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Hidden Gems of Iceland

(11 days / 10 nights)

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See what others don’t in the exquisite West Fjords

This journey takes you to the sparsely populated regions of the West Fjords and Snæfellsnes Peninsula, where you can experience some of the country’s best-kept secrets and natural wonders. Imagine narrow fjords offset by jagged mountains, unspoilt scenery, well-preserved cultural traditions and the kind of tranquility that few places on earth can match.

Type

Self-Drive

Interest

Active, Family, Midnight sun, Off the Beaten Path, Slow Paced

Season

1 Jun - 31 Aug

Departure

Daily

Driving distance

1392/867 km/mi

Price p. p. from

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Itinerary

A day-by-day plan to guide your journey.

  • Day 1: Welcome to Reykjavík

    On arrival to Keflavik Airport, you will be greeted by a driver who will take you to your accommodation in Reykjavík. After settling in, the rest of the day is free for you to explore the vibrant city centre with its abundance of museums, restaurants and bars to suit all tastes. If you're interested in checking out Icelandic design or experiencing the city's thriving coffee culture, head to the main street, Laugavegur, and enjoy its various shops and cosy cafes.

    Spend the night in Reykjavik.

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  • Day 2: Journey to Iceland’s Wild West

    Start the day by picking up the rental car and heading to the tranquil, remote West Fjords of Iceland. Notable sights along the way today include Borgarnes, Eiríksstaðir, Búðardalur and Skarðsströnd. After passing over the mountain road from Tröllatunguheiði to Steingrímsfjörður, you will find Hólmavík, an enchanting small town known for its Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft.

    Spend the night in the Drangsnes area.

    Driving distance approx. 231 km / 144 mi.

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  • Day 3: Hidden charms of Djúpavík

    You have the whole day to enjoy the secluded Strandir area of the West Fjords. This is one of the most remote places in Europe, and the pristine natural environment is largely untouched by modern development. Take your time as you travel the coastline between Djúpavík and Norðurfjörður—the point where the road literally ends—to experience the tranquil surroundings. You can also bath in a natural thermal pool, watch an amazing diversity of birdlife and soak up the unique history this region has to offer.

    Spend another night in the Drangsnes area.

    Driving distance approx. 90km / 55 mi.

     

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  • Day 4: Fjord Scenery and Serenity

    Drive from the Strandir area over the rugged Steingrímsfjarðarheiði route on your way westward. Today´s journey is characterized by endless but dramatic fjords and towering mountains on your way to Ísafjörður, the “Capital of the West Fjords” and the biggest settlement in the region. There you‘ll find some of the most historic houses in Iceland, dating back to the mid-18th century. You may also wish to drive to nearby Bolungarvík for a visit to the Ósvör Maritime Museum, or head to the radar station on top of Bolafjall where, on a clear day, you can have amazing views over the uninhabited Hornstrandir Nature Reserve.

    For a perfect ending to this active day, we recommend dining at the Tjöruhúsið restaurant for a taste of the area’s fresh catch of the day from the local fishermen.

    Spend the night in Ísafjörður area.

    Driving distance approx. 234 km / 146 mi. 

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  • Day 5: Harmony with Nature

    Today is ideal to relax and explore Ísafjörður or join some optional guided tours such as guided hikes, kayaking, boat and sea-angling tours. Some popular options include a guided hike from Aðalvík to Hesteyri or a visit to the “King and Queen of Bird Cliffs” at Hornavík and Hornbjarg.

    For an ideal ending to this picture-perfect day, make a detour to the Skálavík cove and test your inner Viking with a barefoot walk on the tranquil seashore.

    Spend another night in Ísafjörður area.
     

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  • Day 6: Viking Trails to Waterfalls

    Head to Dýrafjörður, where you will find the trail of the Viking saga hero Gisli Súrsson as well as the Skrúður botanical garden, the oldest in Iceland and one of the northernmost in the world. Continuing to Hrafnseyri, you can visit a museum dedicated to another hero, Jón Sigurðsson, who was influential in Iceland’s battle for independence. End the day with a stop at the impressive Dynjandi waterfall nestled in the Arnarfjörður fjord. 

    Spend the night in the Patreksfjörður area.

    Driving distance approx. 176 km / 110 mi.

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  • Day 7:  Látrabjarg Bird Cliffs and Golden Beaches

    Enjoy the morning with a refreshing walk at Látrabjarg, which has the distinction of being Europe’s westernmost point and largest bird cliff at 14 km long and up to 440 metres high! Here you have a unique opportunity to get a close up look at some of the cliff-dwelling birds such as puffins and razorbills (when in season). Then drive to the sand mounds of Sauðlauksdalur, the “home of the Icelandic potato”, and finally to Rauðisandur (“Red Sands”) to view the breathtaking golden beaches. 

    Spend another night in the Patreksfjörður area.

    Driving distance approx 112 km / 70 mi

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  • Day 8: The Island of Flatey

    Drive to Brjánslækur and board the Baldur ferry for a short, scenic voyage through the Breiðafjörður Bay to Flatey, an idyllic small island with well-preserved 19th century wooden houses and postcard-perfect scenery. As cars are not allowed on this small island—leaving tractors as the main form of transport, your car will be transferred onwards to the port at Stykkishólmur, where you can pick it up the next day. 

    Spend the night on Flatey. 

    Driving distance approx. 90 km / 56 mi. Ferry passage from Brjánslækur to Flatey: Approx 1 hour.*

    *Note: the Baldur ferry does not stop at the island of Flatey from approx. 27 August to 9 June (this schedule can change slightly each year). If your travel dates fall within that period, your travel consultant will arrange for you to spend an extra night on Snæfellsnes Peninsula instead of stopping at Flatey.

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  • Day 9: Snæfellsjökull National Park

    Today you will take the ferry to Snæfellsnes Peninsula. There you can experience the magical Snæfellsjökull National Park, with amazing birdlife, lush valleys, lava fields and towering glacier Snæfellsjökull. It is ideal to drive around the peninsula, passing Dritvík Cove, Lóndrangar Cliffs as well as Hellnar and Arnarstapi Cliffs with its bursting bird-life and the small villages on the coast. You might wish to test your strength at the stones of the black volcanic beach of Djúpalónssandur like the seamen in past times. On Snæfellsnes, you can choose from a variety of actitivities such as horse riding, hiking, sea-angling or simply relax and take in the glacier’s alleged supernatural energy.

    Spend the night on Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

    Driving distance approx 180 km / 112 mi. 

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  • Day 10:  History and Hot Springs

    Head back to Reykjavik today. Notable sights along the way include the Icelandic Settlement Centre in Borgarnes, Deildartunguhver—the largest hot spring in Europe—and the beautiful Hraunfossar waterfalls and Barnafoss waterfalls. History or Nordic literature buffs may also find it worthwhile to stop at the medieval research institution of Snorrastofa at Reykholt, where Snorri Sturluson wrote the Saga Heimskringla in the 13th century. On return to Reykjavik, return the rental car before settling in at your accommodation.

    Spend the night in Reykjavik.

    Driving distance approx 279 km / 174 mi

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  • Day 11: Departure

    Transfer by bus to Keflavík Airport in time for your departure flight. If your flight is in the afternoon, you can fit in a relaxing visit to the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa or even take a short guided tour of the volcanic Reykjanes Peninsula (optional; not included

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Map

Here’s a map of Iceland, to help put things in perspective.

Reviews

We don’t like to brag, so we’ll let our happy customers do it for us.

Stephani, United States

, May 2014

Nordic Visitor will help you plan a trip of a lifetime

Nordic Visitor put together the exact trip I hoped to take. I explained what I was looking for, what I wanted to see and do, and the general area I wanted to explore, and they came up with an itinerary that exceeded my expectations. They made everything seamless too. Once we were in Iceland, we didn't have to worry about a thing - it was all taken care of by Nordic Visitor. We stayed in excellent hotels and visited attractions we may have otherwise missed had they not suggested them. All of my correspondence with them was timely, professional and friendly. We made a few last minute changes (we upgraded our rental car, etc.), and they handled it without issue. I would definitely use them again - for Iceland or any other of the destinations they cover. 
 
I had been to Iceland before and used a different company, and everything with that other company was much more difficult.

bethg921, United States

Hidden Gems of Iceland, July 2013

Alexandra at Nordic Visitor is amazing! A++

I am generally accustomed to making my own travel arrangements via the internet, but due to time constraints I decided to choose a travel agent to take care of things for me. From the first questions to the last, Alexandra at NV was fantastic. She arranged everything as we requested it for our custom tour of the Westfjords of Iceland! She even rearranged accommodations at the last minute at our request and did so graciously and kindly. 
 
We fell in love with Iceland and will treasure our visit there for years to come. If we decided to visit another country serviced by Nordic Visitor Tours, we will once again call on Alex and her team! Can't go wrong!

Accommodation

Sleep soundly, in the accommodation type of your choice, and wake up ready to enjoy another day of exploration.

Budget

Rooms with shared WC and shower (or bath) in farmhouses, guesthouses or well-appointed hostels. All provide breakfast (included in..

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Comfort

Rooms with private WC and shower (or bath) in a three-star hotel or well-appointed guesthouse. All provide breakfast (included in ..

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Rental car

Enjoy the journey, with authorization for two drivers and free GPS in the rental car of your choice.

Ford Fiesta
or similar

Ford Fiesta
or similar

  • Type: A
  • Description: Economy sub-compact hatchback
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 2
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Manual*
  • *upgrade to automatic available upon request

Ford Focus
or similar

Ford Focus
or similar

  • Type: B
  • Description: Compact hatchback
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 3
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Manual*
  • *upgrade to automatic available upon request

Ford Focus Wagon
or similar

Ford Focus Wagon
or similar

  • Type: C
  • Description: Compact wagon
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Manual*
  • *upgrade to automatic available upon request

Ford Mondeo
or similar

Ford Mondeo
or similar

  • Type: D
  • Description: Mid-size sedan
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 4
  • Transmission: Automatic

Ford Kuga 4x4
or similar

Ford Kuga 4x4
or similar

  • Type: E
  • Description: Compact SUV, four-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Ford Edge 4x4
or similar

Ford Edge 4x4
or similar

  • Type: F
  • Description: Mid-size SUV, four-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5
  • Suitcases: 5
  • Doors: 5
  • Operation: Automatic

Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4
or similar

Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4
or similar

  • Type: G
  • Description: Full-size SUV, four-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5
  • Suitcases: 5
  • Doors: 5
  • Operation: Automatic

Volvo XC90 4x4
limited availability

Volvo XC90 4x4
limited availability

  • Type: H
  • Description: Full-size Premium SUV, four-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5/6
  • Suitcases: 6/3
  • Doors: 5
  • Operation: Automatic

Ford Transit
or similar

Ford Transit
or similar

  • Type: I
  • Description: Passenger van
  • Passengers: 9
  • Luggage: 5
  • Doors: 4
  • Transmission: Manual

Land Rover Defender 4x4
limited availability

Land Rover Defender 4x4
limited availability

  • Type: J
  • Description: Highland SUV, four-wheel drive
  • Passengers: 5/6
  • Luggage: 4/2
  • Doors: 2/4 to 6
  • Transmission: Manual

Citroen C4 Grand Picasso
or similar

Citroen C4 Grand Picasso
or similar

  • Type: K
  • Description: Compact MPV Family Vehicle
  • Passengers: 6
  • Luggage: 1/2
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Manual

Optional activities

This is your trip, what are you interested in doing?

Everything about this tour

  • Extra nights can be added to this package on request; contact us for details.
  • This package can be customized to meet your needs; contact us for details.
  • Optional activities can be added during the online booking process or by contacting your travel consultant.
Note
The Baldur ferry does not stop at the island of Flatey from approx. 27 August to 9 June (this schedule can change slightly each year).
If your travel dates fall within that period, you will spend an extra night on Snæfellsnes Peninsula instead of stopping at Flatey.
 
Currency rate
All bookings are charged in Icelandic Króna (ISK), the official currency of Iceland. Prices displayed in other currencies are indicative only and based on the daily exchange rate as issued by the Central bank of Iceland. Therefore, conversions from ISK to other currencies will fluctuate from day to day.
 
After booking with Nordic Visitor
After booking your package with Nordic Visitor, you will be contacted within two working days by one of our travel consultants, who will serve as your dedicated contact person for all of your travel needs before, during and even after your holiday. Your travel consultant will provide you with details about your booking and your remaining payment (if not paid in full). You will also receive more information about what to expect during your holiday.

 

We are here to help

Whether you have a single question or a special request, we're here for you.