East Fjords & South Coast

Seydisfjordur
from £2531 14 nights | May - Sep Inc. flights See price details
  • Departs:
  • May - Sep

Overview

Travel through a kaleidoscope of Icelandic gems on this summer self drive travelling from the East Fjords and along the south shore to the south west. From alluring fjords to rugged highland plateaus, tantalising glaciers to dramatic black sand beaches and from an array of impressive waterfalls to steaming vents and bubbling mudpools. 'Iceland never fails to impress' is pretty much the theme throughout this holiday and each day has something different to offer.

Highlights

  • explore stunning fjords, mountains and hot springs
  • witness an array of spectacular waterfalls; Hengifoss, Svartifoss, Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss and Gullfoss
  • contrast glaciers, icebergs and bubbling mudpools
  • visit well-known sites including Dyrholaey, Jokulsarlon and the Golden Circle
  • use of exclusive digital travel guide, iDiscover, throughout

On this 2-week itinerary, journey from the stupendous East Fjords to the foot of the largest glacier in Europe – Vatnajokull, visit the famous Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon, Skaftafell, the dramatic south coast to Gullfoss, Geysir and Thingvellir National Park.

Each day uncover the natural beauty of a different area and whilst travelling at a leisurely pace, you have time to explore as well as relax. From the east of Iceland, it's easy to access the beautiful and dramatic Vatnajokull National Park and if you wish to travel deeper into the Highlands, a high clearance 4WD vehicle is required, but even in a standard car you can reach the controversial Karahnjukur dam and the drained gorge. Visit the Laugarfell Highland Hostel, an excellent base for walking; here you can also join a guided hike to the mighty Mt Snaefell (advance booking required) – followed, of course, with a rewarding dip in a natural hot pool (additional cost).

Along the east coast, there are many opportunities to take a scenic hike along the jagged shoreline with the chance of seeing an abundance of birdlife, black sandy beaches and staggered cliff rocks. If you wish to change to horsepower, there is a selection of riding trips available in the area, suitable for all. Each of the fjords have their own unique identity; picturesque Seydisfjordur has a vibrant art scene, steep and narrow Mjoifjordur is the most spectacular while Faskrudsfjordur has an interesting French connection. The East Fjords are truly amazing!

Skirting around the base of Vatnajokull Glacier, your view is framed by a giant icecap on one side and the sea on the other. At Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, the scene merges together; calving icebergs are slowly flowing from the lagoon to the open sea, only to be washed back on to the beach, creating a picture-perfect setting. Seals are often found playing in the mouth of the lagoon and to get a closer look at the icebergs there are boat and Zodiac trips available (advance booking required).

The Skaftafell National Park is one of Iceland's national treasures; the rugged landscapes, mountains and glaciers, the lush flora and fauna all add to the magic of the area. A popular hike is to reach Svartifoss, a 20-metre high waterfall with hanging hexagonal basalt columns. Drive through the massive glacial outwash plain, Skeidararsandur, and continue to Vik and the dramatic Dyrholaey bird cliffs for a walk along the black sand beach.

The scenic coastal road has a multitude of natural wonders; two most famous waterfalls, Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss, and not forgetting the little-known, yet impressive, Gljufrafoss; the neighbouring glaciers of Myrdalsjokull and the infamous Eyjafjallajokull, which overlook the wooded valley of Thorsmork.

The Golden Circle is probably one of the most popular routes visited in Iceland with good reason; the golden trio of Gullfoss, Geysir and Thingvellir National Park need no introduction. Besides these mighty giants, there are many hidden gems en route, all introduced on iDiscover – your personal travel companion throughout the journey.

Before heading to the capital, take a tour around Reykjanes Peninsula, where there are many hot springs and other geothermal features, the most famous being the Blue Lagoon.

We had an excellent time. My wife only had one complaint, we didn’t have long enough!

Graham Whiting, Tailor made

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: Keflavik / Reykjavik - Egilsstadir
Fly to Keflavik, transfer to Reykjavik for your domestic flight to Egilsstadir. Upon arrival, collect your rental vehicle and stay overnight here.
Day 2: Egilsstadir - Hallormsstadur
Spend the morning exploring the Egilsstadir area, perhaps visiting the beautiful fjord town of Seydisfjordur and the neighbouring steep and narrow fjord of Mjoifjordur. Continue along the shores of Lake Lagarfljot and take a hike up to Hengifoss. Wander through the Hallormsstadur forest or take an exhilarating ATV ride through the dense woodlands. The following 2 nights will be spent at Hotel Hallormsstadur.
Day 3: Hallormsstadur
Visit the Skriduklaustur Centre of Culture and History before continuing on to the highlands, Vatnajokull National Park, and visit the dam at Karahnjukur. A 4WD vehicle is required if you wish to drive beyond the dam. Visit the Laugarfjall Highland Hostel and take a dip in their natural hot pool (additional cost). In the afternoon take a walk around the milky glacier-fed Lake Lagarfljot.
Day 4: Hallormsstadur - Djupivogur
Drive around the fjords and visit Reydarfjordur, Eskifjordur and Neskaupsstadur, then continue to the lovely coastal town of Faskrudsfjordur, also known as 'the French town', due to its history with resident French fishermen. Visit Stodvarfjordur, Breiddalsvik and lastly the pretty town of Djupivogur. The following 2 nights are spent in either Djupivogur or Breiddalsvik.
Day 5: Djupivogur
Spend your day hiking in the southernmost district in the east. Birdwatching is extremely popular around Djupivogur, so a visit to the Bulandsnes bird sanctuary and also the outdoor sculpture, Eggin i Gledivik, made up of 34 giant bird eggs, is a must do when in the area. Alternatively join the popular bird and seal watching tour to Papey Island (pre-booking required).
Day 6: Djupivogur - Hoffell
Drive further south and visit the fishing town Hofn nearby the named fjord, Hornafjordur. This harbour town, the second largest in the south-eastern part of Iceland, gives scenic views of the shadowing Vatnajokull Glacier. Take a visit to the Glacier Exhibition which shows an amazing film of the 1996 eruption. Continue to Hoffell for an overnight stay.
Day 7: Hoffell - Skaftafell
Take time in the morning to explore Hoffell at the foot of the glacier then continue to Jokulsarlon, the incredible glacial lagoon. Enjoy the area by boat and by foot for the ultimate experience. Take a speedy Zodiac boat (pre-bookable) designed to take you close up to the dramatic icebergs in the lagoon. A short walk from the lagoon will lead you to the black sand beaches where the icebergs have rocked up from the sea. Spend the next 2 nights at Hotel Skaftafell.
Day 8: Skaftafell
Take a hike to the impressive Svartifoss, the dark falls, so named because of its black lava columns surrounding the cascade of water. Discover further magnificent waterfalls, glaciers and impressive mountain scenery at your leisure.
Day 9: Skaftafell-Vik
Head west to the town of Kirkubaejarklaustur where there are the following attractions to visit; the eerie, moss-clad lava field Eldhraun, the biggest lava field in Iceland formed in 1783 after the Laki eruption. The craters of Laki, Lakagigar, which were formed in one of the world's largest mixed eruptions in recorded history. Also take a walk up to the delightful waterfall Systrafoss where the river Fossa falls from the lake Systravatn into the gorge Fossargil.
Day 10: Vik
Explore Vik, Iceland's most southerly village. Stroll the well-known black sand beaches and marvel at the troll-like rock stacks and basalt columns. The area is dominated by Myrdalsjokull, the glacier which is home to Katla, one of Iceland's fiercest volcanoes. Visit Dyrholaey, where the unique rock arch can be found and a nature reserve home to some incredible birdlife including puffins during the summer.
Day 11: Vik - Hveragerdi
Head further west to see Skogafoss one of Iceland's biggest waterfalls situated on the Skogar River and then the mysterious Seljalandsfoss, the waterfall you can walk behind. The infamous Eyafjallajokull volcano which last erupted in 2010 are all in the vicinity.
Day 12: Golden Circle
Spend the day visiting the spectacular two-tiered waterfall, Gullfoss, the mesmerising Geysir geothermal area – where you can watch Strokkur erupting every few minutes, and Thingvellir National Park – where the European and North American tectonic plates meet. In the afternoon, perhaps visit the secret lagoon for a dip in the hot soothing waters.
Day 13: Reykjadalur
Located close to Hveragerdi, Reykjadalur Valley is arguably one of the most beautiful hiking places in and around the area, covered in trails, hot springs and colourful areas full of geothermal activity. Take a hike on one of the marked routes or alternatively take a tour through the area on horseback.
Day 14: Hveragerdi
Visit the volcanic Reykjanes Peninsula which has several high temperature geothermal areas, the hot springs and fumaroles in Krisuvik, the cliffs at Grindavik and perhaps opt for a dip in the famous Blue Lagoon (must be pre-booked).
Day 15: depart Reykjavik
The final day of the trip. Depart Reykjavik and after dropping off your rental vehicle, head to Keflavik International Airport in preparation for your homeward flight.
Notes
  • This itinerary may be booked in reverse ie. starting with a flight from Keflavik, then driving to Egilsstadir.
  • The weather in Iceland can be unpredictable and therefore can cause substantial delays which can result in the need to re-arrange or extend your holiday itinerary. Whilst we and our contacts in Iceland will do everything possible to minimise any disruption, it is important that you check the details of your travel insurance and allow for some flexibility in your plans.

Accommodation Options

This itinerary is based on the hotels shown below in rooms with private facilities. We offer a wide range of accommodation from farms to self catering cottages, budget hotels to luxury properties, ask our Iceland experts for recommendations.

Hotel Eyvindara, nr Egilsstadir

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Guesthouse / B&B

This attractive property occupies a pretty and peaceful …

Hotel Hallormsstadur, Hallormsstadur

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Hotel

Located around 25km south of Egilsstadir, the hotel’s …

Hotel Skaftafell

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Hotel

Found only 5km from the Vatnajökull National Park, thes…

Hotel Blafell, Breiddalsvik

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Hotel

Hotel Blafell is a cosy hotel situated in the charming v…

Hotel Ork, Hveragerdi

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Hotel

Found 45km east of Reykjavik in the 'greenhouse village'…

Hotel Cabin, Reykjavik

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Hotel

Superb value for your money, this 252-room hotel is for …

Icelandair Hotel Vik

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Hotel

An elegant new hotel with a stunning glass building maki…

Upgrade to Hotel Ranga

This luxury ranch-style is in an ideal location for exploring the south coast and Golden Circle. Enjoy fine dining in the gourmet restaurant and relax in the outdoor hot tubs.

Excursions

Excursions

From glacier hikes to horse riding, river rafting to mountain biking, there are a wide range of optional activities available. These are just a selection of the optional activities you can choose to include on this holiday.

ATV Tours in Hallormsstadur Forest

Ride through the beautiful Hallormsstadur forest on a 4x4 A…

Adventures at Sea - boat trip from Breiddalsvik

Set sail and visit colonies of playful puffins* and curious…

Boat Trip on the Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

This popular trip takes you out into the spectacular glacia…

Diving Silfra Day Tour

Possibly one of the most unique dives that guests will ever…

Horse Riding in Hallormsstadur

Take a short ride on horse back through the lush Hallormsst…

Horse Riding in the South West

Choose from a range of durations to explore on horseback

Ice Lagoon Zodiac Boat Tours

Cruise Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon by inflatable rib.

Kayaking in the South West

Explore the sheltered waters near Stokkseyri on a fun kayak…

Mindfulness Yoga Hike

Combine relaxation and revitalisation with active explorati…

Nature and Culture in Summer by 4x4

Immerse yourself in the nature and culture of east Iceland …

Snorkelling Silfra Day Tour

A relaxing but exotic trip in an environment most will only…

Snowmobiling on Myrdalsjokull Glacier

Take an exhilirating snowmobile ride on Myrdalsjokull glaci…

Solheimajokull Glacier Walk & Ice Climbing

An excursion that takes you out onto the frozen glacial ton…

Superjeep Tour on Vatnajokull Glacier

Explore a glacier by Icelandic superjeep

Prices & Dates

Holiday prices to Iceland have increased significantly recently, due to a number of factors – not least the lower value of the pound. Whilst we offer the best price available, if your budget will not stretch we would be happy to discuss modifying this itinerary in various ways to make it more affordable. Just contact our team of Travel Specialists to discuss.


Prices from, in £ per person based on 2 sharing a room with private facilities, unless otherwise stated.

Summer 2017

  Sep
B - VW Golf £2,531
D - Skoda Octavia (4WD) £2,673
G - Toyota Rav4 £2,815

 

  Jul-Aug
B - VW Golf £2,904
D - Skoda Octavia (4WD) £3,121
G - Toyota Rav4 £3,414


Prices include flight credit of £250*; accommodation in rooms with private facilities on a breakfast basis; car rental for the agreed period on an unlimited mileage basis (includes semi-comprehensive insurance and no charge for additional driver); use of iDiscover iPad for the duration of the holiday with free WiFi; all airport taxes.

Prices excludes travel insurance, fuel, personal expenses, tips and gratuities

* Flight credit is based on a typical airfare with checked in luggage and is for budgeting purposes only. The actual cost of the flight with taxes will be advised to you when enquiring about the holiday. We will always state the lowest fare available for your route and travel dates which may mean that the price of this element may be more or less than £250. Booking early usually means the lowest price.

Other Information

Choice of Vehicles

We offer a wide range of rental vehicles for this holiday provided by the local Europcar franchise. Our long-standing relationship with them means that our clients enjoy many exclusive benefits including priority on the newest and best appointed vehicles available on the day.

Alternatively, consider renting a motorhome and use this itinerary as a route outline. You'll have complete flexibility on where you overnight, yet with the support of our excusive digital travel guide, iDiscover.

iDiscover digital guide

If you book any self drive in Iceland with us you will also get free use of our exclusive digital travel guide, iDiscover. Your personalised itinerary is pre-loaded onto an iPad air which you will receive when you collect your hire car. The app allows you access to a vast travel directory featuring scenic wonders, 'must-visit' sites as well as hidden gems and activities available. With 4G connectivity and built in links to weather updates and road conditions, you have all the information you need for your entire trip in one handy device.

iceland birdlife arctic tern rth

Tailor Made


If you can't find exactly what you are looking for, let us find it for you.

iDiscover iPad

iDiscover

All Iceland self drive clients will have free use of our exclusive digital travel guide. Your personalised itinerary will be pre-loaded onto an iPad air, which hosts a comprehensive database of places to visit throughout Iceland.

How to book

Book this trip

So that we may send you a personalised quote and confirmation of availability, please click on the link below and complete our Enquiry form. One of our Travel Specialists will then be in touch to complete your booking or answer any further questions you might have.

travel guaranteeWe will always offer the best price available at the time of booking and guarantee no surcharges - see our 100% Guarantee for full details.

View booking conditions

Speak to a specialist: 01737 214 250

Book this trip
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Tailor Made


If you can't find exactly what you are looking for, let us find it for you.

Our team of Travel Specialists have extensive first-hand knowledge of our destinations and are passionate about travel.

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