Iceland & Greenland DISCOVER THE WORLD valid to December 2013

Iceland & Greenland | Travel Brochure

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There is something for everyone in our brand new brochure, showcasing the huge range of incredible year round holiday options in Iceland, including ideas for exploring Greenland.

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Page 1: Iceland & Greenland | Travel Brochure

Iceland& Greenland


valid to December 2013

Page 2: Iceland & Greenland | Travel Brochure


Page No.


Welcome 3

Our Iceland Top 10 4

The Specialists 6

Booking with Us 8

Q & A with a Travel Expert 10


Summer in Iceland 12

Winter in Iceland 14

Activities & Experiences 16


South West 20

South East 22

East 24

North East 26

North 28

West Fjords 30

Snaefellsnes & the West 32

Highlands 34

Reykjavik & Reykjanes 36

Accommodation in Iceland 38

Short Breaks in Iceland 40

Reykjavik City Break 42

Self-drive holidays

Self-drive Iceland – an Overview 44

Aurora Nights (3 nights) 46

Journey to the Centre of the Earth (7 nights) 48

Essential Iceland (7 nights) 50

National Parks & Natural Wonders (9 nights) 52

Around Iceland (14 nights) 54

Car choices & our Gold Service 56

Guided & small group holidays

About our Escorted Tours 58

Northern Lights Special (3 nights) 60

Killer Whales & Northern Lights (4 nights) 62

Classic Iceland (9 nights) 64

Touring holidays (North, South, East, West) 66

Small group walking holidays (North, South) 68

Weddings, Honeymoons, & Other Celebrations 70

Iceland & the Icehotel 72


Introducing Greenland & Map 74

Greenland Holidays Overview 76

Our other destinations

Scandinavia, Polar regions, Canada, Australia & New Zealand 78


Airfares – the Best Price for You 80

AITO Quality Charter 82


Iceland Map 83


East FjordsHusavik

Why choose Discover the World – see page 6 For our office opening hours please visit our website

Main front cover image of Kirkjufell, Snaefellsnes, copyright and thanks to Dennis Bromage, who wrote to us with this stunning shot that just had to grace our cover: ‘This was our second night in Iceland and this view is a five minute drive from the hotel in Grundarfjordur. An incredible start to the trip that’s for sure!’ www.DennisBromage.co.uk

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discover-the-world.co.uk/icelandbrochure Talk to the experts 01737 218 800 3 3

Welcome I fi rst visited Iceland 40 years ago and spent a year working and living in a remote fi shing village called Flateyri, in the north-west Fjord region. Of course the country has changed in many ways since then, but by and large the people have not. They are still some of the most hard-working, friendly, cultured and welcoming human beings on the planet and the time I spent living amongst them was, without a doubt, the most formative period of my life.

The world economic crisis hit Iceland particularly badly, but the infrastructure of one of the most well developed societies in the world is still there and unlike certain other parts of the world, the Icelanders are slowly but surely putting their economic house in order, with many starting to ask if the Icelandic way is actually a model for many other countries. But enough of fi nancial woes… no doubt what attracts you to an Iceland holiday is the prospect of some of the most spectacular and other-worldly scenery on Earth, which Iceland certainly offers by the bucket load!

But what of the volcanoes you might say? Obviously Iceland would not be Iceland without them! Icelanders have lived respectfully and largely happily alongside, even harnessing the power of the planet for centuries. Most of its natural wonders are well behaved but of course there are a few unruly beasts, such as the Eyjafjallajökull volcano that disrupted air travel in 2010. In fact most eruptions in Iceland are less pesky and actually make an amazing spectacle to observe. You may like to register with our Volcano Hot Line, which we have been operating for over 20 years, to be kept up-to-date and fl own out to Iceland as soon as possible after an eruption. Whatever happens during your holiday in Iceland you can be rest assured that our team will be there to look after you. In the unlikely event that the Norse Gods become angry and stop you from returning home as scheduled, we will make all necessary arrangements to make sure that you are put in a hotel, fed and fully informed – all without charge. Take a look at our Travel Disruption Charter and you’ll fi nd a clear, no-nonsense promise that we make to those who book with us (full details are available on our website). This is just an example of the many advantages of booking your holiday with a travel operator such as Discover the World (please see pages 6-7 for more reasons).

Our brochure has been designed to give you a full and balanced account of all that Iceland has to offer to the savvy traveller, and is supported by our website where you will fi nd further holiday ideas and detailed, up-to-date pricing. This is all backed up by a team of travel professionals who know Iceland intimately and will be pleased to share their passion for the country with you. And for those of you able to make it to our modern and spacious offi ce in Banstead, Surrey – Sam our resident chocolate Labrador is looking forward to greeting you in his own charming style! We have been arranging holidays to Iceland for nearly three decades now, although Sam is a more recent addition to the mix!

If I can be of any assistance you can reach me via email: [email protected]. Please don’t hesitate to contact me.

I wish you a wonderful, exhilarating and memorable holiday – but beware – Iceland is highly addictive!

Góða ferð!

Clive StaceyManaging Director and co-Founder




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Iceland is characterised by its abundance of natural wonders and plentiful unique features – here are just some of the reasons why we love this fascinating country.

Iceland’s topography is unmistakable. As soon as you fl y into Kefl avik airport you will spot immense lava fi elds and volcanic craters. At Thingvellir, walk between a great tear in the Earth’s crust as you straddle the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. See page 21

Volcanoes, geysirs, and Thingvellir National Park

The northern lights

SuperjeepsWith raised suspension and gigantic tyres, these modifi ed 4WD vehicles glide over deep snow and cope with ease on uneven terrain. Experience an Icelandic obsession on an excursion or hire one yourself.See page 17

Watching these streaks of ‘magic’ ripple across the night sky has brought many a smile to visitors to Iceland. Thanks to a lack of light pollution and its location in the ‘auroral zone’, viewing is possible from end of September through to mid-April. See pages 46 and 60 for suggested holidays. See page 11

Gourmet food and hotdogs!

Iceland is a foodie’s paradise – the freshest possible fi sh, organic lamb and dairy produce combine fl avours to equal outstanding quality cuisine. We highly recommend trying the surprisingly addictive hotdogs at the ‘Bæjarins beztu pylsur’ kiosk in downtown Reykjavik! See page 37

Whale watching Husavik, in North Iceland, is known as Europe’s whale watching capital and offers sightings of minke, humpbacks and even the shy blue whale. Day trips are possible from Reykjavik too. Orcas also frequent the waters off the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.See pages 62-63 for our special tour

Iceland’s tophighlights!



Highlands Husavik

4 All our holidays are bound by our Terms & Conditions, which can be found on our website

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The Blue LagoonIndulge in the steaming, mineral-rich waters of this open air bathing spot. Conveniently located en route to Keflavik airport, there is no excuse not to take a dip!See page 21

WaterfallsFrom shimmering bridal veils to torrents of water you can walk behind, Iceland boasts some of the prettiest cascades in the world, including Dettifoss - Europe’s most powerful. See page 26

A Photographer’s paradise Iceland remains remote and largely untouched, providing inspiration for both professional and amateur photographers at every turn. We thank our friends Ragnar TH Sigurdsson (www.arctic-images.com) and Cathy Harlow, for providing many of the stunning images for this brochure.

GlacierWhether astride a snowmobile, wearing crampons on a glacier hike or scaling an ice wall, Iceland’s many glaciers just beg to be explored. Mighty Vatnajokull with its many tongues, is Europe’s largest and is found within the continent’s biggest national park. See page 16

An adaptable, forward-thinking attitudeThe refreshingly resilient yet friendly ‘we can fix it’ attitude has stood Icelanders well in recent years, and at just 320,000 inhabitants (approx.), their aptitude to both harness geothermal energy and respect the power of the planet is admirable.

Scan with your smartphone and visit our website!

Use the QR codes printed in this brochure to take you straight to our website when you scan them with your camera phone or mobile device. The codes can be found on each holiday page and will link you to further information about the trip as well the current prices. You must be able to access the internet on your mobile device and it will need to be equipped with a QR code reader application, available for download at www.discover-the-world.co.uk/qr

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The Specialists Why you should book with the expertsAt Discover the World your holiday is important to us from the moment you book to the moment you return. We believe in value for money, excellent customer service, and a personal touch to planning your holiday. Having successfully operated holidays to Iceland and Greenland for nearly three decades, we offer not just a tremendous amount of valuable experience, but also an unmatched passion for the region. Iceland is our most popular destination and for good reason!

Expert fi rst-hand knowledgeEach year we send our team of travel specialists to Iceland, Greenland and further afi eld, so that they can experience fi rst-hand the areas, accommodations and excursions we offer. We also have a few Icelanders working as part of the team in our Banstead offi ce. You can be assured that you will receive excellent advice and fi rst-hand knowledge when planning your holiday - feel free to pick their brains! And remember, many of the options you fi nd in this brochure

or on our website are suggested itineraries only; our team will be more than happy to tailor a holiday to your individual needs.

Value for money Contrary to popular belief, it is often less expensive to book through a tour operator than to book direct on the Internet - and far more straightforward! Due to our longstanding relationships with a variety of Icelandic partners we can secure rooms at key hotels at the busiest times, with excellent

rates and very often special offers too. When you book with us you’ll know exactly what is included and what’s not - we don’t believe in hidden extras. We make regular checks to ensure our prices remain competitive.

ReliabilityWe select our travel partners very carefully, based on the highest levels of service, value and quality and we constantly monitor their commitment to customer satisfaction.

Taking care of you on holiday and before you leaveWe are proud of our excellent reputation for looking after our clients, without question, should the unexpected occur. Our ‘Travel Disruption Charter’ offers a simple and transparent guarantee. Our team of dedicated travel consultants will do everything possible to rearrange your trip should it be cancelled or if your outward

Seydisfjordur, East Fjords

6 Why choose Discover the World – see page 6 For our offi ce opening hours please visit our website

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flight(s) cannot operate within 24 hours of the scheduled departure time due to a range of natural events, including but not limited to seismic and volcanic activity. If it is not possible to re-arrange your trip, you will receive a refund of the trip cost you have paid to us. When you are on holiday, if it becomes necessary to alter or reroute your itinerary, we will make these arrangements at no additional cost to you. In the event your scheduled return flight(s) are cancelled and it is necessary to remain in your destination, we will provide you with accommodation and meals until such time that we or the airline can make arrangements to return you home as soon as possible. For full terms and conditions just give us a call or visit our website.

Your money and customer rights are protectedA key benefit of booking with a

UK-based specialist operator, is that you are covered by very stringent British travel industry regulations and UK legislation throughout your holiday. Our holiday packages are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators) bond also offers further financial protection for non-flight inclusive holidays, ensuring that all money paid to us is protected no matter what. We are also members of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).

Travel information - leave home well-preparedOnce a booking is confirmed we will supply detailed literature, such as a handy Road Atlas and guide book for our self-drive holidays, to ensure you leave home fully prepared – please refer to page 44 for further information.

ABTA No.V28235042

Flexible pricing In this brochure you will find an indication of the lowest price for each holiday at the time of going to press in September 2011. Up-to-date pricing is available on our website or can be obtained by calling our team of Iceland travel specialists. Once you have booked, prices are fixed and guaranteed 100% against any increases which may occur, whatever happens to the pound, the price of oil or tax changes.

Booking independently - an informed choice In this day and age, it may be quite tempting to try and book your holiday independently using the Internet rather than the services of a specialist tour operator. This is of course an option, but few understand the possible pitfalls and the potential false economy in doing so. There are various factors to take into consideration, for

example assurance of quality and standards, what happens if the airline changes or cancels your flights, or the hotel room you thought you had booked becomes ‘overbooked’? What financial or consumer protection do you have and what happens if something goes wrong on holiday? You may also find that by the time you have booked all your arrangements there is little or no cost saving and you could well end up paying a lot more. Whilst of course you have a choice, these are things to take into consideration but by booking through us we can take the worry out of these eventualities by offering quality products, fully bonded and financially protected holidays with trusted ‘package holiday’ customer protection, along with peace of mind that with 24/7 round-the-clock support, we are only ever a phone call away.

discover-the-world.co.uk/icelandbrochure Talk to the experts 01737 218 800 7

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Your holiday, our expertise Your Iceland adventure starts hereOur comprehensive range of Iceland holidays caters for a wide variety of tastes, budgets, interests and how much holiday time you have. Whether you are travelling on your own, with your family, a partner, or a group of friends, we’ll be happy to advise and put forward suggestions, based on our fi rst-hand knowledge and experience.

As destination specialists we will spend time and effort making sure that your holiday is right for you, ensuring your time away will be enjoyable and hassle free. Our team is friendly and knowledgeable. So if you would like to discuss any aspect of your holiday plans, or are just looking for inspiration and ideas, then get in touch with our Iceland specialists who are waiting to hear from you.

Tailor-made self-drive itineraries are our forté, and the majority of tours suggested in this brochure and on our website are fully fl exible (limited only by the availability of arrangements). Guided small group trips are of course somewhat less adaptable by their very nature, however you may always opt for a private departure, or add nights at the beginning or end of a tour.

Why choose Discover the World – see page 6 For our offi ce opening hours please visit our website

Our Bonus Card, issued to all Iceland passengers, can offer you substantial savings of between 10% and 30% on goods and services purchased locally, including popular shops and some suggested restaurants in prime locations.

Extra value bonus card

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Book with confidence & securityOur air holiday packages are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is ATOL 2896. In addition through our AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators) bond, we offer financial protection for non-flight inclusive holidays, ensuring that all money paid to us is protected no matter what. We are also members of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).

Confirm booking and make paymentOnce your form is received we will contact you for payment by either debit/credit card or cheque. At this point we confirm your holiday arrangements with our travel partners. Once your arrangements have been finalised, we will send you your booking invoice and further useful documentation; please see page 44 for information on the comprehensive books and information that we provide. Final documents are sent out 10-14 days in advance of your departure date.

Don’t forget, if you’d like to add excursions to your itinerary or upgrade hotel rooms, you may do this at any time (subject to availability).

Complete a booking formOnce you’ve decided upon your holiday plans, you’ll then need to complete our online booking form. Alternatively, we’ll be happy to send you a copy by post or fax. This ensures we have your correct contact details, personal information and requirements. Our full booking conditions as well as details of the travel insurance we offer are available on our website.

Note: It may be possible to hold some travel arrangements for a short time prior to confirming your booking (for instance with flights and escorted tours), however this is subject to availability. Please discuss your requirements with your travel specialist if you would like to do this.

Make an Enquiry or Request a Quote – online, by phone or in personThe first stage is to let us know your broad travel plans and interests, or if you have specific ideas of what you’d like to include in your holiday. You can do this by calling our office on 01737 218 800, emailing us at [email protected], or completing an enquiry form on our website www.discover-the-world.co.uk. If you’ve perhaps found an itinerary or tour in this brochure or on our website then call or email our team for current prices. Flights are quoted separately from ground arrangements – please refer to pages 80-81 for further details.You’re welcome to stop by our offices in leafy Surrey, where you can discuss your travel plans over a cup of coffee and browse our library of maps and guide books.

Start planning your holiday

Looking after you You are protected by our Travel Disruption Charter, which is a simple and transparent guarantee that we will take care of you in the event that your holiday is disrupted due to a range of natural events, including but not limited to seismic and volcanic activity. Full details are available on our website or from our specialist team. See page 6.

ABTA No.V28235042

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Q&A with an Iceland Travel ExpertOur team of travel specialists frequently visit Iceland throughout the year to see for themselves what makes it so special. They try out the wealth of activities and excursions available as well as visit the accommodation we feature and drive the rental vehicles we offer, so who better to give you fi rst-hand advice and knowledge. Tailor-made travel suited to our clients’ individual requirements and interests is what we specialise in. The following is an example of how we respond to the specifi c requests of our clients.

Iceland is ideal for a family holiday – with volcanoes, waterfalls, glaciers and geysirs it’s like stepping into a living geography lesson! From the end of September right through until mid-April you’ve a good chance of seeing the northern lights – key points to remember are that it needs to be dark (away from light pollution), with clear skies. Anywhere outside of Reykjavik and the larger towns or villages is best.

Unfortunately we don’t offer husky sledging in Iceland (although this is available in Lapland, another of our destinations!), but superjeep trips, ice climbing, snowmobiling and glacier hikes are available, as well as other activities and excursions to entertain your family.

As you are travelling with children you might like to consider staying in a cosy cottage with its own outdoor hot tub and kitchenette, such as Minniborgir, which is in the south west

near the popular Golden Circle route. We offer a variety of self-catering properties across Iceland – our suggested ‘Icelandic Way’ holidays focus on itineraries staying in cottages and summerhouses.

We would always recommend a 4WD vehicle in the winter months for ease and peace of mind, but the roads are generally kept clear of snow and easily navigable, especially in the south west area. You don’t necessarily need a jeep – the Category D cars which are 4WD (Skoda Octavia or similar) are very comfortable and economical on fuel too!

In response to your question about packing - Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream, so winter temperatures are similar to those of Vienna or Milan. Layers are key when exploring outside. Fleece sweaters and thermals are a good idea, as are sturdy boots and a warm

rain and windproof jacket and over-trousers. Don’t forget to pack warm socks, a cosy hat, buff or neck warmer and also your sunglasses! The weather is renowned for being changeable. After booking your holiday with us, you will receive a Travel Tips booklet full of advice on what clothing and other items to take, notes on photography, local information and much more.

We can understand your concern regarding volcanic eruptions. Iceland’s landscape is constantly evolving. All of our clients are protected by our Travel Disruption Charter, which is a simple and transparent guarantee that we take care of you in the event that your holiday is disrupted due to volcanic activity. Full details are available on our

website where you can also read feedback from previous travellers about how we looked after them during their holiday.

If you could provide us with details of your potential travel dates and how long you’d like to spend in Iceland, we’ll be happy to provide you with a detailed itinerary suggestion for your family’s holiday. Any further questions you may have, please just let me know!

Thank you.


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Response from Anna Heida, one of our Iceland specialists:

Why choose Discover the World – see page 6 For our offi ce opening hours please visit our website

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Max Min


SUNRISE/SUNSET (on 1st day of each month, in Reykjavik)*


January 2 °C -2 °C 89 11:19/15:44 Northern Lights

February 3 °C -3 °C 64 10:09/17:15 Northern Lights

March 4 °C -1 °C 62 08:36/18:45 Northern Lights

April 6 °C 1 °C 56 06:47/20:18 Northern Lights until approx. mid-month

May 10 °C 4 °C 42 05:01/21:51 -

June 12 °C 7 °C 42 03:23/23:30 Midnight Sun

July 14 °C 9 °C 50 03:04/23:57 Midnight Sun

August 14 °C 8 °C 56 04:33/22:33 -

September 11 °C 6 °C 67 06:08/20:45 Northern Lights from late September

October 7 °C 3 °C 94 07:35/18:58 Northern Lights

November 4 °C 0 °C 78 09:09/17:12 Northern Lights

December 2 °C -2 °C 79 10:44/15:49 Northern Lights

Please note statistics shown above are averages, based on records. *Thanks to the Science Institute of the University of Iceland. **Possible viewing – subject to weather conditions.

TEMPERATURE (daily, in Reykjavik)

East Fjords

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Summer in IcelandIceland awakens in the summer months, bringing lush green fields, gloriously long hours of daylight, ample opportunities for ornithologists and keen whale watchers, as well as pleasantly mild temperatures. The months of June to August are also the most popular for visitors, making early booking advisable!

Midnight sunIn June and early July the sun barely sets in Iceland, skimming the northern horizon and illuminating the fjords and mountains in a wonderful warm glow. All around the island, these spectacular all-night ‘sunsets’ can last for hours and are perfect for photography. From mid-May to the first week of August, you can be out and about exploring late into the evening as it doesn’t get dark at all.

WildlifeYou’ll find plenty of wildlife along Iceland’s 5000 km of coastline. From May to mid-July its huge cliffs are stacked with nesting sea birds, including the popular puffins. Seals haul up on rocky islets and if you’re lucky you might spot a whale or two from the shore. For the best chances, sign up for a whale-watching boat trip to look for minke and humpback whales as they gather to feed in the fjords (contact our office to book an excursion).

The island’s unpolluted rivers, lakes and ponds are full of trout, char and salmon and abundant wildfowl. You’ll soon discover that there aren’t many land mammals in Iceland but if you’re lucky you might glimpse an Arctic fox or, in the eastern highlands, a herd or two of reindeer (excursions are available – contact our team). Icelandic sheep graze freely in the mountains in summer and as you travel around the island, you’ll come across many beautiful pure-

bred Icelandic horses, with their ‘tolt’ gait, unique to the breed.

Incredible landscapeOf all the clichés, ‘island of contrasts’ perhaps best describes Iceland’s landscapes, which include fjords, valleys, rugged peaks, craters, lava and ash deserts, waterfalls, icecaps and glaciers. Once the winter snows have melted, the island bursts into colour. Especially striking are the intense greens of the mountain slopes along the south

East Fjords

12 Why choose Discover the World – see page 6 For our office opening hours please visit our website

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coast and the vivid patches of luminous yellow-green moss in the highlands. The volcanic rock also comes in an amazing range of colours from jet black basalt to the warm pink, beige and brown of rhyolite. Of special note are the many delicate alpine flowers, which are most abundant from mid-June to mid-July.

The weatherBeing an island, Iceland’s weather changes quickly – they say you can experience all four seasons in a day! In July, expect temperatures of between 10ºC and 15ºC but don’t be surprised if it drops below or rises above this range. There’s often a stiff breeze so it can feel colder but in

sheltered spots, you’ll be peeling off the layers. The south coast gets the highest rainfall, while the northeast of the island is often somewhat drier.

When to visit and what to see and doMost visitors come to Iceland between May and September, with June, July and August being the busiest months. This is also when Icelanders travel around their island and the time that visitor attractions are open daily. The summer months bring with them the biggest choice of excursions, including museum visits and guided tours, boat trips, glacier excursions, whale watching trips, horse riding, rafting, kayaking,

diving, caving, mountain biking, quad bike adventures and many other activities. See pages 16-19.

Exploring Iceland in summerMany of Iceland’s natural wonders are found along or near the Ring Road Number 1; the circular route around the island. The North West Fjords, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and the far North East of the island are sometimes overlooked by visitors, but also have much to offer.

The uninhabited highlands have a strong lure for those with a sense of adventure. Gravel roads cross the lava and ash deserts, penetrating deep into the mountainous heart of the island.

Most of these rugged routes are only suitable for high-clearance four-wheel drive ‘jeeps’, and with unbridged rivers to ford, special care is needed. The highland routes have specific opening dates, varying from year to year, and cannot be driven outside these times. Off-road driving is not permitted anywhere because it damages the landscape and vegetation. Alternatively, taking an organised trek with a guide into the remote regions that vehicles simply cannot reach, is a rewarding way to discover Iceland’s hidden landscape during the summer months. See pages 68-69 for walking tours in summer.

Arnastapi Budir

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Winter in IcelandWith the allure of the northern lights, the winter months are a fantastic time to take a short break to Iceland. Take advantage of this quieter time of year and enjoy the autumnal colours and wintry landscapes, as long shadows and a golden light offer wonderful photographic opportunities. This is also a greattime of year to enjoy the warm Icelandic hospitality over long meals of delicious gourmet food in a friendly and informal setting.

Daylight hours in winterIt’s a popular misconception that it is dark all the time in Iceland in winter. Actually there is always daylight - you’ll have to travel a lot further north than Iceland to experience the true polar night! In Reykjavik in December, the darkest month, the sun rises at 11:22 and sets at 15:30, though it doesn’t rise very high above the horizon. In October and February there are around eight to ten hours of daylight.

The weatherBeing an island, Iceland’s winter weather is influenced by the sea and in particular, by the Gulf Stream. This means a much milder climate than you’d expect for a sub-Arctic latitude and thus winter temperatures in Reykjavik average around 0°C. You might experience a cold snap, with temperatures plunging to -10, or a warm period, when they might exceed 15oC. As in Britain, the winter is unpredictable. As

Icelanders say, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing! For further information on daylight hours and temperatures, see page 11. Travelling around Iceland in winterOne of the great things about travelling in Iceland in winter is that you’ll often have the place to yourself and accommodation prices are considerably lower than the busier summer months.

The coastal roads and Ring Road, linking the main towns and villages, are kept clear of snow and with special winter tyres on rental vehicles, driving need not be any more challenging than at other times of year. We recommend a minimum 4WD vehicle at this time for your ease and peace of mind. Occasionally, heavy and prolonged snowfalls can close roads temporarily and icy conditions mean extra care is needed when driving.

Aurora borealis

Why choose Discover the World – see page 6 For our office opening hours please visit our website

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Winter landscapesAt sea level, the landscape is often free of snow but the mountains may be dusted white. Waterfalls, rivers and lakes can be partly frozen, with striking icicle formations. Snow softens the rugged contours of the landscape and with the sun hovering low on the horizon, the light is muted and shadows are long – simply stunning scenes for creative photography. Things to see and do in winterAdventurous superjeep safaris, snowmobiling trips, hunting the northern lights, horse riding, caving, whale watching, glacier walks and sightseeing trips are among the many experiences on offer during the winter months. For obvious reasons there is not quite the same range of activities

available in winter as in summer and outside of Reykjavik, some museums and attractions may be closed or only open by prior arrangement. Just ask us if there is something specific you would like to see or do and we will check out the options. See pages 16-19 for details. Wildlife in winterAround the coast, bird watching can be surprisingly varied with sea birds and ducks easy to spot. Orcas, minke whales and white-beaked dolphins can be seen on whale watching trips. In Grundarfjordur from January to March 2011, large groups of orca gathered in the bay to feed on herring and were sometimes even observed from the beach. See page 62 for details of our special tour to see killer whales and the northern lights.

The aurora borealisThe northern lights are a breathtaking natural phenomenon that can be witnessed in Iceland any time from September to mid-April, with peaks in October/November and February/March. Iceland’s location in the Aurora Zone, a band that spans the Arctic 10º-20º from the magnetic north pole, coupled with a peak in solar flare activity, means that fantastic displays of the aurora are expected to be particularly strong over the winters of 2011-2013. Of course there’s an element of luck involved and generally you need to be away from sources of artificial light. Reykjavik is therefore unsuitable as a base to see the lights. Once witnessed, the spectacle of these eerie, rippling curtains of light dancing across the night sky

is rarely forgotten. Although the northern lights can be seen almost anywhere in Iceland, take a look at pages 46 and 60 for our special aurora-focus tours. Christmas and New Year in IcelandWhen it comes to celebrating, this is a time when Icelandic families gather together at home, with some restaurants and shops closed to allow this. Visitors are intrigued by Iceland’s unique festive traditions, including the mischievous Yule Tide Lads, with their troll parents and sinister family pet, the Christmas Cat. On New Year’s Eve, the skies alight with fireworks – the best show is in Reykjavik, however there is sometimes a display over the glacial lagoon Jokulsarlon.




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Whale watching

Activities, excursions & experiences Iceland is a playground of waterfalls, glaciers, volcanoes, raging rivers, majestic fjords, thriving oceans and steaming geothermal pools. Whilst the natural experience is free, we are pleased to offer a selection of day trips and excursions, which can greatly enhance any holiday to Iceland and turn it into something extra special. Our fl exible self-drive itineraries and short breaks allow you to add in as much or as little activity as you wish - you can fi ll your holiday with exciting new adventures, pick one or two special experiences, or simply soak up the scenery and natural wonders, taking each day as it comes. Combination tours (for instance rafting and the Golden Circle) are available, offering excellent value.

Our activities are offered by experienced local companies with a wide variety of options regarding duration and departure times, as well as location - please call our specialists to discuss slotting them into your itinerary. Prices and further information may be found on our website.

Day trips by coach You’ll be spoilt for choice with a wide variety of excursions available from Reykjavik for those who opt not to hire a car. Explore

the capital on a sightseeing tour of Greater Reykjavik; visit the famous trio of natural wonders on a Golden Circle excursion, encompassing Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir and Thingvellir National Park as well as Nesjavellir geothermal area and Hveragerdi. A popular longer day trip is the South Coast & Jokulsarlon iceberg lagoon, which also takes in surf-lashed black sand beaches and powerful waterfalls. More options are available on our website or contact our offi ce.

Glacier hikes, ice climbingGet up close to the ice on a guided excursion, allowing you to learn more about this blue and white wonderland of rivers, crevasses and ridges. Learn how to use basic glacier equipment such as crampons and ice axes. Some excursions include a visit to hot springs and a lava cave. Excursions are available on the Solheimajokull glacier on the south coast (with optional transfers from Reykjavik), as well as the Vatnajokull glacier in the south east.

SnowmobilingA popular choice is to take an exhilarating snowmobile ride on a glacier, with dramatic views of the surrounding scenery. Drivers must hold a full driving licence, and a supplement is payable should you wish to have your own snowmobile (otherwise prices are based on two sharing). Excursions are available on the Langjokull glacier which is close to Gullfoss waterfall (with optional transfers from Reykjavik), the Myrdalsjokull

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Blue Lagoon

glacier on the south coast and the Vatnajokull glacier. Superjeep tours are also available on glaciers. Clothing and safety helmets are provided.

Geothermal pools & bathingIceland sits on the mid-Atlantic ridge, meaning that geysers, mud pools and gushing hot springs are abundant. In Landmannalaugar, Hveravellir, Askja and Laugafell it is possible to bathe in natural hot pools and steaming rivers. The Blue Lagoon is a large expanse of naturally powder-blue water, set amidst a jet black lavascape. Situated a mere 15 minute drive from the international airport at Kefl avik and around 30 minutes from Reykjavik, a visit here is a must (transfers available from Reykjavik, and entrance fee is

prepayable through us). The fl ow and mix of the water is controlled, keeping temperatures at 37-39°C / 98-102°F ensuring bathers step out smiling and slightly pink! North Iceland has a smaller geothermal pool at Myvatn, which is also well worth a visit.

Superjeep adventuresThese specially customised 4WD vehicles can drive almost anywhere, glide over snow, traverse rivers and climb steep slopes. The drivers show just how versatile the vehicles are on an exciting day trip into the wilds beyond the capital as well as from the North and East. One of our most popular excursions is the Golden Circle by Superjeep, with optional snowmobiling. Other tours from Reykjavik include Northern Lights by Superjeep, Thorsmork & Eyjafjallajokull volcano, the South Shore & Glacial Adventure, Mount Hekla & Landmannalaugar, and Reykjanes & Blue Lagoon with quad-biking.

Whale watching & puffi n tripsSearch for cetaceans and seabirds off the coast of Reykjavik. This area is known for sightings of

white-beaked dolphins, minke whales and occasionally other species such as humpback and orca along with puffi ns, fulmars, gannets and kittiwakes. In the north, Husavik is known as Europe’s whale watching capital for good reason! Sail aboard a renovated traditional oak fi shing boat. Hot chocolate and cinnamon rolls are served on board and cold weather clothing is provided. Alternatively, take a look at pages 62-63 for a fantastic Killer Whales and Northern Lights winter tour, based at Grundarfjordur on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

River rafting, sea kayaking & snorkelingFrom May to September try the thrill of river rafting as the spring melt swells Iceland’s glacial rivers (grades II+ to III). Tours are available on the Hvita river

near Geysir for beginners and experienced rafters alike. For more challenging rapids, try the Jokulsa Austari ‘East Glacial River’ which fl ows from Skagafjordur in the north west of the country (near Varmahlid). A dry-suit, safety vest and helmet are provided.

A variety of kayaking trips are available at Hvalfjordur in West Iceland (transfers from Reykjavik available) and Isafjordur in the West Fjords. For beginners, Hvalfjordur (‘Whale Fjord’) is a great choice, framed by mountains that stretch from the sea up to more than 1000 metres. The kayaks are stable and easy to use and no prior experience is necessary. Snorkeling and diving excursions between the continental plates at Thingvellir are also available – contact us for more details.

When on the road, look out for this symbol , which you’ll see whenever there’s an attraction, place of interest or a cultural/heritage site nearby. For those unmarked secrets and our own personal highlights refer to your complimentary ‘Places to Visit’ booklet, or the comprehensive Landmark Guide to Iceland - which accompanies each Iceland self-drive holiday!

Top Tip

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Kayaking at Hvalfjordur

Horse ridingThere are various year-round options for horse riding, from an hour to a full day. Longer multi-day riding tours are available - please contact us for details. Take to the saddle and experience the unique ‘tolt’ gait of the sturdy Icelandic thoroughbred. Horse riding is great fun for all the family! Helmets and cold weather clothing in winter are provided.

Fishing, ferries & boat tripsStep on board and sail Iceland’s thriving oceans and waterways. A boat trip amongst the icebergs on the fascinating glacial lagoon at Jokulsarlon is highly recommended. From Stykkisholmur explore Breidafjordur Bay by boat, and taste delicious scallops and the freshest sushi! Take your vehicle on the Baldur ferry which runs between Snaefellsnes and the West Fjords, with an optional stopover at the tiny island of Flatey (overnight stays are possible on the island but cars are not permitted). Iceland’s coastline has been known for centuries for its abundant fishing grounds; catch cod, halibut, redfish and coalfish. Rods are

available for hire, and it is often possible to pay a little extra and turn your catch into a delicious fish supper! For those who’d like to tick crossing the Arctic Circle off their list, a return ferry service operates from Dalvik in the North to the tiny island of Grimsey. A ferry service is also available from Landeyjahofn in the South West to the offshore volcanic Westman Islands; approx. 30 mins duration.

Hiking & walkingWith the largest national park in Europe, it is little wonder that Iceland is a major draw for those who love hiking and the great outdoors. Any of our self-drive or independent Iceland holidays may be adapted to include time for daily walks. Take a look at our walking-focus holidays such as Fly, Drive & Hike; multi-day treks staying under canvas and our small group hiking tours staying in hotel accommodation (pages 68-69). Guided day hikes are also available – contact us for details.

Sightseeing flights Depart from Reykjavik and enjoy a bird’s eye view of glaciers, volcanic craters, spouting geysers

and the raw power of the planet. Visit the Westman Islands as well as areas surrounding the capital, and for the ultimate experience book an incredible Glaciers & Volcanoes flight over the infamous Eyjafjallajokull crater. Aircraft are usually Cessna 6-10 seater.

Museums & galleriesThroughout Iceland you’ll find fascinating little museums and exhibitions on a wide variety of subjects: whales, textiles, sea ice, seals, glaciers, salt fish, the Sagas, birds, geology and geothermal activity. See turf houses and beautiful small churches with stunning natural backdrops. Reykjavik’s art galleries are very

good, and Icelandic art adorns the walls of homes and hotels throughout the country.

The Icelandic SagasThe Sagas are deeply embedded into Icelandic culture, and a source of fascination for many travellers and literary enthusiasts. These stories describe events that took place in Iceland in the 10th and early 11th centuries, depicting the struggles and society conflicts of the second and third generations of Icelandic settlers. Visit locations such as Thingvellir’s law rock and the museum at Eiriksstadir which was home to Eirik the Red and Leif the Lucky. Visit www.sagatrail.is for further information.

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Next step call us or visit our website for up-to-date excursion prices and departure details. It is advisable to pre-book where possible to ensure availability, which cannot be guaranteed when booking locally, especially during peak summer months. All excursions are weather-permitting (and may vary due to conditions) and subject to minimum numbers.

Additional insurance premiums may be required for some activities (such as glacier trips); please check your policy. Children must be accompanied by an adult – in most cases excursions are free for children aged 11 and under and, for certain excursions, for those aged up to 17, a 50% discount is applicable. Lunch and refreshments are not included, unless otherwise stated.

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Rafting the Hvita riverSkogafoss

Jokulsarlon boat excursion Snorkeling at Silfra, Thingvellir

Glacier hike, South West

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South West IcelandMost fi rst-timers to Iceland choose to explore this region partly because it is where the international airport at Kefl avik is located but also because there is so much stunning scenery to explore, including the sights on the famed Golden Circle route, encompassing Thingvellir, Gullfoss and Geysir.

Reykjanes Peninsula & Blue Lagoon explore fantastic lavascapes and soak away stresses at the Blue Lagoon. Visit the hot springs at Krisuvik or walk the ‘Bridge between Continents’ where the tectonic plates are pulling apart. Eleven lighthouses grace this rocky coastline.

Thingvellir this national park is an area of exceptional geological and historical interest; visit the ‘law rock’ where Iceland’s ancient parliament, or ‘Althing’, met.

Geysir this area of geothermal activity gives its name to other such waterspouts around the world. Strokkur, probably the most well-known, regularly erupts to around 30m. Gullfoss these spectacular rainbow misted double falls drop around 33m then plunge into a mile long gorge.

Seljalandsfoss arguably the most beautiful waterfall in Iceland, the waterfall cascades over a former sea cliff.

Hveragerdi is also known as the ‘greenhouse’ village, as geothermal heat is harnessed to grow crops here.

Thorsmork ‘Thor’s Wood’ is almost completely surrounded by mountains between which three glaciers spill down. The valley fl oor is criss-crossed with streams that become raging rivers with the glacial melt. Explore by superjeep excursion or your own high-clearance 4WD vehicle.

Skogafoss is a wide, thundering curtain of water, some 60m high. Nearby is the little Skogar Museum with its turf houses and pretty church.

Mount Hekla at 1488m high this volcano attracts many hikers. The nearby Thjorsa Valley is home to

Haifoss (Iceland’s second highest waterfall) and Hjalparfoss. Take a stroll through the Gjain gorge and visit the Viking farm Stong.

Westman Islands a group of 15 volcanic islands, partly destroyed during the 1973 eruption. Get there by air from Reykjavik, or with the 30-minute ferry service (subject to weather conditions) from Landeyjahofn.

Dyrholaey this natural rock arch in the headland is a great place to observe puffi ns, Arctic terns and guillemots (NB: closed May-June for the nesting season).

Vik this small coastal town is an ideal pit stop for food and fuel, local crafts and a stroll along the black sand beach, with its distinctive sea stacks, Reynisdrangur.

Myrdalsjokull experience a range of excursions on this glacier, including snowmobiling.

Must Do’s

Treat yourself to a relaxing dip or even an in-water massage at the Blue Lagoon

Walk, snorkel or even dive between tectonic plates at Thingvellir

Capture gushing spouts of water on camera at Geysir

Feel the spray on your face at Gullfoss waterfall

Book a superjeep excursion to the infamous eruption site at Fimmvorduhals


Thingvellir Dyrholaey

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South East IcelandKnown as the ‘beautiful south’, this region is dominated by Europe’s largest national park and glacier, Vatnajokull. Road 1 winds past a myriad of glacial tongues and skirts the surreal iceberg lagoon at Jokulsarlon. This region is also where you will fi nd Skaftafell National Park.

Vatnajokull National Park covering an area of 12,000 sq km, this is Europe’s largest national park. Around a dozen glaciers spill down from its icy domed plateau to a vast fl ood plain formed by volcanic debris from successive sub-glacial eruptions. The glacier snouts of Svinafellsjokull and Flaajokull can be approached with care by road.

Skaftafell National Park is the island’s most popular wilderness area – 1,600 sq km of exceptional natural beauty, offering adventurous glacier hikes, ice climbing as well as easy walks and mountain biking on terra fi rma. Svartifoss waterfall plunges into a deep dark pool, set in its own little canyon of black basalt columns.

Jokulsarlon is a glacial lagoon to the east of Skaftafell, where

enormous icebergs calve off the Breidamerkurjokull glacier tongue as it retreats, falling into one of Iceland’s deepest lakes. From the shoreline capture this other-worldly landscape on camera whilst keeping an eye out for the odd inquisitive seal! This amazing lagoon has provided a natural movie set for fi lms such as Tomb Raider, James Bond and Batman and has also featured on Top Gear.

Kirkjubaejarklaustur this village, with a population of around 300, is found in the dramatic setting of lofty cliffs, gorges, waterfalls and basalt features. Inland from here is Laki, a chain of around 100 craters formed in the powerful 1783 eruption, which

produced the vast Eldhraun lava fl ow just west of the village.

Hofn with a population of around 1,800 Hofn is the only fi shing port in the region and one of the most beautifully located of all towns in Iceland.

Must Do’s

Take a hike to Svartifoss, one of Iceland’s prettiest waterfalls

Join a boat trip on the iceberg lagoon Jokulsarlon (available May to Sept)

Walk along the beach where stranded icebergs pop and crackle as they melt

Seek out the lesser-known ‘Fjallsarlon’, a second, smaller glacial lagoon

Visit the excellent Glacier Exhibition at Hofn

Join a guided glacier hike, superjeep or snowmobile excursion at Vatnajokull



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xxxxxEast Fjords

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The EastScoured by Ice Age glaciers, the dramatic east coast boasts long, narrow fjords with steep sides and jagged peaks which contrast with the area’s inland fertile farmlands. Natural harbours create picture-postcard fi shing villages and seemingly never-ending roads cross the region, providing beautiful sweeping views.

Djupivogur is a tiny harbour- side village, which sits on a rocky promontory, in view of the offshore puffi n sanctuary of Papey (boat trips bookable locally). The Bulandsnes bird sanctuary is renowned amongst bird lovers and there are stunning coastal walks and hiking possibilities.

Seydisfjordur this eastern fi shing town, set at the head of a 16km long fjord, is full of character. The town is popular with young artists and its brightly painted wooden houses of Norwegian origin are absolutely charming. The drive here up and over the mountains before sweeping down to sea level is breathtaking.

Egilsstadir is the area’s regional centre and an ideal base. Located on the banks of Lake Logurinn, the town

is surrounded by extensive forests of birch and conifer and Iceland’s second highest waterfall, Hengifoss, is at the far end of the lake.

Borgarfjordur Eystri also known as Bakkagerdi, this little town has a backdrop of colourful rhyolite mountains on one side and the magnifi cent Dyrfjoll (Door Mountain) with its cleft peak, on the other. Healthy colonies of puffi ns, fulmars and kittiwakes ensure bird watchers are entertained and the area is popular with hikers.

Breiddalsvik is the largest lowland area of the region and the mountains framing the valley are the highest in the region.

Stodvarfjordur the East Fjords are famous for their colourful minerals and beautiful crystals.

Neskaupstadur has the largest population of any of the eastern towns and is a thriving fi shing port. Explore the nature reserve found just outside the town.

Mjoifjordur this 18km long and 2km wide fjord is edged by sheer-sided mountains. At the mouth of the bay you will fi nd a weather station and a lighthouse.

Must Do’s

Make a stop for coffee and cake at turf-roofed Modrudalur Farm; Iceland’s highest!

Visit the remarkable rock collection of Petra Sveinsdottir at Stodvarfjordur

Stop off at the small Museum of Natural History at Neskaupstadur

See the amazing little turf house Lindarbakki at Borgarfjordur Eystri

Step back in time at Randulfssjohus in Eskifjordur, a seafarer’s lodge unchanged since 1890

Rent a small boat, rod and line at Eskifjordur. Cod and haddock are still plentiful here!

Grab your camera and go in search of reindeer on a guided tour by superjeep


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North EastThis is a region of diverse and incredible natural beauty. During the height of the summer, you can witness the full effect of the midnight sun as it dips towards the horizon, barely touching it before rising again, swathing the landscape in a beautiful golden light.

Lake Myvatn a showcase of craters and volcanic and geothermal oddities surround this enormous lake which, in summer, is a magnet for birds. See, hear and smell the bubbling mud pools at Namaskard, hike amongst eerie lava formations at Dimmuborgir and drive past incredible pseudocraters at Skutustadagigar.

Jokulsa Canyon this rugged 25km long canyon plunges up to 100m deep into the raging Jokulsa River. The falls at Hafragilsfoss are best viewed from the east bank, whereas access to the chaotic Hljodaklettar volcanic plugs and basalt columns is from the west side. Continue to Asbyrgi, a horse-shoe shaped gorge approximately 3.5km in length and 1.1km wide with a distinctive rock formation in its centre. Dettifoss waterfall is best

approached from the south for non-4WD vehicles (due to road conditions).

Husavik visit this quaint northern town if you have an interest in all things ‘cetacean’. Also known as the whale watching capital of Europe.

Godafoss the ‘waterfall of the gods’ can be found near to Lake Myvatn and is said to be one of the most beautiful in Iceland. At 30m wide and with a 12m drop, it is incredibly photogenic.

Raufarhofn this small town on the Melrakkasletta Peninsula, whose tip is virtually on the Arctic Circle, is mainland Iceland’s most northerly point. Known for its superb bird watching, hiking and fl y fi shing

opportunities, the peninsula is characterised by inlets, lagoons and deserted beaches. The pond in the centre of town is a bird sanctuary.

Raudanes sited midway between Raufarhofn and Thorshofn, this coastal peninsula boasts a fantastic array of columnar basalt cliffs and natural stone arches.

Must Do’s

Join a whale watching excursion and visit Husavik’s excellent Whale Museum

Watch the cows being milked whilst enjoying a coffee at Vogafjos Cowshed Café, Myvatn

Take a relaxing dip at the fantastic geothermal Nature Baths

Take a trip to thundering Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall

Walk to the sheer 100m high bird cliffs and a silent pond at the head of Asbyrgi gorge

Wander around Sigurgeir’s Bird Museum and hide away in one of the lakeside birdwatching shelters found close by


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NorthFly to Akureyri from Reykjavik in under an hour and the scenic north of Iceland is yours to explore. Here you’ll fi nd fascinating towns and villages, and an abundance of opportunities to explore the great outdoors. From summer 2012, fl y from Heathrow with Icelandair, with a quick and easy same-day connection at Kefl avik; see page 80.

Akureyri the principal town of the north, with just 17,000 inhabitants, has a charming ‘small and friendly’ appeal. Due to the town’s position near the head of Eyjafjordur, a long fjord shielded by high mountains, the area often enjoys a pleasant summer. It is also home to one of the world’s most northerly Botanical Gardens. Visitors can choose from a number of excellent restaurants and bars. It is also pretty good for shopping with a small pedestrian area and mall.

Skagafjordur this is one of Iceland’s most prosperous farming regions, known for its very successful horse breeding.

Dalvik the town of Dalvik hosts the famous Fish Day, a summer fi sh festival and one of Iceland’s

liveliest. From here you can also visit the nearby pretty offshore island of Hrisey, a haven for birdwatchers.

Siglufjordur is a picturesque town with a quaint harbour and is home to the award-winning Sildarminjasafnid Herring Museum, the largest marine and industrial museum in Europe. Find out about this valuable commodity, and how these ‘silver darlings’ were pursued and processed. The Folk Music Centre is also found in the town.

Grimsey is the northernmost inhabited Icelandic territory, found approximately 40km north of the mainland. Visitors often come by ferry from Dalvik, just to

claim they have crossed the Arctic Circle. Though barely 5 sq km in area, it has a small but thriving population of 100 people joined in summer by a million or so noisy sea birds.

Holar & Hofsos are an early episcopal seat and one of Iceland’s oldest trading ports, respectively.

Must Do’s

Spend time browsing Akureyri’s gift shops and small galleries

Raft the rapids of the West Glacial River canyon at at Varmahlid

Visit the collection of thirteen turf buildings at Glaumbaer

Visit Hvammstangi’s seal exhibition and the hide at Osar, on the Vatnsnes Peninsula

Tick a few more bird species off your list at Hvitserkur, a curious 15 m high monolith



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West FjordsIceland’s oldest and wildest region is remote and stunningly beautiful with countless fjords, precipitous mountains and amazing coastal gems. Sparsely populated, the region is connected to the rest of Iceland by a strip of land barely 10km wide.

Latrabjarg these impressive sheer cliffs are an astonishing 14km long and reach 444m high in places. They are home to the country’s largest concentration of sea birds including puffi ns, kittiwakes, razorbills, fulmars and guillemots. A visit here is a must for any keen ornithologist.

Isafjordur the largest settlement in the region (population 3,500), is located on a spit of land which juts into the fjord of Isafjardardjup, and is a picturesque natural harbour.

Flateyri this typical Icelandic fi shing village has an idyllic setting on the shores of Onundarfjordur. A whale’s pelvic bone sits in the main square and a little church completes the picture.

Dynjandi these ‘mountain falls’, consist of numerous smaller falls, are also known as Fjallfoss. Water tumbles from a height of 100m, fanning out like a bridal veil to their base, 60m in width.

Hornstrandir this uninhabited wilderness peninsula to the north of Isafjardardjup is popular with serious hikers. Here you will fi nd 580 sq km of nature reserve with golden sands, towering bird cliffs and glacial valleys, as well as plenty of wildlife, including Arctic fox, seals, cetaceans and a myriad of bird life. Hornstrandir is accessible during the summer by boat from the Isafjordur area.

Isafjardardjup this spectacular 75km long fjord almost cuts the region in two. Just one of around

fi fty deep fjords with alternating steep headlands, Isafjardardjup splits into further fjords providing ample kayaking opportunities and a very scenic drive to Isafjordur. A pretty speck of land ‘Vigur’ lies within the fjord, boasting Iceland’s only windmill and a single farm (reachable by boat trip in the summer).

Strandir the region’s east coast presents yet more amazing coastlines and a scattering of settlements, mainly associated with fi shing and sheep farming. Huge amounts of driftwood are washed ashore here from Scandinavia and Siberia.

Must Do’s

Pay an early evening visit to the Latrabjarg bird cliffs

Stroll along the 20km stretch of golden sand at Raudisandur

Visit Isafjordur’s Maritime Museum with its 18th century timber buildings

Take a boat trip to Hornstrandir

Wander around the old herring factory at Djupavik, Strandir

Black Guillemot

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Snaefellsnes & West IcelandThis western region is beloved by artists, musicians, writers and anyone seeking Viking history and inspiration from nature at its most magical. The Snaefellsjokull glacier, made famous by Jules Verne as the setting for his novel ‘A Journey to the Centre of the Earth’, dominates this spectacular region.

Snaefellsjokull National Park the famous glaciated cone-shaped volcano sits almost at the region’s western tip. It is the focus for much lore and legend and is said to hold mystical powers. Last erupting almost two thousand years ago, at 1446m the three-pronged snow-capped peak dominates the skyline.

Budir on the south coast boasts a lovely hotel and quaint wooden church, popular for intimate weddings. Nestled between lava fi elds and with a beautiful sandy beach, Hotel Budir is the perfect place to stop for a gourmet meal.

Arnarstapi & Hellnar these sleepy villages lie at the foot of the glacier. Arnastapi’s rock features are covered with birds – striking sea stacks, basalt columns, natural arches and hidden caves. Seals and

even dolphins have been spotted from Hellnar’s harbour during the summer months.

Rif, Hellisandur & Olafsvik a trio of small towns on the tip of the peninsula – Hellisandur has a maritime museum, Rif a huge colony of Arctic terns and Olafsvik an unusual modern church.

Stykkisholmur the region’s most characterful town, where the local restaurants offer the freshest ‘catch of the day’. The 3 hour ferry between Snaefellsnes and the West Fjords operates from here.

Hraunfossar these tumbling falls, some 1km wide, spill out from under the lava into the Hvita River. Nearby is enchanting Barnafoss, a set of rapids squeezing through a narrow channel.

Reykholt & Deildartunguhver west of Hraunfossar is Reykholt. This hamlet is a place of great historical signifi cance for Icelanders - the birthplace of Snorri Sturluson, Medieval literary giant. Iceland’s most powerful and largest hot springs, Deildartunguhver, are found nearby.

Borgarnes this town can be found on the northern shore of Borgarfjordur, in one of the island’s most extensive farming districts. Rich in Saga history, many of the walking trails in the area are infl uenced by these historical tales.

Must Do’s

Buy fresh produce from the market at Deildartunguhver hot springs

In winter, watch orca hunting just offshore at Grundarfjordur (see pages 62-63 for a dedicated tour)

Taste unbelievably fresh sushi, scallops and sea urchins on a day trip out into Breidafjordur bay from Stykkisholmur

Explore the ‘Sagaland’ starting with a visit to the Settlement Centre at Borganes


Budir Church

Hellnar harbour

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The HighlandsA vast and fascinating area, remote and rugged - once visited, never forgotten. This is a raw and beautiful region where visitors are left spell-bound by dramatic scenery and Mother Natures’ magnifi cent power. A 4WD, high clearance vehicle is an absolute must, unless taking a guided tour or trek.

Landmannalaugar this area in the southern highlands, part of the Fjallabak region, offers countless stunning views and outstanding natural beauty. The rhyolite lava actually sparkles in the sunshine and the myriad of colours in the mountains have to be seen to be believed. Tours from Reykjavik are prebookable, and this is the starting point for the popular trek the Laugarvegur Highland Trail - contact us for further details.

Sprengisandur & Kjolur are remote gravel roads which cross the highlands, offering far-reaching views of the icecaps in clear weather. Sprengisandur is the longest of the unpaved roads at over 200km, beginning near Hekla volcano in the south and ending at Godafoss in the north, it crosses vast ancient ice-age moraines. Kjolur, to the west, is also unpaved; it passes the Kerlingarfjoll rhyolite ranges and Hveravellir, a colourful geothermal area. Both routes are inaccessible in the winter due to snow and ice, and reopen each

summer after the rush of the glacial river melt; at that time only 4WD high-clearance vehicles can ford the rivers of this wild and stark area.

Askja is a central volcano and caldera located in the most remote part of the highlands, only accessible for a few months each year. Excursions are pre-bookable, talk to us to fi nd out more. A massive eruption in 1875 catapulted this region onto the world map and created the stunning lake, Oskjuvatn, actually the deepest in Iceland at 220m. Askja has erupted frequently over the last century, most recently in 1961.

Viti this is a smaller explosion crater close to Oskjuvatn, about 100m in diameter. The crater contains a lake of steaming, mineral-rich, opaque blue water.

Eldgja meaning ‘fi re canyon’ was formed during a powerful eruption in 934. The canyon and nearby Laki craters are part of the same volcanic system as Grimsvotn

and Katla. It is actually the largest volcanic canyon in the world – an impressive 270m deep and 600m wide. The area is also home to the Ofaerufoss waterfall.

Laki this chain of 100 craters was formed during a cataclysmic fi ssure eruption in 1783 that belched out toxic gases and caused widespread famine in Iceland and throughout Europe.

Herdubreid this 1682m high summit rises from the central plateau and has a fl at top and steep sides typical of volcanic tuff table mountains – fondly referred to as the ‘queen of mountains’. A beautiful nature reserve lies at its foot.

Karahnjukar Iceland’s largest hydroelectric power plant is located in the eastern highlands. Five major dams collect water to power six 115 MW turbines, making a project of such proportion that it has featured on the National Geographic channel’s ‘Megastructures’ series.

Must Do’s

Bathe in a natural hot river at Landmannalaugar

Learn about Iceland’s most infamous volcano at the Hekla Centre at Leirubakki, just on the outskirts of the Highlands

Take a superjeep excursion deep into the countryside; these impressive vehicles tackle even the roughest mountain tracks with ease!

Bathers at LandmannalaugarFjallabak

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Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavik

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ReykjavikAs the world’s most northerly capital and one of the most compact – Reykjavik, the ‘Bay of Smoke’, is a delightful place to spend a few days at any time of year. With convenient connections from several UK airports (see page 80), it is less than a three hour fl ight from the UK.

Iceland’s capital is around a 45 minute drive from the international airport at Kefl avik and is situated in the south west corner of the island. Reykjavik is a modern and friendly city that can easily be explored on foot, making it an ideal short break destination in its own right.

Perlan one of Reykjavik’s two most prominent landmarks is Perlan, or ‘the Pearl’, which sits atop Oskjuhlid Hill with outstanding views of the skyline from the outside viewing platform. Six large, silver circular tanks hold naturally heated hot water servicing the greater Reykjavik area, above which a glass dome houses a revolving, world-class restaurant. Inside the building you will often fi nd a craft fair or art exhibition to stroll around.

Hallgrimskirkja vying with Perlan for the most distinctive building award has to be Reykjavik’s tallest, the centrally located Lutheran church. Beautifully sculpted out of concrete and fi nished in 1986, the building is said to mirror nature’s own basalt columns. For wonderful views over the city, take the lift to the top of the 250 foot tower.

Laugarvegur this is the original and main shopping street in Reykjavik, running east to west across the city. In Reykjavik’s ‘downtown’ area you’ll fi nd an eclectic mix of cafés, high fashion, Icelandic handicraft and book stores. The city also has two shopping malls, Kringlan and Smaralind.

The National Museum this state-of-the-art museum presents 1,200 years of Iceland’s cultural and social history. The Culture House, Reykjavik Art Museum and Reykjavik Museum of Photography are also well worth a visit.

Blue Lagoon this world-famous attraction is around a 30 minute drive from the capital, en route to Kefl avik airport. A swim in the surreal powder-blue, steaming lagoon which is surrounded by a craggy jet black lavascape is a ‘must-do’ for any visitor to Iceland.

Must Do’s

Try on some Icelandic fashion or buy a beautiful design piece from Skolavordustigur

Sample some of Iceland’s mouth-watering cuisine at one of the capital’s top restaurants

Join the coffee crowd at Austurvollur square in Reykjavik’s ‘Old Town’

Stroll by the water at Tjornin; Reykjavik’s downtown lake

Book a day’s excursion out into the countryside – there are plenty to choose from! See pages 16-19

Reykjavik Old HarbourPerlan

Reykjavik itself is not recommended as a location to see the aurora borealis due to light pollution. Northern lights hunt trips are available from here.


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Accommodation OptionsWe offer a comprehensive range of accommodation throughout Iceland. In our almost three decades of creating holidays there we’ve developed longstanding relationships with many key hoteliers and property owners.

Perhaps you’re looking for an intimate boutique hotel for a romantic northern lights getaway; a cottage with character and all the facilities you need to cater for family and friends, including a private hot tub; a stylish city centre hotel close to shops, restaurants and galleries; or maybe you simply wish to stay in a stunning countryside location.

Through our collection of suggested pre-planned itineraries

presented in this brochure, as well as on our website, we have selected what we consider to be the best value lodging option in each location. Remember that our self-drive tours and independent short break itineraries can be adapted according to your specific wishes. When planning your trip to Iceland it is worth bearing in mind that certain ‘hot spots’ such as Myvatn and Skaftafell have a limited number of accommodation options and

are very popular. If you have a particular area you wish to visit or a specific place you wish to stay then we highly recommend that you book as early as possible for the peak summer months.

Luxury properties are few and far between in Iceland, with the exception of Reykjavik and the countryside Hotel Ranga and Hotel Budir. There are no 5-star hotels in Iceland and often the initial impression of the outside of a property belies a cosy and

delightful interior. What you will find is a friendly welcome, mouth-watering food, breathtaking locations and a comfortable, clean and personable space to lay your head each night.

Remember that tailor-made self-drive holidays are our particular speciality. Contact us to create your own unique itinerary.

Please visit our website for images and further information regarding the accommodation we offer.

Hotel Budir

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Accommodation Options

Reykjavik many of our pre-planned self-drive itineraries begin or end with time in the capital, or possibly both. From the fantastic value Hotel Cabin, well-located Centerhotels, the charming and ever-popular Hotel Reykjavik Centrum, to the stylish and homely Grettisborg studios and apartments, you’ll be spoilt for choice in the world’s most northerly capital.

Rural hotels & guesthouses accommodation is usually found around Iceland’s towns and villages, and therefore dotted around the countryside, as much of Iceland is remote and unpopulated. We offer rooms with private shower/WC, although some properties offer rooms with shared bathroom, mostly in the 3 or 4 star range. These are in hotels or well appointed guesthouses. All supply breakfast (included in price) and most have a restaurant (some with seasonal opening hours).

Cottages these are ideal for families. Our self-catering options - cottages, cabins or wonderful summerhouses - are fully equipped and many have verandas with barbeques and some even boast outdoor hot tubs. Accommodation size and facilities vary between properties – early booking is essential!

Summer hotels we also offer accommodation for the budget-conscious traveller – generally boarding at schools whilst closed for the summer holidays. Although basic, some establishments have surprisingly good facilities.

The Lava House (‘Stadarhraun’) is a fantastic property in the north, with five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, cosy lounge and dining area, plus outdoor hot tub, it sleeps up to 12 people. www.stadarhraun.com

Northern Light InnMyoeyri Cottages

Northern lights over Hotel RangaHotel Framtid

Nupar cottagesReykjavik Centrum Hotel OrkHotel Hengill

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Short Breaks in Iceland If you’re looking for a short break with a difference then Iceland has so much to offer. Home to the world’s most northerly capital, Reykjavik is unique and cosmopolitan – but Iceland offers much more than a city break. Ranked by Forbes Magazine as the world’s cleanest country in 2010, it offers an abundance of clean air and plentiful natural wonders. Easily and quickly accessible from the UK, you could be driving through lava fi elds in a little over three hours after leaving British soil!

Our suggested itineraries range from 3 to 4 nights. With a plethora of outstanding natural wonders on Reykjavik’s doorstep easily reached by car or guided excursion, even with a short city break in mind you may wish to consider staying that little bit longer!

Blue Lagoon

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Although Reykjavik is often considered as the fi rst choice for a quick weekend or a mid-week escape, with

fascinating places such as the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and the stunning south west region within just an hour or two of the capital, a short stay in the countryside is defi nitely worthwhile and very easy to arrange.

With vehicles available from either Kefl avik Airport or Reykjavik, as well as other locations throughout Iceland, a short break with car hire is a popular choice, especially during the winter months. You can choose to stay either in Reykjavik, out in the country, or a combination of the two! For the full range of suggested self-drive itineraries please see our website.

If you’d prefer to base yourself in Reykjavik without car hire, you can still enjoy what the surrounding area has

to offer. You will be spoilt by the huge choice of adventurous, as well as the more leisurely, excursions available. From the thrill of snowmobiling to an invigorating hot spring hike, a sightseeing fl ight over ice and fi re or a whale watching trip – Reykjavik is an ideal base from which to explore but is not recommended as a spot from which to see the northern lights due to light pollution. Evening excursions by superjeep venturing out into the countryside in search of the aurora are however possible from the capital. For an overview of the comprehensive range of experiences available in Iceland, see pages 16-19 or take a look at our website.

Beyond Reykjavik The countryside on your doorstep

Reykjavik City Break With optional activities

Aurora Nights (3 nights, pages 46-47), Reykjavik Explorer (4 nights),

Romantic Retreat (4 nights) (see our website). Or for a small group

escorted tour, may we suggest Northern Lights Special (3 nights, pages

60-61) or Killer Whales & Northern Lights (4 nights, pages 62-63).

Reykjavik City Break (3 nights +, see pages 42-43) or for a relaxing spa

break outside the capital try the popular Blue Lagoon Spa Break (3 nights, see our website).



A full range of accommodation options, suggested itineraries and tours can be found on our website. Alternatively, contact our specialist team who will be happy to talk through your travel ideas with you.

“ Back from Iceland and just a line to say thank you for making it all so simple! Fantastic operation and organisation...thank you! We want to go back!”

Andy Bolton




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Reykjavik A delightful city breakWhat a great place for a weekend getaway at any time of year! With our flexible arrangements you can choose from an outstanding selection of hotels and add in any number of excursions to discover the city or the wealth of natural wonders on its doorstep. Christmas or New Year in Reykjavik is truly special. During the festive season Iceland’s capital is literally covered in lights - everywhere glows with warmth and a magical atmosphere envelops the city.

Fact File


B&B 3+ nights, breakfast basis

Year round, daily

Overnight at3 nights Reykjavik

Who for?Those looking for a short break and a taster of Iceland, with plenty of options for hotels and excursions.

Prices fromLand: £116 (two sharing)

£137 (single occupancy)

Flights: see p80

Reykjavik City Break Highlights

Huge choice of accommodation in the city centre, from budget-conscious options to apartments and centrally located hotels.

An excellent base from which to explore - many excursions are available and the city is easily accessible on foot.

Just a three hour flight from the UK, then a 45-60 mins transfer into Reykjavik from Keflavik International Airport.

Top Tip: The REYKJAVIK WELCOME CARD makes it easier for you to enjoy the best that the city has to offer. Available for 24, 48 or 72 hours and offering great value for money, it gives you free admission to all of the city’s thermal pools, a great many museums and other attractions, unlimited travel on buses, discounts at shops and restaurants and free Internet access.

Reykjavik harbour

Note Reykjavik itself is not a good base to see the northern lights. Excursions from here into the countryside are available.

Scan with your smartphone for more holiday information on our website (see page 5).

42 All our holidays are bound by our Terms & Conditions, which can be found on our website

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Reykjavik is a place of many facets: the cosy timber dwellings of its historic heart are clustered around the city’s centrepiece - a lake and bird sanctuary. In the bustling streets surrounding the cathedral and Parliament, Reykjavik’s cafés radiate inviting warmth. This compact city is easy to explore and almost everyone speaks English, which is useful!

At home in this youthful and growing city is the contemporary architecture - three examples of which are its church - Hallgrimskirkja, a skyline sentinel whose profi le draws from the landscape’s basalt columns, Perlan with its shimmering glass dome and the waterside Harpa Concert Hall, inspired by Icelandic nature.

Where architecture leaves off, art takes over. Reykjavik’s galleries and an unusual array of museums are complemented by a lively theatre

and concert scene. The capital’s varied nightlife is legendary for a city of this size and on Friday and Saturday nights, the 120 or so bars and clubs generally fi ll up around midnight, with the good-natured party crowd having fun through until breakfast time.

Reykjavik has more than its fair share of top class restaurants with many internationally-known chefs preparing a vast range of cuisine to the highest standards. Presentation is impeccable as is the décor of the well known restaurants in the centre.

Reykjavik has an unlimited supply of nature on its doorstep making it an ideal base from which to explore. Head down to the sea and let your eyes wander to the broody mountains across the bay, then jump on a whale watching excursion or a tour in search of puffi ns.

There are many day trips to pick from - try snowmobiling on a glacier, riding an Icelandic thoroughbred or driving a quad bike through lava fi elds. Alternatively, take it easy on a coach tour of the Golden Circle, or a day trip along the South Coast. Some experiences are highlighted in our brochure on pages 16-19 but for a more extensive list, please see our website.

xxxxxHarpa Concert Hall


Our Bonus Card, issued free to all Iceland bookings, can offer you substantial savings of between 10% and 30% on goods and services purchased locally, including popular shops and suggested restaurants in prime locations.

Extra value Bonus Card

“ Our Reykjavik trip - awesome! Hotel Cabin was central and the superjeep excursion certainly an experience - cooking sausages on hot lava! Five days was just not enough!”

Yvonne Parris

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Self-Drive IcelandIf you enjoy exploring independently then Iceland makes an ideal ‘self-drive’ destination – it remains by far our most popular way to discover the real Iceland. Flexible itineraries, uncluttered and easy to navigate roads and magnificent scenery make driving in Iceland a thoroughly enjoyable way to explore.

Each of our ‘tried and tested’ itineraries has been carefully researched and designed to include the places that we know visitors will enjoy. However, if you’d prefer, we are happy to tailor a route to your individual needs. In this brochure we list a few ‘taster’ routes to provide some inspiration.

A self-drive holiday is ideal if you want the freedom to stop where you fancy en route - be it to take a short hike, to browse around a little museum, photograph a waterfall or to stretch your legs and simply enjoy the landscape. With your own vehicle, and armed with plenty of informative documentation, this type of holiday will appeal to couples, families and single

travellers of all ages (NB: you must be 20 yrs and over to hire a car in Iceland).

What you actually see and do each day is up to you and with a free copy of the splendid book ‘Landmark Guide: Iceland’ (RRP £9.99) and an excellent Road Atlas (RRP £22) that we provide for our self-drive clients, you’ll be more than well informed. In addition, our ‘Places to Visit’ guide highlights the natural wonders, activities and unmissable attractions in the regions through which you will be travelling.

In the summer, some of the more remote countryside properties and the most popular areas get fully booked months in advance.

Therefore the peace of mind we offer by pre-booking accommodation in what we believe are the best places to stay, is an invaluable aspect of our self-drive tours. For further reasons why booking with Discover the World is we believe the best choice, please see pages 6-7.

A map of Iceland and a grid of driving distances between key locations is provided in the inside back cover of this brochure, for your guidance.

Map & driving distances

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We generally use the excellent services of Europcar, the largest, and in our opinion, one of the best car rental companies in Iceland. Europcar provides reliable service, competitive rates and a great choice of makes and models generally from new up to around eighteen months old – see our website or contact us for vehicle categories and specifi cations, as well as what’s included.

Prices shown on the following pages are intended as a guideline at the time of printing (full details are on our website or contact us). They refl ect the cost of staying in a twin room with private facilities (double occupancy, two adults), whilst sharing car hire between either two or four adults. We will be happy to provide you with a holiday quotation specifi c to you.

The approximate kilometres shown against each self-drive itinerary are a guideline only, given

the suggested places to visit. The distance you cover yourself will of course be governed by your choice of route and what amazing places catch your eye along the way!

For further information on car rental, please see page 56.

“ Everything about the holiday was brilliant, the accommodation was good, we had a brand new car and the suggested hikes were very useful. I will have no hesitation in recommending Discover the World to friends.”

Sheila Baker

South coast driving

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Aurora Nights One of our most popular winter self-drives, this fantastic short break at luxury ranch-style Hotel Ranga offers great possibilities of seeing the aurora borealis. If you wish, you can request a wake-up call during the night if the auroral display is particularly special. During your three nights here you may also have the opportunity to watch a presentation at the hotel about the northern lights in Iceland.

Fact File


B&B 3 nights, breakfast basis

September - March, daily

Overnight at3 nights Hella (Ranga)

Who for?For potential aurora watchers who like to do it in style!

Prices per person from Land: £307 (two sharing in one room)

£259 (four sharing in two rooms)

Flights: see p80

Aurora Nights Highlights

Stay in the rural countryside, just a two hour drive from Reykjavik and within easy reach of the Golden Circle and South Iceland highlights.

Hotel Ranga’s river view restaurant is noted for its extensive wine list and first class international gourmet cuisine, plus there is a bar and comfortable lounge area.

Relax in the steaming outdoor hot tubs, the perfect place to keep watch for the aurora borealis!

With uninterrupted 360° skies for miles around, this is one of the most popular places in Iceland for ‘aurora watchers’.

Northern lights over Hotel Ranga

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Day 1 fl y from the UK to Kefl avik. Collect rental vehicle from the airport and drive to Hotel Ranga.

Day 2 discover the beautiful south: explore the iconic waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss; visit the little town of Vik with its hilltop church and walk along dramatic black sand beaches and by basalt cliffs and sea stacks.

Day 3 drive the Golden Circle route taking in Iceland’s three most famous natural wonders: Gullfoss, Geysir and Thingvellir National Park.

Day 4 check out of Hotel Ranga and head back to the airport.

Sample Itinerary (approx. 680km)

“ I love Iceland because of its contrasts – the midnight sun and Arctic darkness, hot springs and frozen glaciers, green farmland and black deserts, and of course the northern lights!”

Thora Ingvarsdottir

Scan with your smartphone for more holiday information on our website (see page 5).

Please note it is possible to extend your stay with a night in Reykjavik allowing you to explore the capital, or perhaps at the Northern Light Inn, situated close to the Blue Lagoon. Speak to our specialists to discuss your options.

Romantic Retreat (4 nights self-drive) (see our

website). Northern Lights Special (3 night escorted tour, pages 60-61)

Also consider

Aurora borealis over Hotel Ranga Blue Lagoon





Skogar= Overnight stay

Kefl avik


Visit our website for a video of the aurora borealis over Hotel Ranga.

Top Tip

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Journey to the Centre of the EarthThis itinerary begins with a night in the capital before venturing into the countryside. Take in many of Iceland’s highlights including famous Strokkur at Geysir, at least four incredible waterfalls: Gullfoss, Skogafoss, Seljalandsfoss and Hraunfossar and the magnifi cently rugged Snaefellsnes Peninsula. If the weather permits, travel further east and explore Skaftafell, where you could make the short hike to enchanting Svartifoss – in Iceland there seems to be a waterfall around every corner!

Day 1 fl y from the UK to Kefl avik and transfer to Reykjavik for an overnight stay.

Day 2 collect vehicle then head east over Hellisheidi, past the greenhouse village of Hveragerdi to two of Iceland’s best known waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. Visit the Skogar Museum or drive to Reynishverfi and stroll along a volcanic sand beach, backed by impressive basalt columns. Cross the eerie, moss-clad lava fi eld Eldhraun, the biggest lava fi eld in Iceland formed in 1783 after the Laki eruption, to Kirkjubaejarklaustur. Be sure to take a walk up to the nearby lake of Systravatn to view the delightful waterfall Systrafoss and the eroded basalt columns of Kirkjugolfi d.

Fact File


B&B 7 nights, breakfast basis

Year round, daily

Overnight at1 night Reykjavik, 2 nights Kirkjubaejarklaustur, 2 nights Fludir, 2 nights Snaefellsnes

Who for?Those wishing to take in the scenic wonders of the south and west

Prices per person fromLand: £616 (two sharing in one room)

£517 (four sharing in two rooms)

Flights: see p80

Sample Itinerary (approx. 1200km)

Journey to the Centre of the Earth Highlights

Four (possibly fi ve!) of the country’s most beautiful waterfalls.

Overnight in Reykjavik at beginning of your trip.

Hot springs at Geysir and Deildartunguhver.

Two nights to explore the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

Incredibly scenic driving along the south coast.







Blue Lagoon






= Overnight stay




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Day 3 drive east to Skaftafell, nestled between glacier tongues at the foot of Iceland’s highest mountain and largest icecap, Vatnajokull. Take a short walk, depending on the weather, to either the tip of the Skaftafellsjokull glacier tongue, or Svartifoss, a beautiful waterfall framed by basalt columns. Visit the evocatively beautiful iceberg lagoon, Jokulsarlon.

Day 4 make your way back along the south coast past Myrdalsjokull and Dyrholaey with its spectacular rock arch. Visit the Thjorsadalur Valley, including the reconstructed farm at Stong, which dates from the Viking period, and finally Mount Hekla.

Day 5 a day to explore three of Iceland’s best known natural wonders on the famed Golden Circle route: the Geysir hot springs area, mighty Gullfoss and, depending on road conditions, Thingvellir National Park, for a walk around the ancient assembly site.

Day 6 head north to Borgarfjordur and Hraunfossar and view a waterfall that emerges from under a lava flow to cascade into a glacial river. Visit nearby Reykholt and Iceland’s largest hot spring Deildartunguhver, before continuing to Snaefellsnes.

Day 7 explore the scenic Snaefellsnes Peninsula, admire the fantastic coastal formations at Arnarstapi and visit the fjords and fishing villages along its north side. With good weather you may have views of the mystical cone-shaped volcano and Snaefellsjokull icecap.

Day 8 drive south to stop briefly in the capital or carry on towards Keflavik, taking a detour to the Blue Lagoon (additional cost for entrance fee - pre-bookable) before dropping off the vehicle at the airport. Fly back to the UK.

Scan with your smartphone for more holiday information on our website (see page 5).

Please note when travelling between October and April we recommend using a 4WD vehicle. As with all our self-drive itineraries, contact us to flex this holiday to suit you.

Southern Explorer (7 nights self-drive), Iceland Connoisseur (6 nights self-drive)

(see our website)

Also consider

Vatnajokull Skogafoss


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Essential IcelandFirst-time visitors to Iceland are always keen to see the Golden Circle region which encompasses three of the island’s best-known natural features - Thingvellir, Gullfoss and Geysir. However, on this week-long itinerary you’ll also get to see two more of the remarkable waterfalls – Seljalandsfoss and the mighty Skogafoss. You’ll also have the chance to walk and explore further afield and gain a true sense of what Iceland has to offer.

Fact File


B&B 7 nights, breakfast basis

Year round, daily

Overnight at1 night Reykjavik, 1 night Hveragerdi, 1 night Kirkjubaejarklaustur, 1 night Smyrlabjorg, 1 night Skaftafell, 1 night Hveragerdi, 1 night Reykjavik

Who for?Suitable for the more active visitor who prefers to explore amazing landscapes on foot as well as by car

Prices per person fromLand: £512 (two sharing in one room)

£415 (four sharing in two rooms)

Flights: see p80

Essential Iceland Highlights

Follow Road 1 along the South Coast, enjoying easy and scenic driving.

Experience another dimension to Iceland with a range of exciting and optional activities, from rafting to glacier hikes, see pages 16-19 for ideas.

Glaciers, volcanoes, lava fields, geysirs, tectonic plates, waterfalls, iceberg lagoons, beaches - the scenic south has it all!

Available year-round. Choose between the midnight sun and possible northern lights viewing.

Strokkur, Geysir

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Sample Itinerary (approx. 1040km)

Day 1 fl y from the UK to Kefl avik, collect vehicle and drive to Reykjavik, perhaps stopping en route at the Blue Lagoon.

Day 2 spend the day exploring Thingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss, one of the most photographed waterfalls in Iceland. Head south to the greenhouse village of Hveragerdi.

Day 3 travel along the south coast past the impressive waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. Road 1 skirts south alongside the Myrdalsjokull icecap and over the moss clad Eldhraun lava fi eld to Kirkjubaejarklaustur. Perhaps take a walk to Systrafoss, the ‘Sister falls’ as well as Kirkjugolfi d (the church fl oor), a national monument of wind and sea-eroded basalt columns.

Day 4 visit the turf church of Nupsstadur then drive across the outwash plains of Iceland’s largest icecap, Vatnajokull to Skaftafell. Explore further east to the amazing iceberg lagoon at Jokulsarlon, not forgetting to walk across the road to catch

sight of icebergs breaking up and heading out to sea or washed ashore on the black sand beach, then continue to Smyrlabjorg.

Day 5 drive west to Skaftafell and spend the day hiking in the national park, or take an optional excursion onto the glacier. Speak to our travel specialists for details.

Day 6 on the drive back along the south coast stop off at Vik where the summer wildfl owers are wonderful and perhaps take a stroll on the beach to admire the rocky headland. Continue west in view of the Myrdalsjokull and infamous Eyjafjallajokull glaciers, and visit Njal’s Saga country at Hvolsvollur en route to Hveragerdi.

Day 7 hike to Reykjadalur – speak to our travel specialists about excursions; or perhaps go horse riding before heading to Reykjavik.

Day 8 drive to Kefl avik, drop off rental vehicle and catch the fl ight home.

“ We were utterly delighted with our Iceland holiday. The landscape was spectacular, the food was great, hotels were fi ne and generally it was just a wonderful experience.”

Graham Tiley

Please note if travelling between October and April it is recommended that you opt for a 4WD vehicle. As with all of our self-drive holidays, itineraries can be amended to suit your personal requirements, subject to availability.

Arctic Edge (6 nights self-drive),

Southern Highlights (7 nights self-drive) (see

our website), South Iceland Jigsaw (5 nights

escorted tour, pages 66-67).

Also consider






KirkjubaejarklausturSelfossBlue Lagoon


Skogar Vik


= Overnight stay


Scan with your smartphone for more holiday information on our website (see page 5).

Page 52: Iceland & Greenland | Travel Brochure

National Parks & Natural WondersDiscover magnificent scenery across three of Iceland’s national parks, among them Vatnajokull, the largest in Europe. See moon-like volcanoes and brooding grey deserts contrast with shimmering icecaps, vibrant green valleys, peaceful fjords, sleepy fishing villages and naturally, countless waterfalls in all shapes and sizes. No wonder this is one of our most popular self-drive holidays!

Fact File


B&B 9 nights*, breakfast basis

May - September, daily

Overnight at1 night Reykjavik*, 2 nights Myvatn, 1 night Egilsstadir, 1 night near Breiddalsvik, 1 night Skaftafell, 1 night Kirkjubaejarklaustur, 2 nights Hveragerdi

Who for?Our most popular and fully flexible itinerary for those who wish to see the best the island has to offer

Prices per person fromLand: £862 (two sharing in one room)

£719 (four sharing in two rooms)

Flights: see p80

National Parks & Natural Wonders Highlights

Visit three of Iceland’s most spectacular national parks; Vatnajokull (including Skaftafell), Thingvellir and Jokulsa.

Save on time by flying north. It is just a 45 minute flight from Reykjavik to Akureyri with Air Iceland.

Possibility of adding an extra night anywhere along the route for a surprisingly reasonable cost.

This itinerary is also possible in reverse. Alternatively, as with all of our self-drive holidays, we can fully tailor it to your requirements.

*From 7 June to 30 September there is an onward Icelandair connection from Keflavik to Akureyri, avoiding an overnight in Reykjavik.

Eiders at Jokulsarlon Lake Myvatn’s pseudocraters

52 All our holidays are bound by our Terms & Conditions, which can be found on our website

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Sample Itinerary (approx. 1390km)

Day 1 fl y from the UK to Kefl avik, then transfer to the city.

Day 2 transfer independently (5-10 mins taxi ride, payable locally) to Reykjavik City Airport for the (midday) 45 minute fl ight to Akureyri, then collect rental vehicle at the airport. Explore this quaint northern town located almost at the head of Eyjafjordur then drive to Myvatn, making a detour at picturesque Godafoss for a photo stop.

Day 3 experience the geothermal and volcanic wonders of Myvatn and its surrounds: mud pools, craters, surreal lava formations, the lake with its prolifi c bird life and the Nature Baths – the north’s answer to the Blue Lagoon.

Day 4 visit the Jokulsa Canyon National Park and explore its gorges and waterfalls. Venture to Dettifoss. Then cross a moody desert landscape and head east to Egilsstadir.

Day 5 perhaps head off to Mjoifjordur, considered by many to be the most beautiful of the stunning East Fjords, before continuing south.

Day 6 one eye-catching view follows another on the journey south through the fjords to Hofn, a fi shing port at the foot of Europe’s largest icecap, Vatnajokull. Travel around the base of the icecap, in sight of its many breathtaking glaciers. Icebergs lie adrift at the famous lagoon Jokulsarlon. Take a boat trip amongst the icebergs and head over to the beach and watch as they drift out to sea. Continue to Skaftafell.

Day 7 go hiking in Skaftafell for stunning views over the south coast and of glacier tongues. Excursions on the glacier are possible - contact us for details. Also discover Svartifoss, a striking little waterfall backed by basalt columns. Drive to the little village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur.

Day 8 journey along the south coast taking in the town of Vik, the craggy coastline and black sand beaches, the rock arch at Dyrholaey, Skogafoss and the nearby museum. Don’t miss the walk behind Seljalandsfoss to look

out through its curtain of cascading water. Continue to Hveragerdi.

Day 9 enjoy the three great attractions of the Golden Circle: the geothermal area at Geysir, the two-tiered waterfall at Gullfoss and historic Thingvellir, Iceland’s third national park.

Day 10 drive back to Kefl avik, drop off rental vehicle at the airport and catch the fl ight back to the UK.

Scan with your smartphone for more holiday information on our website (see page 5).

Also consider

Namaskard, Myvatn Husavik

Please note if travelling in September it is recommended that you opt for a 4WD vehicle.

Best of the West (8 nights self-drive), Fly, Drive & Hike (14 nights self-drive)

(see our website), Classic Iceland (9 nights

escorted tour, pages 64-65)















= Overnight stay

Page 54: Iceland & Greenland | Travel Brochure


Around IcelandThis two week holiday travelling the full circle around Iceland lets you survey stunning coastlines, breathtaking natural wonders, places of historical and cultural interest. As each day unfolds, you’ll be surprised and delighted at the variety of experiences this beautiful island can offer. And, exploring at a leisurely pace, you’ll have time to enjoy it all.

Day 1 fl y from the UK to Kefl avik. Transfer to Reykjavik and explore Iceland’s capital.

Day 2 collect rental vehicle and drive to the fi shing village of Grundarfjordur on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

Day 3 at leisure to explore Snaefellsnes Peninsula with its snow-capped volcano, lava fl ows, stunning coastline and amazing bird colonies.

Day 4 head north east to the charming town of Akureyri on the shores of Eyjafjordur; this is Iceland’s ‘second city’.

Day 5 visit beautiful Godafoss and then head for Myvatn and explore its curious volcanic features, especially those at Dimmuborgir. Perhaps take a dip in the warm waters at the Nature Baths or visit the Cow Shed café. Enjoy

Fact File


B&B 14 nights, breakfast basis

April - October, daily

Overnight at1 nt Reykjavik, 2 nts Grundarfjordur, 1 nt Akureyri, 2 nts Myvatn, 2 nts Seydisfjordur, 1 nt Djupivogur, 2 nts Skaftafell, 2 nts Hveragerdi, 1 nt Reykjavik

Who for?Suitable for those who like a full itinerary with plenty of optional activities

Prices per person fromLand: £1067 (two sharing in one room)

£896 (four sharing in two rooms)

Flights: see p80

Sample Itinerary (approx. 2210km)

Around Iceland Highlights

Comprehensive itinerary spending a combination of one and two nights in key locations.

Time allowed for optional excursions and activities to enhance your Iceland experience!

Covers a very large area - visiting Reykjavik, Snaefellsnes, West, North, Myvatn, East Fjords, South Coast and Reykjanes!

Available early summer and autumn for best value. Visiting then also allows you travel outside of peak season.

Grundarfjordur, Snaefellsnes





Egilsstadir Seydisfjordur









= Overnight stay

54 All our holidays are bound by our Terms & Conditions, which can be found on our website

Page 55: Iceland & Greenland | Travel Brochure

xxxxx xxxxx


discover-the-world.co.uk/icelandbrochure Talk to the experts 01737 218 800 55

watching birdlife around the lake and visiting the nearby pseudocraters.

Day 6 drive to Asbyrgi Gorge, the awesome Jokulsa Canyon and Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall.

Day 7 spend a leisurely day heading east crossing the highland desert and explore the delightful turf roofed farm at Modrudalur before reaching the beautiful East Fjords. Drive up and over the mountains, descending into the picturesque town of Seydisfjordur on an incredibly scenic road.

Day 8 another day travelling around this stunning area, with plenty of photo opportunities. Time to relax and enjoy the sights.

Day 9 head south enjoying spectacular fjord and coastal scenery, before reaching the pretty fi shing village of Djupivogur.

Day 10 continuing south, take an optional icecap and snowmobile tour on Vatnajokull or enjoy a boat cruise around the icebergs on the brilliant Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon. Be sure to cross over the road from the lagoon and take a look at the icebergs as they drift out to sea or are washed ashore on the black sand beach. Take a scenic drive past the glaciers to the area of Skaftafell National Park.

Day 11 explore Skaftafell National Park with its wonderful views, glaciers and waterfalls including the stunning Svartifoss with its impressive basalt columns. Various excursions into the park by mountain bike, on foot or even onto the ice are available to prebook. This is a hiker’s paradise.

Day 12 travel along the south coast past the cliffs of Dyrholaey, impressive Skogafoss and its nearby museum as well as stunning Seljalandsfoss – don’t miss the walk behind this waterfall! Continue to Hveragerdi.

Day 13 a day to complete the Golden Circle route with its trio of natural wonders: thundering Gullfoss, the hot springs and geysers at Geysir and Thingvellir National Park and perhaps have time to visit the historic church, Skalholt.

Day 14 drive back to Reykjavik via the craggy coast of the Reykjanes Peninsula. Visit the hot springs and fumeroles at Krisuvik, the Grindavik cliffs and opt for a dip in the surreal Blue Lagoon (entrance fee applicable, prepayable) before reaching the capital. Return rental vehicle late this afternoon.

Day 15 transfer to Kefl avik for return fl ight to UK.

Scan with your smartphone for more holiday information on our website (see page 5).

Please note as with all our self-drive itineraries, this is a suggestion only – call us to tailor-make your holiday.

Wild Iceland (16 nights self-drive), Fly, Drive & Hike (14 nights self-drive) (see our

website) Classic Iceland (9 nights escorted

tour, pages 64-65)

Also consider

Beach near Jokulsarlon

East coast

Lake Myvatn

Page 56: Iceland & Greenland | Travel Brochure

Your choice of vehicle & our Gold ServiceA self-drive holiday to Iceland is always particularly rewarding. The stunning scenery, scarcity of traffi c outside the capital and roads that seem to go on forever, make driving in Iceland a real pleasure.

Our car hire partners at Europcar offer an extensive selection of vehicle categories in which to explore Iceland’s extraordinary landscape. From smaller category A-type cars (VW Polo or similar), economical 4WD Skoda Octavias (category D), to high-clearance 4WD vehicles (Toyota Land Cruiser or similar) - a choice of vehicles is available dependent on your budget, required luggage space and how many passengers you have in your party. Talk to us about including car hire within your holiday arrangements.

Vehicles* are offered on an unlimited mileage basis, with semi-comprehensive insurance, free second driver, FREE pick-up/drop-off between collection point and accommodation in Reykjavik and Akureyri, automatic transmission is available for certain categories (subject to availability, must be requested at the time of booking). Insurance policy upgrades, fuel and oil are NOT included. Infant and child seats, GPS units, and trailers are also available at an extra charge, on request.

* Excludes self-drive superjeep and applies only to Europcar bookings.

Iceland has similar laws to the UK on the wearing of seatbelts and the non-use of mobile phones whilst driving. All vehicles are non-smoking and standard 2WD vehicles are strictly prohibited from driving on ‘F’ roads (unpaved) or mountain routes (fi nes will apply).

If you would like full details of the car rental contract including terms and conditions, as well as the standard CDW insurance policy, please visit our website or contact our offi ce.

Going the Extra Mile

FREE Landmark Guide to Iceland (RRP £9.99)

FREE Iceland Road Atlas (RRP £22)

‘Places to Visit’ dossier

Use of an audio CD describing the route along Road 1 and its many places of interest

FREE Icelandic SIM card with 1000ISK credit (for use with your own mobile phone)

FREE pick up and drop off from your accommodation in Reykjavik or Akureyri for vehicle collection (between 08:30 and 18:30 or Europcar offi ce’s opening hours)

Priority on the newest and best-appointed vehicles available on the day

24 hour emergency service support

BONUS CARD: giving discounts at selected restaurants, museums and shops exclusive to Discover the World clients

We are proud of our GOLD SERVICE, which comes as standard with our pre-planned itineraries and Europcar. The following elements are all included:


56 Why choose Discover the World – see page 6 For our offi ce opening hours please visit our website

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Page 58: Iceland & Greenland | Travel Brochure


Guided small group toursOur range of escorted tours enable you to travel as part of a small group, sharing your experiences with like-minded people. You’ll be accompanied by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide who will help bring the natural and cultural wonders of Iceland to life.

Our itineraries range from three to nine nights, and you can usually extend your time in Iceland at either end of the itinerary. Our tours take in the highlights of an area and often have a particular focus, such as the aurora borealis, horse riding, hiking and trekking, superjeep safaris or simply covering the main attractions of Iceland inside a reasonable amount

of time. You may find other non-Iceland specialist travel companies offering escorted tours to Iceland, but few if any really know the country as we do (thanks to our longevity in working with Iceland). Discover the World actually designs and operates these trips, and they are not simply left to agents. Some ideas follow on pages 60 to 69, or talk to our travel specialists

about what you’d like to get out of your time in Iceland.

Who will be on the tour? Our guided tours are for English-speaking groups, unlike many mixed language groups offered by other travel companies. Some tours operate based on a minimum of just a few people (Superjeep trips), whilst others, such as our North Iceland

Hiking Tour (see pages 68-69), have a maximum of around 12 people. Our Classic Iceland coach tour is a great choice for those who want to experience the country’s ‘must-see’s’ whilst enjoying the countryside from their seat, and has a maximum group size of 30. Stops are made throughout the day with reasonable time to look around at each attraction, however

Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon

58 Why choose Discover the World – see page 6 For our office opening hours please visit our website

Page 59: Iceland & Greenland | Travel Brochure



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there are no long walks and any independent exploration is kept to the evening time. If a smaller group experience appeals, exploring each region in depth, then take a look at pages 66-67 for an overview of our ‘Jigsaw’ small group touring programme, hosted by expert guides.

Hiking & trekking tours If you’re looking for more freedom and activity, then a hiking tour or a trek might well be more suitable for you; these are for active participants (of all ages – fitness is key here) and are also suitable for teenagers and older children who are used to longer, more strenuous walks. Trekking itineraries are available on our website, staying in tents or occasionally mountain huts, or

alternatively see pages 68-69 for an introduction to our fantastic small group walking holidays in North and South Iceland, walking around 6-7 hours each day and staying in comfortable accommodation.

Your guide/driver on tourOur driver/guides are chosen for their dedication, enthusiasm, organisational and people skills. They are knowledgeable, helpful, and always professional. The size and type of transportation depends on your chosen tour and the number in the group. Modern buses are used on most coach tours, whilst some itineraries simply require a minibus. Other more special interest tours use a 4WD vehicle or superjeep and more

robust mountain vehicles are used when driving on gravel roads and highland tracks. For treks, a support vehicle carries luggage and equipment between overnight stays, which are usually in tents or occasionally mountain huts, with the option to upgrade to hotel accommodation on specific nights only.

Accommodation and mealsThe tour pages in this brochure show the meal basis for each group tour. Unless otherwise stated, half board is usually a two-course set menu, for example a soup starter followed by fish or lamb – hearty and tasty

food. Hotels can cater to specific dietary requirements if notified well in advance. Food is very important in Icelandic culture and therefore the standards of cuisine, both in hotel restaurants and during treks and walks, are above what you would expect from a regular restaurant in the UK. Due to the variety of restaurants in Reykjavik, stays in the capital are on a bed and breakfast basis. Stops will be made for lunch each day as the itinerary dictates, and are payable locally (unless indicated otherwise).

Our full range of group tours can be found on our website, or contact our specialist team who will be happy to talk through your travel ideas with you.

Icebergs, Jokulsarlon beach

Page 60: Iceland & Greenland | Travel Brochure

Northern Lights SpecialThe northern lights are a magical and unforgettable sight - a celestial phenomenon which has amazed people for centuries. Often the difficulty is achieving that precious sighting. On this escorted short break staying at one of Iceland’s top hotels and exploring the picturesque south, the odds of a sighting are as good as they can be with the help of a fantastic rural location and some scientific know how.

Fact File

Guided group tour

HB 3 nights, half board basis

Oct - March (excl Dec), regular departures

Overnight at2 nights Hella (Ranga), 1 night Grindavik

Who for?Those seeking the northern lights and highlights of the south west

Prices per person fromLand: £499 (two sharing)

£599 (single occupancy)

Flights: see p80

Northern Lights Special Highlights

Its location under vast, wide open skies makes Hotel Ranga one of the best places in Iceland for northern lights viewing.

The Northern Light Inn is set amongst a great expanse of lavascape and boasts an aurora viewing lounge.

Departure dates of this escorted tour have generally been chosen to reflect what are believed to be the best chances of seeing the lights.

Hotel Ranga is an exceptionally well-appointed property with a restaurant which offers views of the river and fine dining.

Visit Reykjavik as well as the Golden Circle trio of natural wonders.

Aurora borealis over Hotel Ranga

60 All our holidays are bound by our Terms & Conditions, which can be found on our website

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Itinerary Day 1 fl y from the UK to Kefl avik (late afternoon arrival). Transfer to Hotel Ranga near Hella, south west Iceland. Tonight is your fi rst evening of potential northern lights viewing.

Day 2 visit the famed Golden Circle route including Thingvellir National Park, where you can walk the rift in between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, the spectacular two-tiered waterfall Gullfoss and spouting Strokkur and steaming pools at Geysir.

Day 3 head into Reykjavik and visit the old town and Perlan (‘The Pearl’) a distinctive hilltop building with an outside viewing platform and revolving restaurant under a glass dome. Continue to the world famous Blue Lagoon for a relaxing dip in the mineral-rich waters.

Day 4 transfer to Kefl avik for the fl ight back to the UK.

Please note, for 2012-13 some itineraries may operate in reverse.

Aurora Nights (3 nights self-drive,

pages 46-47)

Also consider

for a video of the aurora borealis taken from Hotel Ranga, please visit

our website! NB: This tour sells out very quickly, early booking is advised to avoid disappointment.

Top Tip

Thingvellir Geysir




Hotel RangaBlue Lagoon


= Overnight stay

“ I have always been interested in the northern lights and fi nd them so magical. I’ve been lucky enough to see the aurora on several occasions – and I never get tired of seeing their stunning displays”

Amy Snow

Scan with your smartphone for more holiday information on our website (see page 5).

Page 62: Iceland & Greenland | Travel Brochure

Killer Whales & Northern Lights Enjoy a four night break away in Iceland’s stunning countryside, surrounded by lava fi elds and a glacier-topped volcano. From January to March, the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in West Iceland sees killer whales visit remarkably close to the fi shing village of Grundarfjordur on the peninsula’s north coast. In 2011 the whales started venturing into the fjord as early as the last week of January, and stayed until the end of March, chasing and gorging themselves on herring. At this time of year, it is also possible to see the aurora borealis.

Fact File

Guided group tour

FB 4 nights, full board basis

February & March, regular departures

Overnight at4 nights Grundarfjordur

Who for?Wildlife enthusiasts and those with a dream to see the northern lights

Prices per person fromLand: £850 (two sharing)

£890 (single occupancy)

Flights: see p80

Killer Whales & Northern Lights Highlights

Two excursions out into Breidafjordur Bay to see the orcas as they hunt for herring.

Thanks to its remote location and lack of light pollution, the magical Snaefellsnes Peninsula is the ideal place to see the northern lights.

Benefi t from the expertise of a knowledgeable Iceland guide and naturalist, as well as a specialist cetacean expert.

Enjoy exploring the Snaefellsnes Peninsula; with fjords, glacial mountain scenery, volcanoes and lava fi elds, this area was the setting and inspiration for Jules Verne’s famous book ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’.

Orca, Grundarfjordur

62 All our holidays are bound by our Terms & Conditions, which can be found on our website

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Itinerary Day 1 afternoon fl ight from UK to Iceland. Enjoy a scenic transfer (approx. 3 hours) to the remote fi shing village of Grundarfjordur on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Enjoy full board whilst staying at Hotel Framnes.

Day 2 morning whale watching trip by boat out into the fjord (approx. 2-3 hours). Hot chocolate and a snack is provided on board. After lunch take a short guided village walk. Enjoy a delicious dinner at the hotel and retire to the hot tubs, keeping an eye out for the northern lights.

Day 3 a full day tour of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, in the company of your knowledgeable guide. See sweeping lava fi elds

and mystical Snaefellsjokull; a glacier sitting atop a sleeping volcano.

Day 4 morning whale watching excursion by boat. After lunch, visit the Shark Museum at Bjarnarhofn. Entrance fee to the museum and a taste of putrifi ed shark and Icelandic schnapps ‘Brennivin’ is included for those with a strong disposition!

Day 5 leave Grundarfjordur after breakfast and drive back to the airport with a stop en route at the soothing geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon (swim entrance fee and lunch included) - don’t forget to pack your swimming costume in your hand luggage! Check in for the late afternoon fl ight home.

“ There were some killer whales in the fjord and the gannets were going mad! Fantastic sight. David Attenborough would have been green with envy!”

Shelagh, Manager of Hotel Framnes, 21 April 2011

Scan with your smartphone for more holiday information on our website (see page 5).

Northern Lights Special (3 night escorted tour, pages 60-61)

Also consider

Aurora, GrundarfjordurGrundarfjordur

to watch a video of whales from theshoreline at Hotel Framnes, please visit our website!

Top Tip



= Overnight stay

Page 64: Iceland & Greenland | Travel Brochure

Classic Iceland This is the classic around Iceland holiday showcasing the must-see highlights of an outstanding destination, whilst also allowing time to explore off the beaten track. As each day unfolds, experience an ever-changing landscape and learn from an experienced guide about the island’s culture, history and many curiosities which make the place and its people so endearing.

Fact File

Guided group tour

HB 9 nights, half board basis (excl Reykjavik)

June - August, regular departures

Overnight at1 night Grindavik, 2 nights Snaefellsnes, 1 night Akureyri, 1 night Husavik, 1 night Egilsstadir, 1 night Skaftafell, 1 night Vik area, 1 night Reykjavik

Who for?Those looking for a well-paced trip with plenty of stops and short walks

Prices per person fromLand: £1699 (two sharing in one room)

£2178 (single occupancy)

Flights: see p80

Classic Iceland Highlights

Benefit from the expertise of a knowledgeable and friendly Icelandic guide and travel with like-minded people who have a fascination for the natural world.

A circular coach tour of Iceland which is busy but allows adequate time to explore the highlights.

See five of Iceland’s most impressive waterfalls: the ‘Golden Falls’ of Gullfoss; thunderous Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful; charming Hraunfossar the ‘Lava Falls’; Skogafoss’s wide curtain and stunning Seljalandsfoss – for the sure-footed, a walk behind this is not to be missed.

Visit the most popular ‘must-see’s’ in Iceland; Reykjavik, the Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle, Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Myvatn, East Fjords and the scenic south.

Along the way, dip into the island’s fascinating Saga sites - the oral histories of early settlers.

xxxxxStrokkur, Geysir

64 All our holidays are bound by our Terms & Conditions, which can be found on our website

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Day 1 fl y from the UK to Kefl avik and transfer to the world-famous Blue Lagoon, for a truly relaxing start to the holiday (swim fee applicable). Stay near Grindavik.

Day 2 travel via scenic Hvalfjordur to west Iceland and the Borgarfjordur Valley. See fascinating geological features then continue to Hraunfossar and Deildartunguhver Iceland’s largest hot spring area before fi nishing the day at Snaefellsnes.

Day 3 explore the natural beauty of Snaefellsnes: columnar basalt cliffs at Arnarstapi; beautiful sandy beach and craggy coastline; impressive lava fi elds and rich bird life, all dominated by the mysterious cone-shaped volcano and glacier which give the peninsula its name.

Day 4 head north to Skagafjordur and visit the turf farmhouse museum at Glaumbaer before continuing to the delightful town of Akureyri.

Day 5 stop at Godafoss, the beautiful ‘waterfall of the Gods,’ en route to the bird life and volcanic features of Lake Myvatn. Continue to Husavik and perhaps take an optional evening whale watch tour.

Day 6 enjoy a spectacular coastal drive around the Tjornes Peninsula to the Jokulsa Canyon and awesome Dettifoss before

crossing the highland desert to the East Fjords region.

Day 7 travel through spectacular fjord scenery and fi shing villages to the base of Iceland’s largest icecap, Vatnajokull, edged by many deeply crevassed glaciers. Visit the fabulous Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon and marvel at refl ected icebergs of all shapes and sizes (optional boat trip).

Day 8 time to walk in Skaftafell. See black sand beaches; coastal cliffs and the natural rock arch of Dyrholaey before driving to Vik.

Day 9 continue to Skogafoss, the magnifi cent 60m waterfall which adorns many a postcard. Nearby is the fascinating Skogar Museum with its collection of traditional turf houses. Elegant Seljalandsfoss is next on the list – take the opportunity to walk behind its tall, narrow curtain of water as it plummets into a circular pool – waterproofs, sturdy shoes and camera essential! Onwards to yet another waterfall, this time cascading Gullfoss. Afterwards continue to the Geysir geothermal area and fi nally, visit Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site of great historical and geological importance. Return to Reykjavik.

Day 10 transfer to Kefl avik for the return fl ight to the UK.

Scan with your smartphone for more holiday information on our website (see page 5).

A Jigsaw series tour (various durations,

escorted tour, pages 66-69), Around Iceland (14 nights self-drive,

pages 54-55)

Also consider















Blue Lagoon


= Overnight stay



Myvatn “ We have just returned from our holiday - words cannot explain what a wonderful experience we had - booking, travel arrangements, hotels, food etc.”

Edwina & Ivan Klemvig

Page 66: Iceland & Greenland | Travel Brochure

Guided ‘Jigsaw’ ToursThis brand new set of in-depth countryside tours can be booked individually, or combined together. They refl ect nearly three decades of expertise in offering holidays to Iceland, and explore the very best of what the North, South, East and West have to offer, as well as some hidden gems.

Offered on a full board basis*, these itineraries offer excellent value for money, whilst travelling in the company of an expert driver/guide. Small groups, usually between 12-20 people, mean that you will benefi t from personal attention and enjoy the convenience of travelling with fewer people.

Choose to book a single ‘Jigsaw’ trip or combine itineraries according to the region that interests you. Unlike other tours on the market, we have created and operate this programme ourselves, offering English-speaking departures only, although your travel companions may hail from other countries, and will no doubt share the same interest in experiencing the fascinating culture and breathtaking landscape of Iceland in focus. Full details of dates, single traveller pricing and full itinerary information is available on our website or contact us.

*Full board basis in the countryside (with box lunch), breakfast basis in Reykjavik.


Blue Lagoon Vatnsholt


Westman IslandsDyrholaey







Trollaskagi Peninsula

Skjalfandi Bay

Gullfoss Vatnajokull











Namaskard Westman Islands

View From Dyrholaey


Fact File - South June - Aug, regular departures

Overnight5 nights, full board basis

Prices per person fromLand: £943 (two sharing)

Flights: see p80

Fact File - North July - Aug, regular departures

Overnight7 nights, full board basis

Prices per person fromLand: £1363 (two sharing)

Flights: see p80

Fact File - East July - Aug, regular departures

Overnight7 nights, full board basis (excl Reykjavik)

Prices per person fromLand: £1358 (two sharing)

Flights: see p80

Fact File - West July - Sept, regular departures

Overnight7 nights, full board basis (excl Reykjavik)

Prices per person fromLand: £1377 (two sharing)

Flights: see p80

Scan with your smartphone for more holiday information on our website (see page 5).

66 All our holidays are bound by our Terms & Conditions, which can be found on our website

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East ‘Jigsaw’ Day 1 fl y from the UK to Kefl avik, then transfer to Reykjavik.

Day 2 fl y from Reykjavik to Egilsstadir (approx. one hour). Visit Lake Lagarfl jot, Egilsstadir and Hengifoss falls.

Day 3 drive up and over a sweeping mountain road to Seydisfjordur, then on to the village of Bakkagerdi.

Day 4 head south, taking in Reydarfjordur, Eskifjordur, Stodvarfjordur en route to Breiddalsvik.

Day 5 travel to the charming village of Djupivogur before reaching the glacial lagoon at Jokulsarlon.

Day 6 enjoy exploring Skaftafell National Park, a ‘must-see’ on the list of Iceland’s highlights.

Day 7 see Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls on the return to Reykjavik.

Day 8 transfer to Kefl avik for the fl ight home, or join another Jigsaw tour.

South ‘Jigsaw’ Day 1 fl y from the UK to Kefl avik, then transfer to Vatnsholt in the south

west, our base for the next fi ve nights.

Day 2 explore the Golden Circle of Gullfoss, Geysir and Thingvellir.

Day 3 visit Thorsmork; ‘Thor’s Wood’ which is a remote wilderness area.

Day 4 day trip by ferry to the volcanic off-shore Westman Islands.

Day 5 take in Skogafoss with time to visit the little museum, Seljalandsfoss, Reynisdranga sea cliffs and Dyrholaey with its rock arch.

Day 6 return via the Blue Lagoon and Reykjanes geothermal area to Kefl avik for the fl ight home or join another Jigsaw tour.

North ‘Jigsaw’ Day 1 fl y via Kefl avik to Akureyri in the north and transfer to

the Adaldalur Valley, our base for the next seven nights.

Day 2 take in the highlights of Myvatn; Skutustadagigar, Kalfastrandavogar & Hofdi, Dimmuborgir and Grjotagja.

Day 3 visit Godafoss en route to Akureyri, complete a circular route of the Trollaskagi Peninsula, including pretty Siglufjordur.

Day 4 visit Husavik, then spend time at Jokulsa Canyon National Park and Dettifoss.

Day 5 explore the Adaldalur valley independently, or book an optional day trip.

Day 6 travel by mountain truck through the Highlands to the lunar landscape area surrounding the caldera Askja.

Day 7 explore Myvatn by superjeep; the craters Krafl a and Leirhnjukur, and Namaskard’s bubbling mud pools.

Day 8 transfer to Akureyri for the fl ight back to the UK (via Kefl avik) or join another Jigsaw tour.

West ‘Jigsaw’ Day 1 fl y from the UK to Kefl avik, then transfer to Reykjavik.

Day 2 set off for West Iceland, with a stop at Borganes’ Settlement Centre, before continuing to Snaefellsnes.

Day 3 explore the area further before taking the late afternoon ferry to the West Fjords.

Day 4 visit the beautiful golden sand beach of Raudissandur and the bird cliffs at Latrabjarg.

Day 5 head north through magnifi cent fjord scenery to Isafjordur.

Day 6 today is at leisure; perhaps book an optional kayaking or boat trip or simply explore on foot (excursions payable locally).

Day 7 travel the length of Isafjardardjup to West Iceland, soaking up the scenery and culture of this remote region.

Day 8 transfer to Kefl avik for the fl ight home, or join another Jigsaw tour.

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Small Group Walking ToursJoin a small group of fellow walkers and stretch your legs in Iceland’s magnifi cent scenery. Stay in comfortable accommodation on a full board basis, with time each day for guided walks of varying durations (from one to six hours max).

Day 1 fl y from UK to Kefl avik and after a short tour of Reykjavik, transfer to Vatnsholt, near Selfoss.

Day 2 hike among colourful hot springs in Hveragerdi’s geothermal valley and Hengill volcanic massif. Visit historic Eyrarbakki, a pretty coastal village.

Day 3 take a short ferry ride to the offshore volcanic Westman Islands. From the port we head for ‘Pompeii’, a row of houses excavated from the ash that buried them in the 1973 eruption on Heimaey. Then hike to the summit of Eldfell, the cinder cone formed during the eruption. Time-permitting, those with a head for heights may scramble up the steep trail leading to the bird cliffs, where puffi ns and other seabirds come ashore to breed.

Day 4 see two stunning waterfalls: Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. Take an easy guided hike on Solheimajokull glacier - all equipment is provided and no special skills or previous experience are needed. At the Dyrholaey rock arch and nature reserve take a short coastal hike.

Day 5 travel around the base of Mt. Hekla through the uninhabited highlands to Landmannalaugar, a nature reserve popular with hikers and photographers. At the end of the hike, enjoy a hot bath in a geothermal river emerging from the edge of a lava fl ow.

Day 6 enjoy a morning hike in Thingvellir National Park. Afternoon sightseeing at Gullfoss waterfall and the Geysir geothermal area.

Day 7 wedged between Eyjafjalljokull volcano and the icecap Myrdalsjokull, Thorsmork’s deep gorges and rugged peaks are popular with hikers. Today offers a choice of a summit viewpoint and a walk up Stakkholtsgja Gorge. Alternatively a full day hike to the Fimmvorduhals eruption site may be offered.

Day 8 take a short coastal walk at Reykjanesviti lighthouse and visit Gunnuhver, a very active geothermal area. The tour ends with a soak in the world-famous Blue Lagoon before a transfer to the airport for your return fl ight, or join the North Iceland hiking tour.

Fact File

Guided group tour

FB 7 nights, full board

July - August, regular departures

Overnight atSouth: 7 nights near Selfoss North: 7 nights Adaldalur, near Myvatn

Who for?Keen walkers with a good standard of fi tness (walks are rated 3.5/5 for challenge level).

Prices per person fromSouth: £1433 (two sharing)

North: £1283 (two sharing)

Contact us for single occupancy prices.Flights: see p80

Stay in one location in the scenic South, with full board included.

Small group of around 15 people, with English as the main spoken language.

Solheimajokull glacier hike is included.

Visit the volcanic wonders of the Westman Islands, Thorsmork, and Mount Hekla.

Bathe in both the Blue Lagoon and natural hot springs at Landmannalaugar.

Well-paced days, sometimes with several walks at different locations per day, mean that you will see the highlights of each area, accompanied throughout by a guide. Immerse yourself fully in the other-worldly landscape and the wonderful remoteness often only experienced by exploring on foot. Please note that fl exibility each day is key due to weather and conditions – your friendly and experienced guide will ensure you make the most of your adventure! For approximate durations of hikes and elevations, contact us or visit our website.

South Iceland


South Iceland Highlights


Blue Lagoon


Westman IslandsVik

HusavikSkjalfandi Bay









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Day 1 fly from UK via Keflavik to Akureyri and transfer via the first waterfall of the tour, Godafoss, to the Lava House (Stadarhraun), at Adaldalur, a beautiful valley overlooking Skjalfandi Bay.

Day 2 set off from the Lava House on a circular hike off the ‘tourist trail’ to the little-known yet lovely valley of Laxardalur and the heathland of Thegjandadalur, an important archaeological area to the south.

Day 3 head to Myvatn, and stop for a short walk at Kalfastrandarvogar. Continue to the curious lava formations at Dimmuborgir which is the starting point for a walk taking in Hverfjall and Grjotagja before reaching Reykjahlid village. From there drive to Namafjall and explore the geothermal area on foot. End the day with a well-deserved relaxing dip in the Nature Baths (entrance fee payable locally).

Day 4 drive to Husavik and take a short hour-long hike or simply explore this lovely little town, with its harbourside café and Whale Museum. Visit the Jokulsargljufur National Park which is the north area of Vatnajokull Park, Europe’s largest! Wander the horseshoe-shaped gorge of Asbyrgi, on to Hljodaklettar and finally reach thundering Dettifoss waterfall, which you will hear before you see!

Day 5 today is a rest day, allowing independent exploration or the possibility of booking a further excursion or day tour; for instance a trip to the lunar landscape of Askja (tours are payable locally).

Day 6 an exciting day starts with a trip across the water and out into Skjalfandi Bay, for a unique day’s hiking in a stunningly remote and uninhabited area, only reached by boat. Cetaceans frequent this area and we hope to enjoy time whale watching today!

Day 7 a further day travelling between walks by superjeep, exploring the lava formations, pseudocraters, bubbling mudpools and bird life of Lake Myvatn.

Day 8 transfer to Akureyri airport for your return flight via Keflavik to the UK, or join a South Iceland Hiking tour.

Stay in one location in the North, with full board included.

Small group of around 12 people, with English as the main spoken language.

Spend two days walking at Myvatn, uncovering the hidden gems of this geologically fascinating and still very active area!

Experience the Diamond Circle route of Husavik and the Jokulsa Canyon National Park, as well as Europe’s most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss.

North Iceland

Scan with your smartphone for more holiday information on our website (see page 5).

Please note full details of departure dates, itineraries and other information is available on our website or contact us.

‘Jigsaw’ touring itineraries (pages

66-67) or trekking tours under canvas (see our website)

Also consider

North Iceland Highlights

Glacier hike, South Iceland

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Weddings, Honeymoons, Proposals & CelebrationsIceland is an ideal location to celebrate life’s poignant moments. The variety of settings, from the quirky to the simply breathtaking, provide memorable places for exchanging vows, popping the question or celebrating a milestone occasion. Thank you to our happy couples for sharing their photographs with us!

With a range of delightful properties, you are sure to find that special place to spend time with your loved one.

Our popular wedding and honeymoon locations include the boutique Hotel Budir, perched on a sweeping bay at the foot of a glacier-topped volcano; and luxurious Hotel Ranga, which is world-renowned for its northern lights sightings. Throughout Iceland you will find friendly and special places to stay in absolutely breathtaking settings. You may want to consider booking a little cottage – many even have their own hot tub!

Over the years we’ve helped organise romantic proposals by waterfalls, beside spouting geysers, as well as under the aurora borealis (due to a bit of luck)! Our team is always more than happy to help make these romantic and poignant moments possible.

Brides and grooms can choose to be married by a Priest or District Commissioner, for example in an intimate religious ceremony in a tiny wooden chapel, or a perhaps a larger gathering by a waterfall; either way, our dedicated Weddings Team will take you through every step in planning your special day.

We can also advise on a range of optional extras such as a photographer, wedding picnic, florist; your wedding can be as elaborate or low key as you wish. Ideally, you need to book your ‘Big Day’ a minimum of three months in advance to allow time to collate paperwork.

Popular wedding spots include Thingvellir National Park; Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss or Gullfoss waterfalls in the south west; and picturesque Budir Church overlooking the ocean on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

In addition to Iceland, we offer Lapland as a winter wedding and honeymoon destination. Our collection of Finnish and Swedish Lapland holidays, including the ICEHOTEL, prove an irresistible choice for those seeking a truly white wedding – visit our website to find out more.

Lapland weddings

Budir Church

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Budir Snaefellsnes


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Iceland & the ICEHOTELThis winter break presents a unique opportunity to visit three incredible destinations. Experience Iceland’s volcanic curiosities and geothermal wonders which are easily accessible from the charming capital of Reykjavik, the pristine snow-laden pines and white blanketed fells of Lapland, and stylish and sophisticated Stockholm.

Fact File


B&B 7 nights, breakfast basis

December - March, regular departures

Overnight at3 nights Reykjavik, 1 night Stockholm, 3 nights ICEHOTEL (Kiruna)

Who for?Adventurous aurora watchers looking to double their chances of seeing the northern lights!

Prices per person from £1584 (two adults sharing)

£1935 (single adult)

£935 (child aged 11 yrs and under)

NB: Includes all necessary return UK-Keflavik/Stockholm and Iceland-Sweden flights (lowest starting fares) for this itinerary. Contact us to check availability.

Iceland & the ICEHOTEL Highlights

Visiting both Iceland and Swedish Lapland at this time of year means that your chances of seeing the aurora borealis are doubled!

Choose from a host of optional activities; husky sledging, snowmobiling, reindeer and moose safaris, ice driving and more for a week of thrills!

For the ultimate ICEHOTEL experience, spend one of your three nights sleeping on ice.

Save on flying time between London Heathrow and Kiruna (normally via Stockholm) by using Discover the World’s direct flight (see page 80).


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Sample ItineraryDay 1 fly from UK to Keflavik and transfer to Hotel Reykjavik Centrum.

Days 2 & 3 free to enjoy one of the many excursions on offer or alternatively why not book additional car hire and explore the surrounding countryside.

Day 4 transfer to Keflavik for the early morning flight to Stockholm with the rest of the day at leisure, stay overnight at Hotel Diplomat (airport transfers in Stockholm are not included).

Day 5 make your own way to the airport for the morning flight to Kiruna. Transfer to the ICEHOTEL. Get kitted out in suitable outdoor clothing (included) for the duration of your stay and then you’re ready to explore. A guided tour will tell you everything you need to know about the ICEHOTEL.

Days 6 & 7 free to enjoy optional activities, including husky sledging and snowmobiling.

Day 8 transfer to Kiruna for Discover the World’s direct flight to London Heathrow.

Scan with your smartphone for more holiday information on our website (see page 5).

Please note this itinerary is also possible in reverse order, visiting the ICEHOTEL first. Should you wish to extend your stay in Iceland or Stockholm, please contact us.

Icehotel & Tromso (7 nights independent,

with the possibility of adding Iceland at the

end of this tour) (see our website), Northern Lights Special (3 nights escorted tour, pages


Also consider

Skogafoss Stockholm © Tonygers

Swedish Lapland

The original ICEHOTEL in Sweden is quite literally the world’s coolest hotel. This testament to art and design sits in a tiny hamlet 200km above the Arctic Circle, gracing the banks of the frozen River Torne. The ICEHOTEL really does have to be seen to be believed and only when you stand beneath the sparkling ice chandelier in the hotel’s main hallway, can you appreciate its scale and true magnificence.

Swedish Lapland offers the ultimate winter experience - by day go husky sledging across the frozen River Torne, by night go in search of the northern lights on snowmobile before relaxing in the ice bar with a brightly coloured vodka cocktail, or perhaps take a sauna. Top it all off by spending a night in a spectacular Art Suite (optional upgrade).

On site amenities at the ICEHOTEL include a variety of heated accommodation, excellent sauna facilities, a comfortable bar and lounge and a superb à la carte restaurant, with a more rustic, log cabin restaurant a short walk away.


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Introducing GreenlandAn island of great proportions, Greenland is dominated by the world’s second largest icecap. Only a narrow coastal fringe of rugged mountains and intensely green valleys remains ice-free, allowing a resilient and determined community to live at the edge of the habitable world.

The fl eeting Arctic summer brings 24 hours of daylight and, north of the Arctic Circle, the midnight sun. During summer the pack ice breaks up and giant icebergs drift through the fjords, migratory birds arrive to breed, and hardy Arctic fl ora bloom and scatter seed. Traditionally a small-scale hunting and fi shing society, East Greenland in particular still retains the charm of its tiny coastal settlements, and rural life, lightly touched by the western world. 90% of Greenland’s population lives in scattered settlements along the west coast.

Flights to Kulusuk in East Greenland operate via Iceland. The gateway to Illulissat in West Greenland is via Iceland,

or alternatively via Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq, from where scheduled Air Greenland helicopter fl ights (9-24 passengers) continue on to Ilulissat and other major settlements. There are no roads connecting the towns, so all transport takes place by aircraft or by ship. When travelling over shorter distances locals use their own boats, dogsleds or snowmobiles.

Greenland is a land ruled by the weather. Travel delays can happen anywhere, but are in reality more likely here due to extremes of weather. For this reason we recommend adding overnight stays at either end of your Greenland holiday in Reykjavik or Copenhagen, as appropriate.

UummannaqDisko Island


Scoresby Sund Ilulissat






Narsaq Qaqortoq



= International Airport�




Greenland makes a fantastic add-on trip to Iceland, or a holiday in its own right.

Top Tip

74 Why choose Discover the World – see page 6 For our offi ce opening hours please visit our website

© Greenland Tourism

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Nuuk © John Rasmussen


The Regions

The EastSettlements in this sparsely inhabited region are almost entirely limited to the Tasiilaq (Ammassalik) area. Reached by helicopter transfer from Kulusuk, it has become the hub for dog sledging trips in early spring - contact

us or see our website for our Greenland Husky Adventure tour. In Tasiilaq you will find that traditional fishing, hunting and carving methods are still used. Excursions are available (booked locally) by boat, 4WD and helicopter, as well as an array of hiking possibilities. Our Traditional East Greenland or East Greenland Wanderer tours also explore this area.

West Coast & Disko BayDisko Bay’s incredible calving glaciers include the most productive in the world, which advances 30m every 24 hours. Some of its icebergs can be several kilometres in length and are a photographer’s highlight.

Disko Bay has been at the centre of Inuit settlement for thousands of years and many valuable archaeological finds have been made there. The bay still supports a number of Greenlandic villages, among them Saqqaq and Rodebay, where visitors can observe the traditional hunting and fishing way of life. The centre of the region is Greenland’s fourth largest town, Ilulissat. Cruises along the west coast are popular - consider the Greenland Coastal Voyage aboard the local ferry Sarfaq Ittuk. For details speak to our team or visit our website.

The SouthThis is the island’s agricultural centre and as elsewhere in Greenland, the scenery is amazing, although surprisingly for some, it is particularly colourful. The verdant landscape is dotted with towns and villages and there are

working sheep farms as well as Inuit and Norse ruins. Narsarsuaq, the community founded in 1941 as a US Air Base, makes a good place to base yourself to explore the area. Refer to our website for tours including the South.

When to travel? The Arctic spring, between March and May, ushers in longer hours of daylight, bearable temperatures and snowy landscapes. Dog sledging can be experienced in East Greenland (Kulusuk and Tasiilaq).

June brings perpetual day, melting snow and ice in the fjords and an awakening of the wildlife. As a result, boat trips to glaciers, settlements and sites of historical interest are once again available all over the country. The summer, which often runs all the way from June into early September, is Greenland’s high season, however May and September offer mild temperatures and tend to be a quieter time to travel. Summer temperatures average around 11°C but can feel surprisingly warm in the sheltered fjords and valleys. By late August the cold nights start drawing in, with new snow usually arriving in mid-September.

Flora & wildlife Over 500 species of plant and several thousand mosses, lichen and fungi are found in Greenland, with saxifrages and Arctic poppies colouring the landscape in the summer, particularly in July and August, depending on the snowmelt.

Along with the reindeer, the musk ox roams Greenland’s landscape, particularly in the vicinity of Kangerlussuaq. The polar bear is a rare visitor to inhabited areas, and may be seen in remote hunting grounds in North and East Greenland. Wolves, arctic foxes, mountain hares and other small land mammals are also found, but are not often seen close to civilisation. Around 60 species of bird breed in Greenland, including the white-tailed eagle.

It is most common to see fin whales, humpback whales and minke whales. Species such as the bowhead whale, blue whale and sperm whale also frequent Greenlandic waters, especially during summer.

Excursions & independent explorationAround many of Greenland’s 18 towns there are well-trodden hiking routes of varying difficulty, which can be completed within two or three hours. Alternatively, try a guided hike or opt for an excursion by boat, 4WD or helicopter. Excursions are best booked locally due to minimum numbers and varying weather conditions.

Note: for expedition cruises to Greenland, visit our website or contact us.

© Greenland Tourism


es ©



nd T



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76 All our holidays are bound by our Terms & Conditions, which can be found on our website

Greenland HolidaysDiscover Greenland’s largely untouched and rugged coastline on a voyage, explore its wide open spaces on a walking holiday, travel through its frozen wilderness by husky sledge or enjoy the magnifi cent scenery on one or more excursions whilst on a short break holiday. Get there on a fl ight via Iceland†. Details of all our itineraries and tours are available on our website or by contacting our specialist team.

Virtually the only populated area on the vast East coast, the district of Ammassalik (encompassing Tasiilaq and Kulusuk) is only a two hour fl ight from Reykjavik and an ideal extension to an Iceland holiday.

Traditional East Greenland (Kulusuk, Tasiilaq, or both)

4-5 nights, May-Sept, full board in Greenland, from £746 per person (two sharing, excluding

return UK-Iceland fl ights – see page 80)

East Greenland Wanderer (Kulusuk, Tasiilaq, or both)

9 nights, June-Sept, full board in Greenland, from £1599 per person (two sharing, excluding

return UK-Iceland fl ights – see page 80)

Greenland Husky Adventure (Kulusuk, Tasiilaq, or both)

6 nights, March-April, full board in Greenland, from £1399 per person (two sharing, excluding

return UK-Iceland fl ights – see page 80)

These adaptable itineraries give a taste of this incredible country, designed specifi cally for those looking to combine a visit to Greenland with a trip to Iceland. Fly from Iceland to Kulusuk, with the option to take an onward Air Greenland helicopter fl ight to Tasiilaq. Enjoy daily excursions or, during summer

(June-September), embark on a self-guided hike following the variety of marked trails and rough tracks that start from these villages.

Several smaller settlements are scattered over the district, amongst them Kulusuk, where the local Inuit population make a living from fi shing and sealing. Hotel Kulusuk is on the eastern shore of the island, and all rooms have private facilities. Tasiilaq, on the island of Ammassalik, is the region’s centre. Its huge jagged peaks are some of the highest in Greenland, making a stunning backdrop for the colourful houses typical of this area. Hotel Ammassalik in Tasiilaq enjoys spectacular views over the ice-fi lled fjord and mountains – with a choice of rooms with or without private facilities, as well as Panorama suites with breathtaking views. Both hotels have a restaurant and bar/lounge.

Additional nights may be added either in Reykjavik, Kulusuk or Tasiilaq, subject to fl ight schedules. Call our Greenland specialists to discuss your requirements.

East GreenlandAir travel usually accounts for a large proportion of the cost of a trip to Greenland; talk to our team about your budget and preferred holiday duration and let us create a trip which gives you maximum value for your money!

Top Tip

© John Rasmussen

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TasiilaqEast Greenland

Tasiilaq © Svend Erik Nielsen

© Bent Petersen


It is possible to explore the ice-choked fjords and glacier-scoured valleys from Illulissat, or alternatively, sail between here and Narsaq on board the Greenlandic ferry MV Sarfaq Ittuk. A comfortable yet functional ship, she offers an invaluable service to the local communities as well as transport for visitors to this magnificent coastline.

Essential West Greenland (Illulissat)

6 nights, June-August, bed and breakfast, from £1650 per person (two sharing, excluding return UK-Iceland

flights – see page 80)

Greenland Coastal Voyage (sailing between Illulissat and Narsarsuaq)

7 nights, June-August, bed and breakfast, from £2927 per person

(two sharing, excluding return UK-Iceland

flights – see page 80)

The modern town of Ilulissat sits approximately 200km above the Arctic Circle, mid-way along the west coast at the mouth of a 56km long ice fjord and is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is here that you’ll find

famous Disko Bay. Hotel Arctic boasts a restaurant with incredible views over the bay’s icebergs, with award-winning chefs creating mouth-watering cuisine. Just a couple of kilometres from Ilulissat you’ll find the idyllic Sermermiut valley, which back in 1727 was Greenland’s biggest settlement. Today, the town is home to at least 4,000 sled dogs and the harbour is full of fishing boats and trawlers. Should you opt to cruise on board the Sarfaq Ittuk, accommodation is in outside cabins. The beautiful, verdant south contrasts spectacularly with the icebergs of Disko Bay and at the end of your cruise you’ll enjoy two nights in Narsaq before flying from Narsarsuaq to Iceland.

West Greenland

A variety of excursions are available in Greenland which we recommend you book and pay for locally. This is because most excursions are weather dependent. According to location and time of year, these include city walks, iceberg and midnight sun cruises, visits to remote hunters’ settlements, fishing

tours, helicopter trips to the icecap, whale safaris and husky encounters - further information can be found on our website or contact us. Please note that excursions are also subject to minimum numbers and some may not operate from March to end of May.

Optional Excursions

† Time in Reykjavik at either end of your Greenland tour is strongly recommended, to allow for

any weather delays (this is included in the number of nights shown on these pages).

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And beyond… Our programme of holidays reaches beyond Iceland to Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Canada as well as New Zealand, Australia, Antarctica and the Arctic. The range of destinations we offer reflects the places we know best and enjoy travelling to. From tailor-made independent travel and self-drive adventures to expedition cruising and small group escorted tours, explore the world in a way that suits you. With a collection of truly special, imaginative itineraries, we ensure that our clients get the most out of each destination.

Winter LaplandNorway, Sweden, FinlandCovering Sweden, Norway and Finland, our inspiring collection of holidays to this enchanting region includes traditional winter warmers in cozy log cabins; thrilling active adventures by snowmobile, husky or reindeer, not forgetting the magnificent northern lights, as well as ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experiences such as the original ICEHOTEL. With much of Scandinavia breaching the

auroral oval, there are excellent chances of seeing the northern lights across Lapland.

With Discover the World’s direct flight from Heathrow to Kiruna – the only one from the UK - you can reach the snowy realms of Swedish Lapland in just 3½ hours. You can even combine Iceland and the ICEHOTEL in one memorable holiday; see pages 72-73 or our website for further information.

Summer Scandinavia Norway, Sweden, FinlandIn the land where the sun never sets, summer in Scandinavia is truly magical. From Norway’s iconic fjords and mountains and Sweden’s archipelago coastline, to Finland’s log cabins and wildlife adventures, Scandinavia is an outdoor lover’s paradise. All countries can be explored on an independent tailor-made itinerary. Self-drives are a popular option, allowing you to enjoy the

freedom of the open road and explore at your own pace.

Canada A truly spectacular country, Canada offers a wealth of holiday adventures – including iconic rail journeys through the Rockies, vibrant city breaks in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, unforgettable self-drive holidays through breathtaking landscapes, and guided wildlife tours in search of polar bears, grizzlies, orcas and

© Rocky Mountaineer, Canada

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Lofoten © Terje Rakke/NordicLife/visitnorway.com

Icehotel, PHOTO: Leif Milling / ARTIST: Anna Sofia MaagMaori, Wairakei

Emperors, Antarctica

humpbacks. With something for everyone, our holidays to Canada showcase the natural beauty and vast range of experiences available throughout this beautiful country.

Polar JourneysThe strikingly beautiful landscapes, sweeping vistas and dramatic ice-choked oceans of the Polar Regions constantly captivate discerning travellers. For many, these last true wilderness areas simply offer the ultimate travel experience leading to memories that will last a lifetime.

Our Polar Journeys are dedicated to travel in the highest and lowest latitudes of the planet. This collection of holidays includes both Arctic and Antarctic small-ship cruises as well as incredible land-based holidays such as

polar bear watching in Churchill, Canada, once-in-a-lifetime adventures in the Antarctic Interior and ideas for extending your stay in Latin America.

New ZealandWe’ve offered holidays to New Zealand for 10 years and know this incredible country inside out. This South Pacific island nation is often described as a world in itself. Among incredibly varied landscapes you will find lofty snow-capped mountains, picturesque lakes and fast flowing rivers, steaming geothermal fields as well as mile upon mile of contrasting and unspoilt coastline.

Discover all that New Zealand has to offer in whatever way you choose – whether you wish to travel independently or as part of

a group we can organise the ideal New Zealand holiday for you. With our tailor-made holiday service, our team of experienced Kiwi accredited specialists will offer you a wealth of self-drive itinerary ideas and accommodation options as well as a wide range of activities and excursions.

Australia Australia is a vast and diverse land of wide open spaces, captivating red desert, verdant rainforest, iconic wildlife, spectacular geological formations and prime beachfront locations, all offering a wonderful range of experiences for the traveller. Drive the Great Ocean Road; sail amongst the scattered islands of the Whitsundays; search for Tasmanian Devils; immerse yourself in Aborigine culture at the Red Centre and wonder at the

limestone formations of Western Australia’s Pinnacles. Whether you choose a tailor-made holiday, a cruising experience or an escorted tour, Australia offers something for everyone.

Our School Travel ProgrammeWhether for field study or learning by osmosis, there can be little doubt that discovering the world outside the classroom reaps many benefits. With over 18 years experience in delivering outstanding study trips we offer an unrivalled opportunity for students to see the textbook bought to life in a real environment, inspiring the next generation. Our range of destinations includes Iceland, Morocco, China, Coast Rica, Italy and more. See our website for the full range of study trips available.

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Airfares - the best price for youOur tailor-made holiday service offers flight bookings in conjunction with ground arrangements, with return flights between the UK and Iceland quoted separately to the tour price.

We have worked with Icelandair for many years. With an exemplary service, both in terms of onboard experience and an impeccable record of on-time departures and arrivals, it’s an obvious choice and partnership.

Icelandair fly from London Heathrow, Glasgow and Manchester to Keflavik International Airport, the main ‘hub’ for flights arriving in Iceland. Keflavik is an approximate 45 minute drive, or transfer, from the centre of Reykjavik. Flying time between the UK and Keflavik is approximately 3 hours.

Commencing summer 2012, Icelandair will offer onward

connecting flights to Akureyri in north Iceland from Keflavik International Airport up to four times a week between 7 June and 30 September. Domestic flights within Iceland (using Air Iceland) and services to Greenland generally operate from the smaller Reykjavik City Airport.

The best available airfare is usually determined by how many seats have been booked on your chosen flight - the busier the flight, the higher the price of the remaining seats. We recommend you book early for travel during the popular summer months and other peak times such as school and public holidays. Airport taxes are subject to fluctuation. Discounts apply for

children aged under 12 years old and infants under 2 years old.

The onboard experienceSuperb leather seating, seat pitches ranging from 32 to 39 inches and personal seat back screens with a sophisticated in-flight entertainment programme, mean increased comfort and enjoyment when you fly with Icelandair.

Economy cabin passengers enjoy complimentary non-alcoholic beverages. Food is provided without charge in Economy Comfort and Saga (Business) Class cabins. Economy Comfort passengers have use of Business Class check in and use of business

lounges, in addition to enjoying complimentary wine and beer, plus additional leg room. Business (Saga) passengers have the largest seats and yet more leg room - offering the best comfort and service Icelandair provide. Find out more by visiting our website.

Contact our team to find out the best available airfares according to your preferred routing, travel dates and flexibility.

AirfaresAs a guideline, at the time of going to press, return airfares from London Heathrow to Keflavik start at £99 per person, with airport taxes at approx. £135 per person.

London HeathrowLondon Stansted



Keflavik International

Reykjavik City









To New York, Boston, Seattle, Washington DC, Denver, Toronto, Halifax




Seydisfjordur A r c t i c C i r c l e

A t l a n t i c O c e a n


Ferry connects between Seydisfjordur (Iceland) and Torshavn (Faroes)

80 Why choose Discover the World – see page 6 For our office opening hours please visit our website

Scan with your smartphone for more

holiday information on our website (see page 5).

Page 81: Iceland & Greenland | Travel Brochure

discover-the-world.co.uk/icelandbrochure Talk to the experts 01737 218 800 81 81

Saga (Business) Class

Economy cabin, Icelandair

Economy ClassEconomy Comfort

Keflavik International

Flight over Greenland

Page 82: Iceland & Greenland | Travel Brochure

Markarfljot Myvatn

AITO Quality CharterThe Association of Independent Tour OperatorsAITO is the Association for independent and specialist holiday companies. Our member companies, usually owner-managed, strive to create overseas holidays with high levels of professionalism and a shared concern for quality and personal service. The Association encourages the highest standards in all aspects of tour operating.

Exclusive membershipAITO sets criteria regarding ownership, finance and quality which must be satisfied before new companies are admitted to membership. All members are required to adhere to a Code of Business Practice which encourages high operational standards and conduct.

Financial securityAn AITO member is required to arrange financial protection for all holidays and other

arrangements (including accommodation only) booked by customers with the member under the AITO logo. This financial protection applies to customers who are resident in the UK at the time of booking and to most overseas customers who have booked directly with the member. In doing so, the member must comply with UK government regulations. Members are required to submit details of their financial protection arrangements to AITO on a regular basis.

Accurate brochures and websitesAll members do their utmost to ensure that all their brochures and other publications, print or electronic, clearly and accurately describe the holidays and services offered.

Professional service and continual improvementsAll members are committed to

high standards of service and believe in regular and thorough training of employees. Members continually seek to review and improve their holidays. They listen to their customers and always welcome suggestions for improving standards.

Monitoring standardsAITO endeavours to monitor quality standards regularly. All customers should receive a post-holiday questionnaire, the results of which are scrutinised by the Association.

Sustainable tourismAll members acknowledge the importance of AITO’s Sustainable Tourism guidelines, which recognise the social, economic and environmental responsibilities of tour operating. Those demonstrating their achievements beyond the pure acceptance of this principle are recognised by the award of 2 to 5 star status.

Customer relationsAll members endeavour to deal swiftly and fairly with any issues their customers may raise. In the unlikely event that a dispute between an AITO member and a customer cannot be settled amicably, AITO’s low-cost Independent Dispute Settlement Service may be called upon by either side to bring the matter to a speedy and acceptable conclusion.

Discover the World Ltd is a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators. To contact the Association, visit www.aito.com or call 020 8744 9280.

How was your holiday?We are proud of our holidays. Please give your feedback on www.aito.com/q so others can see how satisfied our customers are – AITO independently monitors its members and their standards.


82 Why choose Discover the World – see page 6 For our office opening hours please visit our website

Page 83: Iceland & Greenland | Travel Brochure

83discover-the-world.co.uk/icelandbrochure Talk to the experts 01737 218 800 83

Our map has been designed to help you pinpoint certain towns, villages and places of interest around the country. Although our self-drive itineraries for example, show their routes on their own mini-maps, this more detailed version along with the distance chart underneath, should give you a greater understanding of the size of the country and just how much can be seen in a day.

Driving distances (approx. km)

FROM/TO Akureyri Borgarnes Egilsstadir Hofn Isafjordur Reykjavik Selfoss Vik

Akureyri - 315 265 512 567 389 432 561

Borgarnes 315 - 580 519 384 74 117 246

Egilsstadir 265 580 - 247 832 698 640 511

Geysir 489 174 677 439 559 115 61 166

Gullfoss 499 184 687 449 569 125 71 176

Holmavik 344 199 609 718 224 273 316 445

Husavik 91 406 220 467 659 480 523 652

Hveragerdi 419 104 653 415 487 44 13 144

Hvolsvollur 481 166 591 353 550 106 49 80

Hofn 512 519 247 - 922 459 402 273

Isafjordur 567 384 832 922 - 457 500 630

Keflavik 431 116 696 499 500 48 97 226

Kirkjubaejarklaustur 633 318 440 201 702 258 201 71

FROM/TO Akureyri Borgarnes Egilsstadir Hofn Isafjordur Reykjavik Selfoss Vik

Myvatn (north) 99 414 165 412 667 488 531 660

Neskaupstadur 336 651 71 301 904 725 694 565

Olafsfjordur 61 340 326 573 592 414 457 586

Olafsvik 416 121 681 640 443 195 239 367

Raufarhofn 245 560 270 517 812 634 677 781

Reykjavik 389 74 698 459 457 - 57 187

Selfoss 432 117 640 402 500 57 - 129

Seydisfjordur 292 607 27 274 859 681 667 538

Skaftafell 639 387 374 136 771 327 270 141

Skogar 529 214 543 305 598 154 97 32

Stykkisholmur 363 98 628 617 390 172 215 345

Vik 561 246 511 273 630 187 129 -

Thingvellir 410 95 675 447 479 49 45 174

Please note our Iceland region guides may be found on pages 20-37. Main roads shown on this map are an overview only - our self-drive holidays include a Road Atlas and other relevant documentation, see pages 44-45.

Key Road 1 or major routes Highland tracks/F-routes (4WD only) International airport Domestic airport Local ferry Volcano

Iceland map


Isafjordur Bolungarvik














Geysir Thingvellir



Blue Lagoon

Grindavik Thorlakshofn






Westman Islands













Egilsstadir Seydisfjordur

Borgarfjordur Eystri



Asbyrgi Husavik








Dalvik Hauganes

Varmahlid BlonduosSaudarkrokurHolmavik






Neskaupstadur Eskifjordur

Hvolsvollur Seljalandsfoss


Kjolur Route


ur Ro


Approx. Scale0 50 km25

LAKE MYVATN Brjanslaekur





Page 84: Iceland & Greenland | Travel Brochure

Tel 01737 218 800 Email [email protected]


Our other destinations include: Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Polar regions, New Zealand, Australia, Canada & beyond

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