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Incredible Iceland

March 5, 2024 • TRAVEL GUIDE

Seljalandsfoss Waterfall in Iceland in the summer.

With the help and unmatched expertise of Hidden Iceland, saddle up for the most thrilling itinerary for exploring The Land of Fire & Ice late this summer! Between the unbelievably stunning scenery, wildlife (whales and seals and puffins, oh my), potential to see the Northern Lights (fingers crossed), unfamiliar Nordic cuisine, crazily shifting weather to keep us on our toes, and plenty of activities to keep us busy, we are ready to fully immerse ourselves in this amazing, almost alien world. Read on for the skillfully curated guide for experiencing Incredible Iceland!

Day 1 | Arrival Day

A private driver will be waiting for us at KEF Airport upon our evening arrival to take us to our Reykjavík hotel - Hótel Reykjavík Saga - where we can get some rest after the long flight and wake up on Iceland time!

Charming Reykjavik and Rainbow Street in September

Day 2 | Whale Watching and Private Reykjavík Food & Wine Tour

After breakfast at the hotel (complimentary when working with JET, of course) we'll take the short stroll down to the Old Harbour in Reykjavík, where we'll meet our guide for a whale watching rib boat tour in Faxaflói. This tour offers a chance to get up close and personal to breaching whales. Previous tourists have spotted orcas, minke whales, humpback whales, fin whales, dolphins, and even the odd blue whale. We'll just have to wait and see what we spot on our day out!

Once back on dry land, a local guide will meet us for a captivating Private Food & Wine Tour of Reykjavík, providing a delicious immersion into Icelandic culinary culture. As we meander through the city center, we'll get to savor an array of local flavors, artfully paired with regional beers and wines at enticing establishments. Our appetite for both food and culture will be superbly indulged! I mean, whales and wine?? I honestly can't deal with my excitement for this and might actually cry over seeing whales. So I guess it's actually whales, wine, and gently weeping. (Boy do I enjoy alliteration.)

Whale watching in Reykjavik in September - a humpback whale breaching!

Day 3 | South Coast Highlights

Our guide will pick us up from the hotel to embark on our exploration of the entire South Coast of Iceland. We’ll visit Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls (cue TLC) before taking a walk on Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach. We'll continue our drive further east as spectacular glaciers and Iceland's highest mountains come into view, until we arrive at our next hotel - Fosshótel Glacier Lagoon - perfectly located for spotting the Northern Lights on a clear night!

Skógafoss waterfall in Iceland

Day 4 | Glacier Adventures within Vatnajökull National Park

After a good night's rest, we'll set off on another amazing day. We'll start by making our way to Falljökull for our glacier hike! We'll trek all the way up to the astonishing ice fall of the glacier, exploring the textures and features, and walk on the bottom of its crevasses. We are like, so outdoorsy and athletic.

Once we come off the ice, we head to a locals' favorite in Iceland. Jökulsárlón will be sure to astonish with its icebergs floating around and washing up on the black sand shores of beautiful Diamond Beach. Here, we'll join a zodiac boat tour to better explore this expansive lagoon and see the calving face of the glacier. It's apparently often possible to spot seals swimming and resting on the icebergs! We'll return to the same hotel for a last night in Vatnajökull National Park.

Day 5 | South Coast Day with Fishing

After a couple of days filled with big adventures, it’s time to slow the pace down and have a more relaxed day. We'll take our time as we travel back west along the South Coast, stopping at more special spots. We'll start with an easy hike along the colorful, feather-like ridges of the (impossible to pronounce) Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon.

Upon reaching the picturesque town of Vík, it’ll be time for lunch. Afterwards, we'll grab the rods and waders for the Skálakot Classic Fishing Tour! * We'll go to the Rimhúsaá river, which is fed by meltwater from Eyjafjallajökull glacier. We can expect to catch Arctic Char and Brown Trout on top of truly beautiful surroundings and 360° staggering views.

Following fishing, we'll make our way to our next hotel - Hótel Rangá - located in the middle of the beautiful South Coast, away from any city lights, for another chance to witness the Northern Lights dancing in the Arctic sky!

* For your own trip, fishing can be swapped out for other activities like a black beach ATV tour, horseback riding on Icelandic horses, the Icelandic Lava Show in Vík, or removed altogether for a more relaxed day if preferred.

Day 6 | Fjallabak Highlands Exploration

Today, we'll embark on an extraordinary journey into the heart of the Icelandic highlands to explore the magnificent Fjallabak Nature Reserve — an undisputed gem treasured by locals. This area boasts a breathtaking diversity of colors, awe-inspiring land formations, and a unique ecosystem that should undoubtedly leave us utterly spellbound. Each tour is a unique adventure, with the route determined by daily road and weather conditions.

Among the remarkable sites we may encounter are the iconic Mt. Mælifell, adorned with vibrant green moss, standing majestically amidst the black ash desert of Mælifellssandur. The geothermal oasis of Landmannalaugar is just a glimpse of the awaiting wonders in this extraordinary natural sanctuary. The Fjallabak Nature Reserve will surely captivate, where every moment is a revelation of Iceland's unparalleled beauty.

We'll end the day at the dreamy Dalur Lake House in the Golden Circle, a luxurious and chic retreat with access to the Kiðjaberg Golf Course. Here, a private chef will craft exquisite culinary experiences tailored to our preferences. It will be such a treat to relax in serene surroundings, savoring the beauty of our stunning lodge, exclusivity to nature, and personalized service. Dalur Lake House promises a haven of comfort and indulgence, a perfect base for the upcoming adventure.

Day 7 | Golden Circle, Friðheimar Tomato Greenhouse & Golf

The famed Golden Circle area offers a diverse range of attractions from geothermal areas like Geysir to vast farmlands. The day begins with the Gullfoss waterfall, one of Iceland’s most powerful, and from which the name Golden Circle is derived.

Next is a visit to the Friðheimar Tomato Greenhouse for a delicious, all-inclusive lunch right among all the plants in the greenhouse. Has the makings of a truly unique experience! Finally, the day will take us to Þingvellir National Park, which also holds great historical and geological significance. As we make our way back, we’ll stop by Kerið Volcanic Crater. Depending on weather, we may adjust the itinerary to start or end the day with golf, conveniently walkable to the lake house... Though, I'm envisioning cocktails in the hot tub while the boys golf.

Day 8 | Lava Tunnel & Hvammsvík Hot Springs

On our last day of touring, our adventure begins after breakfast for an exploration of the UNESCO Global Geopark on Reykjanes Peninsula. Our first destination is The Lava Tunnel, one of Iceland's longest lava caves! Here, we'll delve into the inner workings of a volcanic eruption, tracing the path of lava from the Leitahraun eruption 5,200 years ago.

Continuing further North, we'll head into the marvelous Hvallfjörður Fjord (also known as "The Whale Fjord" and much easier to pronounce), to the newly opened Hvammsvík hot springs. These baths are located right on the edge of the fjord, offering breathtaking views of the undulating tides right below, making this the perfect place to relax and end the day. Back in Reykjavík, and back at Hótel Reykjavík Saga, we'll have time for our last dinner in the city, where we'll say goodbye to our Hidden Iceland guide.

the stunning Hvallfjörður Fjord (also known as "The Whale Fjord" and much easier to pronounce), to the newly opened Hvammsvík hot springs. These baths are located right on the edge of the fjord, offering breathtaking views with the undulating tides right below, making this the perfect place to relax and end the day.

Day 9 | Departure Day

Today marks the last day of our Iceland adventure! A private driver will pick us up from our hotel to transfer us back to KEF Airport for our journey home. I'll use the flight to relax, reflect on Incredible Iceland, and get started on planning your trip!



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