The Iceland Grand Circle 11 days

The Iceland Grand Circle 11 days

This tour includes the full circle plus the SnŠfellsnes peninsula.

BP19 Map

BP19 Map

AVAILABLE:
June 15 to September 20

DURATION:
11 days / 10 nights

CAR RENTAL DAYS:
9 Days

DEPARTURES:
Daily

TOUR ID:
BP19

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 deliver travel documents and take you to your accommodation in Reykjavik.

Highlights of the day:
ReykjavÝk

Overnight:
ReykjavÝk

Day 2. The Great Golden Circle


Pick up your car in the morning and head for the beautiful 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, drive across Lyngdalshei­i to the school center Laugarvatn and 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 on the same road as before a little further than Geysir. Take road number 35 and don┤t miss the pretty waterfall Faxi. Rafting on the HvÝtß River is available during summer from Drumboddssta­ir. Continue to the impressive volcanic crater Keri­ a bit further.

Driving distance
200 kilometers

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

Overnight:
Hella / Hvolsv÷llur area

Day 3. The Beautiful South Coast


Continue to the east heading for the Eyjafj÷ll district and stop at the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skˇgafoss. In summer, it is possible to walk behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall, - this is a quite unique experience. The glaciers Eyjafjallaj÷kull and Mřrdalsj÷kull are capping the mountains 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.
Hidden underneath the icecap of the Mřrdalsj÷kull glacier is Katla, one of Icelands most dangerous volcano. During summer, snowmobiling is available on the Mřrdalsj÷kull glacier. Make a detour to the glacial tongue of Sˇlheimaj÷kull, a part of the Mřrdalsj÷kull Icefield before continuing to the Dyrhˇlaey natural reserve and a nesting colony of numerous seabirds. Drive to Reynishverfi, with beautiful coast, spectacular rock formations and thousands of nesting seabirds which nest in almost every crevice in summer. Continue to VÝk, a small village on the black beach. Drive across the Mřrdalssandur floodplains and Eldhraun, the largest lavafield ever to flow on Earth in historical time, and to the small village Kirkjubaejarklaustur. Fja­rßrglj˙fur is a narrow and beautiful canyon a few km to the west from KirkjubŠjarklaustur, worth taking a look at. At KirkjubŠjarklaustur, see Kirkjugˇlfi­ (the Church Floor), a protected natural monument just east of the village. Kirkjugˇlfi­ is columnar basalt, shaped and eroded by water and wind.

Driving distance
170 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
Skˇgafoss Waterfall
Dyrhˇlaey Nature Reserve
VÝk Town
Reynisfjara beach
Fja­rßrglj˙fur Canyon
KirkjubŠjarklaustur town
Kirkjugˇlf Basalt Columns

Overnight:
KirkjubŠjarklaustur / SÝ­a area

Recommended optional activity:
Horse Riding Tour South
Glacier Walk
Snowmobiling on Solheimajokull Glacier

Day 4. Skaftafell National Park & The Impressive Glacier Lagoon


Continue from Klaustur over Skeidarßrsandur, vast tracts of black sandy desert washed down by numerous torrential glacial rivers. Stop at Skaftafell national Park, an oasis wedged between glacier and sand. Its natural beauty is a result of unusually favorable weather conditions and the interaction of ice and fire. See the interesting Visitors Center where you can learn the history of fire and ice in the region and a video of the volcanic eruption and the catastrophic flood in the area in 1996 can also be viewed. 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. An interesting hiking trail takes you to Svartifoss, one of Icelands most picturesque waterfall, framed in by beautiful basalt columns that surround it. In the Skaftafell area are many other interesting hiking trails. Continue to the great J÷kulsarlˇn, the Glacial Lagoon where huge icebergs, sculptures of nature, float and grind together in the deep blue waters of the lagoon. An interesting cruise among the icebergs on the Lagoon is available in summer. From here, drive further east towards the H÷fn area. From H÷fn, continue through the Almannaskard tunnel to Lˇns÷rŠfi, a mountainous wilderness ringed by extinct volcanoes and traversed by glacial rivers. Drive past towering mountains with bare rock faces that plunge almost vertically into the sea. Proceed to the magnificent East Fjords, some are now deserted and each a world of its own. An interesting option is taking a boat tour to Papey Island near Dj˙pivogur where thousands of puffins and other seabirds nest in summer.

Driving distance
300 kilometers

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

Overnight:
Dj˙pivogur / HÚra­ area

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

Day 5. The Tranquil Eastjfjords & The Wonders of J÷kulsßrglj˙fur National Park


Continue to Egilssta­ir, a small town on the banks of the river Lagarfljˇt. Continue from Egilssta­ir along J÷kuldalur Valley and across the highland desert of M÷­rudals÷rŠfi, - heading towards Akureyri. Continue to the north along a rather rough but scenic route to the powerful 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. 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
400 kilometers

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

Overnight:
Íxarfj÷r­ur / H˙savÝk area

Recommended optional activity:
Whale Watching From H˙savÝk

Day 6. The Lunar Landscape of Lake Mřvatn


Drive 85 and later 87 to Lake Mřvatn. Spend the day at Lake Myvatn and surroundings to explore the numerous wonders of the area. 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. The Lake Mřvatn area is known worldwide for the abundance of birdlife and itĺs 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 pseudo craters near Sk˙tusta­ir and many other scenic spots in the area surrounding the lake. The Nature Baths at Mřvatn are a great attraction where one can take a bath in geothermal water in the open air. Overnight in the Mřvatn - Reykjadalur area.

Driving distance
100 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Lake Mřvatn area
Nature Baths
Dimmuborgir

Overnight:
Mřvatn / Reykjadalur area

Recommended optional activity:
Nature Baths

Day 7. Akureyri ĹĹThe Capital of The NorthĹĹ


Head towards Akureyri, the capital of the north. Stop enroute at the beautiful waterfall Go­afoss. One of the most extraordinary aspects of the 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 road 1 through the majestic mountains surrounding Íxnadalur Valley and across 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.

Driving distance
220 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Go­afoss waterfall
Akureyri
GlaumbŠr Folk Museum

Overnight:
Skagafj÷r­ur area

Different option:

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 8. The Countless Wonders of SnŠfellsnes Peninsula


After driving through the fertile farmlands of H˙navatnssřsla County continue to the charming village of Stykkishˇlmur. Spend the day to explore the countless natural wonders of the SnŠfellsnes peninsula that divides the west coast of Iceland into two large bays. Head to the west towards the tip of the peninsula passing the small fishing towns Grundarfj÷r­ur, ËlafsvÝk, Rif and Hellissandur. Much of interesting geological phenomena and historic sites can be found in the SnŠfellsj÷kull National Park, the most recent one in Iceland. Among many places of interest are DritvÝk, Dj˙palˇnssandur and Índver­arnes a former fishing station. Make a short detour to Dj˙palˇnssandur and take a short walk along a marked path to the beach. Drive around the tip of the peninsula at the foot of SnŠfellsj÷kull, a glaciated volcano, the backdrop for the famous novel ôThe Journey to the Centre of the Earthö written by the famous French author, Jules Verne. Ů˙fubjarg is a spectacular cliff and a nesting colony of numerous seabirds, only a few minutesĺ walk from the road, shortly after passing Lˇndrangar. Continue to Arnarstapi and Hellnar to view beautiful and spectacular coast and interesting birdlife. There is an interesting museum at Hellnar. Visit B˙­ir, a pretty site located on a natural inlet. From B˙­ir head to the east along the south coast of the peninsula. Seals can often be seen on land or in the water at the farm Ytri Tunga, only a few hundred meters drive from the main road.

Driving distance
430 kilometers

Highligthts of the day:
Vatnsdalshˇlar mounds
HvÝtserkur Cliff
Dj˙palˇnssandur
SnŠfellsj÷kull Glacier
Lˇndrangar rock formation
Arnarstapi
Hellnar hamlet
Stykkishˇlmur Town

Overnight:
SnŠfellsnes area

Recommended optional activity:
Horseback Riding

Day 9. West Iceland


In the morning we recommend a very special cruise from Stykkishˇlmur, among the numerous islands of the Brei­afj÷r­ur bay with its unique birdlife. Puffins Guillemots, Kittiwakes, Eiders and many other bird species nest here in great numbers. The White Tailed Eagles nest here too and are frequently seen. This is an unforgettable experience. Head to the Borgarfj÷r­ur district and to Borgarnes. From Borgarnes continue to Reykholt. Stop at Deildartunguhver hot spring, the largest hot spring in Europe. Continue a short distance further to the historic site Reykholt. Visit the interesting historical museum at Reykholt and see the hot pool Snorralaug. Drive further inland to the beautiful Hraunfossar and Barnafossar Waterfalls. Make the waterfalls a turnaround point and head back towards Borgarnes.

Driving distance
300 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Borgarnes town
Deildartunguhver
Reykholt town
Hraunfossar

Overnight:
Borgarfj÷r­ur area

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

Day 10. A Relaxing Bath at The Blue Lagoon

Head towards Reykjavik. Make a detour along the shores of Hvalfj÷r­ur Fjord to Reykjavik. From Reykjavik, head out to the Reykjanes Peninsula for a visit to 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
240 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
The Blue Lagoon

Overnight:
ReykjavÝk

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

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

01.A - Hyundai I10 or similar - Manual -

01.A - Hyundai I10 or similar - Manual -

Transmission: Manual
Seats: 4
Suitcases: 1
Doors: 5

02.D - Hyundai I10 or similar - Automatic -

02.D - Hyundai I10 or similar - Automatic -

Transmission: Automatic
Seats: 4
Suitcases: 1
Doors: 5

03.N - Hyundai I20 or similar - Manual -

03.N - Hyundai I20 or similar - Manual -

Transmission: Manual
Seats: 5
Suitcases: 2
Doors: 5

04.O - Hyundai I20 or similar - Automatic -

04.O - Hyundai I20 or similar - Automatic -

Transmission: Automatic
Seats: 5
Suitcases: 2
Doors: 5

05.B - Hyundai I30 or similar - Manual -

05.B - Hyundai I30 or similar - Manual -

Transmission: Manual
Seats: 5
Suitcases: 2
Doors: 5

06.L - Hyundai I30 or similar - Automatic -

06.L - Hyundai I30 or similar - Automatic -

Transmission: Automatic
Seats: 5
Suitcases: 2
Doors: 5

07.E - Hyundai I30 station or similar - Manual -

07.E - Hyundai I30 station or similar - Manual -

Transmission: Manual
Seats: 5
Suitcases: 4
Doors: 5

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

14.XE - VW Transporter 2WD or similar - Manual -

14.XE - VW Transporter 2WD or similar - Manual -

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

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: Any. During September, snow and ice can be expected. Although the route of this tour is usually passable by any car type , we strongly recommend 4x4 during September.

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 2043, 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.

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.
Find out more how we use cookies