iceland roadtrip
Days: 12 
From: $3850
Style: Roadtrip Adventure
For decades Iceland has sat quietly in the icy waters of the North Atlantic, seemingly out of reach to tourists and reserved only for rugged expeditions. Today, this tiny island nation attracts travelers from all reaches of the world. From hitchhiking backpackers to luxury cruisers, Iceland has experienced a significant influx in popularity over the last few years. Even so, most travelers rarely venture beyond the capital city of Reykjavik or a day trip to the Golden Circle. We've designed the Iceland Roadtrip for the travelers that want to see it all and are itching to venture beyond the everyday tourist trail! Gain a true understanding of the shifting scenery and dramatic landscapes that Iceland has to offer as we travel to the far reaches of the country.  
Note: This trip meets the conservation objectives of the Iceland tourism agency to relieve tourism pressure on concentrated locations. 

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  • Journey through folklore-filled canyons and between basalt columns

  • Discover the overlooked landscapes in the mysterious East Fjords 

  • Meander alongside bubbling pools of turquoise waters

  • Venture into the Arctic Circle in search of Humpback and Blue whales

  • Traverse rugged terrain atop the iconic Icelandic Viking horse

  • Stroll the streets of Iceland's northernmost cultural city of Akureyri


  • Hike to hidden waterfalls tucked away between moss-covered mountains


  • Enjoy a secluded hot spring heated naturally by the earth  


  • Scale towering, turquoise glacier walls while ice-climbing 


  • Marvel at the aurora borealis natural light show 


  • Trek across shifting glacier fields using an ice-ax and crampons


  • Kayak in a remote glacier lagoon void of other tourists


  • Feast upon farm to table meals while hearing stories of Viking folklore


  • Explore the eclectic capital of Reykjavik


Day 1: Welcome to Iceland!

Hallo friends! The fresh Icelandic air will greet you as you exit the airport and meet your personal Beyond the Map trip directors. Most flights from the US to Iceland are overnight and arrive very early. Not to worry! Our first stop will be to a local bakery and coffee shop. We point our compass north and begin our journey through moss-covered lava fields towards the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The communities in this region paved the path towards conserving their natural landscapes, being the first in Europe to receive certification from Green Globe, an international benchmarking system for sustainable travel and tourism. A scenic drive will lead through territory that has inspired some of the most famous Icelandic Saga's and literary classics such as Jules Verne's, Journey to the Center of the Earth. Activities this afternoon include exploring a folklore-filled canyon, listening to the acoustics of black sand and pebbles churning along the beaches and hiking alongside sheer seaside cliffs. The evening will be spent in a quaint fishing village. Spend the evening relaxing or stroll along the cobblestone streets before our first group dinner. Finish the evening with an entertaining ice-breaker game and an orientation to the adventures ahead! Accommodations: Private Hostel (*upgrade available)

Day 2: Viking Horses

“Amongst gods and men, that horse is the best,” says the 13th-century Prose Edda written by Icelandic poet and historian Snorri Sturluson. When the Vikings landed in Iceland more than a thousand years ago, they brought with them their horses. Shaped for centuries by the rugged Icelandic terrain, the horses are known for being sturdy, independent, friendly, spirited and sure-footed. To this day, the breed remains pure and if a horse leaves Iceland it cannot return. Today, you will have the opportunity to traverse across the stunning landscapes the same way as the Vikings would have done- on horseback. Access remote terrain that is off-limits to vehicles, sip hot chocolate and watch as the sun sets over the mountains. Accommodations: Eco-Lodge/Horse Ranch

Day 3: The Northern Capital

Trade in the saddle and hit the road as we continue our journey around Iceland and towards the small city of Akureyri. Along the way, we will slip into our bathing suits and enjoy a short stroll to a hidden hot spring strategically positioned at the top of a plummetting waterfall. Soak in the warm waters while sitting shotgun to the icy river flowing just an arm's reach away. No trip through this region would be complete without a stop at the iconic Goðafoss waterfall. In the year 1000, Christianity was declared as the official religion of Iceland. After this dramtic shift in religious beliefs, statues of the Norse gods were thrown into this waterfall, thus the name, Goðafoss. Often referred to as the ‘Capital of the North,’ Akureyri is Iceland’s second largest city and located on the edge of the Arctic Circle. This will be our final stop for the day. Spend the evening meandering throughout this artsy town perched at what feels like the edge of the world. Accommodations: private hostel (upgrade available)

Day 4: Gentle Giants

Nestled on the edge of an old fishing port, Husavik was once the whaling center for Iceland. Since then, the whaling industry has significantly decreased in response to requests from tourists for whale watching tours. Now, Husavik is the prime location in Iceland to experience over 23 different species of whales including the entertaining Humpback Whales and the largest living creature on Earth, the Blue Whale. Hop aboard a repurposed whaling boat and set sail towards the chilly waters in the Arctic Circle in search of these magnificent creatures. Once back on land, we will enjoy a tasty Icelandic lunch before heading to our next destination, Asbrygi Canyon. For those in search of more activities, there will be an opportunity to climb to the top of the Asbrygi Canyon walls to watch the picturesque sunset. Accommodations: private hostel (upgrade available)

Day 5: Trek & Treasures

After a hearty Icelandic breakfast, we will set out for a full day hike through some of the most unique and diverse landscapes in this part of the country. The trek begins in the horseshoe shaped Asbyrgi Canyon. Legend has it that Odin’s eight-legged steed, Sleipnir, placed one of his feet on the ground here, leaving a deep imprint on the Earth. The diversity of the landscapes along this 8 mile hike is unique and captures the eye at every footprint: tremendous gorges, quiet ponds, towering basalt columns, clear springs, rough river, luxuriant forests and bare gravel plains. At the terminus of the hike, you will be greeted with lunch in a secluded picnic area. As we continue on, you'll soon witnes the landscapes morphing into a Mars-like environment with steam seeping from the crevices of the valleys in the distance. After dinner, we will soak in the Mývatn Nature Baths in search of the elusive aurora borealis. Accommodations: private cabins

Day 6: Eastern Fjords

Today we venture into the often-overlooked East Fjords. This is a section of Iceland just waiting to be discovered! In this amazing, and also not so popular region, you can have a real Icelandic adventure. Simply imagine: charming fishing villages, miles of unexplored coastline, a fairytale-like atmosphere, fluttering puffins and the largest reindeer population in the country. Spend the day exploring some of the most secluded sections of Iceland on a roadtrip style adventure. From several day hikes to roadside stops, the East Fjords are a feast for the senses! Spend the evening in a refurbished Icelandic church that has been modified for guests! Accommodations: Icelandic church hostel (upon availability)

Day 7: Kayaking Between Giants

We will set out to one of Iceland's most iconic sights, the glacier lagoon of Jökulsárlón. Stand at the edge of the lagoon and watch as seals frolic between school bus-sized icebergs. The lagoon was once a tongue of the nearby Vatnajökull glacier and reaches an impressive depth of over 800 feet (250 meters). Take a short walk to the nearby Diamond Beach to watch the sun shimmer through luminous icebergs that have washed on to the black sand beach. The afternoon will be spent exploring a remote glacier lagoon aboard kayaks. Criss-cross through the school bus-sized icebergs and along the edge of the shifting glacier tongue. Accommodations: private hostel (upgrade available)

Day 8: Expedition Glacier

Okay so we're usually pretty subtle about our activities...but this is amazing, trust us! Get ready to embark on a journey of a lifetime as we join our local friends and daughter of Iceland's most famous alpinist for a day of glacier exploration. Today we will venture out on a hike to a portion of Iceland that is generally reserved for the locals! After donning crampons, an ice axe and a helmet, we will set out for a hike on a remote section of the glacier that can only be accessed on foot or using a super jeep. The stunning views from atop the glacier are only the beginning. After a full afternoon of awe-inspiring scenery, we will rope up and take a leap of faith over a 120 foot (36 m) ice wall and into a hidden, frozen world. The adventurous will have the chance to scale this wall using ice climbing techniques. Depending on the conditions, we may encounter an ice-tunnel or ice-cave on our way back. Be transported to another planet as you venture inside for a mind-bending experience of colors and light. After a full day, we will feast on a traditional Icelandic meal at our hotel. Accommodations: Hotel or Guesthouse

Day 10: Waterfall Wonderland

Today we officially shift into the popular south Iceland region. We will be greeted by cascading waterfalls and black sand beaches at each turn. Our first stop will take us behind a towering waterfall and on a hike to another that requires an off-the-beaten stroll through a lush green valley. The next set of waterfalls can be experienced at the base of the falls where you can truly feel the power of this rumbling body of water! To fully understand the connection between the land and the sea, trek to the top of the falls where you can witness the fresh glacier water colliding with the mighty Northern Atlantic Ocean. By this point you will surely be ready to warm up a bit! We grab our packed lunches and towels and hike to a remote natural hot spring tucked between two mountains. We finish the evening with a traditional Icelandic dinner in the colorful town of Vik while watching the sunset over a black sand beach. Accommodations: Guesthouse

Day 9: National Park Excursion

After a full adventure the day before, take a day to relax and explore the leisurely trails through the country's largest national park that includes the famous Vatnajokull glacier. Skirt the edges of the glacier and discover unexpected viking settlements and traditional turf-roofed farms. Accommodations: Hotel/Guesthouse

Day 11: The Streets of Reykjavik

This morning is the last stretch of our trip which brings us back to the capital of Reykjavik. After our journey, Reykjavik may feel like a big city, but in reality, it has the atmosphere of a large town. Spend the afternoon meandering the cobblestone streets of this eclectic city. Browse the shops for last minute souvenirs, visit a local museum or simply people watch while sitting in one of the many trendy coffee shops in town. Tonight we have our final group dinner. Accommodations: Private Hostel (upgrade available)

Day 12: The Journey Ends

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end...or do they! Even though we'll be heading home today, the experiences we had and friendships we developed, will stay with us long after we're home. Depending on departure times, some groups will choose a side excursion to the famous Blue Lagoon on the way to the airport. Accommodations: your own bed!

All inclusive convenience meets Beyond the Map adventure! We've thought of it all so you don't have to once you leave home!      

Local, private transportation. No random drivers, no cattle-herding tour buses!

Rustic & modern options available, depending on your style and budget. 
Breakfast, lunch  & dinner each day. Hangry-free guaranteed!

All activities outlined in the itinerary are included in your cost before you ever leave! 

From start to finish, we're with you! Unlike many companies, our expert guides are there 24/7 to provide unique information, answer questions and even deliver the occasional joke! 

Why Travel With Us
Support locals and small businesses 
Skip the tourist trails and get off-the beaten path
Have a small group? Customize the trip for your specific interests 

Morgan Knowles

This was an epic adventure of all epic adventures!!!!! So much nature you would need to stay for a lifetime to see it all. It was also what I would like to call a multi-sense experience, EVERYTHING was engaged, sight, smell, touch, hearing taste, and the mind. 

Joe Jermain

The amount of knowledge you receive about your location, the folklore, your guides' attitude and personality are all key points on how they run. If you're only interested in the activities, then get ready to push your limits doing some of the most exhilarating activities. Bottom line, there is something for all; and Beyond the Map is the choice to make

Alison Levine

Everything was as planned and AMAZING!!! We cannot thank Beyond the Map enough for planning this trip for our family!

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