Iceland

07-14 sep 2019

Iceland is one of the world's most incredible destinations, largely due to its jaw-dropping natural landscape. It has everything from lava fields to glaciers. However, visiting all the sights could take months and cost a fortune, which indicated several questions and you'll need some expertise to answer them.

Overwhelming questions

Some of your questions might include: How can you possibly decide what’s worth seeing when there are so many things to choose from like volcanos, geysers, waterfalls, hot water springs, basalt columns, huge crevices, glaciers, lagunes, and mud pools, and when several months wouldn’t be enough to see it all?
• Once you do have a rough itinerary, how can it be arranged so that it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? • Where should you book your stay and what should you eat in a country where a bed in a hostel can cost 100 euros a night? • What is the best time of year to go so the inclement weather doesn’t ruin your plans? • Is it better to go in winter when it’s cold and dark, or in summer when it’s light for 20 hours each day?

BTS has the Answers

Beyond the Standard’s answers to these tricky questions is two campervan tours of Iceland; one in autumn, one in summer. Each tour is organized by a local Icelandic tour guide who jam pack the itinerary with both the absolute must-see sights and hidden gems.
The campervan is a transformed minibus with heating, a table, chairs, a basic kitchen, a bed and bedding. By going with a campervan, you’ll get the spontaneity and adventure of backpacking, while also enjoying the comfort of a hotel stay. There’s always a place you can escape to when you need a moment, and you’ll have a warm bed to sleep in at the end of a long and exciting day.
It’s important to be flexible when touring Iceland. Your tour guides will keep an eye on the weather forecasts, and things can always be adapted if rain clouds make the existing plan tricky. In a country where it rains almost every day, the best kind of tour is one that can escape the clouds at a moment's notice. By keeping an eye on the weather and trying to steer clear of clouds, we have the best chance of seeing the northern lights during the autumn tour.
In Iceland, forward thinking and planning are super important, when it comes to keeping the reins on our budget too. One of the ways we keep the cost of our tour affordable is by shopping local ingredients together and cooking meals on our campervan’s grill.
Surprisingly, there are some things in Iceland, which are actually cheaper than in other parts of the world. These include world-class lamb hearts, cod, crustaceans, lamb, and beef. Forget that old stereotype of fermented shark meat!
AKUREYRIAKUREYRIHVERIRHVERIRMÝVATNMÝVATNSEYÐISFJÖRÐURSEYÐISFJÖRÐURHÖFNHÖFNJÖKULSÁRLÓNJÖKULSÁRLÓNSKAFTAFELLSKAFTAFELLFJAÐRÁRGLJÚFURFJAÐRÁRGLJÚFURVÍK Í MÝRDALVÍK Í MÝRDALSKÓGAFOSSSKÓGAFOSSGULLFOSSGULLFOSSGEYSIRGEYSIRREYKJAVÍKREYKJAVÍKHVERAGERÐIHVERAGERÐIKEFLAVÍKKEFLAVÍKKEFLAVÍK

D1 — Arrival, hot river, and lava tunnel (100 km)

Arriving at Keflavík airport, we’ll pick up our campervans. Then we’ll travel to the island’s south western corner to Hveragerði. Here we’ll check out the bubbling hot springs, and enjoy an excursion to the boiling lake where you can also bathe if you wish. Nearby, we’ll visit a lava tunnel, which is several thousands of years old. If you’re brave enough you can even climb inside.

D2 — Geysers, waterfalls, and natural baths (230 km)

Iceland’s most famous sight has got to be Geysir, after which geysers got their name. Gullfoss is the most famous of Iceland’s waterfalls, and after visiting it, we’ll explore another waterfall called Skógafoss from above, underneath, outside, and inside. We’ll actually spend tonight at the foot of this waterfall. For those who still have energy to burn, we’ll visit the outdoor swimming pool at Seljavallalaug, which is half natural and half man-made.

D3 — Basalt columns, canyon, glacier (180 km)

First up, we’ll visit the beautiful black basalt columns at Reynisfjara, which is situated on an impressive black sandy beach. Then, we’ll visit a stunning canyon before spending the night at Skaftafell at the foot of the Vatnajökull glacier.

D4 — Icebergs, seals, and Scandinavian townships (140 km)

In the morning we’ll climb up a hill and look out to see how icebergs and ice walls separate from the glacier and float out into the ocean. In what promises to be a magical moment, seals will play all around us. We’ll spend the evening in a small town called Höfn, where they serve the best lobster in all of Iceland. There’s also a great pool in Höfn where we can soak in the warm water or zip down water slides.

D5 — Fishing village, fjords, northern lights (420 km)

We’ll drive a lot, but the upside is that we’ll travel along the most beautiful scenic route available. We’ll pass fewer and fewer cars as we head to the north-west of the island. We’ll stop by a fishing village on the banks of a fjord, which would actually be the perfect set for a Wes Anderson film. We’ll spend the night right up north, on the banks of the Myvatn lake. If we’re lucky and it’s a clear night, we’ll be able to see the northern lights, too.

D6 — Bright blue thermal waters, a geothermal display, lava fields, and the north’s capital Akureyri (120 km)

Before we go swimming in what could be one of Iceland’s most beautifully bright blue thermal baths, we’ll visit an incredibly active geothermal display, full of bubbling mud pots and steam rising from the earth. Here at Hverirt we’ll also visit a lava field and the world's largest geothermal power plant. We’ll spend the night in Akureyri, which is Iceland's second biggest city. Tonight we’ll sleep not in our campervan but in a capsule hotel, which you might recognize if you’re into Japanese sci-fi.

D7 — Reykjavík (380 km)

We’ll go full steam ahead along the island’s north-eastern side to arrive in Reykjavík by the early afternoon. We’ll see the most famous sights of the capital, have time to buy souvenirs, we’ll dine out in a restaurant, go to a concert, and drink local craft beer for 5000 forints.

D8 — Homeward bound (50 km)

We’ll return our vans and jump on our flight home.
WANNAJOIN?
THE TRIPINFOSCHEDULEBOOKINGQ & A
Niceland– Vanlife Trip

07-14 SEP 2019

€1290

Info

ABILITY LEVEL

good driving skills or no experience required for those who don't drive the campervan

BEST SUITED FOR

couples, friends, families

MEETING POINT

Reykjavík airport / upon agreement in case of group travel

WEATHER

changeable, 8-13 ºC during the day, wind, rain, sunshine (anything can happen), 2-8 ºC in the night

ROAD CONDITIONS

very good quality concrete roads

vanlife equipments

sink with running water, refrigerator / cooler, gas stove + 1 gas bottle, cookware and kitchenware, sofa-bed, linen, duvets, pillows, high quality heating system, extra battery, GPS, table + 2 chairs

accommodation

campervan, capsule hotel in Akureyri, an iconic hostel in Reykjavík

FREE TIME/NIGHTLIFE

nice local craft beer bars, thermal bathes, grill parties

HOW BIG IS THE GROUP?

In one camp we can handle a maximum of 14 guests at the same time (7 vans)

what's included

2 people Nissan NV200 sleeping van, required vehicle insurances (compulsory + stone chip damage), complete camping equipment, BTS tour guide with local-specific knowledge, camping and accommodation throughout the whole trip

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

plane ticket, gasoline, food, possible entry fees, travel insurance, other vehicle insurances

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

driving license for the one who drives the van

APPLICATION DEADLINE

dependent on the available places

INSTALLMENT PAYMENT PLAN

40% upon application, 60% 2 months prior arrival

Schedule

DAY 01: ARRIVAL, HOT STREAM LAVA TUNNEL (100 km)

Arrival at Keflavík Airport, picking up the cars. We head to Hveragerði, to the South-West corner of the island. After checking the bubbling mud-springs, we take a walk to a hot stream, where we even take a dip in the water. If you are brave enough, you can climb into the not so far away lava tunnel.

DAY 02: GEYSER, WATERFALLS, NATURAL POOLS (230 KM)

The most famous sightseeing spots of Iceland: Geyser (the one and not only...but first discovered!) - all the geysers in the world were named after it, Gullfoss - the benchmark waterfall and last, but not least Skógafoss, which will be discovered by us inside out. The really energetic ones can discover the half-natural semi-built pool carved into the Seljavallalaug cliff.

DAY 03: ORGANS OF BASALT CANYON, GLACIER (180 KM)

First, we will check the basalt columns at Reynisfjara on a pitch-black beach covered by lava sand. Later on, we will make a trip to a beautiful canyon and spend the evening in Skaftafell, at the foot of Vatnajökull Glacier.

DAY 04: ICE FLOES, SEALS, SCANDINAVIAN VILLAGE (140 KM)

In the morning we will take a trip to the mountain and witness how the peeled off ice floes swim into the ocean, while seals are chasing each other around them. We spend the night in the camping of a small village, Höfn, where it is said to be the best crayfish in the whole of Iceland. Apart from that, they have a really cool swimming pool with hot water pools and slides.

DAY 05: FISHING VILLAGE, FJORDS (420 KM)

We will have a long drive on beautiful roads. As we are getting closer to the Northwest part, there are less and fewer people. In the middle of the long journey, we will have a break in a small fishing village, which gives the exact feeling of a Wes Anderson movie. We finish the day quite far in the north, on the shore of the Myavtn Lake.

DAY 06: OPAL-BLUE THERMAL, FIELDS OF LAVA, AKUREYRI (120 KM)

Before going to the thermal bath with beautiful blue water, we will have a visit at a surprisingly active volcanic valley, full of sulfurous eruptions, called Hverir. Here the world's biggest geothermal plant is working close to an already cooled down lava field. We spend the night in the second "biggest" city: Akureyri. We will experience the futuristic capsule-hotel feeling, well-known from Japanese sci-fis.

DAY 07: REYKJAVÍK (380 KM)

We drive through the Northwest part of the island in a single burst, with an early afternoon arrival to Reykjavík. The plan is to check out the most famous spots, buying some souvenirs, having a lunch/dinner in a restaurant, listening to a good concert and trying some local craft beers for around 20 euros.

DAY 08: BACK HOME (50 KM)

Taking the cars back and get on the plane.
Send us your application! Once we receive your details, we will send you the booking information. To confirm your booking, a deposit of 40% of the price of the given trip (or the full balance if within two months of the departure date) is required. This can be done by bank transfer.

Questions before booking?
Get in touch, or just pick interested.

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