Northern Highlights

Lake Myvatn, Iceland
from £1491 7 nights | May-Sep Inc. flights See price details
  • Departs:
  • May-Sep

Overview

This exciting combination of the East Fjords and Iceland’s Northeast is perfect for a well-paced, seven-night self-drive. Start by exploring the stunning coast and fascinating villages of the East Fjords, then head to Lake Myvatn and Husavik for an equally heady mixture of volcanic natural wonders and world-class whale watching.

Highlights

  • Hike in the towering wilderness of Borgarfjordur Eystri
  • Visit picture-perfect Seydisfjordur and idyllic Skalanes nature reserve
  • Spot humpback whales on a boat trip from Husavik
  • Explore craters, lava flows and hot springs at Lake Myvatn
  • Walk to the brink of mighty Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall
  • Enhance your self-drive with our exclusive digital travel guide, iDiscover

Forests, fjords and feathered friends
The birch forest of Hallormsstadur near Egilsstadir is a wonderful spot for hiking, cycling, horse riding or taking to the trails on all-terrain vehicles. Alternatively, drive north to the remote village of Bakkagerdi for a hike in the Dyrfjoll Mountains or a rendezvous with the puffins that nest near the harbour. A spectacular mountain drive leads to Seydisfjordur, a colourful village with a cultural spring in its step. At the mouth of the fjord, Skalanes nature reserve is a perfect montage of the East Fjord’s breathtaking scenery, and a great place for spotting birds, seals and wild reindeer.

Whales, waterfalls and volcanic wonders
Leaving the East Fjords, it’s a fantastic drive to Lake Myvatn, perhaps taking a detour to little-visited Vopnafordur with its turf farm museum. You have three nights to explore Myvatn – touring the lake road to marvel at pseudocraters, lava caves and bubbling mud pits. Drive to Husavik for a boat trip in search of humpback whales and visit Dettifoss where some 200 cubic metres of water thunder over the edge of the falls every second. If you prefer less violent water, take a soothing dip in the Nature Baths – an outdoor pool naturally heated by geothermal springs.

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.


"What a sight!" Whale watching in Husavik

by Maria K, Customer Services Supervisor
Read the Blog

With a covering of snow, the Lake Myvatn area was like a winter wonderland... as you can tell, we really enjoyed our trip to Iceland and we will go back, as it is truly a beautiful and fascinating country. Thank you once again for looking after out travel arrangements so well.

Nicky & Steve Hilliar, Around Iceland

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: Arrive Egilsstadir
Fly to Keflavik, transfer to Reykjavik and fly to Egilsstadir, collect your rental vehicle and iDiscover digital travel companion and drive the short distance to your hotel. Overnight at either Lake Hotel or Hotel Hallormsstadur.
Day 2: explore Egilsstadir area
Lagarfljot – the glacial lake that stretches south from Egilsstadir – is always worth a second glance. Legend has it that its murky depths (over 100m in places) are the lair of the Lagarfljotsormur – a dragonlike ‘wyrm’ that would give even the Loch Ness monster the jitters. By comparison, Hallormsstadur (Iceland’s largest forest) is a tranquil spot for a walk in the woods. You can also hike to Hengifoss, a graceful cascade swishing a 128m-long plume of water across cliffs striped red from ancient volcanic eruptions.

If you fancy exploring further afield today, we recommend the hour’s drive to Bakkagerdi – a remote, peaceful village overlooking a bay framed by mountains that gives you access to invigorating hikes in Borgafjordur Eystri, as well as superb puffin watching (early May to mid-August) and even a chance to spot wild reindeer.

Overnight at either Lake Hotel or Hotel Hallormsstadur, near Egilsstadir.
Day 3: Egilsstadir - Neskaupstadur
Start the day by visiting Seydisfjordur. It only takes 30 minutes to nip over the mountains to reach this fjord-nuzzled village - but what a drive! The views from the pass are breathtaking - the narrow waters of the fjord drizzled like quicksilver through brooding mountains. You will want to linger in Seydisfjordur, photographing the pastel-coloured houses at the water’s edge, enjoying coffee and cake (and a chat with the friendly locals) at Bistro Skaftafell and seeking out the arts and crafts that the village is famous for. Leave enough time, though, for driving along the fjord to Skalanes - a beautiful nature reserve where you can roam trails spotting birds, seals and reindeer.

Later, head towards Neskaupstadur, stopping on the way to visit the atmospheric old fishermen’s shack in Eskifjordur known as Randulff’s Seahouse. The small town of Neskaupstadur lies at the road’s end on the north side of Nordfjordur and has a lively cultural scene with a good sprinkling of cafés, galleries and museums.

Overnight at Hotel Hildibrand in Neskaupstadur.
Day 4: explore Neskaupstadur
Take your pick from Neskaupstadur’s wide range of activities, from horse riding and hiking to boat trips in search of whales and puffins. The town also hosts one of the East Fjords’ popular village walks, offering visitors a chance to learn about culture and history with a local guide. You can also explore Paskahellir – a coastal cave adorned with pillow lava formations and curious holes left by trees consumed by lava 12 million years ago.

Overnight at Hotel Hildibrand in Neskaupstadur.
Day 5: Neskaupsstadur - Myvatn
Leaving the East Fjords, drive west towards Lake Myvatn. If you have time, make an optional detour to the bay of Vopnafjordur with its sea cliffs and black-sand beaches. Back on route 1, stop at Modrudalur, Iceland’s highest farm, for a hot chocolate and far reaching views of Herdubreid – the Queen of the Mountains deep in the interior.

Overnight at Hotel Sel Myvatn.
Day 6: explore Myvatn area
The first of two full days exploring the area around Myvatn, start by driving the lake road which links several must-see sights: the perfect cone-shaped pseudocraters at Skutustadir, the bizarre basalt formations of Dimmuborgir and the kilometre-wide tephra cone volcano of Hverfjall. Slightly further afield, you can explore Namaskard –pockmarked with bubbling mud pits and hissing fumaroles – and walk across the steaming lava fields at Krafla. There’s also a fascinating lava cave at Lofthellir – ask us about arranging a tour to explore this eerie ice-encrusted subterranean chamber.

At the end of the day relax in the geothermal waters of the Nature Baths, enjoying a drink and spectacular views across the raw, volcanic landscape.

Overnight at Hotel Sel Myvatn.
Day 7: visit Husavik
On your second full day in the Myvatn area, drive north to Husavik for your free whale watching tour. Voyaging into Skjalfandi Bay aboard one of North Sailing’s beautiful wooden boats, you’ll scan the sea for tell-tale signs of minke and humpback whales – a sudden spout perhaps as a leviathan surfaces to breathe, or a flock of seabirds fussing over fish driven to the surface by feeding whales. With luck you’ll be treated to a close encounter. Humpbacks can be particularly acrobatic, slapping their tails and flukes, spy-hopping or breaching. You may also spot white-sided dolphins and even blue whales.

Back on shore, visit the excellent whale museum in Husavik harbour before driving to Asbyrgi, a horseshoe-shaped canyon which, according to Norse legend, was stamped in the ground by Odin’s eight-legged horse Sleipnir. Sheltering abeautiful birch woodland, it’s a fine spot for a walk and a picnic.

From Asbyrgi, continue south to Dettifoss where you can walk right up to the enormous cappuccino-coloured cataract. Measuring 100m wide and 45m high, Europe’s most powerful waterfall is bloated with silt-laden meltwater from the Vatnajokull icecap.

Overnight at Hotel Sel Myvatn.
Day 8: Myvatn - Akureyri
Head to Akureyri in time for your flight back to Reykjavik, transfer to Keflavik Airport for your flight back to your destination.
Notes
  • 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. This itinerary is also available in reverse.

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.

Sel Hotel Myvatn

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Hotel

Sel Hotel Myvatn is the ideal base for experiencing the …

Hildibrand Hotel, Neskaupstadur

  • Grade: Standard
  • Type: Hotel

A contemporary style apartment hotel located in the hear…

Lake Hotel, Egilsstadir

  • Grade: Superior
  • Type: Hotel

Located on the shores of Lake Logurinn, this elegant far…

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.

Askja and Herdubreid - by superjeep

Travel deep into the highlands for stunning scenery and leg…

Horse Riding in Neskaupstadur

Ride up and over steep mountains, along lush green valleys …

Horse Riding in the North East

Experience riding the pure bred Icelandic horse on a choice…

Husavik Whale Museum

Learn about marine ecosystems and cetaceans, their biology,…

Husavik Whale Watching Boat Trip

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

Into the Wild - Hiking Tour

Head into the east Iceland wilderness on this hiking day tr…

Nature Baths

A low key alternative to the Blue Lagoon, located in the no…

Nature and Culture in Summer by 4x4

Immerse yourself in the nature and culture of east Iceland …

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

Summer 2017

Season May & September
Category 2 Sharing
B - VW Golf £1,304
D - Skoda Octavia (4WD) £1,383
G - Toyota Rav4 £1,435

 

Season June - August
Category 2 Sharing
B - VW Golf £1,684
D - Skoda Octavia (4WD) £1,793
G - Toyota Rav4 £1,940

 

Prices include return flights from UK to Keflavik,  return transfer from Keflavik to Reykjavik Airport; domestic flight Reykjavik to Egilsstadir; domestic flight Akureyri to Reykjavik; 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 mobile data; all airport taxes. The price is FULLY GUARANTEED against any surcharges or increases.

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


 

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.

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