Huge Iceland waterfall sends water down rocky cliffs into a teal lagoon while a traveler stands at the edge at sunset.
Aerial view of large tan volcanic crater with milky turquoise water in the center, seen on the Iceland Adventure: Land of Fire & Ice tour.
Group of Iceland Adventure travelers in dayglo green jackets Zodiac cruise among icebergs in calm water during a partly cloudy day.
Travelers trek atop a dirty white & blue glacier on a sunny day during the Iceland Adventure: Land of Fire & Ice tour.
Huge waterfall sends rushing water down past lush green hillsides, with spray from the water creating a rainbow on the Iceland Adventure.
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Polar Regions Arctic Land Tour

Iceland Adventure: Circling the Land of Fire & Ice

Iceland is a small island nation on the edge of the Arctic Circle, but few countries are bigger on natural wonders. Glaciers and geysers, hot springs and waterfalls, basalt pillars and black sand beaches, frigid fjords and fields of lava…Iceland has all these and more, and this 11-day land tour showcases the full array of its arresting contrasts.

Uninhabited until the island was settled by Norse Vikings in the 9th century, Iceland today is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe. Its shores are teeming with whales, seals and puffins—scout them out on private boat excursions during this Iceland land tour. Inland, walk atop raw terrain born of fiery volcanoes and sculpted by glaciers. Here, where the North American and Eurasian plates collide, geothermal forces create a dynamic and dramatic landscape—an experience of pure nature at its most powerful.

A main highlight of this Iceland land tour is the medley of transportation along the way: circle Iceland by private mini bus, plane, boat and 4×4 Super Jeep. Another feature is exploring less-visited areas including the far-flung Westfjords (with a private boat cruise in search of whales) and a puffin colony (summer season) on Vigur Island. Finally, explore Iceland’s volcanic features, including Lake Myvatn and its intriguing lava formations, plus a Super Jeep tour into a volcano to experience the Askja caldera and Viti crater. From fishing villages to glaciers and geothermal features, this rare Iceland land tour truly has it all, in a small group setting of up to 11 travelers!

It’s Autumn itinerary is a similar route but takes place during the month of September when shorter fall days and changing temperatures transform Iceland’s green summer tundra into a stunning display of gold and crimson hues. These autumn colors stand in stark contrast against pewter cliffs and mountains, rugged coastlines and hardened lava. Dark skies return after a bright Arctic summer, and with them comes the potential to see the northern lights. Wildlife encounters center around whales and elusive mammals like the Arctic fox. To explore Iceland in this quiet season before winter’s onset is to experience its pure and powerful nature as few others do.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Arctic tours, or compare this unique Iceland land tour to our Iceland cruises.



Itinerary

Iceland: Circling the Land of Fire & Ice

This rare Iceland land tour operates round-trip from Reykjavik, avoiding the tourist crowds in lieu of sites like the Westfjords and the east coast’s tranquil region of mountains, forests, fjords and fishing villages.

Route map of Iceland Adventure: Circling the Land of Fire & Ice trip, operating round-trip from Reykjavik, with visits to Isafjordur, Akureyri, Myvatn, Modrudalur, Djupivogur, Fjallsarlon, Skaftafell & Vik.
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Day 1
Arrive Reykjavik, Iceland

Arrive at Keflavik International Airport and be met on arrival and transferred to the group hotel in Reykjavik, about a 45-minute drive. This evening, join the expedition leader for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant, with an orientation to all the adventures that lie ahead in this geological wonderland.

Accommodations

Hotel Reykjavik Saga

Meals

dinner

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Day 2
South Shore: Waterfalls & Vik

Explore Iceland’s south coast en route to Vik, an area known for its volcanic black sand beaches and countless waterfalls. This is the region affected by the powerful 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajokull volcano, an event brought to life at the Lava Center, which features interactive exhibits depicting the colossal natural forces that have created Iceland over tens of millions of years. Learn about Iceland’s dynamic geology: the volcanic eruptions and lava flows, rift systems, faults and glacial floods that have forged the island. The center introduces us to the UNESCO Katla Global Geopark plus Iceland’s elaborate monitoring system for surveying volcanos and earthquake zones.

Continuing along the south coast, stop at several thundering waterfalls, including powerful Skogafoss and Kvernufoss. Another famous highlight is Reynisdrangar Rocks, a trio of columnar basalt sea stacks. Legend holds that they were formed after two trolls were out fishing in a three-masted ship. When the trolls did not return to their cave before sunrise, they and their vessel turned into needles of stone, since trolls cannot tolerate daylight. Here, have a chance to walk on the famous black sand beach before continuing to the exciting Lava Show in Vik, followed by dinner at the restaurant on site. The Lava Show, renowned for its educational value, recreates a volcanic eruption by superheating real lava up to 2000°F, then pouring the molten rock into a room at close range where guests can watch it flow, hear it sizzle and feel the incredible heat.
After dinner, continue to a nearby hotel to spend the night.

Accommodations

Hotel Kria

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
Skaftafell: Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon & Glacier Walk or Park Hike

The focus today is Skaftafell, a national park now absorbed inside the larger Vatnajokull National Park established in 2008. Known for its rugged landscapes, mountains and glaciers, Skaftafell contains about half of the Vatnajokull Glacier, Europe’s largest ice cap. No roads penetrate the park’s wild recesses, but two options offer a chance to explore a slice of it: Choose between a walk atop a glacier or an easy hike.

Then board a private Zodiac to explore Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon, a less-touristed opportunity to get close to giant floating icebergs. The lake is the meltwater from Fjallsarlon Glacier, a tongue of the massive Vatnajokull Glacier, which has calved the huge chunks of blue ice that drift on the surface.

Accommodations

Lilja Guesthouse

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Djupivogur, Vallanes Farm, Modrudalur & Fjalladyrd Guesthouse

Enjoy a day of cultural connections as we enter the East Fjords, a little-visited region of forests, farms and picturesque fishing villages. In the town of Djupivogur, take a scenic walk along the coast near Alftafjordur, then join a local resident for a stroll around a historic fishing town, learning about daily life where traditions and livelihoods center on the sea. After, admire the Eggs of Merry Bay, one of Iceland’s most unusual sculptures. Created in 2009 by Icelandic artist Sigurdur Gudmundsson, the 34 large-scale egg replicas represent 34 bird species found in the area, each one mounted on a platform along the harbor.

Heading inland, follow a remote road to Vallanes Farm where we stop for hot drinks and snacks at this organic farm and cafe crafted of sustainably harvested wood. Continue to Modrudalur, one of the oldest farms in Iceland, with evidence of its presence since the original settlement by the Vikings. The site was an important crossroads where two historic cross-country trails intersected, and its location is referenced in the famous Sagas that date to the 10th and 11th centuries. Modrudalur is also the highest inhabited place in Iceland, at 1,539 feet above sea level. We spend the next two nights here at Fjalladyrd, a hospitable family-run farm and guesthouse that offers easy access to Askja volcano for our 4×4 adventure tomorrow.

Accommodations

Fjalladyrd Guesthouse

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Modrudalur: Askja Caldera Super Jeep Tour

Set out in Super Jeeps this morning for a thrilling tour towards Askja caldera. These large SUVs have been modified with big tires and extra shock absorption to provide a more comfortable ride over off-road terrain, allowing deeper access into Iceland’s central highlands. Ascend on foot to explore the massive Askja caldera, formed when the volcano erupted in 1875. Lake Askja, which fills part of the depression, is one of the deepest lakes in Iceland at nearly 700 feet.

The caldera contains several overlapping craters with active volcanoes beneath, including Viti, which warms a sulphuric blue-green crater lake. Following a picnic lunch, explore more sights of Iceland’s less-visited Central Highlands, including a look into the foreboding Drekagil (Dragon) Canyon, defined by dark, twisted lava formations. Return to Modrudalur for a second night at Fjalladyrd.

Accommodations

Fjalladyrd Guesthouse

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
Dettifoss, Hverarond & Lake Myvatn

Witness the power of Dettifoss, Europe’s largest waterfall by volume and the most powerful cataract in Iceland. This thundering curtain of water, 330 feet wide and 150 high, is fed by the giant Vatnajokull Glacier. It is common to see rainbows, which make for dramatic photos. Next, explore the Hverarond geothermal area, an otherworldly setting of hissing steam vents, bubbling mud pots, cracked earth and pungent sulphur, then continue to Lake Myvatn.

Formed during a massive eruption 2,300 years ago, the Myvatn region is still a site of geothermal activity, with lava flows coming most recently from the 1984 eruption of Krafla volcano. Numerous lava formations are found in and around the shallow lake, and it’s worth exploring the pseudocraters of Skutustadir on a short hike. These phenomena are formed when lava flows over wet ground, pushing it down and trapping steam. As pressure mounts, steam explosions create these fascinating “false craters.”

One of the premier birdwatching areas in the world, Lake Myvatn’s marshes provide habitat for huge numbers of migratory birds in summer. More than 115 species have been seen at the lake, including 13 species of nesting ducks, and it’s advised to take a walk and see some of them.

Later today, enjoy a quintessentially Icelandic experience with a soak in a nearby hot spring. At Myvatn Nature Baths, amid clouds of steam rising from a fissure deep in the Earth, immerse yourself in soothing, milky-turquoise water that’s naturally heated by geothermal forces. Drawn from depths of up to a mile and a half below the surface, temperatures in the lagoon pools range from 98°F to 103°F.

Accommodations

Fosshotel Myvatn

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
Myvatn, Godafoss & Fly to Isafjordur

This morning, explore the fascinating lava formations around Lake Myvatn on horseback. This optional 1-hour ride offers a striking vantage point on the region’s wondrous geological features, including whimsically shaped pillars and a close-up look at a false crater. Continuing westward, stop at Godafoss, one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls originating deep in the highlands. Shaped like a crescent, it drops 40 feet over a sheer volcanic cliff. Reaching Akureyri, connect with a late-afternoon flight to Isafjordur via Reykjavik, with scenic views of Iceland’s indented coastline and glacier-carved interior en route. Originally settled in the 9th century, Isafjordur became a trading post for foreign merchants in the 16th century and today is the main town in the remote Westfjords in far-northwest Iceland.

Please note: Depending on flight schedules, some departures will have dinner and overnight in Reykjavik on Day 7, then fly to Isafjordur first thing in the morning on Day 8.

Accommodations

Hotel Isafjordur

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
The Westfjords

The sheer isolation of the Westfjords region has kept it off the traditional tourist circuit. Plan to traverse it in depth over the next 3 days, adjusting our exact itinerary for weather and local conditions. Explore the wild hinterlands on an all-day 4×4 tour, stopping for walks, photos and a picnic lunch. At Onundarfjordur, observe rich birdlife in the marshlands and shallow estuary at the head of the fjord. Continue to the village of Thingeyri and beyond, transitioning to dirt track around the Fjallaskagi Peninsula.

High-clearance vehicles are essential for negotiating this rugged terrain while circumnavigating the highest mountains in the area. Keep an eye out for arctic fox, and look for pieces of petrified trees sticking out of the rocks alongside the narrow road—remnants of a forest that flourished in a much warmer climate thousands of years ago. Stop along the way for a scenic picnic lunch and return to Isafjordur for the evening.

Accommodations

Hotel Isafjordur

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Vigur Island: Private Whale Watching Excursion

From Isafjordur, reach Vigur Island via a private Zodiac ride, looking out for whales and birdlife along the way. This small outpost is home to thousands of seabirds including puffins, arctic terns, black guillemot and especially eider ducks, the source of precious down from which the island’s sole resident family makes its living, collecting feathers in the spring and summer and cleaning and drying them during the winter. Just a handful of people inhabit the tiny island; join them for lunch in their home. Also consider sending a postcard here from Europe’s smallest post office.

The maritime adventure continues while plying the intricate fjord system, searching for humpback and minke whales. Returning to Isafjordur, enjoy dinner at the Tar House restaurant, renowned for its fish stew and fresh Icelandic seafood. From the hotel, it’s an easy walk back into town later this evening in the lingering light of Iceland’s long summer days.

Accommodations

Hotel Isafjordur

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 10
Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, Isafjordur & Fly to Reykjavik

This morning, explore part of the vast Hornstrandir Nature Reserve that can only be reached by boat. A wild, untouched realm of tundra, sea cliffs, flowering fields and glacier-carved fjords, this 220-square-mile landscape in the most remote corner of Iceland has been protected since 1974. Humans inhabited scattered settlements along Hornstrandir’s bays and coves in recent centuries, although they were abandoned in the 1950s as residents sought growing job opportunities and an escape from harsh living conditions, leaving for surrounding towns. No roads, power lines or other manmade structures remain except for a few summerhouses that dot parts of the area.

Across the bay of Isafjardardjup, get close to the sheer cliffs on Bjarnarnupur before slowly passing a striking rock arch that’s home to cormorants and other seabirds. And with millions of seabirds nesting in Hornstrandir’s tall cliffs, the reserve is also home to protected Arctic foxes that roam freely on the land.  Whales and puffins are often seen in the sea en route to Kviar, the base for discovering the pristine Hornstrandir region. Kviar was a large farm until 1948, when the family that lived here joined their neighbors in search of an easier life elsewhere. The old farmhouse, now called Kviar Lodge, has been renovated as a cozy base for exploration, and we may see foxes playing outside. Take a short walk up the valley to look for some of the rich birdlife in the area, including common species such as eider ducks, swans, oystercatchers and snipes to rarer birds such as the white-tailed eagle. If foxes are present, we respect their summer breeding season and keeping a distance.

Returning to Isafjordur, have an early farewell dinner and then head to the airport for the evening flight to Reykjavik.

Please note: Activities in the Westfjords may take place on days or times that are different from what is shown on this itinerary, depending on local schedules, weather conditions, etc. 

Accommodations

Hotel Reykjavik Saga

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 11
Depart Reykjavik, Iceland

After breakfast, a transfer to Keflavik International Airport is included to meet departing flights.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations; services of professional expedition leaders and local guides; all meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on the final day; most gratuities; airport transfers for those arriving by air on Day 1 and departing by air on the final day; all activities and entrance fees; all taxes, permits and service fees.

Exclusions

Travel to and from the start and end point of the trip; alcoholic beverages; some gratuities; passport and visa fees (if any); optional activities; items of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry and internet, etc.); airline baggage fees; required medical evacuation insurance; optional travel protection insurance (strongly recommended); insurance of any kind; cost of internal air ($1,297 in 2024 and $1497 in 2025), which includes round-trip flights between Reykjavik (Akureyri), Iceland, and Isafjordur, Iceland (to be added to your invoice).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a nonrefundable deposit of $500 is required per person at time of booking. Deposit may be transferred to a new departure date of this trip anytime before the balance of the trip price is due, 120 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 121 days – 100% of deposit
120 to 61 days – 50% of total trip cost
60 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The Iceland Adventure: Circling the Land of Fire & Ice tour begins and ends at the Keflavik International Airport (KEF) in Rekjavik, Iceland. We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to arrive to Keflavik no later than 3:30pm on Day 1 of the itinerary in order to participate in a mandatory group welcome briefing and dinner beginning at 5:30pm. The transfer from the airport to your hotel near the Reykjavik harbor takes approximately 1 hour. Plan flights to depart Keflavik anytime on the final day.

Internal Flights

Required internal group flights on Day 7 (Akureyri to Isafjordur) and Day 10 (Isafjordur to Reykjavik) are not included in the fare of this trip; see the mandatory transfer package information listed in Exclusions.

Activities

In order to participate in this trip, you must be able to walk unassisted at a steady pace for a minimum of 2 miles at a time over uneven terrain. The itinerary involves daily walks or hikes of varied lengths over pavement, boardwalks, rough lava, glacial ice and earthen trails that can be muddy, slippery and uneven with roots and rocks (please note that all walks can be more difficult to navigate during inclement weather). Some hikes involve walking up and down hills. The group may also do multiple hikes a day, with total distances exceeding 3 miles. Those who would like to see the Askja Caldera will be required to walk approximately 4 miles round-trip, traversing up and down an incline. The highest elevation reached during the trip will be at the Askja Caldera, situated nearly 5,000 feet above sea level. Several boat trips are also included, and while time is generally spent in more sheltered waters, there can be short periods of rougher water during the excursions. Travelers prone to seasickness should take this into consideration and may wish to take precautions. All travelers must also be able to get into and out of RIB boats, Zodiacs (rigid rubber boats) and other types of boats with minimal assistance. Optional activities include a moderate glacier hike that requires the use of crampons (all specialized equipment is provided for both excursions). The trip involves many very early morning starts and long, full days of activities with little down time. Some drives between locations are long (4-5 hours or longer, depending on local conditions). Please be prepared to spend time outdoors in unpredictable weather, which may include heavy rain and wind—or perfect sunshine.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy room may do so at a $2,075 (2024) or $1985 (2025) supplement in addition to the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. Solo travelers willing to share, please ask your Adventure Specialist about the possibility of matching with a roommate; this program allows you to pay the per person double-occupancy rate whether or not a roommate is found.

Families & Children

Due the expedition nature and isolated location of this program, children must be 12 years old at time of departure.

Travel Insurance

Emergency medical evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum recommended coverage of $250,000 per person. If you decline the operator’s insurance, then you must provide proof of third party insurance. Trip cancellation insurance is optional but highly recommended. Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the guides’ discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of adventure travel unique. 

Reykjavik, Iceland Accommodations

If you plan to make your own hotel reservations in Reykjavik, we strongly recommend that you book any necessary extra hotel nights as soon as possible. Due to Iceland’s rising popularity as a travel destination, hotels are likely to sell out early. The costs of services in Iceland have increased substantially due to extremely high demand and very limited availability.

Tour Accommodations

This Iceland adventure is different from those typically offered by most tour companies. Though there are some major highlights, the itinerary deliberately takes you away from more highly popular tourist spots and into traditional, more remote locales that unveil Iceland’s rich natural history in further detail. Accordingly, accommodations are more authentic in certain less-traveled locations. While comfortable, rooms and beds can often be a bit less spacious than those typically found in North America. However, the slight inconveniences are well worth it, as whatever is forsaken in space and luxury, is more than made up for in setting, surrounded by nature amid Iceland’s most awe-inspiring sights.

Variable Departure Details

Rates and dates are tentative and will be allocated to guests on a first-come, first-serve basis. Your Adventure Specialist will confirm details at time of booking.

Autumn in Iceland: Circling the Land of Fire & Ice

This unique seasonal Iceland land tour operates round-trip from Reykjavik. Amidst September’s stunning fall foliage visit the Westfjords and the east coast’s tranquil region of mountains, forests, fjords and fishing villages.

Route map of Iceland Adventure: Circling the Land of Fire & Ice trip, operating round-trip from Reykjavik, with visits to Isafjordur, Akureyri, Myvatn, Modrudalur, Djupivogur, Fjallsarlon, Skaftafell & Vik.
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Day 1
Arrive Reykjavik, Iceland

Arrive at Keflavik International Airport and be met on arrival and transferred to the group hotel in Reykjavik, about a 45-minute drive. This evening, join the expedition leader for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant, with an orientation to all the adventures that lie ahead in this geological wonderland.

Accommodations

Hotel Reykjavik Saga

Meals

dinner

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Day 2
South Shore: Waterfalls & Vik

Explore Iceland’s south coast en route to Vik, an area known for its volcanic black sand beaches and countless waterfalls. This is the region affected by the powerful 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajokull volcano, an event brought to life at the Lava Center, which features interactive exhibits depicting the colossal natural forces that have created Iceland over tens of millions of years. Learn about Iceland’s dynamic geology: the volcanic eruptions and lava flows, rift systems, faults and glacial floods that have forged the island. The center introduces us to the UNESCO Katla Global Geopark plus Iceland’s elaborate monitoring system for surveying volcanos and earthquake zones.

Continuing along the south coast, stop at several thundering waterfalls, including powerful Skogafoss and Kvernufoss. Another famous highlight is Reynisdrangar Rocks, a trio of columnar basalt sea stacks. Legend holds that they were formed after two trolls were out fishing in a three-masted ship. When the trolls did not return to their cave before sunrise, they and their vessel turned into needles of stone, since trolls cannot tolerate daylight. Here, have a chance to walk on the famous black sand beach before continuing to the exciting Lava Show in Vik, followed by dinner at the restaurant on site. The Lava Show, renowned for its educational value, recreates a volcanic eruption by superheating real lava up to 2000°F, then pouring the molten rock into a room at close range where guests can watch it flow, hear it sizzle and feel the incredible heat. After dinner, continue to a nearby hotel to spend the night.

Accommodations

Hotel Kria

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
Skaftafell: Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon & Glacier Walk or Park Hike

The focus today is Skaftafell, a national park now absorbed inside the larger Vatnajokull National Park established in 2008. Known for its rugged landscapes, mountains and glaciers, Skaftafell contains about half of the Vatnajokull Glacier, Europe’s largest ice cap. No roads penetrate the park’s wild recesses, but two options offer a chance to explore a slice of it: Choose between a walk atop a glacier or an easy hike.

Then board a private Zodiac to explore Fjallsarlon Glacier Lagoon, a less-touristed opportunity to get close to giant floating icebergs. The lake is the meltwater from Fjallsarlon Glacier, a tongue of the massive Vatnajokull Glacier, which has calved the huge chunks of blue ice that drift on the surface.

Accommodations

Lilja Guesthouse

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Djupivogur, Vallanes Farm, Modrudalur & Fjalladyrd Guesthouse

Enjoy a day of cultural connections by entering the East Fjords, a little-visited region of forests, farms and picturesque fishing villages. In the town of Djupivogur, admire the Eggs of Merry Bay, one of Iceland’s most unusual sculptures. Created in 2009 by Icelandic artist Sigurdur Gudmundsson, the 34 large-scale egg replicas represent 34 bird species found in the area, each one mounted on a platform along the harbor. Take a scenic walk along the coast near Alftafjordur, then join a local resident for a stroll around a historic fishing town, learning about daily life where traditions and livelihoods center on the sea.

Heading inland, follow a remote road to Vallanes Farm to stop for hot drinks and snacks at this organic farm and cafe crafted of sustainably harvested wood. Continue to Modrudalur, one of the oldest farms in Iceland, with evidence of its presence since the original settlement by the Vikings. The site was an important crossroads where two historic cross-country trails intersected, and its location is referenced in the famous Sagas that date to the 10th and 11th centuries. Modrudalur is also the highest inhabited place in Iceland, at 1,539 feet above sea level. Spend the next two nights here at Fjalladyrd, a hospitable family-run farm and guesthouse.

Accommodations

Fjalladyrd Guesthouse

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Modrudalur: Private Highlands Super Jeep Tour

Set out in Super Jeeps this morning to explore the hidden wonders of eastern Iceland’s highlands. These large SUVs have been modified with big tires and extra shock absorption to provide a more comfortable ride over off-road terrain, allowing deeper access into this remote region. Journey through the lunar-like landscape, making multiple stops that may include Troll Rocks, a mysterious and extensive stack of massive boulders with no known origin, and tea at a traditional turf house. Marvel at Hafrahvammagljufur canyon, a drastic and deep gorge that drops more than 650 feet, from high grassy slopes overlooking the abrupt chasm. End the day at Laugarvalladalur, a remote and verdant valley warmed by a geothermal creek and made famous for its eponymous hot springs waterfall that doubles as a natural shower. Then return to Modrudalur for a second night at Fjalladyrd.

Accommodations

Fjalladyrd Guesthouse

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
Dettifoss, Hverarond & Lake Myvatn

Witness the power of Dettifoss, Europe’s largest waterfall by volume and the most powerful cataract in Iceland. This thundering curtain of water, 330 feet wide and 150 high, is fed by the giant Vatnajokull Glacier. It is common to see rainbows, which make for dramatic photos. Next, explore the Hverarond geothermal area, an otherworldly setting of hissing steam vents, bubbling mud pots, cracked earth and pungent sulphur, then continue to Lake Myvatn.

Formed during a massive eruption 2,300 years ago, the Myvatn region is still a site of geothermal activity, with lava flows coming most recently from the 1984 eruption of Krafla volcano. Numerous lava formations are found in and around the shallow lake, and it’s worth exploring the pseudocraters of Skutustadir on a short hike. These phenomena are formed when lava flows over wet ground, pushing it down and trapping steam. As pressure mounts, steam explosions create these fascinating “false craters.”

Later today, enjoy a quintessentially Icelandic experience with a soak in a nearby hot spring. At Myvatn Nature Baths, amid clouds of steam rising from a fissure deep in the Earth, immerse yourself in soothing, milky-turquoise water that’s naturally heated by geothermal forces. Drawn from depths of up to a mile and a half below the surface, temperatures in the lagoon pools range from 98°F to 103°F.

Accommodations

Fosshotel Myvatn

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
Myvatn, Dimmuborgir & Leirhnjukur Volcano

This morning, explore the fascinating lava formations around Lake Myvatn on horseback. This optional 1-hour private ride offers a striking vantage point on the region’s wondrous geological features, including whimsically shaped pillars and a close-up look at a false crater. Afterward, a stop at Dimmuorgir, a dramatic lava field formed by a volcanic eruption some 2,300 years ago. Distinguished by towering rock pillars, caves and unusual lava formations, Dimmuborgir is especially spectacular in the fall when the rich fall foliage is at its peak.

In the afternoon, experience Leirhnjukur, one of Iceland’s active volcanoes up close. Although it last erupted in 1984, Leirhnjukur’s crater, steaming, bubbling mud pools and stark landscape are a living laboratory offering insight into the endless churn of underground geothermal activity. Against the beautiful backdrop of the warm red, orange and golden shades of the autumn colors, learn about plants and microbes that exist in extreme temperatures. Return to Myvatn for another night.

Accommodations

Fosshotel Myvatn

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
Godafoss, Akureyri & Fly to Isafjordur

This morning explore Godafoss, one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls originating deep in the highlands. Shaped like a crescent, it drops 40 feet over a sheer volcanic cliff. After, we travel to Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest city. Nestled at the base of a fjord and surrounded by mountains, Iceland’s “Capital of the North” is a cultural outpost, and we’ll have time to explore downtown galleries and the scenic waterfront, as well as the renowned Akureyri Botanical Gardens, before connecting with a late-afternoon chartered flight to Isafjordur. Originally settled in the 9th century, Isafjordur became a trading post for foreign merchants in the 16th century and today is the main town in the remote Westfjords in far-northwest Iceland.

Accommodations

Hotel Isafjordur

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Hornstrandir Nature Reserve & Kviar

This morning, explore part of the vast Hornstrandir Nature Reserve that can only be reached by boat. A wild, untouched realm of tundra, sea cliffs, flowering fields and glacier-carved fjords, this 220-square-mile landscape in the most remote corner of Iceland has been protected since 1974. Humans inhabited scattered settlements along Hornstrandir’s bays and coves in recent centuries, although they were abandoned in the 1950s as residents sought growing job opportunities and an escape from harsh living conditions, leaving for surrounding towns. No roads, power lines or other manmade structures remain except for a few summerhouses that dot parts of the area.

Across the bay of Isafjardardjup, get close to the sheer cliffs on Bjarnarnupur before slowly passing a striking rock arch that’s a seasonal home to cormorants and other seabirds. The reserve is also home to protected Arctic foxes that roam freely on the land. Whales are often spotted in the sea on the way to Kviar, the base for discovering the pristine Hornstrandir region. Kviar was a large farm until 1948, when the family that lived here joined their neighbors in search of an easier life elsewhere. The old farmhouse, now called Kviar Lodge, has been renovated as a cozy base for exploration, and sometimes foxes can be seen playing outside. Take a short walk up the valley amid more colorful fall foliage before returning to town.

Accommodations

Hotel Isafjordur

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 10
Vigur Island: Private Whale Watching Excursion & Fly to Reykjavik

From Isafjordur, set out on a private whale watching excursion. With a high likelihood of seeing humpback whales, we scan the waters with expert guides for other sea life like minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, harbor porpoises and seals. Next travel to Thingeyri, a thriving and quaint fishing village (population roughly 250) on the scenic Dyrafjorour fjord, for lunch. Established as a trading post in 1987, Thingeyri’s roots date back to medieval times, with ruins still standing behind the village church.

Refreshed and nourished, drive over the mountains to Dynjandi, the largest waterfall in the Westfjords. This magnificent fall cascades apron-like down 330 feet over terraced basalt boulders. Considered one of the country’s most beautiful falls, Dynjandi has long beckoned nature enthusiasts and photographers. “Dynjandi” means “thundering” in Icelandic, an apt description of the sounds and sights.

Returning to Isafjordur, have an early farewell dinner and then head to the airport for our evening flight to Reykjavik.

Please note: Activities in the Westfjords may take place on days or times that are different from what is shown on this itinerary, depending on local schedules, weather conditions, etc.

Accommodations

Hotel Reykjavik Saga

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 11
Depart Reykjavik, Iceland

After breakfast, a transfer to Keflavik International Airport is included to meet departing flights.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations; services of professional expedition leaders and local guides; all meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on the final day; most gratuities; airport transfers for those arriving by air on Day 1 and departing by air on the final day; all activities and entrance fees; all taxes, permits and service fees.

Exclusions

Travel to and from the start and end point of the trip; alcoholic beverages; some gratuities; passport and visa fees (if any); optional activities; items of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry and internet, etc.); airline baggage fees; required medical evacuation insurance; optional travel protection insurance (strongly recommended); insurance of any kind; cost of internal air ($1,297 in 2024 and $1497 in 2025), which includes round-trip flights between Reykjavik (Akureyri), Iceland, and Isafjordur, Iceland (to be added to your invoice).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a nonrefundable deposit of $500 is required per person at time of booking. Deposit may be transferred to a new departure date of this trip anytime before the balance of the trip price is due, 120 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 121 days – 100% of deposit
120 to 61 days – 50% of total trip cost
60 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The Iceland Adventure: Circling the Land of Fire & Ice tour begins and ends at the Keflavik International Airport (KEF) in Rekjavik, Iceland. We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to arrive to Keflavik no later than 3:30pm on Day 1 of the itinerary in order to participate in a mandatory group welcome briefing and dinner beginning at 5:30pm. The transfer from the airport to your hotel near the Reykjavik harbor takes approximately 1 hour. Plan flights to depart Keflavik anytime on the final day.

Internal Flights

Required internal group flights on Day 8 (Akureyri to Isafjordur) and Day 10 (Isafjordur to Reykjavik) are not included in the fare of this trip; see the mandatory transfer package information listed in Exclusions.

Activities

In order to participate in this trip, you must be able to walk unassisted at a steady pace for a minimum of 2 miles at a time over uneven terrain. The itinerary involves daily walks or hikes of varied lengths over pavement, boardwalks, rough lava, glacial ice and earthen trails that can be muddy, slippery and uneven with roots and rocks (please note that all walks can be more difficult to navigate during inclement weather). Some hikes involve walking up and down hills. The group may also do multiple hikes a day, with total distances exceeding 3 miles. Several boat trips are also included, and while time is generally spent in more sheltered waters, there can be short periods of rougher water during the excursions. Travelers prone to seasickness should take this into consideration and may wish to take precautions. All travelers must also be able to get into and out of RIB boats, Zodiacs (rigid rubber boats) and other types of boats with minimal assistance. Optional activities include a moderate glacier hike that requires the use of crampons (all specialized equipment is provided for both excursions). The trip involves many very early morning starts and long, full days of activities with little down time. Some drives between locations are long (4-5 hours or longer, depending on local conditions). Please be prepared to spend time outdoors in unpredictable weather, which may include heavy rain and wind—or perfect sunshine.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy room may do so at a $2,075 (2024) or $1985 (2025) supplement in addition to the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. Solo travelers willing to share, please ask your Adventure Specialist about the possibility of matching with a roommate; this program allows you to pay the per person double-occupancy rate whether or not a roommate is found.

Families & Children

Due the expedition nature and isolated location of this program, children must be 12 years old at time of departure.

Travel Insurance

Emergency medical evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum recommended coverage of $250,000 per person. If you decline the operator’s insurance, then you must provide proof of third party insurance. Trip cancellation insurance is optional but highly recommended. Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the guides’ discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of adventure travel unique. 

Reykjavik, Iceland Accommodations

If you plan to make your own hotel reservations in Reykjavik, we strongly recommend that you book any necessary extra hotel nights as soon as possible. Due to Iceland’s rising popularity as a travel destination, hotels are likely to sell out early. The costs of services in Iceland have increased substantially due to extremely high demand and very limited availability.

Tour Accommodations

This Iceland adventure is different from those typically offered by most tour companies. Though there are some major highlights, the itinerary deliberately takes you away from more highly popular tourist spots and into traditional, more remote locales that unveil Iceland’s rich natural history in further detail. Accordingly, accommodations are more authentic in certain less-traveled locations. While comfortable, rooms and beds can often be a bit less spacious than those typically found in North America. However, the slight inconveniences are well worth it, as whatever is forsaken in space and luxury, is more than made up for in setting, surrounded by nature amid Iceland’s most awe-inspiring sights.

Variable Departure Details

Rates and dates are tentative and will be allocated to guests on a first-come, first-serve basis. Your Adventure Specialist will confirm details at time of booking.

Rates & Dates

Trip Rates & Dates

Jul 22 - Aug 01, 2024
11 days
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Jul 25 - Aug 04, 2024
11 days
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Jul 31 - Aug 10, 2024
11 days
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Aug 03 - Aug 13, 2024
11 days
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Aug 06 - Aug 16, 2024
11 days
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Aug 12 - Aug 22, 2024
11 days
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Aug 21 - Aug 31, 2024
11 days
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Aug 23 - Sep 02, 2024
11 days
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Aug 30 - Sep 09, 2024
11 days
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Sep 02 - Sep 12, 2024
11 days
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Sep 05 - Sep 15, 2024
11 days
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Sep 11 - Sep 21, 2024
11 days
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Sep 14 - Sep 24, 2024
11 days
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Sep 17 - Sep 27, 2024
11 days
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Jul 01 - Jul 11, 2025
11 days
From $15995USD
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Jul 04 - Jul 14, 2025
11 days
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Jul 07 - Jul 17, 2025
11 days
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Jul 14 - Jul 24, 2025
11 days
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Jul 17 - Jul 27, 2025
11 days
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Jul 20 - Jul 30, 2025
11 days
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Jul 24 - Aug 03, 2025
11 days
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Jul 27 - Aug 06, 2025
11 days
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Jul 31 - Aug 10, 2025
11 days
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Aug 04 - Aug 14, 2025
11 days
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Aug 06 - Aug 16, 2025
11 days
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Aug 08 - Aug 18, 2025
11 days
From $15995USD
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Aug 13 - Aug 23, 2025
11 days
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Aug 17 - Aug 27, 2025
11 days
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Aug 20 - Aug 30, 2025
11 days
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Aug 22 - Sep 01, 2025
11 days
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Aug 24 - Sep 03, 2025
11 days
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Aug 26 - Sep 05, 2025
11 days
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Aug 30 - Sep 09, 2025
11 days
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Sep 01 - Sep 11, 2025
11 days
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Sep 04 - Sep 14, 2025
11 days
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Sep 06 - Sep 16, 2025
11 days
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Sep 08 - Sep 18, 2025
11 days
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Sep 12 - Sep 22, 2025
11 days
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Accommodations

Learn About the Lodges & Hotels on Your Itinerary

Hotel
Hótel Reykjavík Saga

This upscale, 4-star hotel in Reykjavik's city center offers modern design and refined amenities, ideal for a stopover or as a base camp from which to explore the city.

Hotel
Hotel Kria

Hotel Kria, in Iceland's southern coastal town of Vik, features modern and inviting atmosphere, easy access to various attractions, and incredible views.

Hotel
Lilja Guesthouse

This modern, family-run guesthouse in southeast Iceland offers 26 rooms with clean, minimalist decor. Enjoy striking views, featuring Europe's largest glacier: Vatnajokull.

Lodge
Fjalladyrd Guesthouse

Enjoy "Fjalladyrd," or "mountain beauty," at Fjalladyrd Guesthouse—a working farm at the highest inhabited point in Iceland. Set on the edge of highlands in Iceland's eastern interior, this property celebrates traditional country ways of life.

Hotel
Fosshotel Myvatn

Relax at the modern Fosshotel Myvatn overlooking Iceland's famous Lake Myvatn. Designed by award-winning architects and built in 2017, this hilltop hotel in northeastern Iceland offers incredible views and excellent access to the surrounding volcanic area.

Hotel
Hotel Isafjordur

Centrally located in the main Westfjords town of Isafjordur, this 3-star minimalist hotel is backed by rugged mountains and fronted by views of the bay of Isafjardardjup. Explore northwestern Iceland by day and relax in this simple but peaceful hotel by night.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

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Extend Your Trip

Additional Travel Options Before or After Your Iceland Trip

In conjunction with this land tour, the East Greenland: Arctic Safari land tour is combinable with most departures for a seamless and comprehensive group travel experience with fellow passengers. Click the trip below for further details and pricing.

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10 Day Land Tour
East Greenland Arctic Adventure

Discover Greenland like never before! The safari-style Base Camp Greenland offers an eye-level vantage point of Arctic icebergs, whales and seals in frigid waters. Kayak, hike and meet local Inuit who live in harmony with nature.

From $12995USD
Jul Aug Sep
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15 - 15 Day Cruise
Three Arctic Islands: Iceland, Greenland & Spitsbergen

Sail north or south, between Svalbard and Iceland, on this award-winning 15-day expedition cruise aboard 128-guest Ocean Adventurer or 138-guest Ocean Explorer. See the coast of Greenland, sail along Iceland and go above the Arctic Circle in Spitsbergen.

Special Offer
From $8251USD
Aug Sep
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Iceland Adventure: Circling the Land of Fire & Ice

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