Diamond Circle – 3 days
Experience the nature pearls of northeastern Iceland at your own pace
This self-drive itinerary includes what maybe is the corner of Iceland with the most diverse natural environment. In 250km only several astonishing landscapes and highlights follow one another.
Day 1 Húsavík and its surroundings
In the morning, you fly from Reykjavík to Húsavík and meet the local agent at the airport. He welcomes you, have a briefing with you regarding the whole tour and delivers the car. It is then time to start exploring local history and culture. Húsavík, according to the Landnámabók (“Book of Settlement”), was the first place in Iceland to be settled by a Norseman. The Swedish Viking Garðar Svavarsson spent a winter there around 870 A.D. The name of the town means “bay of houses” which refers to Garðar’s homestead. Húsavík is also known for its coastal culture and being the “whale capital of Iceland”. Whale watching is the main activity and departures are available from March to November but winter tours are sometimes available. Other interesting attractions in town are the three museums, the beautiful wooden church, the relaxing gardens. There are a few walking/hiking options – lake Botnsvatn and Húsavík mountain above all – and birdwatching opportunities too – Kaldbakstjarnir is an excellent spot. Overnight in Húsavík.
Day 2 Jökulsárgljúfur National Park / Ásbyrgi & Mývatn
Summer and Autumn Program
Leaving Húsavík behind, the itinerary follows the road along the pensinsula of Tjörnes, north of town, famous for high cliffs that host nests of thousands of bird of different species and features some of the most remarkable fossil layers in Iceland. After Tjörnes is Kelduhverfi, where many fissures are visible, and then is the dramatic horseshoe-shaped canyon Ásbyrgi. From there, depending on season and circumstances*, it is possible to take the eastern or western area of the glacier river Jökulsá á Fjöllum. Depending on the road you take, amongst other places, see the splendid waterfall Dettifoss – which is considered the most powerful waterfall in Europe – Hafragilsfoss, Selfoss, Vesturdalur – an amazing valley filled with bizarre and unique rock formations – and more. Arriving to Mývatn area, there are nice spots to visit, such as Krafla and Námafjall. Visit to Mývatn Nature Baths might be considered in the evening. Overnight in Mývatn area.
Winter and Spring Program
Please note that most often both roads following the banks of river Jökulsá á Fjöllum are closed (fully or partially) in winter and spring. Therefore, in such seasons, after visiting Ásbyrgi canyon, the itinerary includes driving back to Húsavík and getting to Mývatn area from there. For that reason, please also note that in winter and spring areas including Vesturdalur and Hafragilsfoss are most likely impossible to visit while Dettifoss can be visited on day 3.
In winter and spring, upon arrival in Mývatn area in the early afternoon, you can travel anti-clockwise around the lake, and explore some natural wonders such as Skútustaðir pseudo craters, Dimmuborgir lava field, Hverfjall volcano and the hidden natural pool of Grjótagjá before soaking in the relaxing waters of Mývatn Nature Baths in the evening. Mývatn area is also renowned for the northern lights shows that often occur in winter and early spring. Overnight in Mývatn area.
Day 3 Mývatn / Mývatn & Dettifoss
Summer and Autumn Program
Lake Mývatn is one of the highlights of northern Iceland and one of the places most people want to visit and explore. Following the shores of the lake, there are several great places to visit. For example the hidden natural pool of Grjótagjá, Hverfjall volcano, Dimmuborgir lava field, the rocky promontory of Höfði, the lava columns in Kálfaströnd and Skútustaðir pseudo craters. On the way back to Húsavík, you take the longer route that allows you to visit Goðafoss, one of Iceland’s most famous and scenic waterfalls. Overnight in Húsavík. Or this day might possibly end in Reykjavík, after a domestic flight in the late afternoon departing from Húsavík, depending on the plan of the rest of your journey. Either way, the local agent meets you at Húsavík Airport before your flight back to Reykjavík for the car’s drop off and for bidding you farewell.
Winter and Spring Program
Having already visited on day 2 most of what Mývatn area has to offer, you head eastwards and visit nice spots nearby, such as volcanic Krafla and martian Námafjall. Next stop is the splendid waterfall Dettifoss – which is considered the most powerful waterfall in Europe – and its smaller (but still impressive) sister Selfoss. The waterfalls at this time of the year are exclusively accessible from the paved road that follows the western bank of the glacier river Jökulsá á Fjöllum. On the way back to Húsavík, first you go back to lake Mývatn then you take the longer route that leads you to Goðafoss, one of Iceland’s most famous and scenic waterfalls. Overnight in Húsavík. Or this day might possibly end in Reykjavík, after a domestic flight in the late afternoon departing from Húsavík, depending on the plan of the rest of your journey. Either way, the local agent meets you at Húsavík Airport before your flight back to Reykjavík for the car’s drop off and for bidding you farewell.
This circle is usually available in four of the six seasons that is early summer, high summer, autumn hues and early winter, depending on the weather and road condition at any time. In the other seasons – high winter and spring – this tour may keep the shape of a circle or the final program may vary, due to road conditions and other circumstances. Please check the maps above for a visual draft of the itineraries.
Availability: year round, Monday to Friday. Departures on Saturdays and Sundays are available too, but, due to domestic flight schedule, the itinerary shall be modified and tailored.
Departure point: Húsavík Airport.
Departure time: upon arrival of the domestic flight from Reykjavík.
Duration of the tour: 3 days (2 nights).
Included: domestic return flight Reykjavík-Húsavík, vehicle Group G (Toyota RAV Manual or similar) for the duration of the tour, unilimited mileage and Zero Excess insurance, pick up and drop off of the car at Húsavík Airport, 2 nights in hotel with breakfast (double room accommodation), map of the area, meeting and briefing with local agent upon pick up of the car, assistance with the booking of activities.
Not included: international flights, lunches and dinner, drinks, activities, anything else not specified above.
Please note: what is included in this standard package can be modified and adapted in case of special requests (depending on budget, interest, needs,…).
Bookings: the tour is designed for couples and for a small group of 4, with departure on Monday to Friday. For groups of different size, for families with young children, for departures on Saturday and Sunday and for any other special requests, please contact us.