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Pulsing volcanoes, tumbling glaciers, hot springs running through cool, mossy valleys—Icelandic landscapes are the stuff of fairy tales. It’s no wonder locals talk about respecting the elves. But according to Icelandic actor and director Baltasar Kormakur, “the weather is the biggest character you deal with every day. There's nothing more relevant in your life…” The wild climate is responsible for fantastical shape-shifting of the country, one of the most active volcanic regions in the world.
Our customizable adventure focuses on the southwestern part of this living, breathing island. Traveling by souped-up four-by-four, we hug stunning coastline and enjoy the warmer weather and long sunlight hours of late spring and summer. While we do sample the Nordic lifestyle of design-rich and fashion-forward Reykjavik, we spend more time hiking through dramatic scenery in places like UNESCO-listed Thingvellir National Park, Vestmannaeyjar archipelago, and the Reykjanes peninsula. Grassy hills take us through craggy vales, revealing magnificent waterfalls that plunge into deep river canyons. Black-sand coastline proves a pristine backdrop for biking and rafting, and sea caves are ours to explore by boat. And like the locals, we meander birch forests and bathe in geothermal waters, an everyday activity for Icelanders.
To steer clear of the increasing number of travelers on the island, we arrange experiences away from the crowds, smartly timed visits, and stays at private villas with excellent chefs.
Itinerary at a Glance
- Day 1:
arrive in Reykjavik
- Day 2:
Thrihnukagigur National Park
- Day 3:
- Day 4:
Reykjadalur “steam valley” rambles, Gullfoss waterfall, meet farmers
- Day 5:
- Day 6:
hike in Thórsmörk Valley among glaciers and volcanoes
- Day 7:
Landmannalaugar and Hekla Volcano
- Day 8:
Sólheimajökull Glacier walk, return to Reykjavik
- Day 9:
explore Reykjanes Peninsula, depart.