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Jeep expedition in Iceland.

Best of Iceland!

11 days

23 people

3190 

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Julia Svitlova

GROUP COORDINATOR

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11 days

23 people - 6 jeeps

1 group: 06.07 - 16.07.2024

2 group:18.07 - 28.07.2024

DESCRIPTION

We have been organizing expeditions in Iceland for many years. We tried different types of travel. We had buses and yachts. We have been using "homes on wheels" for the last few years. However, all these variations had their disadvantages: we did not have good mobility, we could not get to remote corners in the interior of the island, and there were difficulties with camping and overnight stays.

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From 2023, we will start traveling in our favorite jeep format, where we will live in hotels and guesthouses, and with the help of full-fledged 4×4 off-road vehicles, we will be able to get to Landmannalaugar, Lakagigar and Kerlingarfjöll, famous for their incredible beauty and inaccessibility.

Of course, in this program we took all our best practices from previous years and made a route according to the principle “the best you can see in Iceland”.

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In the summer in these latitudes, the days are very long, sunsets and sunrises are crazy beautiful, so get ready for ten days of incredibly intense and beautiful adventures. Take your cameras and all the best that you have in your soul from home! Iceland is waiting for you, the Paganels!

Welcome to the trip to another planet!

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Kostiantyn Storozhenko

Expedition leader, translator

ROUTE

IN THE COST OF EXPEDITIONIT INCLUDES:

​•accommodation in comfortable hotels and guest houses along the entire travel               route (twin accommodation);
•rent of SUVs (automatic) 4×4 according to the route of the expedition;
•fuel;
•entrance tickets to nat. parks and paid natural areas;
•toll tunnels;
•car insurance;
•services of English-Russian speaking guides of the Paganel Studio team.

EXPEDITION COST DOES NOT INCLUDE:

​•flight to Iceland and back;
•visa;
•insurance;
•optional activities not included in the program;

• meals along the route.

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ADDITIONALLY:

Each camper needs one, preferably two drivers with international licenses, as participants drive their own jeeps throughout the route.

IMPORTANT!

Due to the fact that our expeditions do not include international flights to the starting point of the program, we cannot be held responsible for changes in flight conditions by airlines or airport requirements. Since our travelers fly from many different countries and cities, we never participate in the purchase of air travel and limit ourselves exclusively to advisory services in the selection of flights. Air agents or airlines from which tickets were purchased are responsible for the purchase and technical support.

ITINERARY

Day 1
06.07/18.07.2024

Arrival at Keflavik airport before lunch, going through the formalities at the airport (entry conditions are updated before travel). Money exchange and purchase of SIM cards for the Internet. Upon arrival before 19:00 - transfer to the hotel in the town of Kaflavik. If you want to walk around Reykjavik, plan yourself in advance for additional time for this walk, taking into account the arrival / departure time before and after the program.

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In the evening, we have a small briefing on the next day - in the hotel lobby. We check our points on the maps. Specify crews. Relax in a beautiful hotel in Keflavik.

Day 2
07.07/19.07.2024

The total mileage per day is 160 km.

 

At 9 am the meeting of drivers takes place in the hotel lobby. We go to get our jeeps. Driver instruction. Acceptance and transfer of cars.

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The rest of the group is preparing for the journey. We have breakfast and pack for the journey. After the drivers with cars arrive at the hotel, we promptly load things. We go to the nearest store, where we buy snacks and sweets, drinks, etc. for a comfortable trip for the next 2 days.

 

Today we have a dense and eventful day and we need to hurry. First, our path lies to Lake Þingvallavatn (Thingvallavatn) - the largest lake in Iceland with volcanic islands.

Near the lake is the Thingvellir National Park, the most important historical place for Icelanders, over which the national flag proudly flutters. It was here that in 930 the first meeting of the All-Icelandic Parliament took place, and in 1000 Christianity was adopted as a single religion. People came here to make deals, administer justice, exchange news and make engagements. He played his role in modern history - in this place in 1944 an independent Iceland was proclaimed.

In addition to its historical significance, Thingvellir is also famous for the amazing natural landscapes formed by the Peningagia Canyon. Thingvellir is also considered one of the geological wonders of the world, where we can see the effect of the movement of tectonic plates. This is where North America separates from Europe.

The next object on our way is the valley of geysers Haukadalur. Here the Great Geysir sleeps. Stóri Geysir is the father of geysers. The Great Geyser erupts irregularly and over the past century, due to earthquakes, its activity has changed several times. "Daddy" can sleep for years, but sometimes he is specially woken up on Independence Day (June 17) with a soapy solution. The fountain, which he throws into the air, reaches 60-70 meters.

Fifty meters away from him, the “son” is awake, the Strokkur geyser (Isl. Strokkur), shooting at a height of 30-40 meters every 5-7 minutes. We will observe it, along with other tourists. The main thing is to choose the "correct" - the windward side for observations, so that during the ejection you will not be wet from head to toe.

After the valley of geysers, we will visit the majestic waterfall Gullfoss (Gylfoss) - “Golden Falls”, if you are lucky with the weather, you can watch two rainbows above it at once. Gulfoss waterfall is located on the glacial river Hvítá (Hvitau), which, translated from Icelandic, means White River.

This river is one of the longest rivers in Iceland. It is born from melt water flowing down from a very large - the second largest - glacier in Iceland, called Langjökull (Langjökull). On this section of the channel, the Khvitau River is shallow, but with a fast current. The color of its water changes and can be milky white, cloudy gray, and greenish.It all depends on the composition of the layer of melting ice. Going on a trip to Gullfoss, you never know in advance what color of water you will see. It is always a surprise. Near the waterfall, there are two free parking areas, upper and lower, connected by a pedestrian staircase. There is a one-story building on the upper platform, inside which there is a good cafe with a good selection of dishes and pastries, a large souvenir shop.

We slowly check into a beautiful hotel nearby - Hotel Gullfoss.

This is a place with a very pleasant authentic environment, beautiful Scandinavian style and excellent cuisine.

We are holding the traditional "Evening of Acquaintances" of the Paganels. Presentation of expedition personal t-shirts and badges!

Day 3
08.07/20.07.2024

The total mileage per day is 220 km.

We move further to the North of Iceland. Shortly after the Gullfoss waterfall, the asphalt road ends and the dirt road F35 and then F347 leads to Kerlingarfjöll. The road with the letter F in the name means that only four-wheel drive SUVs can drive on it. They are like ours.

There are many potholes on the road to Kerlingarfjöll, but in general, the road is still quite good, there are no fords across the rivers.

Kerlingarfjöll is a unique place in Iceland, very unusual. It is located almost in the center of the island. It is a mountain range, which is located between two glaciers.

The surface of the earth and mountains is of an unusual color there - from yellow to red, interspersed with other extraterrestrial shades on the slopes of the mountains. In the mountain valley, there is a geothermal zone with sulfuric rivers, boiling mud and smoke from the ground. And on the sides of all this beauty, mountains are visible, covered with snow caps and descending snow tongues.

Arriving there, you walk along the paths laid along the mountain ranges, slopes, valleys. You admire the views and color of the mountains, the geothermal valley, you feel like you are on another planet. This place really stands out from other places in Iceland: it is very special and incredibly beautiful. It is considered one of the most beautiful places on the Planet, and since you have already got here, now you simply have to see and feel everything with your own hands.

Local legend says that the ghost of a female troll who has turned to stone haunts the mountains. We will go in search of the ghost after breakfast. We collect things. We get into jeeps. Transfer - 15 minutes to the geothermal zone, where our track begins.

 

We park the cars. We take trekking poles because the ascents and descents are quite steep. We dress for the weather.

The track itself is circular and takes about 3.6 km. And small radial paths to one or another group of geysers depart from it in different directions. We walk. We photograph a lot. Enjoy incredible views. In the evening, Instagram will explode with a million beautiful photos and videos.

Having come back to the Kerlingarfjöll Mountain Resort car park, you can have lunch. There are no other options for miles around. If you have the strength and desire, then the most persistent can go and swim in the thermal pool, but you need to walk along the river gorge for about 1.5 km in one direction.

Having finished all the bathing and dining procedures, we load into our jeeps and drive towards civilization.

 

Moving first on yesterday's gravel road with pits, and then on normal asphalt. In the evening, we get to the town of Selfoss, where we stay for the night.

 

Dinner. Relaxation. It is advisable to buy different snacks in the local supermarket in the evening for the next couple of days.

Day 4
09
.07/21.07.2024

The total mileage per day is 172 km.

 

We get up early. Today is again an extremely eventful and incredibly beautiful day. Drivers check cars. We are going to close. We leave to the north to the central regions of the island. This beautiful day is dedicated to the most amazing place in Iceland - Landmannalaugar.

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Landmannalaugar (Landmannalaugar), often in Russian-language sources this place is called the colored mountains, although the name is translated from Icelandic as the land of baths / springs, and literally, “the bathing place for the men of this land”. And all because there are many natural baths with healing water from thermal springs. Also, some Icelanders call this place the “Pearl of the Mountains”.

Landmannalaugar is a place that most people fall in love with from the first moment. The Landmannalaugar Valley and the colored mountains of Iceland are one of the most incredible places not only in Iceland itself, but, perhaps, in the whole world! This place is located at an altitude of 600 meters above sea level, in the middle of the central highland region of Iceland - the Highlands.

 

It is an amazing place for photographers with an endless variety of geological formations, steaming hot springs and rivers, hardened lava and colorful rhyolite mountains that change colors depending on the light. This is a remote place among the mountains, accessible only from the end of June (and sometimes only from July) until the end of September. During the rest of the year, the roads become impassable for normal traffic.

The famous multi-colored mountains are formed from volcanic rock - rhyolite, similar in composition to granite. They contain inclusions of various minerals, which, interacting with water and oxygen from the air, are oxidized and therefore these mountains have a great variety of colors and their shades. And in combination with the colors of the sky, water, snow and ice, the whole spectrum of rainbow colors will open before you.

Many mountains have color bands and shades of red, pink, green, yellow and orange. Two mountains are considered the most popular: Brennisteinsalda, which means "gray wave" and Blahnjukur - "blue peak". Around Mount Brennisteinsalda we are planning to make a trek for 3-4 hours today.

The road to Landmannalaugar is classified as category F, which we wrote about above. Depending on how full the rivers will be and how difficult the weather conditions will be, the travel time and the complexity of the path will depend.

Closer to Landmannalaugar, we will ford several rivers, and you will understand why we needed all-wheel drive SUVs for this adventure.

Upon arrival, we put the cars in the parking lot. We bring trekking poles and clothing according to the weather. We go to the track for 3-4 hours. The track is circular and we will cover about 4.3 km today. Don't forget to bring your camera with charged batteries.

Upon returning from the track, you can have a bite to eat by buying a traditional hot Icelandic soup at a local cafe-kiosk. Those who wish can also swim in the thermal springs located near the parking lot.

After resting, we load into jeeps. We ford the rivers again and move north along the F208 road. On the way we watch a small waterfall Sigoldufoss, and then we get to the high mountain hotel Hrauneyjar.

We park cars. We settle into the rooms.

Day 5
10
.07/22.07.2024

The total mileage per day is 290 km.

 

In the morning, after breakfast, we leave for the south. Today we will again have many different amazing and unique Icelandic beauties from which your camera will heat up by the end of the evening. The first item on our menu today is the very famous Icelandic Seljalandsfoss waterfall.

We can walk under it and watch the incredibly beautiful spectacle of falling water, which is refracted in the rays of the evening sun. This is truly a fantastic sight. We photograph a lot. We walk for about 30-40 minutes at all three Seljalandsfoss waterfalls.

We drive further for about 25 minutes to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland Skógarfoss. If there is sun, then Skógarfoss will be covered in rainbows and it is incredibly beautiful.

Those who wish can climb the path to the top of the waterfall, where a beautiful view opens up. At the foot of the waterfall, we have lunch at a local restaurant.

Next, we move to the Dyrhólaey rock, where the lighthouse offers an impressive view of the ocean and a giant arch. This is the southernmost point of Iceland.

If we are lucky, then at the foot we will see a large number of the famous northern bird - puffin (lat. Fratercula arctica). If not, then just enjoy the four-way views.

The next point of our journey is already visible from the lighthouse - this is a black sandy beach and basalt columns of Reynisfjara, we stop by there. We play, we enjoy. There you can drink coffee or have a snack in a local cafe. The places are very beautiful. We photograph a lot.

After walking, we load into our jeeps and drive towards the town of Vik. We pop into the local supermarket and stock up on snacks for the next day.

Before our overnight stay, we still have about 70 km to go, so we do not relax. Our path lies in the village with the charming name of Kirkjubaejarklaustur. The road winds through the most beautiful places along the ocean. In the evening sunlight, we stop and admire the stunning Martian landscapes of the moss-covered Mýrdalssandur lava fields.

Our expedition leaders will tell us after what eruption these fields were formed, about how this eruption affected the history of all of Europe.

 

Upon arrival in the village with the name Kirkjubaejarklaustur, which we have already fallen in love with, we check into a hotel for 2 days. Dinner. Relaxation.

Day 5
11
.07/23.07.2024

The total mileage per day is 120 km.

 

We will dedicate this beautiful day to the Laki volcano, which our leaders have already told you about the night before when visiting the Mýrdalssandur lava fields.

 

Volcano Laki is one of the most beautiful and amazing sights in Iceland. A more correct name for this place is Lakagigar.

 

Lakagigar is a long chain of more than 100 craters.

The formation of the current appearance of the area in this area began after the eruption in 1783 - 1784. For 8 months, Lucky threw out lava, ash and gases. This global catastrophe has led to horrifying consequences. Clouds of poisonous fluorine and sulfur dioxide compounds rose into the air, which killed more than 50% of the livestock in Iceland (about 11,000 cattle died, 200,000 sheep, 30,000 horses, as well as almost all birds and many fish); volcanic ash partially or completely covered pastures in most of the island. Huge masses of water from ice melted by lava led to large-scale floods. Famine began, resulting in the death of approximately 10 thousand people, or 20% of the country's population. During the summer of 1783, a luminous fog was observed in many parts of Europe and North America, blocking solar radiation, which led to a decrease in temperature throughout the Northern Hemisphere. This eruption is considered one of the most destructive in the last millennium and the largest lava eruption in history.

The eruption led to a global drop in temperature, which provoked crop failure in Europe, drought in Africa and India.

 

Today Laki volcano and its surroundings belong to Vatnajökull National Park. Every year, thousands of tourists storm the rivers and off-road, trying to see this beautiful and famous place with their own eyes. Of course, the Paganels are obliged to visit it.

After breakfast at the hotel, we take things necessary for trekking, cameras, water and snacks for a lunch snack, load into jeeps and try to leave early for the route. Today we have a lot to see, make several tracks and get to Lakagigar and back on a rather difficult road.

The first point of our day will be a beautiful canyon with a romantic name Fjaðrárgljúfur.

Fjadrargljufur in some areas reaches a depth of up to 100 meters, and its length is about two kilometers. Inside the canyon flows a river called Fjaðrá. There are sheer walls in the gorge, and it is rather narrow and coils like a snake. The hiking trail along the rim of the canyon offers stunning views of the plains and glacial torrents. Calm, quiet, clean, peaceful corner of nature.

 

Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon is famous for being the location of one of the Game of Thrones episodes and dragons flying over it. Also, the famous American singer Justin Bieber filmed his video here in 2015.

Further, the road begins to deteriorate greatly. We are going slow enough. There are many pits, stones, and there are rivers that we ford.

 

We stop for ten minutes to stretch our legs and take pictures of the beautiful and little-visited Fagrifoss waterfall.

A couple more hours of unhurried and careful driving through very beautiful, unearthly landscapes and we arrive at the foot of that very legendary Lucky volcano. At the parking lot, a local ranger will meet us and instruct us on where you can go and where you cannot.

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The first track for today will be about 4 km. First, a slow ascent to the top of Laki, from where a very beautiful view of the chain of volcanoes and moss-covered lava fields opens up. Then we move along the ridge towards the chain of craters. The track is circular, so at the end of the route we will return to the starting point.

Here we can have a snack - dine with pre-prepared supplies. There are dedicated picnic benches.

 

Then we need 20 minutes to drive to the crater Tjarnargígur. Here is another trekking route from the category - "must see". The route is circular, go about 4 km, but unlike the previous one, it passes through the plain. You do not have to go up/down here. The total time for this track is about 2 hours.

Having walked and enjoyed the incredible and unearthly landscapes of the Lakagigar area, we also carefully and slowly, through pits and fords, return to our hotel in our beloved village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur.

 

Dinner. Relaxation.

Повертаємося 10 хвилин до нашого готелю, до улюбленого села Кіркьюбайярклейстюр.
Вечеря. Відпочинок.

Day 7
12
.07/24.07.2024

The total mileage per day is 210 km.

 

In the morning, after breakfast, we say goodbye to Kirkjubaejarklaustur, load into our off-road vehicles, refuel and move to the east of the country along Road No. 1. Today, exciting adventures await us again. Fortunately, the day in Iceland is very long, and you can safely expect to see everything in the light of the sun. We drive for about an hour towards the wonderful Skaftafell National Park.

Skaftafell National Park is located next to the largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull, with ice up to 600 meters thick. Glaciers cover about 12% of Iceland, and half of this glaciation is the Vatnajökull glacier. Skaftafell has a huge number of trekking routes of different difficulty levels.

First, putting our cars in the parking lot, we will go on a track to one very beautiful waterfall - Svartifoss. Because of the cascading basalt columns from which it flows, it has been compared to a temple organ. The round trip takes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours along an equipped and uncomplicated trail.

Returning to the parking lot, you can have a quite tasty lunch at a local restaurant, and then go on another trekking for 1 hour to the foot of the glacier.

Then we move towards the incredibly beautiful Ice Lagoon, but before that we will visit the small village of Hof, where we will see a sample of old Icelandic churches with a roof covered with living grass.

We take pictures for memory and after 35 minutes of travel, we arrive in Jokulsarlon. The Jokulsarlon lagoon was created only a few decades ago as a result of the retreat of the Vatnajökull glacier and is now rapidly growing in size.

In the lagoon, those who wish can take a walk and enjoy the crazy views of icebergs, mountains and glaciers, or optionally go for a ride among the ice on a speedboat (it must be booked in advance through our contact center).We recommend!

It was in this place that many Hollywood blockbusters were filmed, including two films about James Bond. The cost of an hour boat trip: approximately 80-90 euros per person.

Next, we will take a short walk on the seacoast among the thousands of ice sheets that are thrown by the sea onto the black sands.

The combination of ice, sunshine and black sand leads to unexpected results. It seems that huge diamonds are scattered in front of you, sparkling in the sun with all facets of light. This place is called Diamond Beach.

It looks really unusual and very beautiful. Actually, you will have time and opportunity to enjoy this spectacle.

In the evening, we arrive in the small town of Höfn, where we will spend the night.

 

Check in hotel. Dinner. Relaxation.

Day 8
13
.07/25.07.2024

The total mileage per day is 305 km.

 

Today we have a big move, on a very beautiful road that runs along the fjords of the east coast of Iceland. If there are photographers who want to and just lovers of meeting the sunrise in a beautiful place, then next to the town of Höfn, where we spend the night, there is the Vesturhorn location, well-known among landscape painters.

Here you can take very beautiful shots with the local mountain, black sands, tussocks of red grass and the ocean tide. If the morning is clear and according to the forecast the sun will come out at dawn, we insist on visiting.

We are going east. We pass through the Almannaskarð tunnel. Around - crazy beauty views. The road winds through the mountains. Then we continue to drive along the fjords in the direction of Southeast Iceland. We are not in a hurry. We often stop to take pictures of local beauty.

For lunch we stop at Djupivogur, a small, cute fishing town with stone statues in the form of eggs of every Icelandic bird. Looks funny. We drink coffee. Light snack.

Moving through a mountain pass and some Martian spaces, and in an hour and a half we get to the third highest waterfall in Iceland, Hengifoss (118 m). Here we have trekking for 2-3 hours, so we put on our boots, take our cameras, put the SUVs in the parking lot and go on our way to the mountains.

Hengifoss is located on the river Hengifossau in the municipality of Fljotsdalsshreppür (what a language!) in Øystürland. It flows into the Hengifossarglufur gorge. The trail to the Hengifoss waterfall is very beautiful. The Hengifossarglufur gorge narrows near Sellaekir, and widens at Litlanes, forming an amphitheater of basalt columns, through which the 30-meter Litlanesfoss waterfall passes, which we can also see. Litlanesfoss is famous for its volcanic basalt columns. We saw similar columns near the town of Vik on the Black Beach of Reynisfjara. The name Litlanesfoss itself means “little brother waterfall”, due to its proximity to the more “steep” Hengifoss, to which we are now moving.

Hengifoss is surrounded by basalt rocks, between which are thin layers of red clay. This is the uniqueness of the waterfall, and its main feature. Well, if you add an obligatory rainbow to the mix (the main thing is that the sun does not let us down), in general, something cosmically incredibly beautiful turns out.

After walking, we return to the jeeps and drive on. In the eastern capital of the island - the city of Egilsstadir - we refuel, buy everything we need at the local supermarket.

 

We check into a cozy hotel. Dinner. Relaxation.

Day 9
14
.07/26.07.2024

The total mileage per day is 275 km. Get up early! We need to try to do many things today and see. Breakfast. First, we go to a very beautiful canyon, known to photographers and simply lovers of beauty, with the wonderful name Studlagil.

Until 2008, no one had heard of this canyon. It was part of the Jökla River. However, in 2008, the Kárahnjúkar (Kaurahnyukar) hydroelectric power plant was built, and the Hálslón (Halslon) reservoir was formed on the river in the highlands. The appearance of the reservoir led to a change in the landscape, the level of the river dropped significantly and ... exposed the most beautiful Studlagil canyon.

At first, a few tourists began to come to the canyon, and we, of course, will also visit there.

 

Having made another batch of beautiful photos, we will move to the mighty Dettifoss waterfall. This is the largest waterfall in Europe in terms of the amount of falling water. It is also called the king of all the waterfalls in Iceland!

Height - 45 m, width - 100 m. The average amount of water passing here reaches 500 m³ / s. It is believed that getting here is difficult and not easy, but the traveler who decides on a difficult and long journey to the icy shores of the Greenland Sea, along which icebergs sometimes float in the summer, will certainly be rewarded for his perseverance.

Then our whole day will be devoted to the wonders of the Myvatn Lake Reserve, known as one of the most beautiful natural regions in Iceland. Myvatn, as a nature reserve, was established in 1968 and has an area of ​​more than 30,000 hectares. It protects the natural complexes of the volcanic plateau and Lake Myvatn. In fact, this is not the simplest lake, it is the center of geothermal and volcanic activity. Nothing can so vividly reflect everything that happens in the bowels of the earth as lava fields or volcanic craters.