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Yacht Experiences

Circumnavigating Iceland: The Land Of Fire And Ice

Iceland is an ideal destination for a yacht charter. During this unique experience, you will circumnavigate the entirety of Iceland exploring ice caves, discovering crashing waterfalls, and hiking landscapes shaped by geothermal activity. Uncover stunning national parks and enjoy close encounters with unique wildlife such as puffins, whales, and arctic foxes.

When to go:
May – September

REYKJAVIK

Begin your yacht charter in Reykjavik, a vibrant city that thrums with activity. Spend a morning walking around the old town and getting to know this stunning capital city. Leave the city behind and make your way to Krýsuvík an area of intense geothermal activity. Here you can use walkways to cross the uneven earth and witness plumes of steam billowing from waterways and channels that criss-cross the landscapes.

Embark on a hike up to Fagradalsfjall Volcano. This volcano was formed in April 2021, when a new fissure vent opened. There is no experience quite like hiking the barren moonscape and experiencing views of orange molten rock, glowing rivers, and the sounds of the earth splitting apart. After a challenging day of hiking, head to some nearby geothermal hot springs and allow your body to sink into absolute relaxation as the volcanic waters relieve you of your tension. From here make your way to the south coast where your luggage will be ready for you onboard your waiting yacht.

REYKJANESFÓLKVANGUR

After a hearty breakfast onboard, make your way to the beautiful Blue Mountain range where you will meet a local mountain biking guide. They will guide you through this landscape as you bike across the landscape taking in lakes, waterways, forests, and lava fields as well red pseudo-craters that paint a distinctive picture among the trees. 

Continue your bike ride after lunch and reach a nearby stable where you can hop on an Icelandic pony and continue your journey on horseback. These horses are renowned for their distinctive trot and sturdy appearance ideal for reaching remote areas cut off from vehicles. Return to your vessel after your riding experience for a well-earned dinner on board made with the freshest local ingredients.

ÞINGVELLIR

Located just 49km away from Reykjavik, Thingvellir houses the dramatic Gullfoss waterfall, geothermal valleys, and the North Atlantic Rift where you can see exposed tectonic plates. Silfra, one of the world’s most exceptional snorkelling and diving sites, is located on top of the tectonic plates between Europe and America. Discover this spectacular underwater landscape as you float in the crystal clear, filtered water for a true bucket list experience

As well as having the opportunity to swim in the rift between these continents, Thingvellir offers a wealth of landscapes just waiting to be explored. Discover bright moss that clings to the cracks of the earth’s crust and seek out wildlife, including Arctic foxes, mink, and a variety of bird species. Return to your yacht in the evening for a well-earned dinner on board. While you cruise you will be treated to a private Icelandic performance on deck by local musicians.

MOUNT ESJA

Leave your vessel early for a day of hiking and climbing. Take to the winding trails of Mount Esja where you can follow winding trails that run up the side of the mountain. Choose the difficulty of your ascent from one of the three different trails that run up the mountain. As you hike you will be accompanied by the relaxing sounds of a nearby river that runs down the mountain. Once you reach the top, the views are nothing short of spectacular and reach far in every direction.

From here make your way to Glymur Waterfall, the second-highest waterfall in Iceland. Here you will hike to the top of the waterfall passing by rugged canyons covered in bright green moss. At the peak of your hike, you will even have the chance to cross the river just above the crashing waterfall, an experience that is sure to get your adrenaline pumping. Look out over the waterfall as you enjoy a wild lunch accompanied by the sound of churning white waters.

Make your way to Langjokull, a landscape of wild and untouched beauty where you can discover the raw natural power of the glaciers here. Until now, what lay beneath the surface of the Langjökull glacier had been a mystery, known only to a small group of scientists and glaciologists. It is possible to enter and explore the first and biggest man-made ice cap glacier ice cave in the world. Return to your yacht in the evening and cruise overnight to Hornstrandir.

HORNSTRANDIR

This territory of Iceland has been uninhabited since the 1950s. Completely off the grid, it’s like going back in time, a hiker’s paradise. There are no cars or roads in Hornstrandir and its unspoiled roughness, ever-changing weather, and incredible landscape make every trip there an experience of a lifetime. Witness sheer basalt mountains stretch from the sea to the sky chaotically divided by deep fjords, secluded alcoves, and valleys.

The crawling glaciers of the last ice age have hewn ancient mountain passes and lakes into the rugged peninsula and there the arctic fox wanders in its natural environment. A guide will be on hand with you the whole time to ensure that you don’t miss any of the elusive wildlife of this area. In the evening enjoy a wild dinner in this secluded area prepared for you by your crew.

TROLL PENINSULA

The Troll Peninsula is every skier’s dreamland, with about 90% of the mountains skiable, meaning there are not many cliff faces or flat spots. June is the last month you can ski and during this month you have incredible corn snow, minimal avalanche danger, and the never-setting Midnight Sun allowing you to ski at any hour during the day or night. What really sets the Troll Peninsula apart from any other heli-ski destination is the fact that you can ski up to 1300m runs, with views over and all the way down to, the ocean. Ski from summit to sea where you will be picked up by one of your vessel’s tenders and taken back to your yacht for a well-earned sundowner on deck.

MYVATN

Indulge in a leisurely breakfast on board before heading inland towards Lake Myvatn stopping at the spectacular Goðafoss Waterfall. The Waterfall of the Gods, Goðafoss is one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland, the most powerful waterfall in Europe, and has inspired some of the country’s most iconic folklore.  Leave the crashing waterfall behind and make your way on towards Lake Myvatn.

This beautiful lake has been created by the remnants of geothermal activity and you will discover lava fortresses, huge craters, and basalt pillars that surround the glittering water as you hike or bike across the landscape. In the afternoon continue your journey around the lake’s geothermal surroundings on foot or on bikes. Here plumes of steam billow into the air and the earth is a spectrum of blues, greens, browns, and reds.

BAKKAGERÐI

After breakfast, hop into tenders, and paddleboards and explore the rugged Icelandic coastline. Here you will have the opportunity to take in soaring cliff faces and waterfalls that cascade into the ocean. Spot wildlife from humpback whales to killer whales, as well as a number of other marine species. Undertake this experience in summer and even get the chance to catch a breaching humpback whale under the light of the midnight sun. In the evening stop off at a remote beach where you can enjoy fresh, local fish cooked to perfection by your vessel’s onboard chef.

Svartifoss Waterfall in Iceland Credit Guy Peterson Watching a Whale Breach in Iceland
Wildflowers in Iceland Credit Guy Peterson Icelandic Ponies In The Snow in Iceland

VATNAJÖKULL NATIONAL PARK

The largest National Park in Iceland, Vatnajökull is the true home of fire and ice, containing the largest glacier in Europe and ten central volcanoes. Spend a day here trekking through electric blue ice caves or gear up with crampons, ice axes, and a harness to try your hand at ice climbing. For something truly exceptional, descend into one of the glacier crevasses and be surrounded on all sides by glittering blue ice. At the top of your climb enjoy a warming drink.

For something a little higher octane, explore the park in ATVs or Arctic Trucks. These specially modified vehicles can tackle the most extreme conditions in and the roughest terrain, from rugged mountains to glaciers. 

ÞÓRSMÖRK

Explore Þórsmörk, the Valley of Thor, a nature reserve in the southern Icelandic Highlands. Nestled between three glaciers, this stunning national park has some of the most stunning hiking in the whole of Iceland. Sheltered by glaciers and further south than most other national parks, Þórsmörk has a warm and wet microclimate that allows lush emerald vegetation to grow. Set out on foot on a trail that will take you through the hills beneath the Eyjafjallajökull glacier volcano and along volcanic craters whose lava rock is still warm from their last eruption in 2010. 

REYKJANES PENINSULA

Your final day in Iceland will be a day of adrenaline and heart-pumping adventure. With a craggy coastline a little over 3000 miles long, Iceland has plenty of potential for surf exploration, but without crowds to push the search for empty breaks further afield (some context, it’s the most sparsely populated country in Europe) much of the Icelandic surf scene is centred around the Reykjanes Peninsula. This peninsula points southwest into the North Atlantic and plays host to a range of surf spots, from lava reefs to boulder points and black sand beaches.

Using a helicopter to reach a distant surf break brings a new dimension to an already exciting activity. guides and Instructors will be on hand with you at all times to ensure that you remain safe while also catching the most epic waves. Surfing with a small ice axe on your side will give you the chance to climb and leap across icebergs, a thrilling experience that few have the chance to undertake. From here return to Reykjavik where you will begin your journey home.