Iceland | Best of the Southern Coast
The island of Iceland brings the heat and the ice
8 days/7 nights
Activity LevelActivity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
Venture to one of today’s hottest travel destinations: Iceland! While you won’t find tropical heat waves, palm trees, or coconuts on this island, you will find some 30 active volcanoes, glistening glaciers, steaming hot springs, and gushing geysers, just to name a few of its natural attractions. Trek across the southern coast of Iceland that features a plethora of iconic waterfalls, canyons, icebergs, and black sand beaches. Explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and Golden Circle by foot, bathe in natural steamy waters, taste freshly-caught shellfish while sailing, and strap on your crampons for a glacier walk! Come discover the rich and vibrant culture full of Viking legends and ancient lore in this fascinating country and find out why it’s worth it to check Iceland off of your travel bucket list!
- Discover the history of Iceland, a country settled by Viking explorers, at the Viking World Museum
- Drive through Iceland’s capital Reykjavík framed by icy mountains and colorful roofed homes
- Hike around the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and see Gerduberg, an area of hexagonal basalt columns, and Raudamelsölkelda, a legendary mineral spring thought to have healing properties
- Sail around multiple islands looking for puffins and commorants
- Watch fishermen use a net-plough catching method to bring up some shellfish to savor
- Sample tomato soup made from greenhouse-grown tomatoes at Friđheimar greenhouse
- Explore the Golden Circle, witnessing the water roar from the Gullfoss waterfall and watch the Great Geysir and Strokkur geyser erupt
- Surround yourself with immense icebergs at Glacier Lagoon and hike along Diamond Beach where more icebergs break the horizon
- Trek across glaciers with crampons at Skaftafell National Park
A few more reasons you gotta go!
A geological phenomenon: Iceland boasts some of the largest glaciers in Europe and notably active volcanoes
Hear the lore, legends, and history of this Nordic country
Catch glimpses of the aurora borealis
Reykjavík Iceland KEF
Reykjavík Iceland KEF
Reykjavík / Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Welcome to “The Land of Fire and Ice!” • You’ll be met during your morning arrival at the Keflavík International Airport where a guide will meet and transfer you to the nearby Viking World Museum for breakfast • Explore the museum that lays out the history of Iceland, a country settled by Viking explorers • Drive through Iceland’s capital Reykjavík framed by icy mountains and colorful roofed homes • Head towards Snæfellsnes Peninsula and stop at Gerduberg, a fascinating natural feature of hexagonal basalt columns, as well as at Raudamelsölkelda, a legendary mineral spring thought to have healing properties.
About Fosshótel Hellnar
Relax in Fosshótel Hellnar’s elegantly simple accommodations that will meet all standards of convenience and beauty. Modernly decorated rooms offer peaceful views of the mountains and ocean while inside you can enjoy WiFi, television, and delicious Icelandic cuisine at the hotel’s restaurant. Fosshótel Hellnar is surrounded by natural wonders easily accessible by guests. Hellnar, an ancient fishing village at the tip of Snæfellsnes Peninsula, serves as the area’s entrance to Snaefellsjokull National Park.
Be inspired by the diverse bird species and marine life that call this peninsula home in the western region of the country • Explore the peninsula on foot, gazing at the awe-inspiring mountains and rocky coast • Watch for old historical washed-up relics on the shore • Sail around multiple islands after taking off from Stykkishólmur, riding the waves and stay on the lookout for puffins, cormorants, and many other sea birds • Savor fresh fresh-caught shellfish on board after witnessing a net-plough catching the fish while on your boat tour.
Borgarfjörđur / Thingvellir National Park
Following breakfast, explore Borgarfjörđur region, a fjord located in the western part of the country • This area serves as the setting for many of Iceland’s 40 sagas, stories of farmers in the 13th century • Visit the village of Reykholt and the town of Borgarnes • Enjoy the rugged terrain framed with mountains and the Hvítá river, Hraunfossar waterfalls, and Hallmundarhraun lava rock features • Hike in the Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site where you’ll view the landscape that tells a story of the earth’s crust, faults and fissures evident
About Fosshótel Hekla
A cozy hotel located near Mt. Hekla, the Golden Circle, and other famous stunning sites, Fosshótel Hekla features bright rooms, outdoor hot tubs to watch the stars at night, and a restaurant and bar with a 180-degree view of outdoor scenery. Fosshótel Hekla offers 42 unique rooms with WiFi, TV, wooden floors and comfortable beds for travelers.
The Golden Circle
Prepare to experience Iceland’s most iconic natural features as you explore more of The Golden Circle, a scenic route in southern Iceland • Today’s highlights include the stunning Gullfoss waterfall that is fed from the Hvítá river and the Geysir Geothermal Field that offers views of the popular Great Geysir and Strokkur geyser • Later you will visit Friđheimar greenhouse, where you can sample tomato soup made from the in-house fresh tomatoes • Learn about the tomato farming that takes place in this famous greenhouse • Relax this afternoon and evening in the Secret Lagoon, bathing in its not-so-secret natural warm waters surrounded by greenhouses and rocky shores
Vik / Fjađrárgljúfur
Immerse yourself in more picture-perfect Icelandic natural wonders as you survey the staggeringly gorgeous Seljalandsfoss waterfall that spills over mossy cliffs • Trek across black sand beaches lining the Atlantic Ocean near the village of Vík • Learn about the legends that live among the coast’s rocky pillars • Drive through the southern sand desert before exploring the Edhraun lava field, a result of a single volcanic eruption creating an expansive lava flow • Hike the ruggedly wild Fjađrárgljúfur Canyon before heading to your lodging.
About Fosshótel Glacier Lagoon
Fosshótel Glacier Lagoon boasts strikingly unique geometric architecture that contrasts the soft rolling bluffs that surround it. This lodging is built with dark wood and black contemporary features with high ceilings and plenty of windows. Enjoy the luxurious decorations and modern rooms offering all necessary amenities including WiFi, TV, and a refrigerator. Views of the glistening hills and ocean are right outside your window.
Jökulsárlón / Blue Ice Experience
Break a sweat traversing icy landscapes today • At the Glacier Lagoon, Jökulsárlón, you’ll be surrounded by immense icebergs and you might just spot a few seals catching some sunny rays • Hike along Diamond Beach where you’ll view more icebergs that appear as diamonds floating in the water • Farther southeast, we’ll visit sand plains, find the Vatnajökull ice cap, and land in Skaftafell National Park to hike across glaciers with crampons • Take in the vastness of the ice formations.
Reynisfjara Skógar / Reykjavík
Admire more coastal views and black sand beaches at Reynisfjara • Drive or hike to the famous DC10 plane, a U.S. Navy aircraft, that lies wrecked and abandoned on the southern coast • Before returning to Reykjavik, witness the dramatic roaring Skógafoss waterfall that tumbles 60 meters down cliffs • Enjoy dinner at a downtown restaurant.
About Fosshótel Reykjavík
A luxurious seaside accommodation tucked in Reykjavík’s business district, this remarkable hotel provides guests with fashionable lounging spaces, clean and contemporary rooms with natural lighting, a TV, and spacious floorplans. This 16-floor building stands out among the cityscape and provides rich views of the city and bay. Enjoy delectable dishes at the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, Haust or sip a beer at the Beer Garden.
Relax before your return home in the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal natural spa located on Reykjanes peninsula • This steaming body of water is rich in silica and sulfur, ingredients that result in glowing skin • Drive back to the airport to bid farewell to this magnificent country.
*Trip itineraries are subject to change without notice due to road, weather and other factors outside of our control, for the safety and enjoyment of our guests, as deemed necessary and appropriate by Austin Adventures and Icelandic Mountain Guides.
Arrival & Departure
Day one of your trip begins with a morning pick-up by your guide at the Keflavík International Airport. Your trip ends with an afternoon drop-off on Day 8 at Keflavík International Airport. We recommend drop-off approximately 3 hours prior to your flight departure time.
Hiking: Most days include 1- to 4-mile guided hikes ranging from easy to moderate. Sometimes more than one walk or hike will be done in a day. This adventure includes hikes in geothermal basins, to waterfalls, in national parks, through mountainous areas, along canyons and down black sand beaches.
Swimming/Soaking: Swim and soak in a multitude of natural geothermal hot springs throughout the journey.
Glacier Walking: Professional glacier guide will provide gear and instructions, no prior experience necessary.
Discovery: An underpopulated island marooned near the top of the globe, Iceland is, literally, a country in the making. It’s an immense volcanic laboratory where mighty forces shape the earth: geysers spurt, mudpots bubble, ice-covered volcanoes grumble and glaciers cut great pathways through the mountains. Its supercharged splendor seems designed to remind visitors of their utter insignificance in the greater scheme of things and the ancient legends that come before their excursions. And it works a treat: some crisp clean air, an eyeful of the cinematic landscapes, and everyone is transfixed. It’s the power of Icelandic nature to turn the plain into the extraordinary. A dip in a pool becomes a soak in a geothermal lagoon; a casual stroll can transform into a trek across a glittering glacier; and a quiet night at your accommodation may mean front-row seats to the aurora borealis’ curtains of fire, or the soft, pinkish hue of the midnight sun. Come play in Iceland with the experts in adventure travel!
Austin Adventures guides are experienced facilitators and regional experts. They will take the time to explain the details of each activity, answer any questions, and demonstrate the use of all equipment. Each activity has been carefully planned to include options for all levels. Most importantly, your guides will help you select the distance that’s right for you.
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals: breakfasts, lunches, and dinners are included as indicated by itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.
After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.
Included in the Trip Price
- English speaking driver guide from arrival on day 1 to departure on day 8.
- Transport in a minibus
- Accommodation in 3-4*hotels for 7 nights
- Half board from breakfast on day 1 to breakfast on day 8 (breakfast and dinner)
- Viking Sushi boat tour
- Glacier walk
- Friðheimar greenhouse visit including lunch
- Entrance fee to the Secret Lagoon
- Entrance fee to the Blue Lagoon
- Local taxes
Not Included in the Trip Price
- Lunch during the trip except on day 4.
- Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
- Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
- All types of personal insurance.
- Personal expenses.
- Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
- Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
Curtis brings more than 10 years of professional travel experience to Austin Adventures. During this time he has explored some of the world’s most distinctive and culturally rich destinations. Highlights include riding the rails of India, teaching rural health education in the Peruvian Andes, learning to scuba dive in Australia, gorilla trekking in Uganda, mentoring students in Costa Rica, trekking through Asia’s Golden Triangle, exploring Cuba’s countryside by horseback, and learning to tango in Buenos Aires. Curtis’s professional resume includes years on the ground in Southeast Asia supervising a destination management company as well as roles in product development with several of North America’s largest young adult and adventure travel companies. When he’s not traveling, Curtis can be found at home with his family exploring Vermont’s gorgeous Green Mountains.