A sparsely populated place of spouting geysers, spectacular glaciers and geothermic pools, Iceland entertains with art and sagas, myths and music, fine restaurants and the fantastic Aurora Borealis. The warmth of its welcome belies its name.
Iceland is a feat of Nature, where bright white, jade green, and cobalt blue icebergs echo the ethereal colours of the Aurora Borealis; icicles and crystal frosts cling to the cliffs of winter waterfalls; and coastal villages hunker down in weather-beaten bays.
With 70% of its terrain uninhabitable by humans, its eerily empty but supremely scenic landmass is the meeting point where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are exposed, a mesmerising mix of mountains, hot springs, and lava fields, glaciers, geysers, and growling volcanos.
Reyjavik is the world’s most northerly capital, small enough to stroll around but big on cosmopolitan atmosphere; replete with cafés, classic galleries, and quirky street art, a busy harbour, vibrant downtown district, hilltop Perlan Museum with its rotating glass dome, and landmark Hallgrimskirkja church.
Akureyri is Iceland’s ‘second city’ and northern cultural hub, on a fjord just 62 miles from the Arctic Circle, boasting museums and galleries, the Hof concert hall, and the northernmost Botanical Gardens on earth; while Vik, the southernmost settlement, is home to the high-tech LAVA Volcano & Earthquake Centre.
Natural wonders include Skaftafell, sculpted by volcanic eruptions and age-old glaciers, its ice formations edging deep crevasses; other-worldly Jökulsárlón, where icebergs calve from the glacier edge, cracking and crashing into the lagoon; and Hnappavellir, with Iceland’s highest mountain behind it, and Europe’s largest glacier on its doorstep.
Selfoss is the launch pad for the Golden Circle, with the country’s mightiest cascade, Gullfoss (‘golden falls’), dropping 32m to career between canyon walls; the famous Geysir hot spring, lending its name to all the world’s geysers; and UNESCO listed Thingvellir National Park, with mountain peaks and moss-softened magma fields.
In the north, the spectacularly varied topography of Snaefellsnes National Park is factually known as ‘Iceland in Miniature’, and fictionally famous as the focus of Jules Verne’s ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’. Hauganes hems whale-watching waters, the 18th century Turf Houses of Glaumbaer give a glimpse of bygone days, the gorgeous ‘Godafoss’ translates as ‘waterfall of the Gods’, and near the tiny town of Grundarfjördur, Iceland’s most photographed mountain, Kirkjufell, stands alone at the edge of the ocean.
While the Gulf Stream gives Iceland a cool, relatively temperate maritime climate, it is counterbalanced by the cold winds from the North Pole, resulting in unpredictable sudden changes in the weather, but the temperature range is narrow across the seasons, and between day and night. Hovering around freezing in the winter months, though it can have spells at -10 to -15°, the warmest months are July and August, at +9 to 15°C.
Jules Verne journeys are timed for the climate conditions best suited to the focus and destinations of the tour; late-winter for the Northern Lights, early-summer for the Midnight Sun.
The sun barely sets in the months of the Midnight Sun, mid-May to mid-July; the Northern Lights are best seen in the dark skies of winter, November to February; and Iceland’s northern reaches are most accessible and impressive in spring and autumn, so choose the tour which meets your ideal.
Touring the south and west in January to March, and the north in May, June, September and October, all Jules Verne’s tours spend time in the capital, Reykjavik, a perfect counterpoint to Iceland’s untamed landscapes, which thrill adventurous and intrepid travellers.
Please be aware that many sites are reached on foot, and may include steps, inclines, snow-covered paths, or uneven surfaces.
With 45 years’ experience and a passion for creating extraordinary adventures, Jules Verne takes you to iconic landmarks and lesser-known sites, with expert tour guides who share their local knowledge, and show you hidden gems. Interludes and experiences on our journeys in Iceland range from a Hauganes whale watching cruise to enjoying a tasting of Kalki’s Icelandic ale, hiking to Svartifoss waterfall, meeting the famous Icelandic horses, and plunging into the 38° water of the Blue Lagoon, encricled by soft snow.
All our guided tours to Iceland are ABTA and ATOL protected, and we offer a 100% price guarantee, so you can book with complete confidence.
'Ice' Land of the Northern Lights
A four-night break in the legendary landscapes of the Land of Ice & Fire, this tour focuses on Iceland’s southwestern region, seeing the geysers of the Golden Circle, staying in Reykjavik and the scenic surrounds of Selfoss, and visiting villages on the ocean’s edge
Journey to the Centre of the Earth
Touring the north of Iceland, from small towns and colourful villages to spectacular landscapes of mountains and waterfalls, fjords and lava fields, lakes and craters; and including a whale-watching cruise and time in the capital, Reykjavik; all Icelandic life is here