Head away from the crowds with a visit to the remote Vestmannaeyjar, also known as the Westmann Islands. The Westman Islands is Iceland's puffin kingdom, the islands' stunning cliffs provides a sanctuary to these colourful birds during their breeding season. This archipelago is also well known for it's volcanic activity - there were two major eruptions in this region in the 20th century, the eruption in 1963 which created the new island of Surtsey and the Eldfell eruption of January 1973.
This self-drive journey allows you to explore South Iceland at your own pace and includes countryside boutique accommodation and hand-picked excursions. A glacier walking adventure and the 'Inside the Volcano' tour are included in this active tour.
The activities are seasonal and will be substituted depending on what you want to do and what is available.
|Tour Provider||50 Degrees North|
|Number of Days||
1 to 20
|01 May 2019||01 Oct 2019||On request||AUD $5,431|
Arrive Reykjavik and pick up your car. Set off away towards Southern Iceland to get the most out of your stay in Iceland. It is a 90 minute drive to your hotel, in the heart of the Golden Circle. Your hotel is located at the river Sog which is Iceland’s largest freshwater river in terms of water volume. It is especially famous for fishing Arctic char, Atlantic salmon and brown trout.
Activities this afternoon can include golf, quad biking, snorkelling at Silfra or horse riding. We suggest booking activities and dinner with us before your departure.
Explore the Golden Circle highlights early this morning from your conveniently located boutique hotel. Visit Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of great historical and geological importance, the Geysir hot spring area with its fabulous erupting Strokkur and the beautiful two-tiered Gullfoss Waterfall.
Grab your towel and enjoy a visit to a geothermal spa, Laugarvatn Fontana with it's hot spring bathing. Relax in the hot tub, built at a slightly higher level than the other baths, providing a panoramic view of the beautiful surroundings while the healthy water nourishes both body and soul. Three steam rooms and Finnish saunas are also there to be enjoyed. Feel alive with the dash between these amazingly beautiful hot pools.
After breakfast, drive to Landeyjahöfn (1hr 15 mins) to catch the ferry across to Vestmannaeyjar. There are several departures each day and you need to check in 30 minutes before departure.
On arrival on the island of Heimaey, check into your hotel and then start exploring. Heimaey may only be about 13 km2, but this small area contains enough magical scenery and birdlife to delight you for days. Popular attractions include Iceland´s best 18 hole golf courses, deep sea fishing, bird- and whale-watching and hiking: up volcans, over lava fields or along the shore.
There are many options today - you can continue to explore by car or foot. If you would like to get on the water, there are numerous sailing and rib boating options depending on your interests.
After breakfast, take the ferry back to the mainland. Time is now put aside to explore the area of Vik. Head down to the black beaches, have a look at the amazing rock formation of Dyrhòlaeyand Reynisfjara in the distance. Stop to skip volcanic stones by Reynisfjara beach where there are unique basalt columns, black sand and caves.
Travel further east to your hotel for this evening.
This morning, drive to the Skaftafell National Park headquarters (approx 1 hr) for a 4-hour glacier hike on crampons on Svínafellsjökull, part of the great Vatnajökull Glacier in Skaftafell National Park.
This is a moderate glacier tour in the majestic surroundings of Svínafellsjökull. The glacier is hemmed in by some of Iceland’s most spectacular peaks. You will climb the Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue up to the deep glacier valley between the summits of Hvannadalshnúkur and Hrútsfjall. You will traverse zones of different glacial formations where huge water cauldrons, deep crevasses and strangely shaped ridges and other ice formations await our discovery.
Easier glacier walking options are available.
With only 3 hours back to the capital, take the slow roads back to Reykjavik. Stop along the way at the Blue Lagoon for a pamper and a soak.
Reykjavik is an intimate city with a big personality and some striking landmarks - stroll down to the harbour to visit the Armoury, the new concert hall, the design streets and city hall. You will return your hire car this afternoon.
This morning, you will be picked up from your hotel for your tour inside the dormant Thrihnukagigur volcano. After a 30 minute drive, you hike to the start of the underground tour section. This usually takes about 45–50 minutes to complete. It’s rated as moderate in difficulty – it’s not uphill and although you will be walking on a hiking trail for the most part, the surface can be hilly and uneven. This is not a hike for those who have problems with ankles, knees, hips and/or the back. It can be demanding for those who are not used to hiking or doing longer walks.
After arriving on location, your group will be informed about all safety procedures and how to behave in the area and when inside the volcano. You will be wearing a helmet and harness. The group is then split into a smaller party of 6–7 people. The trip down or up takes about 6 minutes and the first ones to go down will usually be the first ones to go up.
You will spend about half an hour on the ground of the volcano, in which time you can take as many photos as you want. However, you are not allowed to take rocks and stones from the crater. Expert guides will be with you at all times, in the cable lift and on the ground in the magma chamber.
When you are back on the surface, while waiting for everyone in the group to complete the volcano visit, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Icelandic meat soup, hot coffee/tea/chocolate and perhaps some sweets.
Finally, you will walk back over the lava field. And again, you will be accompanied by a guide at all times. The coach will be waiting for you in the parking lot, ready to drive you back to Reykjavik.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight.