Western Route in Winter – Guided by Philippe Patay

6 days  -  Lodging in sleeping bag accommodation in hostels (Comfort option: in hotel and/or Inns) – Level easy – Easy daily hiking  – Multi national group - English speaking guide – 6 to 12 participants.

This great trip is a wonderful discovery of Iceland out of the tourist season, led by a specialist of its nature, its history and legends. A trip where you meet reindeers and migrating birds, hot springs and fresh fish. This is a timeless trip at the four cardinal points and at the four seasons of Iceland. To travel around Iceland is a trip to the constantly renewed horizon. Through landscapes, which follow one another, occupying all spaces and unravelling in a spectacular way, it is held by the single ribbon of one thousand and three hundred kilometres of the circular road n°1. Out of the summer season. The circulation is so rare that the island seems to belong to us, much more so than in the summer season.

We propose here two routes of six days largely on circular road Nr.1, but also roads that follow the shore of some majestic peninsulas

Price / Estimated
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Day 1: Geysir – Gullfoss

Pickup at your accommodation. Welcome on Board. Departure for the famous gushing springs of Geysir and the great cataract of Gullfoss "Golden Fall". Optional bath at the outdoors spa at Laugarvatn

Day 2: Thingvellir - Snæfellsnes

Your guide will pickup at your hotel at 8:00 AM. Welcome on board! Departure to Thingvellir National Park, the Plain of Parliament, that is one of the most beautiful graben fault on the surface of the globe. Major parallel rift faults cross the valley from north to south. In one of them, Almannagjá, stood the summer sessions of the ancient Parliament, one of the oldest republics in the world, established in 930. After Hvalfjörður -Whale Fjord-, the road reaches the base of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, a narrow mountain range jutting far into the ocean, pointing west as a finger with the magnificent volcano Snæfellsjökull -the glacier of Snowfell-crowning its tip.

Day 3: Snæfellsnes Peninsula

The legendary Snæfellsjökull volcano crowned by a majestic immaculate glacier, rushes out of the ocean like a boreal Fuji-Yama. It is the entrance passage of the legendary "Journey to the Center of the Earth" by Jules Verne. Hike to the tip through desolate lava fields covered with moss and lichen. Hiking and bird watching on the basalt cliffs of Arnarstapi, then to the deserted black pebble beaches of Djúpalónsandur. Night in the pretty harbour town of Stykkishólmur.

Day 4: Vatnsnes Peninsula

Down south along the shores of Strandir, then along the north coast. Visit Vatnsdalshólar, the largest landslide in Iceland, a formation that has long puzzled local farmers and geologists alike. On Vatnsnes Peninsula we can see a large colony of grey seals.

Day 5: Husafell - Hraunfossar

Continue to the horse breeding  (TO BE COMPLETED)

Day 6: Husafell to Reykjavik .

Down south along the Hvalfjörður, surrounded by the towering mountains   (TO BE COMPLETED)

Payment on line by credit card:

  1. Confirmation booking fee is 30% of trip price
  2. Balance to be paid 60 days prior to departure

A pro forma invoice will be sent to you after we will have received your booking. Discount or extra charge, if any, will show on this invoice.

For a payment by bank wire: Please contact us!

Accommodation: Because that many hotels are closed outside summer season, we choose pleasant places we specially appreciate throughout this journey, hostels, cabins and isolated farms.

  • Rustic version. All nights are spent in sleeping bag in bed usually in room for 1 or 2 persons but also sometimes in larger room for 4 to 6 persons depending of availability each time. Shared facilities. No single room surcharge in this “rustic” version, but not guarantee either.
  • Comfort optional version double: overnights in made-up bedroom double twin or single in Inns with shared bathroom or hotels with private bath. Depending of availability when you book. Between €25 minimum and €40 € maximum extra per night subject to availability.
  • Comfort optional version single: If you are single traveling alone you will automatically pay for a single room accommodation if you choose the Comfort version. If you want to share your room with someone, please let us know. If possible, we will put you together in a double twin with another single participant of the same sex who also wants to share a room, but we can’t guaranty this at the time of your booking

Group size: Multi-national group 8 to 12 members (+/-1) (Note: for group sizes of 6-7 persons a small group surcharge applies) Fjallabak’s staff or Fjallabak’s representatives accompanying professionals (e.g. photographers, journalists etc.…) and other discounted travellers such as children, are excluded from the participant count (minimum and maximum).

Small group surcharge: A supplement of € 150 applies for a group of 6-7 participants

Composition of the group: In general, participants on our trips come from several countries. We generally have French, Swiss, Scandinavians, Germans, Canadians, Americans, Australians, New Zealanders, Japanese and even Icelanders. Your Icelandic guide is fluent in English and often speaks one or two other languages. Travelling with Fjallabak is also a chance to meet, exchange ideas and socialize with friendly people from other countries that otherwise you may never have known and it is therefore a unique opportunity to make friends around the world and wring the neck of certain prejudices and misconceptions.

Trip preparation and notes: Comfortable bus, reasonable  mileage (average: 90 miles per day), short walks every day. The duration of a hike depends on the weather of the day and and overall fitness of the group. They can be lengthened or shortened. A person not wishing to make the walks or only partly can of course take part in this trip. Some of the walking is partly off-track, with terrain conditions constantly changing. Therefore, we strongly advise sturdy, well broken-in hiking boots in addition to clothing that will keep you warm and dry. See our kit list in our website!

Maps from Landmælingar Islands / The Icelandic Geodetic Survey: http://www.lmi.is Touring map 1:500 000

Vehicle: Jeep or small comfortable bus according to group size driven by an Icelandic driver. On a small group, the guide may be driver-guide.


  • Breakfast is Scandinavian-style, with muesli, breads, jams, fish and cheese. Breakfasts taken at the Heimaey bakery D5 and on the ferry D6 are at your responsibility.
  • Lunches not included and at your responsibility, are taken en route, often on the go, in small village restaurant, in a farm, in the gazebo or grill-cafeteria of a service station.
  • Dinners involve fresh, local fish (Haddock, Arctic char, salmon...) and meat dishes (mostly lamb), with rice or potatoes, fresh vegetables and salad.
  • For usability, but no obligation, you can bring with you a little speciality of your home country to share with your companions as well as a flask of some thing for a short drink in the middle of nowhere.
  • Vegetarians and those with food allergies can be fully catered for with a range of tasty options. It is essential that you inform our office then your guide of any special food requirements at the time of booking! Vegans will have to bring from home a part of their diet.

Recommended Travel Gear

Try to go as light as possible and take only essentials. Excess baggage can be a burden to you and to our support personel. Keep in mind that there are limits on how much your duffel bag can weigh because the weight restrictions on international and domestic flights is usually 20 kg (70lbs).

For quantities or quality for each item listed, use your own judgement, based on the expected weather conditions and overall packing/weight restrictions for your luggage.

Luggage for overland journeys 

  • Extra bags clearly marked with your name can be kept in the Reykjavik hotel or in our store local office for pick-up at the end of the trip
  • Large duffel bag (60/80 liters) sturdy and water-resistant, not exceeding 15 kg
  • Daypack (30 to 50 liters)


You’ll need to bring comfortable and adequate clothing to protect you from cold and wet weather, such as polypropylene, capilene, or pile. Wool and wool/synthetic blends are also suitable – though wool, if wet, dries slowly compared to synthetic fabrics. We discourage the use of cotton in wet conditions it dries very slowly. 

When layering, the innermost layer should be long underwear. The middle layer can be a synthetic turtleneck or wool shirt, and pants. The outermost layer must be a breathable waterproof jacket such as a good quality Gore-Tex wind/rain parka and over-pants.


Clothing and travel Accessories all the year around

  • Regular underwear. Synthetics are easier to wash and dry
  • Short-sleeved synthetic or cotton/synthetic T-shirts
  • Synthetic thermal underwear
  • Full-length pants, quick-drying synthetic fabric
  • Long-sleeved, synthetic or wool shirt
  • Wool or synthetic socks
  • Synthetic fleece sweater or jacket
  • Gore-Tex rain/wind parka
  • Gore-Tex rain/wind pants
  • Wool hat
  • Gloves (wool or pile)
  • Down jacket from September to May (optional)


  • Swimsuit and towel for hot spring bathing and swimming pool
  • Toiletry kit—soap, toothbrush, and so on.
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Moisturising lotion. (The air in Iceland is very dry)
  • Sunglasses
  • Swiss Army-type pocket knife (Must be kept in duffle bag, not in hand luggage, when flying !)
  • Half liter capacity unbreakable water bottle or thermos
  • Binoculars for bird watching, seals and whales (from March to September)
  • Hiking poles. Highly recommended
  • Optional but recommended
  • Repair kit with needle, thread, and safety pins
  • Reading and writing material
  • Your favorite snack food such as raisins or chocolate
  • Protein supplements for vegetarian

Specific equipment for summer (May to September)

  • Hiking boots, medium-weight, all leather, with padded ankle, good arch support, and a lug sole traction. Your hiking boots should be waterproof, well broken in, and suitable for rocky terrain or possibly snow
  • Short gaiters easy to put on Highly recommended.
  • Hiking shorts, quick-drying synthetic fabric
  • Hiking trousers, quick-drying synthetic fabric
  • Medium-weight synthetic fleece sweater or jacket
  • Sun & rain hat
  • Sunscreen and lip protection (The sun in Iceland is much more intense than you probably imagine)
  • Teva-type sandals for river crossing. Absolutely recommended!
  • Spare pair of prescription glasses, prescription sunglasses, or contact lenses (but not only lenses, as wind-blown dust can make them very uncomfortable)
  • Headlamp or small flashlight with spare batteries (from August only)
  • Netting hood, head net or bug bucket hat * (optional, can be purchased in Iceland / see explanation bellow)

Specific equipment for winter (Oct. to April)

  • Canadian winter boots or warm trekking shoes
  • Cleats for snow and ice adaptable to your shoes
  • Warm synthetic fleece sweater or jacket
  • Warm fleece trousers
  • Silk socks (optional)
  • Silk gloves (specially recommended for photographers)
  • Warm waterproofed shell gloves or mitt
  • Headlamp or small flashlight with spare batteries
  • Ski goggles

When lodging in Hotels and Inns (Comfort Discovery)

  • Casual elegant sportswear for evenings at the hotels
  • Moccasin type shoes or lightweight sports shoe or slipper

When lodging in hostels and huts (Rustic Discovery)

  • Hiking shoes are not allowed inside accommodation
  • Moccasin type shoes or lightweight sports shoe. But your Teva-type sandals for river crossing can also be used inside
  • Comfortable sleeping bag +5°C to +15°C / 32°F to 60°F which can be opened all the way to be used also as comforter
  • Cotton sheet for hut’s mattress
  • Pillow if you can’t sleep without one (optional)
  • Towel and flannel for toileting and shower (or high density synthetic-chamois
  • Eye shades. Highly recommended from April to July!
  • Pile/fleece pants, ideal for around the camp
  • Headlamp or small flashlight with spare batteries (no need from May to July included)
  • 1 or 2 good bottles of wine or a bottle of something stronger (can be bought at duty free at arrival in Iceland and in few places around the country)

Camera, tablets, smart-phones

  • Camera bag
  • Light telescopic tripod and cable release for camera (Longs exposures for Northern Lights from mid-August)
  • Replacement batteries for electrical devices
  • Additional memory card
  • Adapter for electrical plug (European standard)



*About netting hood    There are no mosquitoes in Iceland (yet), but at the beginning of summer midges swarms invade the lowlands rivers banks and lakes as Lake Mývatn “lake of midges”. With global warming midges begin to colonize now some wet areas of higher ground covered by vegetation. The outbreak periods are short but not really accurate. It is hell for the hapless hiker who found a windless day in clouds of these very angry bugs You will not regret to have brought with you, gloves, a long-sleeved shirt and above a netting hood that you put on over your head rain hat or sun hat. You probably will not have to use it, but you’ll be relieved to have it just in case … and it’s not a huge investment.




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