Iceland Explorer

10 days
from
£3,099
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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

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 1 dinner 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 tailormade 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 Amercian 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

    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: Seljalandsfoss  and Skogafoss. 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 our accommodation in Vik, Iceland's southernmost town, a great place from which to see the Reynisdrangar needles.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Jokulsarlon, Reynisfjara, Hofn

    We begin with an excursion into Skaftafell on the edge of Europe's largest ice cap, Vatnajokull. Here we have the option to climb the low hills overlooking the ice where we will be rewarded with vistas of the contrasting landscapes of mountainous icy peaks, volcanic floodplains and the distant Atlantic shore. Leaving the area we travel east to one of Iceland's most famous highlights - the 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 the fishing village Hofn.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Eastern Fjords, Egilsstadir

    A day of scenic driving, with a number of stops as we travel through fjord country. We start by crossing the Almannaskard Pass and leave the flat south coast as we climb into the alpine landscape of the Eastern Fjords. 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 6

    Dettifoss, Asbyrgi

    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 the enormous Dettifoss Waterfall. This is Europe's most powerful waterfall, bizarrely set in an arid area of sand and rock formations. Further north is the Asbyrgi Canyon; a phenomenal dry canyon thought to have been carved out in a single day by an immense flood wave caused by an eruption underneath the Vatnajokull Ice Cap. We walk into Asbyrgi to have a closer look at the strange lava-cliffs and view the nesting fulmars. We continue west to our guesthouse, which stands on the north border of the inland lava field, where countless springs and crystal clear streams flow from subterranean channels to the lowland of Axarfjordur.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    Husavik and Lake Myvatn

    From Axarfjordur we drive west to the steep 'fracture zone' of the eastern Tjornes Peninsula. West of Tjornes is the lively fishing village Husavik at the east side of Skjalfandi Bay. From Husavik we continue towards Lake Myvatn. We explore the fascinating geology of the area. Sitting on the mid-Atlantic ridge it has a striking appearance thanks to the countless small crater-like islands. Furthermore its position in the rain shadow of the Vatnajokull Ice Cap makes it statistically the driest place in Iceland. We explore the pseudo craters of Skutustadir, the mysterious lava towers and arcs of Dimmuborgir and climb (optional) the 160 metre high crater Hverfjall which was formed in a steam explosion some 2500 years ago. After the crater traverse we head to the Godafoss Waterfall en route to Akureyri. On arrival in Akureyri we take a sightseeing tour around this interesting town, nicknamed the Capital of the North.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Free day in Akureyri

    A free day 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. This northerly town is remarkably green and has the northernmost botanical garden in the world. For those who want an active day there are many optional activities available that can all be booked locally through our guide.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Drive to Reykjavik

    Our journey back to Reykjavik is a final opportunity to enjoy Iceland. It is a long drive (approximately 5 hours) but there's no need for in-car entertainment, we have everything we need right outside. Heading towards Reykjavik there are various options for stops, depending on conditions. We will try to head out to the beautiful Snaefellsness Peninsula, on the western tip of Iceland, and see some of the lovely old fishing villages such as Stykkisholmar, as the landscape unfolds and we near 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

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 1 dinner is 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.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade 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 tailormade 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.

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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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Call us on 020 8772 3936