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12 days - Small Group tour of Iceland | Snæfellsnes Peninsula | Magical West Fjords
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.
The 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. You will stay in simple and charming guesthouses, farm- and tourist-class hotels, many of them set in the most stunning locations.
- Complete escorted tour around Iceland including Snæfellsnes Peninsula & West Fjords
- Explore three national parks
- Dynjandi waterfall, elected "the most beautiful waterfall in Iceland" by Icelanders
- Ferry trip to West Fjords
- Visit to a lava cave
- Soak in Vök Baths, Geothermal floating pools
- Boat trip between floating icebergs on Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
- Experience authentic culture, visit small local museums and take a selfie with an Icelandic horse
- See more sea-cliff birds than you can ever count
- Small groups, maximum 20 people
- Day 1
- Welcome to Iceland
- Day 2
- Golden Circle
- Day 3
- Snæfellsnes Peninsula & Ferry trip to West Fjords
- Day 4
- Iceland's Westernmost Point
- Day 5
- Beautiful West Fjords
- Day 6
- Heading North
- Day 7
- Northernmost Town
- Day 8
- Geological Wonders and Nature Baths
- Day 9
- Eastfjords and Geothermal Bathing
- Day 10
- Vatnajökull National Park, Glaciers & Glacier Lagoon
- Day 11
- Vatnajökull National Park & The South Coast
- Day 12
- Departure Day
- Start Place
- End Place
- Lake Mývatn, Iceland tours
- Country Visited
- Iceland tours
- 12 Days
- Group Size
Fully escorted bus tour around Iceland
- 11 nights accommodation, in rooms with shower/WC
- 10 days escorted tour with English-speaking guide/driver-guide
- Arrival & departure airport transfer by Flybus shuttle (no guide)
- 11 x breakfast
- 10 x 3-course dinner
- Explore three national parks
- Lava cave in Snæfellsnes
- Ferry trip to the West Fjords
- Folk and transport museum at Hnjótur
- Visit to Erik the Red homestead
- Visit to a geothermal greenhouse and horse stables
- Herring museum
- Whale & sea angling tour at Eyjafjörður fjord
- Vök Baths, including towel
- Petra's stone collection
- Boat trip on Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
- Lava Centre museum
- Entrance fees
- Free Wi-Fi on the bus
- Any private expenses
- Any additional services
- Meals that are not listed under "included"
- Single supplement (mandatory when in single room)
Day 1 - Welcome to Iceland
Individual transfer by Flybus shuttle bus from Keflavik airport to your accommodation in Reykjavik where you spend the night.
AccommodationHotel Klettur or similar - a 5 minute cab ride or a 20 minute walk from the centre of town.
Day 2 - Golden Circle
After breakfast, your guide will meet you in the lobby for a 9am departure. Heading out of Reykjavik, you will see classic highlights today. You start with a visit to a geothermal greenhouse and watch how Icelanders grow tomatoes. Next door, you can take a selfie with an Icelandic horse and we learn about its unique qualities and history. Explore Gullfoss, the beautiful double “Golden Falls” and 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. Continue your journey along the scenic Hvalfjörður fjord.
AccommodationB59 Hotel, Borgarnes or similar
Day 3 - Snæfellsnes Peninsula & Ferry trip to West Fjords
Today, you explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, which juts out from Iceland’s West Coast. A rugged mountain chain runs its length, capped by the 1,446-meter Snæfellsjökull glacier, a mystical cone-shaped stratovolcano. Travel around the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, through lava fields, and along the ocean with many classic Icelandic photo opportunities. You will see the most popular sites at the Snæfellsnes National Park where volcanic craters, lava flows, an ice cap, glaciated peaks, fjords, sandy beaches, and high cliffs shape its landscapes.
You 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 a 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, catch the car ferry Baldur from Stykkishólmur to Brjánslækur in the West Fjords. On the 2,5 hour journey over Breiðafjörður Bay, you pass the island of Flatey, which is inhabited only during the summertime. If the weather is nice, enjoy a magnificent view of the bay’s countless isles as well as the glacier Snæfellsjökull.
AccommodationHotel Flókalundur, Patreksfjörður or similar
Day 4 - Iceland's Westernmost Point
Today you will follow the coastline and stop at the folk and transport museum in Hnjótur. Continue through a very remote and sparsely populated region to the bird cliffs of Látrabjarg, the most abundant seabird cliff and the westernmost point of Iceland and Europe where you can see puffins from mid-May till mid-August. You can enjoy a walk in the wilderness to the top of the highest bird cliff in Iceland. Látrabjarg is known in the world for its density of Nordic birds. Puffins, razorbills, guillemots, fulmars, cormorants, kittiwakes and other cliff birds flock either in hundreds, thousands and even in millions. Látrabjarg is a place where you can get very close to the seabirds, and even if you’re not into bird watching, you are entertained by the comic puffins and mesmerized by the sheer number of birds.
If weather and road conditions allow, 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, tides, and weather. This pure sand beach is home to countless seabirds and seals and is an oasis of unique tranquillity. Forget everything, except maybe getting the perfect shot of the ever-changing hues of yellow, orange and red.
TransportationFosshotel Westfjords or similar
AccommodationHotel Flókalundur, Patreksfjörður or similar
Day 5 - Beautiful West Fjords
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, you will 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.
Continue over a mountain pass and along the southern shores of the West Fjords which is a route less travelled and is characterized by sheer cliffs, deep cut bays and narrow stretches of coastal lowland. You will reach Haukadalur, where there’s a rather authentic-looking 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, informative and a photogenic place. The landscape is dominated by mountains, lakes, valleys, sea and wide-open spaces.
AccommodationHotel Laugarbakki, Hvammstangi or similar
Day 6 - Heading North
Today’s journey is a little bit 'off the beaten track', around the Vatnsnes peninsula. Pass the fishing village of Hvammstangi, also called the seal capital of Iceland. A gravel road takes you around the peninsula to Hvítserkur, a highlight on the east coast of the region; a mass of igneous rock, about 15 meters high, situated on the seashore. Fulmars and gulls live on Hvítserkur. An old story has it that Hvítserkur is a petrified troll that intended to stone a nearby cloister, but dawn arrived before he could succeed.
Later take a short walk up to Borgarvirki, on a 180-meter ridge. The ruins of Borgarvirki are a circular, fort-like stone enclosure rising above 10-15 meter basalt columns. Inside are the remains of a well and some dwellings. We continue to Kolugljúfur canyon, where waterfalls cascade into the deep, rugged gorge. It is a breathtaking sight to walk on the viewing platform and watch the calm waters of the river suddenly leap and tumble onwards over so many impressive falls – a sight which will leave no one unmoved. Further north we stop at Víðimýri to visit one of the few preserved turf churches in Iceland. The church was built in 1834 and has turf walls, but timber gables both back and front. Visit Glaumbær, one of Iceland’s most beautiful turf house farm and folk museum. Continue along a high mountain road to Akureyri, also called the capital of North Iceland, where you stay for two nights.
AccommodationSæluhús Studio Apartments, Akureyri or similar
Day 7 - Northernmost Town
During a full-day tour, you see spectacular fjord landscapes while travelling 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, you pass small fishing villages and stop at a deserted valley that even most Icelanders have not seen. Included is a visit to the Herring Era Museum in Siglufjörður. It is Iceland’s largest maritime museum and the only Icelandic museum that has won the European Museum Award. Early afternoon you go whale watching for 2-3 hours in Eyjafjörður – Iceland’s longest fjord right below the Arctic Circle. You will see humpback and minke whales, harbour porpoises and dolphins – The success rate to spot whales is 99%! Overnight and dinner in Akureyri.
AccommodationSæluhús Studio Apartments, Akureyri or similar
Day 8 - Geological Wonders and Nature Baths
Today, explore Goðafoss, the waterfall of the Gods, and continue to Lake Mývatn, known for its abundant bird life and amazing volcanic lava landscapes. See 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. You will travel to Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, in the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park. The round-trip walk takes about 40-60 minutes.
Then continue east through the bare and sometimes deserted landscape with mountains all around and head through the uninhabited highlands to East Iceland. Explore the northernmost fjord on the East Fjord mountain range. The isolated village Bakkagerði at Borgarfjörður-Eystri has only 120 inhabitants; offering an end of the road location. This charming village is built snugly next to the steep mountainside and getting there is a dramatic but rewarding drive. The colourful mountains are unique and impressive.
AccommodationGuesthouse Álfheimar or similar
Day 9 - Eastfjords and Geothermal Bathing
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. Our first stop will be at Vök baths, a geothermal floating pools in Lake Urriðavatn where guests can soak in the hot water, within and surrounded by the lake. Later 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. Petra collected for nearly 80 years this unique treasure of rocks, crystals, zeolites, quartz and more, all from the nearby area in the Eastfjords. In the afternoon we see Vatnajökull, Europe’s biggest glacier that is visible all over Southeast Iceland.
AccommodationHotel Edda Höfn, Höfn in Hornafjörður or similar
Day 10 - Vatnajökull National Park, Glaciers & Glacier Lagoon
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.
Today visit Vatnajökull National Park which covers about 14% of Iceland, making it Europe’s 2nd largest national park in terms of area.
Stop for a boat ride amongst the floating icebergs on the magnificent Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, considered one of the highlights on tour around Iceland. Next, walk along the black sands of the so-called Diamond beach. 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 Hvannadalshnúkur. Walk close to one of the many glacial tongues in the area – a true photo moment. Cross a sandy desert before reaching our overnight location Vík, the southernmost village in Iceland.
AccommodationHotel Vík, Vík in Mýrdalur or similar
Day 11 - Vatnajökull National Park & The South Coast
Today you will travel along the South Coast of Iceland, between the sea, rugged mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls. Explore the black lava beach, Reynisfjara, and bird cliffs before stopping 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. Afterwards, reach Seljalandsfoss waterfall where you can follow a slick and wet trail and walk right behind it. Come prepared and bring a raincoat and good boots as you will get wet.
Then visit the Lava & Volcano Exhibition Centre focused on geology and active volcanoes and watch a documentary film about volcanic eruptions in the past years in Iceland. Farewell dinner at a local restaurant in Reykjavík, Iceland’s capital.
AccommodationHotel Klettur or similar
Day 12 - Departure Day
Individual transfer by Flybus shuttle from your accommodation in Reykjavik to Keflavik airport. We suggest spending some time at the Blue Lagoon on your way out to the airport, ask us for advice.
Price per person twin share. You can also purchase an empty seat beside you.
24 Jun 2021
8 Jul 2022
22 Jul 2022
5 Aug 2022
19 Aug 2022
2 Sep 2022
16 Sep 2022
16 Sep 2022
Additional options you might like to consider: Extra night in Reykjavik before/after the tour - on request, Whale watching in Akureyri on day 7.
Itineraries may be subject to change at short notice during severe weather conditions and certain outdoor activities/day trips may be cancelled during the winter season in Iceland. In these rare cases, where situations of force majeure apply, excursions/activities cannot be refunded, but the local guides will try their best to find reasonable alternatives where and whenever possible.
NOTE: Accommodations are subject to change.