Iceland Complete Highlands and Lowlands 20 days

Iceland Complete Highlands and Lowlands 20 days

Iceland Complete is our longest self drive tour and covers the most interesting highland and lowland sights in the country.

BP32 Map

BP32 Map

AVAILABLE:
July 5 to September 10

DURATION:
20 days / 19 nights

CAR RENTAL DAYS:
18 Days

DEPARTURES:
Daily

TOUR ID:
BP32

Included

Not Included

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival - Reykjavik


Upon your arrival at Keflavik airport, you will be met by your private driver who will take you to your accommodation in Reykjavik. You will be free for the rest of the day to explore Reykjavik, visit museums, landmarks etc. Downtown ReykjavÝk offers excellent restaurants, cafÚs, bars and clubs. You might want to join an optional tour if you arrive early. You can visit one of the many ReykjavÝkĺs excellent restaurants for dinner.

Highlights of the day:
ReykjavÝk
Perlan
HallgrÝmskirkja Church
Laugavegur Shopping Streat
Gamla H÷fnin (The Old Harbour)
Harpa Concert Hall

Overnight:
ReykjavÝk

Optional activity:
Reykjavik City Card
Reykjavik Food Tour

Day 2. Hvalfj÷r­ur and Borgarfj÷r­ur


Pick up the car in the morning and leave ReykjavÝk to head to the West and visit Borgarnes. Visit the famous Settlement Centre at Borgarnes. The prime objective of the Icelandic Settlement Centre at Borgarnes is to dramatically recreate the fascinating sagas surrounding the birth of this island nation. Multi-media and theatrical techniques are employed to help the visitor experience firsthand the trepidation and excitement of setting off over the open ocean for lands unknown. Multi-media and theatrical techniques are employed to help the visitor experience firsthand the trepidation and excitement of setting off over the open ocean for lands unknown. Return across the fjord and visit Deildartunguhver, Icelandĺs largest hot spring. Take road 518 further inland to the historic Reykholt, home of 13th century chieftain, writer, poet and a scholar Snorri Sturluson. Continue to Hraunfossar and Barnafossar, some of Icelandĺs most scenic waterfalls. Return to Borgarnes.

Driving distance
200 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Borgarnes town
Deildartunguhver
Hraunfossar
Reykholt town

Overnight:
Borgarfj÷r­ur area

Recommended optional activity:
Krauma Baths

Day 3. SnŠfellsnes peninsula


Continue towards SnŠfellsnes Peninsula to explore the countless natural wonders of the area. Enroute you will be passing a number of volcanic craters on both sides of the road, Eldborg being the largest and most beautiful shape. We recommend a visit to B˙­ir, a pretty site located on a natural inlet. Other sites on the south coast are Arnarstapi and Hellnar with a spectacular coast and interesting birdlife and Dj˙palˇnssandur. Much of interesting geological phenomena and historic sites can be found in the SnŠfellsj÷kull National Park, the most recent one in Iceland. As you continue around the tip of the peninsula you will be met with a few small fishing towns. Just outside of Grundarfj÷r­ur you will find Kirkjufell Mountain, the most picturesque mountain in Iceland. Continue to Stykkishˇlmur town, the main town of the SnŠfellsnes Peninsula.

Driving distance
180 kilometers

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

Overnight:
SnŠfellsnes area

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

Day 4. Brei­afj÷r­ur and Lßtrabjarg Cliff


In the morning, take a ferry across Brei­afj÷r­ur Bay with its countless islands to BrjßnslŠkur, a port on the south coast of the Westfjords. Enroute to BrjßnslŠkur, the ferry will make a short stop at Flatey Island to drop off and pick up passengers. Drive from BrjßnslŠkur to Rau­isandur Beach. Continue to Lßtrabjarg, one of the most crowded bird cliffs in the world. In summer the 444 m high sea cliffs are occupied by millions of Puffins, Gannets, Guillemots, Razorbills and other species of seabirds. Enroute, stop at the interesting folk museum at Hnjˇtur.

Driving distance
180 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Patreksfj÷r­ur
Rau­isandur
Lßtrabjarg Cliff

Overnight:
Lßtrabjarg area

Day 5. ═safj÷r­ur town


Drive to the north towards ═safj÷r­ur town. The drive to ═safj÷r­ur, the largest town in the West fjords is characterized by stunning steep-sided mountain scenery and deep and narrow fjords. A stop at the waterfall Dynjandi after crossing the Dynjandishei­i pass is advised. Take the tunnel from Flateyri to ═safj÷r­ur, the largest town in the Westfjords. Explore the town of ═safj÷r­ur and its surroundings, the neighboring towns of BolungarvÝk and Su­ureyri. In summer a Kayak tour on the ═safj÷r­ur fjord is available and the Natural History Museum of BolungarvÝk is also an interesting place to visit.

Driving distance
220 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Dynjandi Waterfall
═safj÷r­ur Town

Overnight:
═safj÷r­ur area

Day 6. Strandir


In summer an interesting boat tour to the picturesque Vigur island is available from ═safj÷r­ur, - a great experience. Drive along the shores of the numerous and some uninhabited, fjords of ═safjar­ardj˙p with beautiful coastlines, teeming with seals and bird life and towards HˇlmavÝk. Enroute is Reykjanes where there is a possibility to take a swim in a geothermal pool. We suggest that you see the Witchcraft museum at HˇlmavÝk. At Drangsnes, a small fishing village across the SteingrÝmsfj÷r­ur fjord is a hot outdoor pool with natural hot water, - popular for bathing, where you can take a dip and relax after a day of driving through the west fjords.

Driving distance
240 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
HˇlmavÝk town

Overnight:
Strandir area

Day 7. HˇlmavÝk and Skagafj÷r­ur


Continue to the fertile valley of Skagafj÷r­ur, renowned for horse breeding. The Icelandic Seal Center at Hvammstangi town is an interesting place to visit. It is a research and exhibition center investigating the lives of seals found in and around Iceland. Around Vatnsnes peninsula you have a unique opportunity to watch both harbour seals and grey seals in their natural habitat. Continue and cross Vatnsskar­ pass to the Skagafj÷r­ur district. Popular horse riding tours for beginners and experienced riders are available in the Skagafj÷r­ur district. Some of the best White Water Rafting in Iceland is available there too. See GlaumbŠr Folk Museum, open during the summer and the old church at VÝ­imřri. Hˇlar is 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:
Vatnsdalshˇlar moundsHvÝtserkur Cliff
GlaumbŠr Folk Museum

Overnight:
North-west Iceland

Recommended optional activity:
Horseback Riding

Day 8. Akureyri The Capital of The North


Drive to Akureyri, the largest town in the North. Explore the fascinating town on the shores of the Eyjafj÷r­ur Fjord. One of the most extraordinary aspects of the town is its mild climate. Although Akureyri is situated only about 60 miles 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

Recommended optional activity:
Forest Lagoon

Different options:

Explore Tr÷llaskagi Peninsula. Take road 76 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 Lßghei­i Pass to Ëlafsfj÷r­ur, a fishing town on the shores of Eyjafj÷r­ur Fjord. A short (15 min.) ferry ride is available several times daily (every 1-2 hours) during summer from ┴rskˇgssandur to the small Island HrÝsey. HrÝsey has earned a reputation as a birdwatching destination. There are no natural predators on the island, making it an ideal bird sanctuary.

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. This is a great hiking area.
The tunnel is in two sections: Siglufj÷r­ur to HÚ­insfj÷r­ur: 3,7 km and from HÚ­infj÷r­ur to Ëlafsfj÷r­ur 6,9 km

Day 9. The Amazing Lake Mřvatn area


Leave the Akureyri area and head for Lake Mřvatn. Stop at the pretty waterfall Go­afoss. Spend the day exploring the numerous natural wonders of the Lake Mřvatn area and its surroundings. The lake area is known worldwide for abundance of birdlife and great number of duck species, breeding in one place in summer. The lake's surroundings show amazing formations of geological interest and great variety of landscapes. Visit the numerous highlights of the area: Dimmuborgir lava formations, Nßmaskar­ geothermal area, Sk˙tusta­agÝgar pseudo craters, the Nature Baths, the volcano Krafla, and numerous other interesting and scenic spots.
Proceed to H˙savÝk, sometimes called "The Whale Watching Capital of The World". 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.

Driving distance
150 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Go­afoss waterfall
Lake Mřvatn
Sk˙tusta­agÝgar Pseudo Craters
Hverfell Crater
Nßmaskar­
Dimmuborgir
H˙savÝk Town

Overnight:
H˙savÝk/Lake Mřvatn area

Recommended optional activity:
Nature Baths

Day 10. J÷kulsßrglj˙fur National Park


Leave H˙savÝk and drive to the north towards the Íxarfj÷r­ur Bay to ┴sbyrgi canyon is a strange and spectacular horseshoe shaped canyon by the main road, - not to be missed. Head back 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. Continue to the south to Dettifoss waterfall, the largest waterfall in Europe. From Dettifoss proceed back to Mřvatn

Driving distance
100 kilometers

Highlights:
H˙savÝk Town
Hljˇ­aklettar rock formations
┴sbyrgi Canyon

Overnight:
Íxarfj÷r­ur area.

Recommended optional activity:
Whale Watching From H˙savÝk

Day 11. Dettifoss Waterfall - Her­ubrei­alindir - Askja - VÝti - Egilssta­ir


Today is a real highland adventure. You will drive through deserted lava fields to Her­urbrei­arlindir springs, situated at the foot of Mt. Her­brei­, sometimes called the Queen of the Icelandic highlands. Her­ubrei­arlindir, at an altitude of 484 m is a green oasis in a near desert landscape. Leaving Her­ubrei­arlindir, the track continues through the lava, winding around the gravely slopes of Her­ubrei­art÷gl mountain range. To the south, two pyramid shaped peaks of Upptyppingar rising from a level plain are a landmark in this area. On the southern horizon is the edge of the Vatnaj÷kull ice field. Up ahead to the west, the volcanic massif Dyngjufj÷ll, rise abruptly above the highland plateau. In their centre lies the Askja caldera. A thirty-minute hike takes you from the end of the road to the Askja lake, where you find the explosion crater VÝti, a lovely spot for a dip in natural geothermal warmth and comfort of the water in the crater lake. Leave Askja and head towards Egilssta­ir, enroute see the beautiful Hafrahvammaglj˙fur canyon.

Driving distance
320 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Dettifoss Waterfall
Her­ubrei­arlindir
Askja
Egilssta­ir town
Hallormssta­askˇgur Forest

Overnight:
HÚra­ area

Day 12. The Tranquil East Fjords


Spend the day exploring the northern part of the Eastfjords. Drive to Bakkager­i, a small fishing settlement. Enroute, drive Njar­vÝkurskri­ur, a very steep scree between the Njar­vÝk bay and Borgarfj÷r­ur. Borgarfjordur Eystri is the northernmost of the Eastfjords. Large and very colourful rhyolite intrusions decorate parts of the beautiful mountainous landscape, which is rich in half precious and semi precious stones. Fishing, fish processing and tourism are the bases of livelihood. Birdwatchers should use the birdwatching shelter down by the old harbour, and drive to the new harbour on the opposite side of the bay to visit the colonies of puffins, fulmars and kittiwakes. Many marked hiking trails of one of the most popular hiking areas of Iceland lead between the mountains and coves in the nearby area. Return the same route to Egilssta­ir town. Drive across Fjar­arhei­i Pass and drive to Sey­isfj÷r­ur Fjord, a small fishing town and a ferry port. This is a very scenic drive. Sey­isfj÷r­ur is surrounded by mountains on all sides with most prominent Mt. Bjˇlfur to the West (1085m) and Strandartindur (1010m) to the East. The fjord itself is accessible on each side from the town, by following the main road that leads through the town. Further out the fjord is fairly remote but rich with natural interests including puffin colonies. The town of Sey­isfj÷r­ur is well-known for its old wooden buildings and has remnants of urban street configurations within its urban fabric. There are several waterfalls in the town. A popular hiking path starts at the town center, following the East bank of the Fjar­arß, the river that flows through the center of town. Further up the river there are 25 waterfalls. After a visit to Sey­isfj÷r­ur, return to Egilssta­ir area.

Driving distance
220 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Sey­isfj÷r­ur town

Overnight:
HÚra­ area

Day 13. Egilssta­ir - H÷fn


Drive from Egilssta­ir to the magnificent East Fjords, some now deserted, each a world of its own. A short cut is possible here, - instead of driving along the coast it is now possible to take the Íxi Pass (road 939), a steep and spectacular route. Please see map. The stone collection of Petra at St÷­varfj÷r­ur is interesting to visit. 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, Vatnaj÷kull. The village H÷fn is located at the base of Vatnaj÷kull, and the scenery is breathtaking. We recommend a visit to the Glacier Exhibition at H÷fn.

Driving distance
260 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
H÷fn

Overnight:
H÷fn area

Day 14. The Awe-Inspiring Glacier Lagoon & Skaftafell National Park


Drive to the famous Glacier Lagoon, where huge icebergs, true sculptures of nature, broken off Brei­amerkurj÷kull glacier, float and grind together in the blue waters of the lagoon. You can also go down to the Diamond Beach. Continue along the South Coast to Vatnaj÷kull National Park. As you reach the Vatnaj÷kull area, you wonĺt miss Skaftafell National Park with its great views. There you can also find many hiking trails, for example to the beautiful Svartifoss Waterfall. Continue to VÝk where you will stay for the night. On your way you will pass Fja­rßrglj˙fur Canyon and KirkjubŠjarklaustur Village.

Driving distance
200 kilometers

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

Overnight:
Klaustur area

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

Day 15. LakagÝgar Craters


Drive to LakagÝgar craters. 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 area.
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 on Earth in a single eruption within historical times.

Driving distance
120 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Laki Craters

Overnight:
Klaustur area

Day 16. Fjallabak route & Landmannalaugar


The Fjallabak route is one of the most scenic trails in the interior highlands of Iceland. One of the highlights of the route is Eldgjß, one of the most interesting sights in this part of the country. There you can see the ËfŠrufoss Waterfall. Continue to Landmannalaugar, nesting under the high edge of an obsidian lava flow. Here is a warden 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. There you can find many interesting hiking trails. Leave Landmannalaugar and pass lake Frostasta­avatn, surrounded by colourful mountains and craters. Visit Landmannahellir, a cave that runs some distance into a hillside. This mountain track known as Landmannalei­ is rugged and rocky in sections. 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.

Driving distance
220 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Eldgjß Canyon
Landmannalaugar
Mt. Hekla
Lake Frostasta­avatn

Overnight:
Hvolsv÷llur area

Day 17. The Beautiful South Coast


Continue to the east on road 1, heading for the Eyjafj÷ll district. Stop at the waterfall Seljalandsfoss where it is possible to walk behind the waterfall in summer, a quite a unique experience. The impressive waterfall Skˇgafoss is a little further east and donĺt miss the Folk Museum at Skˇgar, close to the waterfall. 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. Back to the main road and continue to VÝk, a small village on the black beach.

Driving distance
90 kilometers

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

Overnight:
VÝk area

Recommended optional activity:
Snowmobiling on Solheimajokull Glacier
ATV Black Sand Beach and Plane Wreck
Katla Ice Cave

Day 18. The Great Golden Circle


Continue to Selfoss before going to the Golden Circle with stops at the Keri­ Crater and the waterfall Faxi before arriving at the Geysir area. There you can see the famous Great Geysir and Strokkur, a very active geyser that spouts every few minutes, as well as numerous other hot springs. From Geysir, continue a short distance further to the majestic waterfall Gullfoss, one of Icelandĺs largest and most beautiful waterfalls. Make Gullfoss a turnaround point and head back to Geysir area. Head to Ůingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The faults and fissures of the area are evidence of the rifting of the earth's crust. Thingvellir is one of the most historical sites in the country and a place of exceptional beauty. From the National Park head back to ReykjavÝk.

Driving distance
270 kilometers

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

Overnight:
Reykjavik

Recommended optional activity:
Glacier Walk
LAVA Centre
Snorkeling in Silfra Fissure

Day 19. Reykjanes Peninsula and Blue Lagoon


Leave ReykjavÝk and make a circle trip on Reykjanes peninsula to Lake Kleifarvatn, KrřsuvÝk geothermal area and visit the Blue Lagoon. Visit Lake Kleifarvatn and KrřsuvÝk geothermal area for a feel of the power of Earth. Further along the peninsula you can find attractions like Brimketill and Gunnuhver Hot Spring. Close the circle trip around the peninsula at the Blue Lagoon. Enjoy a relaxing bath in an otherworldly setting. In this unique area, lava and thermal water complement each other to prepare you for your journey home. Soak in the refreshing 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. Return to ReykjavÝk and drop off the car.

Driving distance
200 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
The Blue Lagoon

Overnight:
ReykjavÝk

Recommended optional activity:
Blue Lagoon Comfort Admission

Day 20. Departure


Private transfer from the hotel to Keflavik International Airport.

ACCOMMODATION

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.

Why book your Self Drive Tour with Tour.is?
  • Highly competitive prices
  • We include more
  • Outstanding response time and customer care
  • Knowledgeable and motivated team of travel agents
  • Great reviews from visitors
  • We offer cancellation insurance


  • 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 19.

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

    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.

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

    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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