At the place where two continental plates brush up against each other is Iceland, land of fire and ice. Get up close to this unique country on a nine-day exploration of its natural highlights. Make your way through lava tube caves. Watch the living Earth in action at some of the island’s volcanoes. Explore the rocky, mountainous landscapes of the stunning Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Relax in incredible hot springs and keep your eyes peeled for whales off the coast. Find your element in a place of extreme elements.

Trip highlights

Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon Visit, Visit the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon with views of the ice cap. The lake is the lowest point in the country and filled with icebergs drifting towards the sea, often with seals lounging on top.

Skaftafell National Park Glacier Hike, Hike some of the many maintained trails in Skaftafell National Park, famous throughout the country for its excellent weather and sunny summer days. This preservation area in the southeast is now incorporated into the larger Vatnajökull National Park.

Itinerary - 9 Days

Day 1 Reykjavík

Arrive at any time.

Day 2 Reykjavík/Skaftafell

Discover the beauty of Iceland’s south shore, catching views of the infamous Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Its eruptions in 2010 produced massive clouds of ash that disrupted air travel throughout Europe for several days. See the stunning Seljalandsfoss waterfall, and follow a hidden path through a canyon to the secluded falls of Gljúfrabúi. Stop in Hveragerði, a hot spring village, where you will have the opportunity to taste bread baked in a hot spring. Then visit the Lava Center for an overview of how Iceland’s volcanoes and earthquakes shaped this island.

Day 3 Skaftafell

Continue exploring the south shore, passing sandy plains and moss-covered lava fields and stopping along the way at historical and geological sites. Visit Crystal Beach, scattered with icebergs that wash up on the black sands, and see iridescent ice formations in the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. Hike in Vatnajökull National Park to Svartifoss waterfall, framed by basaltic lava columns. Stop at the historic farmstead Hof in Öræfi, home to one of Iceland’s best-preserved turf churches.

Day 4 Skaftafell/Vik

Embark on a guided walk atop a glacier in Skaftafell National Park. Strap on a pair of crampons and get up-close views of intriguing ice formations, deep sinkholes, and rugged crevasses. Later, stroll along the black sands of Reynisfjara Beach.

Day 5 Vik/Golden Circle/Selfoss

This morning, learn about Icelandic cultural heritage at the Skôgar Folk Museum and visit the picturesque Skogafoss waterfall. Opt to climb 400 steps to the top of the falls for spectacular views. Then set out on a tour of the celebrated Golden Circle. Visit the mighty Gullfoss waterfall, and then see Geysir, the hot spring for which all other geysers are named. Tour the G Adventures-supported Solheimar Ecovillage, a sustainable community of over 100 people dedicated to helping people with disabilities. After touring the non-profit community and learning about the various workshops and programs, enjoy a local meal in their restaurant.

Day 6 Selfoss/Snæfellsnes

Begin the day with a walk in Thingvellir National Park, the last stop on our Golden Circle tour, where we’ll see the meeting point of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Continue to a traditional Icelandic farm — located in the narrow fjord of Hvalfjörður — where we’ll learn about rural Icelandic life and enjoy a traditional farm-to-table lunch. Continue to the stunning Snæfellsnes Peninsula in western Iceland.

Day 7 Snæfellsnes

Spend the day exploring the peninsula, including Snæfellsjökull National Park and its mystical glacier-topped volcano, which Jules Verne wrote about in his novel Journey to the Center of the Earth. See Búðir Church, the Lóndrangar sea stacks, Djúpalónssandur pebble beach, and the iconic peak of Kirkjufell. We’ll also visit the Eldfjallasafn Volcano Museum, founded and run by world-renowned volcanologist and National Geographic grantee Dr. Haraldur Sigurðsson.

Day 8 Snæfellsnes/Reykjavík

Continue to Borgarfjörður, where many Icelandic sagas have taken place. See the Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls; and step into Reykholt, the homestead of the 12th-century writer Snorri Sturluson. We’ll also visit Deildartunguhver, Europe's most powerful hot spring whose water heats most buildings in western Iceland. Continue to Reykjavík for our final evening.

Day 9 Reykjavík

Depart at any time.

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