Arctic Road Trip: Southlands & Highlands
This great value arctic journey is a 6 day (5 nights) tour designed for you to explore the highlights of the south of Iceland in a 4X4 car. In the trip you’ll be able to roam freely and visit the biggies like Gullfoss and Geysir, venture into the highlands following the famed Fjallabak mountain track and soak in geothermal springs of Landmannalaugar, explore Europe‘s biggest glacier, go snorkeling between the continents and raft a glacial river. And let’s not forget you chance to experience the midnight sun and the bright Icelandic nights in the best possible manner... out in pure nature!
- Day 1: Your adventure begins. The Golden Circle and snorkeling.
- Day 2: River rafting and a 4X4 adventure to Landmannalaugar.
- Day 3: Explore Landmannalaugar. 4X4 driving and/or hiking in the area.
- Day 4: Fjallabak Nyrðra mountain road to Skaftafell National Park.
- Day 5: Explore Skaftafell and surroundings. Glacier hiking & Jökulsárlón.
- Day 6: South Coast to Reykjavik. Glaciers, waterfalls, black sands and birds.
Your tour starts early morning at Reykjavik Backpackers collecting the car and travel information. After leaving the city you‘ll visit the Golden Circle, starting with Þingvellir national park and the meeting of the tectonic plates and the site of the Viking parliament before seeking out the Geysir hot springs and the spouting Strokkur. This day includes an activity, snorkeling in the Silfra fissure.
You’ll start the day in Drumbó, river rafting basecamp gearing up for an included river rafting trip on the Hvítá river. Afterwards you’ll drive through the valley of the huge glacier river Þjórsá, where you will find the Hjálparfoss waterfall, the archeological Viking hut Stöng and one of Icelands highest waterfalls, the Háifoss before turning in to refuel at Hotel Highland (don’t forget, you will need a full tank for the days that lie a head). From there you will undertake some 4X4 road adventures on your way to Landmannalaugar, passing Hnausapollur volcanic crater, the shimmering Frostastaðavatn lake and crossing a river to enter the famed mountain reserve. There you‘ll be able to bathe in a natural hot spring and enjoy the great outdoors. Your second overnight will be in the Landmannalaugar area allowing you to further explore the surroundings the following day.
Explore the Landmannalaugar hot springs and the vast volcanic area that surrounds them, taking a day hike starting on the camping site through the vast rhyolite mountain theater, viewing the Southern Highlands from higher ground. The area offers plenty of possibilities for hiking, each one of different length and difficulty level, and you will find suggestions in your roadbook. This is a place to spend some time at, remember to charge your camera…
This day has some more 4X4 adventures when driving Fjallabak Nyrðra, a famous mountain road behind the massive Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, over many rivers, passing bright blue highland lakes and under imposing mountains in an utterly unforgettable wilderness. When reaching route one you will continue east along the coast to Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park with its alpine spires and massive glaciers. The fourth and fifth night will be in the Skaftafell area.
Today you‘ll leave your jeep in the Skaftafell National Park and join the Glacier Guides on a day tour. This tour includes glacier hiking on an outlet glacier of the largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull. After finishing the glacier hiking you’ll head over to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon for a magnificent boat tour among the floating icebergs. Another night will be spent in the Skaftafell area.
Use the last day of your road trip to travel back to Reykjavik. There are many interesting sights and stops on this 300 km route along the South Coast of Iceland. Among them are Dyrhólaey peninsula, Reynisdrangar cliffs, Skógar and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls and the black sand beaches of Sólheimasandur. Return back to Reykjavik in the afternoon marks the end of your road trip.