The Iceland Grand Circle and the Westman Islands 12 days

The Iceland Grand Circle and the Westman Islands 12 days

The tour includes the full circle plus a visit to the Westman Islands, and a circle trip around the SnŠfellsnes peninsula.

BP27  Map

BP27 Map

AVAILABLE:
June 15 to September 20

DURATION:
12 days / 11 nights

CAR RENTAL DAYS:
10 Days

DEPARTURES:
Daily

TOUR ID:
BP27

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 take the highway 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, drive across Lyngdalshei­i Heath 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. From here, drive to the majestic waterfall Gullfoss one of Icelands most beautiful waterfall. Turn around at Gullfoss and head for Hella, don┤t miss the pretty waterfall Faxi, enroute hidden. Continue to the volcanic crater Keri­.

Driving distance
210 kilometers

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

Overnight:
Hella area

Day 3. The Westman Islands


Drive to the ferry port Bakki and take the ferry to the Westman Islands. The ferry ride takes about 30 minutes and you can take your car with you at an additional cost of ISK 1000,- per person each way and ISK 1600,- for a small car(subject to change. The ferry schedule varies slightly from one day to another but there are usually 4 round trips available daily. For further information and booking, please contact Herjˇlfur's office in the Westman Islands at (+354) 481 2800.

The area is very volcanically active, like the rest of Iceland. There were two major eruptions in the 20th century: the Eldfell eruption of January 1973 which created a 700-foot-high mountain and forced the island's 5000 inhabitants of Heimaey, the largest and only inhabited island to be temporarily evacuated to the mainland, and an eruption in 1963 created the new island Surtsey, the youngest land on the planet. The Islands are rich in birdlife and are the site of the largest puffin colony in the world. Many species of Whales are also frequently seen around the islands.
Spend the day on Heimaey and explore the many wonders of Heimaey, either on foot, by using your car or join an organized guided bus tour around the island. Boat trips are available too. Return to the mainland in the afternoon or evening.

Driving distance
100 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Vestmannaeyjar

Overnight:
Hella area

Day 4. The Beautiful South Coast & KirkjubŠjarklaustur


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 an interesting experience. The glaciers Eyjafjallaj÷kull and Mřrdalsj÷kull are capping the mountains.
Hidden underneath the icecap of the Mřrdalsj÷kull glacier is Katla, one of Icelands most dangerous volcano. During summer, snowmobiling and dog sledding are available on the Mřrdalsj÷kull glacier. Make a detour on a rough gravel road from the main highway to the glacial tongue of Sˇlheimaj÷kull before continuing to the Dyrhˇlaey natural reserve and a nesting colony of numerous seabirds (Dyrhˇlaey is closed for all traffic during the nesting period until June 25th). 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 lava field 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, only a few minutesĺ walk from the road.

Driving distance
170 kilometers

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

Overnight:
KirkjubŠjarklaustur area

Recommended optional activity:
Glacier Walk

Day 5. Skaftafell National Park & The Amazing Glacier Lagoon


Continue from KirkjubŠjarklaustur to Skaftafell National Park, an oasis wedged between glacier and sand. Its natural beauty is a result of unusually favourable weather conditions and the interaction of ice and fire. 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. 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. 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 amazing J÷kulsarlˇn, the Glacial Lagoon where huge icebergs, sculptures of nature, broken off the glacier 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 to H÷fn area. The Glacier Exhibition at H÷fn is a very interesting place to visit. 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 Dj˙pivogur area. 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 area

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

Day 6. The Tranquil Eastjfjords & The Wonders of The North East


Continue to Egilssta­ir. Egilssta­ir is 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 on to the north to visit 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. 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
390 kilometers

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

Overnight:
H˙savÝk/Reykjadalur area

Recommended optional activity:
Whale Watching From H˙savÝk

Day 7. The Lunar Landscape of Lake Mřvatn


Head towards 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 Viti is near Krafla and the Mřvatn Nature Baths are an outstanding attraction too. Stop at Nßmaskar­ Pass where boiling mud pools and flashing colors of the pass merge with lava and ash from the Krafla volcanic system.

Driving distance
120 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Lake Mřvatn
Nature Baths
Dimmuborgir

Overnight:
Lake Mřvatn / Reykjadalur area

Recommended optional activity:
Nature Baths

Day 8. Akureyri ôThe Capital of The Northô


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. If time allows we suggest a circle trip through the Eyjafj÷r­ur valleys.
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.

Driving distance
230 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Go­afoss waterfall
Akureyri
GlaumbŠr Folk Museum

Overnight:
Skagafj÷r­ur area

Day 9. The Sensational SnŠfellsnes Peninsula


After driving through the fertile farmlands of H˙navatnssřsla County and along the shores of Hr˙tafj÷r­ur Fjord continue to the SnŠfellsnes Peninsula and towards 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. During midsummer, Whale Watching tours are available from ËlafsvÝk town. 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. 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 continue 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
420 kilometers

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

Overnight:
Stykkishˇlmur area

Recommended optional activity:
Horseback Riding

Day 10. Borgarfj÷r­ur


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 during summer. 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. The White Tailed Eagles nest here too and are frequently seen. Head to the Borgarfj÷r­ur district and to Borgarnes. From Borgarnes continue towards 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
220 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
Borgarnes town
Deildartunguhver
Reykholt town
Hraunfossar

Overnight:
Borgarnes area

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

Day 11. 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 and 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
210 kilometers

Highlights of the day:
The Blue Lagoon

Overnihgt:
ReykjavÝk

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

Day 12. 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 11

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 in 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, 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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