Iceland is an extraordinary land of volcanoes, glaciers, geysers and waterfalls. Experience the wonders of nature in the many national parks, see the weird and wonderful lava formations and view many beautiful and powerful waterfalls. Try some activities such as riding a unique and protected Icelandic horse, sampling the local Nordic cuisine, bathing in the waters of the aqua Blue Lagoon, bird watching, whale watching or walking and trekking the mountains and volcanoes. In winter, you can also experience the thrill of searching for the fabled Northern Lights and marvelling at the winter landscape of snow and ice.
Reykjavik: Iceland’s capital city has much to offer with its history, culture, shopping, dining and nightlife. Main sightseeing attractions include Hallgrímskirkja Church, Perlan, Höfði house (location of the “Reykjavik Summit”), Harpa Concert Hall, the President’s residence in Bessastaðir, Old town centre, Laugardalur recreation area and the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa which is a 45 minute drive from downtown Reykjavik.
West Iceland: The Snaefellsnes Peninsula is made up of a rugged mountain chain that juts out from the west coast and is capped by the 1,446 metre Snæfellsjökull, a mystical cone-shaped strato volcano. Take a lava tour under the Snæfellsjökull glacier into the Vatnshellir lava tube. The Snaefellsnes National Park offers diverse landscapes with its volcanic craters, lava formations, black and white sandy beaches and high cliffs. Take a ferry from Stykkishólmur to Brjánslækur in the West Fjords via Flatey Island to enjoy a magnificent view of Snæfellsjökull glacier (depending on weather). The bird cliffs of Látrabjarg which are located on Iceland’s westernmost point are known for their variety of Nordic birds such as puffins, razorbills, guillemots, fulmars, cormorants and kittiwakes.
North Iceland: The town of Husavik has been established as Europe’s main whale watching area and has its own whale museum. From Akureyri take a boat to Hrisey Island to see the amazing bird life. Visit the Godafoss waterfalls, the lava fields of Dimmuborgir, Lake Myvatn with its rugged volcanic activity and fertile plains or relax in the waters of Myvatn Nature Baths. See Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall or do some hiking in Asbrygi Canyon.
East Iceland: The fishing village of Hofn in southeast Iceland is located on the edge of the Vatnajökull National Park. Explore its harbour area and the nearby peninsula with its lighthouse, bird life and panoramic views or visit the glacier exhibition at the Glacier Museum. For birdwatchers we recommend a boat trip (June to August only) across to the small island of Papey where the island is inhabited by Puffins, Common guillemots, Eider ducks and black legged Kittiwakes. Borgarfjörður Eystri is the northernmost fjord on the East Fjords mountain ranges and is also considered a paradise for hikers. From Iceland’s third largest town Egilsstadir, travel northwest over the dramatic mountain pass to Seyðisfjörður which is a small town with beautifully painted wooden houses or northeast to Husey Farm which is surrounded by two glacial rivers a paradise for nature lovers with its wildlife.
South Iceland: Take the ‘Golden Circle’ route through Thingvellir National Park (UNESCO), visit Gullfoss (‘Golden Waterfall’) and Geysir’s hot spring areas. Landmannalaugar is an area covered by colourful rhyolite mountains, deep valleys and carved mossy mountains. The Westman Islands are located off the south coast and were formed by volcanic eruptions 10,000 years ago. In the south east you will find Vatnajokull National Park which has Europe’s largest glacier, Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon with its floating icebergs and Skaftafell National Park, which provides a contrast between green valleys and black mountain ranges.
There a number of ways to explore this mighty country and you can select your ideal tour type. You may prefer to be part of a group, travelling by coach on an Escorted tour or, to travel on an Independent tour with your transport and accommodation all pre-booked. Another option is a Locally/Partially guided tour, where your overnight accommodation is pre-booked and each excursion is guided – the remainder of the time you’re free to do as you choose. Otherwise, a Self-Drive tour offers you the chance to see the country on a set itinerary, with car hire and accommodation pre-booked.