Iceland's Wild and Wonderful West - Grand Tour
- Duration:7 nights
- Pace:Set your own
- Suitable for: Anybody over the age of 18. See our terms for further information.
- Midnight Sun Dates: 16 - 29 June
- Car Hire: 7 nights/8 days hire including Sat Nav, collision waiver and unlimited miles (from September to April a compact 4x4 (Suzuki Grand Vitara or similar) is included in the price. From May to August we include a mini 2-wheel drive car (VW UP! or similar) with the option to upgrade if clients wish – see ‘Personalise’ for details
- Accommodation: 2 nights Hotel Glymur, 2 nights Búðir, 2 nights Hótel Egilsen, 1 night Hotel Holt
- Meals: 7 breakfasts
- A comprehensive guidebook, detailed map of Iceland and comprehensive driving instructions are included
This seven-night Iceland self-drive holiday has been carefully designed to showcase the highlights of the unforgettable Snaefellsnes Peninsula in the west of this wonderful island. Often referred to as ‘Iceland in Miniature’, the area offers volcanic landscapes, vast glaciers, spectacular coastline and charming fishing villages; all within a short distance of one another.
We have used our experience and expertise to create an ideal routing through the region for our guests and this agenda outlines some of the sights and experiences we feel are unmissable. However, as you have your own car you can explore Iceland at your own pace and indulge in the places that you wish to. You can be as active or as relaxed as you like and can tailor your time to suit your needs.Read more
We ensure that each night you head to a wonderful hotel in which you can relax and unwind.
We have included accommodation at four of West Iceland's most unique and interesting hotels. Hotel Glymur, with its incredible scenic fjord views; Hotel Búðir with its traditional feel, secluded setting and world famous menu; Hotel Egilsen which offers boutique rooms, an environmentally friendly approach and a fabulous breakfast; and finally Hotel Holt in Reykjavik which has a lovely laid-back atmosphere and ideal location just outside the main hustle and bustle of the city but a very short walk to all of its wonderful shops, restaurants, cafés and other attractions.
To describe Iceland, you need a fairly broad vocabulary as it needs more than a few words to do it justice – ethereal, breathtaking, dramatic, remarkable, wonderful, welcoming...the list goes on. The geography, the natural wonders, the food and the culture all combine to offer visitors an island retreat that captures the hearts of the people who visit.
Day 1 Arrival and Hotel Glymur
Upon arrival at Keflavik Airport, you will collect your car, set the Sat Nav and set off.
You will head straight out to Hotel Glymur (approximately a one and a half hour drive), where you can check in and relax. The hotel offers spectacular views of the fjords and mountains and so this location is an ideal introduction to the scenery of Iceland.
Day 2 The Fjord of the Whales
The Hvalfjörður (Whale Fjord) stretches out to sea close to your hotel and so today we recommend that you perhaps explore the local area. There are some fantastic walking trails on offer with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
This is also a good place from which to take in the wonderful Golden Circle of Iceland: the attractions of Gullfoss Waterfall, Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park and the exploding hot springs of Geysir. These are exceptional sights and well worth the detour.
There is much to see and do before you return to the hotel for a relaxing evening.
Day 3 The Snæfellsnes Peninsula
Today you will travel across the southern part of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula where you will spend two nights in boutique accommodation at Hotel Búðir.
Driving directly from Hotel Glymur to Hotel Búðir will take around two hours but you will undoubtedly want to take your time and stop off to enjoy the scenery as you go.
As you drive along the peninsula you will see volcanic formations, white sandy beaches, fjords, craters and a rich variety of birdlife (there are around 350 species in Iceland – look out for puffins, harlequin ducks and Brünnichs guillemots). You will also see the Snæfellsjökull Glacier in the distance - you can explore it at closer quarters later in the week. The area which surrounds Snæfellsjökull has been designated as a national park and the scenery here is incredible.
Tonight you will stay at Hotel Búðir – a charming, boutique hotel with stunning views across the peninsula. The food here is renowned not only throughout Iceland but across the world, so we would advise getting here in time for dinner!
Day 4 Southern Snæfellsnes
Today is your opportunity to enjoy the southern part of the peninsula and we would suggest a scenic walk to Arnarstapi, a small fishing village with a picturesque harbour at the foot of Mount Stapafell. Here you will have the opportunity to see magnificent rock formations, basalt columns and the mountain itself.
There is also an old horse trail past the lake at Neðstavatn which is now a popular hiking trail across the lava and along the beach to Hellnar. The long white beach here, Löngufjörur, is a wonderful place to enjoy horse riding too – it would be a shame to come to Iceland and not get acquainted with the famous Icelandic ponies!
The old village of Hellnar is also very much worth a visit. Whales are frequently spotted within the harbour and the ancient volcanic landscape is a visual treat.
Tonight you will spend another evening at Hotel Búðir.
Day 5 Journey to the Centre of the Earth
Your exploration today will lead you toward the wonderfully quirky and welcoming Hótel Egilsen which is approximately a one hour drive away.
You will travel via the Snæfellsjökull National Park. Here the active Snæfellsjökull Volcano lies beneath the magnificent glacier of the same name.
This volcano earned its fame in Jules Verne’s ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ as it was detailed as being the place where the journey would begin.
There are a wealth of walks in the shadow of the mountain, indeed there are popular hiking trails to the crater which can be accessed in good weather. Good hiking maps can be purchased in Iceland.
The Vatnshellir Caves are also highly recommended as here you can explore the intact lava tube which is located 32m below the earth's surface (book and pay locally).
As you continue, guests interested in the heritage of Iceland may enjoy the Saga Centre at Grundarfjörður – a lovely village set in a picturesque bay.
The day will come to a close in the harbour town of Stykkishólmur.
Tonight and tomorrow night you will be staying at Hótel Egilsen – a welcoming base in the centre of the town.
Day 6 Stykkishólmur
Hótel Egilsen is famous for its breakfasts, so be sure to give yourself enough time to appreciate the homemade breads, granola and berries before you head out to explore.
Today is the perfect opportunity to wander around Stykkishólmur and enjoy the cafés, shops and picturesque location of this charming fishing village.
Boat trips to the delightful island of Flatey can also be arranged here (payable locally & weather permitting). The island is the perfect place to enjoy the very best of Icelandic nature and appreciate a laid-back day by the sea.
Day 7 The largest hot spring in Europe and Reykjavik
The journey from Hótel Egilsen to Reykjavik takes just over two hours. On the way, we would suggest detouring via the Deildatunguhver Spring. This is Europe's biggest hot spring, where 100°C water can be seen bubbling up at 200 litres a second. The volume of hot water is such that it provides central heating for the majority of the nearby towns.
The most northerly capital city in the world is charming and the appeal of its café culture, quirky shops, beautiful architecture and mountainous backdrop ensures it captures the hearts of visitors; this is your base for the last night of your holiday.
Your centrally-located hotel is an ideal base from which to explore (parking is nearby and payable locally) and the city is small enough to mean that most attractions are within easy walking distance.
You can sample the delights of one of the many wonderful restaurants here this evening and explore at your own pace.
Day 8 Depart or extend your stay
Depending on your flight times today, you may like to enjoy a visit to the world famous Blue Lagoon on your way back to the airport. Here, you can bathe in the misty blue and mineral rich waters and unwind ahead of your flights. Entry is payable locally and we always recommend a visit to this truly unique attraction as either the perfect way to relax into the beginning of your holiday on the first day or bid farewell to your memorable time in Iceland.
If you can’t quite bring yourself to leave today then please contact our travel experts who are able to design a wealth of options for you so you can explore Iceland further.
Included in price
Ideally located 45 minutes from Reykjavik, Hotel Glymur overlooks the stunning Whale fjord and at the end of the fjord, the Glymur waterfall (which is one of the highest waterfalls in Europe) can be seen.
Tranquil, remote and romantic are the words that have been used to describe this beautiful resort – simply drink in the scenery!
There are some great places of interest to visit in the area including the Akranes Museum Centre which displays a collection of old Icelandic houses, the Akranes Folk Museum holding a collection of historical exhibits and the Museum of Icelandic Minerals with its comprehensive displays of rocks, minerals, and fossils.
The hotel consists of 22 rooms, 2 suites and 6 creatively designed villas.
- The restaurant serves a variety of local dishes such as lamb, fish and seafood specialities. Breakfasts are served buffet style - the freshly made walnut bread and chocolate croissants are not to be missed!
- The outdoor hydro-massage hot tub (using the geothermal sources of water). This feature continues to be a guest favourite for soothing those muscles after a day's activity
- Free Wi-Fi
- A lounge and bar area which is perfect to relax in the evenings
Guest bedroom types
The rooms all have a mezzanine level with the bed at the top, a small living area and bathroom on the lower level. All rooms have a great array of facilities including high-speed Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, a coffee machine and a hairdryer.
The two suites are equipped with double/twin beds, massage bathtubs, flat screen TVs, electric beds with massage, an espresso machine and stereo equipment.
The six themed villas are each designed to create an enchanting atmosphere. Each one offers a luxurious retreat with a style and colour, which is dependent on whether the theme is elegance, creativity, romance, couture, family or nature. Guests enjoy the spectacular view overlooking Whale Fjord through large south facing windows. Each villa includes en-suite bedrooms, bathrooms and open plan kitchens and is equipped with hot tubs and outdoor furniture.
Image credit: Hotel Glymur
Located in a wonderfully peaceful setting, Hotel Búðir is on the westernmost tip of the Snæfellsnes peninsula and offers incredible panoramic views of the local area, in particular, the natural beauty of the Snæfellsjökull glacier, volcanoes, craters and glaciers.
Just a stone's throw away from the hotel is the oldest wooden church in Iceland – well worth a visit.
The guest bedrooms all offer enchanting views of the mountains or the sea, perhaps you can spot seals coming and going or even catch a glimpse of a whale?
With a long and varied history, the hotel prides itself on quality service and enhancing the guest experience. The restaurant is the self-proclaimed 'Mecca of Icelandic dining'. The chefs are dedicated to high-quality dishes and culinary detail, with local and seasonal produce used where possible. The hotel has a wonderfully cosy atmosphere with several members of the same family working in the hotel, you will almost certainly encounter the family's friendly chocolate labrador, Nagli.
Guest bedroom types
The hotel has 28 guest bedrooms that can be made up either as a double or twin. Every room has an en-suite bathroom, a TV, a DVD player, Wi-Fi and a hairdryer. The unique design of the hotel lends itself to all the guest bedrooms varying in terms of size and decor.
Image credits: Hotel Búðir
The Hótel Egilsen has been described as the prettiest and most tastefully decorated hotels in Iceland. Its perfect setting is a newly converted house close to the harbour in Stykkishólmur and surrounded by beautiful scenery.
Local attractions include a swimming pool with apparent regenerative powers, endless hiking trails and the nearby Snæfellsjökull National Park.
The warm greeting you receive from Gréta, the hotel owner, makes you feel instantly welcome. She relishes discussing the story of the hotel and passing on tips and advice on how to get the most of your adventure.
Gréta's breakfast is an absolute treat and her fresh and healthy kitchen utilises local and seasonal products to offer her guests a variety of granola, eggs, famous Icelandic yoghurt and locally caught fish.
With only ten rooms, the hotel has a delightfully intimate feel. The rooms are small but bright and comfortable. Additional features such as power showers, iPads and free Wi-Fi all enhance your stay here.
Image credit: Hótel Egilsen
This boutique-style hotel has the benefit of being located in the centre of Reykjavik, yet tucked away on a quiet street and away from the hustle and bustle of the centre. It is located in a quiet, residential area called Þingholt, known for its beautiful houses and gardens. Up to a five-minute walk away, you can find the Main Street and downtown Reykjavik, the Hallgrímskirkja Church Tower and many other fascinating sights. The hotel’s Gallery Restaurant is a true highlight when staying here – so popular that the hotel recommends booking ahead in order to secure a table. The dining room showcases the most valued pieces of the hotel’s art collection and the warm reds and dark wooden interior creates a charming atmosphere that is not to be missed.
- The hotel reception is open 24 hours should you require assistance at any time, and the staff are always happy to give recommendations to their guests.
- In case you require a computer during your visit, the hotel lobby area has its own business centre with two computers and a printer.
- High- speed internet is available, for free, in all rooms and throughout the hotel for all guests.
Your double or twin room is complete with coffee and tea making facilities and a mini-bar for hot drinks and extra snacks.
- Each room has its own private en suite, and a bathrobe, hairdryer and all necessary toiletries are provided, including shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, soap and toothpaste.
- Hotel guests receive 10% off the a la carte menu at the popular Gallery Restaurant.
- If you desire some extra relaxation during your stay, a small fitness room and massage room are on the premises.
- The hotel’s buffet breakfast is included in the price and offers items such as eggs, bacon, breads, ham, cheese, yoghurts and croissants.
Your double or twin room is complete with all facilities that you might need during your trip. Your en suite includes your own shower, and comes prepared with all toiletries, saving you from packing heavy and bulky liquids in your bag. In your room, you will also find a telephone, a safe, a luggage rack to store your bags and a large closet for all of your clothing.
Personalise this tour
Reykjavik is a city which offers both small town friendliness and cool urban cosmopolitanism. Visitors to the most northerly capital in the world can enjoy a wide range of distinctive architecture, a vibrant café culture and some five-star dining experiences.Read more
Attractions such as art galleries are also worth visiting and the city's long and rich history means there is a variety of museums to enjoy, detailing its Viking past up to its integral use as a base during WWII. The city is also well known internationally for its thriving nightlife, particularly during the long nights of the Midnight Sun. An extended stay in Reykjavik can be added to any of our Iceland trips, and our sales team would be happy to discuss your accommodation and flight option with you, simply contact us for a quote.
Upgrade your car hire
Guests can choose to upgrade their inclusive car hire to a larger 4 x 4 (travelling in winter) or a larger vehicle or 4 x 4 (travelling in summer).
Our Travel Experts will be happy to provide you with a quotation based on the most appropriate vehicle for your party.
Dates & Prices
We include more, no hidden costs
Next year's provisional dates and prices
|Departure dates between|
Sat 30 Sep 2017Enquire
Fri 30 Mar 2018
|Adults£ 1,540||Single Adult£ 2,550|
Sat 31 Mar 2018Enquire
Sun 29 Apr 2018
|Adults£ 2,090||Single Adult£ 3,430|
Mon 30 Apr 2018Enquire
Thu 30 Aug 2018
|Adults£ 2,130||Single Adult£ 3,520|
Fri 31 Aug 2018Enquire
Sat 29 Sep 2018
|Adults£ 2,270||Single Adult£ 3,770|
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
Minimum 2 people
Most of our holidays require a minimum number of participants to operate. Minimum numbers are detailed on each holiday page and are always approximate. Group sizes for tailor made holidays will vary for each of the activities. For private departures you may also be joined by other guests during the activities unless you have discussed specific private activities with us.
If your selected date has not yet reached minimum numbers you will be informed at the time of booking. In the unlikely event that your chosen date has not reached the required minimum numbers nine weeks before your scheduled departure date we will contact you and discuss the various options available to you. We will always do all we can to operate a holiday and in some cases we may be able to operate the holiday by combining your itinerary with that of other guests for some activities (this may mean that the maximum group size is increased but this will be discussed in full with you).
If we are unable to operate the holiday then you will be offered the chance to transfer to an alternative holiday or date (subject to availability). If the alternative is more expensive you will be asked to pay the difference, if it is cheaper then you will be reimbursed. You will also be offered the option to cancel and receive a full refund of all monies paid.
Whilst Artisan Travel only sells holidays to those aged 18 years and over on a small selection of holidays there may be those under the age of 18 who have booked with other companies and where our local supplier also allow those under 18 to participate (additional activities during tailor made holidays for example). Our travel experts will answer any concerns you may have in this regard.
Medical History and advice
You must inform us at the time of booking if any of your party has a disability, medical or behavioural conditions which could affect their own participation in the holiday or indeed that of the other people on the holiday.
We cannot be held responsible for any incident or event arising from your failure to do so.
Experience and fitness
Any activities included in your itinerary are all designed for beginners. Full instruction and tuition is provided for all activities and you do not need to have any previous experience. For example you need never have set foot on a pair of skis of any kind before a cross-country ski tour. We have adults of all ages and fitness levels taking part in our holidays.
We do highlight certain itineraries where an increased level of fitness is required.If you have any questions at all with regards to fitness levels please get in touch and talk to one of our experts. You can find further details in our trip preparation section online. You must inform us at the time of booking if any of your party has a disability, medical or behavioural conditions which could affect their own participation in the holiday or indeed that of the other people on the holiday.
Guides and safety
It is absolutely essential when partaking in any activity that you listen very closely to, and abide by, the instructions provided. Nobody knows the environment better than our activity providers who work here almost everyday.
Consequently, their knowledge and experience is unsurpassed. If there is anything that you are unsure of during a safety briefing or that you would like to clarify with the guides please make this clear to them immediately before starting the activity.
There may be rare occasions when our guides consider local conditions unsuitable for a certain activity. Hence, your itinerary may be subject to change at short notice but we will always endeavour to firstly find a replacement on the day and secondly, to provide the cancelled activity later in your stay whenever possible. Very occasionally it proves impossible to provide the activity in which case you will be refunded when you return home.
Our guides' word on activities is always final and your safety is their principal concern at all times, please respect their decisions. By following their instructions, your safety and enjoyment during each activity will be greatly enhanced.
You must inform us of any medical conditions that may affect your participation in an activity at the time of booking.
Booking activities locally
In almost all of our destinations you can book and pay for additional activities locally. Please note that we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss that occurs through any activities that are booked in your destination (see our terms and conditions for further details).
Please always ensure that your safety is your primary concern when arranging any such activity.
If your trip includes car hire the named driver must have a credit card registered in their name which they can present when they collect their car along with their driving licence, as a deposit will be held on the credit card. Please see your trip dossier for full details.
We hope to travel back to Iceland 01 May 2016 by Mr & Mrs Stamper-Iveson
Accommodation and food was very good and we enjoyed the variety of styles. The locations were all good and we particularly liked the little boutique hotel at Stykisshulmur. We hope to travel back to Iceland - possibly the north and maybe with a 4x4 option. Generally a very good trip and loved the scenery.