iceland haifoss waterfall hikers photographers

Hiking Iceland's Interior

Explorations of Iceland's Waterfalls and Fjords

Overview

A pre-trip extension that explores the varied and diverse landscapes of southern Iceland's interior. Visit waterfalls, glaciers, and fjords.

Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-2, June 4-5
Depart USA / Reykjavik, Iceland

Board your independent flight to Iceland. Arrive in Reykjavik and transfer to the group hotel. Gather this evening for a welcome reception and dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 3, June 6
Reykjavik / Borgarnes / Husafell

After breakfast, go for a hike in the foothills of Mt. Esja, the iconic mountains to the north of Reykjavik. Keep your camera ready as you pass rushing rivers, forests, and grassy fields to several panoramic viewpoints. Arrive in Borgarnes in time for lunch. This area is the setting of one of Iceland’s most famous sagas about the fierce, but eloquent Viking poet, Egil Skallagrimsson. Take a short tour of the Settlement Museum to learn about the Vikings who lived here in the 9th century. Next, take a hike along the Nordura River to the Glanni Waterfall, Paradise Hollow, and the Grabrok volcanic crater. Continue to the Hraufossar and Barnafoss waterfalls, created by subterranean springs seeping through the porous lava. Arrive at Hotel Husafell in the late afternoon.

Day 4, June 7
Husafell

Today, visit the largest of all Icelandic lava caves, the Vidgelmir lava tube. The nearly mile-long cave is filled with unique and colorful geological formations. After lunch, embark on a two-hour hike near Husafell. Trek upriver to the confluence of the Nordlingafjot and Hvita rivers where you will see the clear spring waters of Nordlingafjort mix with the milky glacial waters of the Hvita. You should also have great views of Iceland’s second-largest glacier, Langjokull. During your walk, keep an eye out for the birds that inhabit the many wooded islets. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 5, June 8
Husafell / Hella

After breakfast, visit a nearby farm to learn about the Icelandic goat, also known as the settlement goat, a breed descended from the goats brought by the original Norse settlers. While the Icelandic goat is quite rare, the Icelandic sheep actually outnumbers people in Iceland! Time permitting, stop at the charming wool center in a nearby hamlet to learn about the traditional spinning and dyeing process. Stop for lunch in Hveragerdi, a small town known for its hot springs and greenhouse farms. Suitably fortified, take a hike in the Reykjadalur Valley, viewing hot springs, bubbling mud pools, and a delightfully warm river. You may even opt for a relaxing foot bath in one of the springs. Continue south and check in to the Hotel Ranga, your home base for the next three nights.

Day 6, June 9
Hella / Solheimajokull Glacier

Explore the southern coast today, taking in some of the region’s most dramatic scenery. Strap on crampons for a walk across the Solheimajokull Glacier. As you walk along the vast ice field, marvel at deep crevasses and element-sculpted ice formations. Afterward, visit the black-sand beaches of Vik to search for Atlantic puffins and take in stunning views of the ocean on one side and glacier-tipped volcanoes on the other. You’ll also visit the Skogagoss, Seljalandsfoss, and Gljufrabui waterfalls.

Day 7, June 10
Hella / Thjorsardalur Valley

This morning, take a hike in the lovely Thjorsardalur Valley, making stops at the beautiful waterfalls of Hjalparfoss and Haifoss. Visit a farmhouse that was buried in ash during the 1104 eruption of Hekla Volcano and later excavated. Nearby is a museum with a replica of a farm from the 11th century that offers a glimpse into Icelandic life at the beginning of the settlement period. Nearby is a dramatic gorge of twisting lava formations and small waterfalls covered in lush vegetation. After lunch, visit a ranch that breeds Icelandic horses. These even-tempered and hardy horses are unique to Iceland and are known for their ability to master a variety of gaits, including the famous tolt. For those who are interested, there will be an opportunity to go on an easy riding tour in the bucolic surroundings.

Day 8, June 11
Hella / Reykjavik

After breakfast, explore the small fishing villages of Stokkseyri and Eyrarbakki. Observe the well-preserved 19th century houses and one of Iceland’s oldest buildings, “The House,” dating back to 1765. Take a hike along the rocky shoreline to search for a variety of birdlife. Lunch at a local restaurant will include langoustine lobster, an Icelandic delicacy. Return to Reykjavik this afternoon and check in to the group hotel to meet with the main group.

Details

Length: 8 days
Cost From: $8980  
Arrive: Reykjavík, Iceland
Depart: Reykjavík, Iceland
Lodging: 6 nights hotel
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Wildlife & Natural History, Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

walking, hiking, cultural tours