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Iceland Hiking Adventure

Iceland Hiking Adventure

Stelkur
  • 11 Days - US$9899

Trip Introduction

Iceland is a hiking destination that rivals the best in the world - it's wildly beautiful and largely undisturbed... and it’s easy to get to from North America and within Europe! On this trip you’ll see some of Iceland's famous waterfalls whilst traversing the island from west to east. For the first seven nights you’ll rest in modern and cozy hotel accommodation, and then for two nights you’ll stay in warm backcountry cabins, for a classic Icelandic hiking experience in the Eastern Fjordland region. Also on this diverse adventure you’ll have the chance to view puffin or ‘Lundi’, kayak on a tranquil lagoon and hike up and down an offshore archipelago volcano. Now is the time to visit Iceland - join us during the Northern Hemisphere summer to experience this Nordic wonder. 

Highlights

• Experience Reykjavík “Smokey Bay”
• Explore Þingvellir and Vatnajökull National Parks
• Visit Vestmannaeyjar Islands
• Hike Eldfell Volcano
• Visit Öxaràrfoss, Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss, Kvernufoss & Svartifoss Waterfalls
• Hike the Ingólfshöfði headland to view wild puffin colonies
• Visit Jökulsárlón Lagoon, sea kayak Heinabergsjökull Lagoon
• Multi-day Eastern Fjord hike to wilderness inlets and backcountry huts

What's included in our Iceland trips?

  • All guiding services
    - Two experienced guides per trip. In Iceland you'll have a Kiwi trip leader and a team of local Icelandic guides.
  • All accommodations
    - Local hotels chosen for their comfort, charm and sublime views. On the 'Stelkur' multi-day trip you'll stay in backcountry cabins.
  • All meals
    - Breakfast, lunch and dinner. You'll be treated to a culinary experience, to rival any in the world.
  • All activities
    - Hiking, kayaking, wildlife viewing, historical sites and more.
  • All transport once at your joining hotel
    - When you're not travelling under your own steam, they'll be comfortable air-conditioned vans to stretch your legs.
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Interactive Trip Map

Itinerary

Day 1 — Arrive Reykjavík

Our trip begins in Reykjavík, the world’s northernmost capital and Iceland’s cultural hub. If you’ve flown in this morning, you’ll be free to make your own way from Keflavík International Airport to the city. Bear in mind you won't be able to check-in to your hotel until 2pm, so we recommend unwinding after your flight at the famous Blue Lagoon hot pools that are on the way to Reykjavík - remember to keep your swimwear handy!  After dropping your bags at the hotel you’ll have some free time to take in the vibrant streets - grab some last-minute gear at the many outdoor clothing stores or explore the harbour. Later, we’ll all meet at the hotel bar for a trip briefing and a welcome drink, where you’ll get to know your fellow travellers and guides before having a delicious meal in a local restaurant. You might find your first evening a little strange, to be strolling around in daylight!
Centerhótel Miðgarður, Reykjavík (Dinner)

Day 2 — Explore Þingvellir National Park

Today the adventure really begins, as we head north east to Þingvellir National Park, home to Iceland’s first National Assembly.  We’ll stretch our legs at our first waterfall called Öxàrarfoss (‘foss’ is Icelandic for waterfall). As strange as it may sound, this is actually a human-made waterfall, as the water was diverted, back in the 9th Century, to provide members and visitors of the Icelandic parliament ‘Althingi’ with water. There are further fascinating folklores about this region that you’ll soon discover! After a picnic lunch on the lake we’ll continue towards the highlands, with stops to learn about Iceland’s Laugarvatan cave people, view the original Geysir Nature Reserve and the Gullfoss waterfall.
Flúðir Hótel, Flúðir (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: Multiple short hikes

Day 3 — Visit the Vestmannaeyjar Islands

This morning we’ll journey south down the coast to board a ferry. Our scenic crossing takes us to the bustling fishing port of Haeimaey, the only inhabited island in the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago. This tiny island hosts a recent, rich volcanic history that we’ll learn about at the world class Eldheimar Exhibition. After fuelling up the body we’ll experience the lava fields with a volcanic hike to the Eldfell peak. At the top you’ll be rewarded with views across to the mainland and a further appreciation for the 1973 eruption. For those that feel up to it, there's the option to continue on and complete the 'Three Peaks Hike'. The rewards don’t stop there; on our return to the town we’ll sample the local beer at Brothers Brewery, a fantastic spot that lays claim to the best beer in Iceland!
Hótel Vestmannaeyjar, Vestmannaeyjar (All meals) 
HIKING DISTANCE: 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) or more depending on where you choose to finish
ASCENT: 200 metres (656 feet)
DESCENT: 200 metres (656 feet)

Day 4 — Hike and explore Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss & Kvernufoss Waterfalls

After returning to the mainland we’ll take a hike to the top of Iceland’s most famous and spectacular waterfalls; first to Seljalandsfoss (where we can also walk behind the falls) and then to Skógafoss and Kvernufoss. After lunch we’ll hunt for stone trolls along the wild and beautiful South Coast - these trolls occupy an immense portion of Icelandic folklore, described as big, stupid and greedy, but sometimes kind and wise... Our journey continues alongside the soaring sea cliffs and moss-covered lava fields, where we’ll be able to see the infamous E15 ‘Eyjafjallajökull’ Volcano, Vatnajökull ice cap and its outlet glaciers. Tonight, we’ll relax in a wonderful, locally-run guesthouse. 
Guesthouse, Öraefi (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: Multiple short hikes

Day 5 — Hike the Ingólfshöfði headland, spotting ‘Lundi‘

Pack your binoculars this morning as we’re looking for ‘Lundi’, also known as puffin, Iceland’s iconic and beloved bird. As we hike the high sea cliffs of the Ingólfshöfði headland we’ll also catch glimpses of guillemots and
skuas. After our hike and a bite to eat we’ll head off to view yet another waterfall, known as Svartifoss, where nearby there are views across Europe’s largest outlet glacier, Skeiðarárjökull.

Optional: Ice Hike (add US$159)

An alternative option to the afternoon's waterfall hike is to strap on crampons, pick up an ice axe and hike on the Svínafellsjökull glacier! Led by specialist glacier guides you’ll explore amazing ice formations checking out the crevasses, seracs, tunnels and pools of glacial meltwater - no previous experience is required! The constant movement of the glacier means every day is different, so your guides will cut steps in the ice and make sure you make the most of the conditions. The ice hike is popular, so we offer advance reservations with the guiding company. At the time of booking, or up until one month before your trip, we can reserve a space for you, or you can leave your decision until the start of your trip and your guides will get you a spot, if it’s available. 

Afterwards, we’ll regroup and head back to our accommodation, for another relaxing evening. 

Guesthouse, Öraefi (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: 12 kilometres (7.5 miles)
ASCENT: 500 metres (1640 feet)
DESCENT: 500 metres (1640 feet)

Day 6 — Visit Jökulsárlón Lagoon, sea kayak Heinabergsjökull Lagoon

After breakfast we’ll visit Jökulsárlón Lagoon, a photographer’s dream and a spot where you may see seals playing amongst the icebergs. After hiking the entire length of Iceland’s shortest river (blink and you’ll miss it), we’ll end up on the beach surrounded by stranded icebergs. After lunch it’s time to swap our hiking boots for a kayak paddle and venture out on the Heinabergsjökull Lagoon. Our professional kayak guides will keep you warm and dry, supplying you with all the necessary gear. We’ll explore amongst the icebergs and if conditions permit, get up close to the terminal face! 
Hótel Höfn or similar, Höfn (All meals)
KAYAKING DISTANCE: 8 kilometres (5 miles)

Day 7 — Hike Stórurð

For anyone flying home this morning after breakfast, it’s a short flight from Höfn to Reykjavík, to connect with afternoon international departures.

If you're short on time, this is where the 7-day 'Stelkur' trip finishes.

For the rest of us, we’ll journey north east to the small town of Egilsstaðir and onwards to the Dyrfjöll mountains, to begin our hike. We begin walking from the pass of Vatnsskarð on a trail that descends down the valley of Mjoidalur to the unique Stórurð, or ‘Giant Boulders’. The scenery today is 'Lord of the Rings'-esque with wild and vibrant-green meadows, scattered snow fields and turquoise ponds. You can decide today whether the jumbled, giant boulders are the aftermath of a troll’s tantrum or the result of a colossal Ice Age rockslide! Whilst relaxing over a picnic lunch keep your eyes peeled for wild reindeer that roam this land. Later, we’ll put our feet up in the charming and family-run Blábjörg Guesthouse, that offers beautiful views over the old harbour.
Blábjörg Guesthouse, Borgarfjörður Eystri (All meals) 
HIKING DISTANCE: 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) 
ASCENT: 300 metres (984 feet)
DESCENT: 600 metres (1968 feet)

Day 8 — Hike to Inlet Breiðuvík

Our multi-day hike takes us east, over a pass and down to the inlet of Brúnavík, where we can enjoy the calm lapping of the Atlantic waves on this stunning and colourful beach. We’ll then head back into the hills, this time aiming for Súluskarð pass, where the contrast of the green meadows against the blue Atlantic Ocean, make this a photographer’s dream. The hiking is moderate today with a few ups and downs! Our trail takes us down into Kjólsvík inlet and from there over a final low pass called Kjólsvíkurvarp, down into yet another deserted inlet, known as Breiðavík. The only building in the area is our cosy home for the evening, a backcountry cabin in a stunning green valley, surrounded by rhyolite hills. You’ll be blown away by the emptiness of this place, and if you're here later in the season, the starry night sky - you won't find light pollution out here!
Breiðavík Cabin, Inlet Breiðavík (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: 14 kilometres (8.7 miles) 
ASCENT: 400 metres (1312 feet)
DESCENT: 400 metres (1312 feet)

 

Day 9 — Hike to Inlet Húsavík

We continue south this morning, over another low mountain range towards Inlet Húsavík. If weather permits today, we’ll take a side hike up Mount Hvítserkur, a peak that certainly stands out in this region, with its light-coloured grey/yellow ignimbrite. Stripes of darker rock run in a zig-zag pattern down the mountain side, giving it a peculiar look. It’s a challenging, optional hike, though offers the best way to soak in the Eastern Fjord views! Tonight, we’ll be in another of Iceland’s charming backcountry cabins, situated in the southernmost creek of the Víknaslóðir hiking trail, at the foot of the Skælingur Peak. For those still with energy, there’s another optional walk after dinner, down to the beach to visit a quaint church that was in service until the seventies. You’ll sleep well tonight, warmed by the log fire that keeps this cabin cosy!
Húsavík Cabin, Inlet Húsavík (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: 13 kilometres (8 miles) 
ASCENT: 500 metres (1640 feet) 
DESCENT: 500 metres (1640 feet)

Day 10 — Hike to Borgarfjöður Eystri, return to Reykjavík

This is our last hiking day, and we’ll be joining the dots, looping back towards the Borgarfjörður Eystri, where we began three days ago. We’ll hike up the pass of Húsavíkurheiði, before descending into the valley of Borgarfjörður where a vehicle will meet us at the road. We’ll take the short drive back to Egilsstaðir (the village we passed through a few days ago). Believe it or not, there’s actually an airport here, so after some refreshments we’ll take a short 1-hour flight back to Reykjavík. We’ll be staying back in the Centerhótel Miðgarður, which as the name suggests, is centrally located, meaning you’ll have a final chance to easily explore this vibrant and small city. We’ll share our last night’s meal together at a local restaurant - a perfect opportunity to relive the adventures shared together with new-found friends.
Centerhótel Miðgarður, Reykjavik (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) 
ASCENT: 600 metres (1968 feet)
DESCENT: 500 metres (1640 feet)

Day 11 — Return home

This morning breakfast will be provided at the hotel, and if you’re flying home today you're free to make your own way to the Keflavík International Airport. If you’re staying on for longer, drop us a line for recommendations! (Breakfast)

Dates

Trip Date Price Status  
Jul 07, 2019 – Jul 17, 2019 US$9899 Filling up
Jul 21, 2019 – Jul 31, 2019 US$9899 Great
Aug 04, 2019 – Aug 14, 2019 US$9899 Great
Aug 18, 2019 – Aug 28, 2019 US$9899 Filling up

Useful Info

No Forced Single Supplement:

Most other travel companies charge all solo travellers a single supplement fee. We don't! When it comes to accommodation, our trip fares are based on a twin-share rate, which means we'll match you up with another person of the same gender to share a room with. If there's no one suitable to share with, there's no forced single supplement!

Trip Start:

If you arrive on the first day of your trip, you’ll be free to make your own way to your accommodation in Reykjavík. An Active Adventures Europe representative will meet you at the joining hotel bar in the evening for welcome drinks and a briefing.

Trip End:

On the last day of your trip you'll need to organise your own transfer to Keflavík International Airport (KEF), in time for your departing flight (you can book a flight home departing anytime). If you’re staying on in Reykjavík, we’ll be happy to book your extra accommodation.

Fitness:

We’ve designed this trip to be fun, challenging and varied. Our trips aren’t scenic bus trips where you observe from a bus window or stand on a touristy viewing platform to take pretty pictures. We’ll get you into the back country to experience Iceland up close so you’ll need a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy yourself. Age and experience are not important, so you don’t need to be young or extremely fit but you should be in the habit of doing some regular exercise. So get out there with a daypack on a short hike from time to time and you’ll be ready to join us.

Transport:

Iceland is a small country, but not quite small enough to get around under your own steam the whole time!  We arrange comfortable, private transport with plenty of room to stretch your legs. Our guides make every journey informative and fun and may even play some local Icelandic music along the way. Getting around the Eastern Fjords during the last part of the trip, will be largely up to you, with your hiking boots on!

Reviews

Why travel with Active Adventures?

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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