Home / Iceland Summer 2019 / SYD8: Southern Explorer by coach

SYD8: Southern Explorer by coach / 8 days
Departures from Keflavik

With a maximum group size of 20 persons, this program includes six full days of touring, exploring and adventure in South Iceland and the interior highlands. You discover national parks, green valleys, high mountains, lunar landscapes, lava fields, waterfalls, hot springs, and glaciers. You explore Icelandic highlights and secrets.

The highlights of South Iceland

Explore the most famous sights in South Iceland from the countryside instead of taking long drives from Reykjavík. This 8-day tour focuses on guided day excursions and explorations from only three different overnight locations in Southern Iceland. You visit the Golden Circle sites, explore the interior highlands of Landmannalaugar, the glacial valley of Þórsmörk, and the frozen wonders of Vatnajökull National Park. Your Icelandic adventure includes short walks here and there, bathing in the geothermal Blue Lagoon, climbing volcano craters, walking on glaciers, a boat trip between floating icebergs and lots of time to take pictures. 

  • Small groups, maximum 20 persons
  • Bathe in the Blue Lagoon, walk on lava and explore two national parks
  • Easy hike on a glacial tongue on Europe's largest glacier
  • Boat trip between floating icebergs on Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon
  • Cross glacial rivers by bus and explore the interior highlands of Landmannalaugar and Þórsmörk 
  • Visit Brennisteinsalda Volcano in Landmannalaugar, the rainbow mountain of Iceland
  • On September departures, there is a chance to see the Northern Lights

Day 1

Individual transfer by Flybus shuttle bus from Keflavik Airport to your hotel in Reykjavik.

Spend the rest of your day exploring Reykjavik – it is a vibrant small city with lots of charming cafes, shops, museums, and galleries.

Included meals:None
Accommodation: Hotel Cab Inn Reykjavik                                

Day 2

Breakfast at the hotel. At 09:30 meet your tour guide and fellow group members and travel to the Reykjanes Peninsula with its hot springs, mountains, bird cliffs, lunar landscapes and fishing villages. We warm up in the geothermal mineral rich waters of the famous Blue Lagoon. In the afternoon, we explore Krýsuvík, an area with sulfatases, fumaroles, mud pots and hot springs. Next stop is the charming fishing village of Eyrarbakki with many preserved houses from the period 1890-1920, and therefore a visit is like a journey, 100 years back in time. We visit the local Maritime and Folk Museum. In the evening, we reach Hella, a small village in South Iceland, where we stay for three nights in simple cottages.  

Included meals:Breakfast
Accommodation: Arhus Cabins in Hella                             

Day 3

Breakfast at the hotel. Today we drive the rough unpaved road to Landmannalaugar, an oasis in the barren highlands, surrounded by colourful rhyolite mountains. Group members have the options to explore the area on their own or join the guide for a short hike through a rough lava field and up the slopes with an incredible spectrum of colours. In Landmannalaugar there is also a natural geothermal stream where you can enjoy a refreshing bath. Have swimwear and towel ready. On the way back to our accommodation, we stop at the beautiful waterfall Hjálparfoss in Þjórsárdalur valley surrounded by unusual basalt rock formations. Nearby we explore the Viking farm ruins at Stöng, which was completely buried in pumice during one of Mt. Hekla's bigger eruptions in 1104. A leisurely hike brings us to Gjáin, a green oasis in an otherwise rocky, barren moon-like landscape. Þjórsárdalur is off-the-beaten-path and is dominated by Mt. Hekla and other volcanoes in the vicinity. Please note that in case Landmannalaugar is not accessible during May and June departures, we travel only to Þjórsárdalur valley on that day.

Included meals:Breakfast
Accommodation: Arhus Cabins in Hella                               

Day 4

Breakfast at the hotel. Today, we visit three of Iceland's most famous spots: Þingvellir National Park, Geyser hot springs, and Gullfoss waterfall. We start the day at the ancient Viking Parliament area of Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site. Next stop is at the Geysir geothermal fields with a variety of hot springs and bubbling pools where you see the steam pumping from the ground as if beneath it there were lots of little smoking devils. The original geyser is now dormant and has been replaced by Strokkur, "the Churn", which erupts at 5-10-minute intervals. Gullfoss, "the golden falls", is a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river originating from the glacier Langjökull. After the three "must-see" sights on the Golden Circle, we add a little extra. There is a small waterfall called Faxi, "the Main". Nearby, we show you a traditional sheep pen, where Icelandic farmers sort the sheep in September after the sheep had been rounded up in the mountains. We continue to Skálholt, which is one of Iceland's most historic and holy places. You might like to visit the local geothermal swimming pool with hot tubs to top off your sightseeing day the Icelandic way.

Included meals:Breakfast
Accommodation: Arhus Cabins in Hella                                   

Day 5

Breakfast at the hotel. short ferry ride brings us to the Westman Islands, where we explore the town of Heimaey and
this extraordinary island by foot and by bus. The volcanic eruption in 1973 is considered the largest natural disaster in
Iceland in recent history. The eruption began on January 23 in the outskirt of the town of Heimaey, the only populated
island in the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago. After the evacuation of the 5300 inhabitants, and during the 5 months while
the eruption lasted, there was much uncertainty as to whether or not the island could ever be repopulated. During our
tour to the Westman Islands, we explore bird cliffs, walk up a volcano crater and visit "Pompeii of the North", a
volcanic excavation project. There you observe a "house" which was dug up from the thick layer of pumice after 40
years. There is also an exhibition about Surtsey Island that was born by volcanic eruptions between 1963-68 and
preserved today by UNESCO. You have the afternoon free to wander around the town of Heimaey, with its birds and
signs of recent volcanic eruptions. We travel with the 4 pm ferry back to the mainland and continue to our
accommodation near the village of Vík in South Iceland, where we stay for two nights.

Included meals:Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Dyrholaey in Vik                                 

Day 6

Breakfast at the hotel. Today we travel to Vatnajökull, Europe's second largest national park, which has Iceland's
highest mountains, an alpine environment, and Europe's largest glacier. A 5-kilometre round-trip hike takes us
through the national park to Svartifoss waterfall, which is surrounded by impressive basalt columns. In the afternoon
we head over to the famous Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon for a cruise, sailing between the icebergs of all shapes and
sizes, which float in the clear blue water. After the glacial lake experience, there is time to go down to the black sand
beach, the so-called Diamond Beach, in case we find icebergs that have floated all the way from the glacier lagoon
into the Atlantic Ocean.

Included meals:Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Dyrholaey in Vik                                    

Day 7

Breakfast at the hotel. We start the day with a walk along the black lava beach and bird cliffs at Reynisfjara. We see
interesting basalt columns, and rock formations called the petrified trolls. Next, we stop for an easy 1,5 to 2-hour
glacier hike in the impressive Sólheimajökulll glacier tongue, suitable for beginners. An experienced glacier guide
leads you safely through the icy wonderland of strangely shaped ridges, deep crevasses, enormous water cauldrons
and different ice formations. We continue to the thundering Skógafoss waterfall, which tumbles 62 meters over a
rocky scarp, kicking up vast sheets of mist. Further west we reach the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall where
you can follow a slick and wet trail and walk right behind the falls. Come prepared and bring a raincoat and good
boots, as you will get wet! The program ends with a short Reykjavík city tour before we reach the hotel in Iceland's
capital.

Included meals:Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel Cab Inn Reykjavik                                 

Day 8

Breakfast at the hotel. Individual transfer by Flybus airport shuttle to Keflavík Airport.

Please inform the hotel reception about your flight times the night before departure.

Included meals: Breakfast

Route map

Departures

  • 2019: Guaranteed departures from Keflavik every Sunday between May and September

Included

  • Arrival & departure transfer by FLYBUS airport shuttle (no guide)
  • 6-day escorted coach tour with an English speaking guide or driver-guide
  • 7 nights accommodation in rooms with shower/wc
  • 7x breakfast
  • Visit to two national parks
  • Entrance & towel to Blue Lagoon including silica mud mask and one drink of your choice
  • Boat trip on Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon
  • 1,5 to 2-hour glacier hike
  • Entrance fee to Eyrarbakki Maritime and Folk Museum

Not Included

  • Flight to/from Iceland
  • Travel insurance

Trip sheet

Download the trip sheet in pdf format.

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