Iceland Scenic Trails Hiking Tour
ESCORTED – 5 GUARANTEED DEPARTURES
Reykjavik | Borgarfjörður | Hofsos | Siglufjörður | Lake Mývatn | Vatnajökull National Park | Hella | Thorsmork Nature Reserve | Reykjavik
Tour begins in Reykjavik on Sunday
Guaranteed Departures: June 16 – September 1, 2019
SMALL GROUP TOUR with a maximum of 16 participants! This Iceland hiking tour takes you off the beaten track to explore the vast wilderness and legendary landmarks of this stunning island sanctuary. Find yourself in Ásbyrgi (‘Bastion of the Gods’) and Thorsmork Nature Reserve—‘Thor’s Playground’—while you traverse the country in search of the unexpected wonders within Iceland’s diverse landscapes!
Day 01: Arrive Reykjavik
Upon arrival, transfer to Reykjavik. Check in to your four-star hotel.
Today the afternoon and evening are free for exploring Reykjavik on your own. Dinner is on your own; Reykjavik offers a multitude of restaurants and/or coffeehouses, making dinner a great way to get better acquainted with Iceland’s capital.
NOTE: We can assist with optional Flybus or private car/driver for transfer from Keflavik Airport to your hotel. See below for these optional services.
Day 02: Reykjavik – Hvalfjörður – Borgarfjörður
This Iceland hiking tour starts with breakfast at your hotel and a short orientation tour of Reykjavik, and then we head toward the countryside with a drive along the vast Hvalfjörður coastline on our way to the highest waterfall in Iceland: Glymur.
Glymur gushes 658 feet down a massive, verdant canyon, and both fjord and waterfall are part of a legend about a mythical whale that swam up the waterfall into the lake at the top—where whale bones have actually been found. Spend some time hiking in the area to enjoy different views of the waterfall and surrounding nature; we’ll walk through a small river on a natural bridge found in the water. You’ll also visit the amazing Hraunfossar (“Lava” Waterfalls) and Deildartunguhver, the most powerful rushing hot spring in Europe.
Dinner and overnight stay in the Borgarfjörður region.
Fosshotel Reykholt or similar
NOTE: All hiking information is according to a general guide; actual times may vary based on weather and trail conditions, and guides assess/choose actual hiking routes and duration based on weather as well as fitness/experience level of the group. Glymur Waterfall distance: 5 km (3.1 mi), elevation: 357 m (1,172 ft), walking time: about 4-5 hrs.
Day 03: Borgarfjörður – Hofsos – Siglufjörður
This morning after breakfast we’ll continue our hiking tour of Iceland. Continue your discoveries of Borgarfjörður with a refreshing short walk to Glanni, a multi-tiered waterfall rumored to be a home for elves and trolls. You will then visit the 3,500 year old Grabrok crater, which has hiking trails taking you to the top of the crater for remarkable views over moss-covered lava fields. The hike up the crater is steep, but steps have built on part of the route to make the hike easier.
Continue your scenic journey as you cross Holtavörðuheiði plateau, the gateway between North and South Iceland. Head to the Vididalur Valley and its rushing river. Here you will hike in Kolugljufri, a lava rock canyon that leads to a hidden waterfall. Continue to the charming village of Hofsos and take a short stroll down to Stadarbjargarvik inlet to admire a group of beautifully geometric basalt columns located right at sea level. Then drive on to the stunning Trollaskagi (Troll Peninsula) with its amazing views of mountains and fjords, en route to Siglufjördur town.
Overnight stay in Siglufjördur for the next two nights. Dinner is on your own at one of the town’s charming restaurants. Tonight recharge your body and soul with a soak in the hotel’s geothermal hot tubs. With a view over the harbor and the fjord, the hot tubs are a perfect setting for relaxation.
NOTE: Glanni Waterfall distance: 350 m (less than 1 mi), elevation: very little, walking time: about 10 min. Grabrok hiking distance: varies, elevation: 100 m (328 ft), walking time: about 1 hr. Kolugljufur hiking distance: varies as route is chosen by guide, elevation: very little, walking time: between 30 – 60 min. Stadarvikurbjarg nature hike distance: minimal, elevation: very little, walking time: 5 – 10 min.
Day 04: Siglufjörður – Troll Peninsula Hiking (Trollaskagi)
Breakfast at your hotel before you embark on an exciting and unique day in northern Iceland’s countryside. In the morning you visit the award-winning Herring Era Maritime Museum, where the harbor atmosphere of the early 20th century is brought to life in three historical buildings.
In the afternoon, take an exciting and scenic hike: we explore Trollaskagi, The Troll Peninsula, a hidden gem in Iceland which is a bit separated from the rest of the country by its high mountain range. The area is home to numerous little-known hiking routes showcasing the area’s spectacular scenery.
The afternoon hike is led by an expert local guide who will decide which trail in the Troll Peninsula region is best to explore based on the experience level of the group and trail conditions. The total hiking time is variable, based on group experience. Those who do not wish to participate in the locally-guided hike can stay behind in Siglufjördur and enjoy a light walk in the scenic areas around the village with the tour group guide.
After an active day in the outdoors, visit the home of a local resident for a home-cooked meal of hearty Icelandic meat soup featuring local ingredients.
Overnight in Siglufjördur, where you can enjoy the hotel’s geothermal hot tubs.
NOTE: Hiking distance and elevation in the Siglufjördur area varies according to the route chosen by the guide; walking time varies as well, but with a max of 4-5 hours.
Day 05: Siglufjörður – Akureyri – Goðafoss – Hverfjall – Lake Mývatn
After breakfast the day begins with spectacular views of mountains and coast as you head along the Troll Peninsula and Eyjafjorður. Make a short stop in Akureyri, the colorful “capital” of North Iceland. After some time to enjoy the atmosphere of this charming town, we head inland in search of the ‘Waterfall of the Gods’, Goðafoss Waterfall. This spectacular set of falls can be found on the road to Lake Mývatn, our destination for the next two nights.
We then head toward Lake Mývatn Nature Reserve, where Lake Mývatn resides in serenity before the powerful peaks of Mt. Hverfjall and the Krafla volcano. Summer hiking in this region is particularly beautiful, and diverse and rare bird species—such as the barrow’s goldeneye—frequent the area, making birdwatching a treat. We’ll begin the adventure with a hike to Hverfjall crater, and encounter the fantastic lava-shaped rocks of nearby Dimmuborgir.
A short distance away we encounter the Námaskarð geothermal field, overflowing with boiling fumaroles and violently bubbling pools of mud. We’ll make a special stop at the Mývatn Nature Baths to take an (optional) dip in its warm waters the same way locals do—an excellent way to release tension and relax our muscles.
Dinner and accommodations for the following two nights are in the Mývatn area.
NOTE: Hverfjall hiking distance: 4 km (2.5 mi), elevation: 190 m (623 ft), walking time: 2-2.5 hrs. Dimmuborgir nature walk distance: 2.4 km (1.5 mi), elevation: very little, walking time: about 1-2 hrs.
Day 06: Lake Mývatn – Ásbyrgi National Park – Jökulsárgljúfur – Dettifoss – Lake Mývatn
After breakfast we leave Mývatn for the day and travel through the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park to reach the fossil-rich Tjörnes Peninsula, exploring the horseshoe-shaped Ásbyrgi National Park. Your first discovery in the park is the enormous horseshoe-shaped Ásbyrgi canyon. According to Norse mythology, the canyon is the hoof-print left by Sleipnir, the god Odin’s magical eight-legged horse. Take a trail leading to the bottom of the canyon with views of an enchanting pond as well as an area where you can look over the canyon. Continue onwards to Hljoðaklettar or ‘Echo Rocks’, a distinctive cluster of angular rock columns. The unique shape of the rocks creates interesting acoustics and echoes. Hljoðaklettar is near Jökulsárgljúfur, Iceland’s longest canyon. The canyon was carved by a river flowing from Vatnajökull Glacier. A boxed lunch is provided today.
Spend the remainder of your time roaming through the astounding scenery in this region: the verdant, forested Jökulsárgljúfur region of Vatnajökull National Park. This glacial river canyon, the longest river canyon in the country, features the most powerful waterfall in Europe—Dettifoss—a memorable roar of cascading water, ethereal mist, and jagged cliffs. We’ll get the chance to experience its might up close as we end this unforgettable day together.
Travel with your group back to the Mývatn area for dinner and overnight.
NOTE: Ásbyrgi hike distance: 1 km (less than 1 mi), elevation: very little, walking time: 30 – 60 min. Hljoðaklettar hike distance: 10 km (6 mi), elevation: 50-100 km (164-328 ft), walking time: 3-4 hrs (several trails combined). One of the trails used today is very rocky; we recommend using hiking poles on this day.
Day 07: Lake Mývatn – Kjölur – Hveravellir – Gullfoss – Geysir – Hella
Breakfast is provided at the hotel today before we leave the Mývatn area behind. We’ll hike with our small group today through the Kjölur mountain track, an uninhabited interior area of Iceland between the second- and third-largest Icelandic glaciers, Langjökull and Hofsjökull. Trek through raw Icelandic nature at its peak, occasionally taking the plentiful walking paths along the way, as we pass both geothermal and geological wonders. The highlights also hold ghost stories and tales of outlaws, including the famous couple Eyvindur and Halla. We make a stop at Hveravellir, one of the most beautiful geothermal areas in the world, and relax near the natural pool open to the sky. A boxed lunch is provided today.
The Kjolur highland route emerges into civilization again in the Gullfoss and Geysir area. Situated on the Hvítá River, which is fed by the Langjökull glacier, Gullfoss races over a 104-foot drop to leave a trail of sparkling mist rising through the air. Nearby, the great Geysir—from which all geysers around the world are named—bursts into the air amid a vast field of geothermal energy: a steamy field of bubbling mud and high-shooting hot springs.
Dinner and accommodations are in the Hella area tonight. A perfect way to unwind is a soothing soak in the hotel’s geothermal hot tub and sauna, located in the garden area.
Stracta Hotel Hella
NOTE: Expect to be driving on bumpy roads today—which is part of the fun!
Day 08: Hella – Landmannalaugar – Hella
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel this morning. The untouched, surreal atmosphere of nature reserves Landmannalaugar and Fjallabak offer up a showcase of geological wonders during our hiking tour of Iceland’s interior today. Volcanic craters, a lush crater lake filled with brown trout, sloping rhyolite mountains, lava fields steaming with surface heat, and the foreboding Hekla volcano stimulate the senses during the hike. Your guide will once again choose the best route for your group based on overall group experience and the current trail conditions. A boxed lunch is provided today.
Later the group will take a dip in the refreshing waters of the geothermal Landmannalaugar Hot Spring, one of the best-kept and most scenic natural springs in Iceland.
We’ll return to the Hella area for overnight. Dinner is on your own.
Stracta Hotel Hella
NOTE: Landmannalaugar hike distance: 8.5 km (5 mi), elevation: about 300 m (984 ft), walking time: 4-5 hrs (several trails combined).
Day 09: Hella – Thorsmork – Seljalandsfoss – Reykjavik
Today after breakfast we stop by Seljalandsfoss Waterfall—where you can walk behind the curtain of its cascading water—before continuing on to Thorsmork Nature Reserve, a hidden valley nestled between two glaciers and shielded by rivers and mountains. Once within the reserve, we walk along marked trails in the beautiful scenery of delicate trees and green grass surrounded by towering mountains and glacial tongues. The guide will once again choose the best route for the group based on the group’s overall experience and the current trail conditions. A boxed lunch is provided today.
After a full day here, we head towards and arrive at Reykjavik in the early evening, overnighting in the city. Your final dinner in Iceland is on your own.
NOTE: Thorsmork hike distance: 5-6 km (3-4 mi), elevation: about 200-300 m (656-984 ft), walking time: 4-5 hrs (several trails combined).
Day 10: Depart Reykjavik
Your final morning in Iceland is free after breakfast to explore the city independently, to do some last-minute shopping for souvenirs, or to make arrangements for a Blue Lagoon tour.
In the afternoon, transfer on your own to Keflavik Airport for your flight home.
NOTE: We can assist with optional Flybus or private car/driver for transfer to Keflavik Airport and your afternoon flight back to the U.S. See below for these optional services.
- Fully-escorted, 8-day tour with a local English-speaking guide
- 9 nights’ accommodations in four-star hotels and local countryside hotels with private facilities including daily (9) breakfasts, 4 boxed lunches on days 7, 8, 9, and 10, and 4 three-course dinners at places mentioned in the itinerary
- Pick up from Reykjavik hotel on Day 2 and drop-off at Reykjavik hotel on Day 9
- Icelandic meat soup dinner at a local’s home in Siglufjördur
- Entrance to the Herring Era Museum
- Service fee at Landmannalaugar hot springs
NOTE: All departures are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 participants. Price does not include items not mentioned in the itinerary, international airfare, optional tours, or transfers to and from Keflavik Airport. Tour operator reserves the right to alter routes without prior notice due to road conditions; tour operator also reserves the right to substitute listed hotels for hotels of a similar quality if conditions warrant. As this is a hiking tour, please be prepared to bring the following: good hiking shoes, outdoor clothes, a backpack, and trekking poles. More information on packing needs for Iceland can be found on our FAQs page. This hiking tour is listed as moderate: trails are mostly in good condition, mileage is higher than the typical level for a beginner, elevation gain is set at moderate, and clients should be in good hiking condition to join the tour.
- Hikes range from 1-5 hours. These are soft adventure hikes with intermediate (moderate) level of difficulty. Participants do not need to be expert hikers, but they should be in reasonable physical shape. The guide will assess and choose the hiking routes for each day based on weather and the fitness/experience level of the group
- The guide has the right to change hiking routes in the itinerary based on weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances
- Most hiking paths in Iceland are not paved. Hiking paths have natural surfaces, sometimes based on old sheep tracks. Trail terrain can have lava rocks, loose gravel, soft dirt and muddy areas. Hiking poles are highly recommended
What to bring:
- Good waterproof hiking shoes (necessary)
- Wind and waterproof jacket and trousers
- Warm hat
- Scarf or bandanna
- A day pack (for items you might use during the walks)
- Trekking poles (recommended)
- Water bottle/flask (can be filled with Iceland’s tap water, which is clean)
- Swimsuit and towel (for Landmannalaugar hot springs)
Optional services available: Optional Flybus or private car/driver transfer to/from Reykjavik at beginning and end of tour. Please mention at time of confirmation.
2019 STARTING PRICES | GUARANTEED DEPARTURES
All departures for this tour are 15% off through June 30! See our Specials page for more details and restrictions.
Departure Dates and Information
| All departures are guaranteed and in USD. Departure is a 2-person min./20-person max. tour. Tour space is not guaranteed until booked and confirmed. All tours are guided in English.
Airport coach transfers available. Scheduled airport coach transfer: $80 p.p. round trip. Private car/driver transfer: $275 one-way (1-3 persons).
Child discount available! Child discount in extra bed (under 12 years): on request.
|Tour Type:||Escorted Tour / Small Group Tour|
|Cities Visited:||Reykjavik - Borgarfjördur - Hofsos - Siglufjordur - Lake Mývatn - Vatnajökull National Park - Hella - Thorsmork Nature Reserve - Reykjavik|
|Departures:||June - July - August - September|