur, the programme is full of memorable and very interesting features. There are greater distances to cover here than on the other holidays in this collection, but for the chance to enjoy an overview of a stunning and beautiful part of Iceland, it’s definitely worth it. Highly recommended!
Day 1, 26 April: Thursday You begin the journey from Akureyri by heading to the east, along the coastline of Eyjafjörður, across the Vikurskarð mountain pass and through scenic landscapes of glacial valleys and mountains, past Lake Ljósavatn to Goðafoss waterfall, one of the most beautiful in North Iceland. After a stop to see this ‘waterfall of the Gods’ the journey continues on to Reykjadalur, where you check in at guesthouse Narfastadir for the night, and dinner. A former sheep stable has been converted into comfortable rooms, and visitors are warmly welcomed. With no light pollution nearby, perhaps there will be a chance for a late season viewing of the Aurora!
Day 2, 27 April: Friday Leaving after breakfast it’s not far to Lake Myvatn, where the morning is spent visiting the major sights of interest, including the Skútustadagígar pseudocraters (these are conical ‘hills’ that rise up in and between the lakes), the Dimmuborgir lava maze, the Grjótagjá fissure, inside which there is an underground geothermal river, the strangely coloured Hverir solfatara field at Námaskar and the impressive Viti crater at Mt Krafla. Before heading off for Egilsstadir, there will be a stop at the Myvatn Nature Baths and the option to swim in the geothermal waters if you wish. After that, the road continues across the remote lava fields to Egilsstadir, where you check in at the guesthouse for 3 nights and a welcome dinner.
Day 3, 28 April: Saturday Today’s tour begins with a drive alongside Lake Lagarfljót and takes in a circular journey to include several of Iceland’s beautiful East Fjords, returning to Egilsstadir at the end of the day. The town of Egilsstadir lies at the northern end of the lake, in the heart of reindeer country. Crossing back over the river and travelling southwards down the western shores of Lake Lagarfljót, there are beautiful views of an unusual site in other parts of Iceland – the largest Icelandic forest, Hallormsstadaskógur on the other side. Perhaps, and with luck, you might also get a glimpse of the Lagarfjót Worm – a ‘many arched’ type of a lake monster which is said to dwell at the bottom of the lake and sometimes come to the surface. Close to the southern end of the lake there are views of Hengifoss waterfall which drops down the colourful cliffs from the top of mountain plateau. Following the river further into the valley there’s Skriduklaustur museum which used to be home of the author Gunnar Gunnarsson and is now also a visitor centre for this area of the Vatnajökull National Park. After refreshments, the road crosses the lake and turns north along the eastern shore and through Hallormsstadaskógur forest. Nearby, there is a stop for a visit to a farm which has specialised in the production of local Icelandic organic produce for about 20 years. They grow grains and vegetables which are key ingredients in their product line of delicious barley, crackers, chutneys and lacto-fermented vegetables, and you will be able to taste the products in one of their greenhouses, experience the delightful atmosphere of the farm and visit their „Moðir Jörð“ shop to make some purchases. From here, the journey continues towards the East coast and the fjords, driving through Reydarfjördur and Fáskrúdsfjördur to Stödvarfjördur. It’s here that you can visit Petra‘s unique and enormous collection of Icelandic minerals which decorate the garden and the house. Returning to Egilsstadir either via Breiddalsvík and along the Breidadalsheidi mountain pass , or taking the same way through the fjords (depending on road conditions), dinner will await you at the guesthouse.
Day 4, 29 April: Sunday A leisurely start today, and a free morning to explore the surroundings, then after lunch, set off across the winding road up to Fjardarheidi mountain pass and down to the colourful village and artist colony of Seydisfjördur. The view of the fjord with the town at its bottom is stunning as you wind down the slopes. In Seydisfjördur, sightseeing is by bus and on foot and includes seeing the famous blue church – one of the town‘s most recognisable landmarks due to its distinct colour and building style. Two other unusual places to visit are the unique sound installation Tvisöngur, which is a site-specific sound sculpture and the Technical museum which has a story of its own to tell. Dinner is at a local restaurant before returning to Egilsstadir for another overnight.
Day 5, 30 April: Monday After breakfast, it’s time to depart Egilsstadir, driving west again towards Akureyri. On the way there is time to stop at Dettifoss, Europe‘s most powerful waterfall and a spectacle not to be missed. This time of the year there may still be snow on the path that leads from the parking to the waterfall, so good waterproof walking boots are recommended for this trip. The drive continues via Lake Myvatn to Akureyri, and the rest of the day is free to explore the charming city, have dinner and stay overnight at Hotel Akureyri.
Day 6, 1 May: Tuesday A leisurely start today, with time for a short walk before taking the bus to transfer to Akureyri airport for the flight home.
Included in the price:
- Private coach with driver as per itinerary from arrival to departure
- Local English speaking guide
- 5 nights accommodation in double/twin rooms with private facilities as pre-booked, incl. breakfast *
- 4 x dinners
- Visit to Vallanes organic foods farm including product tasting
- Visit to Skriduklaustur with light refreshments
- Admission fee to Petra‘s stone museum
- Sightseeing and cultural programme in Seydisfjördur
- Admission to the Technical museum in Seydisfjördur
Flight cost approx £350 inc taxes, subject to confirmation. This is a charter from Cardiff airport to Akureyri, please contact us for information about transfers to Cardiff from your home area.
Please note that the details of the itinerary may change as plans are always dependent upon the conditions on the day.
Departure date: Thursday April 26 2018