Iceland Highland Explorer

Self-drive tour

Uninhabitable and impassable for all but two months of the year, the Sprengisanður highland road is an awesomely stark route down through the middle of the Island and the dramatic centrepiece of this itinerary.


DAY 1 – UK – Reykjavik
Scheduled flight to Reykjavík. On arrival take the shuttle transfer to the Hotel Centrum for a 2 night stay.

DAY 2 – Golden Circle Excursion
Explore the landscapes south of Lake Pingvallavatn before reaching Pingvellir. Visit Gullfoss with its foaming, thundering waters invariably over-arched with a rainbow before continuingto the Geysir area with its spouting geysers and bubbling mud pots with time for lunch (payable locally). Return to Reykjavík via the cathedral at Skalholt, the extraordinary crater Kerid and the greenhouse village of Hveragerdi.

DAY 3 – Reykjavik – Skagafjörur
Collect your car hire, drive out of town and under the Borgarfjörður and stop at Borgarnes with its interesting settlement centre before continuing through rolling farmland to Gauksmýri in the heart of the island’s horse breeding region. Overnight at Gauksmyri Horse Centre.

DAY 4 – Skagafjörur – Myvatn
Drive through the Oxnadalsheiði pass lined with moss clad jagged peaks, past Góðafoss, a graceful block waterfall to the lush and surreal Lake Mývatn. Overnight at Hotel Reynihild for 2 nights.

DAY 5 – Myvatn
Day at leisure with options to hike at Dimmuborgir; enjoy the turquoise warm waters of the Nature Baths or drive out to Ásbýrgi Gorge, the Tjornes Peninsula and Dettifoss.

DAY 6 – Myvatn – Highlands
To quote journalist Sankha Guha ‘an amazing journey with a sense of remoteness you usually have to go to the other side of the world for’. The Sprengisandur which is closed for all but 2 months of the year takes you right down through the mountainous heart of Iceland. Overnight at Hotel Highland.

DAY 7 – Highlands – Grindavik
Follow the road into Landmannalaugar with its sweeping mountainscapes of varying colour and hot springs round into Þórsmörk and extraordinary habitat that is home to more than 170 plant species nestled in a carpet of dwarf birch trees and then out along the Reykjanes peninsula. Overnight at Northern Lights Inn.

DAY 8 – Grinadvik – UK
Drive to the airport, drop off hire car & return flight to UK.