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Iceland Explorer

0044 1606 720199

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  • Holiday code
    W09IC
  • Holiday type
    Guided walking
  • Duration
    9 nights
  • Accommodation
    hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • From $4589per person, tour only
  • Departure months
    JFMAMJJASOND
  • 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)
  • Key Information
  • This holiday is operated by our sister company, Exodus
  • 9 nights hotels and guesthouses
  • Travel by airconditioned minibus
  • Group normally 7 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs

Iceland:

Iceland Explorer

  • Operated by our sister company, Exodus
  • Visit the Golden Circle of Geysir, Thingvellir and Gullfoss Admire the dramatic scenery of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula See the striking black-sand and iceberg-strewn Diamond Beach Choose between 24-hour sunlight in summer or the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights in winter

Iceland is a vast, evocative country, constantly evolving through the sheer power of geological forces. There is a huge amount to see outside of the better-known tourist spots in the south. Geysir, Thingvellir and Gullfoss are understandably popular, and we visit them before continuing to explore areas less frequented by most visitors. 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. On this busy itinerary, choose between the frozen landscape of winter, when we see the sun rise and set every day and have the chance to experience the Northern Lights, and the seemingly endless days of summer with 24-hour daylight. It’s no surprise so many blockbusters and TV series are filmed here. As dramatic landscapes go, this takes some beating.



We're here to help

If you have any questions about this holiday call our sales team on 0044 1606 720199, use our live webchat or email sales@headwater.com



We're here to help

If you've any questions about this holiday call our sales team on 0044 1606 720199 , or email sales@headwater.com

Day 1: Start Reykjavik

We start in Reykjavik, the most northerly city in the world and gateway to the wider wonders of Iceland. Depending on when you land, you may have time to visit the Blue Lagoon. Alternatively, there’s plenty to explore in town, including the striking modern architecture of the Harpa concert hall and Hallgrímskirkja church. We gather in the evening at the hotel for a welcome briefing, which is normally at 6.30pm. After, our groups typically go out for dinner together.

Day 2: Thingvellir, Geysir, Gullfoss

Today we drive inland to Thingvellir, where the world’s first democratic parliament took place – the area became the first Icelandic national park in 1928 and a Unesco World Heritage site 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 Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. Here they are 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-renowned geysers. The most reliable eruption comes every five to 10 minutes from the 98ft (30m) Strokkur geyser. To round off the day, we drive a short distance to Gullfoss, a huge waterfall in a 230ft (70m) deep canyon forged by the Hvita River (White River).

Day 3: Head east, taking in Skógafoss, Dyrhólaey and Jökulsárlón

We head east to the foot of the infamous Eyjafjallajökull Ice Cap; this area was heavily affected by ash-fall during the 2010 eruption and a great deal of ice was melted by the boiling lava. The glacier feeds many beautiful waterfalls and we visit two of them: Skógafoss and Kvernufoss. Both have rushing water dropping 197ft (60m), and in the case of Skógafoss, a wall of water rushing down in a 82ft (25m) wide sheet. Continuing east, we cross the black flood plain of Solheimasandur before reaching the green valley of Myrdalur and continuing to Dyrhólaey. This 394ft (120m) high promontory is the southernmost point in Iceland. It is rich in bird life and a nesting site for puffins and Arctic terns in spring. If we are lucky, we might see whales and seals on calm days from the promontory. We continue further east to Vik, the southernmost town in Iceland and a great place to see the Reynisdrangar sea stacks. If time and conditions allow, we will see the Reynisdrangar sea stacks at closer proximity from Reynisfjara black beach. Then we travel further across the Mýrdalssandur and Skeiðarársandur flood plains. Both were formed by countless floods created by volcanic eruptions. We head for Vatnajökull National Park, home to the largest ice cap in Europe (also called Vatnajökull) and then on to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, where thousands of icebergs are separating from the largest glacier in the country and floating in the pale green sea-level lagoon. We take a walk beside the waters for excellent views. If conditions allow, we can head to the black-sand beach where chunks of ice are washed onto the shore by the sea, creating some wonderful shapes and formations. We then continue further east, with the steep mountains of Vatnajökull on one side and the exposed south coast on the other, to our accommodation.

Day 4: The Eastern Fjords and Egilsstadir

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

Day 5: Studlagil Canyon, Möðrudalur farm, Dettifoss Waterfall and Myvatn

Heading inland and west, we pass through the starkly contrasting desert scenery of the northeast highlands and follow the track that takes us to Jokuldalur valley and to Studlagil Canyon, one of the most beautiful canyons of columnar basalt in Iceland. Then it's on to Möðrudalur farmstead, the highest inhabited farm in Iceland at 469m (1,539ft) above sea level. The views from Möðrudalur are special, stretching far and wide across the rugged landscape. From Möðrudalur, we drive to the enormous Dettifoss waterfall* and walk 0.6mi (1km) to a great vantage point. This is the most powerful waterfall in Europe, bizarrely set in an arid area of sand and rock formations. After, we visit the Námafjall goethermal area before driving a short distance to Myvatn and the pseudocraters at Skútustaðir. Finally, we head to our hotel at Lake Myvatn. *The road to Detifoss may not be passable on some winter departures. Your tour leader will assess the local conditions and adapt the itinerary if required.

Day 6: Lake Myvatn, Hverfjell, Godafoss, Akureyri

We spend the morning around Lake Myvatn and go for a short walk in Dimmuborgir, a vast area of lava towers and natural arches. Only a short distance from Dimmuborgir is Mount Hverfjall, a huge circular crater that's 460ft (140m) deep and 3,280ft (1,000m) wide. It is one of the most beautiful craters in Iceland, one which erupted some 2,500 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. A little further north is the hot-spring cave known as Grjótagjá, made famous by Game of Thrones. After Myvatn, we head to the Godafoss waterfall en route to Akureyri, where the afternoon is free to spend at leisure. Akureyri is a town of 17,000 inhabitants and is the biggest town outside the capital. It is the cultural, commercial and educational centre for northern Iceland and 37mi (60km) south of the Arctic Circle. Akureyri is 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 thought to have come from a church in London, UK. 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 would like to book a whale watching tour for this afternoon (March-October only), please speak to your tour leader at the welcome briefing.

Day 7: Siglufjordur, Hofsos, Kolufljufur Canyon

We leave Akureyri and drive around the Troll Peninsula via traditional fishing villages. We stop at the magnificent outdoor swimming pool at the village of Hofsos, with time for an optional quick dip (not included). This remote geothermal swimming pool has some of the best views over Skagafjördur bay. A little further south, we arrive in the Víðidalur valley and make a short stop at beautiful waterfalls in Kolugljúfur canyon, named after a giantess said to have once lived in the area. From Kolugljúfur, we head to our nearby hotel.

Day 8: Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Vikings and Stykkisholmur

Today we drive west to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Along the way, we visit a reconstructed Viking house once home to Erik the Red and his son Leif Erikson – the two most famous travelling Vikings. The Eiríksstaðir gives an interesting insight into the life of early settlers and an introduction to the historic tradition of the Icelandic Sagas. From Eiríksstaðir, we head to the village of Stykkishólmur. Snæfellsnes is best known for the stratovolcano Snæfellsjökull. 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 pass through fishing villages on the peninsula and head to one of the most photographed mountains in Iceland, Kirkjufell. We then head to the southern side of the peninsula to our accommodation on the beach with great views over Snæfellsjökull.

Day 9: Coastal drive to Reykjavik

The exposed coast of the of Snæfellsnes 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 picturesque in the country; the sea cliffs at Arnarstapi, swarming with birds; the rocks of Djúpalónssandur; and old shipwrecks in black basaltic sand. Our guide will tell us about the old cod-fishing methods, while towering above us is the Snæfellsjökull volcano. Some of the best fisheries are on the peninsula and whales can often be seen from shore on calm days. Finally, we return to our hotel in Reykjavik.

Day 10: Our trip ends in Reykjavik after breakfast

Our trip ends in Reykjavik after breakfast. You can catch a Flybus transfer to the airport to catch your return flight. Alternatively, if you’d like a bit longer to explore this invigorating city, speak to your sales representative about extending your stay.

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking.

To find out more call our sales team on 0044 1606 720199, use our live webchat or email sales@headwater.com

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.


Meals

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.

Travel

Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.

To find out more about the travel options available call our sales team on 0044 1606 720199 or email sales@headwater.com

Transfers

We offer a transfer to meet any international flight arriving into Keflavik Airport. All clients will receive a voucher for a Flybus transfer to the start hotel. Flybus offer coach transfers to meet every flight arriving into Keflavik International airport and make stops at various city hotels including our start hotel. You will receive further details in your Final Joining Instructions.

Transportation

We use a comfortable van or bus, ruggedly built to Icelandic standards and able to cope with most types of terrain, including fording glacial rivers. Airport transfers are on the Flybus Service.

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 10 Days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of Icelandair (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed untilapproximately two weeks before departure.



Travelling land only: 10 days starting and ending in Reykjavik

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Reykjavik in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Reviews

Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop, and where necessary improve, our services and ensure our holidays continue to be the best they can be. As this is a relatively new holiday, we don't yet have any customer reviews available from our customers, but here are the comments that have been received from previous Exodus travellers.

Fantastic tour, and our guide was excellent (Jon - spelling?). Only thing is that it would have been preferable to have more weather specific guidance regarding gear that would be helpful - such as crampons with ice spike etc.

A great experience and quite different to our previous trips with Exodus. A good itinerary which allowed us to see amazing diverse landscapes from spectacular waterfalls to glaciers, icebergs and rugged coastlines. We also really enjoyed hearing about Icelandic culture, both new and old, with stories of trolls and Vikings.

Iceland is a fascinating country with a wealth of scenic attractions and this tour seemed to include all of them. It was busy every day, sometimes with long drives between the sights, but the landscape during these travels was always interesting and I was never bored. Weather was sadly unkind - but that is Iceland - with often rain and low cloud obscuring the mountainous views. On one day the wind was so fierce that the main circular road (Route1) was closed for 8 hours which disrupted plans for the day but Jon the guide created alternative sights for us to visit. Choice of hotels was generally good, with the guest houses occasionally a bit spartan (if you like tea in the mornings, pack a travel kettle). Food was good also, at twice the price of English restaurants

I had researched about Iceland and the places to be visited but had not anticipated the scale of the island and the grandeur of the scenery. The weather was not as rainy as was forecast but it was windier than I expected, the weather suited the landscape and the experiences on the trip. Our guide was excellent - full of information and stories - never a dull moment.

Iceland is a clean, safe, ( subject to volcanic action), and beautiful place to visit, but in between the places of interest there is a lot of lava. Green, black or white, it becomes tedious, and particularly when visibility is limited. The journeys between the sites can be rather dull, long and boring. If and when the sunshines, everything looks brighter including the numerous waterfalls and beautiful beaches, but Iceland this May was fairly wet and cloudy. The accommodation we experienced was absolutely fine. Food is expensive but by the end of the tour we got used to the cost and even splashed out on a beer each. Prior to that, we shared a glass! The fish at The Grillhuise in Reykjavik was excellent.

First holiday in three years for us and a different style too - we usually go on trekking/activity type holidays so a 'tour' was all a bit different. Had a great time, Iceland in March is impressive and the tour covers the whole island and visits all the 'classic' sites.

A thoroughly enjoyable tour of this majestic island. Our first day out took us to some of the tourist hotspots – the huge Gullfoss waterfall, geysers, the growing fault line between the North American and Eurasian continental plates and the site of their 1100-year-old parliament. Thereafter our 1000-mile journey around the island was largely free of other tourists (it was February). The snow conditions were good (it covered the island, but wasn’t too deep for walking), with little rain (probably lucky for the time of year). Our only challenge was the wind, which did curtail our itinerary when we got to the west of the island.

Iceland in March is a challenge.....ice and snow underfoot (boot chains provided!) high winds, intermittent torrential rain, bad road conditions. But the beauty of the country more than makes up for any discomfort. Travelling around the whole island, the scenery is constantly changing....wild coasts, snowy mountains, sparkling fjords, black lava flows and of course, wonderful waterfalls. For any lover of the great outdoors, this trip is a must

What a fantastic place , so beautiful especially all dressed in white with snow and ice. The scenery is truly stunning. Waterfalls like you've never seen them before, fantastic coastline with the iconic black sand. Food ... best fish we have ever tasted. Acc'n .. excellent.. a couple of the hotels were very modern and quite luxurious.

As with all Exodus holidays - read the detailed itinerary carefully and you should not be disappointed if you choose to go. We had yet another superb Exodus guide in Kristian (I have probably mis-spelled that!) who was also the bus driver for the 16 in the group which I think is the maximum. Inevitably you spend a good deal of time on the bus but no surprises there, that's why I stress to read the itinerary. The views are constantly excellent and Kristian would stop regular to stretch legs and admire the view. This holiday gives a good overview of the entire island. Although a good deal of the driving is on gravel roads do not expect to be taken deep into the interior where the really rough roads are that need specialised transport. Just one night in each place but all the hotels were fine with the possible exception of the one in Akureyri. Our room was adequate but some had tiny rooms with poor showers. Some of the more remote places offer very limited menus, if you like lamb and fish you'll be okay! We had a vegan in the group who had very limited options at one place. Highlight was undoubtedly the last day when Kristian rejigged the itinerary (with our permission) so that we could trek to the Fagradalsfjall volcano, which Kristian had heard was ramping up activity. Wow! We were treated to specular displays of erupting lava and Kristian told us that in 25 years of guiding we were the first group of his to witness such a thing. Weather was mixed as you would expect in early September. Two very wet days - one with a gale - and 4 days of blue skies and flat calm, the other days being between those extremes.

This trip exceeded my expectations. The ever changing landscape was stunning, the food was excellent (although vegetarians are less well catered for, and it helps to like fish), and all the accommodation was clean and comfortable.

Dates and prices

You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.

This 9 night guided walking holiday includes:

All breakfasts included

All accommodation (see accommodation section)

All transport and listed activities

Tour leader throughout

Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)


How to book:

To book this holidays speak to our sales team on 0044 1606 720199 or click on the appropriate 'book now' or 'check availability' button below.

To book this holiday call our sales team on 0044 1606 720199 or click on the appropriate 'Book now' or 'check availability' button below.

  • Mar 2024
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  • May 2024
  • Jun 2024
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3rd Mar 2024 US$4425 Tour only: US$4425 Check availability
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31st Mar 2024 US$4950 Tour only: US$4950 Check availability
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14th Jul 2024 US$5399 Tour only: US$5399 Check availability
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4th Aug 2024 US$5699 Tour only: US$5699 Check availability
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1st Sep 2024 US$6000 Tour only: US$6000 Check availability
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29th Sep 2024 US$5550 Tour only: US$5550 Check availability
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3rd Nov 2024 US$4589 Tour only: US$4589 Check availability
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1st Dec 2024 US$4589 Tour only: US$4589 Check availability
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The prices quoted for each individual departure supercede those published in our current brochures. Air prices are subject to change and we advise early booking to obtain the best prices. Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information.

Key information

This holiday is operated by our sister company, Exodus

9 nights hotels and guesthouses

Travel by airconditioned minibus

Group normally 7 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs

Transfers

We offer a transfer to meet any international flight arriving into Keflavik Airport. All clients will receive a voucher for a Flybus transfer to the start hotel. Flybus offer coach transfers to meet every flight arriving into Keflavik International airport and make stops at various city hotels including our start hotel. You will receive further details in your Final Joining Instructions.

Transportation

We use a comfortable van or bus, ruggedly built to Icelandic standards and able to cope with most types of terrain, including fording glacial rivers. Airport transfers are on the Flybus Service.

Joining instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 10 Days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of Icelandair (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed untilapproximately two weeks before departure.



Travelling land only: 10 days starting and ending in Reykjavik

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Reykjavik in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.