IN A FEW WORDS
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.
WHY THIS TRIP IS UNFORGETTABLE
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Day 7: Kayaking Between Giants
Day 8: Expedition Glacier
Day 10: Waterfall Wonderland
Day 9: National Park Excursion
Day 11: The Streets of Reykjavik
Day 12: The Journey Ends
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
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.
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
Everything was as planned and AMAZING!!! We cannot thank Beyond the Map enough for planning this trip for our family!