- Trek through canyons and caves at Hvalfjordur fjord
- View the wonders of the aurora borealis from your own private bubble hotel room
- Tour the waters around Reykjavík for whale watching and northern lights
- Soak in the healing waters of the Blue Lagoon
|Day 1||Arrive in Keflavík, West Iceland & Borgarfjörður, Krauma Spa||Snæfellsnes Peninsula|
|Day 2||The Wonders of Snæfellsnes, Hunting the Northern Lights||Snæfellsnes Peninsula|
|Day 3||Black-Sand Beaches, Fishing Towns & Shark Museum||Snæfellsnes Peninsula|
|Day 4||Golden Circle, Þingvellir National Park, Secret Lagoon & Bubble Hotel||Golden Circle|
|Day 5||Lake Laugarvatn: Fontana Geothermal Baths||Golden Circle|
|Day 6||Lake Laugarvatn: Paddle Board Tour||Golden Circle|
|Day 7||Þingvellir National Park||Golden Circle|
|Day 8||Ferry to Westman Islands, Visitor Center, Belugas & Puffins||Westman Islands|
|Day 9||Circle Boat Tour of Westman Islands||Westman Islands|
|Day 10||South Coast: Waterfalls & Black-Sand Beaches, Caves of Hella||Kirkjubæjarklaustur|
|Day 11||Skaftafell, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Glacier Kayaking Adventure||Kirkjubæjarklaustur|
|Day 12||Drive to Reykjavík, Þakgil Valley, Hveragerdi, FlyOver Iceland||Reykjavík|
|Day 13||Explore Reykjavík, Whale Watching & Northern Lights||Reykjavík|
|Day 14||Reykjanes Peninsula, Blue Lagoon Retreat Spa, Depart Reykjavík|
Day 1: Arrive in Keflavík, West Iceland & Borgarfjörður, Krauma Spa
Day 2: The Wonders of Snæfellsnes, Hunting the Northern Lights
Continue your exploration of Snæfellsnes today, beginning with a visit to Kirkjufell, or "Church Mountain," a dramatically shaped peak that sits near the town of Grundarfjordur and its small but impressive waterfall, Kirkjufellsfoss. If it seems familiar to you, it might be because it was one of the filming locations for the series "Game of Thrones."
Day 3: Black-Sand Beaches, Fishing Towns & Shark Museum
If you missed the opportunity yesterday, begin your day with a walk along the cliffside paths at Arnarstapi and a visit to their on-site café for a quick bite. From here, head to the Lóndrangar lava formations, which you can view from afar, or walk 15 minutes to see up close. A little farther along the road is the peninsula's Visitor Center, where you can learn more about the volcanic system and the area.
As you near the westernmost point of the peninsula, look for signs of Saxhóll Crater. You can make a quick stop here and climb the stairs that take you to the top of the crater, rewarding you with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. End your day in the village of Grundarfjörður, where you can find lodging, or continue to the larger town of Stykkishólmur. On the way, stop at Bjarnarhofn Farm, home to The Shark Museum. Learn about the history of shark fishing in Iceland, and the local Greenland shark from which they make their fermented shark, or hákarl. You can even try a sample if you like!
Day 4: Golden Circle, Þingvellir National Park, Secret Lagoon & Bubble Hotel
It's off to the Golden Circle, one of Iceland's most popular tourist destinations and home to the majestic Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area, and Gullfoss waterfall. Today, you can see several of these sights as part of a guided tour, which starts in the city of Reykjavík and ends with an overnight stay in your very own private bubble!
After the pick-up in Reykjavík, you'll head to Þingvellir National Park. This historically significant site is located in the rift valley between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. You'll have some time to walk around and take in the views, then the tour continues to Geysir geothermal area and Strokkur geyser, which erupts into the sky like clockwork every 5-10 minutes.
Make a visit to Gullfoss (Golden Falls) and admire the incredible power of this massive waterfall, then your final stop before your check-in at the Bubble Hotel will be the Secret Lagoon. This natural hot spring features warm geothermal waters that flow from the rocks, making it a relaxing way to end the day. Tonight, you'll be surrounded by the magic of the northern lights and quiet wilderness as you sleep in your private bubble, a true oasis in the Icelandic wilderness.
Day 5: Lake Laugarvatn: Fontana Geothermal Baths
Visit Lake Laugarvatn today and indulge in the Fontana Geothermal Baths. With waters taken from the natural hot springs here, these outdoor pools are a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Like many parts of Iceland, the community of Laugarvatn sits in a "hot zone," with multiple hot springs. The hot water from the springs has been used for cooking, geothermal heating, and steam bathing since the late 1920s.
Enjoy the outdoor mineral baths, which are connected and vary in depth size, and temperature. The pools and hot tub are perfect for soaking or steaming, and in addition to the natural beauty of the landscape, you'll also find artwork by local artists built into the stone. After your bath, move to the Finnish-style sauna. The temperature runs between 176°F (80°C) and 194°F (90°C) with a large window that showcases the lake.
Completing the ensemble is the lake and beach. Bathers can walk into the lake from a pier, or take a stroll on the black sand beach. A cool dip between steam and sauna is a refreshing temperature shift for the healthy-hearted! Tonight, overnight in the Lake Laugarvatn area or Golden Circle location of your choice.
Day 6: Lake Laugarvatn: Paddle Board Tour
If you'd like to really see Lake Laugarvatn, take a paddle-boarding tour of the lake and shorelines. Your guides will provide you with the necessary equipment and after brief instructions, you're on your way for a cruise around the lake. The waters of the lake are calm and shallow, ideal conditions for first-time paddle boarders. Tour the lake while learning about its history and taking in the peaceful scenery. Later, you can enjoy another dip at Fontana before continuing to your next destination. Tomorrow is your last chance to see more of the Golden Circle, so rest up tonight!
Day 7: Þingvellir National Park
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Go back to Þingvellir National Park today, the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Icelandic mainland. Located on the northern shore of Þingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland, it is bisected by the river Oxara, which forms the Oxarafoss waterfall in the Almannagja Gorge. Stop in at the Hakid Visitor Center, which has different seasonal interactive exhibits on the history of the area and its people, then visit historic Law Rock, where Viking chieftains from all over the country met once a year to discuss local laws.
You can head back to Geysir geothermal area and see if Strokkur will reward you with an eruption, or make another visit to Gullfoss and take a hike around the falls. You can also visit the volcanic crater of Kerið and its gorgeous blue lake. A 20-minute walk takes you around the lake, or you can hike down to the shore and check out the water. Enjoy your last night in the Golden Circle before continuing your journey tomorrow.
Day 8: Ferry to Westman Islands, Visitor Center, Belugas & Puffins
Day 9: Circle Boat Tour of Westman Islands
Day 10: South Coast: Waterfalls & Black-Sand Beaches, Caves of Hella
Ferry back to the mainland and continue your drive on the Ring Road. Head along the southern coast, where you'll see some of Iceland's most well-known attractions, and catch views of glaciers and volcanoes right from the road. Your first stop will be the Caves of Hella, 12 man-made caves that were discovered at the farm of Ægissíða. This historic site is Iceland's oldest still-standing archaeological remains, and some believe the caves date even farther back than the settlement of the Nordic Vikings. Four of the caves are open to the public, and you'll be able to view ancient crosses, wall carvings, and carved seats.
From here, head to Seljalandsfoss waterfall—one of the only known waterfalls you can actually walk behind. Access is a fairly easy walk from the parking lot, and you can stand in a cave under the cliffs and watch the water roaring past. Then, head to nearby Skógafoss, where the waters often create dazzling rainbows, making it one of Iceland's most photographed falls.
Stop at the Dyrholaey Arch and cliffs, a nearly 400-foot (120 m) promenade with panoramas of the southern coast. At the top, you can see Mýrdalsjökull glacier, and an endless coastline of black beaches. If heights don't scare you, walk along the arch for more impressive views! Your last stop today will be Reynisfjara Beach. This black-sand beach is most known for the Reynisdrangar columns, gigantic basalt sea stacks that are seasonal nesting grounds for birds. After your beach visit, overnight in the town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur.
Day 11: Skaftafell, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Glacier Kayaking Adventure
Day 12: Drive to Reykjavík, Þakgil Valley, Hveragerdi, FlyOver Iceland
Travel back along the southern coast today, stopping at some of the lesser-visited sights that, while perhaps not as well known, are still well worth seeing. Visit the beautiful Þakgil Canyon where you can visit Stórhellir, a large cave not far from the main road. Continue to the black sand beaches of Sólheimasandur, where if you like, you can make the two-hour hike to the wreck of a US Navy DC-3 that crashed there in the 1970s.
Day 13: Explore Reykjavík, Whale Watching & Northern Lights
This afternoon, get out on the water with a tour that combines whale watching and northern lights! You'll start from the harbor with a three-hour excursion, where you'll see various whale species, dolphins, and other marine life. The ship returns in time for your to grab dinner and walk around the city center before heading back out for an evening northern lights cruise. You'll get back onboard, and take a two-hour cruise that takes you out to the open bay under a vast starry sky, on the lookout for the magical colors of the aurora borealis.
Day 14: Reykjanes Peninsula, Blue Lagoon Retreat Spa, Depart Reykjavík
Unfortunately, it's time to depart Iceland today, but if you have time before your flight, you can visit a few more interesting sights along the Reykjanes Peninsula. Go by Krysuvik volcanic area, which spans 135 square miles (350 sq km) and is home to Seltun, a colorful geothermal area with bubbling mud pots and hot springs. Not far from here is Grænavatn, a small lake that, due to the amount of sulfur in the waters, sports a gorgeous seafoam green color.
If you'd prefer to spend your final hours in Iceland relaxing, visit the famed Blue Lagoon. The healing waters are world-renowned and are said to cure or improve numerous physical ailments. You can take it to the next level with a visit to the lagoon's award-winning Retreat Spa. This five-hour escape includes entry to the lagoon, access to several subterranean spaces within the resort, beverages, massage, and access to the spa restaurant. Later, you'll head back to the airport for your flight home or to your next destination. Safe Travels!