Iceland Complete - Grand Tour in 21 Days

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Iceland Complete – Grand Tour in 21 Days

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This Iceland grand tour is perfect for those who want to fully explore Iceland while also having the opportunity to relax and get to know the culture of Iceland. This Iceland self-drive tour will take you to each area of the island, with the opportunity to explore parts of the unique Icelandic highlands. If you are looking for an extended vacation and want to enjoy the amazing nature of Iceland at a relaxed pace, this is the tour for you.

 

SD-10 – Iceland Complete – Iceland Grand Tour in 21 Days

Day 1: Arrival in Reykjavik

around iceland in 3 weeksWelcome to your self-drive holiday in Iceland! After you clear customs, you will either hop on the Flybus (budget) or be met by a driver from Iceland Unlimited in the arrival hall of Keflavík International Airport (comfort & quality). Transfer to your accommodation in the city center in Reykjavík. Your travel documents will either be handed to you by your driver, or waiting for you at your hotel/guesthouse. We also invite you to come by our office for a private information meeting to go over your travel plans. Afterwards, enjoy a day in this vibrant capital of the North. Visit sights such as the Sun Voyager sculpture, the Harpa Music and Conference hall and the old harbor in Reykjavík.

No visit to Reykjavík is complete without a visit to Hallgrímkirkja church, where you can take an elevator to the top and enjoy spectacular views over Reykjavík. In the evening, we recommend a cozy dinner in one of the city’s gourmet restaurants to celebrate the start of your Iceland adventure. Overnight in Reykjavík.

Highlights of the day: Reykjavík City, Hallgímskirkja church, Harpa concert and conference center, and more
Optional activities: Guided city walk, city boat cruise, helicopter tour, Inside the volcano, sea angling

 

Day 2: The Famous Golden Circle

iceland vacation 3 weeksToday your Iceland complete tour starts for real! In the morning you will receive your rental vehicle and hit the road. Today you will be doing a reverse Golden Circle. Start your day by driving to Selfoss. On the way you can stop at the Hellisheiðarvirkjun geothermal power plant and visit it’s interactive Geothermal Energy exhibition. From Selfoss you will venture on the famous Golden Circle. Visit sights such as the Kerið crater, Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir sprouting spring and Þingvellir, a UNESCO heritage site. If you want to add more adventure to your day, you can enjoy optional activities such as snorkeling, snowmobiling or horseback riding. After a day full of exploring it’s time to say goodbye to the Golden Circle and head towards the town of Borgarnes. You’ll stay the night in the Borgarnes area. Approx. driving distance: 270 kilometers

Highlights of the day: Geothermal Energy exhibition, Kerið crater, Gullfoss waterfall, Geysers, Þingvellir National Park, and more
Optional activities: Snorkeling Tour, horseback riding, snowmobiling on a glacier

 

Day 3: The Highlights of West Iceland

iceland-road-tripAfter breakfast at your accommodation it is time to explore some of the pearls of West Iceland. From Borgarnes, make your way up to Húsafell, which has long been known as a haven for those who love the outdoors. In Húsafell you will find plenty of hiking trails to enjoy, along with sights such as the Hraunfossar and Barnafossar waterfalls, the Deildartunguhver geothermal area and historic Reykholt, which was home to Snorri Sturluson – author of the Edda Prose. In this area it is also possible to add optional activities such as the Into the Glacier tour, where you literally go inside a glacier, or a tour of the Víðgelmir lava tube. Families with children will enjoy visiting Háafell goat farm where you can meet and learn more about the Icelandic Settlement goat.

After exploring the highlights of this lush area, it’s time to head back towards Borgarnes. From here you will continue up to the dynamic Snæfellsnes peninsula. On the way you can stop at the Eldborg crater. You’ll stay overnight in Snæfellsnes. Approx. driving distance: 180 kilometers

Highlights of the day: Grábrók Crater, Settlement Exhibition, Reykholt, Hraunfossar, Barnafossar, and more
Optional activities:
Into the glacier, guided lava cave tour

 

Day 4: The Dynamic Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Iceland completeToday you will have a full free day to explore the wonders of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Sights in this area include the old church at Búðir, Arnarstapi and Hellnar, Djúpalónssandur pebble beach, Snæfellsjökull glacier and Öndverðanes. Continuing on, you’ll find the picturesque Kirkjufell mountain, the Berserkjahraun lava field, the famous shark museum in Bjarnarhöfn and the charming village of Stykkishólmur. It is also possible to add activities, such as a visit to the Vatnshellir Lava Cave, a whale watching tour or a Viking Sushi boat tour, where you get to taste some fresh fish directly from the sea. You’ll stay for another night in the same accommodation as the night before. If you are interested to read more about the highlights of Snæfellsnes please have a look at our blog about the top things to do in this area. Approx. driving distance: 165 kilometers

Highlights of the day: Búðir church, Arnastapi, Hellnar, beautiful beaches, Kirkjufell mountain, and more
Optional activities: Vatnshellir Lava Cave, whale watching, Viking sushi boat tour from Stykkisholmur, horseback riding

 

Day 5: Iceland Complete – to the Wild Westfjords

Iceland self drive tour in 21 daysToday you will travel to the wonderful West Fjords region of Iceland. In the morning you will board the ferry, along with your car, that will take you across Breiðafjörður bay. The ferry ride takes about 3 hours to complete and if you are lucky with the weather, the ride provides spectacular views over the thousand islands of Breiðafjörður. Once ashore in Brjánslækur, head for the amazing Látrabjarg cliff. With a 444 meter vertical drop and 14 kilometers length, it’s the most awe inspiring bird cliff in Iceland and the westernmost point of Europe. In summer the cliff is home to thousands of puffins and other seabirds. If you choose to drive to Rauðisandur red sand beach, prepare to be truly amazed by its spellbinding beauty. After a day of exploring this amazing area, head towards the town of Patreksfjörður, where you will stay overnight. Approx. driving distance: 183 kilometers.

Highlights of the day: Boat tour across Breiðafjörður bay, Látrabjarg cliff, Rauðisandur beach, and more

 

Day 6: The Rocky Road to Ísafjörður

Iceland full circle tourAnother day, another adventure! It’s time to leave Patreksfjörður behind and head further north. Today you will be faced with some challenging roads, but you will also be rewarded with beautiful sights. After passing through the town of Tálknafjörður, you will find yourself in the tiny village of Bíldudalur. Those who are interested in curious attractions can make a detour from here and visit Samúel Jónsson’s Art Farm in Selárdalur. Afterwards, it’s time to brave the famous Dynjandisheiði. This rocky road will take you to one of Iceland’s most spectacular sights, Dynjandi waterfall. This tiered waterfall is by many considered one of Iceland’s most beautiful, and we recommend taking the hiking trail all the way up to the waterfall.

After viewing the waterfall you can visit Hrafnseyri, a museum dedicated to Iceland’s independence hero, Jón Sigurðsson. Continuing on, you will pass through charming fishing villages and drive past endless waterfalls until you reach the town of Ísafjörður. You will stay in this area for the next two nights. Approximate driving distance: 170 km

Highlights of the day: Samúel Jónssons´s Art Farm, Dynjandi waterfall, Isafjörður, and more

 

Day 7: Free Day in the Westfjords

Iceland with WestfjordsToday you have the opportunity to enjoy some optional activities in the amazing scenery of the Westfjords, or you can simply relax and enjoy the charming town of Ísafjörður. Optional activities in this area include sea-kayaking, horseback riding and hiking tours to the remote and wild Hornstrandir area. Those who decide to stay in town can enjoy a walking tour in the area or some self-guided hikes in the surrounding mountains. You can also visit the small towns near Ísafjörður, such as Súðavík where you will find the Arctic Fox center which is dedicated to Iceland’s only native mammal.

In the evening we recommend dinner at the famous Tjöruhúsið, one of the best seafood restaurants in the Westfjords and possibly in all of Iceland. Stay for another night at the same accommodation as the night before.

Highlights of the day: Isafjörður, and more
Optional activities: Trip to the remote Hornstrandir area, sea kayaking, horseback riding

 

Day 8: Strandir and Hólmavík Area

Iceland grand tourToday you have the opportunity to visit some of the most remote areas of Iceland. From Ísafjörður, weave your way to the village of Hólmavík on a road characterized by steep fjords and towering mountains. Arrive in Hólmavík, the capital of ancient sorcery and mysticism and home of a museum dedicated to the history of sorcery and witchcraft in Iceland through the centuries.

If you have time, after checking into your hotel you can drive to the remote region of Strandir until the road ends. Here you will find amazing scenery, the village of Djúpavík and what is likely one of the most remote swimming pools in the world, Krossneslaug. If you are lucky, you might spot dolphins playing in the sea while you relax in the geothermal pool and hot pots. Afterwards, make your way back to the Hólmavík area where you will stay overnight. Approximate driving distance: 225 km.

Highlights of the day: Hólmavík, Djúpavík, Krossneslaug swimming pool, and more

 

Day 9: Northwest Iceland to Siglufjörður

iceland holidaysAs you continue your travel in Iceland, drive from Hólmavík passing fertile farmlands and barren mountain roads. Once you reach Hvammstangi, we recommend that you make a detour to the Vatnsnes peninsula where you can view the Hvítserkur basalt stack that rises from the beach, and the seals that bask nearby. Continue on to the Tröllaskagi peninsula. Once you reach the village of Hofsós we recommend that you make a stop and dip into the beautiful geothermal infinity pool that offers great views out to the ocean. Continue on until you reach the town of Siglufjörður. This charming town offers great harbor views and fantastic restaurants where you can enjoy a nice dinner before staying overnight in the area. Approximate driving distance: 350 km.

Highlights of the day: Vatnses peninsula, Hvítserkur basalt stack, Hofsós swimming pool, Siglufjörður, and more

 

Day 10: Akureyri- the Capital of North Iceland

iceland grand tour 3 weeksAfter breakfast, make your way to the town of Akureyri. This is a day to take a break from nature and enjoy some culture. Akureyri is home to countless museums and artist’s workshops that you can visit today. Among them is the Akureyri Art Museum, Nonnahús – Jón Sveinsson Memorial Museum, the Aviation Museum, the Motorcycle museum of Iceland and many more. Akureyri also has a lovely geothermal swimming pool and water park which guests of all ages can enjoy.

Those who’d like to do more exploring today can head to the fertile Eyjafjörður valley. Here you will find peculiar sites such as the Museum of small things and the Christmas House. Here you will also find Kaffi Kú, a café where you can enjoy some nice waffles and coffee while watching the cows get milked. If you’ve never been on a farm before, this might be your chance to experience some real country living! You’ll stay overnight in Akureyri. Approximate driving distance: 76 km.

Highlights of the day: Akureyri, museums in town, and more
Optional activities: Whale watching from Akureyri

 

Day 11: Húsavík and the Diamond Circle

Iceland Unlimited self drive tourIt’s time to continue your Iceland road trip. After breakfast, make your way to the charming small town of Húsavík. Make sure to stop by Goðafoss waterfall before turning north towards Húsavík. This town is known as the “Whale Watching Capital of Iceland” and when you roll into town, you will see why! This is the perfect location to enjoy an optional whale watching tour and you can also visit the Whale Watching museum, located in town. After lunch, continue on and visit Ásbyrgi. This horse-shoe canyon, which in ancient times was believed to have been created by Óðinn’s eight legged horse Sleipnir, is by many locals considered to be one of the highlights of Icelandic nature. Here you will find plenty of hiking trails and those who aren’t afraid of heights can even climb a ladder up to the canyon’s ridge.

After visiting Ásbyrgi, make your way down to Dettifoss waterfall. Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe, something you have to see with your own eyes. Nearby you will also find the Selfoss waterfall. After a day full of exploring, make your way down to Lake Mývatn. You will stay for the next two nights in the Lake Mývatn/Laugar area. Approximate driving distance: 280 km.

Highlights of the day: Goðafoss waterfall, Húsavík, Ásbyrgi canyon, Dettifoss waterfall, and more
Optional activities: Whale watching from Húsavík

 

Day 12: Free Day in Mývatn or Visit of the Amazing Highlands

highlands of IcelandToday you have free day by Lake Mývatn and we recommend that you use this opportunity to visit the northern part of the Icelandic highlands. We can arrange for you to join a unique super jeep tour that takes you all the way up to the Askja caldera. On the way you will be driven through the lunar like landscape that characterizes this stunning region and get to visit sights such as Drekagil canyon and Herðubreiðarlindir, from where you can enjoy views to the majestic Mt. Herðubreið which is often said to be the most beautiful of the Icelandic mountains. Once in the Askja caldera you will hike to the larger Víti crater and if conditions allow you may even be able to bathe in it’s opaque blue waters. After a full day of exploring, you will be returned to your accommodations for a good nights sleep.

Alternatively, you can enjoy sightseeing in the Lake Mývatn area and visit sights such as the Dimmuborgir lava maze, the geothermal area around Námafjall mountain, the Krafla volcano and Skútustaðir pseudo craters. You can also hike up to the Víti Maar and/or Mt. Hverfjall. There are always plenty of things to do around Lake Mývatn. If you’d like to enjoy some activities today we can arrange for you a horseback riding tour, a mountain bike rental or even a sightseeing flight. After a day full of exploring we recommend a visit to the Mývatn Nature Baths where you can relax in the milky blue waters and enjoy views over the Lake Mývatn area.

Highlights of the day: Highlands with Askja or Dimmuborgir lava maze, geothermal are Námafjall, Krafla volcano, Skútustaðir pseudo craters, and more Optional activities: Superjeep day tour to Askja

 

Day 13: From Mývatn to Egilsstaðir

iceland road tripToday you will be leaving the North behind and heading to the East of Iceland. The way from Lake Mývatn to Egilsstaðir, capital of the east, is a straightforward drive past the black sand desert. However, those who are feeling adventurous and are willing to brave more gravel roads, will find plenty of detours to enjoy today. On the coastline there are many small, coastal villages that are worthy of a visit. Enjoy off-the-beaten-path villages such as Vopnafjörður, visit the artsy Borgarfjörður Eystri or make your way to the charming town of Seyðisfjörður where you can enjoy an optional kayaking tour on the calm waters or say hello to the elfs that supposedly inhabit Elf hill by Bakkagerði.

You will also find plenty of hiking trails in this area for you to enjoy at your own leisure. In Egilsstaðir, you can also visit Lagafljót and try to spot Iceland’s version of the Loch Ness monster, Lagafljótsormurinn. You’ll stay overnight in the Egilsstaðir area. Approximate driving distance: 175 km.

Highlights of the day: Small fishing villages, Egilsstaðir, and more

 

Day 14: East of Iceland

iceland round tripToday you will be driving through the rugged East Fjords of Iceland and visit tranquil fishing villages along the way. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot some reindeer (rangifer tarandus) here and there. The drive is beautiful and the route provides many excellent views of the east coast of Iceland. Visit the village of Fáskrúðsfjörður, an old french shipping port where street signs are still both in Icelandic and French. From the village of Djúpivogur, you may decide to go on a short boat tour to Papey Island, home of approx. 60,000 puffins and other birds during the summer. Then, on to the peaceful town of Höfn in Hornafjörður, where you will stay overnight. Höfn is sometimes dubbed as the “lobster capital of Iceland”. We recommend you take full mouth-watering advantage of this feature at a local restaurant. Approximate driving distance: 190 km.

Highlights of the day: Eastf jords, Djúpivogur, Höfn, and more
Optional activities: Boat tour to papey island, puffin and seal watching boat tour, kayaking

 

Day 15: Glacier Lagoon & Vatnajökull

iceland complete 21 daysThe next couple of days of your self-drive holiday feature some of Iceland’s most spectacular sites such as Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon and the Skaftafell area in the Vatnajökull National Park. Drive west from Höfn towards the glacial lagoon will take a zodiac boat tour between the many beautiful icebergs broken off the mighty Vatnajökull glacier and rising out of the clear cold waters. Continue to Skaftafell, a lush green oasis between the vast glacier and the black volcanic Skeiðarársandur desert. From there you might enjoy an invigorating hike (usually less than an hour each way) to Svartifoss (Black Fall), so named for the pitch black basalt columns that surround it. Continue from there to the town of Vík where you can enjoy the view from the black sand beaches. You will stay the night in Kirkjubæjarklaustur/Vík. Approximate driving distance: 270 km.

Highlights of the day: Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, Skaftafell, glaciers, and more
Optional activities: zodiac boat tour or kayaking on glacial lagoon, glacier walk in Skaftafell, birdwatching tour

 

Day 16: Sensational South Coast and the Westman Islands

iceland grand tour 21 daysStart your day early and travel along the south coast of Iceland toward Landeyjarhöfn. On the way you can visit sights such as the black sand beach in Reynisfjara and the mighty Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls. After lunch, you will take the ferry from Landeyjarhöfn harbor over to the Westman Islands. It only takes about 40 minutes to get to Heimaey, the main island of the Westman Islands. You can take the car with you so you can enjoy exploring the island at your own leisure. You can take an optional boat tour which circles the island of Heimaey, halting at places of interest where passengers can see various caves, witness the bird life, and possibly observe whales. The trip ends by sailing into Klettshellir (Cliff Cave). Your guide will play a musical instrument to showcase the cave’s stunning acoustics, creating a sensational experience (not included).

Afterwards, you should visit the puffins in Stórhofdi (their nesting season is from late April until mid-August) and walk up to the crater of Eldfell which means “the Mountain of Fire”). Eldfell is a volcano which was formed in a volcanic eruption that began without any warning just outside the town of Heimaey on 23 January 1973. You’ll stay overnight on the island. Approximate driving distance: 75 km.

Highlights of the day: Reynisfjara, Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls, boat transfer to Westman islands, Eldfell volcano, and more
Optional activities: Boat tour around the island of Heimaey

 

Day 17: Westman Islands and the South Coast

Iceland full circle in 21 daysEnjoy a free morning on the Westman Islands. We recommend enjoying some of the easy hiking trails found on the island, or visiting some of the museums you may have missed the day before. Alternatively, you can simply relax and take in the island scenery or visit the local geothermal swimming pool. In the afternoon, you will board the ferry and be taken back to the mainland. From Landeyjarhöfn you will drive in the direction of the small town of Hella where you will stay overnight. Approximate driving distance: 50 km.

Highlights of the day: Westman Islands, Hella, and more

 

Day 18: Þórsmörk – A Paradise in the Highlands

grand tour iceland with ThorsmörkToday you will have the opportunity to experience one of the pearls of Icelandic nature, Þórsmörk. In the morning, you will be picked up at a meeting point in Hella and board the bus which will take you to Þórsmörk (self-driving is not recommended). Þórsmörk is known as a hiking paradise and you will be able to enjoy outdoor activities in this stunning landscape. You can choose between doing one or more easier hikes, or going all out for a more challenging hike.

The trails are well marked and most are accessible with man-made steps on the steepest parts. We highly recommend bringing a packed lunch and enjoying a picnic with spectacular views. The information center in Þórsmörk will provide you with up-to date information and advice on the hiking trails. After a full day in Þórsmörk you will be returned to Hella where you will stay overnight in the same accommodation as the night before. Approximate driving distance (bus to Þórsmörk included): 50 km.

Highlights of the day: Vist of the highlands of Iceland, Þórsmörk, and more

 

Day 19: Iceland Complete – Your Last Day on the Road with Reykjanes Peninsula

self drive holidays icelandToday you will be saying good-bye to the South Coast of Iceland and starting the last leg of your journey around Iceland. In the morning, make your way towards the town of Selfoss. From there you will turn towards the coast and drive to the Reykjanes peninsula via the south coast road. On the way you can visit the charming villages of Eyrarbakki and Stokkseyri. Once on the peninsula, we recommend that you visit the geothermal area of Seltún and Krýsuvík before making your way towards the famous Blue Lagoon. If you’d like, you can round up the peninsula by visiting the Bridge between continents and the Viking World museum in Keflavík, where you can see a replica of a Viking longboat, before making your way to the Blue Lagoon.

Once there, we recommend that you enjoy a relaxing soak in the milky blue waters. This is a perfect way to unwind after your time on the road (needs to be booked in advance). When you are ready, it’s time to head back to Reykjavík where you will drop off your rental vehicle and check into your accommodation in the city center. Approximate driving distance: 205 km.

Highlights of the day: Reykjanes, geothermal areas Seltún and Krýsuvík, bridge between continents, and more
Optional activities: Blue Lagoon

 

Day 20: Free Day in Reykjavík

Iceland round tourToday you have a full free day to explore Reykjavík and it‘s surroundings. The vicinity of Reykjavík offers many opportunities for optional day tours, or you can simply roam around and explore the history and culture of Iceland. Interesting exhibitions in the downtown area include the National Museum, Reykjavík 871 +/- Settlement Exhibition, The Northern Lights Center and more. You can also take a ferry to the island of Viðey. In the evening we recommend dinner at one of the downtown areas gourmet restaurants to celebrate completing your Iceland journey. Overnight at the same accommodation as the night before.

Highlights of the day: Reykjavík, museums, and more
Optional activities: City boat cruise, helicopter tour, Inside the volcano, sea angling

 

Day 21: Departure

iceland-holidays-northern-lightsYour Iceland grand tour is coming to an end. If your flight is in the afternoon you still have time to do some last minute shopping on Laugavegur shopping street or some sightseeing in the city. You will be transferred to Keflavík International Airport in time for your flight by bus (budget and comfort) or our private driver (quality). We hope you had a wonderful time in Iceland and wish you safe travels back home!

 

 

Detailed Information about our Iceland Complete Tour for 21 Days

Accommodation

We offer three different accommodation categories for this Iceland grand tour in 21 days:

iceland tours, iceland holidays, iceland travel, iceland tourism, iceland vacationBudget Budget accommodation includes shared facilities in guest houses, country hotels, farmhouses, etc. In some you might find a TV and a washbasin in your room. All offer breakfast that’s included in the price. In some places in the countryside you can order an evening meal as long as you give at least a couple of hours of advance notice.

 

  iceland tours, iceland holidays, iceland travel, iceland tourism, iceland vacationComfort In Comfort accommodation you will have access to private facilities (shower and WC). These would be 3 star hotels and better guest houses many of whom have their own restaurant. All offer a continental breakfast that is included in the price.    

 

 

iceland tours, iceland holidays, iceland travel, iceland tourism, iceland vacationQuality Rooms with private shower/bath and WC. These are the best available rooms in 4 star hotels or the best hotels in each region. Suites and Jr. Suites are available upon request within the Quality category in Reykjavik only.    

 

 

Season: Mid of May until end of September

Car Rental:

Rental Cars available for this tour are:

A: Dacia Duster – 4×4 (or similar) – Manual
B: Skoda Yeti – 4×4 (or similar) – Automatic
C: Toyota RAV4 – 4×4 (or similar) – Manual
D: Kia Sportage – 4×4 (or similar) – Automatic
E: Toyota Land Cruiser – 4×4 (or similar) – Automatic
F: Land Rover Defender – 4×4 (or similar) – Manual

Included:

  • 20 nights accommodation (Budget-Comfort or Quality) with breakfast
  • Rental car of your choice for 18 days with unlimited mileage, CDW & VAT
  • GPS unit for easier navigation
  • WiFi hotspot in your rental car for easy internet access
  • Unlimited extra drivers for the rental car
  • Transfer from Keflavik International Airport to your accommodation in Reykjavík (private or by bus)
  • Ferry from Stykkishólmur to Brjánslækur, car included
  • Return ferry trip to the Westman Islands, car included
  • Return bus transfer from Hella to Þórsmörk
  • Optional private information meeting with our travel consultant in Reykjavik before your tour starts
  • Transfer to Keflavík International Airport with pickup at your accommodation in Reykjavik upon departure (private or by bus)
  • Big, handwritten, detailed map with route, recommendations and accommodations highlighted
  • Written guides of the regions you will be visiting
  • Use of an Icelandic mobile phone with 1,500 ISK worth of calls
  • 24-hour emergency service
  • Taxes & service fee

Not included:

  • Flights to/from Iceland
  • Meals & drinks at restaurants apart from what’s stated in the itinerary
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Gasoline

 

Please contact us and get a price quote for this Iceland complete tour in 3 weeks. Note that this tour is fully customizable and days and activities can be added upon request. This tour is also offered as a fully guided private tour. Our terms and conditions can be found here