The Highland Exploration

The Highland Exploration

Visit the northern highlands and enjoy the experience of driving off the beaten track, testing your driver’s skills as you navigate across unbridged rivers, travel through the desert land of the highlands and lava fields. Fascinating panoramic views of glaciers, lakes, volcanic mountains, waterfalls and natural hot pools in the geothermal areas of the interior.

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OverviewDates and pricesItineraryItinerary

Tour Duration: 11 days / 10 nights

Tour ID: ID76

Highlands great adventure tour
Highlights:

  • The Gesyir
  • Kjölur highland road
  • Hveravellir and Laugafell geothermal areas with natural pools
  • Sprengisandur highland road
  • Views of glaciers Hofsjökull, Langjökull and Vatnajökull
  • Aldeyjarfoss waterfall
  • Lake Mývatn area
  • Herðubreiðarlindir, an oasis in Ódáðahraun
  • Askja caldera and Víti crater
  • Mt. Snæfell
  • Hengifoss waterfall
  • Jökulsárgljúfur national park with Dettifoss and Ásbyrgi

Departures: July, August 2018

Prices include:
– 9 days car rental: unlimited mileage, CDW, “Thef Waiver” PAI and tax; pick up in Reykjavík, drop off at Akureyri airport
– Road map
– 7 nights hotel/guesthouse accommodation in double or twin rooms including breakfast
– 3 nights in mountain huts, sleeping bag accommodation, self-catering 
– Flybus transfer Keflavík airport-Reykjavík-Keflavik airport
– Flight Akureyri – Reykjavík with airport taxes
– Taxi transfer Reykjavik airport – hotel in Reykjavik
– Detailed itinerary
– Reference guide about Iceland
– Service and VAT

A) With accommodation in rooms with private facilities:

Car type group Price p.p. from: ISK Price p.p. from: ISK Price p.p. from: ISK Price p.p. from: ISK
  with 2 pax with 4 pax with 6 pax with 8 pax
FG / DFNN 345.900 257.000    
G / DFAN 356.500 262.200    
I / FFBD 448.500 308.300    
R / LFBD 488.100 328.000    
J / SVNQ *   328.500 275.000 240.900 *
K / PFNQ   341.500 283.700  


B) With accommodation in rooms without private facilities:

Car type group Price p.p. from: ISK Price p.p. from: ISK Price p.p. from: ISK Price p.p. from: ISK
  with 2 pax with 4 pax with 6 pax with 8 pax
FG / DFNN 330.300 241.300    
G / DFAN 340.800 246.600    
I / FFBD 432.800 292.600    
R / LFBD 472.300 312.400    
J / SVNQ   312.800 259.300 240.900
K / PFNQ   325.800 268.000  

 

Car type groups  (suitable for highland roads) :
FG / DFNN : SUZUKI GRAND VITARA / DACIA DUSTER
G / DFAN : VW TIGUAN / KIA SPORTAGE / TOYOTA RAV4
I / FFBD : MITSUBISHI PAJERO / TOYOTA LANDCRUISER
R / LFBD : AUDI Q 7 / VW TOUAREQ  4WD
J /SVNQ * : TOYOTA HIACE 9 SEATER 4WD BUS (* when rented with 8 pax, the price includes trailer for luggage!)
K / PFNQ : LAND ROVER 7 SEATER 4WD BUS

Discounts may apply for self-drive packages after 20 August.

Day 1: Keflavík – Reykjavík:
Arriving at Keflavík international airport. The flybus will transfer to your accommodation in Reykjavík.

Day 2: (ca. 390 km)
Your rental car will be delivered to the hotel in the morning, and you will start by driving southeast out of the city. Today you will visit the Geysir area where hot springs are in abundance and one of them, Strokkur, is regularly spouting every few minutes. Next, you will visit Gullfoss or “the Golden Waterfall” which cascades down into the deep gorge of Hvítá glacial river. Now you head onto Kjölur highland route where you will have views of Langjökull glacier and the glacial lagoon of Hvítárvatn which is the source of Hvítá river. There will be views of Kerlingarfjöll mountains and Hofsjökull glacier, and you will visit Hveravellir hot spring area with where you can bathe in the natural geothermal pool which is cooled down by the fresh water. In the area, you can also take a hike on the trail of the outlaws who hid in this area back in the days. Before reaching paved roads again, you will pass Blöndulón and other artificial lakes of Blanda river.

Day 3: (ca. 110 – 160 km)
Today you will visit the town of Sauðárkrókur, and you can stop at Glaumbær museum (well-preserved turf houses from the mid-19th century). You can also take a short ride on Icelandic horses or visit the Viðimýri turf church – the oldest of its kind and one of the few that are preserved and still in use. Take the highland road to Laugafell geothermal area and drive through the fertile farming land in the valley following the course of the glacial river before the landscape turns to a rocky desert of the highlands with sparse Arctic vegetation. Tonight you will stay overnight in a mountain hut at Laugafell where you have a chance to take a dip in the natural geothermal pool – a perfect way to end the day in the highlands.

Day 4: Laugafell – Mývatn (ca. 290 km)
Today’s drive will take you from the Laugafell oasis through the Sprengisandur highland desert to Lake Mývatn. On the way you will have a view of Hofsjökull glacier towards the southwest, while to the southeast there is the Tungnafellsjökull and the Dyngjujökull glacier, the latter being part of Vatnajökull – Europe’s largest glacier. You will visit Aldeyjarfoss and Hrafnabjargafoss waterfalls in Skjálfandafljót river. You will go through Bárðardalur valley with its green fields and pastures while the hillsides covered by birch forest. Then the day ends Lake Mývatn area where you will stay for 2 nights.

Day 5: Lake Mývatn area
Today you have a relaxing day with little driving, yet there are many sights to be seen in the fantastic nature of Lake Mývatn area. There are scenic views of the lake, a chance to observe the thousands of birds that inhabit the area during summer months and volcanic craters and mountains of various kinds, such as Mt. Hverfjall. You will see lava fields, and formations such as the lava maze of Dimmuborgir, pseudocraters, solfatara field with boiling mud pits and steam vents. The area has various hiking trails and offers unlimited possibilities for experienced hikers as well as those who just want to take a short relaxing walk in the beautiful surroundings. You can also visit the Nature Baths geothermal lagoon for a relaxing dip in the warm waters.
There is also an optional lava cave tour that you could take while in the area that we can book for you.

Day 6: (ca. 170 km)
Now it is time to leave the area of Lake Mývatn and head for the volcanic region of the Askja caldera in the northern highlands. You will drive through the sand desert, winding your way across the Ódáðahraun lava fields, crossing unbridged rivers on the trails. You will reach the green oasis of Herðubreiðalindir over which towers Mt Herðubreið, often referred to as the queen of the Icelandic mountains. From there you head to Dyngjufjöll mountains and the Askja caldera. The landscape there is often said to resemble the surface of the moon. Hike to Lake Öskjuvatn, and the crater Viti, filled with warm water (If you decide to take a dip in the lake, it will require descending down a rather steep slope from the rim of the crater). Tonight you will stay overnight in a mountain hut near Askja in sleeping bag accommodation.

Day 7: (ca.180 km)
On your drive today you will have a chance to visit the Holuhraun lava field formed in the latest volcanic eruption (2014-15). You will drive across Kreppa glacial river and have views of the Vatnajökull glacier at a distance. From there you will head east and see the Lake of Hálslón which flooded a portion of the land around Jökla river as the dam for the Kárahnjúkar power station was built. The view over the gorge below the dam is breathtaking. On your drive, you will see the stunning Mt Snæfell before heading to your overnight accommodation in a mountain hut.

Day 8: (ca. 100 km)
Now it is time to descend from the highlands by the steep and winding road towards Fljótsdalur valley. There you will drive by the monster-inhabited Lake Lagarfljót. You have the chance to hike to the Hengifoss waterfall which drops down from the top of the Fljótdaslehiði mountain plateau and visit Hallormsstaður – the largest Icelandic forest before heading to Egilsstaðir.

Day 9: (ca. 260 km)
Today you will start by driving through the green valley of Jökuldalur with its numerous waterfalls dropping down from the hilltops. From there you enter the desert area of Möðrudalsöræfi and visit the remote farm at Möðrudalur. You will visit the National park of Jökulsárfljúfur and see Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, which is over 100m wide and plunges 44 meters deep down into the gorge of Jökulsárgljúfur. Further along the way, you will visit Ásbyrgi, a horseshoe-shaped canyon with lush vegetation. From there you take the coastal road around the Tjörnes peninsula until reaching the delightful fishing town of Húsavík. Apart from the famous whale museum, there is one of the most beautiful wooden churches in the country just above the harbor in Húsavík.

Day 10: (ca.100 km + domestic flight)
Today you have the option of a 3-hour whale watching boat tour from Húsavík before heading to Akureyri. On the way there you will visit Goðafoss waterfall and Lake Ljósavatn before entering Eyjafjörður, the longest fjord in Iceland. The town of Akureyri, which is often referred to as the capital of the north, is an important cultural, educational and administrative center. It is worth taking the time to explore this charming town with its old wooden houses, the northernmost botanical garden, beautiful church, several interesting museums and cozy cafés.
In the late afternoon or early evening drop off the rental car at Akureyri airport and take your flight back Reykjavík.

Day 11: Reykjavík- Keflavík:
Today you will take the Flybus transfer from Reykjavík to Keflavík international airport in time for your flight home. If your flight is in the afternoon, the flybus transfer can be changed (against surcharge) for a tour to the Blue Lagoon which ends at Keflavik airport. 

We can also arrange tailor-made itinerary according to your preferences and interests. Additional activities we can be added to the programme, e.g. horseback riding, sea-kayaking, river rafting, whale watching, glacial hike, etc.

Note: The itinerary depends or road conditions. For information about opening times of different highland roads check this on the website of The Icelandic Road Administration:
http://www.road.is/vefur2.nsf/Files/Opnun_fjallvega_en_2015/$file/Opnun_fjallvega_en_2015.pdf

In the Icelandic highlands weather can change suddenly. The level of water in rivers may vary due to rain or long winter.

Off-road driving in Iceland is illegal.

 

 

 

 

 

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