Myvatn and the active North of Iceland Tour
Estimated Cost £1950 September 8th to 15th 2023
Details and Itinerary

The tour will focus on the natural highlights of this spectacular country, which is often referred to as "the land of water, ice and fire". There will be the chance to see dramatic waterfalls and fast flowing rivers fed by the meltwater from ice-caps. We will spend time viewing hot springs, geysers and bubbling mudpools, together with lava flows and volcanic craters from this country which is geologically very recent. Our venture into the interior, only accessible for a few months in summer, will take us over a rugged landscape that is covered in snow and ice for most of the year. All excursions will be escorted. The visit is open to all adults. Those who have some knowledge of geology will learn more about volcanoes. Those who have never studied the subject will hopefully develop an interest. The party will be led by Alan Clewlow, an experienced geologist who will be on hand to offer advice and some explanation of the features seen and guidance around the area. It will also offer a superb opportunity for photography, and for those with an interest in bird-watching, flora and fauna, including the chance to take part in whale-watching, there will be much to see.

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Iceland - The North
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Planned itinerary

Day 1 - Friday September 8th
Leave Heathrow on early afternoon flight to Keflavik. Transfer to the Fosshotel Rauðara in the capital for overnight stay. Free time in evening to explore Reykjavik. (For those who would prefer it, an alternative flight from Glasgow or Manchester can possibly be arranged).

Day 2
Pick up charter coach from hotel, then on to þingvellir National Park. Here, there are a series of deep rifts in the surface, from which basalt lava has poured. This area lies on the Mid-Atlantic ridge and forms the boundary between the Eurasian and North American Plate. We then journey to Geysir. There are many hot springs here, but the biggest attraction is the geyser called Strokkur, which sends up a spurt of boiling water up to 30m. every few minutes. We continue on to Gullfoss, a huge waterfall and gorge below which has been classed as Iceland's major tourist attraction. The coach then continues to Sauðarkrokur on the north coast, for an overnight stay at Hotel Tindastoll.

Day 3
The day starts with a journey east towards Lake Myvatn, calling at Godafoss (the waterfall of the Gods) on the way. On reaching Myvatn, we will spend most of the first day in the area of Krafla, scene of the famous “Krafla fires” eruptions from 1977 to 1984. We will visit the Viti (“Hell”) crater, near the Krafla geothermal power station, and other sites close by, including the most recent lava flow. We then check into the Myvatn Hotel at Reyhnilið (previously known as Icelandair Hotel Myvatn) near the northern end of Myvatn Lake, which will be our base for the next four nights.

Day 4
We start with a journey north-west to Husavik, on the coast and only a few miles from the Arctic Circle. This is the main centre for “Whale Watching” trips in Iceland, which has been included in the itinerary, as an optional excursion (at extra cost). Those who do not wish to take part will be able to spend some time exploring the town. After lunch, we travel to north onto the Tjornes Peninsular, stopping at a number of sites and eventually reaching the deep gorge of Asbyrgi, sculpted by a massive glacier burst from the Vatnajökull ice-sheet thousands of years ago.


(* There is an alternative excursion at extra cost which may be available on this day. This would be to take the daily coach-excursion which operates in the summer months from Myvatn into the remote interior to the caldera at Askja, site of a huge eruption and caldera formation in 1875)

Day 5
We head east, with our first stop at Namaskard, an area of hot springs, bubbling mud-pools and sulphurous fumaroles. On reaching the Jokulsaa Fjollum river, which drains much of the meltwater from the Vatnajökull ice-cap, we head north to the immense and dramatic waterfall at Dettifoss, which has the greatest and most powerful discharge in Europe. On our return journey, there will be time, if desired, for an optional excursion (at extra cost) to visit and bathe at the Myvatn Nature Baths, north Iceland’s equivalent to the “Blue Lagoon”.

Day 6
The day will be spent looking at various sites around Lake Myvatn, with the opportunity to see, among other things, the best rootless craters in Iceland at Skutustadir, lava pillars at Dimmuborgir, and a spot at Grotagja where the Eurasian and North American plates are separating. There are also lava tunnels, warm springs and an optional walk to the summit of the explosion crater at Hverfjall.

Day 7
After breakfast, we start our journey back to Reykjavik, mostly following the main route 1 which forms a continuous loop around the whole country. The journey will have stops at Akureyri and a number of other scenic locations. It will pass through dramatic and rugged scenery, offering distant glimpses of the Western Fjords, the Snaefell Peninsular, Ice-caps and the coastline. We should arrive in Reykjavik in late afternoon, for a one-night stay at the Fosshotel Rauðara, near the city centre.

Day 8
Free morning, with the chance to visit museums and other sights in Reykjavik. Afternoon bus-transfer to Keflavik airport for return journey to UK, arriving mid-evening.


(Please note that this might have to be amended due to weather conditions, but hopefully all planned activities will take place. The itinerary has been planned with a certain amount of flexibility so that adverse weather on one day should not prevent a planned visit to a site being cancelled completely.)

The cost of the visit, based on half-board is estimated to be £1950. This includes flights by Icelandair from Heathrow to Keflavik and return (and airport taxes), bus transfers, and coach-charter on the itinerary listed above. Included in the cost is accommodation (one night at Fosshotel Rauðara in Reykjavik, one night at Hotel Tindastoll at Sauðarkrokur, four nights at Hotel Myvatn, then one further night at Fosshotel Rauðara). Accommodation is based on two people sharing. Single accommodation is available on request, subject to availability, but this will involve a supplement. All evening meals and breakfasts are included in the price (except for the two evenings in Reykjavik). NB. All those taking part in the tour are expected to arrange their own holiday insurance, which can be obtained from any travel agent or insurance broker.

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