You will be travelling in a 4x4 vehicles, which enables us to combine classical routes with the desolated volcanic highlands. This tour takes you out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary allowing you to witness the endless contrasts in the Icelandic nature. Across the Wilderness offers a complete Icelandic experience in only 9 days, which will conquer the hearts of first-timers as well as those that have been here before. With maximum 19 participants, the small group size ensures that guests can be treated individually, giving space and focus to their different interests.
PRICES & DATES
Price is based on 2 people sharing a room and includes return economy class flights, all airport taxes, return airport transfers, 9 day tour with driver guide as per itinerary in mountain truck, 10 nights accommodation with breakfast and facilities, 8 dinners in the countryside and entrance to Eric the Red Museum.
Departures in summer 2012:
9 August - sold out
* guaranteed departures
Manchester/Glasgow departures require extra nights pre/post-tour.
Day 1- arrival
Fly with a scheduled airline to Reykjavik. After arrival in Reykjavik, transfer to your hotel. Free time to explore the city.
Day 2 - Thingvellir - Gullfoss - Geysir UNESCO World Heritage site with Geological Wonders - The Famous Golden Falls - Exploding Geysers
An easy first day begins with a visit to Thingvellir National Park, the ancient site of the world's first parliament and a jewel of nature. Next we travel to the nearby Geysir geothermal area and witness boiling pools and hot springs. The most active geyser, Strokkur, shoots water high into the air every few minutes. Onwards to the beautiful Gullfoss (“Golden”) waterfalls, amongst the most impressive in Iceland. Overnight in Hvolsvöllur area.
Day 3 - Vík - Dyrhólaey - Kirkjubæjarklaustur Thundering Waterfalls - Puffin Colony - Black Sand Beaches of the South Shore - Lava Fields
Admire the two classic waterfalls, Skógafoss and Seljalandsfoss before enjoying great views from Dyrhólaey* headland where thousands of puffins nest during the summer. A stop in the quaint village of Vík follows before crossing the Mýrdalssandur outwash plains of Katla volcano. The day ends by passing through the vast Eldhraun lava field, the largest on earth since the end of the Ice Age. Overnight in Kirkjubæjarklaustur area.
Day 4 - Jökulsárlón - Skaftafell Glacial Lagoon with Icebergs - Europe's Largest National Park - Europe's Largest Glacier
The day starts with a drive through beautiful scenery towards the Vatnajökull ice cap, by far the largest in Europe. We circumnavigate the Öræfajökull volcano with Icelands highest point, Hvannadalshnjúkur. The turn-around point today is Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon where huge icebergs float in water full of life. An optional boat tour among the icebergs is possible. At Svínafellsjökull close encounters with a glacier tongue are on offer. On the way we pass by Skaftafell national park. Overnight in the Kirkjubæjarklaustur area.
Day 5 - Landmannalaugar
Multicoloured Mountains of the Highlands - Lava Fields - Hot Springs with Bathing - Hekla Volcano
Meander along the primitive Fjallabaksleið interior track to Landmannalaugar, a magnificent area surrounded by colorful rhyolite mountains with the option of bathing in a naturally warm geothermal pool. This pearl of the interior consists of deep valleys and sculptured, often mossy mountains, many formed in volcanic eruptions under ice-age icecaps, forging a powerfully colorful experience. Overnight in the Þjórsárdalur area.
Day 6 - Sprengisandur Uninhabited Interior and Highland Desert
Discover hidden parts of the Icelandic interior, exploring the vast and desolate wilderness of the Sprengisandur highland route. Sprengisandur is the longest stretch between the South and North and is passable only during the late summer months. We must bring our own lunch to the Nýidalur mountain hut in the country’s centre, as no services are available on the way. No bridges over the rivers means several river crossings on this rough track. Overnight in the Lake Mývatn area.
Day 7 - Tjörnes - Ásbyrgi - Dettifoss - Lake Mývatn Glacial River Gorge – Europe’s Most Powerful Waterfall - Geothermal Activity - Rich Birdlife
An absolutely packed day with a wild variety of landscapes. We travel through Húsavík town and around the Tjörnes peninsula, the most northern point of our journey. Discover the serene horseshoe-shaped canyon of Ásbyrgi National Park that according to myth, is the hoof-print left by Sleipnir, the magical eight-legged horse of the Norse god Óðinn. Continue to thundering Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe, located in the expansive Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. The uniquely beautiful nature reserve of Lake Mývatn follows, a paradise for nature enthusiasts and bird watchers. On the “to-do list” are the solfataras at Hverarönd geothermal region, peculiar lava formations and explosive craters at Krafla. Overnight in the Lake Mývatn area.
Day 8 - Akureyri - Skagafjörður
Waterfall “Of the Gods” - Iceland’s Second Largest City - Viking Horses
Goðafoss waterfall visited before continuing to Akureyri, the vibrant “Capital of the North” and the second largest urban area in Iceland. Spend some free time in Akureyri, which can include a visit to the amazing botanical gardens, the geothermal pool complex, go shopping or just chill in a local café. Continue to the Skagafjörður area, renowned for horse breeding as well as being home to many important sites relating to the classic Icelandic Sagas. In the evening, a horseback riding tour on locally bred Iceland horses is optional, or take a regenerating walk in the picturesque surroundings. Overnight in the Hvammstangi area.
Day 9 - Hvammstangi - Eiríksstaðir - Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Fertile Farmlands - Birthplace of Leif Eiríksson - Quaint Fishing Villages
The journey continues through rolling farmlands and across Laxárdalsheiði heath to the Viking Age house at Eiríksstaðir, the original home of Erik the Red and birthplace of his son Leifur Eiriksson, two of the most celebrated Vikings in the world. Then we pass through a series of small fishing villages on the northern coast of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Overnight in the Snæfellsnes area.
Day 10 - Snæfellsjökull National Park Snæfellsjökull Glacier - Sand Beaches - Sea Cliffs with Birdlife - Quaint Fishing Villages
A day in Snæfellsnes National Park. Circle around the legendary Snæfellsjökull glacier, where, according to Jules Verne, is the entrance to the center of the Earth. Continue to the expansive black sea shore of Djúpalónssandur. Stop at the picturesque harbour village of Arnarstapi with its magnificent columnar basalt rock formations. Take a unique walk between the villages of Arnarstapi and Hellnar before driving to Reykjavik. Overnight in Reykjavík.
Day 11 - Departure
Breakfast and transfer to Keflavik airport. Fly home with a scheduled airline. If you are departing on afternoon flight, you can choose to have departure transfer via Blue Lagoon.