- The Golden Circle, the South Coast, Skaftafell and Lake Myvatn sum up Iceland's major sites
- The geysers, glaciers, volcanoes, black beaches and fumaroles (sulphur vents) showcase Iceland's nature in all its glory
- The itinerary includes a flight over the highlands and bathing in hot springs.
- Bonuses include a smartphone app, car and GPS, the best, hand-picked locations and local Concierge
Contact one of our Iceland specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120
Your TripYou'll hire a car : the route does not require the use of a 4x4. You'll take a domestic flight at the end of your stay here, to make the most of the stops and save hours of travel. Your itinerary includes a flight over Skatafell National Park and bathing in the hot springs of Lake Myvatn, with its clear skies, crisp air and escaping steam vents. We have chosen your hotels for their charm and surroundings. In Selfoss and Lake Myvatn, you'll spend the night at the farm; you'll stay in an old school in Vik, in a world-class hotel facing the Vatnajokull glacier, in a country hotel in Egilsstadir, and in a stylish hotel in Reykjavik. And for any advice or last-minute requests, our local Concierge is just a telephone call away.
Flight to Reykjavik - Selfoss
On arrival, you'll pick up your hire car and drive to the south of the island and the Golden Circle region. On your way you'll see wild landscapes with beautiful colours, which is characteristic of Icelandic scenery.
Things to see in the Golden Circle region - Thingvellir National Park,, the former site of the Althing, the Icelandic national parliament, founded in 930 AD. Here there's a beautiful waterfall, numerous geological faults including Almannagja, which offers beautiful views of the valley, and Lake Thingvallavatn, Iceland's largest natural lake. It's also home to Strokkur geyser (Icelandic for 'churn'), which erupts every five to eight minutes to a height of 65ft. Then head to Gullfoss Falls.
In Selfoss, you'll spend the night in a farm-house owned by poultry farmers, who offer lovely Nordic bungalows and comfortable rooms.
Selfoss - Vik
Head to the island's south coast, to the small village of Vik. The scenery along the coast is beautiful , with its black sandy beaches, steep cliffs that birds turn into dormitory towns, dizzying waterfalls, and glacial lagoons... You won't forget the green of the hills, the black of the cliffs or the white of the Myrdalsjokull glacier.
On the way - Stop off at the impressive Seljalandsfoss waterfall (130ft) - the Skogar ecomuseum - the Dyrholaey cliffs - the black sandy beach of Reynishverfi.
Things you'll love - Walking into the wilderness around Skogafoss Waterfall, against a backdrop of glaciers and black sand beaches.
Vik is nestled at the foot of some green hills, bordered by cliffs where puffins nest. You'll stay overnight in an old school which was converted into a charming little hotel by Johann and Einar - two brothers who, as children, used to sit on the school benches in their short trousers.
Vik - Skaftafell - Hofn
Head east to Hofn. Between glaciers and black sand, the road passes through extraordinary scenery. The small fishing town of Hofn is a great introduction to traditional Icelandic life, which is a combination of fishing and farming.
In your itinerary - See Skaftafell National Park from the sky. You'll fly over Skaftafell, which is surrounded by three glacial lagoons (Skeidararjokull , which is the largest in Europe, Morsarjokull and Skaftafellsjokull) and an impressive glacier, Oraefajokull. On Oraefajokull, Hvannadalshnjukur Volcano is the country's highest point at a height of 6,663ft. On a clear day, you have breathtaking views of Europe's largest glacier, the huge Vatnajokull.
Things to see - The gorges of Fjadrargljufur and the Svartifoss waterfall that cascades into an amphitheatre of basalt columns.
Spend the night on the outskirts of Hofn, in a countryside hotel, facing the majestic Vatnajokull Glacier. The rooms are spacious and comfortable. From the panoramic restaurant and bar, the view of the glacier is breathtaking.
Hofn - Egilsstadir
Leave Hofn and head up the East Coast to Egilsstadir (around three hours away). After seeing the untouched bay of Lonsvik, you then reach the remote bays of Hamarsfjordur and Alftafjordur. You'll then head north to discover the wilderness of the East Fjords.
Things to see - Djupivogur,a fishing village nestled in the heart of steep fjords; Hengifoss Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in the country; Mjoifjordur fjord, one of the most beautiful in the region: to get there, you'll drive up an unpaved road with a few rather tight bends. The tiny fishing port of Brekka and the small church there are the only traces of the human presence in this impressive landscape, especially at dusk.
Option - Vatnajokull in a super Jeep.
Overnight stay in Egilsstadir, on a country estate on the shore of Lake Lagarfljot surrounded by mountains, in a large white building with a bright red roof, where the ambience is reminiscent of the early 20th century. The furnishings and decor are understated yet warm with light wood, embroidered hangings at the windows and bouquets of dried flowers. The hotel offers a high level of comfort and is also renowned for its excellent restaurant.
Egilsstadir - Lake Myvatn
Drive inland between volcanic deserts, arid plains and broad rivers towards Lake Myvatn (about three hours).
Lake Myvatn, offers surprisingly beautiful volcanic scenery that keeps smoking and bubbling. The lake is also an exceptional haven for ducks - fifteen species nest in the shallow waters, including the Barrow's goldeneye, a white-spotted black head, the harlequin goldeneye with its black plumage streaked with white lines, and the red-eyed slave grebe.
Stay on the farm for two nights. The rooms are simple and comfortable. Enjoy a traditional and tasty gourmet breakfast on the farm; all produce is from the farm. One unusual feature is that the dining room is separated from the stable only by bay windows: you'll be able to see cows being milked. For dinner, you can go to the village or sample the specialities of the farm , including smoked trout or smoked lamb.
You itinerary includes tickets to the Myvatn Blue Lagoon. This blue lagoon in the north is less touristy than the Reykjanes Peninsula. The huge body of turquoise blue water, which is close to 40°C, offers stunning views of the surrounding volcanoes and lava flows - ideal for outdoor bathing.
Things to see and do - Hverir, a unique volcano formed from an eruption - the pseudo-crater of Skutustadir - the ruins-like formations of Dimmuborgir - the field of fumaroles and boiling mudpots of Namaskard - the Leirhnjukshraun lava field - Lake Viti.
You'll love - Reaching the top of the Hverfjall stratovolcano for a splendid view of the duck lake and its surrounding mountains.
Lake Myvatn - Akureyri - Reykjavik
Take a short trip to Akureyri, where you return your hire car before flying to Reykjavik.
What to see and do on the way - Visit Farmhouse Laufas, an ecomuseum housed in an old farmhouse dating back to the mid-19th century, whose walls are made of peat and roofs are covered with grass.
On arrival in Reykjavik, transfer to your hotel, which as a colourful style, warm atmosphere and spacious, bright and comfortable rooms. The bar is Reykjavik's most popular meeting place. The restaurant is excellent, serving everything from hamburgers to fish soup.
Things to see and do - Walk through district 101 to Laugavegur Street, a 'village' where you can meander past brightly coloured houses, cafes, galleries, showrooms, design shops, and concept stores, and where you may be tempted by a virgin wool blanket or the creations of up-and-coming designers. Climb to the top of Hallgrimskirkja Church. Visit Marshall House, a former herring factory opened in 1948 and funded by the Marshall Plan, which has now been converted into an exhibition space for artist collectives.
Morning transfer to Reykjavik Airport and return flight.
A la carte
VATNAJOKULL BY SUPERJEEP
Icelanders have become accustomed to converting their SUVs into super jeeps; it is on board one of these huge vehicles that you head for the canyons and remote trails of the foothills of the Vatnajokull Glacier, a vast cap surrounded by countless crevassed glacial tongues. You'll be accompanied by an excellent driver guide who knows the area - and the vehicle - well.
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