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South Coast Lodge-based

Highlights

  • Guides Choice South Coast Tour in Iceland
  • All-around introduction to Iceland
  • Geysers, hot springs, glaciers & iceberg lagoons
  • Iceland's lava fields, stunning landscapes & villages
  • Cozy, inviting accommodations at night
  • Variety of hikes on Iceland's South Coast

Description

The South Coast Lodge-based Tour is perfect for first time visitors to Iceland looking to have a fantastic hiking experience; explore an amazing diversity of scenery, sites and highlights; and do it in style with a high level of comfort! This tour combines stunning day hikes to must-see Icelandic destinations including glaciers, waterfalls, lava fields, geothermal features, black sand beaches, glacial lagoons with icebergs and wildlife, mountains with phenomenal views and more! We also visit several small Icelandic villages that our guests love! Each evening we enjoy the luxury of hot showers and warm beds in cozy lodges, hotels and inns. This tour is the total Icelandic package!!!
Another major highlight of this tour is the fascinating knowledge your guide will pass on to you as you hike - information about the geology, ecology, glacial history, volcanic activity, and climatic phenomena of Iceland. We'll also discuss the human habitation of Iceland, which began in the 9th century when the Norse created permanent settlements on the long-uninhabited island.

Don't miss this extraordinary Iceland hiking experience - give us a call at 888-966-TREK (8735) to learn more or book your spot today!
Click here to have a detailed PDF information packet emailed to you, or request a reservation today. You can also call us at 888-966-TREK.

 

Photos of this Trip

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

On this Iceland hiking tour, we provide you with a shuttle voucher to get from Keflavik International airport in Reykjavik, Iceland to tonight's hotel. After checking into your hotel room (included), you are free to explore the capital city on your own. Reykjavik’s city center is small and you can travel everywhere on foot. Your guides will designate a time to conduct the pre-trip orientation meeting and check into our hotel rooms. The orientation meeting is time to ask questions, meet the other guests, check over gear, and review the itinerary. Icelandic weather can be cold and rainy so be sure to follow the gear list closely! After the orientation meeting, we’ll give enjoy dinner at one of our favorite restaurants for a quintessential Icelandic dinner.

NOTE: If your flight lands in the morning, your hotel room will not be ready for you to check in. However, you will be able to store your luggage and start your city exploration.


Day 2

Driving Duration: 4 hours
Hiking Mileage: 1-2 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: minimal
Trekking Duration: 1-2 hours


This morning, your guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel and begin driving to the stunning Icelandic country side along the South Coast. After passing a few villages, we will reach the wonderful Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. We will then head to the Dyrholaey Cliffs and/or the Reynisfjara black sand beach with its stunning basalt columns. We will then drive east to the village of Vik, one of the most charming settlements on the Southern Shore. Further East, we reach the Kirkjubaejarklaustur village after spending time exploring vast, moss-covered lava fields. After a long day of driving, photographing, exploring and hiking, we will check into our hotel, which will become our base for the next three nights.


Day 3

Driving Duration: 1-2 hours
Hiking Mileage: 5-10 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 3000 feet
Trekking Duration: 6-8 hours


After a hearty breakfast, we will head east and soon leave the moss-covered lava fields for landscapes filled with glacial deposits. We are heading to the Skaftafell area of Vatnajokull National Park! Today’s hike is dedicated to the Skaftafell area. We will hike to the Svartifoss waterfalls and on toward a breathtaking glacial valley (Morsardalur) and/or a summit overlooking an extraordinary glacier (Kristinartindar). Eventually we will return to our hotel for a relaxing dinner, conversation about all the sights we’ve seen so far, and a discussion of the next day’s potential activities (which will partially depend on weather).


Day 4

Driving Duration: 1-2 hours
Hiking Mileage: 3-5 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: minimal
Trekking Duration: 3-5 hours


Today is a day of options – all of them unforgettable. After breakfast we’ll journey to a world of ice! Along the Southern Shore, we will drive East between snow covered peaks, glaciers, and the coastline to Jokulsarlon, an amazing glacial lagoon. Arctic terns, great skuas, geese and Eider ducks are a few birds we are likely to see today.

Enter the hiking options. After exploring Jokulsarlon, we can hike out toward the Fjadrargljufur Gorges, where we’ll traverse along a different part of the Jokulsarlon Lagoon. Or we can hike and explore the Kviarjokull moraine – a valley of debris dumped from the receding Kviarjokull Glacier. Depending on weather, we’ll enjoy a couple longer hikes or several shorter ones. Guests also sometimes want to add an optional glacier walk, or boat tour on the iceberg lagoon, both of which are additional options.


Day 5

Driving Duration: 5 hours
Hiking Mileage: 2-5 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: minimal
Trekking Duration: 3-5 hours


After breakfast, we will pack up our gear and begin our journey west, to the highlands of the Fjallabak area. Todays highlight will include the famous Eldgja Chasm. After a visit to the chasm, we will keep driving north on an unpaved road, cross a dozen or so creeks, traverse gorges and finally reach the village of Landmannalaugar. Our hike today will lead us through stunning and colorful rhyolite mountains, obsidian lava fields and geothermal features. After the hike, we will enjoy a hot soak in the creek before departing to our hotel, where we will stay for the next 2 nights.


Day 6

Driving Duration: 3-4 hours
Hiking Mileage: 2-5 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: minimal
Trekking Duration: 2-4 hours


After yesterday’s big day we will enjoy a more laid back morning today. We will start the day with a short hike to the impressive Haifoss waterfall. After the Haifoss we will travel through the Thjorsardalur Valley, toward Gullfoss, for the first site of the famous Golden Circle. We nicknamed it "Iceland’s Niagara Falls," and you will understand why! We will then continue on to a nearby geyser, where water bursts every 5-10 minutes. After enjoying the geyser, we will return to our hotel for a relaxing dinner.


Day 7

Driving Duration: 3-4 hours
Hiking Mileage: 3-5 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1200 feet
Trekking Duration: 3-4 hours


This morning we head toward Thingvellir National Park and the Parliament Plains. This destination is an important historical site and also a mythical spot, geologically speaking. The lakes contain literally crystal clear water, which makes for spectacular reflections of the sky and clouds. We will continue on to Hvalfjordur and hike to the Glymur waterfall or to another hot spring in the Hengill Mountain area, depending on the group’s preference. After our hike, we'll shuttle back to Reykjavik, check into our hotel rooms (included) and your guide will make dining suggestions, as dinner is on your own this evening.


Day 8

Today is the final day of the Wildland Trekking,South Coast Wonders, Lodge-Based Tour. We will ensure you get on the proper Flybus Shuttle for departure to Keflavik International Airport. If you are remaining in Iceland, please let us know. We can help you arrange extra activities in Iceland. Thanks for choosing Wildland Trekking!


Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however occasionally trips are subject to itinerary changes based on a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to: extreme weather, political or bureacratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • A detailed trip packet that takes the guesswork out of your travel, training, packing, and preparing for the trip
  • Access to our Adventure Consultant team 7 days a week
  • Transportation for the duration of the tour starting on Day 1 and ending on the day you depart
  • Lodging for the duration of the tour (double accommodations or single supplement)
  • Use of a day pack and trekking poles
  • All meals from breakfast on Day 2 through lunch on the last day of the trekking portion of the trip
  • Professional, knowledgeable, certified Iceland hiking and tour guides (U.S.-based guides)
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Transportation to Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Dinners in Reykjavik
  • Trip insurance that includes medical coverage and at least $200,000 in evacuation and repatriation coverage (strongly encouraged)
  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-15% of trip cost)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

This Iceland hiking tour features a combination of in-town meals and meals prepared by your guide. For the most part we'll be enjoying in-town meals for dinner and some breakfasts and carefully-selected restaurants and lodges, and lunches are prepared on the trail by your guides.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We can often accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee, and in some countries may be more difficult to accommodate than others. Please inquire with us for more information about the specific trip you're interested in.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Backpacks
  • Trekking poles
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? Simply click here and complete the form to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 48 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

We will meet you at Keflavik International Airport (in Reykjavik) on Day 1 and transport you to the first night's hotel (included), where we'll conduct an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the first evening (your flight needs to arrive before 3PM). Your guide will be in contact approximately 4 weeks before your trip to coordinate your rendezvous and answer any last-minute questions you have.


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. This trek is led by professional hiking guides (U.S.-based) along with additional support staff. All of our guides are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and all tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-888-966-TREK (8735) for more information.

In the interest of your safety, it's important to refer to the Center for Disease Control website for up-to-date recommendations on immunizations before your trip.


Guides

Your tour will be led by trained, experienced professionals (U.S.-based, click here to learn more) with solid guiding backgrounds, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on this hiking tour is 10 guests and 2-3 guides, with a minimum of 4 guests and 1 guide. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 888-966-TREK (8735) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


Weather in Iceland

The weather in Iceland is generally cool, and the country has what is considered a temperate climate. The relatively warm North Atlantic Current makes Iceland's temperatures more temperate than many places of similar latitude. It can be quite cool, rainy and windy in the summer, so being prepared with the proper rain gear and warmth layers is critical.

The average temperatures and precipitation in Iceland are:

Average Iceland Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
Month Hi Low Wet Days
June 54° F 45° F 15 days
July 60° F 50° F 15 days
August 57° F 48° F 16 days
September 52° F 43° F 18 days