Iceland Walking Explorer Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group
Destinations:
Iceland, Europe
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
TSF
Activity Rating - Moderate
Moderate

You are moderately fit and possess a spirit of adventure. Some previous experience is required for most activity based trips.

10 Days Flight Inclusive
10 Days Land only
Min age: 16

Trip Overview

This full-circuit trekking itinerary includes four full day hikes in some of the best hiking spots in Iceland as well as some shorter hikes on transit days. We start at the Troll peninsula and hike from the remote valley of Hedinsfjordur fjord to the fishing village Siglufjordur. Then we trek in the lunar-like Lake Myvatn landscape of pseudo craters, lava fields and plentiful hot springs. We move on to the dramatic south easst coast where we hike in the Vatnajokull NP as well as hike on one of the outlet glaciers from the Vatnajokull ice cap, which covers about 11% of Iceland. Our last camp is on the south coast in Vik where we do our last full day hike. On the last day we drive from Vik to international airport for those catching afternoon flight back home that day. From the airport we head for Reykjavik for those that have extended their trip.

At a Glance

  • 9 nights fixed camping, 1 night en suite hotel
  • 5 days and 2 half days walking
  • Full porterage
  • Low altitude throughout
  • Group normally 7 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs

Trip Highlights

  • A full circuit of the country combining all the major sites
  • See the new craters formed by the Eyjafjallajokull eruption
  • Well-equipped campsites, some next to hot springs or with hot tubs or showers

Is This Trip for You?

This trip is classified Level 3, Moderate.
Walks are of varying length and distance on this trip, interspersed with days spent driving and visiting some of the memorable sites in Iceland.
The two longest days are around 4-6 hours. Many days involve shorter walks in 2 or 3 different areas with a drive in between.
Much of the terrain in Iceland is rocky and without paths, although we keep the walking non-technical, there will be some areas of loose ground where you must concentrate to keep your footing. There are also some areas with steep drops which may not be suitable for vertigo sufferers.
Walks are subject to change in the event of adverse weather conditions.
While camping, members are expected to participate, including erecting and dismantling your own tent and helping the leader with some kitchen duties and the preparation of meals.
Due to the distance covered on this trip, there are a number of long drives, but these are broken up with stops at various sites of interest.
Main luggage is transported to each campsite by minibus, meaning you will only need to carry provisions for one day at a time, see the packing list for details of the daypack required.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
6
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Reykjavik
End City:
Reykjavik

Flight Inclusive

Start City:
London
End City:
London

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Reykjavik

    Iceland’s compact capital city is well worth exploring, and we strongly recommend a couple of extra days before or after your tour. Two of the most striking attractions are the Hallgrímskirkja Church; a fine example of expansionist architecture and the beautiful Harpa Concert Hall. The nearby old harbour is a great starting point to explore the narrow streets of the old town. Depending on your arrival time you may wish to visit one of the public thermal baths for your first taste of Icelandic culture. Our trip begins with a briefing at our start hotel at 1830. 

  • Day 2

    Drive to Siglufjordur. Stop at the swimming pool at Hofsos

     

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Hike to the top of the home peak of the town Siglufjordur

    We start with a short drive from town which takes us to Skardsdalur valley where we start our hike. We head hike up to a saddle below Mt. Skardshnjukur. From there we head north along the edges and out to Mt. Hafnarhyrna, the home mountain of Siglufjordur. We enjoy stunning views to the north and the south of the ridge. To the north of the Atlantic Ocean and out to Grimsey island, arctic circle runs through Grimsey. To the south we have the town and endless peaks of the Troll Peninsula – the most mountainous area of Iceland.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
    Distance covered: 15 km / 9 miles
  • Day 4

    Drive to Lake Myvatn

    From Siglufjordur we head for Lake Myvatn, passing en route through the fishing villages on the Troll Peninsula. We make a short stop at Akureyri before we turn east and head for Lake Myvatn via the waterfall Godafoss. Our journey then takes us on to Myvatn for a short walk in the lava fields and craters. We reach Dimmuborgir, a vast area of lava towers and natural arches. The most spectacular of them is 'the Church', a large vault resembling a church. Only a short distance from Dimmuborgir is Mt.Hverfjall, a huge circular crater with a depth of 140 metres and 1000 metres in diameter. It is one of the most beautiful craters in Iceland, one which erupted some 2500 years ago and covered the Myvatn area in tephra (fragments of volcanic rock). It is also thought to be one of the largest on the planet. We traverse Mt.Hverfjall, and a little further north is the rift crevasse Grjotagja with its crystal clear warm water

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
    Distance covered: 6 km / 4 miles
  • Day 5

    Dettifoss waterfall and a hike from the volcanic Krafla area to the Nature Baths.

    We start by heading for Europe’s most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss. We park nearby and walk down to the edge of the waterfall to experience this immense power for ourselves. We then drive into the Krafla volcano area to explore the craters and lava from the eruptive period of 1975-1984. We hike into one of the craters and look at the strange textures of cooled magma splatters and rich colours of the mineral deposits. From the colourful Leirhnjukur hill we set course down to Lake Myvatn on foot and cross countless rift fissures and the lava falls Elda (Fire River) on an unforgettable hike. Back at Myvatn we have the chance to soak our muscles in one of the geothermal pools in an optional tour to the Nature Baths. This is a fabulous setting to enjoy traditional Icelandic relaxation (see optional costs below for prices).

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
    Distance covered: 14 km / 8 miles
  • Day 6

    Drive to Hofn via Saenautasel farmstead and the Studalgil Canyon basalt columns. To the town Egilsstadir and then down to the south east coast to Hofn.

    Long drive to the town Hofn on the south east cost.

     

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
  • Day 7

    Hike in Vatnajokull

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
    Distance covered: 12 km / 8 miles
  • Day 8

    Glacier Lagoon, Black beach with ice on the beach. Skaftafell and Svartifoss waterfall.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
  • Day 9

    walk on Solheimajokull

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 12 km / 7 miles
  • Day 10

    Skogarfoss and Kvernufoss waterfalls. South coast and Reykjanes Peninsula to Keflavik Airport.

    See Skogarfoss and Kvernufoss waterfalls and the Reykjanes peninsula en route to Reykjavik where our trip ends.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

Accommodation

Camping & Hotel

The first and last two nights are spent in Reykjavik. Here we usually use Hotel Cabin or Klettur both offering comfortable rooms with en suite facilities. The hotel is approximately 800m from the city centre. As hotel availability in Reykjavik can be scarce during the summer due to strong demand, we may occasionally use an alternative hotel of the same standard.
When camping we usually stay at organised campsites, with good facilities and showers are available for a small fee (about £2) at some, included at others. Some also have a launderette service or facilities for washing clothes.
We use spacious two-person tents with sewn-in groundsheets and separate flysheets are supplied. We provide a dining tent with a table, campstools, and LED lamps. Please note that some campsites in Iceland cannot be pre-booked, and are allocated on a first-come first-served basis. Occasionally in busy periods we may use campsites different to those outlined in the itinerary.

Single accommodation, including a single tent, is available on request.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £230.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts and 6 lunches included.
Typical Meals when camping:
Breakfast: fresh fruit; yoghurt; porridge; muesli; bread; jam; tea/coffee.
Lunch: bread and soup; cheese; tuna; biscuits.

Evening meals will be taken in restaurants near the campsites. 


Dietary requirements - vegetarians can be catered for, please advise at time of booking. As this is predominantly a camping trip, there is limited flexibility whilst in camp. If you have specific dietary requirements please ask at time of booking to allow us to check with our local partners. Unfortunately, due to the remoteness of some locations, we are unable to cater for vegans.

Transportation

We use a comfortable van or bus, ruggedly built to Icelandic standards and able to cope with most types of terrain, including fording glacial rivers. Airport transfers are on the Flybus Service.

Weather & Seasonality

When to go

Iceland is on the northern edge of the temperate zone, meaning it has cool summers. Daytime temperatures in the summer months can be anything from 10 to 20degC, though in 2008 they reached 25 and could equally drop close to 0. As we are in a mountain area you must be prepared for some days of poor weather with strong winds and rain, but usually the weather is quite pleasant, though cool. There is constant daylight, but not midnight sun, in May, June and July.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 10 days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

 

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of Iceland air (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

 

Travelling land only: 10 days starting and ending in Reykjavik

We offer a transfer to meet any international flight arriving into Keflavik Airport. All clients will receive a voucher for a Flybus transfer to the start hotel. Flybus offer coach transfers to meet every flight and makes stops at various city hotels including our start hotel. You will receive further details in your Final Joining Instructions.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Reykjavik
Location end:
Reykjavik

What to Take

Essential Equipment

3 seasons sleeping bag
Sleeping mat - Thermorest or similar
Warm jacket
Waterproofs - jacket, trousers
Walking boots
Day pack, 25-45l- main luggage is transported by minibus
Swimwear
Towel
Rubber shoes may be useful for the river crossings
Water bottle
Torch (August and September departures).
Mosquito/midge repellent. This is only really an issue at Lake Myvatn, where midges are common. Headnets can be bought in Iceland for about £5 pounds and are recommended.

We believe in reducing our negative environmental impacts wherever possible, this goes for when you need to spend a penny in the great outdoors! If no facilities are available there may come a time when you need to go to the loo behind a tree/bush/rock. To avoid leaving toilet paper behind we recommend taking biodegradable dog poo/sandwich bags with you. Once you have done your business you can pop the used toilet roll in here and take it off the mountain or trail at the end of the day and dispose of it when there are appropriate facilities available.

Optional Equipment

Eye Mask

Ear plugs

Walking Poles

 

Reading List

Iceland: Rother Walking Guide - Handle/Schiesl ISBN 3763348026.
Map(s) The Rough Guide Map Iceland - Rough Guides Ltd, ISBN 1843533103

Practical Information

Passport

Iceland

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Iceland

No visa required for British passport holders.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Iceland

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Iceland's Timezone:
Atlantic/Reykjavik GMT (GMT +00:00)

Electricity

Iceland's Electricity:

230 Volts. Plug types C & F; establishments often take two round pin plugs.

You can charge batteries at many of the campsites on this trip.You will need a standard European adapter for Icelandic sockets

Money

Iceland's Currency

The national currency of Iceland is the Iceland Krona (ISK), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (January 2019) of approximately 156 to the GBP,  121 to the USD, 91 to the CAD, 138 to the EUR, 87 to the AUD and 82 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

There are ATMs in Reykjavik and in the small settlements such as Hella, Vik, and Kirkjubaejarklaustur. Visa and Mastercards are widely accepted.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

We recommend you allow for the following extra expenses.
Allow £60 to £90 for the two dinners not included, in Reykjavik. Unfortunately Iceland is very expensive for eating out. For small snacks and drink stops en-route allow about £45 in total.

Optional Excursions

Although we provide a full programme of walks, there are several opportunities for optional activities and excursions, which can be arranged locally. Approximate prices and duration are below: 

Day 3 or 4: Glacier walk with crampons and ice axe at Skaftafell - £30 for 2 hours, £52 for 4-5 hours.
Ascent of Mt Hvannadalshnukur - £115 for full day.
Ice climbing - £50 for 3 hours.
Tractor ride to Ingolfshofdi - £20 for 2-3 hours.
Day 7: Whale watching from Husavik - £35 for 3 hours.
Day 8: Nature bath at Myvatn - £10 for 1-2 hours.
Day 12. Steam bath at Laugarvatn - £3-5 for 1-2 hours.
Activities in Reykjavik:
Riding the unique Iceland horse - £40 for 3 hours. Transfers from guesthouse included.
Horse riding and trip to the Blue Lagoon - £55 for 6-7 hours. Transfers from guesthouse included.
Whale watching from Reykjavik harbour - £35 for 3 hours.
Entrance to Blue Lagoon - £15 for 1-2 hours. Transfers not included, but can be arranged locally.

Tipping

Our staff are paid fairly for their work, however should you feel you wish to tip the leader and/or driver this is of course entirely at your discretion. Icelanders do not expect a tip, and as such advice on an amount is not always forthcoming, so as a guide you could consider the equivalent in Icelandic Krona of £30, 40USD, 50CAD

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

This trip includes time by a lake, river or sea, where there may be opportunities to swim. Swimming results in more tourists deaths than any other activity. All customers should always seek local advice before deciding whether to swim, and are requested to treat the sea with extreme caution if they choose to enter the water. Details on how to keep yourself safe while swimming are shown here.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.