Iceland Glaciers and Waterfalls

Explore natural wonders -- glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes, lagoons -- on this adventure
Overview

overview

Experience the dramatic and varied scenery of southern Iceland as you travel along the coast of the North Atlantic with its glacier-tipped peaks and majestic waterfalls on one side and dramatic black sand beaches on the other. Traverse one of the most expansive lava fields in the world, hike the foothills of Europe's largest glacier, go sailing among icebergs in Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, and search for birds and other wildlife on your treks.  Visit Thingvellir National Park, the geothermal Landmannalauger Highlands, Skaftafell National Park, small towns, and the capital city of Reykjavik.  When it's time to relax, luxuriate in the renowned healing powers of Reykjavik's Blue Lagoon.

If your schedule permits, allow us to extend your time in Iceland or link up your trip with an extension to nearby Greenland to complement your time in Iceland.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: Welcome to Iceland!
    Wander around the charming capital of Reykjavik

    Flights from the U.S. typically arrive at Keflavik Airport (45 min. drive from Reykjavik) in the early morning.  You will be met at the airport and driven to Reykjavik, where you'll check into your downtown hotel and spend the morning at leisure, either relaxing or exploring on your own.  Optional activities today include a walking tour of downtown Reykjavik, an Icelandic tasting menu lunch, and/or a trip to Laugar Spa, where you can enjoy a variety of geothermically-heated swimming pools, saunas, and steam baths.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Hotel Loftleidir (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: Thingvellir / Geysir / Gullfoss
    See Thingvellir's dramatic rift valley

    After breakfast, begin the day with a drive to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site located in the dramatic rift valley where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates pull away from one another at a rate of up 3/4 inch per year, an amazing sight clearly visible in the landscape's fissures at the great Almannagja or Everyman's Gorge.  Lake Thingvellir has crystal-clear waters, making it a popular destination for scuba divers and snorkelers from all over the world, whom we may spot diving in nearby gorges.

    Our next stop is at Geysir, the original hot water spouting spring from which the term "geyser" is derived.  From here, a ten-minute drive takes you to Gullfoss, or Gold Falls, Iceland's most famous waterfall.

    Today's optional activities include a two-hour hike in Thingvellir National Park, dry-suit snorkeling in Lake Thingvellir, an hour-long snowmobile ride on Langjokull glacier, or an hour-long river rafting trip on the glacial river Hvita and its class 2+ white water, the source of which is Langjokull glacier, the second largest glacier in Iceland.

    In the afternoon, relax on a scenic drive through classic Icelandic farmland, then head to your hotel for dinner and the night.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Hotel Fludir (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: Landmannalaugar Highlands
    Marvel at Landmannalaugar's rainbow colors

    Today we head into the highland area of Landmannalaugar, which features the largest geothermal field in Iceland.  Its sculptured peaks are rhyolite, creating an amazing rainbow of colors in the surrounding mountains.  Take an easy two-hour hike across a lava field to rainbow-streaked Brennisteinsalda (Sulphur Wave) mountain, Iceland's most colorful peak.  Afterward, opt for a dip in the natural hot pools nearby, then continue onward across one of the world's most extensive lava fields to your hotel in the countryside, your base for the next two nights.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Picnic Lunch
    Lodging
    Hotel Klaustur (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: Skaftafell NP / Jokulsarlon Lagoon
    Trek out to Skaftafellsjokull glacier in the national park

    Start the day with a hearty breakfast, followed by a two- to three-hour hike in Skaftafell National Park, Europe's largest national park, encompassing a breathtaking collection of peaks and glaciers with varied flora and fauna.  Our path takes us by an historic turf farm and scenic waterfalls, with commanding views of glacier tongues and black desert beach sands stretching out to sea.  Picnic overlooking Skaftafellsjokull glacier and (weather permitting) see the summit of Iceland's highest peak, Hvannadalshnukur.  In the afternoon, visit dramatic Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon, site of two James Bond movies.  In this fantastic location, look for seals, eider ducks, and glaciers calving in the ice-laden crystal turquoise waters.  Return to your countryside hotel in time for dinner.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Hotel Klaustur (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: Black Sand Beaches of the South Coast
    Wander on deserted black sand beaches

    Today we drive along the south coast of Iceland, taking in some of its most dramatic scenery, exploring waterfalls and black sand beaches along the way.  You will visit the small town of Vik and the Dyrholaey promontory, as well as the breathtaking Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls.  Also explore the area south of notorious Eyjafjallajokull and Katla volcanoes, then head to your downtown Reykjavik hotel for check-in and dinner.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Hotel Loftleidir (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: Reykjavik
    Take a puffin and whale watching excursion

    You are free to explore Reykjavik on your own, using our recommendations as you wish.  Consider taking a whale and puffin watching trip in the morning, then exploring museums and shops in the afternoon.  You might also want to take a guided bicycle tour, visit a nearby horse ranch, or relax while feeding the resident ducks and geese at the picturesque lake in the center of town.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Hotel Loftleidir (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: Blue Lagoon / Departure
    Say goodbye to this land of contrast and wild beauty

    After breakfast, you will be picked up around 11:00 am for a visit to the renowned Blue Lagoon Spa, where you can enjoy a relaxing swim in the aqua-blue waters known for their therapeutic qualities.  The spa features a restaurant and gift shop offering locally-made skin products and other Icelandic goods.  Afterward, we will pick you up for a short 15-minute drive to Keflavik International Airport in time for your afternoon flight home.

    If your schedule permits, consider allowing JOURNEYS to extend your time in Iceland or create a Greenland extension to your time in this fascinating part of the planet.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Show on a map
Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$3,995
Note: fluctuations in exchange rate may impact pricing Per person price for a group of 2 is $5495
Single Supplement:
$650
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Need to Know

Need to Know

Duration:
7 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
2
superior hotels in beautiful, natural settings
Group Size:
4-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
2
Walking, optional hikes

Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation and check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in JOURNEYS Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: $500 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure.  Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well.  Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted by fax, mail, or via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Air fares: JOURNEYS can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

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