The Wild and Wonderful West - Grand Tour
- Car Hire: 7 nights/8 days hire including Sat Nav, collision waiver and unlimited miles (from September to April a compact 4x4 (manual or automatic, Suzuki Vitara or similar) is included in the price. From May to August we include a compact 2-wheel drive car (VW Golf 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 Reykjavik Centrum Hotel
- Meals: 7 breakfasts
- A comprehensive guidebook and detailed map of Iceland are included
- A note on flights: flights are not included in the holiday price so that the best possible fares and schedule can be found at the time of booking. There are low cost and scheduled flights operating this route and our travel experts will happily provide a quotation and arrange the flights as part of the package
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.
We ensure that each night you head to a wonderful hotel in which you can relax and unwind.Read more
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 Oðinsve 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.
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.Included Meals: None
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.Included Meals: Breakfast
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!Included Meals: Breakfast
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.Included Meals: Breakfast
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.Included Meals: Breakfast
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.Included Meals: Breakfast
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.Included Meals: Breakfast
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 Meals: Breakfast
Included in price
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.
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.
Image credit: Visit Iceland
Upgrade your car hire
Guests can choose to upgrade their inclusive car hire to a larger 4 x 4 (if travelling during Sept-April) or a larger vehicle or 4 x 4 (May-August).
Our Travel Experts will be happy to provide you with a quotation based on the most appropriate vehicle for your party.
Dates & Prices
Thank you for your interest in this Artisan Travel experience.
Our Travel Experts have been to all the destinations we feature and love to share their experiences and insight. We want to match you with your perfect trip, so if you have any questions please get in touch; we will be happy to talk through the destinations and itineraries with you.
Everything ran like clockwork; planes, hire car, hotels, activities - so really stress-free for us. Overall a fantastic experience and Dawn's personal experience allowed us to see and experience so much more than we could have put together by ourselves, so big thanks there. It far surpassed our expectations, we loved it all. Would like to stay at Hotel Budir in the summer and explore the peninsula properly, and if there's a next time, visit the North and the fjords too.
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.