Glaciers and Waterfalls

7 days, 6 nights – Mid-June through September

Experience the dramatic and varied scenery of southern Iceland as you travel along the coast of the North Atlantic with glacier-tipped peaks and majestic waterfalls on one side and black-sand beaches on the other. Traverse the most expansive lava field in recorded history, hike the foothills of Europe's largest glacier, and go sailing among icebergs in Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon.

Day 1, Welcome to Iceland!

Our car service will pick you up at the airport and drive you to Reykjavik, where you check into your downtown hotel. Spend the day at leisure with recommendations from us.

Day 2, Thingvellir, Geysir, Gullfoss

We start the day with an early morning pick-up from your hotel and a drive to Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the location of Iceland's Parliament between the years 930 and 1798. Thingvellir is also one of the few places in the world where you can clearly see the effects of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates pulling apart. After lunch, we explore the Geysir hot spring area and Gullfoss waterfalls. We overnight in the country side. Optional activities today include a visit to a horse ranch or snorkeling in Lake Thingvellir.

Day 3, Landmannalaugar Highland Area

Today, we head into the highland area of Landmannalaugar, which features the largest geothermal field in Iceland. Its sculptural peaks are made of rhyolite, causing amazing colorization of the surrounding mountains. Here, we'll take an easy two-hour hike across a lava field to rainbow-streaked Brennisteinsalda (Sulphur Wave) mountain, surely Iceland's most colorful peak. Afterwards, you may choose to take a dip in the natural hot pools nearby. We continue on across one of the world's most expansive lava fields to your hotel in the countryside where you will stay for two nights.

Day 4, Skaftafell National Park and Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

Start the day with a 2-3 hour hike in Skaftafell, Europe's largest national park, which encompasses a breathtaking collection of peaks and glaciers along with varied flora and fauna. Our path will take us past a historic turf farm and scenic waterfalls, with commanding views of glacier tongues and the black desert sands stretching out to sea. We'll picnic overlooking Skaftafellsjokull glacier and, if we're lucky, we'll observe Iceland's highest peak, Hvannadalshnukur. In the afternoon, we will visit the dramatic Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon. Two James Bond movies were filmed in this fantastic location and floating among the ice you may spot seals, eider ducks, and, even witness the glacier calving into the crystal turquoise waters. We will return to your countryside hotel in time for dinner.

Day 5, Black-Sand Beaches of the South Coast

Today, we drive along the south coast of Iceland, taking in some of its most dramatic scenery, exploring waterfalls and black-sand beaches along the way. We'll visit the small town of Vik and Dyrholaey promontory, as well as the breathtaking Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls. We will also explore the area south of notorious Eyjafjallajokull and Katla volcanoes. Check into your hotel in downtown Reykjavik in time for dinner.

Day 6, Free Day in Reykjavik

Today you can explore Reykjavik on your own with recommendations from us. Consider taking a whale and puffin watching tour in the morning and exploring shops and museums in the afternoon. You can also go on a guided bike tour, visit a nearby horse ranch, or just feed the ducks and swans by the picturesque lake in the center of town.

Day 7, Blue Lagoon and Departure

We'll provide private airport transfers 3-hours prior to your scheduled departure time. Guests leaving in the afternoon may want to consider a day at the Blue Lagoon spa, in which case we'll pick you up at your hotel at 11 AM. After spending up to 90 minutes in the Lagoon's warm aqua-blue waters -- renowned for their healing powers -- we'll drive you to the airport in time for your afternoon flight.

Included:

• Accommodations and breakfast for six nights.
• Expert driver-guide and luxury 4x4 vehicle for 4 days (days 2-5).
• Picnic lunches on days 3 and 4.
• Boat ride on Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon on day 4.
• Admission fees to Blue Lagoon spa on day 7.
• Airport transfers.

Not included:

• Airfare to Iceland.
• Personal expenses.
• Meals, except noted.
• Travel insurance highly recommended, please ask for details.

For information, availability and bookings, please send us a note at contact@encounter.is