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Scenic Trails Self Drive
Hereâs the self-guided version of our popular âScenic Trailsâ tour! Enjoy the freedom of getting in touch with Icelandâs unique untouched natural landscape on an itinerary that suits your independent travel and adventure style.
Enjoy the freedom of getting in touch with the untouched natural landscape that makes Iceland so unique. Weâve set up the trip, so youâll have the flexibility to combine self-guided nature hiking on famous day hike routes with exploring Iceland by car at your own pace. Enjoy a relaxed travel pace and minimal hotel changes so you can experience each area to its fullness. Youâll use the free Icelandic Wapp hiking guide app to assist you with planning and to guide you along well-known Icelandic hiking routes.
Prefer to hike in a small group tour led by an expert hiking guide? Consider our Scenic Trails multi-day guided tour!
What is Wapp?
Wapp (the Icelandic Walking App) is a free Icelandic app with a collection of over 300 GPS tracks for hiking, trekking or walking in Iceland, along with interesting information about each hiking areaâs nature, history, folk tales, and the environment in general.) The Wapp can help you choose the best trails to fit your fitness level and itinerary, making this the perfectly tailored hiking holiday! Enjoy a great variety of trails, along with the security of always knowing your location as you hike each route. .Many of the hiking routes in the system are provided free, but there are some itineraries that require a fee that is purchased through Wapp itself.
Wappâs Main features:
Download the app beforehand and use it offline. The Wapp is available on App Storeand Google Play
Displays varied trails in Iceland by using your phone as a personal travel guide.
Stores trails on your phone for offline use.
Displays a collection of nearby trails that are visible and accessible on your phone
Opens up possibilities of diverse trips or exploring new areas.
Provides a simple trail search by length of trip, elevation, difficulty or territory.
Required Car Type: Category 5.0 or higher (some of the itinerary unpaved wilderness roads that require a sturdy 4WD vehicle
**Please note that the package price is based on 9 x 24-hour rental days starting at the time of rental. If your flight arrives early on day 1 and departs late on day 10, an additional supplement will be charged unless you choose to return the car in Reykjavik when the 9-day rental is up and use our Airport Direct Transfer
Day 1 Hveragerdi
Highlights: Keflavik The Blue Lagoon Hveragerdi Hveragerdi Hot Spring Area
Geothermal Lagoon â Flower Village â Geothermal Greenhouses
Approximate distance: 100km / 62miles
Pick up the car at the airport and start your Iceland experience.
From Keflavik International Airport, we recommend driving the southern coast of the Reykjanes peninsula towards your first overnight stay in the charming village of Hveragerdi. This village is one of the few sites in the world located directly on top of a geothermal area and, because of its many greenhouses heated by hot water from nearby springs it is often called the âflower village.â
If your flight arrives early in the day, you might stop at the Blue Lagoon (a short distance from the airport) for a chance to relax in the soothing geothermal mineral waters.
Important: Please note that admission to the Blue Lagoon must be booked in advance.
Reykjadalur Hot Spring Hike- If you arrive earlier in the day, you might consider getting acquainted with Icelandâs landscape on the popular Reykjadalur hiking trail. The trailhead is near HveragerĂ°i. Hike through a colorful valley with steam vents on well-marked trails leading to a hot spring river. The naturally heated water is ideal for a hot spring bath. Itâs truly unique to bathe in a hot river in the middle of wilderness! Admission is free for the hiking trail and hot spring bathing
Good to know:
The hike to the hot spring is about 3 km (1.8 miles) each way and takes 1-1.5 hours each way. The trail does continue to other points of interest if you would like a longer hike
Hiking level- easy to moderate. There is some steep uphill walking in the beginning; the trail is well-marked
There are no changing rooms but there is a primitive changing area
Do your part to save nature by staying on the boardwalk around the hot spring pool
Hiking boots strongly recommended
Take some water and a snack- and donât forget your swimsuit
Bring a bag to keep your clothes dry while you bathe.
Bring a bag to store your trash during the hike
Overnight stay in Hveragerdi
Day 2 BorgarfjordurMeals: Breakfast
Hvalfjordur â Borgarfjordur:
Highlights: Hvalfjordur Fjord Husafell Glymur Hraunfossar Deildartunguhver
Whale Fjordâ Fabulous Hiking Opportunities â Europeâs most powerful hot springs â Lava Falls
Approximate driving distance: 209km / 130 miles
Breakfast at your accommodation. Drive along the scenic coastline of Hvalfjordur Fjord, one of IcelandÂŽs longest and deepest. This area has quite a few excellent hiking routes, several which pass by interesting historical sites. The scenic Husafell area in Borgarfjordur is another hiking option. It is one of Icelandersâ beloved nature getaways, and you can find scenic hiking paths that suit different hiking levels.
For experienced hikers, Glymur waterfall in Hvalfjordur is an option, but please note this trail requires a good level of fitness and going over some challenging terrain, including walking directly through a river.
Glymur is Icelandâs second highest waterfall, which descends gracefully in streaming ribbons down a 200-metre (658 foot) drop into a massive canyon adorned in lush, green moss. Both the fjord and the waterfall are linked to a local legend about a mythical whale that swam up the waterfall into the lake at the top. Eerily enough, whale bones have been found here! The only way to reach the waterfall is by hiking to it.
The hike is a scenic adventure. Be ready to tackle narrow dirt trails, walk through a cave, and navigate steep, rocky and often muddy areas. Part of the trail includes walking through a small river on a natural log bridge while holding on to a suspended wire.
You will need to have good hiking boots and should bring drinking water and snacks. Some people like to carry along a pair of wading shoes to use during the water crossing on the trail, but this is not required.
Before heading to your accommodation, visit the amazing Hraunfossar âLavaâ waterfalls and Deildartunguhver, the most powerful rushing hot springs in Europe. The Krauma Natural Geothermal spa near Deildartunguhver is a wonderful to relax after a day of hiking adventures.
Overnight in the Borgarfjordur area.
Day 3 SiglufjordurMeals: Breakfast
Reykir - Hofsos â Siglufjordur :
Highlights: Glanni Waterfall Hofsos Trollaskagi â Troll Peninsula Siglufjordur
Elven waterfall â Intriguing Crater â Lava Rock Canyon â Seaside Basalt Columns
Breakfast at your accommodation. It is nice to start your day in Borgarfjordur with a refreshing short walk to Glanni, a multi-tiered waterfall rumored to be a home for elves and trolls. We also suggest visiting the 3,500-year-old Grabrok crater, which has hiking trails to the top of the crater for remarkable views over moss-covered lava fields. The hike up the crater is steep, but steps have built on part of the route to make the hike easier. Continue your scenic journey as you cross Holtavorduheidi plateau, the gateway between North and South Iceland.
Head to the Vididalur Valley and its rushing river. Here you might visit Kolugljufi for a fun hike in this lava rock canyon. Continue to the charming village of Hofsos and take a short stroll down to Stadarbjargarvik inlet to admire a group of beautifully geometric basalt columns located. Then drive to the stunning Trollaskagi (Troll Peninsula) with its amazing views of mountains and fjords to your destination in Siglufjordur town.
Overnight stay in Siglufjordur for the next two nights. Enjoy the evening in this charming town with friendly restaurants and a great view of the fjord.
Day 4 SiglufjordurMeals: Breakfast
Siglufjordur and the Troll Peninsula:
Highlights: Siglufjordur The Herring Era Museum Trollaskagi â Troll Peninsula Drangey Island
Distance travelled: Variable
You have the option of contacting topmountainering.is for guided tours of the area.
Breakfast at your accommodation. Trollaskagi, The Troll Peninsula, is a hidden gem in Iceland, a bit separated from the rest of the country by its high mountain range. Siglufjordur is becoming known for its excellent outdoor recreation possibilities. Exciting guided tours from the area include kayaking, boating and day hikes led by an excellent locally based mountain guide. Weâre happy to help set up a tour with you. Other activities in the area include deep sea fishing, horseback riding and golf.
This is also a great area for culture, history and nature. The Herring Era Maritime Museum brings to life the early 20th century herring migration that transformed Iceland into a modern nation. Holar is a great area for discovering Icelandâs heritage, with buildings representing nine centuries of history. You can take a guided boat tour to Drangey Island, a great place for birdwatching and discovering the legend of the Viking outlaw who lived here (Grettir the Strong.) Relax in the geothermal waters of the Infinity Pool in Hofsos. The poolâs clever design seems as though you are swimming right in the ocean, and youâll have great views of Drangey Island.
Or simply enjoy the atmosphere of Siglufjordur, The town has great restaurants, an art gallery, a folk music center , its own microbrewery (Segull 67), and an artisanal chocolate shop.
Overnight in the Siglufjordur area
Day 5 Lake MyvatnMeals: Breakfast
Godafoss â Hverfjall â Lake Myvatn Wonders:
Highlights: Akureyri Godafoss Myvatn Krafla Hverfjall Myvatn Nature Baths
Waterfall of the Gods â Geothermal & Volcanic Activity â Outdoor Nature Spa
Approximate driving distance: 245km / 146miles
Breakfast at your accommodation. The day begins with spectacular views of mountains and coast as you head along the Troll Peninsula and Eyjafjordur fjord. Make a short stop in Akureyri, the colorful âcapitalâ of North Iceland. After some time to enjoy the atmosphere of this charming town, drive to picturesque Godafoss, the âWaterfall of the Godsâ, where you can walk on footpaths giving you different views of the falls.
Head on to the Lake Myvatn Nature Reserve, a geological wonderland of amazing landscape contrasts. With the powerful peaks of Mt. Hverfjall and Krafla volcano as a backdrop, Lake Myvatn has a surprising serenity that is ideal for light hiking.
Summertime is peak birding season, so itâs good to have some binoculars on hand to catch diverse species, possibly even the rare Barrowâs golden eye. Begin your Myvatn adventure with a hike to Hverfjall crater. We also suggest bringing a flynet for your face since there can be non-biting midges around the lake.
Visit the enchanting Dimmuborgir, where a series of trails leads around the strange âDark Castlesâ with their rugged stacks of towering rocks. Local legends have it that this area is full of guardian spirits, including elves and trolls. You can indeed feel as though you are in a different world when you walk through this area.
Take a walk through the Martian- like terrain of Namaskard geothermal field. Here youâll view boiling fumaroles, brightly colored slopes and violently bubbling pools of mud.
A great way to end the day is with a visit to the Myvatn Nature Baths where you can have a a relaxing swim in these azure blue geothermal springs (not included in price). Itâs a relaxing reward for an adventurous day in the outdoors!
Overnight in the Lake Myvatn area
Day 6 Lake MyvatnMeals: Breakfast
Vatnajokull National Park - Asbyrgi - Jokulsargljufur - Dettifoss:
Highlights: Vatnajokull National Park Ăsbyrgi Hljodaklettar Jokulsargljufur National Park Dettifoss
Edge of the Arctic â Horseshoe Canyon â Europeâs Mightiest Waterfall â Echoing Rocks
Approximate driving distance: 270km / 168miles
Breakfast at your accommodation. Today you will be hiking in the northern part of Vatnajokull National Park, the largest national park in Western Europe. The park is named after vast Vatnajokull Glacier and covers about 14% of Icelandâs surface.
Drive around the fossil rich Tjornes Peninsula on the edge of the Arctic Circle as you head to Vatnajokull National Park. Your first discovery in the park is the enormous horseshoe shaped Asbyrgi canyon. According to Norse mythology, the canyon is the hoof-print left by Sleipnir, the god Odinnâs magical eight-legged horse. There are several trails here of varying difficulties. You can walk down to the canyonâs lake and view birdlife or hike up high to look down on the canyon area.
Continue onwards to Hljodaklettar or âEcho Rocksâ, a distinctive cluster of angular rock columns. The unique shape of the rocks creates interesting acoustics and echoes. Hljodaklettar is near Jokulsargljufur, Icelandâs longest canyon. The canyon was carved by a river flowing from Vatnajokull Glacier.
Explore the lush vegetation and forested areas of Hljodaklettar where stones stand like troll sentinels- several trails run through this surreal area, and itâs fun choosing which route best fits your hiking style.
The day ends with an unforgettable visit to Europeâs mightiest waterfall, Dettifoss, a thundering cascade of glacial water and mist among shattered cliffs. An easy trail leads you down to the waterfall. Afterwards, return to the Lake Myvatn area for your overnight.
Overnight in the Myvatn area.
Day 7 HellaMeals: Breakfast
Kjolur - Hveravellir â Gullfoss â Geysir :
Highlights: Kjolur Hveravellir Geysir Gullfoss
Historical Highland Trackâ Glacial Views â Geothermal Scenery â Golden Falls and Active Geysers
Approximate driving distance: 470km / 292 miles
Note: Expect some roads you drive on today to be quite bumpy with areas where you will need to drive slowly. Expect driving time to be around 6.5 hours.
Breakfast at your accommodation. Today you will drive into the wilderness heartland via the Kjolur mountain track. This route goes back to Viking times and heads straight through Icelandâs uninhabited interior highlands, passing between the mighty Langjokull and Hofsjokull glaciers. You will see Icelandâs true remoteness and nature at its rawest. This area of black sand deserts has numerous scenic walking paths along the way, dotted with hidden geothermal treasures and green oases. The highlands also hold ghost stories and tales of outlaws, including the famous couple Eyvindur and Halla.
You should definitely make a stop at Hveravellir, a multi-colored geothermal field with a natural pool that is perfect for a relaxing break. (Not included in price; bathing fee paid in Hveravellir). While in Hveravellir, be sure to check out the cave where outlaws used to hide from travelers riding through the area. Itâs quite something to imagine what it must have been like living here in primitive conditions and far from other people!
The Kjolur highland route emerges into civilization again in the Gullfoss and Geysir area. Gullfoss, the majestic waterfall of sparkling mist and thundering water, is situated on the Hvita River, which is fed by Icelandâs second largest glacier, Langjokull. The intriguing great Geysir area is nearby, a steamy geothermal field of bubbling mud and high-shooting hot springs.
Overnight in the Hella area.
Day 8 HellaMeals: Breakfast
Day in Landmannalaugar :
Highlights: Landmannalaugar Hekla
Hekla Volcano â Brilliantly-Colored Wilderness â Hot Springs
Approximate driving distance: 225 km / 140 miles
Note: Expect some roads you drive on today to be quite bumpy with areas where you will need to drive slowly. You will also need to drive through some unbridged rivers.
Breakfast at your accommodation. Icelandâs southern highland wilderness sets a surreal stage for todayâs adventure. The uninhabited areas of Landmannalaugar and Fjallabak are a geological paradise with volcanic craters, multi-colored rhyolite mountains, steaming lava fields, and the ominous Hekla volcano.
There are many beautiful walking trails in the area. You can find out more information on trails and conditions from Landmannalaugarâs information desk and the mountain hut wardens.
Afterwards, we suggest you enjoy the benefits of this geothermal area with a refreshing swim in Landmannalaugarâ s hot spring fed river, one of the most unique natural springs in Iceland. (Not included, entrance paid at Landmannalaugar)
Overnight again in the Hella area.
Day 9 ReykjavikMeals: Breakfast
Thorsmork â Seljalandsfoss - Reykjavik :
Thorâs Playground â Glacial Views â Walk behind a Waterfall
Approximate driving distance: 225km / 140 miles
Note: Expect some roads you drive on today to be quite bumpy with areas where you will need to drive slowly. You will also need to drive through some unbridged rivers.
Breakfast at your accommodation. There are several options of what to do today.
One option is to visit Thorsmork Nature Reserve (also known as the Thorâs Playground). This enchanted hidden valley is nestled between two glaciers and protected by rivers and mountains. However, we do NOT advise driving to ThorsmĂ¶rk yourself. Instead, we recommend taking a scheduled bus transfer today from Hella town. The mountain road to Thorsmork is extremely rough and rocky to drive and best suited for big 4X4 Jeeps or specially designed buses. The road also requires crossing rapid glacier rivers with no bridges by driving directly through the water. Crossing glacial rivers is very dangerous, as the water conditions change suddenly and can become deadly. If you wish to visit Thorsmork, please contact your Iceland Travel representative. Weâll be happy to book a round-trip scheduled transfer or a guided day visit to Thorsmork to/from Hella using a large 4X 4 vehicle and a driver who knows how to handle Icelandâs glacial rivers.
On the way to Thorsmork, stop at Seljalandsfoss waterfall, where you can gain a different perspective by walking behind the curtain of cascading water. Once within Thorsmork, walk along marked trails in the beautiful scenery of delicate trees and green grass surrounded by towering mountains and glacial tongues.
IMPORTANT: Do not go further than Stakkholtsgja. An expert guide is needed to help traverse rivers and navigate more dangerous hiking routes.
After this amazing day, head to ReykjavĂk to enjoy your final night in Icelandâs lively cultural capital.
Overnight stay in Reykjavik.
Day 10 KeflavikMeals: Breakfast
Approximate distance: 52 km / 32 miles
Breakfast at your accommodation. Drive back to Keflavik International Airport. * We recommend departing your hotel in Reykjavik no later than at least 3 hours before your flight departure. It takes approximately 1 hour to drive to the airport, and check-in will start 2 hours before your departure.
If you did not visit the Blue Lagoon on your way to the city on your first day but have some free time today, you might want to use the opportunity en route to the airport. For this detour, please be sure to allow for at least 2-2,5 hours extra so youâll have ample time at the lagoon. Your rental car should be returned to the airport service area, which is located only 2 minutes from the airport building. A shuttle will then transport you to the departure hall.
Follow an itinerary that puts you right into the best areas to enjoy some of Icelandâs greatest hiking routes such as the Myvatn area, Landmannalaugar and Thormork
Take advantage of the Wapp app to choose the best hiking routes to fit your schedule, interests and activity level
Connect with each place through the interesting facts and information the system provides during your hike
Enjoy minimal hotel changes, giving your more time to enjoy each areaâs hiking opportunities
Price IncludesHotel Accommodation With Breakfast 9 Nights
Rental Car for 7 Days With Unlimited Mileage, Cdw, Theft Protection and Vat
Free Gps System and No Charges for an Additional Driver
Car Pick-Up/Drop-off at KeflavĂk International Airport
Nformation on How to Access the Wapp App on Your Mobile Device
Tablet With the Iceland Travel Companion App .
Customer Care Service During Office Hours
24-Hour Iceland Travel Emergency Line Assistance While You Are in Iceland
Service Fee and Taxes
Price Does Not IncludeInternational Airfare
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