Iceland Explorer

10 days
from
£2,399
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Culture
Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
AVW
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Culture
Group size:
6–16
Min age:
16

Iceland is a vast, evocative country, constantly evolving and changing through the sheer power of the geological forces that created it. There is a huge amount to see outside of the better known tourist spots of the south. We do of course see these, including Geysir, Thingvellir and Gullfoss, and get to understand why they are so popular! Our journey however continues, to explore areas less frequented by the average visitor. The starkly beautiful Icelandic coastline, the immense glaciers and the beauty of the Eastern Fjords are just some of the treasures that await, to say nothing of the almost indescribable geology of the north.
Choose between the frozen landscape of the winter, when we see the sun rise and set every day and have the chance of Northern Lights, and the seemingly endless days of summer with 24hr daylight. It's no surprise so many blockbusters and TV series are filmed here, as dramatic landscapes go, this takes some beating.

Highlights

  • Volcanoes, waterfalls and geysers
  • Fishing villages and puffins
  • 24hr daylight in summer, chance for Northern Lights in winter

Key information

  • 9 nights hotels and guesthouses
  • Travel by specialist overland vehicle
  • Group normally 6 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Countries visited: Europe, Iceland

What's included

  • All breakfasts included
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

 

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Fly to Keflavik; transfer to Reykjavik hotel

    After a Flybus transfer from the airport, our trip begins with a briefing at our hotel. Depending on your arrival time you may wish to visit to one of the public hot tubs. Remember to bring your towel and swimsuit in hand luggage.

  • Day 2

    Thingvellir, Geysir, Gullfoss

    Today we drive inland to the Thingvellir World Heritage Area, where the world's first 'democratic parliament' meeting took place - the area became Iceland's first National Park in 1928 and a World Heritage area in 2004. Sitting right on top of a major fault line it is the best place in Iceland to see the continental drift - the movement of the Eurasion and North American tectonic plates. Here they are literally pulling the earth apart as they inch away from each other causing the land between to subside. Not surprisingly the area abounds with waterfalls, immense fissures and the largest lake in the country. We then carry on to see the world famous geysers. The most reliable eruption comes every 5-10 minutes from one called 'Strokkur'; the 30-metre jet of water and steam is spectacular. To round off the day we drive a short distance on to Gullfoss, a huge dramatic waterfall located in a 70m deep canyon of River Hvita (White River).

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Head east, taking in Skogarfoss, Dyrholaey and Jokulsarlon

    We head east to the foot of the infamous Eyjafjallajokull Ice Cap; this area was heavily affected by ash fall during the eruption of 2010 and a great deal of ice was melted by the boiling lava. The glacier feeds many beautiful waterfalls and we visit two of them: Skogarfoss and Kvernufoss. Both have rushing water dropping 60m, and in the case of Skogafoss, this wall of water rushes down in a 25m wide sheet, providing quite a spectacle.
    Continuing east, we cross the black flood-plain of Solheimasandur, before reaching the green valley of Myrdalur and continuing to Dyrholaey. This dramatic 120-metre high promontory is the southernmost point in Iceland. It is rich in birdlife, and a nesting site for Puffins and Arctic terns in spring. If we are lucky we might see whales and seals from the promontory on calm days. We continue further east to Vik, Iceland's southernmost town, a great place from which to see the Reynisdrangar needles. Then it is further across Myrdalssandur flood plain and then Skeydararsandur flood plain. Both created by the countless floods created by volcanic eruptions over time. We head for Vatnajokull NP with Europe's largest ice cap, Vatnajokull and it further on to the famous Glacier Lagoon at Jokulsarlon where thousands of icebergs are separating from the country's largest glacier and are floating in the pale green sea-level lagoon. We take a walk beside the lagoon for excellent views and if conditions allow can head down to the black sand beach where chunks of ice are washed back up onto the shore by the sea, creating some wonderful shapes and formations. We then continue further east with the steep mountains of Vatnajokull on one side and the exposed south coast on the other, to our accommodation

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    The Eastern Fjords and Egilsstadir

    A day of scenic driving, with a number of stops as we travel through fjord country. This stunning mountain region has been sculpted as much by glaciers as volcanic activity. The spectacular road winds from one fjord to another, passing a few farms in each fjord where there is enough flat land for hayfields. The birdlife is rich and in late summer thousands of moulting whooper swans feed in the sheltered lagoon of Alftafjordur (Swan fjord). We then continue to the town of Egilsstadir

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Studlagil Canyon, Saenautasel farm, Dettifoss Myvatn

    Heading inland and west we pass through the starkly contrasting desert scenery of the North East Highlands and follow the track that takes us north to Jokuldalur valley and to Studlagil Canyon, one of the most beautiful canyon of Columnar basalt in Iceland. Then its on to Saenautasel farmstead short distance away. Saenautasel was left abandoned due to have ashfall shortly after the volcano Askja erupted in 1875. From Saenautasel we drive enroute Modrudalur to the enormous Dettifoss Waterfall. This is Europe's most powerful waterfall, bizarrely set in an arid area of sand and rock formations. Our journey then takes us on to the Krafla volcano area to explore the craters and lava from the eruptive period of 1975-1984. We hike into one of the craters and look at the strange textures of cooled magma splatters and rich colours of the mineral deposits. From Krafla we head for our hotel at Lake Myvatn.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Lake Myvatn, Hverfell, Godafoss, Akureyri

    We spend the day around lake Myvatn and go for a short walk in the lava fields and craters. We start at Dimmuborgir, a vast area of lava towers and natural arches. The most spectacular of them is 'the Church', a large vault resembling a church. Only a short distance from Dimmuborgir is Mt.Hverfjall, a huge circular crater with a depth of 140 metres and 1000 metres in diameter. It is one of the most beautiful craters in Iceland, one which erupted some 2500 years ago and covered the Myvatn area in tephra (fragments of volcanic rock). It is also thought to be one of the largest on the planet. We traverse Mt.Hverfjall, and a little further north is the rift crevasse Grjotagja with its crystal clear warm water. We explore the pseudo craters of Skutustadir. After Myvatn we head to the Godafoss Waterfall en route to Akureyri.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Siglufjordur, Hofsos, Borgarvirki, Kolufljufur Canyon

    A free morning in Akureyri. Akureyri is a town of some 17,000 inhabitants and is the biggest town outside the capital. It is the cultural, commercial and educational centre for northern Iceland and is 60 km south of the Arctic Circle. Whale watching tours depart regularly and there are a number of museums, including an 'Into the Arctic' exhibition. Opened in 2017 this offers everything from information on arctic explorers to ancient charts and maps, navigational equipment and information on arctic wildlife. This northerly town is also remarkably green and has the northernmost botanical garden in the world. The Lutheran church in Akureyri is an interesting visit, featuring a stained-glass window above the altar that has its origins in England.

    As with most towns in Iceland there are also thermal baths, enjoyed as much by the locals as by visitors, and if you just fancy a wander, there are plenty of interesting shops, coffee shops and even ice cream parlours. If you don’t want to relax and explore town then an optional whale watching tour is possible in the morning.

    We leave Akureyri and drive around the Troll Peninsula, via few fishing villages on the peninsula. We stop at the magnificent outdoor swimming pool at the village Hofsos and go for a quick dip. This remote geothermal swimming pool has some of the best views in the country over the Skagafjordur bay. We head further south and stop at Borgarvirki, an old Viking fortress. The Citadel is a columnar basalt fortress and a volcanic plug. A little further south we head into Vididalur valley and make a short stop at beautiful waterfalls in Kolugljufur canyon, named after a giantess, once said to live in the area. From Koluglufur we head for our hotel close by.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Snaefellsness Peninsula, vikings and Stykkisholmur

    Today we drive west to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Along the way we visit a reconstructed Viking house once home to Eirik the Red and his son Leif Eiriksson - the two most famous travelling Vikings. The 'Eirikstadir' gives an interesting insight to way of life for the early settlers and an introduction to the historic tradition of the 'Icelandic Sagas'. From Eiríksstaðir we head for the village Stykkisholmur on the Snaefellsnes peninsula. Snaefellsnes is perhaps best known for the Stratovolcano 'Snaefellsjokull'. Jules Verne, in his classic 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth', describes this as the start point for the characters' descent. New Age followers consider this area to be one of the earth's seven major energy centres. We head to our accommodation, located on the southern side of the peninsula, on the beach with great views over Snaefellsjokull.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Drive to Reykjavik

    The exposed coast of the of Snaefellsnes peninsula is the goal for today, and this area has recently been designated a National Park. We visit the old church at Budir, one of the most picture tic on in the country.  Sea cliffs at Arnarstapi swarming with birds, to the rocks of Djupalonssandur and the sites of old shipwrecks in the black basaltic sand. Our guide will tell us about the old cod-fishing methods from open boats in the bountiful seas and towering above us is the volcano - Snaefellsjokull. Some of the best fisheries are of the peninsula and whales can often be seen from shore on calm days. We pass through fishing villages on the peninsula and head to one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland Mt. Kirkjufell. After kirkjufell we start heading back to the capital.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    End Keflavik Airport

    Our trip ends with a Flybus transfer to Keflavik airport.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Iceland

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Iceland

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts included

Breakfasts are mainly continental style, lunches will be taken in cafés or restaurants, or even service station cafés depending on our location. The main meal of the day is usually local fish or lamb specialities, plus European standards such as pasta, chicken etc. Vegetarians and those with special dietary requirements can be catered for, but may get a little less variety in the meals provided. It is still common practice for restaurants receiving big groups to offer a restricted menu. Our leader will do their best to ensure as much choice as possible is available. 

Please advise us of any special dietary requirements at the time of booking.

Is this trip for you?

This trip is graded level 2, leisurely/moderate
Much of this trip is touring by small bus, with plenty of stops to visit the highlights detailed in the itinerary. Iceland is bigger than many people expect, so there are some significant distances to cover. Many of the exploration of the highlights themselves are done on foot, often on uneven ground. Some sites do have walkways, however many do not. In winter ice is not uncommon, however if required snow grips are provided to fit over regular shoes. Please see the packing list for further information on footwear. 
We use a comfortable bus, ruggedly built to Icelandic standards and able to cope with most types of terrain. Most roads we travel on this trip are tarmac allowing for a reasonably smooth ride.
Accommodation in Iceland is expensive and often very basic. Those well-travelled clients will find the comparison with similarly priced accommodations in mainland Europe to be disappointing. However, we source good quality, competitively-priced guesthouses and hotels on the itinerary.

Daylight hours vary enormously throughout the year in Iceland. In winter we will depart before sunrise (though this isn't a particularly early start) in order to maximise the daylight, meaning we'll see the sun rise every day.

In May, June and the first half of July we will experience 24hr daylight, before a few hours of darkness around midnight (and the chance of Northern Lights) returns.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as not suitable for full wheelchair users, but it may be suitable for other persons of reduced mobility. Please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Guesthouses

This tour is based on a mixture of hotels and simple guesthouses. As with everything in Iceland accommodation is very expensive, so we have tried to choose places with prices that allow us to keep the holiday affordable. Starting out in a comfortable Reykjavik hotel with en suite facilities, the accommodation on this trip consists of twin rooms, although single rooms are also available. All accommodation has private facilities.  While we pre-book all accommodation according to the itinerary, as space is limited we may move to alternative accommodation according to availability. A limited number of single rooms are available, at a supplement on a strictly first come first served basis. Please contact our sales team for details.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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