7 Nights: 3 x REYKJAVIK, 3 x AKUREYRI, 1 x REYKJAVIK
Explore the capital city of Reykjavik before travelling across Iceland’s rugged highlands to Akureyri, capital of the North
- Dates & Prices
- Price Includes
A serious exploration of south and north Iceland, connected by an intrepid highland bus journey called the Kjölur route. This route is not only off-the-beaten track, it is a unique insight into the remote inner terrain of Iceland.
Some areas of Iceland can often be difficult to reach without a car but not anymore! We have put together this fabulous tour featuring included full day small-group guided explorations of the south and north, with a free day in each destination to catch your breath and explore independently or simply relax.
This really is a route less travelled and is perfect for those who wish to explore Iceland as much as possible without hiring a car.
Day 1 | Reykjavik
Arrive at Keflavik Airport and take the airport shuttle bus to your centrally located hotel in Reykjavik.
3 nights REYKJAVIK - Fosshotel Baron (3*) or Fosshotel Reykjavik (4*)
Meals included today: None
Day 2 | South Coast Exploration**
Today embark on your included South Coast Exploration small group tour (approx. 9½ hours). Pick-up time is from 0830 to 0900.
Your journey takes you along the south coast of Iceland, one of the country’s most scenic regions, as far as Vík, a charming village surrounded by high beautiful bird cliffs. Amongst the stops on this tour are the gorgeous Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls. Seljalandsfoss is part of the Seljandsá river, which has its origins in Eyjafjallajökull glacier. What makes Seljalandsfoss so famous and interesting is that you can walk behind it. We recommend you bring either a raincoat or a waterproof coat along if you want to walk behind it. Skógafoss, another famous Icelandic waterfall, is the starting point of the Fimmvörðuháls walk over to Þórsmörk. The waterfall was also used in the films Thor: The Dark World and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
A stop is also made at Reynisfjara black sand beach, with the Reynisdrangar rock formations and columnar basalt. A stop is also included at Sólheimajökull with a walk up to a small lake which has formed in front of the retreating glacier.
Meals included today: Breakfast*
* Lunch is not included but suitable stops are made along the way where you will be able to buy a meal and refreshments.
** Excursion may operate on Day 3, depending upon day of departure from the UK.
Day 3 | Explore Reykjavik
Free days in Reykjavik to explore Iceland’s quirky capital. You’ll find few chain shops here, instead there’s an eclectic mix of independent retailers including vintage, record and design shops and a good selection of cosy cafes with homemade food when you need to rest your weary legs. You can also choose from a selection of Optional Activities which give you the opportunity to explore further afield.
Meals included today: Breakfast
Day 4 | Highland bus journey (Kjölur route - 105 miles)
Today you take the magnificent bus journey on Iceland's Kjölur route, highway F35, from Reykjavik, across the Highlands, to Akureyri. The 4x4 gus departs from Rekjavik's bus terminal at 0800 and crosses Iceland’s magnificent highlands to Akureyri where it arrives at 1830. The route heads eastwards over Hellisheiði lava plateau then through Hveragerði, Selfoss and Laugarvatn, before the continuing to the world-famous Geysir geothermal area for a 30-minute stop. At Geysir, hot springs are in abundance and Strokkur geyser ('the Churn') erupts to a height of around 30 metres every 5 minutes or so. The walking paths also lead past steaming vents (fumaroles) and colourful, mineral-rich mud formations. A 10-minute drive further east takes you to magnificent Gullfoss where another 30-minute stop is made. Known as the queen of Iceland's waterfalls, Gullfoss ('Golden Falls') is created by the river Hvíta, which tumbles and plunges into a crevice some 32 metres deep.
Continue your adventure northwards up to the high plain of Kjölur, also known as the Kjalvegur road. Your first stop is at the Kerlingarfjöll mountain range (1,477 m) in the Central Highlands where a 15-minute stop is made. Continue into the rugged wilderness to the Hveravellir ('Hot Spring Fields') geothermal area where it is possible to bathe in one of the geothermal pools with temperatures alternating between 18-39 degrees centigrade. This is an amazing area situated between the Langjökull and Hofsjökull glaciers. Onwards passing the Blönduvirkjun hydroelectric power station, reaching Langidalur valley where the road joins Route 1 to Akureyri.
3 nights AKUREYRI - Hotel Norðurland (3*) or Icelandair Hotel Akureyri (4*)
Meals included today: Breakfast
Day 5 | Diamond Circle Tour
Today embark on your included Diamond Circle Classic small group tour (10 - 11 hours). Pick-up time is from 0745 to 0800, so an early breakfast!
You have an unforgettable journey through Iceland’s most catastrophic and diverse area, rich in volcanic and geothermal features. First you travel east from Akureyri, across Eyjafjörður fjord where you can enjoy the view of the town, ocean and mountains surrounding the fjord. After only a half hour drive you arrive at the picturesque Goðafoss Waterfall (Waterfall of the Gods) where you make a stop before continuing to the Lake Mývatn area. Before heading into the highlands you will make a short stop at a local restaurant or a grocery store at the lake - the purpose of this is to give you the opportunity to buy your own picnic meals for your day trip as lunch/dinner are not included.
From Lake Myvatn you head up to into the highlands. Here you explore the dramatic and captivating landscape formed by glacier floods and Jökulsá Glacier River. Opportunity to enjoy your picnic lunch in these beautiful surroundings.
After a scenic drive along the Arctic coastline you stop in the fishing village of Húsavík where you can try the new GeoSea Geothermal Sea Baths (entrance not included, supplement £36 per person including towel, please advise at time of booking). Those who don´t want to try the baths can spend time in the lovely town, visit the Whale Museum or just enjoy one of the nice cafe´s in town. After this last stop you head back to Akureyri.
A fantastic day of powerful waterfalls, stunning nature, active geothermal areas and vivid bird life.
From June to the middle of August, you also stop at Tjörnes Peninsula where you can observe puffins nesting on the impressive cliffs along the coastline.
Meals included today: Breakfast*
* A stop is made during the trip in order that you may buy your own packed/picnic lunch and any other snacks you may wish to take with you.
Day 6 | Explore Akureyri
Enjoy a free day to yourself, either potter around Akureyri or enjoy a pre-booked Optional Activity - how about whale watching from the centre of Akureyri or the unique chance to explore the Lofthellir ice cave? See the Excursions tab for more details.
Meals included today: Breakfast
Day 7 | Akureyri - Reykjavik
Morning free in Akureyri before your 45-minute afternoon flight from Akureyri Airport to Reykjavik domestic airport.
1 night REYKJAVIK - Fosshotel Baron (3*) or Fosshotel Reykjavik (4*)
Meals included today: Breakfast
Day 8 | Homeward bound
Transfer by airport bus from your hotel to Keflavik Airport for your return flight home.
Meals included today: Breakfast
Departure Day: Possible daily
Departure Dates: 15 Jun – 31 Aug 2020
Duration: 7 nights
Prices from: Based on two people travelling together and sharing a double/twin room throughout.
- Fosshotel Baron & Hotel Norðurland (3* option) – £1990 per person
- Fosshotel Reykjavik & Icelandair Hotel Akureyri (4* option) – £2250 per person
It is important to read the Terms and Conditions which apply when making a confirmed booking with us. By asking us to confirm your booking, we are entitled to assume that you have read and understood our terms and conditions, and agree to them.
- Scheduled return flights with Icelandair from Heathrow Airport to Keflavik including 20kgs* of checked luggage and one piece of hand-luggage per person. Taxes included.
Alternative departure airports and airlines available – please ask for details.
- Return flybus PLUS transfer from Keflavik Airport to your hotel in Reykjavik centre.
- 4 nights in total (3+1) accommodation in Reykjavik at either the 3* Fosshotel Baron or 4* Fosshotel Reykjavik based on standard double/twin rooms including daily buffet breakfast.
- South Coast Exploration small-group day tour from Reykjavik as detailed.
- Highland 4X4 bus journey from Reykjavik to Akureyri including detour through the Golden Circle route.
- 3 nights accommodation in Akureyri at either the 3* Hotel Norðurland or the 4* Icelandair Hotel Akureyri based on standard double/twin rooms including daily buffet breakfast.
- Diamond Circle small-group day tour as detailed from Akureyri.
- Flight with Air Iceland from Akureyri to Reykjavik including taxes plus 20kgs of checked luggage and one piece of hand-luggage per person.
- Scandinavia Only travel document wallet and luggage labels.
- 24-hour emergency telephone assistance.
- ATOL Protection.
*Although Icelandair allow 23kgs of checked luggage, the domestic flight with Air Iceland is restricted to 20kgs of checked luggage.
Fosshotel Baron (3*) – Reykjavik
Fosshotel Baron is a historical hotel standing prominently in the heart of Reykjavík, close to the seafront and within walking distance of many popular shops and attractions. Enjoy a scenic walk beside the sea, visit Harpa Concert Hall and try some of Reykjavík’s great restaurants and cafés, all just a stone’s throw away. A breakfast buffet is served in the hotel’s Restaurant. Comfortable lounge and hotel bar. All bedrooms are comfortably furnished with shower and WC, TV, tea/coffee making facilities, hairdryer and room safe. Free hotel Wi-Fi.
Fosshotel Reykjavik (4*) – Reykjavik
Fosshotel Reykjavík is located within the centre of the city, close to the Hallgrimskirkja Church, the Phallological Museum and the main shopping street Laugavegur – you can follow this (or the coastal road) down to the harbour area – approx. 20/25 mins walk.
Though large (16 floors), the hotel still offers many personal touches In both appearance and service. All bedrooms are decorated in contemporary style with warm, natural materials and have private shower & WC, TV, minibar, tea and coffee making facilities, hair dryer, iron/ironing board, safety box and telephone. Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. Lounge facilities and hotel bar. Trendy beer garden offering a large selection of draught and bottled craft beers as well as street food options. Restaurant ‘Haust’ serves an extensive buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner focusing on fresh Icelandic produce. Fitness facilities. Underground car parking (chargeable). Airport shuttle bus stops outside the hotel (Bus stop 12 – also used by excursion buses).
Hotel Norðurland (3*) – Akureyri
Conveniently located in the town centre close to many shops, restaurants and cafes. Comfortable rooms with sh/wc, telephone, tea/coffee making facilities, radio, satellite TV and free Wi-Fi and parking. The hotel has its own restaurant. Nearby Greifinn Restaurant offers special rates to hotel guests.
Icelandair Hotel Akureyri (4*) – Akureyri
The new Icelandair Hotel Akureyri is your comfy base camp to enjoy and experience Iceland’s beautiful North. Explore the amazing countryside, full of some of Iceland’s most amazing natural attractions including Lake Myvatn, Dettifoss – Europe’s most powerful waterfall, whale watching.
All rooms are bright and comfortable with Icelandic design in the forefront and include bathroom with a shower, hairdryer, flat screen TV, wireless internet, telephone, coffee and tea set. After a day of adventure you can unwind at Aurora, the hotel’s excellent bar and restaurant or you can enjoy a further spot of relaxation at the geothermal pool just across the street!
The Blue Lagoon comfort or premium package from Reykjavik
Description: This activity is available as part of your airport transfer, on arrival or departure, or as a standalone day excursion from Reykjavik. Relax in the milky-blue seawater (37-39ºC) of the Blue Lagoon, and try out the sauna, steam bath and powerful massage waterfall. Bliss. There are two difference package options to choose from:
- COMFORT – entrance to the Blue Lagoon, silica mud mask, use of a towel and 1st drink of your choice at the in-water bar.
- PREMIUM – entrance to the Blue Lagoon, silica and algae mud masks, use of a bathrobe and a towel, slippers, 1st drink of your choice at the in-water bar, algae mask, table reservation and sparkling wine at LAVA Restaurant.
Operates: Daily, all year.
Duration: Length of time in the Blue Lagoon can be from 1.5 to 3 hours. The Blue Lagoon is 20 mins from Keflavik Airport and approximately 35 minutes from Reykjavik City Centre.
Prices: £125 per person (Comfort package), £160 per person (Premium package).
Price includes: Return bus transfer, Comfort or Premium Package as detailed above.
Good to know: Pick-up is 30 minutes prior to departure.
Whale Watching During the Summer from Reykjavik
Description: This trip departs directly from Reykjavik Harbour which is a short walk from most of Reykjavik’s city hotels. Here you will find the Visitor Centre, facilitated on board a converted fishing vessel permanently placed by the pier, which is where you will meet your crew for the day. Before (or after) the tour you can have a drink at the Whale Café or enjoy the onboard whale exhibition located in the hull of the boat. The show includes multimedia images and videos of whales as well as fun facts about the cetaceans and other marine animals you are likely to come across on the tour.
Once on board the tour boat you will find several outdoor viewing platforms, a large indoor saloon with an on board café where you can buy light refreshments, basic bathroom facilities and a cloak room where you can borrow a blanket or overalls for cooler days. You can either stay outside in the fresh air or inside the heated lounge and observe the views from within, through large panoramic windows. One of your guides will talk about the sights and views at hand through the intercom system and will be available to answer any questions you may have throughout the tour.
Summer season (1 April – 31 October) is great for whale watching, as the wildlife in the bay is at it’s highest peak! The most common cetacean in the area are the Minke whales, White-beaked dolphins and Harbour porpoises. Occasionally we spot other species including Humpback whales, Killer whales/Orcas, Fin whales and Blue whales to name but a few.
The weather can change quite frequently in Iceland and therefore we reserve the right to alter routes and itineraries by sailing from other harbours in the nearby area where the weather or sightings are more favourable each time, which could result in a slightly longer tour. Please be aware also that the tours are run in wild nature and we can never guarantee sightings on a particular tour. The estimated duration of tours are standard times and can change according to conditions at sea. Although the success rate is high, the cetacean abundance is unpredictable and varies with the food availability off-shore.
Departures: 0900, 0930, 1000, 1300, 1400, 1700, 1900, 2030
Duration: Approximately 3 hours.
Price: £85 per person
Includes: Entry to the Whale Museum, guided whale safari, free use of blankets and overalls, WiFi on-board for those who can’t wait to share their experience!
This holiday is ideal for those who wish to see as much as possible of Iceland using local bus transportation. It provides a fantastic opportunity to sit back and enjoy the view whilst someone else does the driving.
Although this 4X4 bus journey is lengthy - approximately 10 hours - there are plenty of stops made along the way, with the opportunity to stretch your legs. Here are the main stops, with arrival and departure times:
Geysir: 0955 - 1025
Gullfoss: 1040 - 1110
Kerlingarfjöll: 1255 - 1310
Hveravellir: 1415 - 1515
The following stops are made:
• Skógafoss waterfall | 30-40 minute stop
• Reynisfjara black sand beach | 30 minute stop
• Small town Vik | 40-60 minute stop
• Sóheimajökull glacier | 40-50 minute stop
• Seljalandsfoss waterfall | 30-40 minute stop
Regular stops are made of varying lengths at all the attractions, including a lengthier stop for lunch.