EXPERIENCE ICELAND

Update during Reykjanes seismic activity

Explore Iceland with confidence

Today, Kaz Custom Travel received an update from Visit Iceland so we wanted to reassure you, on their behalf, that travel to Iceland remains open and safe for visitors.

You may have seen recent news reports about increased seismic activity in Iceland. Please note that the seismic activity described in these news reports is highly localized to the town of Grindavík on the Reykjanes Peninsula. There is no impact on attractions or infrastructure on the rest of the Reykjanes Peninsula or the rest of Iceland.

During this time, Kaz Custom Travel continues to offer travel planning for clients wishing to visit Iceland and we look forward to providing you with exceptional experiences in the land of fire and ice.

Iceland is no stranger to volcanic activity, and people from around the globe visit Iceland to experience the country’s abundant volcanic resources. Icelandic authorities and the public are highly prepared for such events, and Iceland has one of the world’s most effective volcanic preparedness measures. The Grindavík area is closely monitored and constantly evaluated based on the best scientific data.

A this time, scientists consider any disturbance to air traffic an unlikely scenario. However, a potential disruption to flight traffic cannot be entirely ruled out, and authorities have implemented preventative measures to ensure public safety foremost.

We hope to help you plan your visit to Iceland soon and are here to help if you have any pre-travel concerns.

NOTE: This information is current at time of publication (November 20, 2023). You can find the most up-to-date information on Visit Iceland and a map of the affected area, here and here.

 

Why on earth would you want to experience Iceland?

If you love volcanic landscapes, waterfalls, lakes and fjords as much as I do, then these are very good reasons to want to experience Iceland. This small country in the North Atlantic has them all in abundance. Also on the list of natural wonders you’ll discover in Iceland, are its abundance of natural spas, glacier-topped mountains, black sand beaches, caves and lava tubes. Iceland is ideal for nature-lovers and adventure seekers as well as anyone looking to relax and rejuvenate. And I haven’t even mentioned its interesting history, culture and cuisine, its wildlife, the friendly Icelandic people or the spectacular night sky light shows (aka The Northern Lights) yet! If Iceland is one of the destinations on your bucket list, check out the sample guided self-drive tour below, which can be tailored to your wants, needs and desires.

8-day Icelandic Circle Tour

Experience Iceland on an Escorted Group Tour or a Guided Self-Drive Tour—it’s your choice.

Skogafoss, Iceland

If the land of fire and ice is on your bucket list, a 7 night/8-day tour of the country, via the Golden Circle and its ring road, with a few detours here and there, is a great way to experience Iceland’s best. Depending on your preferences, you can choose an escorted group tour starting and ending in Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik (either by coach or mini-bus depending on the tour operator), or a guided self-drive tour, starting and ending at Keflavik International Airport, including accommodation and breakfast each night.

Below you’ll find a sample guided self-drive tour, which can be customized to your own needs and interests, or extended so you can experience even more of Iceland’s stunning regions or spend more time in Reykjavik.

Iceland - lupins with mountains and church

I have explored Iceland on a self-drive tour in mid-May when the days are long and there are only a few hours of darkness. Departing around 8 am each morning, I not only left before most of the bus tours, I had about 14 hours of daylight to explore. This gave me ample time to stop for awhile at many sites along the route, including ones I had not planned. The following itinerary is similar to my journey except I did it in reverse.

Iceland’s Ring Road Self-Drive Tour (sample itinerary)

Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights

Travelling via Iceland’s Ring Road and the Golden Circle, on a self-drive tour, you’ll see and experience the best of Iceland’s natural wonders—waterfalls, black sand beaches, glaciers, lakes, volcanic craters, hot springs, geothermal lagoons and maybe even an active volcano—as well as some of its historic sites and artifacts, farms and museums.

You’ll also get the chance to taste some of Iceland’s traditional foods, such as Icelandic lamb soup, fresh caught fish, Pylsa (hotdog), skyr (similar to yoghurt/cheese), Pönnukökur (pancakes) and even fermented shark.

This tour can be done on a 7-night stopover in Iceland en route to the UK via Icelandair or as a standalone 8-day vacation. Flights arriving from Toronto to Keflavik arrive early in the morning, leaving you all of day one to acclimatize in and around the Reykjavik area—including a visit to Sky Lagoon to relax a while in its geothermally-heated waters.

If you are on a stopover to the UK, the flight from Keflavik to the UK leaves early on Day 8 so I recommend returning to Keflavik the night before and staying at the airport hotel (believe me it’s worth it!).

If you’re returning directly back to Toronto (on an afternoon flight), you can choose to explore more of Reykavik or explore the surrounding area on Day 8 before heading back to the airport.

Alternatively, you can extend your trip so you can spend longer in the East Fjords, travel via the Diamond Route to Akureyri (1-2 additional days), add a tour of the Snaefellsness Peninsular in the Western Region (2-3 additional days), or explore the Westfjords (4-5 extra days).

If you only have a week, you’ll definitely be wanting to visit Iceland more than once (that I can attest to!).

Vestrahorn Mountain Eastern Iceland

7 Day Iceland Self-Drive Tour Highlights

Note: This self-drive tour is designed for the summer months (mid-May through early September) and requires 12 hours or more of daylight. All KMs mentioned are an approximate guide only and do not include any additional detours you may make. (I have done this journey – in reverse – but have not included all the sites I visited.)

Day 1: Arrival in Iceland. Keflavik to Reykjavik (54 km).

Optional: Tour the northern tip of the Reykjanes Peninsula to visit Garður Old Lighthouse before heading to Reykjavik* (extra 34 km).

Explore Reykjavik on foot visiting the famous Hallgrimskirkja, Rainbow Road, Sun Voyager and Harpa Centre (among other sites). Overnight in Reykjavik.

Optional: In the evening, after a nap, visit Sky Lagoon to relax and unwind or the Perlan Museum for dinner.

Overnight in Reykjavik.

Tip: If you love cats (like me), you must visit the cat cafe and if you love knitting or crocheting visit the Icelandic wool stores.

Tip: Arriving early morning, it may be a few hours before you can check in. A good place to park for free to explore the city on foot is in the Hallgrimskirkja parking lot.

Day 2: Reykjavik to Vik via the Golden Circle (310 km)

Some of the sites you can visit on this route include Þingvellir National Park, Silfra Fissure, Laugarvatn Fontana, Gullfoss, Geysir Hot Springs, Dyrhólaey Lighthouse and Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach. Some of the other waterfalls you can visit on the route are Öxarárfoss, Faxafoss, Seljalandsfoss, Gljufrabui, Skogarfoss and Kvernufoss. You probably won’t have time to visit them all.

Overnight in or near Vik. 

Day 3: Vik to Höfn (270 km).

Som of the sites you can visit are Mossy Lava Fields, Foss á Síðu, Skaftafell / Vatnajökull National Park (with hike to Svartifoss), Diamond Beach, Jökulsárlón Lagoon and Stokksnes/Vestrahorn.

Overnight in or near Höfn. 

Day 4: Höfn to Egilsstaðir or Seydisfjordur (251/277 km)

Visit East Region fishing villages, various waterfalls, lighthouses and other sites.

Optional: If staying in Egilsstaðir visit Vök Baths to experience this magical lakeside spa in a mountain setting. (2 hours needed).

Overnight in Egilsstaðir or Seydisfjordur.

Tip: you’ll need an additional 30 minutes or so to reach Seydisfjordur.

Day 5: Egilsstaðir or Seydisfjordur to Akureyri (302/329 km).

Visit Detifoss Waterfall, Myvatn volcanic craters and geothermal hot springs, and Goðafoss Waterfall.

Overnight in or near Akureyri.

Optional: Detour to Hengifoss (65 km) or Studagil Canyon (38 km) before heading to Dettifoss (an extra 1-2 hours needed).

Tip: 4WD required and check the weather forecast first

Optional: Visit to Myvatn Baths or Forest Lagoon (extra 2 hours needed). 

Tip: this route includes a tunnel near Akureyri with a fee which must be paid within 24 hours. You can opt to take the mountain route instead which adds approx. 15 km (an extra 15-20 mins).

Day 6: Akureyri to Reykholt (317 km)

Visit Grábrók craters, Glanni, Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls.

Optional: detour to visit a Glaumbær Farm & Museum, Black Beach and Sauðárkrókskirkja (22 km extra).

Overnight in Reykholt.

Day 7: Reykholt to Reykjavik (120 km)

Detour to the Old Akranes Lighthouse, ending your day exploring Reykjavik at leisure.

Optional: Take the picturesque route around Hvalfjörður to visit Glymur Waterfall and Hvammsvik Hot Springs among other sites.

Overnight in or near Reykjavik.

Tip: If departing early on day 8, overnight at the airport (54 km).

Day 8: Reykjavik to Keflavik (54 km)

Departure Day. If time before your departure, choose to explore Reykjavik on foot some more or explore the surrounding area before heading to the airport. Depart Iceland.

Tip: Depart your accommodation early each morning to allow enough time for stops along the route. By leaving early, you’ll also have some sights to yourself before the bus tours catch up with you.

Tip: You’ll need additional days if you plan to do this route during the shoulder seasons (early March to early-May or mid-September to mid-October). I do not recommend attempting this route in the winter on your own. The tour can be done in reverse (which I chose to do as I was arriving from the UK after spending time with family there).

Tip: Some sites/spas do not open in the morning, so depending on which ones you wish to visit, you may also need to do the tour in reverse to ensure you arrive after they open, and/or if you like to sleep in, add a few extra days so you can take your time exploring.

*NOTE: This itinerary has been updated due to recent seismic activity. On my first visit to Iceland, I explored the entire Reykjanes peninsula via Grindavik and Kleifarvatn before heading to Reykjavik. However, due to recent seismic activity in the south of the peninsula, the roads to and from Grindavik are now damaged and closed to the public. Grindavik has been evacuated and Blue Lagoon has been closed to the public. I have therefore changed the itinerary. If you intend to explore any other areas of Reykjanes Peninsula, please check local sources first. 

Experience Iceland on a Tailor-made Tour

The above tour highlights just a few of the natural wonders you can experience on either an 8-day / 7-night self-drive tour. Escorted tours take a similar route but may not visit as many sites as can be possible on a self-drive tour. There are many types and duration of Iceland tours to fit your schedule, interests and travel style, including reverse itineraries, longer itineraries that encompass Westfjords and more sites and experiences in the northern region, as well as hiking tours (including glacial hikes and camping). Whether you’re travelling solo, with a friend or partner, or in a small group, tours can be tailored to your needs.

Þingvellir National Park, Iceland
National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures

Need more time in Reykjavik to experience Iceland’s capital city culture and entertainment?

If you’re on a standalone vacation (not a 7-night stopover on the way to the UK or Europe), book-end the tour with an extra two nights’ accommodation close to all the best attractions, such as the Saga and Icelandic Phallological Museums, Spúútnik, the vintage fashion shopping mecca of Reykjavik, the iconic Hallgrimskirkja and the Epal Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre, not to mention all the pubs and bars with all-night entertainment. And if you’re visiting in summer, don’t forget to visit the geothermal beach!

Hallgrimskirkja Reyjavik Downtown, Iceland

There is so much to see, do and experience in Iceland, it’s not possible to fit it all in during one 7-night trip. But one thing I can guarantee, after your first visit, you’ll want to revisit Iceland to experience even more.

Certified Inspired by Iceland Specialist

Want to experience Iceland?

As your Certified Inspired by Iceland Specialist, I can help you plan everything for your visit including the above guided self-drive tour, an escorted group tour or a completely tailor-made itinerary just for you. Contact me to start planning…

Myvatn Lake craters
National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures

Iceland: a healthy haven you should experience at least once in your life!

There are many reasons to travel to Iceland, an isolated island in the North Atlantic on the edge of the Arctic Circle. This small European country is renowned for being a land of fire & ice due to its active volcanoes & glaciers, but did you know Iceland is also an ideal destination for health & wellness in nature? That’s right, Iceland is a healthy haven that you should experience at least once in your lifetime, especially if health & well-being is a priority!

See why here
Exclusive Offer

Complimentary Entrance Tickets

When you book a 7-day Icelandic escorted group tour or guided self-drive tour through Kaz Custom Travel, we’ll pay for your entrance tickets to Viking World and one other museum of your choice.*

Stop dreaming of visiting Iceland someday… plan to Experience Iceland soon!

*Terms and Conditions apply. Offer applies to all passengers on the same booking or listed on the same group booking. This offer cannot be combined with any other special offer or discount. If a specific date is requested and it appears on the Voucher or Entrance Tickets, they must be used on the date requested at the time of booking. Entrance tickets may be subject to additional terms and conditions from the supplier. Offer cannot be transferred or exchanged for cash or any other product. Only valid when an Icelandic tour or cruise/tour is booked through Kaz Custom Travel and final payment is made in full by the due date. If Viking World entrance fees are included as part of the tour and included on your itinerary, their cost will be deducted from the final balance. If purchased separately by Kaz Custom Travel, the client will not be invoiced. Kaz Custom Travel is not affiliated with Viking World or any other Iceland museum. This offer is made by Kaz Custom Travel, and is not being subsidized or sponsored by Viking World, Travel Professionals International or any other third party. Kaz Custom Travel cannot be held liable for any changes to opening times or irregular/early/unannounced closures, or exhibit cancellations. It is the passenger’s responsibility to check opening times before travelling to the museum.

Loading...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This