Grand Journey

Grand Adventure - 12 days/ 11 nights

Iceland is a country like no other, almost its own little planet with exceptional landscapes: some of the world’s finest waterfalls, erupting geysers, stunning fjords, magical lagoons, active volcanoes, majestic glaciers, powerful lava flows as well as tranquil lakes with rare-breeding bird life. The Grand Tour of Iceland takes you on an unforgettable journey around Iceland including Snaefellsnes peninsula and the magical West Fjords. Experience the spectacular splendor and untamed beauty of Iceland´s nature, breathtaking scenery, and unique Icelandic history and culture. You will discover some of the most remote parts of the country and visit many well-known highlights as well. Our Grand Tour of Iceland features all the best the country has to offer. Each day combines touring by bus, going for light walks, having soft adventures, and experiencing Icelandic culture and history. We stay in simple and charming guesthouses, and farm- and tourist-class hotels, many of them set in the most stunning locations.


The Flybus shuttle brings you from Keflavík International airport to Reykjavík where you spend the first night in Iceland. We provide you with ideas how to explore Iceland‘s capital on your own.


We see classic highlights today. We explore Gullfoss, the beautiful double “Golden Falls” and we walk through the active geothermal area of Geysir, where Strokkur “the churn” spouts up to 70 feet every five to seven minutes. A visit to the ancient Viking Parliament area and UNESCO world heritage site of Thingvellir National Park tops the day off before traveling along the scenic shores of Hvalfjoerdur fjord. Overnight in Borgarfjoerdur, West Iceland.


This morning we are introduced to the Icelandic sagas in the settlement center in Borgarnes. The Snaefellsnes Peninsula “the peninsula of the snowy mountain” juts out from Iceland’s west coast, like a long arm with a clenched fist at its tip, and is in many ways a microcosm of the whole island. A rugged mountain chain runs its length, capped by the 4,744-feet Snaefellsjoekull, a mystical cone-shaped strato volcano. We travel around the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, through lava fields, and along the ocean with many classic Icelandic photo opportunities. We visit the most popular sites at the national park where volcanic craters, lava flows, an ice cap, glaciated peaks, fjords, sandy beaches, and high cliffs shape its landscapes. We follow the adventure of Jules Verne's classic science fiction novel about the journey to the center of the Earth. This lava cave tour takes you 115 feet underground and about 656 feet into the lava tube called Vatnshellir. During the tour, you reach two different sections of the cave by a long and narrow staircase. The upper section has great features and unique formations of lava statues curved on the sides of the lava tube. In the lower part of the lava cave, you experience total quietness and even total darkness when your guide switches off the light. The total duration of the lava cave tour is approximately one hour. Overnight in the Grundarfjoerdur area.


We need to wake up early and catch the morning car ferry Baldur from Stykkishalmur to Brjanslaekur in the West Fjords. On the way over Breidafjoerdur Bay, the ferry stops on the island of Flatey. If the weather is nice you enjoy a magnificent view of the bay’s countless islands as well as the glacier Snaefellsjoekull. We follow the coastline and stop at the folk and transport museum in Hnjotur. We continue through a very remote and sparsely populated region to the bird cliffs of Latrabjarg, the westernmost point of Iceland (and Europe) where you can see puffins from mid-May till mid-August. We take a memorable walk in the wilderness to the top of the highest bird cliffs in Iceland. Latrabjarg is known in the world for its density of northern birds. Puffins, razorbills, guillemots, fulmars, cormorants, kittiwakes, and other cliff birds flock in hundreds, thousands, and even millions. This is a place where you can get very close to the seabirds and even if you’re not into bird watching, you are entertained by the comic puffins and mesmerized by the sheer number of birds. Overnight near Látrabjarg or Patreksfjoerdur.


We travel the shore of many scenic fjords, and beautiful beaches, and pass through small fishing villages until we reach the majestic fjord Arnarfjoerdur, surrounded by high mountains. At the bottom of the fjord, we come across the unique waterfall Dynjandi with its seven levels of plunging water, declared the country’s most beautiful waterfall by the people of Iceland. We continue over a mountain pass and travel along the southern shores of the West Fjords. This is a route less traveled and is characterized by sheer cliffs, deep-cut bays, and narrow stretches of coastal lowland. We overnight at the remote Vogur Country Lodge in West Iceland. This is a truly peaceful and beautiful place close to Breidafjoerdur Bay, giving you the feeling of being all alone in Iceland.


In the morning we travel mostly off-the-beaten-path, see abandoned farms, beautiful little country churches, and Icelandic horses. At Haukadalur, there's a rather authentic replica of the homestead of Erik the Red, the famous explorer who founded the Icelandic colony in Greenland. His son Leif-the-Lucky, born in Haukadalur, Iceland, was the first European to set foot in North America. Now the excavated and reconstructed farm in Haukadalur is a living Viking museum, a fun, informative, and photogenic place. The landscape is dominated by mountains, lakes, valleys, sea, and wide open spaces. We head north and stop at a local farm for a horse show where we learn about the unique qualities of Iceland's special breed. Afterward, we travel through the fertile farmlands and fjord landscapes of Northwest Iceland before we visit the charming town of Akureyri, Iceland's second-largest city. We stay 2 nights in the capital of North Iceland.


During a 6-hour excursion, we see spectacular fjord landscapes while traveling to Siglufjoerdur, Iceland's northernmost town and known as the herring capital of the North Atlantic. Siglufjoerdur is located on the mountainous Troellaskagi Peninsula. On the way, we pass small fishing villages and stop at a deserted valley that even most Icelanders have not seen. Included is a visit to the Herring Museum and also beer tasting at a local microbrewery. The rest of the day is free for leisure. Maybe you like to go shopping, visit a geothermal swimming pool, or join an optional whale-watching tour at 17:00 or 20:30.


We explore Godafoss, the waterfall of the Gods, and continue to Lake Myvatn, known for its rich bird life and extraordinary volcanic lava landscapes. We visit pseudo craters, walk in the lava field Dimmuborgir, climb up to the rim of the ash crater Hverfjall, see the hot springs and bubbling mud pools of Namaskard, and travel to the crater lake Víti in the Krafla geothermal fields. In the afternoon relax and soak at the Myvatn Nature Baths. Overnight near Lake Myvatn.


We travel to Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall in the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park. From there we head through the uninhabited highlands to East Iceland. We explore the northernmost fjord on the East Fjord mountain range. The isolated village Bakkagerdi has only 120 inhabitants and is a charming village, built snugly next to the steep mountainside. Driving to Borgarfjoerdur Eystri is dramatic and rewarding. The colorful mountains are simply unique and impressive. We get an unusual opportunity to visit a traditional Icelandic fishing village, still relying on small-boat fishing. Borgarfjoerdur Eystri is home to an extensive population of elves – judging by the 172 local folk tales involving elves. On the outskirts of the village is Álfaborg, a protected site where the queen of elves is believed to live in a uniquely shaped rock castle. The elf stories provide a fascinating lecture, especially for the younger generation.


It’s a day to admire the dramatic fjord landscape and its tiny fishing villages at the end of twisty roads in the East Fjords and en route we visit an interesting stone collection. In the afternoon we see Vatnajoekull – Europe’s biggest glacier that is visible all over Southeast Iceland. Past the town of Hoefn, we stop for a boat ride amongst the floating icebergs on the glacial lagoon at Joekulsarlon. The night is spent near Skaftafell in the southern part of Vatnajoekull National Park.


Visit Skaftafell at the Vatnajoekull National Park, covered by ice and nestled below Iceland’s highest mountain, the 1,31-mile-high Hvannadalshnjukur. We walk close to one of the many glacial tongues in the area – a Kodak moment. We cross a sandy desert and drive along the south coast, always between the sea, mountainous cliffs, glaciers, and waterfalls. We stroll along the black lava beach and bird cliffs near the village of Vik. At the Eyjafjallajökull Information Center, we learn how it is to live next to a glacier and an active volcano. We stop at the Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls. Farewell dinner at a nice gourmet restaurant in Reykjavik and the last night is spent in Iceland's capital.


The Flybus airport shuttle picks you up at your hotel and takes you to the Keflavík International Airport.

* This trip happens Jun-Sep and can be reserved with a 3, 4 or 5 star accommodations depending on your travel style. Please inquire for availability and bookings. (IcelandTP)