Ready to let off some steam in the Land of Fire and Ice? Here, in the ancient stomping ground of the Vikings, you'll zip in Zodiac boats across an unearthly lagoon. Trek on lava beds to the Forest of Thor. Journey by "super jeep" near an active volcano. Gaze at massive mountains and hike to a seabird sanctuary. Warm up in geothermal pools after walking on a glacier... And that's just the tip of the iceberg! Come discover Iceland at its beautiful, rugged and mythical best with Backroads.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
AccommodationsPlease note that Hotel Vatnajökull is more basic than the usual Backroads standard. We’ve chosen this property in the remote area of southeast Iceland for its proximity to our trip activities.
ClimateThe combination of Iceland’s prolific waterfalls, vast icefields, vibrant green landscape and warm ocean currents makes this island like no other place in the world. The island's climate can be as surprising as its terrain, with weather patterns and microclimates that can bring sun, wind, sleet, rain, and snow all in the same day (or hour!). Please be sure to bring warm layers and waterproof gear for every day of the trip.
Days 1-2 Hike in Vatnajökull National Park, shaped over millennia by volcanic eruptions, glacial runoff and rushing rivers On foot and by Zodiac boat, explore a glacial lagoon with an iceberg “sculpture garden” in its jewel-like water Trek through forest and heath to Svartifoss, or “black falls,” a stunning cascade pouring from hexagonal lava columns At Iceland’s southernmost tip, walk in the protected habitat of puffins, Arctic terns and guillemots.
Day 3 Ready for a quintessentially Icelandic outing? Hop aboard a "super jeep" for a drive across rocky lava beds, glacial outflows and rivers near Katla Volcano Discover Thórsmörk, an alpine oasis of lime-hued hillsides, caves, icy peaks and wildflowers Hike from bizarre rock formations and canyons to a glacier tongue surrounded by pristine valleys, lakes and ice fields A never-ending string of waterfalls line the Skógá River, including mighty Skógafoss, 200 feet high and set off by moss-covered rocks.
Days 4-6 Venture into the realm of bubbling mud pools and thermal rivers Set out on two wheels through Thjórsárdalur Valley, a landscape of sharp contrasts—flourishing birch woods, sandy lava fields, rivers and waterfalls Pedal through the Golden Circle and Thingvellir National Park, a World Heritage site and symbolic heart of the Icelandic nation Forty percent of all Icelandic flora can be found here, though nothing is taller than a dwarf birch! Stroll the shores of crystal clear Lake Thingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland.
- Experience the full diversity of Iceland's raw, wild landscape
- Remarkable geologic treasures, from glaciers and geysers to volcanoes and sea stacks
- Savor crisp coastal air and deliciously fresh seafood
- Venture on a unforgettable guided ice walk
- Extend your stay in vibrant Reykjavík
Hotel Vatnajökull (1 night): Newly renovated, this simple yet well-appointed hotel offers panoramic views of the Vatnajökull Glacier.
Hotel Rangá (2 nights): A countryside log cabin-style resort with hot tubs overlooking a river and the Hekla Volcano.
Hótel Grímsborgir (1 night): An elegant country inn situated along the River Sog, in the heart of the Golden Circle.
Hotel Ion (1 night): This sleek modern hotel sits amid geothermal pools and near the shore of Lake Thingvallavatn. (spa)
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of
interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one
day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat
from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each
day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Routes For All Abilities
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|Other||Zodiac Boat Ride (1 Hour)|
|Other||Super Jeep Expedition (3 Hours)|
To make for the most comfortable ride to this particular trip, we've outfitted our titanium road bike with slightly wider tires.
* Includes a shuttle
2015 Dates & Pricing*
- 6/13-18 Price: $4948 pp dbl. occ., (+ $990 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 6/20-25 Price: $4848 pp dbl. occ., (+ $990 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 6/27-7/2 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $990 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 7/4-9 Price: $5048 pp dbl. occ., (+ $990 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 7/11-16 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $990 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 7/18-23 Price: $4948 pp dbl. occ., (+ $990 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 7/25-30 Price: $4848 pp dbl. occ., (+ $990 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 8/1-6 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $990 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 8/8-13 Price: $4848 pp dbl. occ., (+ $990 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 8/15-20 Price: $4948 pp dbl. occ., (+ $990 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 8/22-27 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $990 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 8/29-9/3 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $990 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick from a large selection of dates for your group of 8 or more. Call us for date availability.
If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.
Pricing for Private Trips (prices may vary based on departure date)
|8 - 9 guests from $5,398 pp dbl. occ.||12 or more guests from $4,598 pp dbl. occ.|
|10 - 11 guests from $4,898 pp dbl. occ.|
All Private Singles-Solos trips require a minimum of 16 guests.
For groups of 2 to 7 guests, please call for Custom Trip pricing.
Guest Trip Reviews
GREAT TRIP! How do you express the Iceland experience to people who have never thought about going there? Backroads did an amazing job of weaving together scenic splendor, physical challenge, local color, history, science and contemporary society. This trip was a huge "WOW" in so many ways. Thank you so much for the experience!!- Austin, TX