Take to the open road in a four-wheel drive vehicle and cross the incredible, lesser-visited landscapes of central and northern Iceland. Travel along the stunning valleys, pass huge glaciers to reach waterfalls and natural hot springs, and stop along the way to follow some of the best walking paths in the country. Spend time in a quaint fishing village, embark on a whale-watching excursion and clamber up volcanic craters to experience an authentic side of Iceland that most visitors don’t get to see.
Arrive in Reykjavik and collect your rental 4x4. Head for an optional soak in the Blue Lagoon, then continue on to South Iceland for an overnight stay in Selfoss. South Iceland boasts lava fields and geothermal activity, as well as powerful rivers brimming with salmon and trout.
The Golden Circle is one of Iceland’s most popular routes. With Thingvellir National Park, thundering Gullfoss waterfall and the Geyser hot spring along the route, there is plenty to see. Later, drive into the Highlands to spend the night at Kerlingarfjoll. (B)
Today, cross into the quiet centre of Iceland where your 4-wheel drive will prove its worth, tackling the bumpy gravel roads between between Langjokull and Hofsjokull glaciers with ease. Take an optional hot springs dip at Hveraviller, and finish the day in Skagafjordur, the centre of Iceland’s horse country. (B)
Today you can either ride an Icelandic pony and experience their famous ‘fifth gait’ or head around the northern coast and stop in at Siglufjordur before pressing on to Akureyri, the lively capital of northern Iceland. (B)
Today explore the pseudo-craters and birdlife at Lake Myvatn, wander the trails around the volcanic landscapes at Dimmuborgir, head to the bubbling mud pools, or visit the powerful waterfall at Dettifoss. (B)
You could take a day tour to the Askjar or visit the Asbyrgi National Park, a stunning gorge originally formed by floodwaters from the Vatnajokull Glacier. Alternatively head to nearby Husavik, Iceland’s ‘whale-watching capital’. After exploring, you can relax in the GeoSea spa before returning to Lake Myvatn. (B)
Along this beautiful route, stop at the stunning Aldeyjarfoss waterfall before you set off into the desert. Enjoy spectacular glacier views on both sides. This is remote frontier country, so prepare to find no facilities until you reach the Highland Centre and Hranueyjar for the night. (B)
Landmannalaugar geothermal area is tucked away between colourful mountains and the Laugahraun lava fields. Enjoy a hike before stopping for a relaxing dip in naturally heated pools. Finish the day in the region surrounding Kirkjubaejarklaustur on the south coast of Iceland. (B)
On offer today are walking tours in Skaftafell National Park or seal-watching at the iconic Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. You could even arrange a glacier hike, complete with crampons and ice axe, before returning to your accommodation for the night. (B)
Today is a good opportunity to visit the Laki crater, the site of Iceland’s deadliest ever eruption in 1783, and tackle its walking trails. The spectacular landscape is reached via a rough road which will require you to ford several rivers, but you will be rewarded with an otherworldly experience. (B)
Drive through the lava fields of Iceland’s south coast past the famous Eyjafjallajokull volcano. Stop at the bird cliffs of Dyrholaey and the iconic Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls. Later continue on to Reykjavik, Iceland’s cosmopolitan capital, and take advantage of its wide variety of cafés, bars, restaurants and museums. (B)
Drive back to Keflavik airport and return your hire car in time for your flight back to the UK. (B)