Day 1 – The Volcanic Wonders of Lake Myvatn:
Highlights: Akureyri Godafoss Myvatn Dimmuborgir Krafla Myvatn Nature Baths
Waterfall of the Gods – Volcanic Wonderland – Mysterious lava formations – “Martian” landscapes
Approximate driving distance: 215km/134 miles
Pick up your car from Akureyri airport. The day begins with a drive through beautiful alpine scenery en route to Godafoss (the Waterfall of the Gods). Here glacial water thunders around surrounding lava to create a beautiful half-circle shaped cascade. Travel to the unforgettable Lake Myvatn area, a geological wonderland that includes the peculiar lava formations at Dimmuborgir, and the pseudo-craters at Skutustadir Some of the most bizarre attractions in the region are the bubbling mud pits and vibrant colors of Namaskard geothermal area (it‘s like walking on another planet- perhaps even Mars?) Looming over the area is Krafla, the volcano that created this bizarre wonderland and whose energy provides power and hot water to the region. Myvatn’ s fantastical landscapes have made it a filming location for the popular HBO Game of Thrones series, as well as several Hollywood movies (Oblivion, Fast and Furious).
Overnight in the Lake Myvatn area. A great evening activity is a visit to the Myvatn Nature Baths where you can relax in the azure blue waters in a tranquil wilderness setting. Restaurants in the area offer local specialties such as arctic charr, locally smoked lamb and geothermally baked rye bread.
Overnight in Lake Myvatn area
Day 2- Husavik – Asbyrgi Canyon– Akureyri:
Highlights: Akureyri The Christmas Garden Kjarnaskógur GeoSea Ásbyrgi
Whale Watching and Ocean Spa – Ancient Canyon – Magnificent fjord setting – Northern Iceland’s “capital”
Approximate driving distance: 265km/165 miles
Breakfast at your accommodation. We suggest today to take a visit to Husavik, a charming fishing town known for its great whale-watching opportunities. In addition to whale watching, you can enjoy Husavik’s relaxing GeoSea Baths. The baths are healthy and soothing geothermal ocean water, and the view over the Arctic Circle is beautiful.
Perhaps you might also like to visit the northern part of Vatnajokull National Park, Iceland’s largest national park. Drive around the Tjornes peninsula to Northern Vatnajokull National Park, where you can visit Asbyrgi, a magnificent horseshoe-shaped canyon. A series of trails lead to the canyon’s lake and scenic overlooks. (We also recommend visiting the park’s visitor center, which has great interactive information about the park and updates on the trail and road conditions)
After your visit to Husavik and/or Asbyrgi, head to Akureyri, the largest town and “capital” of North Iceland.
The rest of the day is open to enjoy Akureyri and their surroundings. This town has gained an international reputation for its combination of small-town charm and a great cultural scene. Take a stroll down the art gallery street and catch the vibes of North Iceland’s creative culture at a coffee shop. Enjoy outdoor fun just on the town’s doorstep. The surrounding Eyjafjordur area also has a nice focus on local food culture with microbreweries, family-run bakeries, ice cream shops and a cafe located on a dairy farm. A great selection of restaurants and pubs makes Akureyri a great town for friendly nightlife.
Several farms in the area also offer guided farm visits where you’ll meet Icelandic sheep, goats, and horses and even visit a reconstruction of an old-fashioned turf stable. We definitely recommend visiting the fantastic Akureyri Geothermal Swimming Pool. It is one of the largest in the country and has a variety of pools, hot tubs and a steam room you can enjoy. After your swim, do like the Icelanders do and enjoy a hot dog or an ice cream cone. A great evening activity suggestion is whale watching, with tours departing the Akureyri harbor.
Overnight in Akureyri area
Day 3 - The Troll Peninsula:
Highlights: Siglufjordur Trollaskagi – Troll Peninsula Dalvik The Herring Era Museum
Scenic Coastal Roads- Charming Villages- Troll Peninsula – Historical Siglufjordur
Approximate distance: 82km / 51 miles
Breakfast at your accommodation. You will be following scenic and winding coastal roads. Remember to listen to the weather forecast and take the driving at a slow pace, both to enjoy the view and to be safe. Drive along Eyjafjordur Fjord and to the area of Trollaskagi, the Troll Peninsula and Siglufjordur Fjord overlooking the North Atlantic and nearby Arctic Circle. See waterfalls drop into the ocean and pass through charming fishing villages en route to Siglufjordur. This town is considered one of Iceland’s most beautiful, with carefully preserved old houses and new buildings cleverly constructed to blend in with the historical architecture.
On the way, you might consider a visit to the one-of-a-kind Beer Bath Spa with a skin-soothing geothermal bath made from a mixture of beer, water, hops, and yeast. Though this mixture is not drinkable, you can enjoy a glass or two of local craft beer while you bathe. (spa visit must be booked in advance). If you like quirky museums, visit Dalvik town’s wonderfully eclectic Hvoll Museum. Discover some local history, including the story of Iceland‘s most famous giant. Dalvik and the town of Hauganes are both great areas for enjoying a whale watching tour.
The Troll Peninsula is ideal for people who want to experience Iceland’s beauty and outdoor fun away from the tourist crowds. The peninsula was molded by ancient glaciers that left behind powerful mountains, beautiful valleys, and gorgeous mountain lakes.
Siglufjordur is also an excellent base to explore the area’s history and culture. The town’s award-winning Herring-Era Museum takes you back to the days of the early 20th century when a herring “gold rush” changed both Siglufjordur and Iceland. The town also offers an artisan chocolate shop, a family-owned microbrewery, Seagull 66, and dining at several restaurants with a home-like ambiance. If you’re into suspense and mysteries and saw the television series Trapped, you might recognize some of the buildings. Both seasons of the show were filmed in Siglufjordur.
Overnight in Siglufjordur area
Day 4- History, Heritage and Outdoor Fun on Top of the World:
Highlights: Skagafjordur Fjord Saudarkrokur Icelandic Emigration Center Hofsos Drangey Island
Peninsulas and Fjords – Saga Island – Local Heritage – Outdoor Adventure
Approximate driving distance: 215km/ 134 miles
Breakfast at your accommodation. Today you’ll be following scenic and winding coastal roads. Remember to listen to the weather and forecast and take the driving at a slow pace, both to enjoy the view and to be safe.
Today is open for you to explore Skagafjordur. This is one of the country’s best areas to discover Iceland. If you are interested in history, visit the church at Holar which has expertly preserved artifacts and a beautifully crafted turf house from Iceland’s pre-Protestant era. If you want to enjoy a swim with a great view, visit the Hofsos Swimming Pool (nicknamed by locals as the “Infinity Pool.”). Created and given to the village by an artist and architect duo, this public swimming pool is set up with an optical illusion. It seems to extend forever into the ocean and has fantastic views of Drangey Island.
Drangey is the legendary hideout of the Viking saga outlaw, Grettir the Strong. Between mid-May and August, you can take a guided boat tour out to Drangey. The tour departs from Suadarkrokur town’s harbor. Take a boat to Drangey Island, then hike with your guide to the top of the island on a trail bringing you into good viewing of seabirds, including puffins (Puffins best seen mid-May to early August
Holar has interesting buildings of religious and historical significance reflecting 900 years of Icelandic history, including a beautiful church. Don’t forget to visit the Icelandic Horse History Centre (Skagafjordur is known for its excellent horses).
If you are interested in Medieval/Viking history and battle strategies, we suggest a visit to the new 1238: Battle of Iceland exhibit in Saudakrokur town. Innovative virtual reality transports you into the past and the fateful Battle of Orylyggsstadir, part of a fatal civil war. (The battlefield is located in North Iceland.)
If you are interested in Icelandic handicrafts, the Tannery Visitor Centre is a unique Icelandic tannery (also in Saudarkrokur) that includes fish skin among its quality products. The center is open weekdays 8:00 – 16:00 (8:00am – 4:00pm).
You can also enjoy amazing activities in the Skagafjordur area such as horseback riding and river rafting.
Overnight in Siglufjordur area
Day 5 - Siglufjordur to Akureyri:
Highlights: Akureyri Akureyri Folk Museum
Farewell to the Mountains and Fjords
Approximate distance: 82km / 51 miles
Breakfast at your accommodation. Today drive back to Akureyri, visiting towns and enjoying a last outdoor adventure en route or a visit to the Beer Spa. There’s also plenty of time to enjoy Akureyri’s museums, galleries, and restaurants.
Day 6 – Farewell to the North
Breakfast at your accommodation. Drop off your car at Akureyri airport before your flight back to South Iceland. We suggest departing your hotel no later than 90 minutes before your flight.