Iceland in the summer is filled with sights that won’t easily be forgotten. Take the open road from Reykjavík on the Full Circle Fly-Drive and experience the very best of this wide and varied country.
A fortnight in Iceland can feel like a visit to another world. Aside from the warm, interesting and stylish people who populate the northerly island nation, Iceland is crammed full of sights that just can’t be found anywhere else. Many visitors won’t venture far beyond Reykjavík – a fascinatingly multi-faceted city in its own right – but take a car and set out to explore, and you’ll be rewarded with dazzling natural beauty and a better understanding of this enchanting country.
The Full Circle Fly-Drive is a great way to do exactly that. The expertly designed itinerary takes in many of the island’s most spectacular sights and gives you access to some top quality accommodation. If you’d prefer to travel in a group, the Iceland Complete Group Tour visits many of the same areas, and you’ll be well looked after by Regent Holidays’ experienced local partners, who operate the tour on its behalf. Whichever you decide on, it’s worth visiting in summer; aside from the eerie spectacle of the midnight sun, the warmer weather brings out the best of Iceland’s varied flora and fauna. Read on for a brief look at some of the highlights.
Week One: Reykjavík to Egilsstaðir
You begin with a few days exploring the capital and its surrounding area, including the Strokkur geyser, which regularly fires boiling water up to 40m into the sky. Be sure to sample Reykjavík’s burgeoning café culture – the world’s most northerly capital has a surprising affinity for coffee – and check out its thriving arts scene.
The rest of the week sees you cover the south coast, taking in the famous black-sand beaches and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon – where you can enjoy a boat trip among the luminous-blue icebergs – before heading to Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, and the city of Egilsstaðir.
From there the road turns to the sparsely populated eastern coast. Slightly more understated in its beauty, the east is nonetheless a haven for nature lovers. A day or two hiking here, especially around the Hengifoss waterfall, could easily form the highlight of your trip.
Week Two: Lake Mývatn to Snæfellsnes
Your second week begins with a few days spent in the colourful moonscape of the Mývatn region, famed for its geothermal activity. Watch for bubbling mudpools and lava formations, and be sure to try a restorative dip in a hot spring before heading to Akureyri. The country’s second city enjoys a lively nightlife (for Iceland), and some great restaurants, while the Lystigarðurinn botanical gardens are a delight during the summer months.
Before returning to Reykjavík for a final day of relaxation, you’ll spend a few days around the west coast and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Known as ‘Iceland in miniature’ because of its incredible concentration of natural spectacles, the area makes a fitting end for your Icelandic adventure.