Meet and greet at Reykjavik airport
After a moderate 45 minute hike, don the appropriate gear and descend 120m (400 feet) inside the dormant Thrihnukagigur volcano. The various coloration of the rock inside the magma chamber and its vast size - the ground space is equivalent to almost three full-sized basketball courts and the height is such that the full sized Statue of Liberty would easily fit inside - give it a beautifully surreal quality.
- 17 guestrooms
- Restaurant and wine bar
Based in central Reykjavík, Kvosin is styled with a simple, clean and modern character and enjoys a home away from home feel. While a keypad and code replaces your typical hotel room key, the guestrooms are reminiscent of mini apartments with bundles of space and contemporary comforts including a fully-equipped kitchenette. Adding to the hotel’s quirky vibe, accommodation sizes are divided up – not as generic rooms and suites – but as ‘Normal’, ‘Bigger’, ‘Biggest’ and an impressive ‘Larger than Life’. A friendly team go one step further to enhance Kvosin’s amiable ambience and remind you to head up to the top-floor terrace to soak up lovely lake views and then down to the wine bar for a fantastic range of drinks.
- 10 apartments
- Spa, pool and gym
- In-room iPad use
- A la carte dinner service
- Laundry services
- Childcare services
- Satellite TV
Just a hop away from the Old Reykjavik Harbour, the stylish Black Pearl luxury apartments were established in 2013 as high class, premier lodgings for those seeking accommodation with a more independent feel. The sleek hotel’s 10 apartments are divided up into Penthouse, Deluxe, Deluxe Suite Two-Bedroom and Standard, and each feature free Wi-Fi, contemporary furnishings, an in-room iPad and a city-view balcony. Rooms are bright and spacious, with large windows, marble floors and flat-screen TVs with satellite channels in the lounge areas. When you’re not busy enjoying your comfortable rooms, the Reykjavík Art Museum, Volcano House Exhibition Cinema, Harpa Concert Hall, Hallgrímskirkja Church and Reykjavik Swimming Pool are all within striking distance.
- Eight suites
- VIP elevator
- Concierge service
- Exclusive bar
Taking up the 20th floor of Reykjavik’s tallest building, the Höfðatorg Tower, the private Tower Suites offer unmatched panoramic views of the city, sea and mountains through all encompassing floor to ceiling windows. Each of the eight suites is individually designed in a modern and luxurious Scandinavian fashion. All furnishings are custom, handmade or locally sourced and of quality materials. Classic furniture pieces showcasing some of the best in design are littered throughout every room. The spacious bathrooms feature both large walk-in showers and free-standing tubs that allow you to enjoy the view in the most tranquil way possible. Breakfasts are served in a spacious sitting room that becomes a lounge when evening enters. Concierges ensure professional, quality service, and with a VIP elevator directly to the penthouse, privacy is a standard.
- 65 guest rooms
The Alda Hotel is located on the main shopping street, Laugavegur, in the center of Iceland’s vibrant capital city. 65 spacious, calm and stylishly Nordic rooms are available in a range of sizes, ideal for recharging your batteries after a day of exploring Iceland’s magnificent countryside or returning from the city centre, which is just one step away. Every room features access to high speed internet, HD TV and a walk-in shower in the bathroom. Fourth floor rooms allow access to a great balcony where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the colourful city and beyond to the fullest. A gym is located on the ground floor, with access to an outdoor terrace, and offers top-of-the-line exercise equipment including a treadmill, stationary bikes, free weights and a dry sauna. In-room massages can also be arranged. The hotel’s hip Barber Bar offers offers wine, champagne, fresh draught beer, spirits and cocktails, while a host of restaurants and the city’s vibrant nightlife are just all close by.
- 56 rooms and suites
- Restaurant and cocktail bar
Step back to yesteryear at this sophisticated property on the corner of Austurvöllur Square. Harking back to the days of the ’30s, Hotel Borg is adorned with art deco design; black and white photos line the walls and elegant fittings grace the interiors. Fused with a Scandinavian influence, the rooms and suites feature modern style with top-notch amenities and custom-made furniture. What’s more, some enjoy lovely Austurvöllur Square views, while interconnected and superior guestrooms offer further space and luxury. Dining-wise, the hotel’s restaurant, Silfur, is an excellent choice for French cuisine and the bar offers a tempting range of cocktails.
Spend the night in your Reykjavik hotel before continuing your journey tomorrow.
Head north towards the Snaefellsnes peninsula. At Hnappadalur valley we stop at Rauðamelsölkelda, which boasts from having a mineral well with delicious drinking water. A nearby beach is famous for its seal colony. The best time to spot the seals is in summertime (June and July), but they can be seen all year around if you are lucky. Next visit Rauðfeldsgjá ravine, an enormous crack in the mountain wall, and the picturesque Arnarstapi has one of the most interesting beaches in Iceland, full of caves, canyons, holes and cliffs made of columnar basalt, a beautiful reminder of the volcanic energy underneath. Nearby is Hellnar, a tiny village where the bewitching Baðstofa cave is located.
- 28 guestrooms
- Restaurant and bar
- Common room
Found beside the Snæfellsjökull glacier and a vast, windswept beach, within a lava field on the dramatic peninsula, Hotel Budir is surrounded by an array of surreal scenery and indeed, a true wilderness retreat. Settle into your room here and look out to these incredible views of mountains and inlets from your room’s cushioned window-seat. Then, relax from your day of glacier hiking with a soak in your rolltop bath. Further cosy, scenic spots can be found throughout the property. The common room is filled with leather sofas sitting by roaring fires and large picture windows, while the bar offers a telescope and floor-to-ceiling views of seals playing in the bay. There is also a sense of both tradition and romance here, from the sepia photos to the framed memorabilia that adorn the walls and the restaurant’s candle-lit tables which create a lovely gourmet setting.
- Ten bedrooms
- Lounge with small library
Sitting by the harbour in the centre of the picturesque coastal town of Stykkishólmur, this pretty, little 1860s house has been lovingly restored to preserve its classic heritage and create a charming boutique hotel. With just ten rooms, the feel here is friendly with the lounge providing a sociable spot to swap Icelandic stories with fellow guests. The kitchen continues this wholesome theme with homemade, healthy breakfasts prepared from local farmers’ produce. However, your modern-day luxuries are not forgotten with each room boasting an iPad, power shower and lavish beds that are all too easy to sink into after a day of glacial discovery.
Today head to Borgarfjörður to see the magical Hraunfossar waterfall pouring through the lava field into the Hvítá, and the cascades of Barnafoss. We make a stop at Deildartunguhver, Europe’s most powerful geothermal spring. The tour continues to the romantic and historical Reykholt, the home of Iceland’s great saga writer, Snorri Sturluson. Next we‘ll head up on Langjökull glacier. Whilst there are a few man-made ice tunnels and ice caves in various places around the world, there is nothing quite like the ice tunnel that we visit here, high up in a remote area of an Ice Cap Glacier and on such a scale - a world of magnificent, stunning blue ice. Going sub glacial is an experience not to be missed; it is a completely different to natural ice caves found on the edges of glaciers. We will return via the spectacular Kaldidalur mountain pass.
Head to Borgarfjordur to see the magical Hraunfossar waterfall pouring through the lava field into the Hvita, and the cascades of Barnafoss. The tour continues to the historical Reykholt, the home of Iceland’s great saga writer, Snorri Sturluson and to Deildartunguhver, Europe’s most powerful geothermal spring.
Drive into the countryside to Thingvellir, the site of the oldest democratic parliament in the world, and the point where the slowly separating North American and Eurasian tectonic plates can be clearly seen. During the tour, visit Geysir, the geyser which gave its name to all other erupting hot springs, and one of the most active geysers in the area, Strokkur. Continue on to the breathtaking Gullfoss waterfall, then follow the main rift down to Lake Thingvallavatn.
Snorkel in some of the clearest water on the planet in Silfra, a tectonic rift valley in Þingvellir National Park, down a narrow canyon in the lava field located between the continents of America and Europe. The water in Silfra is a mixture of ground water from the surrounding area and melt water from Langjökull glacier in the highlands. It takes the glacial water decades to filter through the massive lava field before it enters the fissure. This makes the water in Silfra one of the purest and clearest in the world, the underwater visibility, in the heavenly blue water, is normally 70-80 meters, better than anywhere else in the world.
It is time to head up to the highlands and explore the unbeaten path of Fjallabaksleið, a famous trail which snakes its way through the desert landscape of the volcanic highlands between Mount Hekla and the icecaps along the south coast. This vast and incredible territory remains mostly unexplored by tourists as access isn't easy - we will make good use of the private super jeep.
The Fjallabak Nature Reserve was established in 1979. The land is mountainous, sculptured by volcanoes and geothermal activity, covered by lavas, sands, rivers and lakes. We’ll stop at the highland hot spring of Strútslaug, a hidden gem, and take a bath literally in the middle of nowhere.
- 51 rooms and suites
- Restaurant and bar
- Games room
- Three outdoor hot tubs
- Astronomical observatory
- In-room massage facilities
Found in the perfect spot of Southern Iceland for outdoor lovers, the log-cabin Ranga Hotel is a cocoon of warmth, ideal for relaxing after Northern Lights viewing and glacier touring. This cosy hideaway boasts uninterrupted panoramas from all parts of the property. Guestrooms look out to the East Ranga River or Mount Helka which are best enjoyed with a soak in your private jacuzzi – drink in hand. If you fancy something a little quirkier, opt for one of the lavish suites. Themed on the seven continents, they are filled with weird and wonderful touches such as Aztec wall-hangings, a didgeridoo, bearskin and bison head. Facing the salmon-filled river, the reputable restaurant features a farmer’s market concept. Local produce and freshly-caught seafood is prepared here to create delicious Nordic dishes with a Mediterranean twist. Venturing outside to the barely polluted rural skies, the luxury amenities continue. Three outdoor hot tubs heated with geothermal water provide an unforgettable place to watch the aurora borealis dance across the sky, while the astronomical observatory with its roll-off roof and telescopes offers superb stargazing.
Today explore and hike through spectacular Lakagigar. Laki is the name of the volcano that caused the infamous 1783 eruption that nearly wiped out Iceland as a nation. Lava and poisonous gas wiped out farms and livestock causing nationwide famine from which the country barely recovered. It is the largest eruption in Icelandic history and although Laki is dormant, evidence from the eruption is left in the form of the Lakagigar crater series, stretching an impressive 25km (156 miles), with spectacular lava formations in bright red and black colours.
The South coast of Iceland is a magical area filled with adventure opportunities. Vast black lava beaches as far as they eye can see, massive waterfalls, fascinating rock formations and enchanting glacier tongues, all within an arm’s reach.
Fenced in between the Atlantic Ocean in the South and a big ice cap to the North as well as two big glacier rivers to the East and West, the area is quite spectacular with the black sand and hard ocean waves beating the shore of Reynisfjara beach. The rock formations of Reynisdrangar are a signature landmark.
During this trip we visit the charming local town Vík í Mýrdal and two of Iceland’s most famous waterfalls; Seljalandsfoss and Skógarfoss both thundering down 60 meters.
Finally, head up to Mýrdalsjökull glacier for the exciting action-packed part of your day, snowmobiling on, or by the glacier. Snowmobiles are fun and easy to ride, and this adventure will gear you up for an exhilarating glacier experience.
- 35 rooms
- Restaurant and bar
- Sauna and steam rooms
Set in the heart of a stunning lava landscape, the Blue Lagoon Silica Hotel is just a short walk from the famous Blue Lagoon and offers guests their own private bathing lagoon. Built in harmony with its surroundings, the hotel has 35 rooms all of which come with a veranda offering spectacular views of the lava fields. Be sure to relax and unwind in the sauna and steam rooms and let the power of the man-made waterfall work its wonders on your muscles. The Lava Restaurant is built into a lava cave and guests will enjoy views of the lagoon while dining on contemporary dishes used Icelandic ingredients.
The Blue Lagoon geothermal spa is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland. Temperatures in the bathing and swimming area of the lagoon averages 37–39 °C (98–102 °F) and the waters, rich in minerals like silica, are reputed to help some people suffering from various skin ailments. The lagoon is man-made and fed by the water output of the nearby geothermal power plant Svartsengi, where superheated water is vented from the ground near a lava flow and used to run turbines that generate electricity. After going through the turbines, the steam and hot water pass through a heat exchanger to provide heat for a municipal water heating system. Then the water is fed into the lagoon for recreational and medicinal users to bathe in.
Private transfer to Reykjavik Airport