New! Hiking Iceland’s Magical North | Mountain Travel Sobek

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New! Hiking Iceland’s Magical North

Trip Length 8 days

From $7,595

  • Experience the delights of Iceland’s volcanic north as you hike its remote and rugged highland trails—away from the tourist crowds—and enjoy the comfort of hotels at night
  • Be moved by the land’s legendary natural wonders, from Mt Hverfjall’s surreal moonscape to the thundering power of Dettifoss waterfall
  • Soak your cares away in the steamy geothermal Mývatn Nature Baths, Iceland’s northern Blue Lagoon

The magnificence of Iceland’s arctic north is unparalleled, and this trip provides the chance to experience its beauty up close on spectacular daily hikes that snake through the craggy highland landscape. Marvel as our experienced guide leads you from fishing hamlets to moonlike lava fields and snow-capped volcanoes, from the gaping Ásbyrgi canyon to the continent’s most powerful waterfall, and from a craft-beer brewery to the best ice cream in the land. And where better to rest your weary feet than in a soothing, stunning geothermal pool? This trip caters to hikers who relish adventure in unique lands—but prefer hotel duvets to mountain huts. So join MTS for an unforgettable experience in northern Iceland, while its magic is still relatively unknown.

Day 1: Welcome to Iceland!

Welcome to Iceland! Your MTS guide greets you at Reykjavík-Keflavík Airport, then you hop on a bus bound for the Viking World museum. Here you meet your fellow travelers, enjoy breakfast, and immerse yourself in the ancient history and lore of this legendary land. Climb aboard the magnificent Icelander, a Viking ship built in 1996 modeled after an authentic ninth-century Viking vessel. Then it’s a 90-minute drive to tonight’s hotel in Borgarfjörður, where we spend the rest of the day relaxing and resting up for our Iceland adventure.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Icelandair Hotel Hamar

Day 2: Climb Mælifellshnjúkur — King of the Mountains

Rise and shine! Right after breakfast, we continue our journey north, bound for the small fishing village of Siglufjörður. En route we stop for our first hike, a 3- to 4-hour moderate climb up Mælifellshnjúkur (3,733'), the king of the mountains in Skagafjörður. This prominent peak rises far above its surrounding hills and mountains, offering stellar sea and highlands views from the top. Upon arrival in tranquil Siglufjörður, we settle into our beautiful waterfront hotel—built right into the old fisherman’s marina—where we will spend two luxurious nights. This evening we enjoy an exquisite dinner prepared by the hotel restaurant’s enthusiastic chefs.

Hiking distance: 2½ to 3 miles; Hiking time: 3 to 4 hours; Elevation gain/loss 2,722 feet

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Siglo Hotel

Day 3: Take a haunted hike around Siglufjörður

We take a long and hearty walk today into the heart of this mystical region. In fact, part of our route is allegedly haunted! Siglufjörður, nestled in a narrow fjord, was connected with a road for the first time in 1940; prior to then, the only access was via ship, seaplane, horseback, or foot. Today’s hike leads us up along the old horse trail from Sauðadalur Valley back to Siglufjörður—on the highest mountain road in Iceland. We begin at Hraun Farm, above the main road in Sauðdalur Valley, and then climb up and over the Siglufjarðarskarð Pass. After taking in the breathtaking views over the fjord and out to sea, we descend to the town of Skarðsdalur and enjoy a picnic lunch. Our bus awaits, and takes us back to the hotel in Siglufjörður. We freshen up from our day’s adventure, then stroll into town for dinner at a local restaurant.

Hiking distance: 6½ to 7½ miles; Hiking time: 4 to 6 hours; Elevation gain/loss 2,033 feet

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Siglo Hotel

Day 4: Experience the natural wonders of Ásbyrgi and Dettifoss

This morning we take a lovely drive into the northeastern part of Iceland, “the edge of the Arctic.” Our first stop is Húsavík, a quiet harbor town nestled at the foot of Mt. Húsavíkurfjall and surrounded by small lakes. After lunch here, we head to the natural wonder of Ásbyrgi, a horseshoe-shaped, steep-sided canyon divided by a 820-foot-wide rock formation known as Eyjan (“the Island”). Thousands of years ago, catastrophic floods carved the canyon—though legend has it that the eight-legged horse of Odin, the chief god of Norse mythology, stepped down here, leaving a gaping footprint. Today Ásbyrgi and its environs are richly vegetated with woodland consisting mainly of birch, willow, mountain ash, and recently planted pines. It is in this mythical landscape that we hike around Áshöfði Hill. The circuitous route leads us toward Lake Ástjörn, where we spot many of the region’s abundant birdlife (Arctic fulmar among many other species), then past small ravines and ponds before catching a beautiful view of the Jökuslá River. Our hike ends at the Visitor Center…but today’s adventure has only just begun!

Hiking distance: 4½ miles; Hiking time 2 to 3 hours

After lunch we head to thunderous Dettifoss, reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe (based on volume of water per second that plunges over the edge). Iceland’s greatest and most majestic waterfall’s power, intensity, and beauty are truly unforgettable.

This spectacular day concludes with a scenic drive to tonight’s accommodations, a brand-new hotel appointed in fresh, modern Nordic style.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Fosshótel Mývatn

Day 5: Explore Hverfjall and reward yourself in Mývatn Nature Baths

Start the day with a moderate 2- to 3-hour hike to iconic Mt. Hverfjall, one of the largest and best-preserved circular volcanic craters in the world. The route to Hverfjall snakes through rich vegetation, wind-eroded landscapes, sandy plains, and lava formations. The pinnacle of the hike is circumnavigating the crater rim. We descend Hverfjall through the lava-twisted towers, chimneys, tubes, and tunnels of otherworldly Dimmuborgir.

After lunch, ease your body and spirit into the healing Mývatn Nature Baths, Iceland’s northern Blue Lagoon. This steamy geothermal pool’s sulfuric waters are a soothing 130°C, and its strong sulfur content makes for a healing, rejuvenating experience. Leave your cares behind as we drive to Akureyri. The late afternoon is yours to enjoy strolling around northern Iceland’s capital, which sits under snowcapped peaks at the head of Iceland’s longest fjord.

Hiking distance: 5 miles; Hiking time: 2 to 3 hours

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Icelandair Hotel Akureyri

Day 6: Summit Akureyri’s guardian peak

Today we will summit Akureyri’s guardian peak, Mt Súlur. From Akureyri it resembles a perfect cone, but upon closer inspection—as you hike to its top—it’s far from conical or even symmetrical. Completing this demanding, 4- to 5-hour hike deserves a reward—and there is no better post-hike treat than the best ice cream in Iceland! The sweet shop Brynju uses milk, not cream, to make its legendary ice creams.

This evening you are free to dine in one of Akureyri’s many eateries featuring both local and international flavors.

Hiking distance: 3 miles; Hiking time: 5 hours; Elevation gain/loss: 3,814 feet

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Icelandair Hotel Akureyri

Day 7: Tour the art and beer scenes of Akureyri

Our final full day in the north is spent meandering through the streets of Akureyri, taking in its cultural sights. The offerings are surprisingly rich for a city of only 18,000 people. The booming arts scene is showcased on Arts’ Alley, a stretch of former industrial buildings that now house the Akureyri Art Museum (the first Icelandic institution outside of Reykjavík to concentrate solely on visual arts), the Akureyri School of Visual Arts, North Iceland Artists’ Studios, and loads of small galleries.

Our taste of the local culture is followed by a taste of the local brews! The Kaldi craft beer brewery in Árskógssandur welcomes us for a tour of their operation, which begins with a sampling of their suds, known both locally and internationally. After raising our glasses in celebration of our truly magical adventure, we take an afternoon flight back to Reykjavík and share a farewell feast.

Hiking distance: 2 to 2½ miles; Hiking time: 1 to 2 hours

  • Breakfast/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Fosshótel Reykjavík

Day 8: Depart from Reykjavík

Enjoy breakfast with the group before bidding farewell and transferring to Reykjavík-Keflavík Airport for your homebound flight.

  • Breakfast

Jun 10 - 17, 2018

Jul 08 - 15, 2018

Aug 05 - 12, 2018

pricing

2018 Prices
$7,595 (5 – 16)
$1,200 single supplement
$300 internal airfare

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Fosshótel Mývatn — Mývatn

The newest member of the Fosshótel family is this wonderfully modern hotel in spectacular surroundings just north of Lake Mývatn. Lake views abound, and the entire property is light, airy, and beautifully appointed in elegant Icelandic style.

Fosshótel Reykjavík — Reykjavík

This stylish, centrally located hotel—Iceland’s largest!—provides great city and waterfront views, and offers a luxury spa, fitness center, and free Wi-Fi. There’s also an on-site beer garden and Haust, a top-rated restaurant offering fresh, innovative cuisine. Comfortable guestrooms are equipped with all the expected modernities, including a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with shower.

Icelandair Hotel Akureyri — Akureyri

This countryside hotel offers amazing fjord and mountain views from nearly every corner of its modern property. Standard rooms are sunny and comfortable, with a private bathroom and shower. Guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi, a geothermal pool, lovely gardens with outdoor fireplace, and a first-class restaurant, Aurora.

Icelandair Hotel Hamar — Borgarfjörður

At the gateway to western Iceland, Hotel Hamar is a peaceful place to enjoy the tranquility of the countryside. Indulge in magnificent views of the Borgarfjörður fjord, feast on local produce (vegetables are grown at the hotel itself!) in the eco-conscious restaurant, and maybe even enjoy a round of golf. The light and bright rooms include all of the modern amenities, including Wi-Fi and a private bathroom with shower.

Siglo Hotel — Siglufjörður

Built right into the old marina, Siglo captures the relaxed vibe of this small fishing village. The hotel is designed in Iceland’s classic, romantic style, and the grounds include outdoor hot tubs and a sauna. All rooms are spacious and have beautiful mountain and ocean views; comforts include HDTVs, Wi-Fi, private bathrooms with walk-in showers, and window seats for gazing.

  • Experience the delights of Iceland’s volcanic north as you hike its remote and rugged highland trails—away from the tourist crowds—and enjoy the comfort of hotels at night
  • Be moved by the land’s legendary natural wonders, from Mt Hverfjall’s surreal moonscape to the thundering power of Dettifoss waterfall
  • Soak your cares away in the steamy geothermal Mývatn Nature Baths, Iceland’s northern Blue Lagoon

The magnificence of Iceland’s arctic north is unparalleled, and this trip provides the chance to experience its beauty up close on spectacular daily hikes that snake through the craggy highland landscape. Marvel as our experienced guide leads you from fishing hamlets to moonlike lava fields and snow-capped volcanoes, from the gaping Ásbyrgi canyon to the continent’s most powerful waterfall, and from a craft-beer brewery to the best ice cream in the land. And where better to rest your weary feet than in a soothing, stunning geothermal pool? This trip caters to hikers who relish adventure in unique lands—but prefer hotel duvets to mountain huts. So join MTS for an unforgettable experience in northern Iceland, while its magic is still relatively unknown.

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Iceland!

Welcome to Iceland! Your MTS guide greets you at Reykjavík-Keflavík Airport, then you hop on a bus bound for the Viking World museum. Here you meet your fellow travelers, enjoy breakfast, and immerse yourself in the ancient history and lore of this legendary land. Climb aboard the magnificent Icelander, a Viking ship built in 1996 modeled after an authentic ninth-century Viking vessel. Then it’s a 90-minute drive to tonight’s hotel in Borgarfjörður, where we spend the rest of the day relaxing and resting up for our Iceland adventure.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Icelandair Hotel Hamar

Day 2: Climb Mælifellshnjúkur — King of the Mountains

Rise and shine! Right after breakfast, we continue our journey north, bound for the small fishing village of Siglufjörður. En route we stop for our first hike, a 3- to 4-hour moderate climb up Mælifellshnjúkur (3,733'), the king of the mountains in Skagafjörður. This prominent peak rises far above its surrounding hills and mountains, offering stellar sea and highlands views from the top. Upon arrival in tranquil Siglufjörður, we settle into our beautiful waterfront hotel—built right into the old fisherman’s marina—where we will spend two luxurious nights. This evening we enjoy an exquisite dinner prepared by the hotel restaurant’s enthusiastic chefs.

Hiking distance: 2½ to 3 miles; Hiking time: 3 to 4 hours; Elevation gain/loss 2,722 feet

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Siglo Hotel

Day 3: Take a haunted hike around Siglufjörður

We take a long and hearty walk today into the heart of this mystical region. In fact, part of our route is allegedly haunted! Siglufjörður, nestled in a narrow fjord, was connected with a road for the first time in 1940; prior to then, the only access was via ship, seaplane, horseback, or foot. Today’s hike leads us up along the old horse trail from Sauðadalur Valley back to Siglufjörður—on the highest mountain road in Iceland. We begin at Hraun Farm, above the main road in Sauðdalur Valley, and then climb up and over the Siglufjarðarskarð Pass. After taking in the breathtaking views over the fjord and out to sea, we descend to the town of Skarðsdalur and enjoy a picnic lunch. Our bus awaits, and takes us back to the hotel in Siglufjörður. We freshen up from our day’s adventure, then stroll into town for dinner at a local restaurant.

Hiking distance: 6½ to 7½ miles; Hiking time: 4 to 6 hours; Elevation gain/loss 2,033 feet

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Siglo Hotel

Day 4: Experience the natural wonders of Ásbyrgi and Dettifoss

This morning we take a lovely drive into the northeastern part of Iceland, “the edge of the Arctic.” Our first stop is Húsavík, a quiet harbor town nestled at the foot of Mt. Húsavíkurfjall and surrounded by small lakes. After lunch here, we head to the natural wonder of Ásbyrgi, a horseshoe-shaped, steep-sided canyon divided by a 820-foot-wide rock formation known as Eyjan (“the Island”). Thousands of years ago, catastrophic floods carved the canyon—though legend has it that the eight-legged horse of Odin, the chief god of Norse mythology, stepped down here, leaving a gaping footprint. Today Ásbyrgi and its environs are richly vegetated with woodland consisting mainly of birch, willow, mountain ash, and recently planted pines. It is in this mythical landscape that we hike around Áshöfði Hill. The circuitous route leads us toward Lake Ástjörn, where we spot many of the region’s abundant birdlife (Arctic fulmar among many other species), then past small ravines and ponds before catching a beautiful view of the Jökuslá River. Our hike ends at the Visitor Center…but today’s adventure has only just begun!

Hiking distance: 4½ miles; Hiking time 2 to 3 hours

After lunch we head to thunderous Dettifoss, reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe (based on volume of water per second that plunges over the edge). Iceland’s greatest and most majestic waterfall’s power, intensity, and beauty are truly unforgettable.

This spectacular day concludes with a scenic drive to tonight’s accommodations, a brand-new hotel appointed in fresh, modern Nordic style.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Fosshótel Mývatn

Day 5: Explore Hverfjall and reward yourself in Mývatn Nature Baths

Start the day with a moderate 2- to 3-hour hike to iconic Mt. Hverfjall, one of the largest and best-preserved circular volcanic craters in the world. The route to Hverfjall snakes through rich vegetation, wind-eroded landscapes, sandy plains, and lava formations. The pinnacle of the hike is circumnavigating the crater rim. We descend Hverfjall through the lava-twisted towers, chimneys, tubes, and tunnels of otherworldly Dimmuborgir.

After lunch, ease your body and spirit into the healing Mývatn Nature Baths, Iceland’s northern Blue Lagoon. This steamy geothermal pool’s sulfuric waters are a soothing 130°C, and its strong sulfur content makes for a healing, rejuvenating experience. Leave your cares behind as we drive to Akureyri. The late afternoon is yours to enjoy strolling around northern Iceland’s capital, which sits under snowcapped peaks at the head of Iceland’s longest fjord.

Hiking distance: 5 miles; Hiking time: 2 to 3 hours

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Icelandair Hotel Akureyri

Day 6: Summit Akureyri’s guardian peak

Today we will summit Akureyri’s guardian peak, Mt Súlur. From Akureyri it resembles a perfect cone, but upon closer inspection—as you hike to its top—it’s far from conical or even symmetrical. Completing this demanding, 4- to 5-hour hike deserves a reward—and there is no better post-hike treat than the best ice cream in Iceland! The sweet shop Brynju uses milk, not cream, to make its legendary ice creams.

This evening you are free to dine in one of Akureyri’s many eateries featuring both local and international flavors.

Hiking distance: 3 miles; Hiking time: 5 hours; Elevation gain/loss: 3,814 feet

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Icelandair Hotel Akureyri

Day 7: Tour the art and beer scenes of Akureyri

Our final full day in the north is spent meandering through the streets of Akureyri, taking in its cultural sights. The offerings are surprisingly rich for a city of only 18,000 people. The booming arts scene is showcased on Arts’ Alley, a stretch of former industrial buildings that now house the Akureyri Art Museum (the first Icelandic institution outside of Reykjavík to concentrate solely on visual arts), the Akureyri School of Visual Arts, North Iceland Artists’ Studios, and loads of small galleries.

Our taste of the local culture is followed by a taste of the local brews! The Kaldi craft beer brewery in Árskógssandur welcomes us for a tour of their operation, which begins with a sampling of their suds, known both locally and internationally. After raising our glasses in celebration of our truly magical adventure, we take an afternoon flight back to Reykjavík and share a farewell feast.

Hiking distance: 2 to 2½ miles; Hiking time: 1 to 2 hours

  • Breakfast/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Fosshótel Reykjavík

Day 8: Depart from Reykjavík

Enjoy breakfast with the group before bidding farewell and transferring to Reykjavík-Keflavík Airport for your homebound flight.

  • Breakfast
lodgings

Fosshótel Mývatn — Mývatn

The newest member of the Fosshótel family is this wonderfully modern hotel in spectacular surroundings just north of Lake Mývatn. Lake views abound, and the entire property is light, airy, and beautifully appointed in elegant Icelandic style.

Fosshótel Reykjavík — Reykjavík

This stylish, centrally located hotel—Iceland’s largest!—provides great city and waterfront views, and offers a luxury spa, fitness center, and free Wi-Fi. There’s also an on-site beer garden and Haust, a top-rated restaurant offering fresh, innovative cuisine. Comfortable guestrooms are equipped with all the expected modernities, including a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with shower.

Icelandair Hotel Akureyri — Akureyri

This countryside hotel offers amazing fjord and mountain views from nearly every corner of its modern property. Standard rooms are sunny and comfortable, with a private bathroom and shower. Guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi, a geothermal pool, lovely gardens with outdoor fireplace, and a first-class restaurant, Aurora.

Icelandair Hotel Hamar — Borgarfjörður

At the gateway to western Iceland, Hotel Hamar is a peaceful place to enjoy the tranquility of the countryside. Indulge in magnificent views of the Borgarfjörður fjord, feast on local produce (vegetables are grown at the hotel itself!) in the eco-conscious restaurant, and maybe even enjoy a round of golf. The light and bright rooms include all of the modern amenities, including Wi-Fi and a private bathroom with shower.

Siglo Hotel — Siglufjörður

Built right into the old marina, Siglo captures the relaxed vibe of this small fishing village. The hotel is designed in Iceland’s classic, romantic style, and the grounds include outdoor hot tubs and a sauna. All rooms are spacious and have beautiful mountain and ocean views; comforts include HDTVs, Wi-Fi, private bathrooms with walk-in showers, and window seats for gazing.

Dates and Pricing

Jun 10 - 17, 2018

Jul 08 - 15, 2018

Aug 05 - 12, 2018

pricing

2018 Prices
$7,595 (5 – 16)
$1,200 single supplement
$300 internal airfare

Activity Level Moderate
Trip Length 8 days

From $7,595

Interested in this adventure? Take the next step and book it!

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Call us at 1-888-831-7526
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