Grand Tour of Iceland
August 24 to September 6, 2021
Take your time exploring every corner of Iceland, with its sparkling glaciers, aqua blue waters, jagged volcanic rocks and erupting geysers. Stand in front of mesmerizing waterfalls, soak in the mineral-rich hot springs, and explore the range of dramatic sights along the entire Route 1 Ring Road that surrounds this breathtaking nation. From quaint villages to epic national parks, Iceland is bursting with adventure.
Browse the highlights and map on the cards below by swiping or pressing the arrows.
Embark on a famous route to see Icelandic natural beauty on full display. Starting with Thingvellir National Park, feel the warmth of fissures dotted along a vast plain, next to Iceland’s largest lake. Visit the oldest existing parliament in the world, followed by the mighty Gullfoss waterfall. Complete this golden experience with two geysers that erupt to a height of 25 metres.
With over 20 different species of whales
enjoying the waters surrounding Iceland, this is a must-do for visitors to the country. Sail through the waters of scenic Skjalfandi Bay to spot the majestic minke whale. For a challenge keep a watch out the rarer humpback whales and white-beaked dolphins. Whale watching will prove to be an exhilarating wildlife experience.
Vatnajökull Park & Glacier
Vatnajökull Park & Glacier
Utterly entrancing, Vatnajökull National Park is surrounded by crystalline white glaciers, vast canyons, enormous craters, and hot streams erupting from frozen ice banks. Embark on a Jeep adventure past thundering waterfalls, exhilarating volcanoes and Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull Glacier.
All was exceptional. Pace of the trip was excellent – No especially long days and time for exploring privately in lovely towns and landscapes.
Steep in the rejuvenating natural wonders of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon. Relax in the middle of a large and dramatic lava field while admiring the epic surroundings. Leisurely soak in the vibrant turquoise waters that are known to offer deep revitalizing qualities due to its rich minerals. It is the ultimate spa experience.
Enjoy a truly unique experience at the Icelandic horse farmstead Lýtingsstaðir. Set in the heart of Iceland’s natural beauty, step inside the impressive Old Stable built from turf for an incredible Horse and heritage Show. An exceptional experience on a quiet and remote farm in the depths of Iceland.
Discover the enchanting and colourful city of Iceland’s oldest permanent settlement, Reykjavik. Admire the picture-perfect background of fjords and mountains and the largest church in Iceland scraping the sky. Spend time leisurely strolling along Laekjargata, Reykjavik’s central street, popping into boutiques and galleries before grabbing a delicious bite at a cafe.
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“We wanted to create a Journey that gives you a complete and comprehensive tour of the entire country. The Ring Road is the best way of ensuring that experience. It starts and ends in Reykjavik, wrapping around the island and winding its way through diverse scenery and breathtaking vistas.
Also to ensure that the pace was just right for our guests, we focused on two and three-night hotel stays, using hotels as hubs for day trips out to explore the surrounding area. Iceland is a place like no other, and Journeys by Van Dyke has taken exceptional care in creating a high-quality, curated guest experience that reflects this one-of-a-kind destination.”
DEPART FOR ICELAND
Enjoy a private car ride to the airport. Guests departing from the Toronto airport are assisted with their check-in. Meet your Journey Manager and fellow travellers and board your flight to Iceland.
Start your Journey with us by enjoying a private car pick up service from your home. Upon arrival at the airport, guests departing from the Toronto airport are assisted with their check-in. Meet your Journey Manager and fellow guests, and board your flight to Iceland. Our Journey Manager travels with you to take care of all the details, allowing you to embrace your Journey.
ARRIVE IN REYKJAVIK
Upon arrival in Reykjavik, we are met by our local guide who takes us on an introductory tour through this beautiful capital city. Join your fellow guests for a casual welcome lunch before checking in to the hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Dinner this evening will be served at the hotel. (L,D) Centerhotel Miðgarður, Reykjavik (2 nights)
The oldest permanent settlement in Iceland, Reykjavik is now an enchanting and colourful city just waiting to be explored. Upon arrival, our local guide leads us on a tour of Reykjavik. Visit the heart of the capital city, and see the Hallgrímskirkja-Church, City Hall, and Althingi – the Icelandic Parliament. Enjoy the panoramic views over Reykjavik, the fjord, and the mountains from the balcony of ‘the Pearl’ – Reykjavik’s renowned Perlan Museum and Planetarium. Join your fellow guests for a casual welcome lunch before checking in to the hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Dinner this evening will be served at the hotel.
REYKJANES PENINSULA & BLUE LAGOON
Explore the picturesque landscapes of Reykjanes Peninsula where hot springs, mud pots and fissures dot the lava fields. Then, enjoy a relaxing afternoon soaking in the mineral rich waters of a natural geothermal pool at the Blue Lagoon. Tonight we dine at Hereford Steakhouse, a local favourite. (B,L,D)
Pass through the picturesque town of Hafnarfjörður, called the city of lava and elves while exploring Iceland’s southern Reykjanes Peninsula. Then, visit one of Iceland’s most popular attractions, the Blue Lagoon, a natural geothermal pool in the middle of a large and dramatic lava field. Enjoy a swim in the rejuvenating and warm mineral-rich waters, reputed for its healing properties. Savour a tasty lunch before continuing to discover the wonders of the Reykjanes Peninsula with its ruff shore-side, spectacular breaking surf, hot spring areas, small fishing villages, and abundant bird life. Upon our return to Reykjavik, enjoy time at your leisure before dinner at Hereford Steakhouse, a local favourite.
DISCOVERING THE GOLDEN CIRCLE
A day filled with discovery, travel the famous Golden Circle and visit the UNESCO-recognized Thingvellir National Park, the oldest existing parliament in the world, the mighty Gullfoss Waterfall and two famous geysers: Geysir and Strokkur. (B,L,D)
Hotel B59, Borgarnes (2 nights)
Embark on a day of discovery as we travel the famous Golden Circle. On a scenic drive from Reykjavik, we reach the vast plain of Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll around the country’s most sacred site, home of the oldest existing parliament in the world, the Alþingi, walk between the American and Eurasian continental plates at the Mid-Atlantic Rift, which is slowly pulling Iceland apart. Visit the mighty Gullfoss (the Golden Waterfall), perhaps the most beautiful in the country, and enjoy lunch along the way. After, explore the geothermal-active valley of Haukadalur, home of two famous erupting geysers: Geysir and Strokkur. We arrive in the coastal town of Borgarnes and settle into our hotel before dinner.
ICELANDIC HISTORY IN REYKHOLT
Experience Iceland’s rich history while visiting Reykholt. Visit the Settlement Center and learn about Egill Skalla-Grímsson, an Icelandic hero. Marvel at two spectacular waterfalls, Barnafoss and Hraunfossar and explore Europe’s most powerful hot spring, Deildartunguhver. Then stop at Snorrastofa, a renowned cultural and medieval centre. (B,L,D)
Begin today with a visit to the Settlement Center, devoted to recreating Iceland’s earliest days. Be introduced to Iceland’s best known hero, Egill Skalla-Grímsson. Admire a scenic drive out of town, and marvel at two spectacular waterfalls, Barnafoss and Hraunfossar (Lava Waterfall), before a visit to the most powerful hot spring in Europe – Deildartunguhver. With temperatures reaching 97°C, the scalding water bubbles out of an algae-covered rocky outcrop creating a steamy source of power. In Reykholt, stop at Snorrastofa – a cultural and medieval centre situated in the ancient homestead of Snorri Sturluson.
VIKINGS & ICELANDIC HORSES
Today, we Journey through northern Iceland and experience the life of the Vikings. Explore Erik the Reds’ former homestead turned living museum. After lunch, enjoy a delightful horse and heritage show. (B,L,D)
Kea Hotel, Akureyri (3 nights)
Today, we Journey to northern Iceland. Experience life during the Viking Era at Eiríksstaðir. The former homestead of Eiríkr Þorvaldsson, also known as Erik the Red, this living museum recreates the lifestyle of Vikings from 1,000 years ago. After a local lunch, delight in a visit to the Icelandic horse farmstead Lýtingsstaðir, and enjoy a Horses and Heritage Show that highlights the only breed of horse in Iceland. Visit the Old Stable, which is built from turf, to see how horses used to be kept on farms. We arrive at the hotel in Akureyri in time for dinner.
AKUREYRI & WHALE WATCHING
Visit Akureyri, the picturesque capital of the North. Stroll through the old part of town before setting sail through the waters of scenic Skjalfandi Bay on an incredible whale watching tour. enjoy dinner at the hotel followed by an evening at your leisure. (B,L,D)
This morning, enjoy a city tour of Akureyri, Iceland’s Capital of the North situated at the base of Eyjafjörður. Visit the old part of town, which still preserves the city’s historical charm. See the Lutheran church, Akureyrarkirkja, standing predominantly over the city. Delight in lunch at one of the city’s popular restaurants before embarking on an exciting whale watching cruise. With over 20 different species of whales enjoying the cold waters surrounding Iceland during the months of April through September, this is a must-do for visitors to the country. Enjoy dinner at the hotel followed by a free evening to relax.
Today we visit the herring capital of the North Atlantic, Siglufjörður. We stop along the way to explore a deserted valley that even most Icelanders have not seen. Once in Siglufjörður we visit the Herring Museum and enjoy a tour and tasting at a local microbrewery. (B,L,D)
See spectacular fjord landscapes as we travel to Siglufjörður, Iceland’s northernmost town and herring capital of the North Atlantic. Along the way, we stop to discover one of Iceland’s hidden gems – a deserted valley that even most Icelanders have not seen. Upon arrival in the quaint town of Siglufjörður, we pay a visit to the Herring Museum, the largest seafaring and industrial museum in the country. Enjoy lunch at a nearby eatery before making a stop at a local microbrewery for a tour to see the beer-making process and a tasting of their latest brew.
GOÐAFOSS & THE MÝVATN AREA
Spend the day exploring Goðafoss & the Mývatn Area. We start by visiting the spectacular Waterfalls of the Gods and the wonders at Lake Mývatn. Visit the fascinating labyrinth of lava at Dimmuborgir before a rejuvenating swim in the geothermal waters. (B,L,D)
Icelandair Hotel, Mývatn, (1 night)
Journey to Goðafoss, the Waterfalls of the Gods, and admire one of Iceland’s most spectacular waterfalls. Explore Iceland’s unique geological wonders at Lake Mývatn, known for its geothermal activity and beautiful views. See the fascinating pseudo craters and the lava labyrinth during a visit to Dimmuborgir. Explore the hot springs area of Námaskarð with its bubbling mud pools and steaming solfataras. After lunch we stop at the nature baths to enjoy a relaxing dip in a pool of geothermal water drawn from fissures deep beneath the earth’s surface. After a rejuvenating swim, we head back to our hotel in time for a delicious dinner.
EAST FJORDS & HÖFN
Admire the fjord landscapes and rugged coastline along the winding roads of Ring Road, Route 1. Visit Petra’s house, a fascinating woman with an incredible stone and mineral collection. Enjoy lunch in Djúpivogur before making way to the quaint town of Höfn. Marvel at the Vatnajökull National Park’s southern edges on the way to our hotel. (B,L,D) .
Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon, Hnappavellir (2 nights)
Today we travel along the uninhabited highlands and moonlike surroundings of East Iceland on Ring Road, Route 1. This incredible drive offers vast backdrops and untouched vistas. Along the way, learn about a fascinating woman named Petra, and see her unbelievable stone and mineral collection. Have lunch and stroll around the picturesque fishing village of Djúpivogur before continuing on to the lovely town of Höfn for a city tour. Sitting on a small peninsula and surrounded by beautiful mountains and seaside views, this little town is known as the lobster capital of Iceland. It is also home to the Vatnajökull National Park Visitors’ Centre. We drive along the park’s southern edge on our way to our hotel.
VATNAJÖKULL GLACIER JEEP TOUR
Experience the incredible scenery on this once-in-a-lifetime jeep adventure into Vatnajökull National Park. Stand awestruck at the breathtaking views of Vatnajökull Glacier, the largest glacier in Europe. (B,L,D)
Embark on a Jeep adventure on Vatnajökull Glacier, and marvel at the breathtaking views of high mountains and deep valleys. Covering 8% of Iceland’s landmass, Vatnajökull Glacier is the largest glacier in Europe with a surface area of approximately 8,100 square kilometres and a thickness of more than 1,000 metres. The glacier also holds the tallest peak in Iceland beneath its ice, Hvannadalshnjúkur, which stands 2,200 metres above sea level. Volcanic activity in the region has occurred on and off throughout the centuries, and many geologists believe that several eruptions are overdue. The afternoon is at your leisure. We meet and dine back at the hotel.
JÖKULSÁRLÓN GLACIER LAGOON
Cruise through the spectacular glacial lagoon at Jökulsárlón. Then, explore Skaftafell National Park and Iceland‘s highest peak. We stop briefly at Hofskirkja, a unique turf church and Systrafoss, a gorgeous waterfall before reaching the charming village of Vik. (B,L,D) Hotel Kria, Vik (1 night)
See an incredible glacial lagoon filled with massive floating icebergs, swimming seals and flapping seabirds, at Jökulsárlón this morning. Board a small boat for a leisurely cruise through the aqua-tinted lagoon where the photo opportunities are endless. We then continue on to Skaftafell National Park and stop at the Visitors’ Centre for views of Iceland‘s highest peak followed by a short visit at Hofskirkja – a traditional turf church. This is one of only six remaining turf churches in Iceland and the last one to be built in this unique style. After lunch, we stop at the beautiful Systrafoss, a waterfall surrounded by massive, vivid green, moss-covered rocks before reaching the quaint village of Vik. Enjoy time at your leisure before dinner at the hotel.
ICELAND’S SOUTHERN COAST
Explore the wonderfully unique features of Iceland’s southern coast as we complete our full lap of Ring Road, Route 1. Admire the black sandy beaches of Reynisfjara and the gorgeous views along the Dyrhólaey promenade. Snap a photo at Skógafoss waterfall and learn about Icelandic life at the Skógar Folk Museum before experiencing the interactive exhibit at LAVA: Iceland’s Volcano and Earthquake Centre. (B,L,D)
Centerhotel Miðgarður, Reykjavik (1 night)
Explore the wonderfully unique features of Iceland’s southern coast as we complete our full lap of Ring Road, Route 1. Spot the bird cliffs and stunning black sand beach of Reynisfjara, the most beautiful of Iceland’s beaches. Admire the unique rock formations of Dyrhólaey, a 120-metre promenade with staggering views and a historic lighthouse. Continue to the spectacular Skógafoss waterfall. An impressive waterfall fed by the glacier-capped Eyjafjallajokull volcano. Visit the open-air Skógar Folk Museum for a glimpse into Icelandic life through the centuries. We also stop at the majestic Seljalandsfoss waterfall. Following lunch we experience LAVA: Iceland’s Volcano and Earthquake Centre showcasing an interactive display of the forces that created this rugged country. Following a full day of exploring, we arrive in Reykjavik for dinner at our hotel and an evening at your leisure.
Enjoy a leisurely morning in Reykjavik, and join your fellow guests for a farewell lunch before bidding “vertu blesseð” to Iceland and making our way to the airport for our flight home. Guests arriving at the Toronto airport are greeted and assisted to their private car home. (B,L)
With Confidence Plan
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, your safety and comfort during any Journey with us is our top priority. Learn about how we are taking your safety seriously.
In addition to our essentials, your Journey includes our following Signature Inclusions:
24/7 Professional Journey Manager
- Will travel with you from Canada and handle every detail
- In addition to knowledgeable local guides
Memorable Private Excursions
- Private excursions crafted by our team
- All sightseeing & entrance fees included
Private Car Pick-up Service
- Within a 200-kilometre radius, let your Journey begin in elegant comfort with a private chauffeured car to the airport
Generous Tips & Gratuities
- For the porters, local guides, hotel staff & many more, paid by us on your behalf
Our essentials included with your Journey:
- 12 nights in outstanding hotels
- All meals included: 12 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 12 dinners
- Round-trip airfare from Toronto with Icelandair
- “Whisper” radios included for use during excursions
- All taxes as well as service charges
- Flights from select Canadian gateways for only $100
- Other gateways & travel classes available
- Porterage for one piece of luggage per person
- Complete information & assistance leading up to your departure
- Branded overnight carry-on or backpack
Centerhotel Miðgarður, Reykjavik
Located in Reykjavik Midgardur is a beautiful venue surrounded by the sea and mountains. Step out of the comfortable and beautifully bright rooms of the hotel and find yourself on the main shopping street, Laugavegur. A lovely and modern hotel in the heart of the city equipped with a delicious restaurant and a bar perfect for ending the day.
Hotel B59, Borgarnes
Inspired by the natural beauty of the land, Hotel B59 is a warm and luxurious hotel with breathtaking views. The sleek rooms offer cozy accommodation with natural Sóley Organic products in the bathrooms. The lower ground floor features a luxury spa and fitness centre, as well as an on-site restaurant – Snorri’s Kitchen and Bar.
Kea Hotel, Akureyri
The Hotel Kea is centrally located in the very heart of town on Akureyri’s pedestrian street. Set right by the stunning Eyjafjördur Fjord and the iconic church of Akureyri in North Iceland, the hotel offers an incredible stay with plenty of shops, cafés, restaurants nearby. A wonderful stay.
Icelandair Hotel, Mývatn
Sitting on the shores of Lake Mývatn and close to all of the area’s geological wonders, Icelandair Hotel Mývatn is a modern hotel with a relaxed atmosphere. The guest rooms are bright and comfortable featuring quirky but simple Icelandic designs. The on-site restaurant offers delicious dishes inspired by local culinary traditions.
Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon, Hnappavellir
Sleek and newly-built, Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon is a contemporary hotel on the edge of Vatnajökull National Park. The simple and elegant rooms feature snug beds for a restful stay and amazing views of the surrounding mountain landscapes and ocean seascapes. This chic hotel also has a lovely restaurant and bar.
Hotel Kria, Vik
Hotel Kria offers modern accommodation and the highest quality of service and comfort on Iceland’s south coast. The rooms are fully equipped with excellent amenities including complimentary Wi-Fi and plush, comfortable beds. This beautiful hotel also has a restaurant with Icelandic cuisine and a cocktail bar.