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Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Highlights

  • A 360 degree journey around Iceland, travelling by car on Ring Road 1.
  • Thingvellir National Park, Gulfoss Waterfall and Geysir - Iceland's Golden Circle!
  • The Snaefellsnes Peninsula on the west coast - "Iceland in miniature"!
  • Myvatn, scattered with bubbling mud-pots, lava formations and hot springs.
  • The colourful fishing villages of the East Fjords.

Travel 360° around the ‘land of fire and ice’ by car and on foot, ticking off this amazing country’s must-see highlights! Powerful waterfalls, other-worldly landscapes, lava fields, volcanoes, glaciers, fjords, hot springs, wildlife and some of the friendliest people you will ever meet all await!

Starting in Reykjavik, this tour takes you on a full loop of the island. Walk through great tears in the earth’s crust, at the top of thundering waterfalls, alongside magnificent glaciers, and amongst bubbling geysirs and hot springs.

This Icelandic adventure is one you are sure to remember for a long time to come!

Day 1: Arrive Reykjavik

Arriving at Keflavik International Airport, you are immediately transported to other-worldly landscapes, as you travel by road through craters and lava fields to reach your hotel in downtown Reykjavik.


The vibrant, quirky city of Reykjavik is wonderfully cosmopolitan and easily explored on foot. Browse the many outdoor and handicraft shops and enjoy a delicious meal from one of the many fantastic seafood restaurants—we recommend the Arctic Char in particular!


Overnight: Reykjavik


Day 2: Pick up Car, Thingvellir National Park, Whale Fjord and the Reykholt Valley

Head straight out into the countryside towards the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Thingvellir National Park this morning. Enjoy a walk here through the great rifts of the earths’ crust or if you fancy it you can even try snorkelling between them—an amazing experience!


Head north to Hvalfjordur, ‘Whale Fjord’ where you will find the highest waterfall in Iceland, Glymur Falls. Visit the Reykholt valley, once one of the most important intellectual centres of Iceland, where a small museum is dedicated to the 13th century Icelandic wrtier Snorri Sturluson.  


Walk: 3hrs


Total Drive: Approx 160km, 3.5 hours


Overnight: Borgarnes


Day 3: South Coast of Snaefellsnes Peninsula

The western peninsula of Snaefellsnes with its rugged coastline, golden beaches, and ice-capped peak of Snaefellsnjokull is often referred to as ‘Iceland in miniature’ and was said to have inspired Jules Verne to write ‘A Journey to the Centre of the Earth.’Enjoy a walk today along the volcanic coastline of Arnarstapi with its basalt arches, caves and colonies of kittiwakes and guillemots.


Walk: 3hrs


Total Drive: Approx 121km, 2 Hours


Overnight: Hellnar


Day 4: North Coast of Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Continue around the peninsula, hopefully if the weather is good with magnificent views of the glacier and volcano Snaefellsjokull, part of the Snaefellsjokulll National Park. As well as the volcano the park features two massive lava formations Londranger, the ‘singing cave’ of Songhellir and the hidden waterfall of Raudfeldargja. Various walking trails are available in the park to choose from. Continue past the unique steeple-shaped mountain of Kirkjufell to the fishing village of Grundarfjordur.


Walk: Up to 3hrs


Total Drive: Approx 60km, 1-2 Hours


Overnight: Grundarfjordur


Day 5: Skagafjordur and Vatnsnes Peninsula

A long drive today links you to the north of the island via the Vatnsnes Peninsula, a wild and startlingly beautiful place home to one of the largest seal colonies in Iceland. Watch both harbour seals and grey seals in their natural habitat. Visit the Icelandic Seal Centre in Hvammstangi to get information on how best to see them before continuing to Hvitserkur, a prime viewing point!


Total Drive: Approx 315km, 4-5 hours


Overnight: Varmahlid


Day 6: The Trollaskagi Peninsula

Less than 50km from the Arctic Circle, lies the beautiful northern peninsula of Trollaskagi—Troll Peninsula—made from 10-12 million year old basalt strata. Visit Siglufjordur, a charming fishing village located at the foot of towering mountains and ‘herring capital of Iceland’, before enjoying a lovely little walk to a beautiful mountain lake.


Walk: 2hrs


Total Drive: Approx 185km, 3.5 hours


Overnight: Akureyri


Day 7: Godafoss Waterfall and Lake Myvatn

Leaving Akureyri, head towards Godafoss Waterfall, a striking horseshoe shaped waterfall. An alternative would be to take a de-tour to the town of Husavik, Europe’s whale-watching capital for an optional whale-watching tour. (bookable locally).


Continue east to Lake Myvatn, which offers plentiful birdlife, bubbling mud pots, and the Nature Baths (a quieter version of the famous Blue Lagoon) where you can soak in the geothermal waters.


Walk: Up to 3hrs


Total Drive: Approx 240km, 2-3 Hours (via Husavik) or 100km, 1-2 Hours (via Godafoss


Overnight: Myvatn


Day 8: East Fjords via Dettifoss

Head towards the East Fjords today with a short stop to do a bracing circular linking the powerful waterfalls of Selfoss and Dettifoss, Iceland’s most powerful waterfall.


Continue inland and south, through deserts of ash via the highest farm in Iceland to the pretty East Fjords village of Seydisfjordur. With its pretty church and colourful Scandinavian houses, this is a delightful place to put your feet up and relax for a couple of days!


Walk: 2 Hours


Total Drive: Approx 195km, 2-3 Hours


Overnight: Seydisfjordur


Day 9: Free Day East Fjords

A day at leisure to explore the East Fjords. We recommend a couple of walks close to Seydisfjordur including a riverside walk with fantastic views or an interesting walk around the nearby Hallormsstadur forest.  Another option would be to explore Skaftfell, a wonderful visual arts centre, or one of the many other artists studios, workshops and boutiques. Kayak tours are also a popular choice (book in advance, payable locally).


Overnight: Seydisfjordur


Day 10: Litlanesfoss & Hengifoss

From Seydisfjordur drive deep into the East Fjords, stopping at Lagarfjlot lake to enjoy a walk to the waterfalls Litlanesfoss and Hengifoss, the third tallest in Iceland, which falls into a dramatic gorge.


Continue to the south coast and overnight in the village of Hofn, on the edge of Vatnajokull glacier.


Walk:  2 Hours


Total Drive: Approx 250km, 3-4 Hours


Overnight: Höfn


Day 11: Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

Head west from Höfn to Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon—one of Iceland’s most photographed places! The incredible icebergs floating in the water, with shimmering hues of blue make it easy to see why many Hollywood directors use this as a filming location—you may recognise scenes from James Bond Die Another Day, and Tomb Raider!  


Walk: 2-4 Hours


Total Drive: Approx 135km, 2 Hours


Overnight: Skaftafell


Day 12: Skaftafell National Park

Part of the Vatnajokull National Park, Skaftafell sits on the edge of the immense Vatnajokull glacier which covers a massive 8% of Iceland!  


We recommend several walks at Skaftafell—from a short 3 hour walk to Svartifoss Waterfall to longer full day walks which overlook the glacial valley.


Another option would be to do a guided glacier hike (book in advance, optional extra). With crampons on and accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, walk through a wonderland of glacial ice sculptures, ice ridges and deep crevasses.


A spectacular drive through the Eldhaun lava fields takes you to Kirkjubaelarklastur.


Walk: 3-8 Hours


Total Drive: Approx 70km, 1-2 Hours


Overnight: Kirkjubaelarklastur


Day 13: Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss

Visit another two of Iceland’s most spectacular waterfalls today - Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. At Seljalandsfoss take a walk behind the falls to experience the mighty power of nature up close. And walk to the top of Skogafoss falls for a different perspective.


Walk: 1.5-3 Hours


Total Drive: Approx 205km, 3 Hours


Overnight: Hveragerdi


Day 14: Gulfoss and Geysir, Drive to Reykjavik

Enjoy a walk around Hveragerdi this morning, visiting hot springs, bubbling mud-pots and fumaroles.


Then head west back to Reykjavik via the geothermal area of Geysir, with its great spouts of boiling hot water, and the beautiful two-tiered Gulfoss waterfall.


Drop off your rental car at the depot in Reykjavik.


Walk: 3-4 Hours


Total Drive: Approx 190km, 3 Hours


Overnight: Reykjavik


Day 15: Onward Travel

A transfer (included) will take you back to Keflavik International Airport for your flight home. If you have time, you may prefer to make your own way back to the airport via a stop at the famous Blue Lagoon (additional cost, bookable locally) for a welcome dip in it’s soothing geothermal waters.

Accommodation

2 Night’s accommodation is included in a 3-star city hotel in Reykjavik. 12 Nights are in comfortable, countryside hotels and guesthouses. We have carefully chosen traditional countryside hotels which offer a warm Icelandic welcome, comfortable rooms and fantastic food! They are in spectacular locations and generally have great views of the surrounding countryside.


Alternative Accommodation

The hotels we normally use are detailed below but subject to availability we may accommodate you in alternative hotels/guesthouses of a similar standard.


Meals

14 breakfasts are included. You can pick up lunches during the day from many cafes or shops. All of the countryside hotels have a restaurant where you can have dinner as there are not usually many other options for places to eat nearby. Food is generally of a very high standard, and local specialities include Hangikjöt (a delicious smoked lamb dish), Saltifiskur (salted fish) and the delicious Arctic Char. For the more adventurous, there is also Hákarl (cured shark commonly accompanied by schnapps), only for the very brave!


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

Single rooms are available on this trip and a supplement will apply. It
is also available to solo travellers but prices are on a request basis.



 

 

 



Hotel Hamar - Borgarnes



Hotel Hamar - Borgarnes

Enjoy magnificent views of the Borgarfjordur fjord whilst enjoying delicious, locally-sourced meals.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Hotel Hellnar - Hellnar



Hotel Hellnar - Hellnar

Enjoy beautiful, well-equipped rooms with views out either to the sea or towards Snaefellsjokull Glacier.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Hotel Framnes - Grundarfjordur



Hotel Framnes - Grundarfjordur

Hotel Framnes is a waterfront hotel originally built as a fishermen´s hostel in 1954. Rooms either have a view of the moutain range close to the hotel or the fjord. Facilities include a sauna and an outdoor hot tub with great views!


 

 

 


 

 

 



Hotel Tindastoll - Varmahlid



Hotel Tindastoll - Varmahlid

The charming Hotel Tindastoll is one of the oldest hotels in Iceland , housed in a beautiful old timber building. Rooms are either in the main building or the new annex.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Hotel Laxa - Myvatn



Hotel Laxa - Myvatn

Hotel Laxa opened in summer 2014 and offers the perfect location for exploring Lake Myvatn and the north of Iceland.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Hotel Aldan - Seydisfjordur



Hotel Aldan - Seydisfjordur

Historic Hotel Aldan dates from 1898, the 9 lovely rooms have fine linens and antique furniture. Rooms are a few minutes walk from the main reception area.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Hotel Fosshotel Vatnajokull



Hotel Fosshotel Vatnajokull - Hofn

A charismatic and attractive hotel with a spectacular panoramic view of the majestic glacier.


 

 

 


 

 

 





Hotel Skaftafell - Skaftafell

A family run hotel in the vicinity of Skaftafell National Park. Anna Maria and her family take great pride in providing a comfortable place for guests to stay whilst they explore the beautiful surroundings.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Hotel Klaustur - Kirkjubaejarklaustur



Hotel Klaustur - K'klaustur

57-room Icelandair Hotel Klaustur is a modern property and conveniently located for exploring the south of Iceland. You can relax on their sundeck or enjoy a swim in their neighbouring geothermal pool.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Frost & Fire Hotel - Hveragerdi



Frost & Fire Hotel - Hveragerdi

A quiet hotel with amazing amenities and comfortable rooms. Access to their geothermal spa is included and their restaurant "Varma" offers "slow food" made with the finest local ingredients.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hotel Odinsve - Reykjavik

A stylish 50 room boutique hotel in downtown Reykjavik. They offer newly renovated rooms along with service with a smile. Their restaurant is a popular meeting place in Reykjavik and offers outstanding Icelandic cuisine..


 

 

 

Time of Year and Availability

You can start this tour on any day of the week between the beginning of May and end of September. From June through to August is the most popular and best time to travel to Iceland due to the long hours of sunlight and the fact that the weather is at it’s driest and warmest then. This is also the best time for wild flowers. During this time,  the main tourist sights such as the most popular waterfalls will get quite busy but you shouldn’t notice it too much whilst on the walks or driving.


If you prefer a quieter experience, then we would recommend either May or September. The weather isn’t quite as reliable then but it is quieter, and the price also comes down during those months.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This trip is available to solo travellers but a supplement is applicable and is on request. Single rooms are also available on request and again a supplement will apply.


Grade & Terrain

We grade this tour as easy-moderate as the suggested walks are all optional. They are between 1—6 hours in length, and up to 500m ascent/descent (most are less than 200m ascent/descent.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

We provide detailed route notes and maps to allow you to navigate the recommend walks without any problems. Footpaths are not always clearly marked but with the above you should not have any issues navigating. Paths can be slippy and rocky underfoot, so a good pair of walking boots is essential.


Equipment

Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, lightweight clothes, waterproofs and a day pack.


Car Hire

We include Group B Car Hire from the morning of Day 2 up to the
afternoon of Day 6. Group B Car Hire would be based on a Volkswagen Golf
or similar and is suitable for 2-3 people with luggage. For parties of
4, we will automatically include an upgrade to a CAT N Car Hire (similar to a Skoda Octavia) and this
is already included in the cost. For parties of 5-8 people, we will
provide 2x CAT B for 5-6 people, and 2x CAT N for 7-8 people. If you
prefer a larger car you can also choose to upgrade to CAT FG. Please
select this option when making your booking. Car hire includes
unlimited mileage, VAT, CDW insurance, 1 additional driver, One Way Drop
off Fees, Pick up and
Drop off fees. No insurance in Iceland covers the underside of vehichles
and excesses can be expensive. For this reason we suggest you take out
an excess reimbursement policy in advance of your arrival, or upgrade
your insurance locally.  Fuel and oil are not included in the rental of
your vehicle.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information:

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, (for example, proper rain gear jacket and pants, sun hat, sunscreen). Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes or the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Getting to Reykjavik

By Air: Fly into Keflavik International Airport, which is served by numerous airlines from UK, Europe and North America. Keflavik is just a short 3 hour flight from the UK and just a 5 hour flight from Boston. Icelandair and Wowair offer many direct flights from various US airports.

On arrival at Keflavik, you will be met by a transfer to take you to your hotel in the centre of Reykjavik, and you will be transferred back to Keflavik at the end of your tour.


Included

  • 2 Nights at a 3* Hotel in Reykjavik
  • 12 Nights in countryside hotels and guesthouses
  • 14 Breakfasts
  • 13 Days Group B car hire (from Day 2 to Day 14)
  • Return transfers betweeen Keflavik Airport and Reykjavik accommodation
  • Iceland Road Atlas
  • Detailed pre-departure information pack
  • Route notes, maps and driving instructions
  • 24/7 support from our local partners and UK office

Excluded

  • Travel to and from Iceland
  • Lunches and evening meals
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Fuel and oil
  • Personal equipment
  • Mountain rescue
  • Optional activities
  • Travel Insurance

Extras

  • Additional nights before, during or after the tour
  • Single room supplement if required
  • Glacier Hike
  • Car Hire Upgrades

How far in advance do I need to book?

We recommend booking as far in advance as possible for this trip as Iceland is extremely popular, especially over the summer months of June, July and August. The accommodations fill up extremely quickly. However, we will always try our very best to accommodate your plans.

How fit do I need to be?

We grade this tour as easy-moderate as the suggested walks are all optional. They are between 1—6 hours in length, and up to 500m ascent/descent (most are less than 200m ascent/descent.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots, comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and warm clothing. We supply a detailed packing list with your information pack. 

When is the best time of year?

From June through to August is the most popular and best time to travel to Iceland due to the long hours of sunlight and the fact that the weather is at it’s driest and warmest then. This is also the best time for wild flowers. During this time,  the main tourist sights such as the most popular waterfalls will get quite busy but you shouldn’t notice it too much whilst on the walks or driving.
If you prefer a quieter experience, then we would recommend either May or September. The weather isn’t quite as reliable then but it is quieter, and the price also comes down during those months.

If you would like to do some whale-watching you will need to travel between May and September.

What is driving like in Iceland?

For most visitors driving in Iceland is sheer pleasure with miles and miles of open and traffic free roads, along with stunning scenery. At times, gravel roads,  high winds, dust and rain can make driving more challenging than at home but we provide comprehensive advice on driving conditions in our pre-departure information packs. Your rental vehichle will be left hand drive and driving in Iceland is on the right hand side of the road.


Fantastic trip

5

Thank you to Macs Adventure for a wonderful trip to Iceland. In two weeks, we drove and hiked every day. We were very pleased with the arrangements made by Macs Adventure for our accommodation, transportation and for the daily suggested hikes. Iceland is an amazingly beautiful country and Macs Adventure's support made it easy to enjoy.

Fearless four

Ottawa

Around Iceland: Drive & Hike

5.0 1

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Macs Adventure - Head Office: Skypark 5, 45 Finnieston Street, Glasgow, G3 8JU, UK

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