Iceland: West Walking Tour
Six nights; six days. Easy to moderate hiking. Visit many of Southern and Western Iceland’s most spectacular sites and regions.
“…the best Freewheeling Adventure that we have done to date. This is saying something since we enjoyed all of our previous trips… it was a great trip, worth every penny and resulted in some wonderful memories. – Ian & Laina C
WHY THIS TRIP?
- Easy access from Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital city.
- Hiking among other-worldly landscapes: pseudo-craters, waterfalls, glaciers, geysers, volcanoes.
- National parks.
- Icelandic horses and seabird colonies.
- Midnight sun in late June and early July. Long days all summer.
- Rich history and folklore.
- Geothermal spa.
- Fascinating Westman Islands.
- DAY 1: Hike ~ 2 h, drive ~ 3 h
- DAY 2: Hike ~ 1.5 h, drive ~ 2 h
- DAY 3: Hike ~ 2-3 h, drive ~ 5h
- DAY 4: Hike ~ 2 h, drive ~ 3.5 h
- DAY 5: Hike ~ 2 h, drive ~ 5 h
- DAY 6: Hike ~ 4 h, drive ~ 2 h
- DAY 7: Farewell, drive ~ 3 h
(Click image to enlarge)
Start: Keflavik International Airport, 09:00, day one.
Finish: Reykjavik, 12:00, day seven.
Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.
Blue Lagoon/Grindavík. Hike up to 2 hours, drive up to 3 hours
Meet at Keflavik Airport upon your arrival early in the morning, or at your hotel a bit earlier. Your Iceland adventure begins at a geothermal spa; the Blue Lagoon is perhaps the most supernatural looking body of water on Earth. The temperature averages about 40C (104F), and the soothing, mineral-rich water is rumoured to have curative powers. After lunch in the bustling fishing town of Grindavík you will visit the Krysuvik geothermal area for a close look at some active bubbling mud pots and sizzling steam vents, or fumaroles. You’ll then transfer to your accommodations in Hveragerdi, where you can enjoy the naturally warmed swimming pool and hotpot beside the river, as well as a geothermal sauna. Before or after dinner you can take advantage of the many short hikes near your hotel which will allow you to explore surreal steaming hillsides. LD (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfast only)
Frost & Fire, or Hotel Ork ,Hveragerði
The Westman Islands. Hike up to 1.5 hours, drive up to 2 hours
Today’s adventure explores one of earth’s newest volcanoes, Eldfell (translates to “Hill of Fire”), on the Westman Islands, a collection of 15 islands off the southern coast. After a tranfer to Bakkahöfn take a comfortable ferry ride to Heimaey, the only inabitated of the Westman Islands. In January 1973, a volcanic fissure opened just outside of the town of Heimaey. In the middle of the night, all the inhabitants were evacuated by fishing boat to the mainland. Within three months lava flows and falling tephra had destroyed almost 40% of the town. You will walk though the town, up to the top of Eldfell volcano (still warm just a few centemeters below the surface at the top), and back through the town with a stop at a local reataurant for lunch before taking the ferry back to the mainland. You may have time upon returning to the mainland to visit the impressive Seljalandsfoss or Skógafoss waterfall. BLD
Hotel Laekur, Rangarvallavegur
Optional upgrade for private groups: Hotel Ranga, Sudurlandsvegur
Landmannalaugar Nature Reserve. Hike 2-3 hours, drive up to 4 hours
Travel to Landmannalaugar via the Dómadalur valley, where your guide will help you choose one of several possible hikes. This unique pearl of the interior is situated in a valley between steep, colourful (yellow, orange, and purple) mountains at the high, dark edge of a rhyolite lava field, where you may even see black obsidian (volcanic glass). Wandering through this intoxicating miasma of colour, you will find Icelandic moss fields, meadows of wool grass, steaming springs, and bizarre lava formations, where bright blossoms defy the raw climate. This magnificent, fragile eco-system seems out of place amidst these volcanic mountains, and you may start believing in elves and fairies as you enjoy bathing in an earth-warmed river. You will quickly understand why Ridley Scott chose this otherworldly place to film his most recent Alien movie, Prometheus. BL
Icelandair Hotel Flúðir, Flúðir; or Fosshotel Hekla, Brjánstaðir
Gullfoss, Geysir, and the Þingvellir Valley. 2 hour walk (plus sightseeing stops) drive up to 2.5 hours
Day Four: Gullfoss, Geysir, and the Þingvellir Valley. 2 hour walk (plus sightseeing stops) drive up to 2.5 hours
Start with a drive across the fertile agricultural region of Iceland on your way to visit two of the natural wonders of the world. Gullfoss is an enormous glacial cascade dropping 105 feet into a narrow canyon. The spectacular two-tiered cataract throws up a mist that hangs in the air like fine drizzle, often forming rainbows in the sunlight. Nearby, the Strokkur geyser, younger sibling of the ancient and fabled “Great Geyser” is a sight to behold. This landmark of Iceland emits an eruption of steam and boiling water every 4-8 minutes, and is truly a natural phenomenon. In nearby Thingvellir National Park you will learn about the history of Iceland and its ancient parliaments while walking along the Mid-Atlantic Rift. See if you can feel the tectonic plates separating! After a walk through the dense vegetation of the National Park, you will be transferred to your hotel. BLD
Hotel Húsafell, Húsafell; or Hotel Glymur, Hvalfjardarsveit
Glacier views, waterfalls, and Eldborg crater. Hike up to 2 hours, drive up to 3.5 hours
Visit the Kaldidalur Valley (Cold Valley) where you can view the splendid Langjökull glacier, one of the largest in Iceland. Stop at Barnafoss (Children’s Falls) and Hraunfoss (The Lava Falls). After lunch you will transfer toward the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, stopping to hike to the top of Eldborg, often called the “Perfect Crater”. After this hike you will continue along the southern coast of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula where you will overnight in the shadow of the Snæfellsjökull glacier, made famous in Jules Verne’s A Journey to the Center of the Earth. BLD
Hotel Búðir, Snaefellsnes; or Langaholt Guesthouse, Snaefellsbaer
Explore Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Hike up to 4 hours, drive up to 2 hours
Start with an easy hike along the coast from Hellnar village to Arnarstapi village. Along the way you will see unique coastal lava formations and colonies of thousands of seabirds. After lunch explore the northern coast of the Snæfellsnes, including the town of Stykkishólmur where you will have a chance to visit a unique museum of art related to volcanic activity. The curator Professor Haraldur Sigurðsson will guide you through his museum and art collection, including a painting by Andy Warhol. If you are so inclined there are a number of other interesting small museums in town as well. BLD
Transfer to Reykjavik. Drive up to 3 hours
A morning transfer will take you back to Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, where you may discover the wonders of this city on your own. Stops will be made at hotels for those who are staying in Reykjavik, and an airport shuttle will depart for adventurers who are traveling home today. B
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
- Jun 10-16
- Jul 17-23
- Jun 8-14
- Jul 13-19
Self-Guided available any dates, except for those listed above. New dates are also welcomed for guided or private departures.
Guided: C 5965 (per person, double occupancy)
Includes 7 days, 6 nights, 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners, guide, entry fees, luggage handling, all transfers, taxes
Small groups or private tours, fully supported with drivers/guides and vehicles, all lodging and most meals included. Choose from existing dates or request new departures. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.
Single Occupancy: 1335
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Please see above for accurate pricing and inclusions, unless we have proposed a customized trip for you and those details are provided in your custom proposal.
1. Choose an advertised date to join a small group, or see our Join a Group page to see where groups are already forming.
2. Pick your own dates. We will confirm quickly, and are happy to talk with you as you make your choice. If you would like a private guided date, this usually comes at a surcharge depending on the details, please get in touch for more information. If you prefer self-guided, we usually only require two participants to initiate a new date at the advertised price, and can sometimes reduce prices for you if you have four or more.
We are perennially awestruck by the scenery in Iceland. Its panoramic beauty is evident everywhere, and the imagination is stirred by the fact that these landscapes are still being born from volcanoes and shaped by glaciers. It is a fantasy world of boiling mud pots, rugged coastlines, and rhyolite peaks. The steaming lava fields of Reykjanes Peninsula; the ever-changing landscape of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge; the incredible oasis of Thorsmörk Valley; the mountains of gold, orange, purple, rose, and brilliantly green at Landmannalaugar – all form a tapestry of visual delight. You will walk through moss fields and meadows of wool grass, seek out rare orchids, and stop to bathe in warm rivers. A white glacial waterfall cascades 105 feet into a narrow canyon, leaving a rainbow in its wake, while nearby, a steaming geyser marks the time. The mystical grandeur of Snaefellsnes Peninsula, known as a microcosm of Iceland as a whole, is where elves and faeries are said to dwell. Come and look for them with us, while enjoying Iceland’s extraordinary, otherworldly beauty. It will change your appreciation for our planet!