Explore the heartlands of Iceland in this true off-the-beaten path adventure of geysers, volcanos, and geothermal springs.
Listen to tales of the Vikings while gazing at majestic glaciers. See lava that’s still warm after decades and witness the giant Skogafoss and Detifoss waterfalls in all their glory. From soaking in geothermal springs to hiking active volcanos, our loop around Iceland will surely take your breath away.
Is this experience right for you?
This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. There may be some individual inclusions that are at a higher physical rating compared to the overall rating of the trip. Please read the day-to-day itinerary carefully to find out more details on each day’s activities, and whether they are suitable for you. Activities can be opted out of if you don’t want to participate.
Welcome to Iceland, the most northern country of Europe. Our driver will be waiting for you at the airport with a sign and a smile to take you to our first hotel where you will meet the rest of the group. This evening your tour leader will properly welcome you and explain your adventure in more detail. Afterwards, you can join your leader and the rest of the group for dinner at one of the local restaurants.
We start our first full day in Iceland with a hike to Fagradalsfjall, an active volcano! The vivid reds and oranges of the molten rock, the fountains of fire; the sounds of the earth bursting apart – it’s a site like nothing else on the planet. We’ll set up a little picnic and pour some drinks while we enjoy the view. Then we are off to the Strokkuer Geyser to see watch water erupt from the ground up to 60 feet in sky. Last stop of the day will be powerful and stunningly beautiful Gulfoss Waterfall. Meals: breakfast, dinner Drive time: approx. 4.5 hours
Today we will travel across the sea to the small island of Westman, famous for the volcano eruption that expanded the land mass by almost 2km. We will visit the museum dedicated to this event and hear how whole town evacuated in just one night. We’ll hike up to the top of the volcano, and when we descend, we will visit a local brewery with unique options, like seaweed beer! Before leaving, we visit the cliffs to watch the Puffin Penguins who live in this area from April to August. Meals: breakfast, beer tasting, dinner. Drive time: approx. 2 hours
We’ll continue our route along the south coast stopping for the views along the way. There are two waterfalls on the agenda for today, including Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss, where you can walk right behind the falling water. Next on the list is a black beach made of volcanic sand. If you are still feeling adventurous, you can choose to embark to the region of never ending ice: Vatnajokull Glacier. Meals: breakfast, dinner Drive time: approx. 3.5 hours
In the morning we’ll visit the stunning Glacier Lagoon by boat. We’ll be sailing between two icebergs snapping plenty of photos along the way. Afterwards we’ll travel across eastern fjords to visit tiny fisherman villages. Your day will finish on the Iceland highlands away from most of the civilization. Enjoy the evening in the remote and peaceful lands of Northern Iceland. Meals: breakfast, dinner Drive time: approx. 5 hours
First up today is a visit to the most powerful waterfall in all of Europe, Detifoss. After this, how about the boiling and bubbling mud pools of Namaskard, where smoke constantly rises from the ground. We’ll then walk around Myvaten Lake and admire the lava fields. Finish the day in the tiny town of Husavik to relax with a soak in a thermal spa from the top of cliffs overlooking the ocean. Meals: breakfast Drive time: approx. 3 hours
This morning we will visit North Iceland’s capital, Akureyri and take a walking tour to learn the history and see the scenic highlights. Afterwards you can choose to wander around town, a great time to get a little lost with your camera, or go on an optional whale watching tour. Meals: breakfast, dinner Drive time: approx. 3.5 hours
We continue our journey across North Iceland towards Snaefellsjokull, a glacier cape located on the top of a dormant volcano. We’ll stop to walk around Arnastapi Pebble Beach for views of the volcano and the rich birdlife in this area. For dinner tonight, we will enjoy a home cooked dinner on a family owned Icelandic farm. Meals: breakfast, dinner Drive time: approx. 4.5 hours
We make out way to the end of our loop of Iceland and land back in Reykjavik. First, we will visit two mystic waterfalls mentioned in Iceland folklore. A hint of their history comes from their name, Children Waterfall. From here we will see Thingveliir NP where European and American tectonic plates are drifting apart a few centimeters each year. Tonight we will celebrate the end of a trip of a lifetime with a farewell dinner. Meals: breakfast, dinner Drive time: approx. 4 hours
Farewell for now. Share a taxi to the airport or opt in to continue the journey to visit the Blue Lagoon. Meals: breakfast
Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Iceland Traveler Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travelers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour.
Hverfisgata 103, 101 Reykjavík
An airport pick up is included. We have 3 designated pickup times that are chosen based on the group’s arrival details throughout Day 1 of the tour. It is possible you will wait for a few of your fellow travelers before your transfer to our first hotel.
If you are arranging your own transportation, Keflavík International Airport (airport code KEF) is located about 50 kilometres southwest of the capital. Taxis are readily available outside the terminal. Gray Line and Flybus both offer regular coach transfers to the BSÍ Bus Terminal in Reykjavik, where you can change to a shuttle that will drop you at your hotel. You are able to purchase single or return tickets in the arrivals hall at the airport.
Hverfisgata 103, 101 Reykjavík
Finishing Point description
Reykjavík–Keflavík Airport (KEF) anytime after 10:00am on tour end date.
A return airport transfer is not included, but we will be happy to help you organize taxis to the airport or wherever your journey takes you next.
If you are participating in the optional Blue Lagoon with us after the official tour ends, we will depart for this activity around 11AM. Make sure your flight home doesn’t depart until after 3pm. Transportation to the airport after Blue Lagoon is not typically included, but we are happy to arrange this for you for an extra cost.
Problems and emergency contact
While we always endeavor to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognize that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction – if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still traveling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.
For general contact details please use the following page: https://thesolofemaletravelernetwork.com/contact-us
Emergency Contact #: +49 8677 9186657
You are required to pay a non-refundable $500 deposit at the time of reservation. This non-refundable deposit confirms your Meetup Tour booking and you will receive a confirmation email detailing the terms of your reservation. Once the confirmation email has been sent to you, a contract will exist between us from the date we issue the confirmation invoice.
Please refer to your booking confirmation for specific dates, deadlines and details regarding final payments for your Meetup Tour. For standard Meetup Tours, the program fee balance payment is due 90 days before the departure date. SoFe’s payment system allows you to input the dollar amount for each payment you submit, so you are welcome to make as many payments in any dollar amount as you prefer before the final payment is due.
The final payment deadline is 90 days before the Meetup Tour start date, with the exception of Antarctica and Polar destinations.
If you have not paid the full balance, requested a cancellation and/or transfer by the final payment deadline, your credit card on file will be automatically charged the remaining balance of the Meetup Tour program cost. A $100 late payment fee will also be levied. Additionally, SoFe reserves the right to treat your booking as cancelled.
Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travelers like you. Share your experience with us by emailing [email protected]!
Before you leave
Food and dietary information
Vegetarians might find the menu selection in Europe less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.
Please notify your booking consultant of any dietary requirements at the time of booking. For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader or representative will endeavor to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.
Spending money is a personal choice, and everyone will have different spending habits and needs. It is best to budget a reasonable amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Please have a thorough look at the itinerary and at what is included so you will be prepared for what isn’t included. Our Meetup Tour is very inclusive, however some meals and extras are not included. This guide should make budgeting a little clearer.
There are many opportunities to purchase souvenirs and handicrafts while on this trip, they can be a fantastic memento of your trip, and often these purchases help to support local artisans.
Please note that credit cards are virtually accepted everywhere throughout Iceland, and you can get by without withdrawing any cash. However if you do need an ATM, they are available in most towns. Please check with your bank about overseas withdrawal fees before you depart. Some banks will allow a cash advance against a major credit card which will incur a service charge of 5% or more.
Currency exchange is available at major banks and some hotels. The easiest foreign currencies to exchange are USD and EUR, however please be aware of the security risk of carrying large amounts of cash.
To help you understand Iceland’s tipping culture, we have provided some scenarios. These are suggestions, as tipping is always a personal choice and at your discretion.
Restaurants: rounding up the the nearest even amount is fine in most restaurants. In upscale eateries look for a 10-15% service charge. If there is a service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.
Your tour guide: You may also consider tipping your tour guide for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is completely at your discretion, however as a guideline $5-$15 USD per person, per day is standard practice. Of course, you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
It is not necessary or expected to tip your Tour Leader, but small, sweet gifts, even hand written notes, are very appreciated if you feel they improved your experience.
The official currency in Iceland is the Icelandic Krona (ISK).
The Icelandic climate is very unpredictable the whole year round thus we recommend to all our guests to bring good sturdy shoes with a good grip for trekking, a warm wind and rainproof jacket and trousers, gloves or mittens, good head wear and sunglasses.
Iceland can be cold throughout the year, especially at the start and end of the summer season, and at night. Rain is possible at any time of year. Please familiarize yourself with what climate to expect and bring appropriate clothing for adverse weather conditions, including base layers, hat, rain coat and anything else that you think may be applicable.
The closer you travel to the second half of June, the shorter the nights are in this part of the world. As many of our accommodations may not have suitable curtains to block out light you may want to consider bringing an eye-mask, especially if you are a light sleeper.
passports, visas, and entry requirements
Visas for Iceland are not required for passport holders of the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada. All other nationalities should check with the relevant authorities.
You need a valid passport to travel internationally. Most countries require that your passport does not expire for at least 6 months after the date you enter. We require your passport details 45 days before departure. When booking your Meetup Tour, please enter your name as it appears on your passport and contact us immediately if there are any errors.
We recommend taking copies of the main passport pages and other important documents with you as well as leaving copies at home with family or friends.
For the latest update of what is required in order to enter Iceland, please check your government’s foreign travel advice and also visit the following website: https://visiticeland.com/article/iceland-and-covid19-coronavirus
Please also ensure you have a travel insurance policy that covers you for travel to and from Iceland as well as medical or COVID-19 related expenses incurred within the country.
Our tours are comfortable and very inclusive with premium accommodations. This means you can pack a little lighter since the hotel will have a wide range of amenities. Since you will be carrying your own bags to the lobby or at the airport, we suggest packing in a way that is manageable for solo travel. Most travelers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. You’ll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
The following is a general list to be used as a guideline. If you think you need more items, pack them.
In order for you to be able to experience Iceland’s famous thermal baths please don’t forget to bring your swimsuit and a spare towel.
Water is considered precious to Icelanders, and showers without a bathing suit are mandatory for everyone before entering any natural pool. Showers, soap, lockers, and changing rooms are included in our geothermal visits (both at the included and optional pools), but privacy may be scarce. Nudity is a normal part of Icelandic life in gender separated locker rooms. We can not guarantee a private shower, but we can guarantee a clean space and genuine experience in Icelandic culture.
Used riding gear, including saddles, halters, bridles, and whips are prohibited in Iceland.
Iceland uses Northern European electrical standards which operates on a 220V supply voltage and 50Hz. There are two associated plug types, “C” and “F”.
Plug type “C” is the plug which has two round pins and type “F” is the plug which has two round pins with two earth clips on the side.
We always suggest bringing a universal adapter.
Travel insurance is mandatory on all our Meetup Tours. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are traveling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travelers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company’s 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank’s name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
We recommend that you check your government’s advice in relation to the areas you will be visiting for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.
on the road
All tours with The Solo Female Traveler Network are accompanied by a guide who is with the group for the whole trip. The guide’s role is to be the local expert of the destination and coordinate a lot of the on the ground logistics. Premium leaders are SoFe’s most experienced, with in-depth knowledge and extensive local networks to make it a trip of a lifetime. Your guide will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. At SoFe, we aim to support local guides who have specialized knowledge of the regions we visit. When not already included in your trip, your leader will be able to recommend a local guide service who can share more detailed or specialized information at specific sites should you be interested in delving deeper.
We use a range of accommodation that we choose based on season, group size, and availability. For this reason, we do not provide a list of accommodation before the tour. Feel free to request a list of all accommodation from your guide on Day 1.
However, we do provide the start and end accommodation to help you plan transportation, pre/post travel plans, or visa needs. You can find this in the “joining point” and “finishing point” sections of this page.
9 nights in hotels.
Rooms are twin share with an ensuite. Beds in shared rooms are all twin and rooms are sometimes considered to be small by Western standards. Contact us if you are interested in a private room upgrade. Private rooms are not always available for this trip, but we will do our best to accommodate you.
The accommodation indicated on the webpage is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to lack of availability. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
In the base cost of the tour, a shared room is included. You may choose to upgrade to a private room for an extra charge as long as there is availability. Upgrading to a private room once in Iceland is more difficult and may result in a higher cost than advertised on the webpage.
On this tour we will stay in an average of 3 star accommodation, which in Iceland typically provides clean, comfortable, basic rooms in hotels with dining on site. All rooms have heating and an ensuite bathroom. Some of the places we visit with the best views are the most remote with limited accommodation options that are simple, yet comfortable.
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we’re arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn’t always possible which means we won’t be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
Check out is at 11:00am on the last day.
All of our accommodation has heating. There is rarely a need for cooling and hotels do not have it. Should it not work, we will attempt to replace your room or the unit, dependent upon availability. Bedding is always provided and typically includes a thick comforter and two pillows.
A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travelers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn’t an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it’s recommended that travelers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organized independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organizing these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
On this trip we are travelling in our own private minibus as this allows us to reach some more off the beaten path destinations and gives us flexibility which would not be possible by public transport. Please note that there are some long travel days and some rough stretches on gravelly and windy roads. On some days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimize our time.
a few rules
Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all destinations and activities on your trip.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while traveling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your jewelry at home – you won’t need it while traveling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however, during your trip you’ll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your SoFe itinerary, and SoFe makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it’s deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
Seat belts are always provided and must be worn in accordance with local law.
While most of the tour, especially in major cities, will be with your guide and the group, petty theft is common in any tourist area. Do not walk around alone at night if it can be avoided and hold your belongings close on public transportation. Your local guide will give you some safety tips throughout your tour, and we suggest heeding this advice.
As suggested earlier, please do not bring valuables. Use a TSA approved luggage lock to secure your luggage and belongings throughout trip.
We suggest checking your government’s advice in relation to the areas you will be visiting for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.
When not with your guide, we recommend the following:
- Do not walk in isolated areas or at night by yourself
- If hotel staff need to enter your room, arrange to be either on tour or in the lobby, so you are not alone.
- Respect the local customs.
- Do not hire a driver or guide for tours from the street. Always go with a reputable company or ask us to help you arrange any pre or post experiences.
- Do not accept any invitations for anything from random people on the street.
- Always carry your tour guide’s contact information and hotel address with you during solo time.
- Alert your guide of any inappropriate behavior or perceived risk to your safety
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
Please do not enter the water without a life vest and a buddy if you are not an experienced swimmer. Alert the leader and guide to your ability level before participating in water activities. Lifeguards are not on duty and our staff are not trained in water rescue.
phone and internet access
There is wifi available in most of our accommodations, but it may not be accessible in more rural or remote areas.
If you need to stay connected, you can purchase prepaid mobile internet starter kits for smartphones at any Vodafone store or reseller. You can also find these kits at N1 gas stations around the country and the BSÍ bus terminal in Reykjavik.
Alternatively, you can ask your home service provider for international plans.
medical and health
All travelers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the opinion of our group leader or local guide any traveler is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while traveling.
Tap water is safe to drink in Iceland. All accommodations will have drinkable water, sometimes for purchase and sometimes provided with your room.
If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. At the group meeting, you will be asked to complete a self-screening health form and report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, we will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. It’s quite possible that the destination country may have different or more strict protocols in place in relations to a Covid-19 case from your home country. This may include hotel or hospital quarantine or quarantine for the group. Please check your government’s travel advice or contact the closest embassies to find out the details. We ask all travellers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader.