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GRAND TOUR OF ICELAND

Iceland is a country like nowhere else on earth.  Volcanoes and geysers spout fire and steam and glaciers and lava cover much of the land, whilst endless natural geothermal energy from the earth’s own depths powers a nation - this is the place that inspired Jules Verne to write Journey to the Centre of the Earth – and no wonder!  Iceland’s charming people are warmly welcoming,  yet also fiercely independent and rightly proud of their wonderful country and a culture steeped in Norse mythology juxtaposed with the ultra modern of chic nightclubs and smart hotels. Relax and enjoy the natural wonders of this sensational destination, its history and its remarkable people with our 6 day 'Grand Tour of Iceland' 

DAY
1

Arrival at Keflavík Airport.  In Iceland even the transfer from the airport is an experience as you drive amongst lava fields and steaming geothermal pipes to reach the capital city Reykjavík. Opportunity to join a half day sightseeing tour of this most unusual of capital cities, nestling in its beautiful waterside location where all the hot water is piped from geothermal sources deep in the earth’s crust.  Overnight Reykjavik. 

DAY
2

Heading north an east from Reykjavik, you are soon admiring the wonderful wild landscapes of rural Iceland and curving along wide open roads amongst amazing volcanic cones, with a chance to climb one of these remarkable features – don t worry this area is no longer volcanically active! Descend to the north coast for a stop in the typical small fishing settlement of Hvammstangi with a chance to visit the seal museum before continuing to the delightful turf church at Vidimyri. This superbly restored building is one of the finest examples of traditional Icelandic architecture. The road hugs the beautiful fjord coastline for the rest of the journey to Akureyri, capital of North Iceland for an overnight stop.

DAY
3

This morning’s first highlight is spectacular Godafoss – the waterfall of the Gods – a key location in Icelandic history where Christianity was declared the nation’s religion and the old Norse gods were “tossed into the water”. Stop at Lake Myvatn to admire the strange lava formations and craters as well as the Dimmuborgir, legendary home of the “little people” so loved by Icelanders. If you are really lucky you may glimpse one yourself! Continue via Iceland’s most powerful waterfall at Dettifoss and look out for arctic fox and reindeer as we cross the plateau en route to Egilsstadir and your overnight hotel.

DAY
4

Today’s drive winds along the dramatic east coast road through stunning fjord scenery, clinging to steep mountainsides above the crystal waters of the ocean and past tiny fishing villages nestling in quiet coves. Look out too for the hardy Icelandic horses, the locals guard their purebred status with great care. Overnight in Hofn area, where there’s time to explore at your leisure or maybe take an optional evening jeep ride for an unforgettable excursion onto Europe’s largest glacier – the Vatnajokull ice cap

DAY
5

After breakfast this morning experience the incredible beauty of the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon. Leading down from Vatnajokull, a “river” of ice meets the ocean here and you may be lucky enough to witness the crashing and cracking of one of the great ice cliffs as the glacier advances and ice collapses into the water. Rich in bird life, this is truly a natural wonder of the world and there’s the option of a boat tour on the lagoon too. Today there’s also time to explore the area around Vik, the southernmost settlement in Iceland. Visit the famous black lava beaches and the impressive coastal rock formations at Dyrholaey cliffs as well as the magnificent Skógafoss waterfall. Overnight in the South Shore area

DAY
6

Complete the Grand Tour of Iceland today starting with a visit to the fascinating information centre by famously active Eyafjallajokull volcano to learn what it is like to live in its shadow. We’ll take in one final and equally impressive waterfall, the beautiful Seljandsfoss plunging off its clifftop perch, and visit the superb Vikingaheimar exhibitions where you can see a Viking ship and learn of this legendary people and their role in Icelandic history.

Finally its time to bid farewell to this extraordinary island and head for the airport for your return evening flight, or alternatively return to Reykjavik, where you can add on one or more of the wonderful activities in our 'Incredible Iceland' itinerary.