National Parks and Natural Wonders

Dettifoss, North East Iceland
from £1738 10 nights | May - Sep Inc. flights See price details
  • Departs:
  • May - Sep

Overview

Take two points in Iceland – Reykjavik in the southwest and Akureyri in the north. Start at either one and join the dots in-between. The result: a stunning 10-night self-drive through a succession of scenic wonders. Thingvellir and Vatnajokull national parks are the stars of this free-spirited odyssey, but you’ll also visit natural beauties like the East Fjords and Lake Myvatn.

Highlights

  • Straddle two continents at Thingvellir National Park
  • See Europe’s largest glacier outside the Arctic at Vatnajokull National Park
  • Witness the Strokkur geyser erupt 20m high (every 6-10 minutes)
  • Discover pseudo-craters and mud pools at Lake Myvatn
  • Drive the spectacular coast road in the East Fjords
  • Tick off a long list of famous Icelandic waterfalls
  • See even more with our exclusive iDiscover digital travel guide
  • Accommodation in rooms with private facilities

Iceland’s all-action national parks
Vatnajokull covers no less than 13% of Iceland. Much of it is frozen wilderness. Scaling the Vatnajokull icecap by superjeep or cruising through the icebergs at Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon are two of the optional activities available on this trip. You can also go glacier walking or snowmobiling. Thingvellir National Park, meanwhile, is not only a superb hiking spot, but you can also snorkel or dive in the flooded Silfra fissure at the margin between the Eurasian and North American plates.

Non-stop natural wonders
They come thick and fast on this trip. You’ll lose count of the waterfalls (Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, Svartifoss, Hengifoss and Dettifoss are just the famous ones). There’s wildlife too: seabirds on the Vopnafjordur coast; reindeer in the East Fjords and whales in the north. You’ll see volcanic wonders at Lake Myvatn: steaming lava flows, seething mud pits and explosion craters. And you’ll even see trees (a rarity in Iceland) when you delve into the birch forest of Hallormsstadur. Geysers, fjords, canyons, glaciers, volcanoes, black-sand beaches ... Iceland is, in fact, just one big natural wonder.

This holiday includes a domestic flight between Reykjavik and Akureyri. It’s up to you whether you want to start your self-drive in Reykjavik and fly back to the capital from Akureyri, or fly to Akureyri first and do the itinerary in reverse. Alternatively, you can extend your trip and drive between the two.

iDiscover - exclusive to Discover the WorldiDiscover 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 will be pre-loaded onto an iPad air which you will get with your hire car and includes all the information you need for your trip.


 

It really is a fascinating country – looking at the volcanoes, fjords and other landscapes, the history and of course the Sagas.

Fiona Kirton, National Parks and Natural Wonders

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: Keflavik - Blue Lagoon - Reykjavik
Fly to Keflavik, transfer to the city and overnight in Reykjavik.
Day 2: Reykjavik - Akureyri - Myvatn
Transfer on your own (5-10 mins taxi ride, payable locally) to Reykjavik City Airport for midday flight to Akureyri, then collect rental vehicle at the airport. Explore this quaint northern town located almost at the head of Eyjafjordur then drive to Myvatn, making a detour at picturesque Godafoss for a photo stop. Spend two nights at Lake Myvatn.
Day 3: Lake Myvatn
Spend the day exploring the area and its volcanic wonders. Visit the relaxing Nature Baths (the north's answer to the Blue Lagoon), grab a snack at milking time at the Cowshed Cafe, take a hike at Dimmuborgir or venture up to the pretty village at Husavik and experience a thrilling whale watching trip on an old fishing boat (prebookable - contact us for details).
Day 4: Lake Myvatn - Vopnafjordur
Visit the Jokulsa Canyon National Park and explore its gorges and waterfalls, including a possible visit to the immense waterfall Dettifoss. Continue to Vopnafjordur for an overnight stay.
Day 5: Vopnafjordur - Egilsstadir
Drive the 4x4 track to view the monumental basalt columns and sea birds on Langanes, a lonely windswept peninsula or visit the remote village of Raufarhofn. Return through Vopnafjordur and travel to Egilsstadir for an overnight stay.
Day 6: Egilsstadir - Djupivogur
Spend the day enjoying the sweeping fjords of the east coast. Explore the delightful fishing village of Djupivogur and spend the night in the area.
Day 7: Djupivogur - Skaftafell
One eye-catching view follows another on the journey south through the fjords to Hofn, a fishing port at the foot of Europe’s largest icecap, Vatnajokull. Travel around the base of the icecap, in sight of its many breathtaking glaciers. One has receded, forming a huge lagoon, where icebergs lie adrift - this is Jokulsarlon. Take a boat trip (at additional cost) and head over to the beach to watch as they drift out to sea. Overnight in the area.
Days 8: Skaftafell - Klaustur
You will be spoilt for choice today as there is much to see and do in the area: walking in the stunning Skaftafell National Park; discovering the Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon with its immense icebergs (boat trips are prebookable - contact us for further details). Perhaps take an optional snowmobile trip on Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajokull. Continue to Kirkjubaeklaustur for an overnight stay.
Day 9: Klaustur - Vik - Hveragerdi
Journey along the south coast, visit the fascinating Skogar Folk Museum and the thundering falls, Skogafoss. Don’t miss the walk behind Seljalandsfoss and look out through its curtain of cascading water. Spend two nights in Hveragerdi.
Day 10: Golden Circle
Explore the natural wonders on the famed Golden Circle route: the tectonic rift in the earth's crust at Thingvellir, the thundering falls of Gullfoss and the bubbling Geysir geothermal area.
Day 11: depart Iceland
Drive back to Keflavik, drop off rental vehicle at the airport and catch the flight back home

Please note this itinerary may be booked in reverse ie. starting with the south coast and returning via a flight from Akureyri to Reykjavik. You may also prefer to extend your trip slightly and drive to or from Akureyri - call us to discuss your options and for a tailor made quote.

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.

Icelandair Hotel Klaustur

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Hotel

A modern hotel found in the southern Icelandic village o…

Hotel Framtid

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Hotel

Situated deep in the East Fjords in the pretty fishing v…

Hotel Cabin, Reykjavik

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Hotel

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

Hotel Skaftafell

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Hotel

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

Hotel Ork, Hveragerdi

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Hotel

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

Dimmuborgir Guesthouse, Myvatn

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

In a peaceful location on the banks of lake Myvatn.

Hotel Eyvindara, nr Egilsstadir

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

This attractive property occupies a pretty and peaceful …

Excursions

Excursions

From glacier hikes to horse riding, river rafting to mountain biking, 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…

Blue Lagoon

The award-winning Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s premier…

Boat Trip on the Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

This popular trip takes you out into the spectacular glacia…

Dettifoss Waterfall by Superjeep

Dettifoss is Europe's most powerful waterfall, with an asto…

Diving Silfra Day Tour

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

East Iceland Village Walks

Explore the beautiful east with an expert local guide!

Horse Riding in Hallormsstadur

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

Horse Riding in the North East

Experience riding the pure bred Icelandic horse on a choice…

Horse Riding in the South West

Choose from a range of durations to explore on horseback

Hot Springs and Lava Cave Tour

The tour begins at the famous Hengill Volcano where you wil…

Husavik Whale Watching Boat Trip

Husavik, in North East Iceland, is recognised as Europe’s…

Ice and Fire Sightseeing Flight

A journey by plane, this tour examines Iceland's breathtaki…

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…

Snowmobiling on Langjokull

An exhilarating snowmobile trip on Iceland's second largest…

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

The Highland Circle by Superjeep

This fascinating guided day trip takes you through the high…

Whales, Puffins and Sails Boat Trip

This is a unique sailing tour that combines whale and bird …

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

Pricing for additional passengers sharing the vehicles is available on request. Please advise if you wish to share accommodation or require additional rooms (triple and single rooms are available at most establishments).

Summer 2017 - Itinerary

Flights to/from Keflavik

May & September

Category 2 sharing
B - VW Golf £1,738
D - Skoda Octavia (4WD) £1,841
F - Suzuki Grand Vitara £1,915

 

 

June, July & August

Category 2 sharing
B - VW Golf £2,171
D - Skoda Octavia (4WD) £2,326
F - Suzuki Grand Vitara £2,515

 

Prices include flight credit of £250*; accommodation in rooms with private facilities on a breakfast basis; domestic flight between Reykjavik and Akureyri; 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 will be pre-loaded onto an iPad air which you will get with your hire car and includes all the information you need for your trip. 

 

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
iceland birdlife arctic tern rth

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.

Meet the team

Speak to a specialist:

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