- Soak in natural mineral springs like the famous Blue Lagoon
- Discover Icelandic cuisine in Reykjavík and visit towering waterfalls
- Tour wild Icelandic landscapes like lava fields and volcanic beaches
- Go ice caving, snowmobiling, hike glaciers, and much more
|Arrive in Iceland, Visit Blue Lagoon & Reykjavík Food Tour
|Transfer to Snæfellsnes Peninsula: Hiking, Kayaking & Waterfalls
|Transfer to Húsafell: Sea Cliffs, Waterfalls & Glacier Tour
|Highland Road to Hveravellir, Hveradalir & Kerlingarfjöll
|Glacier Snowmobile Tour & Golden Circle Highlights
|Þórsmörk Super Jeep Tour & Buggy Ride
|Landmannalaugar Super Jeep Tour: Waterfalls & Hot Springs
|Southern Fjallabak Tour & Mælifell Volcano
|Skaftafell Glacier Hike, Jökulsárlón Lagoon & Diamond Beach
|Day Trip to Stokksnes Peninsula & the Eastfjords
|Transfer to Vík, Canyons, Yoda Cave & Zipline
|Þakgil Hiking & ATV Safari
|Waterfalls, Beaches & Horseback Tour, Transfer to Reykjavík
|Visit Sky Lagoon, Depart Iceland
Day 1: Arrive in Iceland, Visit Blue Lagoon & Reykjavík Food Tour
Welcome to Iceland! Ever more travelers are discovering this far-flung volcanic island near the Arctic Circle. It captivates visitors with its untamed landscapes, including geothermal fields, rugged sea cliffs, ancient glaciers, and towering waterfalls. Beyond that, Iceland boasts a rich Viking history that dates back 1,000 years, yet it's capital of Reykjavík is the model of the progressive European metropolis. Well on its way to carbon neutrality, you won't find a greener (and icier) nation in the world.
Your off-roading adventure through Iceland begins when you land at Keflavík Airport, located on the Reykjanes Peninsula in the country's southwest. A driver will pick you up for the transfer to the nearby Blue Lagoon, one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. Surrounded by volcanic fields, the lagoon's milky-blue coloring comes from its rich mineral content, algae, and silica. This benefits your skin and is great for rejuvenation. So relax, enjoy the soak, swim under the human-made waterfall, and maybe treat yourself to a white-mud facial at the on-site day spa.
Now that you're rejuvenated, continue 45 minutes to Reykjavík and check into your hotel. Later, head to the colorful downtown area to discover the joys of Iceland's dining scene on a food tour. Highlights include browsing the Fiskmarkaðurinn (Fish Market) followed by dinner at one of the city's famous restaurants. You can opt for gourmet cuisine at a chic eatery, try traditional Icelandic fare focusing on fresh (and fermented) seafood, or stop at a family-run gem for rustic fare like lamb soup and pancakes rolled with sugar. There are also plenty of vegan options, so dive in!
Day 2: Transfer to Snæfellsnes Peninsula: Hiking, Kayaking & Waterfalls
Your guide will pick you up at your hotel in the morning, and from there, you'll transfer north through West Iceland to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. This unique coastal region is often referred to as "Iceland in miniature" for its wealth of volcanic geological marvels. Once on the peninsula, head to the southwest and Lóndrangar, known for its unique lava rock formations and coastal sea cliffs. Most notable here are two incredible rock pillars that rise as high as 246 feet (75 m).
A short drive up the coast is Djupalonsandur. This beach is also dotted with towering rock formations, but its volcanic black sands are the real star. It claims a fascinating history in the form of a shipwreck from 1948, and left on the beach from the Middle Ages are four stones of various sizes that ancient sea captains used to test the strength of potential sailors. You'll also travel to the coastal town of Arnarstapi and hike along its nearby sea cliffs and see the famous natural rock arch sitting just offshore. If you like, there will be time for a kayak trip along the coast.
Toward the end of the afternoon, you'll visit one of the region's most famous highlights: the three-tiered waterfall of Kirkjufellsfoss, which is backed by the rounded peak of Mount Kirkjufell and was featured in "Game of Thrones." You can then take a quick detour to the Saxholar crater, where you can stretch your legs with a walk up the stairs that take you right to the top of the crater and great countryside views. Afterward, transfer to your accommodation in one of the peninsula's towns.
Day 3: Transfer to Húsafell: Sea Cliffs, Waterfalls & Glacier Tour
This morning, you'll say goodbye to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, but not before hitting one last highlight on your way out. Your driver will take you to the Gerðuberg Cliffs, an area famous for its row of basalt columns up to 46 feet (14 m) tall and which run along a sea cliff for over half a mile. What's really striking is the rocks' symmetry, as it looks like they've been sculpted by hand. The truth is these columns resulted from a lava flow thousands of years ago that poured over a cliff and was quickly cooled by seawater. You'll find short walking paths around the cliffs leading to the columns.
After Gerðuberg, drive east from the peninsula to the twin waterfalls of Hraunfossar and Barnafoss. The former is a series of cascades whose waters rise up from underneath lava fields and pour over rocks into the Hvítá River. The latter is a foaming, churning, powerful waterfall running through a narrow, rocky gorge. You can spend time walking between the two falls and snapping photos. Follow that with a trip to the steaming pools at Deildartunguhver, Europe's most powerful hot spring.
Finally, you'll drive inland to Langjökull, the second-largest glacier in Iceland, where you'll venture into its icy depths. Near the glacier, meet your expert guide, then hop in a modified 4WD vehicle for a thrilling off-road excursion to the glacier's heart. There, strap on crampons and head inside the tunnels—magnificent chasms with ice walls shining in mesmerizing blue hues. Explore the intricate tunnel network, marvel at the ice formations, and learn about the geological processes that shaped these frozen landscapes over time. Afterward, transfer to the nearby town of Húsafell, where you'll overnight.
Day 4: Highland Road to Hveravellir, Hveradalir & Kerlingarfjöll
Leave Husafel in the morning and continue the journey to the volcanic mountain ranges and valleys of Iceland's highland region. You and your driver will be following the rugged F35 highland highway. Known as the Kjölur Route, this 104-mile (168 km) north-south stretch of road takes you past some of Iceland's most incredible inland wonders. As you drive, you'll pass otherworldly geothermal areas with streaming fumaroles, bubbling mud pots, and multicolored lagoons.
One highlight is Hveradalir. Known as the "Valley of the Hot Springs," this natural wonderland is one of the largest geothermal areas in the country. These springs are a great place to stop to relax in rejuvenating waters. You can also hike the nearby ridgetop trails amid rhyolite mountains shining bright Crayola shades of red, blue, and green.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 5: Glacier Snowmobile Tour & Golden Circle Highlights
It's an early start as you continue south from Kerlingarfjöll to glaciers near Iceland's southern coast. Depending on the schedule, you'll either stop at Mýrdalsjökull or Eyjafjallajökull, the two largest glaciers in the region. At the base, you'll embark on a half-day, thrilling ride across the icy surface. The magnificent views on the journey extend across vast snowfields and touring mountains, and your guide will share information about the glaciers, how they formed, and the myths and legends that surround them.
Afterward, you'll leave the glaciers by vehicle and tour highlights along Iceland's famous Golden Circle scenic route. First up is the impressive Gullfoss waterfall. You can follow trails to the top of the falls or view them above the canyon's edge and peer down at the 105-foot (32 m) cascade. Nearby are a couple of other, smaller waterfalls worth visiting—Brúará and Brúarfoss—which are formed from glacial rivers. Next, continue to the Geysir geothermal area. With its bubbling mud pits, steam vents, and erupting geysers, this is one of the most impressive geothermal zones in the country.
Finally, you'll head to Þingvellir National Park, a must-visit destination on the Golden Circle. Also known as Thingvellir, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in a rift valley that marks the meeting point of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Also in the park is the Silfra fissure, a rift located in a crystalline lake on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. It's the only place in the world where you can dive/snorkel between two continents. Afterward, you'll continue to the nearby town of Hella, where you'll overnight.
Day 6: Þórsmörk Super Jeep Tour & Buggy Ride
After breakfast, you'll embark on a rugged off-roading adventure in Þórsmörk (Thórsmörk). Literally translating to "Valley of Thor," this aptly-named mountain ridge sits between the Tindfjallajökull and Eyjafjallajökull ice caps and was designated as a nature reserve in 1918. The landscapes here are diverse, characterized by impressive gorges, ravines, scrubby slopes, waterfalls, and dried lava fields.
Because the area is inaccessible for regular cars, you'll meet an English-speaking driver/guide near Hella and hop in a customized "Super Jeep" for a 4WD adventure through the park. There will be opportunities to stop and hike on rough trails that run about 5 miles (8 km) in total. These routes lead to plenty of stunning viewpoints offering panoramic views of the valley and surrounding mountains and volcanoes.
After the hikes, the adventure continues when you hop in a buggy for a wild ride. Spend the last half of the day zipping across rugged landscapes and visiting hard-to-reach locales. One incredible site is Gígjökull, a glacier impacted by rushing floodwaters when the volcano under the Eyjafjallajökull ice cap erupted in 2010. After a day of hiking and off-road adventure, return to the meeting point and transfer back to your hotel in Hella.
Day 7: Landmannalaugar Super Jeep Tour: Waterfalls & Hot Springs
Your grand tour of the southern highlands continues this morning with a trip to Landmannalaugar. This geothermal wonderland is located within the Fjallabak Nature Reserve, a 470-square-mile (1,216 sq km) wilderness area renowned for its natural beauty. This is a full-day tour where you'll explore Landmannalaugar's rugged terrain in a Super Jeep.
Among the highlights you'll travel to today is Hjálparfoss. This beautiful waterfall in the Thjorsa Valley features double cascades that point toward each other and appear as mirror images. Nearby, is Þjófafoss, which is comprised of multiple cascades on the Þjórsá River. Perhaps the most beautiful of all is Gjárfoss, a multitiered waterfall that plunges into a gorge nestled in the fertile Gjáin Valley.
Other landmarks you'll visit include Hnausapollur, a glassy blue crater lake, and Hekla, an active volcano offering a panoramic view from the summit. Near Hekla is Sigöldugljúfur, a canyon known for its dramatic rock formations and steep cliffs that are also dotted with waterfalls. Capping the day is a relaxing session in the natural springs of the Landmannalaugar Valley. The valley is known for its geothermal activity, and the hot springs here are surrounded by beautiful mountains, offering a relaxing and rejuvenating experience after a day of touring and hiking.
Day 8: Southern Fjallabak Tour & Mælifell Volcano
You'll continue exploring the Fjallabak Nature Reserve today, this time in its southern region. Riding in the Jeep, you'll travel to landmarks like Fagrifoss (literally the "Beautiful Waterfall"). This 80-foot (25 m) cascade is located near the Lakagígar volcanic region, characterized by craters and fissures. The beauty of the falls is only enhanced by their contrast with the surrounding volcanic landscapes.
In keeping with that theme, you'll next visit Lakagígar. This row of spectacular craters was formed in the eruptions at Laki volcanic fissure in 1784 and is spread across several miles. Another highlight is Mælifell, an almost perfectly cylindrical cone volcano rising 656 feet (200 m) above the surrounding black terrain. At the end of the day, you'll return to your hotel.
Day 9: Skaftafell Glacier Hike, Jökulsárlón Lagoon & Diamond Beach
In the morning, you'll transfer to Iceland's southeastern coast, strap on the crampons, and embark on a half-day hike around an outlet glacier at Skaftafell. This icy giant extends from the mighty Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe. Your adventure starts when you meet a certified glacier guide in Skaftafell. After receiving your equipment and safety instructions, you'll step onto the glacier and traverse the surface of this 1,000-year-old ice, which gleams in white and blue. It will feel as if you're walking on the surface of an alien planet.
Afterward, you'll transfer to the nearby town of Hof to marvel at some of Iceland's rich history. This town is famous for its 700-year-old church that boasts a turf-covered roof. These traditional architectural structures are characterized by their unique construction, which incorporates layers of turf or grass on the roof and sometimes on the walls. These buildings have a long history in Iceland, dating back to the settlement era in the ninth century.
The last stop of the day is at the Jökulsárlón Lagoon. At 656 feet (200 m), this is the deepest lake in Iceland. The icebergs floating on its surface are over 1,000 years old, and if you're lucky, you might spot seals and small whales in the water or on shore. After marveling at the lagoon, hike along its shores of the adjacent Diamond Beach. This black-sand beach is famous for the iceberg fragments that drift ashore from the lagoon and which gleam like diamonds in the sunlight. You'll overnight in the nearby seaside town of Höfn.
Day 10: Day Trip to Stokksnes Peninsula & the Eastfjords
In the morning, you'll transfer a few minutes from Höfn to Stokksnes, a scenic headland on the southeastern Icelandic coast. Part of Vatnajökull National Park, the area is known for its remote black-sand beaches and coastal mountains. You'll also find cultural heritage here in the form of an ancient Viking village with traditional turf buildings.
Continue up the coast into Iceland's wild Eastfjords region and Djúpivogur. This idyllic small town sits on a fjord and, like Sokksnes, offers great photo opportunities. While here, you can take a short walk along the shore to an old lighthouse on the rocks.
Next, it's time for another thrilling off-road excursion. Hop in a modified Jeep for a half-day ride around the beautiful, glacier-carved Breiðdalur Valley. Backed by soaring mountains, this coastal area boasts plenty of natural wonders, from romantic waterfalls to salmon-filled rivers. During the tour, you'll stop at colorful fishing villages like Breiðdalsvík and Fáskrúðsfjörður, the latter of which was settled by French and Belgium sailers. At the end of the day, you'll return to Höfn.
Day 11: Transfer to Vík, Canyons, Yoda Cave & Zipline
Meet your driver in the morning for the ride south back down Iceland to the town of Vík, the southernmost town in the country. Make a day of it as you journey to some other stunning locales in this part of Iceland. The first stop will be at Dverghamrar, a rock formation known for its hexagonal basalt columns. Then, continue to Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon, a sinuous and dramatically sculpted gorge easily accessed by a ridgetop trail that offers incredible views into the chasm. Here, you can opt for a hike on one of the trails leading down into the canyon.
The next must-see landmark you'll explore is Hjörleifshöfði. Known as the "Yoda Cave," the entrance to this mountain cavern is shaped like the diminutive "Star Wars" character. The last activity of the day delivers some thrills in the form of a zipline adventure. First, stop near a river canyon and embark on a short hike to some platforms where you'll strap into a harness. Then enjoy a birds-eye view of the canyon as you soar over it on different ziplines, each over 328 feet (100 m) long. Afterward, you'll continue to Vík and check into your hotel.
Day 12: Þakgil Hiking & ATV Safari
This morning, enjoy a scenic transfer north a few miles, passing glacial rivers and lava fields, on your way up to the Þakgil Valley. The route there will take you on a gravel road that leads to the ruggedly beautiful and off-the-beaten-path Þakgil and Remundargil canyons. Surrounded by steep mountains, these rugged, moss-covered chasms are popular for hiking along rough trails of varying difficulty. You'll have your pick of trails, which range in difficulty and length.
After getting the blood pumping, give your legs a break with an exciting ATV (quad bike) adventure. This thrilling two-hour ride begins at the foot of the awe-inspiring Mýrdalsjökull glacier. From there, you'll zoom across wild and diverse landscapes, passing landmarks like the hulking remains of a DC3 plane wreckage. Continue across black-sand beaches, stopping at landmarks and lookout points like those at the magnificent Dyrhólaey Peninsula, which is the southernmost tip of Iceland.
Day 13: Waterfalls, Beaches & Horseback Tour, Transfer to Reykjavík
Continue exploring the wonders of Iceland's southern coast this morning on a full-day excursion. Along with your driver, leave Vík and visit the nearby Dyrholaey cliffs (a good locale for spotting puffins), which features a massive stone sea arch and, beyond, the long black-sand Reynisfjara Beach. Reynisfjara is punctuated by dramatic sea stacks and, at its southern end, a cliff face of geometric basalt columns formed following a volcanic eruption during the last ice age.
Afterward, travel to the iconic Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which is unique in that you can walk behind the 200-foot (60-m) cascade. Another 19 miles (30 km) brings you to Skógafoss waterfall, where after admiring the rainbow from the base, you can hike uphill to the top of the falls from the Fimmvörðuháls trailhead. Then call in at the Skógar Folk Museum to peruse a heritage collection on age-old agriculture and fishing, plus a traditional turf farmhouse.
Later, you'll leave the car and hop in the saddle for a two-hour scenic ride around Iceland's volcanic landscapes and wide-open valleys. As you explore back trails and gallop through open fields, your expert guide will share fascinating stories and insights about the local history, culture, and the remarkable bond between the Icelandic people and their horses. After the ride, you'll transfer about 2.5 hours back to Reykjavík and check into your hotel.
Day 14: Visit Sky Lagoon, Depart Iceland
This may be the last day on the itinerary, but the adventure isn't over yet. In the morning, you'll transfer a few minutes to Sky Lagoon, a natural hot spring located on a harbor south of Reykjavík. During the visit, you can take part in the Seven-Step Ritual. This involves alternating between soaks in the hot springs—whose temps hover around 100°F-104°F (38°C-40°C)—and cold plunges.
Following this is a trip to the sauna and then stepping out into a refreshing cold fog mist. Completing the sensory experience is a body scrub and one last soak in the geothermal lagoon. Afterward, you'll meet your driver for the ride back to the airport, where you'll catch your flight home. Bless!