Highlands and Lowlands Adventure 11 days

Highlands and Lowlands Adventure 11 days

This tour covers many of the most interesting lowland sights in Iceland, as well as being a real highland adventure. It includes rough trails, only passable in summer by 4x4 vehicles with high road clearance.

BP22 Map

BP22 Map

AVAILABLE:
July 6 to September 10

DURATION:
11 days / 10 nights

CAR RENTAL DAYS:
9 Days

DEPARTURES:
Daily

TOUR ID:
BP22

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.

Highlights of the day:
ReykjavÝk

Overnight:
ReykjavÝk

Day 2. The Great Golden Circle


Pick up your car in the morning and head to Thingvellir (Ůingvellir) National Park, a unique place from a geological point of view and a place of great beauty. Research has shown that Thingvellir is a natural wonder on an international scale. The faults and fissures of the area are clear evidence of the rifting of the earth's crust. Thingvellir is also the most historical place in the country and a place of exceptional beauty. After exploring the area continue further inland to the Great Geysir area. Explore the numerous hot springs and see the famous Great Geysir and Strokkur, a very active geyser that spouts every few minutes. The Geysir Service Center offers a hotel, restaurant, a swimming pool, snack bar, souvenir shop, gas station, a geo-center multimedia show, horse rental, quad bike tours, and a camping area. From here, drive to the majestic waterfall Gullfoss one of Icelands most beautiful waterfall. Turn around at Gullfoss and head back to the circular highway, don┤t miss the pretty waterfall Faxi, hidden a short distance from the road. Continue to the volcanic crater Keri­ for some photos. Continue to the village Hvolsv÷llur.

Driving distance
210 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Ůingvellir
Gullfoss Waterfall and Geysir Hot Springs
Faxi waterfall
Keri­

Overnight:
Hvolsv÷llur area

Recommended optional activity:
Horse Riding Tour South

Day 3.The Colorful Landscape of Landmannalaugar & The Beautiful South Shore


Today you will drive to Landmannalaugar area, only passable by a 4 x 4 vehicle in summer. The track 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. Come to Landmannahellir, a cave that runs some distance into a hillside. The scenic interest in the area is tremendous. The surrounding mountains are perhaps the most varied and colourful 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. The trail proceeds cutting across some relatively recent lava streams and through the Dˇmadalur valley.
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 cold water 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. Head back for the circular highway. 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 (passable only during summer) 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.

Driving distance
330 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Landmannalaugar
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
Skˇgafoss Waterfall
Reynisfjara beach
Dyrhˇlaey Nature Reserve

Overnight:
VÝk area

Day 4. 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). 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 J÷kulsßrlˇn, the Glacial Lagoon where huge icebergs, broken off the Brei­amerkurj÷kull 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. The Glacier Exhibition at H÷fn is a very interesting place to visit, not to be missed and snowmobiling tours are available on the Vatnaj÷kull glacier in summer.

Driving distance
280 kilometers

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

Overnight:
H÷fn area

Recommended optional activity:
Amphibian boat Tour on J÷kulsßrlˇn Glacier Lagoon

Day 5. The Tranquil East Fjords


From H÷fn, drive through the Almannaskard tunnel and past the colourful 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. An interesting option is taking a boat tour to Papey Island from Dj˙pivogur where thousands of puffins and other seabirds nest in summer. 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. Continue to Egilssta­ir town.

Driving distance
270 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Egilssta­ir town
Hallormssta­askˇgur Forest

Overnight:
Egilssta­ir area

Day 6. The Stunning North East


Start the day by heading to the powerfull Dettifoss waterfall, the largest waterfall in Europe. From Dettifoss proceed further to the north and drive to ┴sbyrgi canyon, a strange and spectacular horseshoe shaped canyon not to be missed. From ┴sbyrgi drive a short distance to the west and make a detour to Vesturdalur and Hljˇ­aklettar, the Echo rocks, an extremely beautiful canyon carved by the river J÷kulsß ß Fj÷llum. This area offers many interesting hiking trails to explore the many wonders of the J÷kulsßrglj˙fur National Park. After exploring Hljˇ­aklettar and Vesturdalur, proceed to H˙savÝk, sometimes called ôThe Whale Watching Capital of The Worldö. H˙savÝk was the first place in the country to offer very successful Whale Watching cruises. The Whale Museum in H˙savÝk is an educational centre on marine wildlife. Visit the H˙savÝk Natural and Maritime Museum, one of the best museums of its kind in the country. Whale watching cruises are available daily from early morning until late at night during summer season.

Driving distance
250 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Dettifoss Waterfall
┴sbyrgi Canyon
Hljˇ­aklettar rock formations
H˙savÝk Town

Overnight:
H˙savÝk area

Recommended optional activity:
Whale Watching From H˙savÝk

Day 7. The Lunar Landscape of Lake Mřvatn


Head to Lake Mřvatn. The Lake Mřvatn area is known worldwide for the abundance of birdlife and its exceptionally many breeding duck species. The lake's surroundings show great variety in stunning landscapes and amazing geological formations. Explore the natural beauty of the Lake Mřvatn area, the wonderland of strange rock formations. Stop at Dimmuborgir, the "Dark Castles" and see the pseudocraters near Sk˙tusta­ir and many other scenic spots in the area surrounding the lake. See Krafla volcanic system where the most recent eruptions took place in 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. Stop at the Nßmaskar­ pass where boiling mud pools and flashing colours of the pass merge with lava and ash from the Krafla volcanic system.

Driving distance
100 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Lake Mřvatn area
Nature Baths
Dimmuborgir

Overnight:
Lake Mřvatn area

Recommended optional activity:
Nature Baths

Day 8. Akureyri The Capital of The North


Head towards Akureyri, the capital of the north. Stop enroute at the beautiful waterfall Go­afoss. One of the most extraordinary aspects of Akureyri town is its unusually warm climate. Although it is situated only 40 km south of the Arctic Circle, it has some of the best weather in the country. See the famous Botanical Gardens of Akureyri and some of the many museums and art galleries. Drive through the majestic mountains surrounding Íxnadalur valley and across the Íxnadalshei­i pass which leads to the Skagafjordur district. Popular horse riding tours for beginners and experienced riders are available here. In Skagafj÷r­ur you will also be able to join some of the best white water rafting in Iceland. Here we recommend a visit to the old turf and stone farm / museum at GlaumbŠr and the old tini church at VÝ­imřri. An interesting boat trip is available during summer from near Sau­ßrkrˇkur to the spectacular Drangey Island on the Skagafj÷r­ur fjord with its sheer cliffs and rich birdlife, certainly a great experience.

Driving distance
230 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Go­afoss waterfall
Akureyri
GlaumbŠr Folk Museum

Overnight:
Skagafj÷r­ur area

Different options:

Explore Tr÷llaskagi Peninsula. Take road 82 to the north along the western shore of Eyjafj÷r­ur Fjord to DalvÝk town. A short (15 min.) ferry ride is available several times daily (every 1-2 hours) during summer from ┴rskˇgssandur to the Island HrÝsey. HrÝsey has earned a reputation as a bird watching destination. There are no natural predators on the island, making it an ideal bird sanctuary. Drive further to the north to Ëlafsfj÷r­ur town. An approximately 11 km new tunnel has recently been opened that cuts driving distance between Siglufj÷r­ur and Ëlafsfj÷r­ur by about 47 km. It enables easy access to the isolated and pretty HÚ­insfj÷r­ur valley, that in the past used to be the most remote settlement in North Iceland. Due to the remoteness, the valley was abandoned in the middle of the 20th century.
The tunnel is in two sections: Siglufj÷r­ur to HÚ­insfj÷r­ur: 3.7 km and from HÚ­infj÷r­ur to Ëlafsfj÷r­ur 6.9 km. Drive to Siglufj÷r­ur fishing town, a remotely located fishing town that during the herring boom in early 20th century used to be the most prosperous fishing town in Iceland. Visit the award-winning Siglufj÷r­ur Herring Era Museum. It charts the rise and decline of the former "Herring Capital of the World" and the great Herring Adventure that lasted until 1968. Continue on 76 to the south along the shores of Skagafj÷r­ur Fjord to Hofsˇs town and further to Sau­ßrkrˇkur.

Day 9. Kj÷lur Highland Route to Gullfoss & Geysir


The route leads over the interior highland track Kj÷lur, "The Keel", a broad rocky lava covered pass between the giant icefields, Hofsj÷kull and Langj÷kull. Kj÷lur or Kjalvegur as it is also called is one of two major interior tracks leading across the country. On a fine day, - Kjalvegur is an unforgettable drive of breathtaking beauty. Drive past manmade Lake Bl÷nduˇn, a large water reservoir for an electric power station Bl÷nduvirkjun. The power station is usually open to visitors during summer. From here enter the Kj÷lur. Along the uninhabited highland route there are extensive views of mountains of all sizes and shapes, the two ice fields Langj÷kull and Hofsj÷kull, a black desert and towards Kerlingarfj÷ll a colourful range of rhyloite mountains, their highest peak rising 1477m. This is a true mountain wilderness of spectacular peaks, canyons and hidden here are strange and colourful thermal areas. Exploring here on foot is the only way, brings the thrills of all sorts of unexpected discoveries. At Hveravellir is a colourful geothermal area between the glaciers Langj÷kull and Hofsj÷kull a picturesque hot-spring area on the northern fringe of the Kjalhraun lava field, in a shallow valley-like depression. The springs are surrounded by sinter terraces and display different colours and a variety of forms. There is a mountain hut and a warden station at Hveravellir open during the summer months. Close to the mountain hut there is a small pool ideal for a dip in the thermal water. Follow the Kj÷lur route to the majestic Waterfall Gullfoss and further to Geysir area with its numerous geyserĺs and hot springs.

Driving distance
240 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Hveravellir Geothermal Area
Langj÷kull Glacier
Gullfoss Waterfall and Geysir Hot Springs

Overnight:
Geysir area

Day 10. A Relaxing Bath at The Blue Lagoon


Take road 35 to Selfoss. Stop enroute at the crater Keri­. Take road 1 towards ReykjavÝk. 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. Close up the circle to ReykjavÝk and head out to the Reykjanes Peninsula and to the Blßa Lˇni­, - the Blue Lagoon. 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
200 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
The Blue Lagoon

Overnight:
ReykjavÝk

Day 11. Departure


Transfer from your hotel by FLYBUS to KeflavÝk 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

10.P - Dacia Duster 4WD or similar - Manual -

10.P - Dacia Duster 4WD or similar - Manual -

Transmission: Manual
Seats: 5
Suitcases: 3
Doors: 5

11.H - Suzuki Vitara 4WD or similar - Automatic -

11.H - Suzuki Vitara 4WD or similar - Automatic -

Transmission: Automatic
Seats: 5
Suitcases: 3
Doors: 5

12.J - Kia Sorento 4WD or similar - Automatic -

12.J - Kia Sorento 4WD or similar - Automatic -

Transmission: Automatic
Seats: 5
Suitcases: 3
Doors: 5

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

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

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

15.XG - VW Transporter 4WD or similar - Manual -

15.XG - VW Transporter 4WD or similar - Manual -

Transmission: Manual
Seats: 9
Suitcases: 4
Doors: 3

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 10.

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.
The highland tracks of Iceland are usually not expected to be open until early in June and due to road conditions some routes may temporarily not be passable without prior notice.

Types of car recommended: 4WD 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.

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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