Multi-Day Tour | Escorted, Locally Hosted, Private

Across the Arctic Circle (9 days)

Iceland Encounter

Reykjavík, Iceland To Grindavík, Iceland

Valid for Departures Now Through: 30 Sep 2018

Across the Arctic Circle (9 days)

Day 2

Gullfoss, Iceland Geysir Area, Iceland →Þingvellir, Iceland→Hveravellir, Iceland→Kjölur, Iceland

Day 4

Akureyri, Iceland →Mývatn, Iceland

Day 5

Akureyri, Iceland →Mývatn, Iceland

Day 6

Akureyri, Iceland →Ásbyrgi, Iceland→ Húsavík, Iceland

Day 7

Akureyri, Iceland →Grímsey, Iceland

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Reykjavík, Iceland
None None

Welcome to Iceland! Our car service will pick you up at the airport and drive you to Reykjavik, where you check into your downtown hotel. Spend the day at leisure with recommendations from us.

Day 2
Gullfoss, Iceland
Geysir Area, Iceland
Þingvellir, Iceland
Hveravellir, Iceland
Kjölur, Iceland
None Breakfast, Snack

The Highlands: We start the day with a drive to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thingvellir is situated in the dramatic rift valley where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates pull apart, clearly visible at the great Almannagja or Everyman’s Gorge. Our next stop is at Geysir, the place that gave its name to the phenomenon worldwide. From here, a 10-minute drive takes you to Gullfoss, or Golden Falls, Iceland’s most famous waterfall. After lunch, we head north along the Kjölur mountain route, stopping along the way at Hveravellir, a geothermal oasis in the highlands. Overnight in the Skagafjordur region.

Day 3
Akureyri, Iceland
Hofsós, Iceland
Siglufjördur, Iceland
None Breakfast, Snack

Akureyri and the North: This morning you have the option of going horseback riding, river rafting, or sailing out to the island of Drangey. This 180m sheer cliff island has one place to land a boat and only one narrow and steep path that leads to the top of the island. Once there, you can enjoy the varied birdlife and stunning views, and hear amazing tales of Grettir the Viking hero who lived on the island one-thousand years ago. In the afternoon, we´ll visit the town of Hofsos, where the Icelandic Emigration Center commemorates Icelandic emigrants to North America. Our route continues north around the so-called Troll Peninsula, through the fishing villages of Siglufjordur, Olafsfjordur and Dalvik, until we reach Akureyri, Iceland´s second largest city with a total population of 17,000. This surprisingly cosmopolitan town has an excellent selection of cafes, restaurants and museums, as well as Iceland´s largest botanical garden.

Day 4
Akureyri, Iceland
Mývatn, Iceland
None Breakfast, Snack

Lake Myvatn: Today we head east from Akureyri to the Lake Myvatn area, a starkly beautiful but otherworldly landscape of sputtering mudpots, weird lava formations, steaming fumaroles and volcanic craters. The area is also world-famous among bird-watchers. Most species of waterfowl present in Iceland are found here in great numbers, including 13 different species of duck. Here, we´ll explore the pseudo-craters at Skutustadagigar, the lava formations at Dimmuborgir, the explosive crater Hverfjall, and the geothermal area at Namaskard. At the end of the day, you may choose to take a dip in the mineral-rich waters of the Myvatn Nature Baths. Overnight by Lake Myvatn.

Day 5
Akureyri, Iceland
Mývatn, Iceland
None Breakfast, Snack

Krafla: Today we´ll go for easy hikes in the lavafields northwest of Lake Myvatn. Krafla is a volcanic caldera about 10km in diameter with a 90km long fissure zone. There have been 29 reported eruptions here in recorded history. From the rim above Leirhnjukur crater one can look out over the Krafla caldera and the lava fields that dissect it. The earth´s crust is extremely thin here and in places the ground is ferociously hot. Overnight by Lake Myvatn.

Day 6
Akureyri, Iceland
Ásbyrgi, Iceland
Húsavík, Iceland
None Breakfast, Snack

Dettisfoss Waterfalls: Today’s focus is the Jokulsargljufur National Park, which translates as “Glacial River Canyon,” Iceland’s most well-known canyon replete with extraordinary rock formations, waterfalls, and plant life. We´ll walk in at least two of its main areas, starting with Dettifoss in the south, which is Europe’s most powerful waterfall (often compared to Niagara Falls), and Asbyrgi, the wooded horseshoe canyon at the park’s northern end. Birdlife en route are snipes, ptarmigans, and snow bunting, with gyrfalcon, merlin and ravens nesting on cliffs and rock pillars. In the later afternoon, a two-hour drive via the coastal town of Husavik (also known as the whale watching capital of Iceland) returns you to the hotel in Akureyri.

Day 7
Akureyri, Iceland
Grímsey, Iceland
None Breakfast, Snack

Across the Arctic Circle: Today, you take the 25-min flight north to Grimsey, the tiny 5-sq km island 40 km off the north coast of Iceland (pop. 100). This is the only part of Iceland bissected by the Arctic Circle. Here a local guide will welcome you and take you on a 1-hour walk around the island, after which you will receive a certificate for having crossed the Arctic Circle. Your flight then returns to Reykjavik after refueling in Akureyri.

Day 8
Reykjavík, Iceland
None Breakfast

Reykjavik: Today you can explore Reykjavik on your own with recommendations from us. Consider taking a whale and puffin watching tour in the morning and visiting the Blue Lagoon spa in the afternoon. You can also go on a guided bike tour, visit a nearby horse ranch, or just feed the ducks and swans by the picturesque lake in the center of town.

Day 9
Reykjavík, Iceland
Grindavík, Iceland
None Breakfast

Blue Lagoon and Departure: We'll provide private airport transfers 3-hours prior to your scheduled departure time. Guests leaving in the afternoon may want to consider a day at the Blue Lagoon spa, in which case we'll pick you up at your hotel at 11 AM. After spending up to 90 minutes in the Lagoon's warm aqua-blue waters -- renowned for their healing powers -- we'll drive you to the airport in time for your afternoon flight.

Exclusively for Virtuoso Guests

Iceland Encounter has been an exclusive Virtuoso supplier since 2012. All Virtuoso travelers receive a complimentary welcome package; breakfast is always included.

Tour Features

Experience(s)

Experiences have not been selected at this time

Description

Drive north through the Icelandic Highlands along Kjolur mountain road, an area favored by outlaws in centuries past. Bathe in natural hot springs at geothermal oasis Hveravellir, as boiling mud pits and steaming fumaroles vent all around you. We'll explore Akureyri, the capital of northern Iceland, and hike around Lake Myvatn, known for its exceptionally rich bird life. Other highlights include the Myvatn Nature Baths, Europe's largest waterfall Dettifoss, and an excursion to Grimsey Island, which is located directly on the Arctic circle.

About Us

Iceland Encounter focuses on bespoke trips of high quality. We are the only Virtuoso On-Site headquartered in Reykjavik and were nominated for Virtuoso’s Best On-Site Award in 2015 and 2016. Iceland Encounter was founded by husband-and-wife team Kristín Björnsdóttir and Erling Aspelund. After working for over 20 years in the US computer software industry – both in New York and Seattle – they returned to their native Iceland in 2007 to start their travel company. We look forward to welcoming you to Iceland!

Insider Tip

In Iceland, the sun doesn’t set from May 21st to July 21st. Ask us about possible activities under the midnight sun: hiking, diving, golfing, fishing, snorkeling, and more

Terms & Conditions

Please contact supplier for detailed terms and conditions.



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Reviews and Recommendations for Iceland Encounter

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Visit Iceland with Iceland Encounter!

By: Lisa


Reviewed on: 29 Jan 2013

Our Iceland Encounter vacation was the experience of a lifetime. Our Rekyjavik hotel choice was perfect - lovely accomodations in City Center within walking distance of great food and shopping. Our guide/driver for three days in the country was knowledgeable and funny. Within the first hour he made us feel comfortable and safe in his care. He knew how to make the most of our limited daylight. Staying in the country for two nights was an outstanding recommendation because it gave us the opportunity to see the Northern Lights (upon request, the hotel wakes guests up if/when they become visible) and be closer to the places we wanted to visit. Our guide had a great relationship with other guides and establishment owners/operators and it made us feel like family. It was a very personal experience. We could not have done this on our own.
Travel Advisor:  Beth Jenkins

Fantastic Trip

By: Lisa & Catherine


Reviewed on: 20 Nov 2013

This was a fantastic experience. It is has been one year since our trip and we are still talking about how much fun we had and how much we want to go back. Everything was planned perfectly to maximize our time there. Snowmobiling and hiking on a glacier. Waterfalls. Geysers. Volcanos. Museums. Touring a geothermal plant. Blue Lagoon. Travleing with our guide, Valdimar, was amazing. He took such good care of us. I fell in love with Iceland.
Travel Advisor:  Beth Jenkins

Excellent guide, good hotel

By: Mike H


Reviewed on: 14 Jul 2016

Iceland Encounter made our journey to Icelamd most enjoyable and worthwhile. Our guide Teddy was most wenjoyable, knowledgeable, and provided a great local flavour to the journey. Our hotel was centrally located and comfortable. Our transfers were comfortable, friendly, and reliable. I would recommend them for anyone wanting a customized visit to Iceland.
Travel Advisor:  Roxanne Girard

Great experience!

By: Karen


Reviewed on: 05 Sep 2016

Our family had the most awesome trip to Iceland! We loved everything we did, and our guide, Snorri, was outstanding! He made the trip especially interesting and fun. He is very knowledgeable with diverse interests so it was such a treat to be with him all week. We miss him! We loved Iceland and want to return.
Travel Advisor:  Sam McClure

Fantastic Trip

By: Quesy


Reviewed on: 12 Mar 2017

Iceland Encounter planned an amazing trip for us. Our guide was efficient, had a delightful personality and was very knowledgeable about Iceland. We saw everything that we wanted to see and then some. We wouldn't have changed a thing!
Travel Advisor:  Rochelle Lieberman

3 days of touring in Iceland

By: No nickname


Reviewed on: 12 Jul 2017

Excellent! Did exactly what they said they would do. Totally satisfied.
Travel Advisor:  Birgit Navarre

Iceland 2017

By: Capilouto


Reviewed on: 29 Jul 2017

A wonderful experience and service. Excellent guides.
Travel Advisor:  Beth Flowers

Iceland Encounter

By: KJ


Reviewed on: 21 Aug 2017

Very good and addressed all needs and concerns. Always willing to help and be there.
Travel Advisor:  Nancy Macleod

Iceland Encounter

By: Carla


Reviewed on: 28 Aug 2017

I had the same wonderful guide that I had last year. It was like old home week and we had a great time. I think they do a good job.
Travel Advisor:  Barbi Lazarow

January

By: J&J


Reviewed on: 15 Jan 2018

The people at Iceland Encounter were very good to us. They guided us through several weather delays and airline changes, rearranging rides, hotels, restaurants, Blue Lagoon reservations and more with good grace. They provided our guide, Kristjan. He was knowledgeable, gracious, caring and proud of his country. We learned more and saw more than we ever would have on our own or in a large group.
Travel Advisor:  Deborah Bush

You HAVE to Visit Iceland

By: Don & Eileen


Reviewed on: 11 Apr 2018

They set up a 12 day guided tour that was incredible and beyond gorgeous. Our guide, Kristjan Petur Vilhelmsson, was one of the best we’ve had any where and gave us so many great experiences that few tourists get to have. He was tireless in making sure we got to explore everything we wanted to see - and then some. At the end of the trip, we considered him a friend and remain in frequent contact. We will go back and we want Kristjan to show us the way.
Travel Advisor:  Judy Schwartz

Iceland Encounter

By: Me


Reviewed on: 03 Jun 2018

They set up a really nice trip for me to Iceland. This is my 3rd trip and they didn't disappoint. I asked for a new guide and he was fabulous. Would highly recommend their services.
Travel Advisor:  Michael King