Northern Highlights

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Enquire Now nordic team eric shadbolt bw

One of our specialists

Meet Eric

10 Visits to Iceland

5 Successful whale watching trips

4 Shooting stars with northern lights

iceland north east myvatn kalfastrond sunset rth

Northern Highlights

from £949 excluding flights

  • 7 nights
  • May-Sep

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Highlights

In pictures
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Spot humpback whales on a boat trip from Husavik

iceland east fjords borgarfjordur eystri view rth

Drive the spectacular coast road in the East Fjords

Aerial view over Lake Myvatn

Discover pseudo-craters and mud pools at Lake Myvatn

iceland east fjords seydisfjordur aerial rth

Admire picture-perfect Seydisfjordur

iceland north east dettifoss rth

Walk to the brink of mighty Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall

iceland geosea spa baths near husavik2

Bathe in Husavik's Geo Sea Spa overlooking the bay

Why this trip...

Aoraki Mt Cook National Park tailor made white

Tailor made

This itinerary can be tailor made to suit you and is intended to give you a guideline of what is possible in a given timeframe

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Explore at leisure

With the route, transport and accommodation sorted, each day offers the freedom to explore

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Nordic Heritage

With over 37 years of experience in creating trips to Nordics we know this region inside out

Overview

This exciting combination of the East Fjords and Iceland’s Northeast is perfect for a well-paced, seven-night self-drive. Start by exploring the stunning coast and fascinating villages of the East Fjords, then head to Lake Myvatn and Husavik for an equally heady mixture of volcanic natural wonders and world-class whale watching.

Forests, fjords and feathered friends

The birch forest of Hallormsstadur near Egilsstadir is a wonderful spot for hiking, cycling, horse riding or taking to the trails on all-terrain vehicles. Alternatively, drive north to the remote village of Bakkagerdi for a hike in the Dyrfjoll Mountains or a rendezvous with the puffins that nest near the harbour. A spectacular mountain drive leads to Seydisfjordur, a colourful village with a cultural spring in its step. At the mouth of the fjord, Skalanes nature reserve is a perfect montage of the East Fjord’s breathtaking scenery, and a great place for spotting birds, seals and wild reindeer.

Whales, waterfalls and volcanic wonders

Leaving the East Fjords, it’s a fantastic drive to Lake Myvatn, perhaps taking a detour to little-visited Vopnafordur with its turf farm museum. You have three nights to explore Myvatn – touring the lake road to marvel at pseudocraters, lava caves and bubbling mud pits. Drive to Husavik for a boat trip in search of humpback whales and visit Dettifoss where some 200 cubic metres of water thunder over the edge of the falls every second. If you prefer less violent water, take a soothing dip in the Nature Baths – an outdoor pool naturally heated by geothermal springs.

Itinerary

The itinerary shown is an example of this self-drive holiday. We have many other hotels and route recommendations which can be tailored to your requirements. Please discuss with our Travel Specialists who can put together a bespoke itinerary for you.

Day 1 Keflavik - Egilsstadir

Fly to Keflavik, transfer to Reykjavik and fly onwards to Egilsstadir in the East Fjords. Collect your rental vehicle and iDiscover digital travel companion and drive the short distance to your hotel. Spend two nights at Icelandair Hotel Herad.

Fly to Keflavik, transfer to Reykjavik and fly onwards to Egilsstadir in the East Fjords. Collect your rental vehicle and iDiscover digital travel companion and drive the short distance to your hotel. Spend two nights at Icelandair Hotel Herad.

Day 2 explore Egilsstadir area

Head out on a day exploring. Lagarfljot – the glacial lake that stretches south from Egilsstadir – is always worth a second glance. Legend has it that its murky depths (over 100m in places) are the lair of the Lagarfljotsormur – a dragonlike ‘wyrm’ that would give even the Loch Ness monster the jitters. By comparison, Hallormsstadur (Iceland’s largest forest) is a tranquil spot for a walk in the woods. You can also hike to Hengifoss, a graceful cascade swishing a 128m-long plume of water across cliffs striped red from ancient volcanic eruptions.

If you fancy exploring further afield today, we recommend the hour’s drive to Bakkagerdi – a remote, peaceful village overlooking a bay framed by mountains that gives you access to invigorating hikes in Borgafjordur Eystri, as well as superb puffin watching (early May to mid-August) and even a chance to spot wild reindeer.

Head out on a day exploring. Lagarfljot – the glacial lake that stretches south from Egilsstadir – is always worth a second glance. Legend has it that its murky depths (over 100m in places) are the lair of the Lagarfljotsormur – a dragonlike ‘wyrm’ that would give even the Loch Ness monster the jitters. By comparison, Hallormsstadur (Iceland’s largest forest) is a tranquil spot for a walk in the woods. You can also hike to Hengifoss, a graceful cascade swishing a 128m-long plume of water across cliffs striped red from ancient volcanic eruptions.

If you fancy exploring further afield today, we recommend the hour’s drive to Bakkagerdi – a remote, peaceful village overlooking a bay framed by mountains that gives you access to invigorating hikes in Borgafjordur Eystri, as well as superb puffin watching (early May to mid-August) and even a chance to spot wild reindeer.

Day 3 Egilsstadir - Breiddalsvik

Start the day by visiting Seydisfjordur. It only takes 30 minutes to nip over the mountains to reach this fjord-nuzzled village - but what a drive! The views from the pass are breathtaking - the narrow waters of the fjord drizzled like quicksilver through brooding mountains. You will want to linger in Seydisfjordur, photographing the pastel-coloured houses at the water’s edge, enjoying coffee and cake (and a chat with the friendly locals) at Bistro Skaftafell and seeking out the arts and crafts that the village is famous for. Leave enough time, though, for driving along the fjord to Skalanes - a beautiful nature reserve where you can roam trails spotting birds, seals and reindeer.

Later, head towards the small town of Breiddalsvik, stopping on the way to visit the atmospheric old fishermen’s shack in Eskifjordur known as Randulff’s Seahouse. Overnight at Hotel Blafell in Breidalsvik.

Start the day by visiting Seydisfjordur. It only takes 30 minutes to nip over the mountains to reach this fjord-nuzzled village - but what a drive! The views from the pass are breathtaking - the narrow waters of the fjord drizzled like quicksilver through brooding mountains. You will want to linger in Seydisfjordur, photographing the pastel-coloured houses at the water’s edge, enjoying coffee and cake (and a chat with the friendly locals) at Bistro Skaftafell and seeking out the arts and crafts that the village is famous for. Leave enough time, though, for driving along the fjord to Skalanes - a beautiful nature reserve where you can roam trails spotting birds, seals and reindeer.

Later, head towards the small town of Breiddalsvik, stopping on the way to visit the atmospheric old fishermen’s shack in Eskifjordur known as Randulff’s Seahouse. Overnight at Hotel Blafell in Breidalsvik.

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Day 4 Breiddalsvik - Neskaupstadur

Choose to explore the area near Breiddalsvik or take drive to the town of Neskaupstadur, with a wide range of activities, from horse riding and hiking to boat trips in search of whales and puffins. The town also hosts one of the East Fjords’ popular village walks, offering visitors a chance to learn about culture and history with a local guide. You can also explore Paskahellir – a coastal cave adorned with pillow lava formations and curious holes left by trees consumed by lava 12 million years ago. Overnight at Hotel Blafell.

Choose to explore the area near Breiddalsvik or take drive to the town of Neskaupstadur, with a wide range of activities, from horse riding and hiking to boat trips in search of whales and puffins. The town also hosts one of the East Fjords’ popular village walks, offering visitors a chance to learn about culture and history with a local guide. You can also explore Paskahellir – a coastal cave adorned with pillow lava formations and curious holes left by trees consumed by lava 12 million years ago. Overnight at Hotel Blafell.

Day 5 Neskaupsstadur - Myvatn

Leaving the East Fjords, drive west towards Lake Myvatn. If you have time, make an optional detour to the bay of Vopnafjordur with its sea cliffs and black-sand beaches. Back on route 1, stop at Modrudalur, Iceland’s highest farm, for a hot chocolate and far reaching views of Herdubreid – the Queen of the Mountains deep in the interior. Spend three nights at Hotel Laxa.

Leaving the East Fjords, drive west towards Lake Myvatn. If you have time, make an optional detour to the bay of Vopnafjordur with its sea cliffs and black-sand beaches. Back on route 1, stop at Modrudalur, Iceland’s highest farm, for a hot chocolate and far reaching views of Herdubreid – the Queen of the Mountains deep in the interior. Spend three nights at Hotel Laxa.

Day 6 explore Myvatn area

The first of two full days exploring the area around Myvatn, start by driving the lake road which links several must-see sights: the perfect cone-shaped pseudocraters at Skutustadir, the bizarre basalt formations of Dimmuborgir and the kilometre-wide tephra cone volcano of Hverfjall. Slightly further afield, you can explore Namaskard - pockmarked with bubbling mud pits and hissing fumaroles – and walk across the steaming lava fields at Krafla. There’s also a fascinating lava cave at Lofthellir. Ask us about arranging a tour to explore this eerie ice-encrusted subterranean chamber.

At the end of the day relax in the geothermal waters of the Nature Baths, enjoying a drink and spectacular views across the raw, volcanic landscape.

The first of two full days exploring the area around Myvatn, start by driving the lake road which links several must-see sights: the perfect cone-shaped pseudocraters at Skutustadir, the bizarre basalt formations of Dimmuborgir and the kilometre-wide tephra cone volcano of Hverfjall. Slightly further afield, you can explore Namaskard - pockmarked with bubbling mud pits and hissing fumaroles – and walk across the steaming lava fields at Krafla. There’s also a fascinating lava cave at Lofthellir. Ask us about arranging a tour to explore this eerie ice-encrusted subterranean chamber.

At the end of the day relax in the geothermal waters of the Nature Baths, enjoying a drink and spectacular views across the raw, volcanic landscape.

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Day 7 visit Husavik

On your second full day in the Myvatn area, drive north to Husavik for a whale watching trip (optional). Voyaging into Skjalfandi Bay aboard one of North Sailing’s beautiful wooden boats, you’ll scan the sea for tell-tale signs of minke and humpback whales – a sudden spout perhaps as a leviathan surfaces to breathe, or a flock of seabirds fussing over fish driven to the surface by feeding whales. With luck you’ll be treated to a close encounter. Humpbacks can be particularly acrobatic, slapping their tails and flukes, spy-hopping or breaching. You may also spot white-sided dolphins and even blue whales.

Back on shore, visit the excellent whale museum in Husavik harbour before driving to Asbyrgi, a horseshoe-shaped canyon which, according to Norse legend, was stamped in the ground by Odin’s eight-legged horse Sleipnir. Sheltering abeautiful birch woodland, it’s a fine spot for a walk and a picnic.

From Asbyrgi, continue south to Dettifoss where you can walk right up to the enormous cappuccino-coloured cataract. Measuring 100m wide and 45m high, Europe’s most powerful waterfall is bloated with silt-laden meltwater from the Vatnajokull icecap.

On your second full day in the Myvatn area, drive north to Husavik for a whale watching trip (optional). Voyaging into Skjalfandi Bay aboard one of North Sailing’s beautiful wooden boats, you’ll scan the sea for tell-tale signs of minke and humpback whales – a sudden spout perhaps as a leviathan surfaces to breathe, or a flock of seabirds fussing over fish driven to the surface by feeding whales. With luck you’ll be treated to a close encounter. Humpbacks can be particularly acrobatic, slapping their tails and flukes, spy-hopping or breaching. You may also spot white-sided dolphins and even blue whales.

Back on shore, visit the excellent whale museum in Husavik harbour before driving to Asbyrgi, a horseshoe-shaped canyon which, according to Norse legend, was stamped in the ground by Odin’s eight-legged horse Sleipnir. Sheltering abeautiful birch woodland, it’s a fine spot for a walk and a picnic.

From Asbyrgi, continue south to Dettifoss where you can walk right up to the enormous cappuccino-coloured cataract. Measuring 100m wide and 45m high, Europe’s most powerful waterfall is bloated with silt-laden meltwater from the Vatnajokull icecap.

Day 8 Myvatn - Akureyri - Reykjavik

Head to Akureyri in time for your flight back to Reykjavik, transfer to Keflavik Airport for your flight back to your destination. Alternatively extend your holiday in fabulous Hotel Siglo for two extra nights.

Head to Akureyri in time for your flight back to Reykjavik, transfer to Keflavik Airport for your flight back to your destination. Alternatively extend your holiday in fabulous Hotel Siglo for two extra nights.

Accommodation Options

We have selected properties for this holiday referenced in the itinerary. However, with a wide choice of accommodation in Iceland, we can mix and match different grades and styles to suit your personal preference - from hotels, farmstays and self-catering apartments to private villas and countryside properties.

Discuss your options with our Travel Specialists.

Excursions

Enhance your holiday by pre-booking a selection of excursions and activities. View or download the pdf and then talk to our Travel Specialists about how best to fit these into your holiday.

Open Excursions PDF

Prices and Departures

Price from £949 excluding flights

Airfares are quoted separately to the holiday price and start from around £250 per person with Icelandair (with higher fares during peak times). When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • Daily breakfast
  • Car rental throughout with unlimited mileage
  • No charge for additional driver
  • Exclusive use of iDiscover App
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection

From prices per person

Based on 2 sharing a room with private bathroom, including car hire. Prices for other variations of room such as single and vehicle type are available on request.

Departure Duration Car category Twin Price
May 2021 7 nights B - VW Golf £949
May 2021 7 nights D - Skoda Octavia (4WD) £1,026
May 2021 7 nights G - Toyota Rav4 £1,083
Jun - Aug 2021 7 nights B - VW Golf £1,352
Jun - Aug 2021 7 nights D - Skoda Octavia (4WD) £1,470
Jun - Aug 2021 7 nights G - Toyota Rav4 £1,599
Sep 2021 7 nights B - VW Golf £1,211
Sep 2021 7 nights D - Skoda Octavia (4WD) £1,288
Sep 2021 7 nights G - Toyota Rav4 £1,345

Choice of Vehicles

We offer a wide range of rental vehicles for this holiday provided by the local Europcar franchise. Our long-standing relationship with them means that our clients enjoy many exclusive benefits including priority on the newest and best appointed vehicles available on the day.

Meet our expert

nordic team eric shadbolt bw
One of our specialists
Meet Eric

10 Visits to Iceland

5 Successful whale watching trips

4 Shooting stars with northern lights

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Tailor made trips

As independent destination specialists, we are able to tailor make holidays to suit you, be that customising the itineraries shown on this website or creating something bespoke.

Travelling sustainably

We believe travel is about finding the right balance between minimising our impact on the environment and broadening minds through new experiences and cultural interaction.

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