They say that opposites attract. Does that explain Iceland? Heath beside ocean. Glaciers atop volcanoes. Icebergs the size of trucks washed up on black-sand beaches. A temperate climate yet a name like Iceland. Rumor has it that adults and kids even gravitate toward one another here. While hiking gray lava flats and white ice fields. Traveling by bike, foot, Zodiac, plane, raft, horse and "super jeep." And basking in geothermal pools below glacial waterfalls. It seems totally implausible. To have such extremes so close. But maybe it's just the natural order.
Days 1-3 Explore a glacial lagoon by foot and Zodiac, marveling at a ghostly iceberg "sculpture garden" in the jewel-blue water Grown-ups hike in the highlands while kids cross mudflats by hay cart to look for seabirds with a local expert Trek on a glacier in Skaftafell National Park to view out-of-this-world ice formations, water caldrons, crevasses and a breathtaking icefall Walk at Dyrhólaey, a bird sanctuary for puffins and Arctic terns on Iceland's southernmost tip.
Day 4 Ready for a different kind of adventure? Ride in a "super jeep" across creeks and rivers near simmering Hekla volcano Discover Thórsmörk, an alpine oasis of lime-hued hillsides, icy peaks and wildflowers Hike from bizarre rock formations and canyons to a glacier tongue with views of pristine vales and brilliant lakes A never-ending string of waterfalls line the Skógá River, including mighty Skógafoss, 200 feet high and set off by verdant moss-covered rocks Kids saddle up for a ride on agile Icelandic ponies.
Days 5-6 Raft on the Hvítá River - the perfect mix of serene canyons and adrenaline-pumping waves and rapids! Hike among geysers and streams and pedal through Thingvellir National Park, a World Heritage site Ramble through the Hengill Geothermal area consiting of verdant lava fields crisscrossed with steaming tributaries and hot mud pools.
- Explore a mystical, raw, wild landscape by land, water and air
- Incredible geological wonders, from glaciers and geysers to volcanoes and sea stacks
- Go for a trot on hardy Icelandic horses
- Crisp coastal air and fresh seafood
- Meet puffins, kittiwakes and other residents
Casual & Premiere Inns
Fosshótel Skaftafell (2 nights): A very basic lodge chosen for its proximity to Skaftafell National Park.
Hotel Rangá (2 nights): A countryside resort with top-notch service and geothermal pools looking onto a serene river and the simmering Hekla volcano.
Hotel Ion (1 night): This newly transformed inn is uniquely located amid geothermal pools and near the shores of Lake Thingvallavatn.
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|
|Kids||Waterfalls & glacier hike (3.7 miles; 600’ elevation gain)|
|Kids||Hay cart ride (3 hours)|
|Kids||Ingólfshöfði walk (1.6 miles; 300’ elevation gain)|
|Kids||Horseback riding in Hestheimar (1.5 hours)|
|Rafting||On the Hvita River (3 hours)|
|Kids||Lake bike ride (10 miles; 500’ elevation gain)|
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
2013 Dates & Pricing*
- 6/16-21 Price: $4098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $370
- 7/8-13 Price: $4098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $370
- 7/14-19 Price: $4098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $370
- 7/22-27 Price: $4098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $370
- 7/29-8/3 Price: $3998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $370
- 8/6-11 Price: $3998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $370
- 8/12-17 Price: $4098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $370
- 8/19-24 Price: $4198 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $370
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Recommended Kids Ages
- Recommended minimum age for the trip: 9 years
- Minimum age restriction to ride own bike: 9 years
- Minimum age restriction to horseback ride: 9 years
- Minimum age restriction to river raft: 9 years
- No Burleys or Piccolos available on this trip
General Info on Minimum Ages:We strongly encourage families to join our Family Trips, designed with kid- and adult-friendly features. Please note that we have a minimum age requirement of 1 year for all Inn trips and 2 years for all Camping trips. Other than that, we do not restrict trips to a minimum age except in the rare case of a hotel age restriction. We do, however, recommend minimum ages based on the following criteria:
- 12+ amount of cultural appreciation, difficulty of activities, routes
- 9+ difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions, routes
- 6+ several longer dinners; routes are difficult for pulling a Burley and therefore not appropriate for younger children; difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions
Guest Trip Reviews
Exceeded my expectations. I am amazed at all that we were able to do in six full days. Every hike was unique and beautiful. Loved having options on the different hikes. Magnificent landscapes, geological formations, varied activities we had throughout the trip. I was so impressed with the ease and smoothness of the running of this trip. I was so impressed with the research that was conducted before offering this trip to your guests. Our leaders seemed so experienced in their knowledge of the country, in their ability to navigate, and their choices of the local areas we visited and the guides we had.- Longboat Key, FL
On the Super Jeep ride back our driver cranked up "Highway to Hell" as we plowed through river after river following a great hike. It is this character and spirit that characterized the interaction we had with local folks arranged by Backroads!- Burlington, NC
Very well organized. The food was great!! They really did their research well - the Icelandic guides that they hired were top-notch, the hotels were very nice.- Brooklyn, NY
This was a fabulous trip from beginning to end. I was so impressed with the ease and smoothness of the running of this trip, knowing we were the 3rd (or 2nd) trip for Backroads in Iceland. I was so impressed with the research that was conducted before offering this trip to your guests. Our leaders seemed so experienced in their knowledge of the country, in their ability to navigate, and their choices of the local areas we visited and the guides we had. This was truly an awesome experience, having three fabulous leaders and seeing and doing all that we did in six days.- Longboat Key, FL
There are no words to describe how amazing this trip is. Truly awe-inspiring to experience the land of fire and ice.
Really great trip. Loved the country, the hikes, the guides and the other guests. I could imagine trying the Backroads Iceland hiking trip next time. I really appreciate the quality of the experience that Backroads provides.- Knoxville, TN
What a brilliant location! Walk out of your room to gaze at snow peaks and glaciers??? Not sure how many places offer that. Our family enjoyed it thoroughly. Having an afternoon to explore the surrounding area was wonderful.- Saratoga, CA