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Best of South Iceland

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Best of South Iceland

Best of South Iceland

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Price
From £1,999

Duration
7 Nights

Departures
May - Sept

Small Group Tour - Explore the most famous sights in South Iceland from the countryside instead of taking long drives from Reykjavík. This 8-day tour focuses on guided day excursions and explorations from only three different overnight locations in Southern Iceland. You visit the Golden Circle sites, explore the interior highlands of Landmannalaugar, the glacial valley of Þórsmörk, and the frozen wonders of Vatnajökull National Park. Your Icelandic adventure includes short walks here and there, bathing in the geothermal Blue Lagoon, climbing volcano craters, walking on glaciers, a boat trip between floating icebergs and lots of time to take pictures. With a maximum group size of 20 persons, this program includes six full days of touring, exploring and adventure in South Iceland and the interior highlands. You discover national parks, green valleys, high mountains, lunar landscapes, lava fields, waterfalls, hot springs, and glaciers. You explore Icelandic highlights and secrets. Accommodation is provided in simple and clean hotels and cabins with private facilities.

Highlights

  • Small group tour, excellent valur for money!
  • Explore some of the most popular attractions in South Iceland
  • See volcanoes, nature baths and waterfalls as well as the Glacier Lagoon

TOUR ITINERARY
7 Nights

Day 1, SUN: WELCOME TO ICELAND (50 km/31 mls)
The Flybus shuttle brings you from Keflavík International Airport to Reykjavík where you spend the first night in Iceland. We provide ideas on how to explore Iceland's capital on your own.

Day 2, MON: THE BLUE LAGOON & REYKJANES PENINSULA (200 km/125 mls)

At 09:30 meet your tour guide and fellow group members and travel to the Reykjanes Peninsula with its hot springs, mountains, bird cliffs, lunar landscapes and fishing villages. We warm up in the geothermal mineral-rich waters of the famous Blue Lagoon. In the afternoon we explore Krýsuvík, an area with solfataras, fumaroles, mud pots and hot springs. The soil is coloured bright yellow, red and green. We continue through lava fields and coastal landscape to Strandarkirkja, a Lutheran parish church on the southern coast of Iceland. This small, beautiful wooden church, has been a beacon for those travelling at sea and is often referred to as the "miracle church" with the locals' longstanding belief that it has profound, divine powers. Next stop is the charming fishing village of Eyrarbakki with a large number of preserved houses from the period 1890-1920, and therefore a visit is like a journey 100 years back in time. We visit the local Maritime and Folk Museum. In the evening we reach Hella, a small village in South Iceland, where we stay for three nights in simple cottages. You might take a walk south alongside the riverbank to experience complete solitude and tranquillity.

Day 3, TUE: LANDMANNALAUGAR & ÞJÓRSÁRDALUR (290 km/180 mls)
Today we drive the rough unpaved road to Landmannalaugar, an oasis in the barren highlands, surrounded by centre rhyolite mountains. Group members have the options to explore the area on their own or join the guide for a short hike through a rough lava field and up the slopes with an incredible spectrum of colours. The highlight is a 90-minute round-trip hike up toward Brenninsteinsalda, the rainbow mountain of Iceland, which is one of the most spectacular volcanic mountains in Landmannalaugar. The name in English translates to "sulphur wave". It comes from the yellow sulphur spots which have coloured its sides. But there are other colours too: green from copper, black and blue from lava and ashes, red from iron in the earth and white from silica. It could very well be the most colourful mountain in Iceland, and so its picture is often found in books and calendars. The mountain is still "hot" where you can see sizzling sulphur springs and centre at its sides. For this hike, good boots and walking poles are helpful. In Landmannalaugar there is also a natural geothermal stream where you can enjoy a refreshing bath. Have swimwear and towel ready. On the way back to our accommodation, we stop at the beautiful waterfall Hjálparfoss in Þjórsárdalur valley surrounded by unusual basalt rock formations. Nearby we explore the Viking farm ruins at Stöng, which was completely buried in pumice during one of Mt. Hekla's bigger eruptions in 1104. A leisurely hike brings us to Gjáin, a green oasis in an otherwise rocky, barren moon-like landscape. Þjórsárdalur is off-the-beaten-path and is dominated by Mt. Hekla and other volcanoes in the vicinity. Hekla is one of Iceland's most active volcanoes; over 20 eruptions have occurred since settlement in 874. During the Middle Ages, Europeans called the volcano the "Gateway to Hell". Please note that in case Landmannalaugar is not accessible during May and June departures, we travel only to Þjórsárdalur valley on that day.

Day 4, WED: GOLDEN CIRCLE (230 km/143 mls)
Today, we visit three of Iceland's most famous spots: Þingvellir National Park, Geyser hot springs, and Gullfoss waterfall. We start the day at the ancient Viking Parliament area of Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site. 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 colourful by dramatic fissures, ponds, and rivers, including the great rift Almannagjá. Next stop is at the Geysir geothermal fields with a variety of hot springs and bubbling pools where you see the steam pumping from the ground as if beneath it there were lots of little smoking devils. The original geyser is now dormant and has been replaced by Strokkur, "the Churn", which erupts at 5-10 minute intervals. Gullfoss, "the golden falls", is a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river originating from the glacier Langjökull. After the three "must-see" sights on the Golden Circle, we add a little extra. There is a small waterfall called Faxi, "the Main". Nearby, we show you a traditional sheep pen, where Icelandic farmers sort the sheep in September after the sheep had been rounded up in the mountains. We continue to Skálholt, which is one of Iceland's most historic and holy places. It was the centre of ecclesiastic power in Iceland for more than 700 years. The first bishopric was founded here in 1056, with the first bishop, Ísleifur, taking the seat. From then on, it became the centre of learning, culture and worldly power in Iceland. The church in Skálholt has the most beautiful altarpiece made with mosaic and colourfully stained windows, both designed by a famous Icelandic female artist. You might like to visit the local geothermal swimming pool with hot tubs to top off your sightseeing day the Icelandic way.

Day 5, THU: WESTMAN ISLANDS (150 km/93 miles)

A short ferry ride brings us to the Westman Islands, where we explore the town of Heimaey and this extraordinary island by foot and by bus. The volcanic eruption in 1973 is considered the largest natural disaster in Iceland in recent history. The eruption began on January 23 in the outskirt of the town of Heimaey, the only populated island in the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago. After the evacuation of the 5300 inhabitants, and during the 5 months while the eruption lasted, there was much uncertainty as to whether or not the island could ever be repopulated. During our tour to the Westman Islands, we explore bird cliffs, walk up a volcano crater and visit "Pompeii of the North", a volcanic excavation project. There you observe a "house" which was dug up from the thick layer of pumice after 40 years. There is also an exhibition about Surtsey Island that was born by volcanic eruptions between 1963-68 and preserved today by UNESCO. You have the afternoon free to wander around the town of Heimaey, with its birds and signs of recent volcanic eruptions. We travel with the 4 pm ferry back to the mainland and continue to our accommodation near the village of Vík in South Iceland, where we stay for two nights.

Day 6, FRI: VATNAJÖKULL GLACIER & ICE LAGOON (420 km/260 miles)
Today we travel to Vatnajökull, Europe's second largest national park, which has Iceland's highest mountains, an alpine environment, and Europe's largest glacier. A 5-kilometre round-trip hike takes us through the national park to Svartifoss waterfall, which is surrounded by impressive basalt columns. In the afternoon we head over to the famous Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon for a cruise, sailing between the icebergs of all shapes and sizes, which float in the clear blue water. After the glacial lake experience, there is time to go down to the black sand beach, the so-called Diamond Beach, in case we find icebergs that have floated all the way from the glacier lagoon into the Atlantic Ocean.

Day 7, SAT: THE SOUTH COAST, GLACIER HIKE & REYKJAVÍK (250 km/155 miles)
We start the day with a walk along the black lava beach and bird cliffs at Reynisfjara. We see interesting basalt columns, and rock formations called the petrified trolls. Next, we stop for an easy 1,5 to 2-hour glacier hike in the impressive Sólheimajökulll glacier tongue, suitable for beginners. An experienced glacier guide leads you safely through the icy wonderland of strangely shaped ridges, deep crevasses, enormous water cauldrons and different ice formations. We continue to the thundering Skógafoss waterfall, which tumbles 62 meters over a rocky scarp, kicking up vast sheets of mist. Further west we reach the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall where you can follow a slick and wet trail and walk right behind the falls. Come prepared and bring a raincoat and good boots, as you will get wet! The Best of South Iceland program ends with a short Reykjavík city tour before we reach the hotel in Iceland's capital.

Day 8, SUN: DEPARTURE HOME (50 km/31 mls)
The Flybus airport shuttle picks you up at your hotel and takes you to Keflavik airport.


NOTE:

  • Total mileage in 6 days is about 1,540 km (956 miles), which is an average of 256 km (159 miles) per day. You spend about 3,5 hours per day on the bus, depending on road conditions, traffic, and daily distances. On some days, especially in the interior highlands, the driving might be longer than on some other days.
  • The hotels and cabins used on this tour are simple but clean, and all rooms offer private facilities.
  • On September departures, there is a chance to see the Northern Lights.
  • In case Landmannalaugar is not accessible during May and June departures, we travel only to Þjórsárdalur valley on that day.
  • This tour includes some walking on uneven terrain and natural trails.

Travel dates: Sundays, May - September 2019, small group tour (max 20 people)

May and September: From £1,999* per person
Single room supplement from £465*
June - August: From £2,110* per person
Single supplement: from £539*
VIP Seating From £295* per person (get 2 seats for yourself throughout tour, not applicable for airport transfer).

*Price is subject to availability and is based on two people sharing a double/twin or three people in a triple room

Included:
- Return flight from UK including 20kg luggage allowance, taxes and fees
- Arrival & departure transfer by FLYBUS airport shuttle (no guide)
- 6-day escorted coach tour with an English speaking guide or driver-guide
- 7 nights accommodation in rooms with shower/wc
- 7x breakfast
- Visit to two national parks
- Entrance & towel to Blue Lagoon including silica mud mask and one drink of your choice
- Boat trip on Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon
- 1,5 to 2-hour glacier hike
- Entrance fee to Eyrarbakki Maritime and Folk Museum

Additional Fees:
- Booking fee £10 per person
- ATOL Protection fee £2.50 per person (only applicable if flights are booked through All Iceland)

Not included:
- Optional Excursions
- Travel Insurance
- Anything else not specifically listed under "this includes"

Departure

Return Availability
Sunday, 12.05.2019 Sunday, 19.05.2019 Available
Sunday, 26.05.2019 Sunday, 02.06.2019 Available
Sunday, 16.06.2019 Sunday, 23.06.2019 Available
Sunday, 07.07.2019 Sunday, 14.07.2019 Available
Sunday, 04.08.2019 Sunday, 11.08.2019 Available
Sunday, 18.08.2019 Sunday, 25.08.2019 Available
Sunday, 01.09.2019 Sunday, 08.09.2019 Available

Accommodation:

Simple but clean hotels and cottages – rooms with private shower/wc. Most groups will stay at the following accommodations (subject to change):

  • First and last night: Hotel Cabin in Reykjavík (small standard rooms - 10m2)
  • 2nd, 3rd and 4th night: Árhús Cabins in Hella, South Iceland
  • 5th and 6th night: Hotel Skaftafell, Vatnajökull National Park

Why book with All Iceland?

All Iceland is a UK based travel company that specialises in Iceland
Book with the Icelandic experts!

Our office is staffed and run by Icelanders, we promise intimate local knowledge from where to stay to places to eat and the hidden gems that you will not find in tourist guides. We will help you get the holiday you want and we can adapt this package. Book through us and your holiday will also be fully ATOL and ABTA protected. Travel with confidence! 


Contact us and we can help you:

- to stay longer and discover more, this package can be extended -
- to book additional excursions -
- if you have specific accommodation requirements -
- to book this package with or without flights -


FLIGHT OPTIONS


All Iceland cooperates with all the airlines that fly to Iceland, Icelandair, Wow air, easyJet and British Airways. We can assist you to find the optimal flight package. The airlines fly to Keflavik International airport.

Icelandair operates flights from London Heathrow and London Gatwick, Manchester, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Belfast City. Icelandair offers 3 classes, Economy, Economy Comfort and Saga Business Class.
WOW Air operates flights from London Gatwick, Stansted, Edinburgh and Dublin
EasyJet offers flights from London Gatwick, London Luton, London Stansted, Bristol, Manchester, Belfast and Edinburgh.
British Airways offers flights from London Heathrow

We can provide a package with or without flights. When enquiring about a specific holiday package, let us know what airport you prefer to fly from.

Air Iceland
offers Domestic flights between Reykjavík Domestic Airport to Akureyri, Egilsstaðir, Ísafjörður, Vopnafjörður, Grímsey and Þórshöfn.
Fugfélagið Ernir offers Domestic flights to Vestmannaeyjar, Höfn, Húsavík, Bíldudalur and Gjögur.


 

All Iceland offers holiday packages to Greenland and Faroe Islands in addition to Iceland. We work with the following airlines that offer flights to these destinations.

Atlantic Airways offers flights from Edinburgh to Faroe Islands
Air Greenland offers flights from Copenhagen to Greenland
Air Iceland offers flights from Reykjavík Domestic Airport to Faroe Islands and Greenland

Icelandair, British Airways, Wow Air, EasyJet

Bespoke Holidays

At All Iceland we tailor make holidays for our customers.

With this in mind you cannot book this holiday directly on the website but please send us an enquiry or give us a call and we will help you to create your once in a lifetime holiday. Contact our team of Icelandic Experts today and start planning with us!

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