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Luxury Trips to Iceland: Vacation and Travel Guide

Experience an unforgettable European adventure with our custom-designed Iceland vacations and insightful travel guide.

Land of fire and ice

Iceland, often referred to as the Land of Fire and Ice, is a stark yet stunning country of contrasts. Its landscape is dotted with over a hundred volcanoes, some active and others lying dormant beneath vast, ancient glaciers. Dramatic lava fields stretch out like waves frozen in time, contrasting sharply against the cool serenity of the glacial expanses.

Visitors to Iceland are greeted by more than just its natural wonders; the nation has cultural and urban charms as well. The capital city, Reykjavik, is the heart of Iceland where two-thirds of the population live. With its colorful houses and innovative architecture, it serves as a cozy yet cosmopolitan base for exploring the island’s more rugged attractions, while inviting restaurants offer a chance to taste Iceland’s unique cuisine, which often includes fresh and locally sourced seafood and lamb.

Leaving the charms of the city behind, the Golden Circle awaits. This popular route allows for the exploration of spectacular natural phenomena – including the Gullfoss waterfall, the Strokkur geyser, and Thingvellir National Park – that are unlike anything else on Earth.

Intrepid travelers can also engage in thrilling activities that take full advantage of the rugged Icelandic topography. ATV tours along the country’s stark shorelines, horseback riding on sturdy Icelandic horses, and jeep excursions into the hearts of dormant volcanoes are just a few of the adventures that offer an up-close experience of this extraordinary landscape.

Whether choosing to traverse the vast wilderness via self-drive or opting for the luxury of a private driver, staying in the lively capital or a serene countryside retreat, one thing remains consistent: the warm hospitality of the Icelandic people and the magnificence of the natural world, which is sure to make any visit to this unique island an unforgettable adventure.

Fun Facts About Iceland: Awe and Wonder

Jody in Iceland
Iceland glacier
Icelandic horses
Iceland is one of the world’s most Instagrammable destinations

Iceland’s landscapes offer a vast canvas for Instagrammers, featuring the spectacular Northern Lights, vast glaciers, and geothermal wonders such as the Blue Lagoon. With waterfalls, black sand beaches, and volcanic terrain adding to its allure, it’s a photographer’s paradise. 

The island also boasts unique wildlife like puffins, whales, and moss-covered lava rocks, giving rise to mesmerizing photos. Reykjavik’s vibrant street art, historical Viking traditions, and the thrill of glacial hikes and hot spring dips contribute to the visual feast. Use #IcelandTravel and related tags to share Iceland’s photogenic wonders.

Iceland: A land of stunning contrasts

Iceland, often referred to as the Land of Fire and Ice, presents a diverse landscape where the power of nature creates a land of dramatic contrasts. Glaciers like Vatnajökull, Europe’s largest, sit close to active volcanoes, occasionally leading to magnificent eruptions due to the geothermal activity beneath them. 

Visitors experience the extremes of Iceland’s celestial patterns with the midnight sun in summer and the dark polar nights in winter, the latter of which is occasionally lit by the Aurora Borealis.

Beyond its natural wonders, Iceland juxtaposes a reverence for Viking heritage and traditions with the progressive and modern lifestyle seen in its capital, Reykjavik. This city is known for contemporary architecture, a robust arts scene, and forward-thinking social attitudes.

Iceland is home to a unique breed of horse

Discover the enchanting world of Icelandic horses, a national treasure of Iceland with a rich Viking heritage. Known for their small size but great strength and unique five gaits, these horses offer smooth and swift riding experiences. Cherished for their gentle temperament, they form enduring bonds with riders of all skill levels. 

Iceland’s commitment to preserving their pure lineage means these horses encapsulate the heart of the country’s culture and spirit. Visitors can experience the joy of riding an Icelandic horse and learning about their history and development.

Wild landscapes, warm hospitality & northern lights

Itineraries to Inspire

Each trip we create is individually customized uniquely for you, and how you like to travel. Here is a selection of ideas to help you select what is best for you. 

Full-service itineraries in Iceland start at $1000 per person, per day.

Contact us to plan your personalized Iceland trip today.


Kris SeegerKris Seeger
22:33 28 Oct 22
The Founder's Trip to Turkey this month was amazing in every respect. From start to finish, just perfection! Greg's personally curated outstanding itinerary set the stage for the best small group trip we have ever taken. From our greeting at the Istanbul Airport to our goodbye in Bodrum, everything was seamless ---first class hotel accommodations; fabulous guide; excellent drivers/vehicles; and wonderful dining venues. Every day was filled with history, joy and new friends. We cannot wait to travel with Exeter International again! Kris & Chris
Jennifer AndrewsJennifer Andrews
16:52 24 Jun 22
All my trips with Exeter have been amazing. I worked with Ala and Gwen for different trips and they go above and beyond to make the trip exceptional. They have access to places others don’t, they plan everything from the perfect hotel, experiences and even incredible restaurants. Even better, they communicate within so Ala was able to get with Gwen and tell her my likes and dislikes. You work with the person with the most knowledge of the area you are going and they genuinely know it inside and out. I totally trust Exeter with my travel planning. They are the best.
Nikki DavidsonNikki Davidson
20:31 23 Jun 22
This trip was as close to perfection as one can get.Ala and her team created the most perfect Croatian vacation trip for me, my husband and the other couple that we were traveling with this month. I've had the good fortune to have travelled all around the world and never have I experienced such an incredible team to ensure that literally every detail, every activity, every hotel we stayed at was top-notch.If you are even considering a vacation to this incredible country, I would highly recommend speaking with Ala and her team first. I know I will be recommending Ala friends and family that want to visit Croatia and I can do it with complete peace of mind knowing I am referring them to the best!Nikki Davidson
Nancy HutchisonNancy Hutchison
00:13 08 Jun 22
We just returned from a fabulous trip that included Stockholm Sweden, Helsinki Finland and Amsterdam Netherlands, all arranged by Leigh Landis at Exeter International. Leigh was amazing. She put together individual excursions in each country, arranged hotels, assisted with restaurant suggestions and reservations, purchased train tickets and the tickets for the Silja Line ship to cross the Baltic Sea. Leigh gave us the phone number of an Exeter contact in each city in case of a problem but we did not have to contact them. Still, it was reassuring knowing that we had someone to contact if needed. Each of them reached out to us when we arrived to let us know they were available. The itinerary, guides and tickets were all arranged in advance by Leigh. She spent a lot of time with us before booking anything. We communicated by emails or phone. It was clear to us from our first contact with Leigh that she wanted to make sure the trip had exactly what we wanted.The guides in each city were so fantastic. They each had a wealth of experience as guides, planned the routes well and asked about our interests when we first met so they knew what we wanted to see and do. They were all spot on time! The guides made the trip a truly special experience. They helped us to understand each city, its history, special characteristics and helped us with questions about how to navigate the city and use public transportation. The guides expedited getting into busy museums or other venues because our guides had passes to jump queues. They maximized our time so that it was spent enjoying the sights and venues instead of standing in lines and figuring out how to purchase tickets. They knew where to go and when to go there. Some venues required advance tickets and Leigh took care of that. Leigh arranged our very own private saloon boat tour of the canals of Amsterdam. Leigh checked in on us along the way on our trip and sent us special notes. She arranged to have a gift sent to my hotel room in Helsinki on my birthday.Leigh arranged really great hotel rooms with the best views possible. And our stateroom on the Silja line cruise from Stockholm to Helsinki had an amazing view so we saw the sunset and sunrise over the Baltic from our room and that was stunning. With Exeter involved in making the hotel reservations we were treated like special guests at each hotel by the staff.The drivers were all outstanding. They were polite, helpful, on-time and made all our connections and excursions seamless and stress free. We actually started our trip in Gothenburg Sweden at the Volvo factory. After that Exeter took over and we proceeded on our dream trip to Stockholm, Helsinki and Amsterdam. We did no driving. We used trains and boats all arranged by Leigh at Exeter. And in each city we used drivers arranged by Exeter for excursions outside the city centers, such as when we went to the delightful town of Porvoo, Finland.When we took the train from Gothenburg to Stockholm our train was over an hour delayed and it was late evening when we arrived in Stockholm. The driver who met us in Stockholm, arranged by Exeter, had waited for us. While waiting she arranged for the hotel to have food for us upon arrival. Also when we arrived at our room at the hotel Leigh had arranged for a lovely charcuterie tray to be sent to our room. So although we arrived late and were worried about being hungry, everyone involved made sure that was taken care of without having to ask.I can't say enough positive about Leigh Landis and Exeter International. I feel we got more than our money's worth. Without Exeter we would have wasted so much time trying to figure out what could be seen each day in each city, how to get tickets, how to find a good restaurant and figure out how to make reservations etc. We did not have to worry about any of that. All the details were taken care of in advance and all we had to do was enjoy it!We will be forever grateful for Leigh and Exeter!
Jonathan RosenbergJonathan Rosenberg
16:28 02 Jun 22
My wife and I completed our second trip with Gwen's team at Exeter last month. Our first trip a few years back included Vienna, Prague, Budapest. This trip was Amsterdam, Berlin and Munich. Gwen is absolutely terrific and does a fabulous job of listening to client interests and preferences ex ante and then presenting options and framing the trips. Gwen's advice on hotels and specific rooms in hotels and the Exeter private touring options was consistently spot on. And ALL the guides she uses are terrific which really makes the trip. I was very pleased with both itineraries before the trips started and like any travel experience, circumstances and weather changed during the trip. Gwen and her team were always on top of quickly making changes. They possess the unique combination of pliancy about the route taken coupled with an adamantine resolve to give the client the experience they want and get them to see the things they wish to see. The team also has access to private experiences that were amazing. A tour of a tulip farm, a visit to a closed museum and medieval library, a wine and cheese tasting with a local expert. Not only did we have two good trips, on the second trip, Gwen started with all her notes and preferences from our first trip which made things even easier. I have used many operators in my travels and my experience with Exeter and Gwen Kozlowski in particular was truly top notch.

Cities to Explore

Exploring Iceland’s natural wonders from Reykjavik requires careful planning due to distance and time. 

Day trips can include the Golden Circle’s Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir, South Coast waterfalls like Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss, volcanic sites on the Reykjanes Peninsula, and Thrihnukagigur Volcano. Glacier adventures are doable at Solheimajokull and Langjokull. Reynisfjara’s black sand beach is also within a day’s reach. 

Though many attractions are accessible from Reykjavik for day trips, especially along the South Coast and Golden Circle, some require multi-day excursions or staying in different parts of Iceland. Seasonal weather conditions should also be considered, as they affect daylight hours and travel feasibility. 

For a comprehensive Icelandic experience, multi-day tours or varied accommodations close to desired sites may offer the best way to enjoy the country’s diverse landscapes without the constraint of returning to Reykjavik each night.

When to Visit

Iceland is a year-round destination. For warm weather, summer months are the best time to visit. If you want to experience the northern lights, late fall and winter would be best.





What to Do in Iceland​

lava tunnel Iceland
atv tour in iceland
The Retreat Blue lagoon Iceland
Discover Iceland’s distinctive gastronomy

Iceland is renowned for its farm-to-table gastronomy and has a growing stable of Michelin restaurants where you can eat awe-inspiring food – some with views to match! We urge anyone to indulge in a culinary adventure through the heart of Reykjavik with our food tour, where every bite tells a story. Discover how the rich tapestry of Iceland’s history weaves into the delectable local cuisine as our knowledgeable guide brings to life the tales and traditions behind each dish. While Iceland may boast exotic fare like the infamous fermented shark, our tour promises to unveil an array of surprising and delightful flavors!

Explore Iceland’s natural treasures

Discover the magic of Iceland’s Golden Circle on a remarkable tour filled with natural wonders. Explore ancient lava tunnels rich with geological history, guided by experts on Iceland’s volcanic landscape. Stand at Þingvellir National Park, a World Heritage site, witnessing the awe-inspiring continental rift. Be captivated by the iconic Geysir, experiencing its eruptions, and be moved by the majestic Gulfoss Waterfall’s breathtaking power. 

Explore Iceland’s Wild Heart

Explore the raw splendor of Thorsmörk, Iceland’s rugged nature reserve named after Thor, in an adrenaline-fueled adventure. Traverse challenging terrains in Super Jeeps and feel the rush of the Eyjafjallajökull glacier on snowmobiles, as you immerse yourself in breath-taking landscapes that epitomize the thrill of the wilderness. Join us for more than just an expedition; it’s an encounter with the excitement of Iceland’s extreme landscapes.

Visit Iceland’s dramatic waterfalls and black sand beaches

Iceland’s landscape seems to have no end of extraordinary geological wonders, from the black sand beaches of Reynisfjara with its striking basalt columns to breathtaking waterfalls. Visitors can experience walking behind the curtain of water at Seljalandsfoss and marvel at Skogafoss’s rainbow-draped torrents. The iconic Gullfoss waterfall epitomizes the raw beauty of Iceland, showcasing the powerful Hvítá River as it descends into a rugged canyon.

Splurge at The Retreat

The Retreat by Blue Lagoon offers a private and luxurious getaway with exclusive lagoon access for guests seeking serenity. It features elegant accommodations and the Michelin-starred Moss restaurant, which serves dishes inspired by Icelandic culinary traditions against a backdrop of volcanic scenery. Guests at The Retreat can expect a high-end experience that combines personalized luxury with the stunning natural beauty of Iceland.

Iceland Travel FAQs

Iceland is located in between Greenland and Norway in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Iceland is known for its incredible topography, landscapes, and outstanding natural sights such as the Blue Lagoon. Volcanoes, glaciers, and waterfalls and the chance of seeing the Northern Lights.

Icelandic is the official language, but everyone speaks English too!

The Krona is the currency of Iceland.

Iceland is one of the world’s safest countries.

It is possible to visit Iceland for a long weekend, however, we would suggest 8 days to see all the sights.

If you want to be independent when traveling around Iceland, self-drive or private car and driver are the main ways to get around.

Think about the time of year you want to visit, winter or summer, and the activities you want to experience, and plan your trip around the season

Keep Exploring Iceland

Why Travel with Exeter?

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