This short break takes you to the heart of Iceland's Golden Circle, and as a self-drive itinerary you have the flexibility to explore the country's famous volcanic landscapes and natural wonders at your own leisure. Nattura Yurtel - Spend three nights sleeping in comfortable custom-made Mongolian yurts located on a working horse farm. The yurts have views of Strokker Geyser, a constant reminder of why Iceland is called 'the land of fire and ice' Dramatic scenery - Discover the thundering Gullfoss waterfalls and the black basalt cliffs at Vik I Myrdal Icelandic seasons - Travel in summer to experience the midnight sun, or in winter to search for the Northern Lights
Arrive into Keflavik Airport today at any time today, and head to the car hire depot to pick up your vehicle (detailed instructions of where to go will be in your final joining instructions). It's open 24/7 so you can pick up and drop off the vehicle at any time, but if you are booking your own flights please let us know your arrival time so that we can make the vehicle booking appropriately. We have based the price of this trip on hiring a Toyota Yaris vehicle, or similar. This is a small-sized, 2WD automatic car. If you'd like to upgrade to a medium or large vehicle (for example a medium Nissan Qashqai or large Toyota Land Cruiser), these are available at an additional cost. None of the roads you'll be following in our suggested itinerary need 4WD or a larger vehicle, but of course the self-drive nature of this trip gives you the luxury and freedom to explore much further afield if you wanted to. After picking up the car, drive for two hours on sealed roads to the Nattura Yurtel. You may just wish to bear in mind the time of year when you book. In Winter it gets dark around 4pm in Iceland. The roads up to the Yurtel are well-lit, tarmac and usually very quiet, particularly in the evening, so it's not a problem to drive at this time of night. However, if you'd rather spend the night in Reykjavik beforehand then we can organise accommodation for you. The Nattura Yurtel is completely unique in Iceland. Built in 2019, it is set on a working farm, close to Gullfoss Falls and Geysir. The accommodation comprises 10 custom-made yurts, which are traditionally Mongolian in structure but have been carefully designed and furnished with an Icelandic twist. These round tents are comfortably furnished with twin beds, toilets and sinks with the added comfort of under-floor heating. Showers are located in a separate block and there are two large communal yurts to relax in. We'd recommend that you purchase duty-free drinks on arrival in Iceland; there's a large duty-free shop just before baggage claim in the airport. Alternatively you may decide to stretch your legs and go for a walk around the farm. There are a number of small restaurants within a short drive, and a pub that is within walking distance, so you may choose to head out to one of them this evening for dinner.
You're completely at your leisure in this itinerary to get up when you choose, drive where you choose and spend as much time as you like exploring! The itinerary we've provided is a guideline that will allow you to discover the best of southern Iceland. Iceland's sensational ring road is packed with scenery from towering cliffs to waterfalls, and you'll discover this today with a drive south-east. Set out through the Eyjafjallajokull region, where a 2010 a volcanic eruption caused the now-infamous ash cloud, disrupting worldwide air travel for several days. It's up to you how far east you travel, but we recommend stopping at Vik, a rocky beach with incredible basalt cliffs. The beach is often incredibly windy and there are great photo opportunities of the waves crashing against the cliffs. Work your way back west to one of Iceland's tallest waterfalls, Skogafoss. Standing at 62 metres tall it's an impressive sight, and if you are lucky with the light we should spot rainbows in the spray. We also recommend a stop at the Skogar Folk Museum. This quaint museum is home to 12,000 artefacts as well as life-size examples of traditional Icelandic houses with turf roofs, a church and school. Continue west to Seljalandsfoss waterfall - it is almost as tall as Skogafoss and here, weather permitting, you'll have the chance to walk behind the curtain of water! The pathway shows off the falls from the front, then circles around the back and emerges on the other side. Because of the constant spray the path is always slippy and can be closed in winter when the path freezes over. Make your way back to the yurts for the evening to relax and make the most of the beautiful, rural setting.
You have a couple of options today. You could explore the famous Golden Circle, which includes three of Iceland's most iconic sights - Gullfoss waterfalls, the Great Geysir, and Thingvellir National Park. Gullfoss is known locally as the 'Golden Waterfall', due to the way it cascades into a deep gorge with tremendous force. They may be biased but locals regard it as one of the most beautiful falls in the world! Geysir has the claim-to-fame of being the first spouting spring known to Europeans, and as such it has given all such springs their name. However, it is the Strokkur, just next door, meaning 'The Butter Churn', which is the main attraction these days, due to its impressive 30 metre eruptions every few minutes. This Golden Circle excursion is a really popular day trip from Reykjavik, and we're in the incredibly lucky position of staying almost right next to Gullfoss and Geysir. We therefore highly recommend getting out in the very early morning or even late night (some of our staff members have been there at midnight! In summer when the midnight sun is in the sky, the light can be wondrous and you'll be the only people around). So you may decide to explore these places 'out of hours', and give yourself the day today for other exploration. Firstly, head to the final site in the Golden Circle - Thingvellir National Park, a rare site of both historical and geological importance. Meaning 'Parliament Plains', this was the location of Iceland's first National Assembly for 800 years from 930AD and as such, is hugely significant in the country's cultural heritage. The impressive landscape sits on a unique spot where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge can be seen on dry land before disappearing to the ocean floor. This provides the quirky opportunity to place one foot on the North American tectonic plate and one foot on the Eurasian plate. The landscapes are really stunning in a very wild, windswept way and well worth the exploration. In the afternoon you could try the most traditional transport method, the Icelandic horse. The working farm where the yurts are based is home to over 100 horses, so you can ride across open land at a relaxed pace, ideal for beginners with the focus being on taking in the vast landscape. If horse riding doesn't appeal then do as the locals do and visit the Secret Lagoon, a natural geo-thermal pool perfect for relaxing in the warm water. You may even want to get up early and drive further east, where the landscapes become wilder and less explored. Equally, the changing weather in Iceland gives a great excuse to relax and watch the changing light on the landscape from the comfort of your yurt.
Today you can leave the yurts at any time, driving back to the airport for your flight home. Just bear in mind that it is a two hour drive to the airport and you need to take the car back, so we don't recommend booking any flights that depart before 1pm. Only a short drive from the airport is the impressive Fagradalsfjall Volcano, which has been erupting since March 2021. The location of the volcano makes it extremely accessible and you may like to take the opportunity to walk to a viewing point and watch the lava flow, from a safe distance of course! The start point for the walk is a car park just outside of Grindavik (off Route 427) and the hike to the view point takes approximately 1-1.5hours. The path is wide and clear but rocky in places so good footwear is a must, and as it's Iceland it's worth having a few layers in your bag! The conditions are closely monitored by local authorities so ask the yurt team in the morning if the route is open before you set off. Alternatively, why not add some more time to your stay in Reykjavik. This city is a wonderful mix of traditional houses clad in corrugated iron, modern architecture, and a thriving waterfront where the work of the fisherman shows you the lifeblood of this small island nation. It's well worth a visit while you're here. We can book additional nights accommodation and extend your car hire for you - we recommend doing this for ease, as the airport is around one hour from the city.
3 Break Fast(s)
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