Day 1: REYKYAVIK
Approximate driving distance: 100 km
Pick up the car at the airport, make sure you receive the travel companion app with your rental car and you will be ready to start your Iceland experience. If your flight arrives early in the day, you may wish to stop at the Blue Lagoon (a short distance from the airport) for a chance to relax in the soothing geothermal mineral waters (this has to be requested and pre-booked as admission is limited). From Keflavik International Airport it is recommended one drives along the southern coast of the Reykjanes peninsula, a colourful area filled with interesting geological sites and perfect for photo opportunities. This route takes you along dramatic coastlines and towards your first overnight stay in the charming village of Hveragerdi. This village is one of the few sites in the world located directly on top of a geothermal area and, because of its many greenhouses heated by hot water from nearby springs, it is often called the “flower village.”
Day 2: HVERAGERDI – GOLDEN CIRCLE AREA – SOUTH SHORE – KIRKUJBAEJARKLAUSTUR
National Park – Famous Golden Falls – Bubbling Geysers – Impressive Lava Field
Approximate distance: 385km
After breakfast complete check out procedures. Today is open for you to explore the wonders of the Golden Circle region. Visit Thingvellir National Park, site of the ancient Icelandic Viking parliament and a jewel of nature. Here you can see the meeting point between the North American and Europe continents. Several walking trails and hiking trails take visitors to historical points of interest. Continue to the amazing sites of Gullfoss waterfall and the Geysir hot spring area. Gullfoss is considered by many visitors to be Iceland’s most beautiful waterfall. Geysir is an active geothermal field with many bubbling steam vents and spouting hot springs, including the famous Strokkur geyser.
Drive along the scenic South Shore, one of Iceland’s best areas for farming. If the skies are clear you’ll get a great view of two famous volcanoes. Hekla is Iceland’s most frequently erupting volcano. Eyjafjallajokull is the (in)famous volcano whose 2010 eruption impacted air traffic around the world.
The path takes you over vast lava fields and black sand plains created by glacial floods and on to the town of Kirkjubaejarklaustur.
Important: Please note that Dyrholaey is closed during nesting season, from about the middle of May until late June.
Overnight: Kirkjubaejarklaustur (B)
Day 3: KIRKJUBAEJARKLAUSTUR – VATNAJOKULL NATIONAL PARK – HOFN
Massive Lava Field – Glacier National Park – Europe’s Largest Glacier – Iceberg filled Lagoon
Approximate distance: 215km
After breakfast complete check out procedures. You will soon be in the vicinity of Vatnajokull National Park, named after the largest glacier in Europe. We highly recommend visiting the Skaftafell area of Vatnajokull National Park. There are some excellent hiking trails with views of glaciers. During the summer months, a popular hiking trail leads to Svartifoss (the Black Falls), waterfalls framed in dark basalt columns. You can also take a hiking tour with an expert glacier guide. Near the park is the Glacier Lagoon (Jokulsarlon), where icebergs drift and collide with each other in a lake formed by Vatnajokull glacier. Some icebergs have drifted up onto a nearby black sand beach that provides a dramatic setting for photos. Known as the Diamond Beach, this is a beautiful place to linger, catching views of icebergs and seals. Head eastward to the village of Hofn, which lies in the shadow of Vatnajokull glacier.
Overnight: Hofn (B)
Day 4: HOFN – VIK
Glacial views – Lava Landscapes – Powerful Waves and Black Sand Beaches
Approximate distance: 339km
After breakfast you will complete check out procedures. Take your time and enjoy a leisurely drive back along the South Coast.
Start with a visit to Vestrahorn, the mountain outside of Hofn. This is a wonderful place of steep cliffs and seacoast, ideal for photographs. Now head back along Road 1, getting a completely different view of Vatnajokull and Southeast Iceland. You should definitely stop again at the Glacier Lagoon and Iceberg Lagoon. The area looks very different with a change in light conditions. The road leads to Vik, the southernmost community in Iceland. Vik is a pretty town set against the dramatic seacoast. Admire the black sand beach, basalt columns and powerful Atlantic waves of Reynisfjara beach near Vik. Far out to sea are huge sea stacks that local tales say were once trolls. Dyrholaey* is a rocky headland famous in photos for its black lava arch. During the summer, thousands of sea birds and puffins nest here (puffins are generally in Iceland between mid-May and early August).
*Important: Please note that Dyrholaey is closed during nesting season, from about the middle of May until late June.
Overnight: Vik (B)
Day 5: VIK – REYKJANES – BLUE LAGOON – REYKJAVIK
Dramatic Coastline – UNESCO Geopark – Geothermal Lagoon
Approximate distance: 285km
After breakfast complete check out procedures. Today continue west along the South Shore. The route leads by two beautiful waterfalls. Seljalandsfoss is a ribbon-like waterfall that you can walk behind if trail conditions are good. Skogafoss is believed to contain hidden treasure from the Middle Ages. This is a great day to get acquainted with Iceland’s famous volcanic and tectonic forces with an optional visit to the interactive LAVA Centre in Hvolsvollur village. Take a turn onto a coastal road known for its breath-taking views of powerful sea waves slamming against the shoreline. Drive to the Reykjanes peninsula, a UNESCO Geopark with many intriguing geological wonders, including the bubbling and colorful Krysuvik geothermal area. You can also opt to enjoy a relaxing soak in the famous Blue Lagoon, a unique wonder of nature with pleasantly warm and mineral-rich geothermal water located in a middle of a black lava field. (Please note that admission to the Blue Lagoon must be booked in advance. We would be happy to help you with booking admission). If you’re interested in culture and history, we definitely recommend a visit to the Viking World exhibit where you can discover facts about Viking life and see Islendingurinn, a replica of a Viking ship that sailed from Iceland to North America in the year 2000.
Overnight: Reykjavik (B)
Day 6: DEPARTURE
Approximate distance: 50km
After breakfast complete check out procedures Drive back to Keflavik International Airport.