Region Overviews: Iceland Travel Guide: Overview
Just shy of the Arctic Circle, Iceland is an island nation that features pristine glaciers, sulfuric hot springs and stunning fjords alongside the trendy bars of capital, Reykjavík.
From the coast to a volcano’s rim to Thingvellir National Park, southern Iceland delights at every turn. Trek through wide lunar landscapes and lava fields, boat to an island where iconic puffins play on sheer green cliffs. Relax at remote and stunning hotels where Icelandic horses roam—places that feel a world away, yet are mere minutes from the best of the region’s plunging waterfalls and steaming geysers.
THIS ITINERARY: 6 days, 5 nights
ACCOMMODATIONS: Premiere Hotels
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
Begin your adventure in the heart of the Seltún geothermal area, climbing up a lunar-like landscape amid an array of red, orange and golden hues | Sweeping vistas unfold of picturesque Kleifarvatn Lake and surreal Green Lake | Hike past a quiet tarn, jagged cliffs, bright green pastures and lava fields with views of the North Atlantic Ocean and Mount Keilir | After witnessing the mighty Skógafoss, walk along picturesque “waterfall way,” passing 25 more waterfalls | Explore lush green canyons, pass by grazing sheep and take in views of the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull ice caps | Stroll the grounds of our hotel’s farm and visit the resident horses.
This luxurious and cozy family-owned hotel and working farm with Icelandic horses and sheep is set in stunning countryside.
Board a ferry to the Westman Islands, then disembark on the largest and only populated island, Heimaey | Take a scenic hike along a volcano crater's colorful rim, then continue down to the coast and into town for a glimpse of local island life | Witness fulmar, kittiwake and more bird colonies—and during April through August, the iconic Atlantic puffin | Head out for an early morning visit to the Golden Circle, where the Geysir geothermal field awaits—Strokkur hurls steaming water 100 feet into the air and massive Gullfoss waterfall flows and sprays along its wide staircases | Ride an Icelandic horse and soak in the Secret Lagoon’s soothing waters | Explore the color-washed landscape of the Highlands at Iceland’s mountainous center | For a special adventure, travel in a Super Jeep over a rocky desert to find an awe-inspiring and untouched wilderness filled with jagged peaks, ice caps, hidden verdant green valleys, endless waterfalls and the beautiful Hveradalir valley | Walk through remarkable Thingvellir National Park, where two tectonic plates meet and are slowly tearing away from each other | At day’s end, slip into a basalt stone hot pool at our unique retreat.
This beautiful and remote retreat isn’t your average hotel—its traditional residences blend into the beautiful landscape with their living turf roofs and stone and reclaimed wooden walls.
The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy
Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. Several routes and a range of levels are offered each day so you can choose how much or how little activity you want to do. Learn more about how we determine activity levels.
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.
The combination of Iceland's prolific waterfalls, vast ice fields, 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, fog, 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. In addition, the fluctuating weather might result in flight and mid-trip itinerary changes, but rest assured your Backroads Leaders are always prepared to make necessary adjustments to ensure a great trip while keeping safety the top priority.
Luxury Iceland style usually means modern, simple and nicely appointed buildings that prioritize location and views over plush amenities or landscaping. Please note that, due to the remoteness of our properties, dinners tend toward a local buffet-style affair and limited-choice menus, which is simply a part of the cultural experience of Iceland.
On this trip we travel by air to reach the exclusive hotels and activities this destination has to offer. We'll be flying on a charter flight with Eagle Air aboard a turboprop plane that seats 19 passengers.