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Grand Tour of Iceland

The Grand Tour of Iceland takes you on an unforgettable journey around Iceland including Snæfellsnes 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.

Duration: 11 Nights

Price: From $5,543 per person

Highlights

  • A complete coach tour around Iceland including Snæfellsnes peninsula and the West Fjords
  • Visit 3 national parks
  • Ferry trip to the West Fjords, daily light walks, visit a lava cave and boat trip between floating icebergs
  • Multimedia presentation at Eyjafjallajökull volcano information center

Included:

    Arrival and departure transfer by FLYBUS airport shuttle (no guide)
    10 days escorted Iceland tour with an English speaking guide or driver-guide
    11 nights accommodation, in rooms with shower/wc
    11x breakfast, 1x lunch (day 6) and 10x dinner
    Visit to three national parks
    Entrance and visit to lava cave on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula
    Ferry trip to the West Fjords
    Admission fee to folk and transport museum at Hnjótur
    Visit to Erik the Red homestead
    Horse show in northwest Iceland
    Entrance to Herring Museum
    Visit to micro beer brewery
    Admission fee with towel to the Nature Baths at Lake Mývatn
    Visit to Petra's stone collection in the East Fjords
    Boat trip between floating icebergs on Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon
    Lava Center Museum

Not included:
    Beverages and lunches
    Dinner on the first night in Reykjavík
    Optional activities
    Any service not specifically listed under "included"
    Airfare from/to US
    Travel Insurance

 

OPTIONAL VIP SEATING: Supplement for guaranteed window seat on our fully escorted coach tours which includes a window seat and next seat remaining empty (a passenger gets two seats). Seats will be reserved in the front rows of the bus, on a first come, first served basis. 

NATURE FEES: There is a possibility that some of the nature attractions around Iceland might charge an entrance fee during the trip. These entrance fees are not included in the tour price and need to be paid by all tour members additionally on the spot, when entering any of these nature sites. Locations, amount of entrance fee, form of payment and other details are not known at the present time and are subject to change.

 

ACCOMMODATIONS: Staying in simple but charming guesthouses, farms and tourist-class hotels, many of them set in the most stunning locations. All rooms have private shower/WC.

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Day 1 Monday

WELCOME TO ICELAND

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.

Driving distance: 50 km/31 mls


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Day 2 Tuesday

GOLDEN CIRCLE

Today is the day of the classic highlights: Gullfoss, Geysir and Þingvellir. First stop: Gullfoss, the double waterfall, called 'Golden Falls' in English. The spectacular waterfall is Iceland's most famous, and if you're lucky enough to get some sunshine you may see the multitude of rainbows through the sheets of spray. Geysir, the next stop, is the site of the original (now dormant) geyser, whose 'younger brother', Strokkur, erupts every 5-10 minutes, shooting hot water up to 25m (70ft) in the air. The UNESCO world heritage site, Þingvellir, is the historic site of the ancient Viking Parliament, and part of the tectonic plate boundary that runs through Iceland, separating the North American and Eurasian plates. This location, therefore, is a place of both geological and historical wonder. We travel along Hvalfjörður fjord, a scenic coastal area, to the overnight location in Borgarfjörður in the West.

Driving distance: 290 km/180 mls


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Day 3 Wednesday

SNÆFELLSNES PENINSULA, LAVA CAVE, AND FERRY TRIP TO THE WEST FJORDS

Today, you explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, which juts out from Iceland's West Coast like a long arm with a clenched fist at its tip, and which is in many ways a microcosm of the whole island. A chain of rugged mountains runs the length of this beautiful peninsula, capped by the 1,446-meter Snæfellsjökull glacier, a mystical cone-shaped strato volcano, which impressively is often visible from the harbor in Reykjvavík. This area is perfect for holiday photos, as you travel through the classic Icelandic lava fields and along the coast. You see the most popular sites at the Snæfellsnes National Park where volcanic craters, lava flows, an ice cap, glaciated peaks, fjords, sandy beaches, and high cliffs shape its landscapes. If you happen to be a fan of Jules Verne's novel 'The Journey to the Centre of the Earth' then you'll certainly have a blast as we go under the glacier Snæfellsjökull, into the Earth. This lava cave tour takes you 35 meters underground and about 200 meters into the lava tube called Vatnshellir. During the trip, you reach two different sections of the cave by a long and narrow spiral staircase. The upper section has great features and unique formations of lava statues carved 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, quite a unique experience. The duration of the lava cave tour is approximately one hour.
In the afternoon, you travel by the ferry Baldur from Stykkishólmur to Brjánslækur. This 2.5 hour journey you will see the Breiðafjörður Bay, with its many islands, including Flatey, which is only inhabited in the summer, due to weather conditions. Hopefully you will be able to see the numerous islands in the bay, if the weather is favorable, an incredible sight, as well as the Snæfellsjökull glacier. You will spend two nights in Patreksfjörður.

Driving distance: 290 km/180 mls


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Day 4 Thursday

ICELAND'S WESTERNMOST POINT

Traveling along the Westfjords coastline today, you explore the folk and transport museum in Hnjótur. This journey through the practically uninhabited countryside leads us to the bird cliffs of Látrabjarg, the largest seabird cliff and the westernmost point of Iceland and Europe, where you can see puffins from mid-May till mid-August. A short hike in the wilderness to the top of the highest bird cliff in Iceland, Látrabjarg is famous for its density of Nordic birds. Puffins, razorbills, guillemots, fulmars, cormorants, kittiwakes and other cliff birds flock to this largely undisturbed area to breed, sometimes in their thousands. You can often get quite close to these seabirds. This part of the day is entertaining even to the novice birdwatcher, with many unique photo opportunities of these wonderful animals. If weather and road conditions allow, you visit Rauðisandur beach with endless (10km might as well be endless) red sand. The brilliant hues of the sand differ with daylight, tides, and weather. This pure sand beach is home to many forms of sea-life, including birds and seals, and is an oasis of unique tranquility. Forget everything for a moment, and appreciate the natural beauty of the Westfjords.

Driving distance: 150 km/93 mls


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Day 5 Friday

BEAUTIFUL WEST FJORDS

Today's journey explores more of the beauty of the Westfjords, as we travel over mountains and along the coast to Arnarfjörður, a beautiful nature reserve fjord, where we will stop to visit Dynjandi, one of the country's most spectacular of many waterfalls. This day leads you to some amazing, less traveled sights, with the characteristic Westfjord bays, the great cliffs with their waterfalls and the narrow coastlines. The overnight location is usually Vogur Country Lodge in West Iceland, a peaceful and remotely placed lodge near the Breiðafjörður bay, with a tranquil, isolated atmosphere.

Driving distance: 320 km/199 mls


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Day 6 Saturday

HEADING NORTH

The morning is spent mostly off-the-beaten path, exploring traditional Icelandic country churches, farms, and seeing Icelandic horses. Stopping in Haukadalur, you will learn about Eiríkur the Red, a famous Icelandic explorer who founded a colony in Greenland, and his son, Leifur the Lucky, who was the first European to set foot in North America, and after whom Keflavík airport (Leifsstöð) is named. Archeologists and historians have excavated and recreated his farm, turning it into a fun and educational live Viking museum. In the surrounding landscape you will find mountains and valleys, lakes and open fields. The journey north takes you to a local farm for lunch, with a chance to see a horse show, where you learn about the amazing abilities of the Icelandic horse. Then, the day continues through farmland and fjords on the route to Akureyri, the capital of the North, where you will stay for two nights in Iceland's second largest city.

Driving distance: 350 km/217 mls


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Day 7 Sunday

NORTHERNMOST TOWN

During a 6-hour excursion, you will see spectacular fjord landscapes while traveling to Siglufjörður, Iceland's northernmost town, known as the herring capital of the North Atlantic. Siglufjörður is situated on the mountainous Tröllaskagi Peninsula (watch out for trolls, since 'Tröllaskagi' translates to 'Troll Peninsula'). En route we pass small fishing villages and stop at a deserted valley that possibly most Icelanders will not have visited. Included in the excursion is a visit to the Herring Museum and beer tasting at Kaldi, a local micro-brewery. Once you return you are free to spend the rest of the day however you like, including optional horseback riding tours or whale watching. There is also a botanical garden, a geothermal swimming pool, souvenir stores, interesting restaurants, and much more, just ask your guides for ideas!

Driving distance: 160 km/99 mls


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Day 8 Monday

GEOLOGICAL WONDERS AND NATURE BATHS

On the way to Lake Mývatn today you will stop at Goðafoss, the thundering waterfall of the Gods, before you reach the lake, with its rich bird life and volcanic landscape. You visit pseudo craters, walk through the mysterious landscape of Dimmuborgir, and see Hverfjall, a tephra cone volcano. Námaskarð is full of bubbling mud pools, hot springs, and fumaroles, which you can explore before heading to lake Víti, an explosion crater lake in the Krafla geothermal fields. The afternoon includes a visit to the Mývatn Nature Baths; the mineral rich waters will leave you feeling more relaxed than ever. You will stay near Lake Mývatn overnight.

Driving distance: 150 km/93 mls


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Day 9 Tuesday

THE SECRETS OF THE EAST

The first stop is a 40-60 minute round trip walk to the impressive Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe, located in the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park. On the mountainous path to the East, you stop at Möðrudalur, the highest altitude all-year residence in Iceland, at 469m above sea level. This site, in the summer, has the best view of Herðubreið, known in Iceland as the Queen of the Mountains. You visit the local farm's church, built by hand in 1949 by the farmer at the time in memory of his late wife. Continuing east, you will see the uninhabited highlands of the East, exploring the northernmost fjord of the Eastfjords, where the remote but charming village of Bakkagerði at Borgarfjörður-Eystri sits, offering views of the colorful and dramatic mountain scenery. Next, you experience Borgarfjöður-Eystri, a traditional fishing village, one of Iceland's most beautiful villages, and not often visited by tourists. Jóhannes Kjarval, a popular Icelandic painter who grew up in the village and was influenced by the landscape, has works displayed at the local coffee shop and a remarkable altarpiece, which you will have the chance to see. The village is also home to a large population of elves, or so the many (172 and counting) folk stories say. Álfaborg, a unique rock castle where the Queen of Elves is said to live, is a protected site you can visit in the village, where you will begin to understand the stories that have captured the imaginations of Icelanders for many generations. Your guide will take you to the local harbor, which is well worth a visit, especially when the seabirds are home, including puffins and kittiwakes.

Driving distance: 290 km/180 mls


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Day 10 Wednesday

FJORDS, GLACIERS AND ICE

The path around the Eastfjords and the small fishing villages dotted around the dramatic landscape takes you to Petra's rock collection, a fascinating view of the nature of the country through a lifetime of collecting. Petra means 'stone' in Greek, so it is almost as if this was something she was born to do. The exhibition is displayed in her home and garden, looked after proudly by her descendants. The afternoon is spent in the Vatnajökull National Park, the home of Europe's biggest glacier, seen all over the southeast of Iceland and covering up to 14% of the country. One of the features of this glacier lies past the village of Höfn. It is the famous and stunning Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, with it's bright blue waters, where you will take a boat tour between the floating icebergs. The night is spent in Skaftafell, in the southern part of the national park.

Driving distance: 430 km/267 mls


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Day 11 Thursday

VATNAJÖKULL NATIONAL PARK AND THE SOUTH

The penultimate day is spent in the south of Iceland, continuing through Europe's second largest national park after Yugyd Va in Russa, Vatnajökull National Park. You explore the area of Skaftafell, nestled below Iceland's highest mountain at 2,110 meters high, Hvanndalshnjúkur, the second biggest strato-volcano in Europe. You will walk towards a glacial tongue, a truly spectacular sight, and then drive along the South, seeing the coast, mountains, desert areas, and waterfalls. Near the village of Vík you will stop to wander along the lava sand beaches and explore the bird cliffs. Next is Skógafoss, a gem of the South, a magnificent towering waterfall. Through the spray of the crashing water you often see rainbows, adding to the magic of the landscape. Seljalandsfoss is another beautiful waterfall, where you can walk the trail behind the waterfall. Although you will almost certainly get wet, this is not something to be missed. The Lava Center in Hvolsvöllur is the last stop of the South, with a documentary presentation about volcanic activity in Iceland, including the recent history of eruptions. The action-packed trip is rounded off with a farewell dinner at a restaurant in Reykjavík, where you will spend your last night of the Grand Tour.

Driving distance: 370 km/230 mls


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DAY 12 Friday

DEPARTURE DAY

The Flybus airport shuttle takes you the Keflavík International Airport.

Driving distance: 50 km/ 31 mls


Departures 2020:

Prices (per person):

Sharing a double/twin/triple room: $5,543
Single room $7,020.
Optional VIP seating: $638.

Dates:

June 15, June 29, July 13, July 27, August 10, August 24

 

Please note: All bookings are subject to availability.  Availability is NOT guaranteed until booking is confirmed by Nordika Travel

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Views from Grand Tour of Iceland

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  • Birds%20in%20Iceland.jpg
  • Arnarfjörður.jpg
  • Glacial%20lagoon%20boat%20trip.jpg
  • Botanical%20Garden%20Akureyri.jpg
  • Eyjafjördur.jpg
  • In%20the%20East.jpg
  • Horses%20in%20Iceland.jpg
  • Latrabjarg.JPG
  • Nature%20Baths,%20Lake%20Myvatn.jpg
  • Skogafoss%20waterfall,%20South%20Iceland.jpg
  • Myrdalssandur.jpg
  • Snæfellsnes%20-%20Budir%20beach.jpg
  • Vatnajökull%20-%20Europe's%20largest%20glacier.jpg
  • West Fjords.JPG

Highlights

  • A complete coach tour around Iceland including Snæfellsnes peninsula and the West Fjords
  • Visit 3 national parks
  • Ferry trip to the West Fjords, daily light walks, visit a lava cave and boat trip between floating icebergs
  • Multimedia presentation at Eyjafjallajökull volcano information center

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