Highlands Lowlands Volcanoes and Fjords 16 days

Highlands Lowlands Volcanoes and Fjords 16 days

An ideal package for those who wish to experience the great diversity of the fantastic Icelandic landscape. It includes the Westfjords, the Eastfjords, lowlands and the interior highlands. Icelands highlands are known to be the most extensive unspoilt wilderness in Europe. The tour includes LakagÝgar Craters and many of the greatest attractions in Iceland as well as some of the less visited places.

BP33 Map

BP33 Map

AVAILABLE:
July 5 to September 10

DURATION:
16 days / 15 nights

CAR RENTAL DAYS:
14 Days

DEPARTURES:
Daily

TOUR ID:
BP33

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 Wonders of SnŠfellsnes Peninsula


Pick up your rental car in the morning and head towards Hvalfj÷r­ur Fjord and Borgarnes town. The main road is in a tunnel shortcut under the fjord but the drive around the fjord is scenic and is recommended rather than the tunnel. Continue to Borgarnes, a small town at the north coast of Borgarfj÷r­ur fjord. Continue to the SnŠfellsnes peninsula. Enroute, pass the magnificent Eldborg crater and a number of other craters before exploring the numerous natural wonders the peninsula has to offer. Head to the west along the south shore of SnŠfellsnes towards Arnarstapi, a small fishing hamlet with a spectacular coast and bird cliffs, teeming with birdlife in summer. Continue to Hellnar, another small settlement with varied birdlife. There is an interesting hiking trail along the scenic coast between Arnarstapi and Hellnar, about 30 - 40 minutes easy walk. Continue around the tip of the peninsula at the foot of the magnificent SnŠfellsj÷kull, a cone shaped and ice-capped volcano. Stop at the rocky beaches of Dj˙palˇnssandur and at DritvÝk, popular hiking areas. Continue towards the north side of SnŠfellsnes, passing the fishing towns Rif and Hellissandur on the way to ËlafsvÝk.

Driving distance
280 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Borgarnes town
Hellnar hamlet
Arnarstapi
Lˇndrangar rock formation
SnŠfellsj÷kull Glacier
Stykkishˇlmur Town

Overnight:
SnŠfellsnes area

Recommended optional activity:
The Settlement Exhibition and The Egil Saga Exhibition

Day 3. Brei­afj÷r­ur Bay


Proceed to Stykkishˇlmur town. In the morning (at 11:00) we suggest a very special cruise from Stykkishˇlmur, among the numerous islands of Brei­afj÷r­ur Bay with its unique birdlife. Puffins guillemots, kittiwakes, eiders and many other bird species nest here in great numbers and the white tailed eagles nest here too and are frequently seen. This is an unforgettable experience and takes a little more than 2 hours. The cruise is available daily at 11:00 from 14. May ľ 15. October and at 11:00 on Tuesdays from 15. January - 03. December. Please call 433 2254 for details.In the afternoon, sail with the ferry Baldur across Brei­afj÷r­ur bay with its countless islands and rich bird life to BrjßnslŠkur Port on the north side of the bay. Enroute to BrjßnslŠkur there will be made a short stop at the Flatey Island to drop off and pick up passengers. Visit Lßtrabjarg, one of the most crowded bird cliffs in the world. In summer the Lßtrabjatg sea cliffs are occupied by millions seabirds that nest here.

Driving distance
100 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Lßtrabjarg Cliff

Overnight:
Lßtrabjarg area

Recommended optional activity:
Unique Adventure Cruise on Brei­afj÷r­ur bay

Day 4. The Amazing West Fjords


Head to ═safj÷r­ur town and stop enroute at the impressive Waterfall of Dynjandi. Drive along the shores of the Arnarfj÷r­ur Fjord and across the Hrafnseyrarhei­i Pass to the fishing village Ůingeyri. Proceed From Ůingeyri across Gemlufallshei­i Pass to Flateyri, a small town and take the tunnel to ═safj÷r­ur, the largest town in the Westfjords. Explore the town of ═safj÷r­ur and its surroundings and the neighboring towns, BolungarvÝk and Su­ureyri. In summer, Kayak tours are available on ═safj÷r­ur Fjord and the Natural History Museum of BolungarvÝk is an interesting place to visit.

Driving distance
220 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Dynjandi Waterfall

Overnight:
═safj÷r­ur area

Day 5. The Amazing West Fjords


Explore the town of ═safj÷r­ur, its surroundings and the neighbouring towns of BolungarvÝk and Su­ureyri. In summer, an interesting boat tour to the picturesque Vigur Island is available from ═safj÷r­ur. This is a great adventure for nature lovers. The Natural History Museum of BolungarvÝk is also well worth a visit. Drive along the shores of the numerous and mostly uninhabited fjords of ═safjar­ardj˙p with beautiful coastlines teeming with seals and bird life. Continue to Strandir area.

Driving distance
240 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
═safj÷r­ur Town

Overnight:
Strandir area

Day 6. North West Iceland


Continue via Hr˙tafj÷r­ur and Mi­fj÷r­ur fjords to Bl÷nduˇs. Cross the Vatnsska­ Pass to the fertile valley of Skagafj÷r­ur, renowned for horse breeding. Popular Horse riding tours for beginners and experienced riders are available in Skagafj÷r­ur. In the upper reaches of Skagafj÷r­ur you will also be able to join some of the best White Water Rafting in Iceland. See GlaumbŠr Folk Museum, open during the summer and the old tiny church at VÝ­imřri is well worth a visit. Hˇlar is also an interesting historical place to visit and the town Hofsˇs with its old buildings and the Emigration Center.

Driving distance
300 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
HvÝtserkur Cliff
Vatnsdalshˇlar mounds
GlaumbŠr Folk Museum

Overnight:
Skagafj÷r­ur area

Recommended optional activity:
Horseback Riding

Day 7. Akureyri, the Capital of the North


Spend the morning in the Skagafj÷r­ur area for some more touring and exploring opportunities. In the afternoon, drive to Akureyri, the largest town in the North of Iceland. Explore this fascinating town on the shores of the Eyjafj÷r­ur fjord. One of the most extraordinary aspects of Akureyri is its warm climate. Although it is situated only 60 miles to the south of the Arctic Circle, it has some of the best weather in the country. See the Botanical Gardens and some of the many museums and art galleries.

Driving distance
130 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Akureyri

Overnight:
Eyjafj÷r­ur area

Different options:

Explore Tr÷llaskagi Peninsula. Drive along the eastern shore of Skagafj÷r­ur Fjord to Hofsˇs and further to the north to Fljˇt District. Continue to Siglufj÷r­ur, 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. Take the tunnel to Ëlafsfj÷r­ur, a fishing town on the shores of Eyjafj÷r­ur Fjord. Take a tunnel further and drive to DalvÝk town. Continue further to Akureyri.

Day 8. Lake Mřvatn┤s Stunning Surroundings


Leave Eyjafj÷r­ur in the morning and head for Lake Mřvatn. Stop to take a look at Go­afoss, a spectacular waterfall. Continue on to Lake Mřvatn. Spend the day exploring the many natural wonders of Lake Mřvatn and it's surroundings. The lake area is known for its exceptionally many breeding duck species and the abundance of other birdlife. The lake's surroundings show great variety in landscapes and amazing geological formations. Visit its numerous highlights; Dimmuborgir lava formations, volcano Krafla, Nßmaskar­ geothermal area, Sk˙tusta­agÝgar Craters, the Nature Baths, and numerous other interesting and scenic spots. The geothermal power station at Krafla, Kr÷fluvirkjun is open to visitors during summer (free admission) where you can see how natural hot water from underground and steam under high pressure has been harnessed for generating electricity.
Drive to H˙savÝk, sometimes called ôThe Whale Watching Capital of The Worldö. H˙savÝk was the first place in Iceland to offer Whale Watching cruises and many touristsĺ sole purpose for visiting the town is to participate. The Whale Museum in H˙savÝk is an educational information centre on marine wildlife. Visit the H˙savÝk Natural and Maritime Museum, one of the best in the country.

Driving distance
200 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Go­afoss waterfall
Lake Mřvatn area
Dimmuborgir
H˙savÝk Town

Overnight:
H˙savÝk/Mřvatn area

Recommended optional activity:
Nature Baths
Whale Watching From H˙savÝk

Day 9. J÷kulsßrglj˙fur National Park & Egilssta­ir


Drive to the north to Hljˇ­aklettar, 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 and visit the horseshoe shaped ┴sbyrgi Canyon canyon. Continue to the south along a rather rough but scenic route to Dettifoss waterfall the mightiest waterfall in Europe. From here drive to the east across the highland plateau and across the M÷­rudals÷rŠfi highlands renowned for their stark beauty to the Egilssta­ir and HÚra­ area.

Driving distance
250 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Hljˇ­aklettar rock formations
┴sbyrgi Canyon
Dettifoss Waterfall
Egilssta­ir town
Hallormssta­askˇgur Forest

Overnight:
HÚra­ area

Day 10. The Tranquil East Fjords


Drive to the magnificent East Fjords, some now deserted, each a world of its own. The Stone Collection of Petra at St÷­varfj÷r­ur is well worth a visit. Stop at Dj˙pivogur, a small fishing town. An interesting option is taking a boat tour to Papey Island near Dj˙pivogur where thousands of puffins and other seabirds nest in summer. Continue to the south and past Lˇns÷rŠfi and to top of Almannaskar­ pass for a great view. Continue to H÷fn in Hornafjordur, a blooming community in the realm of the greatest glacier in Europe, Vatnajokull. Snowmobiling tours on Vatnaj÷kull is available here.

Driving distance
250 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
H÷fn

Overnight:
H÷fn area

Day 11. The Great Glacier Lagoon and Skaftafell National Park


Continue to the west and head for J÷kulsßrlˇn, the Glacial Lagoon, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland. Huge icebergs, true sculptures of nature are floating on the blue glacial waters of the lagoon at the foot of the Brei­amerkurj÷kull glacier. An extremely popular boat trip is available from here during summer to sail among the floating icebergs on the lagoon. Seals are a common sight in the lagoon. Continue along the south coast and head for the Skaftafell National Park nestling between glaciers and with many hiking possibilities. Its natural beauty is a result of favourable weather conditions and the interaction of fire and ice. 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 at the Visitors Center. 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. From Skaftafell drive to KirkjubŠjarklaustur.

Driving distance
200 kilometers

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

Overnight:
KirkjubŠjarklaustur area

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

Day 12. LakagÝgar Craters


Continue to LakagÝgar. Total length of this rough route is about 80 km.
A rewarding, although a bumpy drive the scenery at the end of the trail makes it worth the effort as there are few wild and rugged natural wonders that equal the beauty of the Laki Craters area.
The road into the mountains begins on the main highway 1, a short side road leads north to the Holt farm. From this point the trail enters the mountains. The going is rough and rocky in spots, deep-rutted wet and marshy in others. For the most part the route follows the serpentine up and down course. Two considerable rivers, Stjˇrn and Geitlandsß have to be forded. The drive is over rough grazing land and over wet marshy tracts. Small Hellisß River is forded before coming to the end of the trail near Mt. Galti.
At the end of the trail is well worth to hike in this strange but fascinating area, which must be exploited on foot.
This area has been the locality of intermittent volcanic activity in centuries past. Everywhere are vary-coloured volcanic ejecta with its scorched and multi-coloured volcanic crags, blistered with countless cone like craters, little and great colourful dunes of volcanic ash.
LakagÝgar craters, named for Mt. Laki, which the 25km long eruption fissure runs through. The craters are on a roughly south-west to a north-east trending line, the general line of fissure eruptions in Iceland. About two thirds of the more than hundred craters are west of Mt. Laki, while the remainder lies south of it. The craters were created in an eruption of five months duration and from them issued the greatest volume of lava in a single eruption within the historical times of mankind.
By now, most of the enormous surrounding lava flows are covered with a thick carpet of green moss. The whole area, scarred with colourful craters and volcanic debris has a character of grim beauty. The crater pitted surroundings show nature at its most rugged overpowering best and here is one of the most spectacular volcanic areas in the world.
Besides the enormous lavas that issued from the craters, estimated about 500 million tons of gases and ash was ejected. This created clouds laden with ash and pumice and a haze that hung over the entire country during the eruption. These ash clouds spread with winds high up in the stratosphere to encircle the globe and cause colourful sunsets in the northern hemisphere for the next year. From the craters issued mind-boggling masses of molten lava, flowing down to lower ground, in two broad streams, filling and levelling hollows, small valleys and the deep canyon of the river Skaftß on their way down to lowlands, where the broad lava streams spread out to destroy numerous farms. The volume of lava was estimated in excess of thirty billion tons and the area of land covered is about 565 sq km. The aftermath of the eruption caused the death of 1/5 of Iceland's population and most of the livestock. Take the same road back to the main highway.

Driving distance
120 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Laki Craters

Overnight:
KirkjubŠjarklaustur area

Day 13. The Colorful Landmannalaugar


From KirkjubŠjarklaustur drive to the Fjallabak route. The route is one of the most scenic trails in the interior highlands of Iceland, perhaps the most colourful and diversified of the many interesting mountain tracks, rugged colourful landscape of unsurpassed beauty. One of the highlights of the route is Eldgjß, one of the most interesting sights in this part of the country. Here nature has created a unique spectacle splitting mountains and valleys in its course creating a gigantic 30 km long gash into the earth, in some places is up to 600m wide and up to 200m deep. The volcanic fissure is considered to be the greatest of its kind on earth. Only a small part of Eldgjß can be visited by car. ËfŠrufoss, used to be one of the country┤s most beautiful waterfall, framed by a natural bridge, arching over the rivers gorge that collapsed years ago. From Eldgjß, drive along twisting route west along and over a winding rough trail skirting the base of mountains and sometimes through narrow defiles where snow remains long into summer. There is marvellous scenery along the route.
Continue to Landmannalaugar, nesting under the high edge of an obsidian lava flow. Here is a wardens station, mountain hut and a 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 high edge of the obsidian lava above.
The scenic interest in the area is tremendous. The mountains here are perhaps the most varied and colourful in Iceland.
A hike to nearby Blßhnj˙kur, where the visitor has unobstructed view of the surrounding countryside is highly recommended, also to J÷kulgil, a long rugged defile with several side canyons and tributary gullies. High up on the slopes above the lava under which the hut nestles is a colourful thermal area, springs emitting sulphurous odours. Leave Landmannalaugar and pass lake Frostasta­avatn, surrounded by colourful mountains and craters. Continue on a trail that proceeds cutting across some relatively recent lava streams and through the Dˇmadalur valley. Come to Landmannahellir, a cave that runs some distance into a hillside. 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. At the end of the route continue to Hella.

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.

Driving distance
220 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Eldgjß Canyon
Landmannalaugar

Overnight:
Hella area

Day 14. The Golden Circle


Start the day by visiting the volcanic crater Keri­ and then to the waterfall Faxi. Continue to the famous Great Geysir area to see the famous Great Geysir and Strokkur, an active geyser that spouts every few minutes as well as numerous other hot springs. The Geysir Service Center offers a restaurant, hotel, swimming pool, souvenir shop, snack bar, gas station, horse rental, quad bike tours, and a camping area. Continue to the majestic waterfall Gullfoss one of Icelands largest and most beautiful waterfall. From here head to the National Park Thingvellir, 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 show clear evidence of rifting of the earth's crust, - continental drift. There are few places in the world, -if any, where evidence of continental drift is as obvious as it is here. Thingvellir is also the most historical place in Iceland and a place of exceptional beauty. Continue to ReykjavÝk.

Driving distance
210 kilometers

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

Overnight:
ReykjavÝk

Recommended optional activity:
Horse Riding Tour South

Day 15. A Relaxing Bath at The Blue Lagoon


Drive to the Blue Lagoon and enjoy a relaxing bath in an otherworldly setting where lava and thermal water complement each other to prepare you for your journey home. Filled with mineral-rich waters. Soak in the refreshing and healing waters of the Blue Lagoon, and have a wonderful last unforgettable taste of Iceland, that ensures that you are fully relaxed when you leave Iceland. 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
100 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
The Blue Lagoon

Overnight:
ReykjavÝk

Departure


Transfer from your hotel to the KeflavÝk airport by FLYBUS.

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.


Please note that the tour can not start on Thursdays after 28. August

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

Drop off is in ReykjavÝk the day prior to your departure ľ day 15.

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 June and due to road conditions some routes may temporarily not be passable without prior notice.

Types of car recommended: 4x4 car with high road clearance is required for this tour.

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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