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29th March 2019
Explore the capital city of Reykjavik before travelling across Iceland’s rugged highlands to Akureyri, capital of the North.
An 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 also offers a unique insight into the inner section 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 using a selection of activities and an adventurous journey on a 4x4 bus across the middle of the country, travelling through the highlands from south to north and passing extraordinary landscapes. This really is a route less travelled and is perfect for those who wish to see as much as possible of Iceland without hiring a car.
Day 1 - Arrive Iceland and Reykjavik
Arrive at Keflavik Airport and take the airport shuttle bus to your centrally located hotel in Reykjavik.
3 nights REYKJAVIK - Fosshotel Baron (3 star) or Fosshotel Reykjavik (4 star)
Days 2 & 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. For a truly out-of-this-world experience why not take the extraordinary Inside the Volcano excursion, descending into the volcano’s magma chamber? (see below left for details).
Day 4 - Highland bus journey across Iceland
In the morning you embark on your journey from south to north leaving Reykjavik and travelling northwards by 4x4 bus across Iceland’s magnificent highlands to Akureyri (approx, 10 hours). The route heads eastwards over Hellisheiði then through Hveragerði, Selfoss and Laugarvatn, before the continuing to the world-famous Geysir geothermal area, the site of numerous hot springs, Strokkur being the most active one today. A glimpse of majestic Gullfoss waterfall is next on your agenda, before the drive north, up to the high plane of Kjölur. First stop of the day is at the Kerlingarfjöll mountain range before continuing through the rugged wilderness to the oasis of Hveravellir, with its geothermal area and bathing possibilities. The bus continues along the highland road passing Blönduvirkjun hydroelectric power station. In Langidalur valley the road joins Highway 1 to Akureyri arriving at 1830.
3 nights AKUREYRI - Hotel Norðurland (3 star) or Icelandair Hotel Akureyri (4 star)
Day 5 - Explore Lake Mývatn Area
Today embark on a small-group tour of Lake Mývatn. Highlights include Goðafoss waterfall, Skutustaðir pseudo-craters, Dimmuborgir lava formations, boiling mud pools and sulphur pits. The tour ends with a visit to Mývatn Nature Baths where entrance is not included and those wishing to relax in the baths have the opportunity to do so for a small supplement locally.
Day 6 - Book an Optional Activity
Enjoy a free day to yourself, either potter around Akureyri or enjoy a pre-booked Optional Activity - how about whale watching or the unique chance to explore an ice cave?
Day 7 - Homeward Bound
Take a short taxi ride to Akureyri Airport for your 45-mins flight to Reykjavik domestic airport. Here you will be met on your arrival at the domestic airport for your private transfer to Keflavik Airport for your return flight home.
Departure Day: Daily
Departure Dates: 15 Jun - 7 Sep 2019
Duration: 6 nights
Prices from: Prices are based on two people travelling together and sharing a double/twin room. Single supplement as shown.
|Departure Dates||Price from per person||Sgl Supp|
|15 Jun - 7 Sep 2019||£1945||On Req|
|Departure Dates||Price per person||Sgl Supp|
|15 Jun - 7 Sep 2019||£2245||On Req|
|The deposit payment for this holiday is £200 per person.|
*Although Icelandair allow 23kgs of checked luggage, the domestic flight with Air Iceland is restricted to 20kgs of checked luggage.
TO BOOK: To book this holiday either telephone us on 01274 875199 (this is our preferred option as it gives us the opportunity to chat with you!) or email your booking request to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We can only provide general information about this. You must check requirements for your own specific circumstances with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates and your own doctor as applicable. For further information contact the Passport Office on 0300 222 0000 or visit www.gov.uk/browse/abroad/passports. Up to date travel advice can be obtained from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Non British passport holders, including other EU nationals, should obtain up to date advice on passport and visa requirements from the Embassy, High Commission or Consulate of your destination or country(ies) through which you are travelling.
HOTEL REYKJAVIK CENTRUM (4 star) - Reykjavik
On the doorstep of Reykjavik's main attractions, this hotel comprises of three charming 18th century style buildings. Proudly opened in 2005 and consists of 89 elegantly decorated en-suite rooms all with satellite and TV, cable and wireless internet, mini-bar, room safe, hairdryer, ironing board and tea/coffee making facilities. The hotel has its own restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and a bar/cafe offering light refreshment during the day.
FOSSHOTEL BARON (3 star) - Reykjavik
Fosshotel Baron is a clean and friendly hotel standing right in the heart of Reykjavík, near the seafront, within walking distance of shops and attractions. The hotel offers both hotel rooms and apartments, perfect for families or small groups travelling together. Enjoy a scenic walk by the seaside, visit Harpa Concert Hall and try some of Reykjavík’s great restaurants and cafés, all just a stone’s throw away.
Breakfast is included in your stay and you will also have the option to eat at the hotel's restaurant and enjoy drinks in the bar. All rooms are en suite and include free Wi-Fi.
HOTEL NORÐURLAND (4 star) - 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 star) - 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 futher spot of relaxation at the geothermal pool just across the street!
COASTAL CULTURE & SIGLUFJÖRÐUR FJORD from Akureyri
Description: A lovely excursion for those wanting to experience authentic fishing villages and black sand beaches. During this tour you travel by the Eyjafjörður coastline, focusing on coastal culture and the beautiful seaside surroundings. You have plenty of time to walk on a black sand beach, visit small fishing villages and the award winning Siglufjörður Herring Museum, where you learn about the rich herring heritage of the town of Siglufjörður. Siglufjörður was the filming location for the popular Icelandic TV series “Trapped”, setting the right atmosphere for the thrilling series. You also visit the busy harbour area of Dalvík, one of the largest harbours in Icelandic fishing industry.
Operates: All year on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday
Duration: Approximately 5 hours
Price: £170 per person (refreshments are not included).
Includes: Pick-up and drop-off at your hotel, transportation, guide and entry to the Herring Museum.
HEKLA VOLCANO AND LANDMANNALAUGAR from Reykjavik
Description: After boarding your Superjeep in Reykjavik, you cross fertile South Iceland farmlands, opening up to grand views – weather permitting – of Hekla volcano's snow-covered top (elev. 1491m). Hekla's next eruption is long overdue and could be expected at any time! Since Iceland´s human settlement in the ninth century, Hekla's 20-30 eruptions have ranged from pretty little tourist attractions to explosive disasters. No wonder Hekla has long been taken for the entrance to Hell for damned souls! Conditions permitting, you may make it up onto the volcano’s eruptive ridge, ca 900m above sea level, where the air is crisp and the views incomparable. Pushing deeper into Iceland's eruptive interior, you take in and touch scenery so unreal it is repeatedly used for other-world Hollywood A-films. In Landmannalaugar you can hike, or dip in Iceland's most famous natural hot pool, or both. When you have been suitably geothermally cooked, it’s Superjeep time again, heading north through “does-this-really-exist” looking surroundings towards Reykjavík.
Operates: 15 June to 30 September
Departures: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 0800. Pick-up from your hotel.
Duration: 9-10 hours.
Price: £295 per person.
INSIDE THE VOLCANO from Reykjavik
Description: Journey into the depths of a dormant volcano on this exhilarating expedition from Reykjavik. After hiking through the lava fields of the Blue Mountains, arrive at the rim of Thrihnukagigur volcano. It’s also the only place on Earth where you can take an elevator inside a volcano’s magma chamber! The whole programme takes about 5–6 hours to complete, in which time you will:
The total duration of the tour is between 5 and 6 hours and includes a hike of around 45/50 minutes each way over relatively even ground.
For the trip inside the volcano itself they utilise an innovative method to lower visitors down through the crater’s opening (roughly 4×4 m/12×12 ft width). They use a system that’s normally used to carry window cleaners on the side of skyscrapers – an open elevator system. A basket that holds 6–7 people is connected to a crane that has been placed vertically over the crater opening. Massive cable wires move the basket up and down the bottle-shaped vault. The 120 m/400 ft journey takes about 6 minutes to complete, giving you an idea of how slowly you will be moving down into the crater. The slow speed is to ensure the safety of passengers, but also to provide the opportunity to enjoy the amazing scenery.
Operates: 15 May to 15 October
Duration: 5 - 6 hours
Departs: 0800, 1000, 1200, 1400 with included transfer from Reykjavik
Price: £320 per person
Includes: Pick-up and drop-off at your hotel, guided tour, all safety equipment including helmets, harnesses etc, traditional Icelandic meat stew (vegetarian and special diet options available, please advise at time of booking)
REYKJAVIK FOOD WALK from Reykjavik
Description: Explore Reykjavík‘s downtown area through food with a fun, local guide. On this 3-4 hour long tour, we will see some of Reykjavík‘s most beautiful sights go to 5-6 amazing restaurants, food trucks and local shops. All tours are with small groups which will ensure a personal and local experience.
We will get to taste the herb and grass fed, free roaming Icelandic lamb, enjoy a homemade ice cream made from a secret family recipe, try the best Icelandic cheese of the season and taste Skyr, the traditional Icelandic dairy product.
No food walk is complete without a stop at the famous Icelandic hot dog stand to get a hot dog 'with everything' (raw onion, fried onion, ketchup, mustard and rémoulade).
We will additionally get to taste the local speciality, an authentic seafood soup.
We will visit a variety of casual, fine dining and cosy family run businesses. Some of the places we go to are well-known must visit restaurants, while others are local secret hangouts. We will not taste some of the more famous and not as tasteful Icelandic food, such as fermented shark, ram‘s testicles or sour sheep heads but instead focus on the most delicious Icelandic cuisines.
The Reykjavík Food Tour is a safe, family friendly tour and an excellent way to get to know Iceland‘s food.
Operates: Daily, except Sunday, all year.
Duration: 3-4 hours.
Price: £115 per adult, children 4-12 £58.
Price includes: Local guide for walking tour and all food during tour.
Good to know: This tour is a small group walking tour with a local guide - wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Pick-up and drop-off is at Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre.
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:
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: £120 per person (Comfort package), £135 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. Excursion operates according to the following schedule.
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: £75 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!
Who is this holiday suitable for?
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.
How long is the bus journey and are stops made along the way?
Although this 4x4 bus journey is lengthy - approximately 10 hours - there are pstops made along the way, with the opportunity to stretch your legs. Here are the main stops, with arrival and departure times: