Home / Iceland Summer 2018 / CIR12: Grand Tour of Iceland by coach

CIR12: Grand Tour of Iceland by coach / 12 days
Departures from Keflavik

NEW for 2018! The Grand Tour of Iceland takes you on an unforgettable journey around Iceland including the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and the magical West Fjords. Experience the spectacular splendor and untamed beauty of Iceland´s nature, breathtaking scenery and unique Icelandic history and culture.

Icelanc by coach

Iceland is a country like no other, almost an own little planet with exceptional landscapes: some of the world's finest waterfalls, erupting geysers, stunning fjords, magical lagoons, active volcanoes, majestic glaciers, powerful lava flows as well as tranquil lakes with rare-breeding birdlife.

The Grand Tour of Iceland takes you on an unforgettable journey around Iceland including the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and the magical West Fjords. These western areas are left unexplored by most of our visitors. Experience the spectacular splendor and untamed beauty of Iceland´s nature, breathtaking scenery and unique Icelandic history and culture.

You will discover some of the most remote parts of the country and visit many well-known highlights as well. Our Grand Tour of Iceland features all the best the country has to offer. Each day combines touring by bus, going for light walks, having soft adventures and experiencing Icelandic culture and history.

We stay in simple and charming guesthouses, farm- and tourist-class hotels, many of them set in the most stunning locations.

Day 1

Arrival to Keflavik. Transfer by Flybus to your hotel in Reykjavik.

Day free at leisure.

Included meals:None
Accommodation: Hotel in Reykjavik (specific property confirmed at the time of booking)               

Day 2

Breakfast at the hotel.

We explore Gullfoss, the beautiful double "Golden Falls" and we walk through the active geothermal area of Geysir, where Strokkur "the churn" spouts up to 25 meters (70 feet) every five to ten minutes. The next stop is the ancient Viking Parliament area and UNESCO world heritage site of Þingvellir National Park. The Þingvellir plain is situated on a tectonic-plate boundary where North America and Europe are slowly tearing away from each other. As a result, the plain is scarred by dramatic fissures, ponds, and rivers, including the great rift Almannagjá. We continue our journey along the scenic Hvalfjörður fjord. Overnight in Borgarnes, West Iceland.

Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Hotel in Borganes (specific property will be confirmed at the time of booking)                    

Day 3

Breakfast at the hotel.

Today, we explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, which juts out from Iceland's West Coast like a long arm with a clenched fist at its tip, and which is in many ways a microcosm of the whole island. We follow the adventure of Jules Verne's classic science-fiction novel about "The Journey to the Center of the Earth". Do not miss your chance to go on your own trip to the interior of the earth under the glacier Snæfellsjökull! This lava cave tour takes you 35 meters underground and about 200 meters into the lava tube called Vatnshellir. 

In the afternoon, we catch the car ferry Baldur from Stykkishólmur to Brjánslækur in the West Fjords.We will stay two nights in the area of Patreksfjörður.

Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Hotel in Patreksfjördur (specific property will be confirmed at the time of booking)                          

Day 4

Breakfast at the hotel.

We follow the coastline and through a very remote and sparsely populated region to the bird cliffs of Látrabjarg, the largest seabird cliff and the westernmost point of Iceland and Europe.

We take a walk in the wilderness to the top of the highest bird cliff in Iceland. Látrabjarg is a place where you can get very close to various seabirds, and even if you're not into birdwatching, you are entertained by the comic puffins and mesmerized by the sheer number of feathered friends. If weather and road conditions allow we travel to Rauðisandur beach with endless red sand. Well, not endless but 10 km is a lot. The magnificent hues of the sand differ with daylight, tights, and weather. This pure sand beach is home to countless of seabirds and seals and is an oasis of unique tranquility. Forget everything, except maybe getting the perfect shot of the ever-changing hues of yellow, orange and red. 

Included meals:Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Hotel in Patreksfjördur (specific property will be confirmed at the time of booking)                           

Day 5

Breakfast at the hotel.

We travel over mountains and along the shore of scenic fjords until we reach the majestic fjord Arnarfjörður, surrounded by high mountains. At the bottom of the fjord, we come across the unique waterfall Dynjandi with its seven levels of plunging water, declared the country's most beautiful waterfall by the people of Iceland. We continue over a mountain pass. The trip continues along the southern shores of the West Fjords which is a route less traveled and is characterized by sheer cliffs, deep cut bays and narrow stretches of coastal lowland. We overnight at the remote Vogur Country Lodge in West Iceland. This overnight location is a truly peaceful and beautiful place close to Breiðafjörður Bay, giving you the feeling of being all alone in Iceland.

Included meals:Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Hotel in Breidafjördur Bay (specific property will be confirmed at the time of booking)                      

Day 6

Breakfast at the hotel.

In the morning, we travel mostly off-the-beaten-path, see abandoned farms, beautiful little country churches, and Icelandic horses. At Haukadalur, there's a rather authentic replica of the homestead of Erik the Red, the famous explorer who founded the Icelandic colony in Greenland. His son Leif-the-Lucky, born in Haukadalur, Iceland, was the first European to set foot in North America. Now the excavated and reconstructed farm in Haukadalur is a living Viking museum, a fun and informative place. The landscape is dominated by mountains, lakes, valleys, sea and wide-open spaces. We head north and stop at a local farm for lunch and a horse show where we learn about the unique qualities of Iceland's special breed. Afterward, we travel through fertile farmlands and fjord landscapes before we reach the charming town of Akureyri, Iceland's second-largest city. We stay two nights in the capital of North Iceland.

Included meals:Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Accommodation: Hotel in Akureyri (specific property will be confirmed at the time of booking)                                   

Day 7

Breakfast at the hotel.

During a 6-hour excursion, we see spectacular fjord landscapes while traveling to Siglufjörður, Iceland's northernmost town and known as the herring capital of the North Atlantic. Siglufjörður is located on the mountainous Tröllaskagi Peninsula. On the way, we pass small fishing villages and stop at a deserted valley that even most Icelanders have not seen. Included is a visit to the Herring Museum and also beer tasting at Kaldi, a local micro-brewery. The rest of the day is free at leisure. Maybe you like to go shopping, visit a geothermal swimming pool, stroll through the local botanical garden or try an optional whale watching or horseback riding tour at 17:00.  

Included meals:Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Hotel in Akureyri (specific property will be confirmed at the time of booking)                                  

Day 8

Breakfast at the hotel.

We explore Goðafoss, the waterfall of the Gods, and continue to Lake Mývatn, known for its abundant bird life and amazing volcanic lava landscapes. We visit pseudo craters, walk in the mysterious lava field Dimmuborgir, see the tephra cone Hverfjall, explore the hot springs, fumaroles and bubbling mud pools of Námaskarð, and travel to the explosion crater lake Víti in the Krafla geothermal fields. In the afternoon relax and soak at the Mývatn Nature Baths. Overnight near Lake Mývatn.

Included meals:Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Hotel near Lake Myvatn (specific property will be confirmed at the time of booking)                       

Day 9

Breakfast at the hotel.

We travel to Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall in the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park. We continue east through the bare and sometimes deserted landscape with mountains all around. Along the way, we stop at Möðrudalur, the all-year residence at the highest altitude in Iceland, 469m above sea level. We explore the northernmost fjord on the East Fjord mountain range. The isolated village Bakkagerði at Borgarfjörður-Eystri has only 120 inhabitants and is a charming village, built snugly next to the steep mountainside. Driving to there is dramatic and rewarding. The colorful mountains are unique and impressive. We experience an unusual opportunity to visit a traditional Icelandic fishing village, still relying on the small boat fishing. Borgarfjörður-Eystri is home to an extensive population of elves – judging by the 172 local folk tales involving elves. In the village, we find Álfaborg, a protected site where the queen of elves is believed to live in a uniquely shaped rock castle. The elf stories provide a fascinating lecture, especially for the younger generation. We continue to the local harbour to look out for kittiwakes, puffins, and other seabirds.  

Included meals:Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Local guesthouse (specific property will be confirmed at the time of booking)                                   

Day 10

Breakfast at the hotel.

It's a day to admire the dramatic fjord landscape and its tiny fishing villages at the end of twisty roads in the East Fjords, and en route we visit Petra's fascinating rock collection. A naturalist and a collector are two terms that have been used to describe Petra since she was a little girl.

From the day she opened her eyes for the first time she perceived her surrounding differently from most of her compatriots, and it is almost as her parents knew when they named her. The word "Petra" simply means "stone" in Greek. Petra collected for nearly 80 years this unique treasure of rocks, crystals, zeolites, quartz and more, all from the nearby area in the Eastfjords. The rocks and stones are beautifully laid out in her home and garden. Her descendants proudly take good care of this unique exhibition.

In the afternoon, we see Vatnajökull, Europe's biggest glacier that is visible all over Southeast Iceland. Past the town of Höfn, we stop for a boat ride amongst the floating icebergs on the magnificent Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, considered a highlight on a tour around Iceland. We spend the night near Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park.

Included meals:Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Hotel near Skaftafell (specific property will be confirmed at the time of booking)                     

Day 11

Breakfast at the hotel.

Today we visit Vatnajökull National Park which covers about 14 % of Iceland, making it Europe's 2nd largest national park in terms of area after Yugyd Va in Russia. We explore the region of Skaftafell that is nestled below Iceland's highest mountain and the second biggest stratovolcano in Europe, the 2,110-meter high Hvannadalshnjúkur. We walk close to one of the many glacial tongues in the area – a Kodak moment. We cross a sandy desert and drive along the south coast, always between the sea, rugged mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls. We stroll along the black lava beach and bird cliffs near the village of Vík. We stop at the Skógafoss waterfall, another must-see location in South Iceland. The crashing water creates a mist that results in frequent and magical rainbows, just adding some more memorable experiences to the sheer beauty of this stunning scenery and place. At the Eyjafjallajökull Information Center, we learn how it is to live next to a glacier and an active volcano. Afterward, we reach Seljalandsfoss waterfall where you can follow a slick and wet trail and walk right behind the falls. Come prepared and bring a rain coat and good boots as you will get wet. Farewell dinner at a local restaurant in Reykjavík and we will spend the last night of the Grand Tour in Iceland's capital.

Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
Accommodation: Hotel in Reykjavik or similar                                                                                       

Day 12

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

  • 2018: Guaranteed departures from Keflavik every Monday 04JUN-27AUG

Included

  • Arrival and departure transfer by FLYBUS airport shuttle (no guide)
  • 10 days escorted Iceland tour with an English speaking guide or driver-guide
  • 11 nights accommodation, in rooms with shower/wc
  • 11x breakfast, 1x lunch (day 6) and 10x dinner
  • Visit to three national parks
  • Entrance and visit to lava cave on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula
  • Ferry trip to the West Fjords
  • Admission fee to folk and transport museum at Hnjótur
  • Visit to Erik the Red homestead
  • Horse show in northwest Iceland
  • Entrance to Herring Museum
  • Visit to micro beer brewery
  • Admission fee with towel to the Nature Baths at Lake Mývatn
  • Visit to Petra's stone collection in the East Fjords
  • Boat trip between floating icebergs on Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon
  • Visit to multimedia presentation at Eyjafjallajökull volcano information center

Not Included

  • Travel insurance

Trip sheet

Download the trip sheet in pdf format.

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