Get picked up at home and whisked off to your departure point (within 50 miles).
Meals included: 7 breakfasts,
Experience a country of beautiful contrasts, where lava meets ice; a land that’s elemental, dramatic and otherworldly. Stand behind the cascading falls of Seljalandsfoss, peer into the Grábrók Crater, then soak your cares away in the mineral salts of the Myvatn Baths.
Fly to Reykjavik and transfer to your hotel. This evening, enjoy an optional dinner at your hotel or venture into the city to choose from its enticing range of restaurants.
An action-packed day beckons, beginning with a journey west to the Grábrók volcano crater. Wonder at the dramatic scenery, and on arrival, snap photos of the crater that looms from a lava field. Hear how it was formed 3,000 years ago and climb the stairs to the rim to gaze into the crater and across Iceland's rugged countryside. Continue to a fishing village to visit a small natural history and seal museum and walk around the harbour, before driving to the turf church at Vidimyri, a stunning example of old Icelandic architecture, built in 1836. Next, journey along the fjord-like coastline through mountain passes to Akureyri, Iceland's second city, where you stay overnight.
This morning, explore Akureyri, a charming town of just 17000 inhabitants, visit the botanical garden and enjoy the panoramic view of the Eyjafordur fjord. This afternoon, travel to an important sport in Iceland's history, Godafoss, the waterfalls of the Gods. We continue to Lake Myvatn which is known for it geographical wonders and active bird life during the summer months. Next, continue to the spectacular lava formations at Kalfastrond followed by a walk around the many pseudo craters and end an exciting day with a relaxing soak in the Myvatn Nature Baths that contain a unique blend of minerals, silicates and geothermal micro-organisms. The warm soothing waters benefit both skin and spirit alike.
Begin today with a hike through the lava labyrinth at Dimmuborgir ''the dark castles'', hoping to get a glimpse of the trolls who are said to live there. After an optional lunch visit the hot spring area of Namaskard with bubbling mud pools and steaming solfataras. Next, journey through the uninhabited highlands and moon-like surroundings to East Iceland, with some luck you may get the opportunity to spot an Arctic fox or see reindeer. Take a detour to Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall before arriving at your hotel for the evening. NOTE: The visit to Vatanajokull National Park is only available on departures during June to August.
Admire Iceland's fjordlands today, passing through tiny fishing villages cupped into steep fjords. Stop to view an interesting stone and mineral collection, and see Vatnajökull, Europe's biggest glacier. Pass through Hofn, a beautifully located fishing port, and take in Jökulsarlson, a glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs calved from a retreating glacier. Visit a black sandy beach where icebergs get stranded, watch for seals swimming in the waters, and if the season is right, perhaps enjoy an optional boat trip. Afterward, trace the southern rim of Vatnajökull into Vatnajökull National Park. Spend time in this incredible park, home to Iceland's highest mountains, glaciers and flood plains speckled with volcanic debris. Overnight in the area.
Cross the otherworldly landscapes of Eldhraun lava field, walk on the black sandy beach at Reynisfjara, and take in the 60-metre high Skogafoss waterfall. Continue west to Eyjafjallajökull, the infamous volcano whose 2010 eruption grounded much of Europe's air traffic. Visit the Eyjafjallajökull information centre and then visit the mountain waterfall of Seljalandsfoss, where, if you wish, you can walk behind the thundering cascade.
Travel around Iceland's famous Golden Circle today to experience its three natural wonders: Geysir, Gullfoss and Thingvellir. Start at Fridheimar to learn about sturdy Icelandic horses, descended from those brought here by the Vikings. Visit a geothermal greenhouse, and then head for Geysir to see the hot springs, bubbling pools and incredible Strokkur geyser, which spouts every five to ten minutes. Marvel at Gullfoss, a double waterfall that plunges 34 metres into the Hvita River, and visit the awe-inspiring UNESCO-listed Thingvellir National Park. See the rift between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates and the 'lawrock' where ancient parliaments once met, before continuing to Reykjavik and enjoying a panoramic city tour of Iceland's capital. Tonight, stay in a hotel in the city.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.
Tour hotels will be as specified or a similar standard offered.
Superb tour and could not fault the tour guide and driver. Would have given 5* but the accommodation was very poor on 3 nights. The 4* Icelandair hotels were good but the "superior tourist" hotels in the more remote places put our tour group in very basic, tired rooms which were closer to 2*. Apparently this is because the hotels cancel tour company bookings in favour of more valuable individual bookings. Archers need to investigate this as their brochure description is misleading if hotel room changes aren't of a similar standard.
Scenery spectacular hotels not up to expectations
Relied on own abilities to get from airport, check in to hotel etc and to occupy first day. When we booked had expected a full tour service.
See above for detailed comments
Everything from driver and coach, guide, tour content and hotels fantastic. Food in hotels was very good but it would have been nice to have a choice of either fish or meat at each meal. I would love anything put in front if me but some people didn't like the fact that we had fish 3 out of 4 evening meals. I personally love fish but it's not everybody's cup of tea.
The Grand Tour was an excellent way to see the many varied attributes of this lovely island. The whole place was so unspoilt and unpolluted. Our tour guide Rocky was very good - informative, interesting, helpful and at all times very professional.
Wonderful scenery, amazing weather variations and good itinerary let down by poor organisation and indifferent staff. Guide excellent for 4 of 5 days but then in rush to get rid of us.
A varied and comprehensive tour with a knowledgeable and informative guide. Perhaps an extra day would have made the distances driven per day more user friendly so that we were not arriving at some destinations in the dark and so were unable to appreciate or photograph the amazing scenery. I would also have liked the opportunity to see more wildlife such as reindeer, seals and arctic terns
There's no need to shop around. Find a cheaper like-for-like tour from another company, and we’ll not only match their price but also give you a £50 discount when you book with us.
They have in-depth knowledge of the places you’ll visit and will be on hand every step of the way with commentary entirely in English. 96% of customers rate them 'excellent' or 'good'.
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