The Women's Travel Club Grand Tour of Iceland takes you on an unforgettable journey around Iceland including the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and the magical West Fjords. These western areas are left unexplored by most of our visitors. Experience the spectacular splendor and untamed beauty of Iceland´s nature, breathtaking scenery and unique Icelandic history and culture. You will discover some of the most remote parts of the country and visit many well-known highlights as well.
Our of Iceland features all the best the country has to offer. Each day combines touring by bus, going for light walks, having soft adventures and experiencing Icelandic culture and history. You will stay in simple and charming guesthouses, farm- and tourist-class hotels, many of them set in the most stunning locations.
- Iceland circle tour including Snæfellsnes Peninsula and the West Fjords
- Explore 3 national parks and a lava cave
- Visit Dynjandi, elected “the most beautiful waterfall in Iceland” by Icelanders
- Boat trip between floating icebergs on Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
- Soak at the geothermal Mývatn Nature Baths and enjoy daily leisurely walks
Upon arrival at the airport today you will be met by a local guide and transfer to your hotel.
The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your tour host will review the details of your tour.
Accommodations: Hótel Klettur
After breakfast, your guide will meet you in the lobby for a 9am departure. Heading out of Reykjavik, you will see classic highlights today. You start with a visit to a geothermal greenhouse and watch how Icelanders grow tomatoes. Next door, you can take a selfie with an Icelandic horse and we learn about its unique qualities and history. Explore Gullfoss, the beautiful double “Golden Falls” and walk through the active geothermal area of Geysir, where Strokkur “the churn” spouts up to 25 meters (70 feet) every five to ten minutes.
The next stop is the ancient Viking Parliament area and UNESCO world heritage site of Þingvellir National Park. The Þingvellir plain is situated on a tectonic plate boundary where North America and Europe are slowly tearing away from each other. As a result, the plain is scarred by dramatic fissures, ponds, and rivers, including the great rift Almannagjá. Continue your journey along the scenic Hvalfjörður fjord.
Accommodations: Icelandair Hotel Hamar
Today, you explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, which juts out from Iceland’s West Coast. A rugged mountain chain runs its length, capped by the 1,446-meter Snæfellsjökull glacier, a mystical cone-shaped stratovolcano. Travel around the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, through lava fields, and along the ocean with many classic Icelandic photo opportunities.
You will see the most popular sites at the Snæfellsnes National Park where volcanic craters, lava flows, an ice cap, glaciated peaks, fjords, sandy beaches, and high cliffs shape its landscapes.
You follow the adventure of Jules Verne’s classic science-fiction novel about “The Journey to the Center of the Earth”. Do not miss your chance to go on a trip to the interior of the earth under the glacier Snæfellsjökull! This lava cave tour takes you 35 meters underground and about 200 meters into the lava tube called Vatnshellir. In the afternoon, catch the car ferry Baldur from Stykkishólmur to Brjánslækur in the West Fjords. On the 2,5 hour journey over Breiðafjörður Bay, you pass the island of Flatey, which is inhabited only during the summertime. If the weather is nice, enjoy a magnificent view of the bay’s countless isles as well as the glacier Snæfellsjökull.
Accommodations: Fosshotel Westfjords
Today you will follow the coastline and stop at the folk and transport museum in Hnjótur. Continue through a very remote and sparsely populated region to the bird cliffs of Látrabjarg, the most abundant seabird cliff and the westernmost point of Iceland and Europe.
You can enjoy a walk in the wilderness to the top of the highest bird cliff in Iceland. Látrabjarg is known in the world for its density of Nordic birds. Puffins, razorbills, guillemots, fulmars, cormorants, kittiwakes and other cliff birds flock either in hundreds, thousands and even in millions. Látrabjarg is a place where you can get very close to the seabirds, and even if you’re not into bird watching, you are entertained by the comic puffins and mesmerized by the sheer number of birds.
If weather and road conditions allow, travel to Rauðisandur beach with endless red sand. Well, not endless but 10 km is a lot. The magnificent hues of the sand differ with daylight, tides, and weather. This pure sand beach is home to countless seabirds and seals and is an oasis of unique tranquillity. Forget everything, except maybe getting the perfect shot of the ever-changing hues of yellow, orange and red.
Accommodations: Fosshotel Westfjords
Today, travel over mountains and along the shore of scenic fjords until you reach the majestic fjord Arnarfjörður, surrounded by high mountains. At the bottom of the fjord, come across the unique waterfall Dynjandi with its seven levels of plunging water, declared the country’s most beautiful waterfall by the people of Iceland. Continue over a mountain pass and along the southern shores of the West Fjords which is a route less travelled and is characterized by sheer cliffs, deep cut bays and narrow stretches of coastal lowland.
Overnight at the remote Vogur Country Lodge in West Iceland. This overnight location is a truly peaceful and beautiful place close to Breiðafjörður Bay, giving you the feeling of being all alone in Iceland.
Accommodations: Vogur Country Lodge
In the morning, travel mostly off-the-beaten-path, see abandoned farms, beautiful little country churches, and Icelandic horses. At Haukadalur, there’s a rather authentic-looking replica of the homestead of Erik the Red, the famous explorer who founded the Icelandic colony in Greenland. His son Leif-the-Lucky, born in Haukadalur, Iceland, was the first European to set foot in North America. Now the excavated and reconstructed farm in Haukadalur is a living Viking museum, a fun, informative and a photogenic place.
The landscape is dominated by mountains, lakes, valleys, sea and wide-open spaces. Travel north through the fertile farmlands and fjord landscapes of Northwest Iceland. Next stop is Glaumbær, one of Iceland’s most beautiful turf house farm and folk museum. In the evening you reach the charming town of Akureyri, Iceland’s second-largest city, where you stay for two nights in the capital of North Iceland.
Accommodations: Hotel KEA Akureyri
During a full-day tour, you see spectacular fjord landscapes while travelling to Siglufjörður, Iceland’s northernmost town and known as the herring capital of the North Atlantic. Siglufjörður is located on the mountainous Tröllaskagi Peninsula. On the way, you pass small fishing villages and stop at a deserted valley that even most Icelanders have not seen. Included is a visit to the Herring Era Museum in Siglufjörður.
It is Iceland’s largest maritime museum and the only Icelandic museum that has won the European Museum Award. Early afternoon you go whale watching for 2-3 hours in Eyjafjörður – Iceland’s longest fjord right below the Arctic Circle. You will see humpback and minke whales, harbour porpoises and dolphins – The success rate to spot whales is 99%! Overnight and dinner in Akureyri.
Accommodations: Hotel KEA Akureyri
Today, explore Goðafoss, the waterfall of the Gods, and continue to Lake Mývatn, known for its abundant bird life and amazing volcanic lava landscapes. You will see pseudo craters, walk in the mysterious lava field Dimmuborgir, see the tephra cone Hverfjall, explore the hot springs, fumaroles and bubbling mud pools of Námaskarð, and travel to the explosion crater lake Víti in the Krafla geothermal fields. In the afternoon relax and soak at the Mývatn Nature Baths.
Accommodations: Sel Hótel Mývatn
After breakfast, you will travel to Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, in the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park. The round-trip walk takes about 40-60 minutes. Then continue east through the bare and sometimes deserted landscape with mountains all around. Along the way, stop at Möðrudalur the all-year residence at the highest altitude in Iceland, 469m above sea level. In the summertime, an on-site service centre is a perfect place to enjoy the view of Herðubreið, the queen of the Icelandic mountains.
You will visit the church at the farm, built by hand in 1949 by the former farmer in the memory of his late wife. From there, head through the uninhabited highlands to East Iceland.
You will explore the northernmost fjord on the East Fjord mountain range. The isolated village Bakkagerði at Borgarfjörður-Eystri has only 120 inhabitants and is a charming village, built snugly next to the steep mountainside. Driving to there is dramatic and rewarding. The colourful mountains are unique and impressive. Experience an unusual opportunity to visit a traditional Icelandic fishing village, still relying on the small boat fishing. Even so, Borgarfjörður-Eystri is one of Iceland’s most beautiful treasures, this off-the ring road location remains still seldom visited. There is a coffee house in the village, displaying some works of Jóhannes Kjarval, a well-known Icelandic painter who grew up in Borgarfjörður-Eystri. His hometown and its landscape have much influenced his job.
You will also see the remarkable altarpiece, an extraordinary artwork painted by Jóhannes Kjarval. Borgarfjörður-Eystri is home to an extensive population of elves – judging by the 172 local folk tales involving elves. In the village, find Álfaborg, a protected site where the queen of elves is believed to live in a uniquely shaped rock castle. The elf stories provide a fascinating lecture, especially for the younger generation. Continue to the local harbour to look out for kittiwakes, puffins, and other seabirds.
Accommodations: Guesthouse Álfheimar
It’s a day to admire the dramatic fjord landscape and its tiny fishing villages at the end of twisty roads in the East Fjords, and en route we visit Petra’s fascinating rock collection. A naturalist and a collector are two terms that have been used to describe Petra since she was a little girl. From the day she opened her eyes for the first time she perceived her surrounding differently from most of her compatriots, and it is almost as her parents knew when they named her.
The word “Petra” simply means “stone” in Greek. Petra collected for nearly 80 years this unique treasure of rocks, crystals, zeolites, quartz and more, all from the nearby area in the Eastfjords. The rocks and stones are beautifully laid out in her home and garden. Her descendants proudly take good care of this unique exhibition.
In the afternoon you will see Vatnajökull, Europe’s biggest glacier that is visible all over Southeast Iceland. Past the town of Höfn, stop for a boat ride amongst the floating icebergs on the magnificent Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, considered one of the highlights on tour around Iceland. Spend the night near Skaftafell in the southern part of Vatnajökull National Park.
Accommodations: Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon
Today, you will visit Vatnajökull National Park which covers about 14% of Iceland, making it Europe’s 2nd largest national park in terms of area after Yugyd Va in Russia. Explore the region of Skaftafell that is nestled below Iceland’s highest mountain and the second biggest stratovolcano in Europe, the 2,110-meter high Hvannadalshnjúkur.
Walk close to one of the many glacial tongues in the area – a Kodak moment. Then you will cross a sandy desert and drive along the South Coast, always between the sea, rugged mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls.
Stroll along the black lava beach and bird cliffs near the village of Vík. Then stop at the Skógafoss waterfall, another must-see location in South Iceland. The crashing water creates a mist that results in frequent and magical rainbows, just adding some more memorable experiences to the sheer beauty of this stunning scenery and place. Afterwards, reach Seljalandsfoss waterfall where you can follow a slick and wet trail and walk right behind the falls.
Come prepared and bring a raincoat and good boots as you will get wet. Then visit the Lava Center in Hvolsvöllur, where watch a documentary film about volcanic eruptions in the past years in Iceland. Farewell dinner at a local restaurant in Reykjavík.
Accommodations: Hotel Klettur
It is time to say good-bye to this beautiful country and fabulous new friends. Most flights leave in the late afternoon or early evening, so you may explore or relax for the day before your flight home.
**Prices are subject to change and availability. Space is limited and activities and specific hotels are subject to change. Travel insurance is strongly recommended.
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Some walking tours that may be on uneven terrain.
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Irene retired early from her career in engineering. With her love of travel she embarked on training as a Travel Counsellor and has been with the Women’s Travel Club for several years. Many of our members will be familiar with her. Irene overseas our Operations and Accounting and helps to make sure things are running smoothly.
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Set in a contemporary building in the Hlemmur neighborhood, this polished hotel is a 13-minute walk from Hallgrímskirkja, the landmark 73-m-tall modern church, and 2 km from the Reykjavik Art Museum. Simple rooms with classic Scandinavian furnishings come with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and desks.
At Icelandair Hotel Hamri, you will experience peace and quiet in a glorious environment that allows you to relax and rejuvenate, with all the comforts at hand and professional service. You enjoy the magnificent view of Borgarfjörður and eat great food from local ingredients. If you are a golf enthusiast, the course is right outside the room door, but others can get their blood moving by hiking in the area or on a mountain. Watching the northern lights or the stars from the hot tubs in the hotel garden makes for such a great day.
Fosshotel Westfjords is a three-star hotel in the small fishing village of Patreksfjörður, gateway to some of Iceland greatest attractions. Close to Fosshotel Westfjords is Látrabjarg Nesting Cliff, the magnificent Dynjandi Waterfall and Rauðisandur, the fascinating red sand beach
Vogur is a well equipped country lodge in a peaceful area truly off the beaten track, offering splendid views out to Breiðafjörður Bay‘s countless small islands and skerries. Snæfellsjökull Glacier, a beautifully shaped extinct volcano, looms in the distance.
Hotel Kea is located in the very heart of town, next to the iconic church of Akureyri and the town central. Hotel Kea is the only four star hotel in town offering rooms that range from standard to a suite, room service, in house restaurant, bar, conference and meeting halls.
The hotel has 54 rooms, all of which have a private bathroom. In each room is a phone, TV, desk, coffee and tea making facilities and High-speed wireless internet access is available in all rooms of the hotel. They strive to create a cozy and homely atmosphere for hotel guests. From each room there is a magnificent view of Skútustaðagígur, Stakhólstjörn, the farm and to the mountains and glaciers.
Álfheimar Country Hotel, set in a prime seaside location, overlooks the wide expanses of Borgarfjörður fjord on the edge of the colourful fishing village of Bakkagerði.
The location is perfect for nature lovers, as the hotel is between Skaftafell and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, two of Iceland's most spectacular natural attractions; a hiker's paradise. Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon offers 125 rooms with all necessary amenities. The restaurant at the hotel has a seating capacity of 180.