3rd September: Depart Malta
Meet at Malta International Airport for our flight to Iceland. According to the current flight schedule we are expected to depart Malta at 06.10hrs, transit in Frankfurt for 2hrs, arriving in Reykjavik at 12.55hrs. Upon arrival we will transfer to the city centre to start our exploration of Iceland’s capital city.
This afternoon we will explore iconic landmarks such as the Hallgrimskirkja church, Harpa Concert Hall, the old harbour and quaint shops. The excursion will be conducted by bus with emphasis one exploring the city’s main attractions on foot. Following the comprehensive exploration, we will make our way to the hotel for our first night in the Land of Fire & Ice. We will overnight in Reykjavik for 1 night. Accommodation: Hotel Klettur or similar.
4th September: Heading North (B, D)
After breakfast we will start our round trip of Iceland. We will start by exploring Borgarfjörður. The road passes through a tunnel under the mouth of the Hvalfjörður fjord and then turns towards the beautiful Hvítá valley, the “white river.” Geothermal activity is intense in some places, where a series of micro-geysers spout 180 liters of boiling water per second! Further on, the Hraunfossar waterfalls present an idyllic scene where the clear waters of multiple small cascades merge into the milky flows of the Hvítá river. Slightly upstream, around the splendid Barnafoss waterfall, the riverbed narrows, and we feel the vibrations of its tumultuous rapids.
We then head north through the moorlands. The road winds between the waters of the Arctic Ocean and landscapes shaped during the last ice age. Marshy moorlands, rounded mountains, and farmland succeed each other until we reach the Skagafjörður fjord region, which is known for horse breeding and many of the Icelandic horses can be seen grazing the fields. At the end of the day, we cross an immense trench carved by glaciers of the last ice age in the Tröllaskagi mountains, the Trolls Peninsula. Then we continue until we reach Akureyri, located inside the beautiful Eyjafjörður Fjord. For the next night we will overnight in Akureyri. Accommodation: Hotel Nordurland or similar.
5th September: Volcanic Nature Paradise (B, D)
This morning we leave the shores of Eyjafjörður fjord and depart towards Goðafoss waterfall, one of Iceland’s true pearls and one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the country, showcasing a magnificent arrangement of cascades. Once we reach the harbour of Húsavík, we continue round the attractive stretch of coastline of Tjörnes peninsula until we arrive at Ásbyrgi canyon, a beautiful horse-shoeshaped
gorge, reputed to be the hoof print of Odin’s eight-legged horse Sleipnir. Here, we go for a stroll in the impressive gorge. We stop at the mighty Dettifoss, Iceland’s and Europe’s most powerful waterfall, which
thunders 44 meters into a deep gorge. You will literally feel the earth tremble beneath your feet so be careful around the edges as they may be slippery. We cross barren regions and return to the more fertile area of Lake Mývatn, one of Iceland’s most interesting regions with fantastic volcanic formations and geothermal activity. The lake itself is teeming with bird life, particularly ducks.
A great way to make the most of this gem is to spend a day relaxing in the Myvatn Nature Baths, with lagoon temperature of 36 – 40°C. The lagoon itself is a man-made construction; its bottom is covered by sand and gravel. The characteristics of the water are unique in many ways. It contains a large amount of minerals and is well suited for bathing. Due to its chemical composition, undesired bacteria
and vegetation do not thrive in the lagoon making chloride or any other disinfectant redundant. (Towels will be provided) For the next night we will overnight in Myvatn. Accommodation: Hotel Laxa or similar.
6th September: The Wonders of Lake Myvatn (B, D)
Today we will discover Lake Mývatn, making multiple stops at sites that are both surprising and magnificent. The area encompasses a wide variety of volcanic landscapes and natural sites. We will take a walk at the Dimmuborgir lava formations and a look at the Skutustadir pseudocraters. We visit the amazing boiling mud pools and steam vents of Námaskard and the Krafla area, where numerous solfataras, fumaroles, and bubbling mud pots emit strong sulfuric odours.
Finally, we’ll explore the volcanic zone of the Krafla volcano, where we’ll discover the explosive crater of Víti and the extraordinary geothermal area. At the end of the day, we cross the desert highlands and Lake Lagarfljót. It is said that an aquatic monster lives in the waters of this lake…Perhaps a distant cousin of the Loch Ness Monster? Our journey ends in Egilsstadir, where we will stay for one night. Accommodation: Hotel Valaskjalf or similar.
7th September: East Fjords (B, D)
Today’s journey takes us north-east through the stunning East Fjords. Chains of mountains with steep slopes and sharp peaks separate sparkling fjords that harbour numerous small fishing communities.
The road winds between the sea and the mountains towards the south and the small port of Djúpivogur. Between the Hvalnes and Stokknes capes, we pass through the beautiful Lónsvík bay. As we approach our destination in the Höfn region, we enter the realm of Vatnajökull. With an area comparable to that of the islands of Corsica or Puerto Rico, not only is it Iceland’s largest glacier but also the largest in Europe!
Tonight we will overnight in Höfn, Iceland’s Southeast region, also known as the lobster capital. Accommodation: Hotel Smyrlabjorg or similar.
8th September: From Ice to Fire: Glacier Lagoons to Lava Fields (B, D)
This is a day with views of some of the country’s most spectacular landscapes. We will start with a drive along the southern side of Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest ice-cap, to the glacial lagoon Jökulsárlón, where we can observe numerous icebergs that fill the lagoon drift away to the sea. Here we will sail out on an amphibian boat between the numerous icebergs that fill the lagoon. We will also take time to walk around in the beautiful surroundings. Nearby is Diamond Beach. Glittering bits of ice from the glacier lagoon drift to rest on the black beach before they eventually float to sea. Next we explore Skaftafell National Park, a breathtaking area right under Vatnajökull Glacier and known for its unique natural features. Many wild flower species thrive in the shelter of the birch forest found on the lower slopes of the mountains.
Later on, we cross the beautiful region of Kirk. Here, we come across the enormous and strange Eldhraun lava field – the largest single lava flow recorded in history. As we approach the Mýrdalsjökull glacier and the village of Vík, Iceland‘s southernmost village. We will visit the area’s breath-taking black sand beach with thundering waves, at Reynisfjara beach, where ocean waves crash against stunning basalt column cliffs.
Next comes two photogenic waterfalls: Skógafoss Waterfall with Mýrdalsj.kull glacier towering above it, and ribbon-like Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. This is a small but a very picturesque waterfall, special not only for its beauty but also because it is actually possible to walk behind it. For the next night we will overnight in Hella. Accommodation: Hotel Stracta or similar.
9th September: Golden Circle (B, D)
Today we will experience the Golden Circle Route. We will visit three of the most famous sites in Iceland; Geysir area, Gullfoss waterfall and Thingvellir, and then our day ends at our hotel in the capital Reykjavik. The Geysir area where the hot spring Strokkur ejects its water column high into the air every 5–10 minutes and where numerous small springs boil and bubble. Then we continue to Gullfoss, surely one of the country’s most beautiful waterfalls. Later, we drive to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site considered one of the geological wonders of the world where you will see astonishing fissures and lava fields.
Next, we will discover a magnificent lava tunnel, one of the longest natural lava tubes in Iceland. With the aid of easy-access walkways, we discover an ancient lava tunnel illuminated by beautiful lighting effects… A truly impressive and surrealistic experience! A journey into Raufarholshellir is a great opportunity to witness the inner workings of a lava eruption as we walk in the oath of lava that flowed during the eruption that occurred about 5200 years ago. The full length of the tunnel is an impressive 1360m, 30m wide and 10m high. Lava falls and formations are clearly visible and here you will have the opportunity to get a close look at the wondrous world that can be found just under the surface.
Once we reach Reykjavik we will finish off with a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. After our dinner and a full week of heartfelt experiences, exciting adventures and so much more, we will head to the airport for our flight back home. According to our current flight schedule we are expected to depart at 00.25hrs, arriving in Malta at 11.55am.
We look forward to share this with you.