4x4 Highlights of Iceland including Sprengisandur and Landmannalaugar 9 days

4x4 Highlights of Iceland including Sprengisandur and Landmannalaugar 9 days

The tour covers Landmannalaugar as well as many of the most interesting sights in the east and the south.

BP24 Map

BP24 Map

AVAILABLE:
July 12 to September 10

DURATION:
9 days / 8 nights

CAR RENTAL DAYS:
7 Days

DEPARTURES:
Daily

TOUR ID:
BP24

Included

Not Included

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival


Upon your arrival at Keflavik airport a meet and greet service is provided by a TOURIS representative who will take you to your Reykjavik hotel. You will be free for the rest of the day in ReykjavÝk.

Highlights of the day:
ReykjavÝk

Overnight:
ReykjavÝk

Day 2. The Beautiful South Coast


Pick up the car in the morning and leave Reykjavik at the eastern outskirts. Cross the plateau Hellishei­i, with a lot of geothermal activity and plumes of steam rising from the ground. Numerous boreholes have been drilled on Hellishei­i in the last years for hot water and steam, some of the cleanest energy available. Stop at Hellishei­i Geothermal Powerplant where natural hot water and steam pressure from the ground is used for generating electricity. Here, you can enjoy an optional tour through the power station and and learn about the eco-friendly geo thermal energy. Drive to the village Hverager­i, at the foot of the mountain, east of the plateau where geothermal water is used to heat up greenhouses. Hverager­i and the town Selfoss, a little further east suffered considerable damage during the major earthquakes that shook Iceland in May, 2008. Large hot springs and mud pools were created in Hverager­i. Continue and see the Saga Centre at Hvolsv÷llur. Stop at the waterfall Seljalandsfoss where it is possible to walk behind the waterfall in summer. The waterfall Skˇgafoss is a little further east and donĺt miss the Folk Museum at Skˇgar, close to the waterfall.
The glaciers Eyjafjallaj÷kull and Mřrdalsj÷kull are towering above. On March 20th 2010, a volcanic eruption started on Fimmv÷r­uhßls, a mountain ridge between the glaciers, Eyjafjallaj÷kull and Mřrdalsj÷kull. The eruption on Fimmv÷r­uhßls lasted a couple of weeks. After this eruption came to an end a new and bigger eruption started underneath the nearby icecap of Eyjafjallaj÷kull Glacier. This eruption came to an end on 23. May 2010.
Underneath the icecap of Mřrdalsj÷kull is Katla, one of Icelands most dangerous volcano. Make a short detour to the glacier Sˇlheimaj÷kull before continuing to Dyrhˇlaey natural reserve and a nesting colony of numerous seabirds. Drive to Reynisdrangar, with spectacular coast and beautiful rock formations. The promontory at Dyrhˇlaey is a massive natural arch carved by the relentless pounding of the winds and surf with rich birdlife in summer. Continue to the Vik for an overnight stay in the area. Snowmobiling and dog sledding activities are available on the Mřrdalsj÷kull glacier.

Driving distance
200 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Hverager­i Town
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
Skˇgafoss Waterfall
Dyrhˇlaey Nature Reserve
Reynisfjara beach
VÝk Town

Overnight:
VÝk area

Recommended optional activity:
Glacier Walk
Snowmobiling on Solheimajokull Glacier
LAVA Centre

Day 3. Skaftafell National Park & The Amazing Glacier Lagoon


Continue across the Mřrdalssandur floodplains and Eldhraun, the largest lavafield ever to flow on Earth in historical time and to the small village Kirkjubaejarklaustur. At KirkjubŠjarklaustur, see Kirkjugˇlfi­ (the Church Floor), a protected natural monument just east of Klaustur. Kirkjugˇlfi­ is columnar basalt, eroded and shaped by wind and water. Drive across Skei­arßrsandur, vast tracts of black sandy desert washed down by torrential glacial rivers to Skaftafell. Its natural beauty is a result of favourable weather conditions and the interaction of fire and ice. Beneath the Vatnaj÷kull ice cap, towering above Skaftafell is GrÝmsv÷tn, one of Icelandĺs most active volcano. In the afternoon of 21. May 2011, a sub-glacial eruption started in the GrÝmsv÷tn volcanic system underneath Vatnaj÷kull Glacier. Later the same day, the eruption broke the ice cover of the glacier and started spewing volcanic ash into the air. The amount of ash fall was the greatest close to the village KirkjubŠjarklaustur. The eruption went on for about a week. It ceased on 28. May 2011. Stop at the Skaftafell National Park to see the interesting Visitors Center and for a walk. In the area are many interesting hiking trails. An interesting hiking trail takes you to Svartifoss, one of Icelands most picturesque waterfall, famous for basalt columns which surround it and the hiking trail to Skaftafellsj÷kull glacier is accessible even to wheelchair. A video of a volcanic eruption in the area in 1996 can also be viewed. Continue to the amazing J÷kulsßrlˇn, the Glacial Lagoon where huge icebergs, broken off the glacier float and grind together in the deep waters of the lagoon and seals are frequently seen. A cruise among the icebergs on the Lagoon is available in summer. From here, continue east towards the H÷fn area for an overnight stay.

Driving distance
280 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
KirkjubŠjarklaustur town
Skaftafell National Park
Svartifoss waterfall
J÷kulsßrlˇn Glacial Lagoon
H÷fn

Overnight:
H÷fn area

Recommended optional activity:
Amphibian boat Tour on J÷kulsßrlˇn Glacier Lagoon
Scenic Skaftafell - Helicopter Tour

Day 4. The Tranquil East Fjords


Drive from H÷fn through the Almannaskard tunnel and past the colorful Lˇns÷rŠfi District, a mountainous wilderness ringed by extinct volcanoes and traversed by glacial rivers. Drive past towering mountains, and to the magnificent East Fjords, some now deserted. Enroute stop at the small fishing town Dj˙pivogur and at St÷­varfj÷r­ur the Stone Collection of Petra is an interesting place to visit.

Driving distance
260 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Egilssta­ir town
Hallormssta­askˇgur Forest

Overnight:
Egilssta­ir area

Day 5. The Lunar Landscape of Lake Mřvatn


Continue towards Lake Mřvatn and Nßmaskar­ Pass where boiling mud pools and flashing colours of the pass merge with ash and lava from nearby volcanoes. Explore the natural beauty of the Lake Mřvatn area. The lake area is known worldwide for its exceptionally many breeding duck species and the abundance of other birdlife. Visit its highlights Dimmuborgir, Mt. Hverfjall, the pseudocraters of Sk˙tusta­ir and Krafla volcanic system where the most recent eruptions were 1975 - 1984. In summer visitors can have a guided tour through the Kr÷fluvirkjun Geothermal Power Station where steam pressure is harnessed for generating electricity (admission is free of charge). The explosion crater VÝti is near Krafla and the Mřvatn Nature Baths are an outstanding attraction too.

Driving distance
200 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Lake Mřvatn
Nature Baths
Dimmuborgir

Overnight:
Lake Mřvatn / Reykjadalur area

Recommended optional activity:
Nature Baths

Day 6. Sprengisandur Highland Trail


On a fine day the route over Sprengisandur provides a splendid trip through the magnificent interior of Iceland, with spectacular and far reaching views. The route follows roughly the ancient horse trail that linked southern and northern Iceland. It affords a good cross section of views of the interior highlands. Much of the landscape along it consists of a desert sand, gravel and wind eroded lava beds. In total it has grandeur of its own, a haunting quality of size and emptiness, above all, the sense of space and freedom, tranquility and grim beauty. The Sprengisandur route was first crossed by a motor vehicle in 1933, and the old route was moved when Tungnaß river was bridged in connection with the Sigalda hydro project.
Driving south along the Bßr­ardalur valley the landscape becomes progressively less fertile and less inhabited. The altitude rises gradually and the country assumes a less verdant appearance. In the innermost reaches of Bßr­ardalur the track comes to ═shˇlsvatn, a small lake between low grassy ridges. At the northern end of Lake ═shˇlsvatn there is a short side fork which runs over intervening hills to an interesting low waterfall in the Skjßlfandafljˇt glacial river Aldeyjarfoss, with variously twisted and formed basalt columns. The track junctions with road F881 (detour) which leads to Laugafell mountain hut and near there junctions with road F821 leading north to descend into the Eyjafj÷r­ur valley. At Laugafell is an outdoor pool with natural hot water, a popular place for a pleasant bath.
The track passes Fjˇr­ungsvatn, a crescent shaped lake under a low mountain ridge. From a low hill, a tall cairn stands to commemorate one of the pioneering spirits of highland travel. Here is the highest elevation of the track, 826 m above sea level. This is the water divide. North of here all rivers and streams drain to the Arctic Ocean.
Arriving at Nřidalur, the track passes through a wide variety of high country scenery, rock-strewn tracts, gravely plain and patches of eroded lavas, all almost bare of vegetation. In spite of its apparent sameness the trail displays many stark but beautiful views, trackless desert, vast ice fields and near and distant mountains. The landscape is scattered with the debris of ice age glaciers and the evidence of stationary ice sheets that once occupied the plateau can be seen on all sides. Near the mouth of Nřidalur, are mountain huts, a wardenĺs station and a campsite. Nřidalur valley with very steep slopes lies under the southern rim of ice-capped Tungnafellsj÷kull. From the huts there is an interesting hike into the valley with curving moss covered sided high up the valleys slopes.
All around encircling the horizon are the rugged mountains of the highlands and the sparkling white ice fields, Hofsj÷kull and Vatnaj÷kull with fretted glaciers. The white of the ice fields looks incredibly vivid against the sombre background all around.
The track goes west of lake Thorisvatn ( ١risvatn ), the second largest lake in Iceland. The lake, on a high elevation and holding an enormous volume of water, posses a great water power potential. Near the southern end of the lake the track junctions right with a track leading to Vei­iv÷tn and J÷kulheimar.

A short description of the detour follows. If time allows, this detour is well worth while:
Vei­iv÷tn, a number of lakes, strung over a compact area of about one sq km at an altitude of 570 m. The lakes situated between mountain ridges occupy volcanic craters, roughly circular in shape with mostly precipitous banks. The area is heavily marked by volcanic activity and assumed its present form after an eruption around 1480. The side road is 37 km in all, and forms a circle round the lakes. After volcanic activity ceased these craters were filled with water. Around most of them there is a fringe of green. The lakes are interconnected by small watercourses that finally join the Tungnaß River. At Tjaldvatn there are mountain huts, a wardenĺs station and a camping site. Nearly all the lakes are known for good trout fishing. The surroundings are of a great natural beauty and well worth exploring. After looking at the lakes, head south to the banks of the Tungnaß River, the largest tributary of the great Thjˇrsß River, which flows here in braided channels over a gravel plain between rock ridges. Here from a ridge and a fine viewpoint, a blunt rock spire known as Tr÷lli­ vi­ Tungnaß rises imposingly. Retrace back to the junction south of Lake Thˇrisvatn. End of detour
Continue to the south on Sprengisandur trail.

The highland track ends at the Sigalda Power station. Continue to the village Hella.

Driving distance
360 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Sprengisandur highland pass

Overnight:
Hella area

Day 7. The Colorful Landmannalaugar


Reurn inland to visit the Landmannalaugar area, only passable by a 4 x 4 vehicle in summer. At Landmannalaugar is a warden station, mountain hut and a popular camping site. Near the hut is a warm water pool created by the confluence of natural hot water and a coldwater springs which issue within a short distance of one another from underneath the edge of the obsidian lava field. Here you can take a relaxing bath in the beautiful and almost surreal surroundings.
The scenic interest in the area is tremendous. The surrounding mountains are perhaps the most varied and colorful in Iceland. On a clear day you can see the snow covered peak of the great Mt. Hekla crowning the magnificent landscape. This area is highly recommended for nature lovers and those interested in geology. It offers numerous hiking trails for long and short hikes.
Leave Landmannalaugar and pass Lake Frostasta­avatn, surrounded by colorful mountains and craters. Continue on to visit Ljˇtipollur a lake-filled crater. Come to Landmannahellir, a cave that runs some distance into a hillside. This track is known as Landmannalei­ and it passes through a wide variety of canyons, valleys, over rock ridges and black lava, weird plain of lava rocks surrounded by captivating mountains. The mountain track over Landmannalei­ offers some of the finest scenic views available throughout this fascinating region. Off the track there are various trails leading to the volcano Hekla, which is in view on and off to the south of the trail. Head back to your accommodation in the Hella area.

Driving distance
250 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Gjßin
Hjßlparfoss Waterfall
Landmannalaugar
Lake Frostasta­avatn

Overnight:
Hella area

Day 8. The Great Golden Circle & The Blue Lagoon


Continue west to Selfoss and on to the Great Geysir hot-spring area with numerous hot springs and erupting geysers. Enroute, stop to see the volcanic crater Keri­ and the waterfall Faxi. The most active geyser, Strokkur erupts every few minutes. From here drive to Gullfoss, one of Icelands largest waterfalls in the glacial river HvÝtß. Make Gullfoss a turnaround point and then head to Thingvellir National Park, a unique place from a geological point of view. Research has shown that Thingvellir is a natural wonder on an international scale. The faults and fissures of the area make evident the rifting of the earth's crust. Thingvellir is also the most historical place in Iceland and a place of exceptional beauty. Thingvellir is the site of the ancient Icelandic parliament. Now head to the Blue Lagoon before you end the tour at your hotel in ReykjavÝk. Enjoy a relaxing bath at the Blue Lagoon in an otherworldly setting where lava and thermal water complement each other to prepare you for your journey home. Soak in the refreshing waters of the lagoon and have a wonderful last unforgettable taste of Iceland, that ensures you will be fully relaxed when you leave the country. If you plan to take a bath at the Blue Lagoon, we strongly recommend that you book your ticket in advance. It can be booked at www.bluelagoon.com Return to ReykjavÝk and drop off the car.

Driving distance
290 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Selfoss
Keri­
Faxi waterfall ľ Gullfoss Waterfall and Geysir Hot Springs
Ůingvellir
The Blue Lagoon

Overnight:
ReykjavÝk

Recommended optional activity:
Horse Riding Tour South

Day 9. Departure


Transfer from your hotel by Flybus to the Keflavik airport.

ACCOMMODATION

Cat 1

Cat 1

Rooms in guesthouses with shared facilities but sometimes with washbasins in the rooms. Breakfast is included.
Double rooms at most Icelandic hotels are twin rooms with two single beds. In most cases the two single beds can be put together to make a double bed. However this varies from one hotel / guesthouse to another.
Triple rooms are in most cases double rooms with an extra bed and therefore floor space may be limited when an extra bed has been added.

Cat 2

Cat 2

Rooms in guesthouses or hotels with private shower or bath and WC. Breakfast is included.

Cat 3

Cat 3

Rooms in the best quality accommodation available with private shower or bath and WC. Breakfast is included.
Double rooms at most Icelandic hotels are twin rooms with two single beds. In most cases the two single beds can be put together to make a double bed. However this varies from one hotel / guesthouse to another.
Triple rooms are in most cases double rooms with an extra bed and therefore floor space may be limited when an extra bed has been added.

CARS

13.K - Toyota Landcruiser 4WD or similar - Automatic -

13.K - Toyota Landcruiser 4WD or similar - Automatic -

Transmission: Automatic
Seats: 5
Suitcases: 4
Doors: 5

Optional Extra: Would you like to do some extra activities? Below activities can be added to this tour.

Useful Information: Here you will find other information for this tour.


Pick up of rental car is the morning of day 2.

Drop off is in ReykjavÝk the day prior to your departure ľ day 8.

An extra day will be charged if the car is returned later.

Due to road conditions routes may have to be altered without prior notice.

Types of car recommended: 4x4 with high road clearance is required

Accommodation is according to your choice in farmhouses, guesthouses or hotels, cat. 1, 2 or 3. including breakfast. Due to limited availability of accommodation in the Icelandic countryside and a great demand for summer, we are only able to confirm specific category but not a specific hotel in each locality until booking has been made and confirmed.


Early morning arrival: Check in time at hotels is usually between 14:00 - 16:00. If you arrive early morning, you may not be able to check in immediately on arrival.
A credit card imprint will be taken at the start of all rentals for security reasons, even when a voucher covers the cost of the rental. Cash and debit card deposits will not be accepted. This credit card imprint may be used to pay all extra charges, including extra driven kilometres if applicable, extra insurance, parking fines, damages or any costs due to the car rental company as a result of the hirer's use of the car.

Self Drive tours can often be modified according to the clientĺs wishes. If you want to change or extend the tour, add days etc, please contact our office.

Please note that some activities described may only be available during summer.

During winter, road conditions can quickly change. Information on weather and road conditions are available at http://www.vegagerdin.is/english/road-conditions-and-weather/

Map displayed is only for quick reference and is not to scale.

Travel Insurance: To avoid dispute in case of cancellation, we strongly recommend that our clients purchase a comprehensive travel insurance in their home country, that covers your cost should you have to cancel your tour. This kind of travel insurance is usually not expensive and it frequently covers other risks too.

Price Calculator: There are several factors that determine the price of self drive packages:

1. Time of the year.

2. Number of people traveling together

3. Type of car (we offer more than 15 different types of cars)

4. Type of accommodation (we offer 3 different categories of accommodation)

There is a special Price Calculator button at our website with every self drive tour package where you can enter your choice of type of accommodation and car, number of people and when you want to begin the tour (arrival date) and the Price Calculator will calculate and display the price of different options.

Note: Day(s) can be added before and / or after if your arrival and departure does not fit the itinerary of this tour. Additional day tours can be added for the additional day/s. If you have any questions please don┤t hesitate to contact us by email to tour@tour.is and we will be more than happy to advice.

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