Venture into the volcanic heart of the “land of fire and ice” on an exploration of remarkable North Iceland. Discover Mývatn’s jagged lava fields, descend into a glacially carved canyon, and stand on the rim of a vast volcanic crater. Soak in the spray of Dettifoss waterfall—the largest waterfall by volume in all of Europe—and relax in two different geothermal hot springs after days packed with adventure.
Day 1 - Reykjavík/Akureyri/Mývatn
Disembark the National Geographic Explorer in Reykjavík and fly to Akureyri. Drive across snowcapped mountains into the breathtaking volcanic valley around Lake Mývatn, and wander through the mysterious Dimmuborgir, or Dark Fortress—the remains of a lava reservoir filled with otherworldly rock formations. Ascend the stunning black-sand slope of the Hverfjall crater and marvel at the vast basin, framed by Lake Mývatn. Then make your way to the Víti crater, a remnant of the Krafla volcano eruption that now holds a turquoise lake. On the shores of Lake Mývatn, circle the surreal pseudo-craters of Skútustaðagígar and spot various bird species bobbing in the shallow waters. After checking in to our hotel, head to the beautiful Mývatn Nature Baths for a relaxing pre-dinner hot springs soak.
Accommodations: Fosshótel Mývatn. (L,D)
Day 2 - Hverir/Húsavík/Akureyri
Venture into the volcanic wilderness of Hverir, a land of boiling mud pots, hot springs, and sulfurous fumaroles. Then set out on a scenic drive to feel the spray of Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe. Runoff from the Vatnajökull ice cap forms Dettifoss’s 300-foot-wide cascade, giving the roaring waters a milky hue. Continue north to Ásbyrgi, a basalt-lined canyon formed by glacial flooding, resulting from a volcanic eruption and steeped in folklore. Stop at the small town of Húsavík to take in breathtaking views across the Denmark Strait from the top of towering seaside cliffs. Soothe sore muscles at a sleek hot springs spa overlooking the water. In Akureyri, settle into our hotel and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Akureyri or similar. (B,L,D)
Day 3 - Akureyri/Reykjavík/Home
This morning, enjoy a guided walk around Akureyri, nestled under snowcapped peaks at the head of the Eyjafjörður fjord. Visit the Botanical Garden, home to an impressive collection of native and exotic flora. From the airport in Akureyri, take a short flight to Reykjavík. Enjoy lunch in the world’s northernmost capital city before transferring back to the airport to connect with your flight home.
Costs & What's Included
Accommodations as shown in the itinerary, or similar; meals as shown in the itinerary; local guides on all excursions; tips to local guides, to porters and to waiters for included meals; round trip airfare to Akureyri.
Tips to waiters for meals that are not included, items of a personal nature such as laundry, Internet access and alcoholic beverages.