Join us on this extraordinary tour through the most impressive places in North Iceland!
Explore the extraordinary North Iceland region, full of many natural attractions, characterized by an arctic climate. Explore the fiercely steaming geothermal fields and volcanic landscapes of the Mývatn area. We'll visit charming, colorful villages, 100 years old turf houses and churches, some of the largest waterfalls in Europe, and other fascinating attractions.
The tour will begin when we pick you up at 09:00 am and start our journey down the Ring Road. After a 1.5-hour drive, we'll start our day with a short, refreshing hike around the incredible volcanic crater, Grábrók. This crater, located right next to the Ring Road, formed around 3,000 years ago after the eruption.
Two other craters, formed after the same eruption, are visible from the top of Grábrók. You'll also notice the 7-square-meter lava field near where the same eruption occurred. This short and easy hike with scenic views will be a perfect start to our adventure.
Next, we will leave the main road to find a real hidden natural treasure. Another 1.5-hour drive will take us to a beautiful fjord with a unique rock formation. We'll take a look at Hvítserkur, a 15-meter (49 feet) high basalt stack that looks like a dragon from afar.
We'll take a short drive to a small fishing village, Dalvík, where we'll spend our night. We'll check the Northern Lights forecast every evening to have the best chance to catch this beautiful phenomenon during the winter.
The second day will start with a visit to a stunning waterfall with deep historical significance. Goðafoss, or the Gods waterfalls, was named after the Norse gods upon converting to Christianity. According to the legend, a person threw the statues of pagan gods, making Iceland's conversion to Christianity official. The waterfall itself is an impressive 12-meter (39 feet) high and 30-meter (38 feet) wide water cascade. Goðafoss has a unique shape of a half-circle, making it even more spectacular.
After that, we'll take a short drive to the Lake Mývatn region. With an area of 36.5 square meters, Mývatn is the fourth largest lake in Iceland. There are countless small islands within the lake. Lake Mývatn area is one of the best-protected Iceland's nature reserves. A picturesque volcanic landscape that surrounds the lake is home to incredible flora and fauna.
While traveling around the lake, we'll visit incredibly charming Skútustaðagigar pseudocraters. These unique geological structures formed after fresh lava entered the lake and trapped the wet sediment, causing many steam eruptions. This event occurred approximately 2,300 years ago. Today, these picturesque craters look like tiny hills covered in grass. There are walking paths all around the area.
We'll continue our journey by learning more about this region's volcanic history. A few minutes away from the craters, there is a magnificent lava field called Dimmuborgir. This astonishing site is full of massive lava rock sculptures, rocks pillar, caves, tunnels, caverns, and lava bridges. Walking around this alien-like scenery will feel like a complete out-of-this-world experience.
After wandering through the impressive lava field, we'll hit the road again. Just a short drive away, there's yet another volcanic crater, Víti Crater, which literally translates to "Hell." This 300-meter-wide crater formed after a massive eruption in 1724. The mighty Krafla Volcano erupted for five years! The milky blue and green water fills the crater, and, with the ground around it still steaming, it creates a surreal look.
Continuing, we will explore one of the greatest geothermal fields in Iceland, Námaskarð. This area belongs to the Krafla volcano system and is highly active today. Although there's no fresh lava seen, you'll find mud pots, bubbling hot springs, and meter-high fumaroles here. The soil surrounding it is contaminated by minerals that paint the land in incredibly vivid colors. You'll also notice the intense smell of sulfur in the air. That smell can be quite unpleasant, but the view of these sites will definitely compensate for that.
On the way to the hotel, we'll stop by the Mývatn Nature Baths, often referred to as "the Blue Lagoon of the North." And it is not hard to see why - the color of the water is the same shade of milky-blue. But what's different between these two is that the Mývatn entrance fee is almost half the price! You can enjoy the baths at optional extra costs. Otherwise, you'll have an hour and a half to walk around and enjoy the peaceful scenery.
After a long day full of adventures, we'll return to our hotel in Dalvík for the night's rest. On our way back, we'll make a short stop at the Akureyri, called the capital of the North. With fewer than twenty thousand residents, Akureyri is the largest city outside the capital area.
Our last day will begin with what might be the greatest adventure of our tour. An amazing whale-watching tour will start in Dalvík after we board a boat. Dalvík is known as a place with incredible success rates for seeing marine life. These rates are as high as 99% during the summer. It is hard to predict what will happen during this tour, but you can expect to see some humpback whales. There are plenty of them in the bay, and they don't shy away from the visitors! Dolphins, harbor purposes, and minke whales also frequently appear in the bay.
After getting acquainted with the whales, you'll get a chance to take a rod and try yourself at some sea angling as we go back to the harbor. We'll celebrate our catch in a BBQ when we approach the harbor and discuss our whale-watching adventure while tasting a delicious meal.
After the incredible whale-watching adventure, we'll make our way back to Reykjavik. We'll stop at the charming Glaumbær Turf Farm during the trip. The farm is constructed from the thirteen turf houses with the walls made of turf. The farm is believed to be there since the Viking Age (900 AD), but most houses are only one hundred years old, with the oldest being from the 18th century.
After visiting the turf farm, we'll continue our way to Reykjavik. We'll arrive at the city approximately at 8:00 pm and drop you off at your original pick-up station.
Pick up is at 09:00 am from your hotel or a nearby meeting point in Reykjavík. Picking everyone up can take up to 30 minutes, your patience is much appreciated.
Available pick-up points: Arctic Adventures’s pick-up list.
Return time: You will return to Reykjavík around 08:00 pm approximately.
The northern lights are a pretty difficult thing to predict. We recommend you to check en.vedur.is to see the forecast and if the level is high and the skies are clear then it’s very likely that the tour is going ahead. We do update our website’s tour departure sheet with the information at 17:00 pm the latest. If your tour is canceled then you will receive an email from us.
If we think there is no chance at all of seeing the lights we will cancel the tour. We don’t want to bring you out and disappoint if there is no chance of the lights to be seen.
Yes, the guide on your tour will take a photo of you with the northern lights in the background.
These can be single or group photo’s and are free of charge.
The Northern Lights season is from late August until mid-April. However, if you want to increase your changes of seeing them, it is best to wait until the clear winter months of mid-September until March.
We always recommend booking a multi-day tour starting at least one day after arriving in Iceland. If you’re flying in from the US or will be landing early (4-6:30 am) you should be able to join the tour, but some risks would follow (i.e if the flight gets delayed) and could, therefore, miss out on the tour.
For multi-day tours, each participant is allowed to bring a small backpack and 1 piece of luggage weighing a maximum of 20 kg (44 lbs). If you have more or heavier luggage with you, you will need to book storage for the surplus luggage before you arrive, there is a small fee for using this facility. Luggage storage in Reykjavík can be added during the booking process of your order in the extras section.
* The combined dimensions of each bag must not exceed 158 cm (62 in).
When booking with Adventures.com, you are guaranteed accommodation at a nice country hotel and/or a guesthouse. The hotels we have partnered up with are all of the same standards and offer nice rooms with made-up beds. The rooms come with private or shared bathrooms, depending on your booking. The standard room is a twin room but it’s possible to request a double room or a triple room, with no extra charge.
If you are traveling solo, you will have to add the single room fee if you wish to have a single room.
All hotels have free Wi-Fi. Towels, a hairdryer, and a kettle are accessible at all of the hotels. Hotel breakfast is included!
If your tour includes accommodation, breakfast is always included during the tour at the hotel/guesthouse restaurant.
Meals and beverages are otherwise not included on your tour. (Unless it’s specifically stated in the description of the tour)
On our multiday tours, we will be making stops at restaurants and convenience stores where you will be able to purchase all necessities.
You should count on spending around 8,000 ISK (80$) on food each day per person. Cash is not necessary, as credit cards are almost always accepted. Having a small amount of cash doesn’t hurt though.
Breakfast is included at all the hotels we stay in during the tour. The breakfast will be a typical breakfast buffet, offering bread, toppings, cereal, yogurt, fruits, coffee, and tea etc.
Your guide will also find a good place for the group to eat lunch. We always try to choose places that have a wide selection of dishes on the menu, so there will be options available for everyone. The dinner is usually at the hotels we stay at for the night.
We do welcome participants of all ages older than the listed minimum age for each tour. We have people of ages ranging from 8-99 years joining our multi-day tours. Our average group usually consists of participants between the age 20-55 years. We do get a lot of solo travellers joining our tours, as well as families and friends.
If you have difficulties participating in any of the activities included in the tour, for example, a glacier activity, you are more than welcome to skip it. You can explore your surroundings in the meantime or wait elsewhere. Our guide should be able to drop you off at a nearby place where there are some services available.
A single supplement is available if you want to have your own room, but you are not required to pay a single supplement. If you are a single traveler and do not wish to book a single room, you’ll be roomed with another traveler of the same gender.
Don’t worry, you can always rent sturdy hiking boots, a waterproof jacket and pants in the booking process. We do not rent these items from the location, they must be ordered in advance.
We drive on average around 300 km (186 miles) per day on our multi-day tours. You will be spending approximately 4-5 hours in the car each day. We do of course stop on multiple locations throughout the tour for sightseeing, activities, bathroom breaks and lunch stops.