Iceland Volcano Marathon
Join us for this epic race in one of Earth’s geological hotspots! Set near Lake Mývatn, at the divergent boundaries of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, the Iceland Volcano Marathon route will be run directly in the North Volcanic Zone. It’s a hot bed of geothermal activity with geysers, hot springs, and lava rock – what’s more, the volcanic zone is still very much active.
With the massive Hverfjall crater as the focus of the route, runners will pass through soft, black volcanic sand as they run the rim of the crater, as well as pass through the ethereal lava fields known as Dimmuborgir, or “Dark Fortress,” and under a wild natural arch. The route traverses single-track trail, plains of lava lock, and several minor volcano craters.
Your five-night package includes a guaranteed entry offering one night in Reykjavík and four nights in Mývatn, giving you ample opportunity to explore this otherworldly landscape – visit Europe’s largest waterfall, hike through the castle-like lava formations of Dimmuborgir, relax in an underground heated lagoon or explore Lake Mývatn off-road on our Mývatn Buggy Adventure. Traveling to Mývatn is a bit like traveling back billions of years to the origins of Earth.
We look forward to having you join us on this adventure!
Travel Package Information
Wednesday, August 21
Arrival at Keflavik International Airport (KEF) in Reykjavík. There is no set arrival time, so you can book the flight that is most suitable for you. Note that transfer from Keflavík to Reykjavík is not included in the package. Once you’ve reached the arrivals hall, please make your way to the airport shuttle desk or take a taxi to reach your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy at your leisure. With almost 24 hours of daylight during the summer months, Reykjavík is often described as the city that never sleeps… so take this opportunity to discover the world’s northernmost capital city at your own speed! Consider booking a tour to the Golden Circle with Tingvellir, Geysir and Gullfoss. Please see “Optional Day Excursions” for additional details. (No meals included today)
Airport Shuttle discount code:
Getting from Keflevik Airport to Reykjavik city is roughly a 45 minute drive. The Airport Direct shuttle is a convenient service that will drop you off at your hotel and can be added when booking your flight.
We have negotiated a 10% discount/per person, which you can get, when booking online, by using the promo code: “NT2024”. This code is valid for travel between August 18-30, 2024.
Thursday, August 22
After an early breakfast, we will board our bus and begin a scenic drive with an informative guide along the west coast of Iceland. In the afternoon, we reach Akureyri, known as “The Capital of the North,” which lies just 100 km (62 miles) away from the Arctic Circle. Here, race officials will provide a race briefing and distribute your race bags while we enjoy a snack meal. After the briefing, our journey will continue to Mývatn where you will get settled into your hotel. (Breakfast, lunch box, and a stand-up snack meal included)
Friday, August 23
On today’s tour you will visit some of the places on the marathon route.
Dimmuborgir (Dark Castles) a spectacular maze of strange lava structures covered with surprisingly lush vegetation. The area is composed of various volcanic caves and rock formations.
Hverfjall – a tephra cone, which erupted 2500 years ago in the southern part of the Kraflo fissure swarm. The crater is approximately 1 kilometer in diameter.
Hverir solfatarars (boiling sulphur mud pits) at Namaskard, these being some of the most spectacular in the country. Stroll around the bubbling gray puddles and the ethereal steam loudly escaping from the conical fumaroles. If you’ve never smelled a rotten egg this is a good chance to fill this gap! But please – mind your step.
(Breakfast, lunch and pre-race dinner included)
Saturday, August 24
Today is the big day – the Iceland Volcano Marathon is on! Runners will have the rare opportunity to run the dirt and gravel roads around the majestic Hverfjall crater. While the route will be demanding, the weather is likely to pose the biggest challenge. Although this event is held in August in the late Icelandic summer, it’s unlikely temperatures will rise above 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit) and rain is not uncommon here. The scenery, however, is equally dramatic in both sun and rain! At the finish line, a pizza lunch will be served to participants. Shuttle buses will take all participants back to their hotels.
After dinner on your own, you have the chance to join our optional excursion to Jardbodin Nature Baths in Myvatn. The perfect way to give your muscles a treat while soaking in the restorative natural waters. (Breakfast and pizza lunch included)
Sunday, August 25
Spend the day on an excursion or take in the stunning nature surrounding Mývatn at your own pace with one of our optional tours. Visit Lofthellir Ice Cave, Majestic Waterfalls or explore off the beaten track with our Gems of Mývatn buggy adventure. We will meet in the late afternoon to celebrate yesterday’s achievements with a festive dinner. (Breakfast and dinner included. Lunch included in optional excursions)
Monday, August 26
After an early breakfast, we will board shuttle buses that will drive us through Reykjavík to Keflavik International Airport (KEF). Expected arrival at Keflavik Airport is 2:30 PM. Knowing this, it is not advisable to book your flight out of Iceland earlier than 4:30 PM.
It is also possible to book a post-night in Reykjavik if you desire more time in the Icelandic capital or your connecting flight is the next day. If you book a post-night our bus will drop you off in Reykjavik. (Breakfast and lunch box included)
Finally, consider signing up for the Iceland Challenge and run Reykjavik with us on August 19! Details coming soon.
Optional Day Excursions
Golden Circle Tour (6 hours) – August 21 (Time TBD)
The bus will pick us up at our hotel in Reykjavik and take us east for a visit to the Golden Circle. Our first stop will be at Thingvellir National Park – the only place on Earth where the mid-Atlantic rift, dividing the American and Eurasian Continental Plates, is visible above sea-level. Next, we will visit Geysir – Iceland’s famous geyser which can hurl up boiling water to heights reaching 70 meters. Even if the famous Geysir is not so active itself anymore, the entire area of Haukadalur Valley is full of geothermal activity and hot pools – including the much more active Strokkur geyser that regularly shoots water to heights between 20 and 40 meters. Our last stop is the massive waterfall Gullfoss. Although it’s neither the largest nor tallest it is arguably one of Iceland most beautiful waterfalls with its two plateaus. We will be back in Reykjavik in the evening, and being summer in the arctic the nights are light, so there’s still ample opportunity to explore the capital of Iceland on your own.
Majestic Waterfalls (5 – 6 hours) – August 25 (8:00 AM)
In a canyon known as Jökulsárgljúfur, visitors can witness many of these magnificent waterfalls – including one of the most powerful waterfalls in Europe: Dettifoss. This waterfall is 45 meters high and an incredible 100 meters wide and is the largest waterfall in Iceland in terms of water volume. Within walking distance (approx .75 mile) lies another breathtaking scene: the Selfoss waterfall, which cascades 11 meters down. The scenery around both these waterfalls is picture-perfect – they have, in fact, been featured in various Hollywood productions. The third waterfall that we will visit is called Hafragilsfoss; a true hidden gem in Iceland. Although most tourists overlook this spot, it provides a breathtaking view of the canyon and the mighty river that forms it – with the additional perk of being less crowded! We’ll drive about 1.3 miles up a dirt road and then take a short hike to an amazing view above the 27-meter-high falls. Minimum number of participants per day is 20. (Transportation and boxed lunch included)
Lofthellir Ice Cave (5 hours) – Offered August 25 (8:00 AM or 10:30 AM)
The Lofthellir Ice Cave is a lava tunnel filled with permafrost ice. The cave boasts incredible ice formations, some of which are hundreds of years old, that have been formed by dripping water over the course of time. The tour will start from the Lake Mývatn area, and we will drive past some incredible geology, including the volcano Mt. Hverfjall, and along the Lúdentarborgir crater row. Once we reach the base of Mt. Hvannfell, there will be a 30-minute guided hike across lava fields to the entrance of the Lofthellir cave. There you will be provided with equipment to safely navigate the cave. We will travel slowly into the cave in a single line. Your cave guide will help you to move safely through the cave. The entrance is the narrowest part of the cave and participants will need to crawl on all fours to pass through. Past that point, every step you take into the cave will open to more and more space! A lost world of ice and magic awaits, frozen in time and in space. The Lofthellir Ice Cave is a protected area and is privately owned by local landowners. Only a limited number of tours are allowed in, and all tours are operated by certified cave guides. The goal of the cave protection is to operate sustainable cave tours and preserve this incredible sight for future generations to explore – thus, in every ticket a fee is included for the protection program and local landowners. Minimum number of participants per departure is 6 and Maximum number of participants per departure is 10.
Please note: This tour is not for people with claustrophobia, young children, or people that are not in reasonable physical condition. Gloves and water-proof pants are recommended.
- Return transfers from the hotel to the cave
- (1) hour of cave exploration
- Packed lunch
- Safety equipment: helmet, head lamp and studded boots
Whale Safari (7 hours, including 3.5 hours sailing) – Offered August 25 (8:00 AM)
Húsavík is often called the capital of whale watching in Iceland, and a day spent looking for these magnificent animals is an unforgettable experience. There are 12 species that can be considered common visitors, including, among others, the minke whale, humpback whale, orca, and even harbour porpoises! Hopefully, we’ll also spot some Icelandic puffins flocking around. The original Húsavík Whale Watching Tour is run in a traditional Icelandic oak boat and is operated by one of the pioneers of whale watching in Iceland. The professional crews on the whale watching boats are specifically trained in responsible conduct with the whales and will guide and inform you the whole way. They even offer you hot cocoa and cinnamon buns! Participants staying in Mývatn will have two (2) hours either before or after the trip (depending on departure time) to explore the picturesque town of Húsavík and purchase lunch. Húsavík has a variety of lovely restaurants on the harbour, a whale watching museum, a NASA museum, and plenty of shops.Inclusions:
- 45-minute (each way) transfers for Myvatn participants to Husavik
- Boat trip
- (2) hours in Husavik
Geothermal Nature Baths (3 – 4 hours) – August 24 (7:30 PM)
After your race (or a tiring day spent cheering), give your muscles a treat and take a soak in the restorative natural waters. The mineral-rich waters will soothe your skin while the warmth relaxes you. At this time of year, the sun still sets quite late, so you can savor a slow sunset as you bask in the water and enjoy the views. Bring your suit & towel (or rent towel at reception). Lockers are included. Minimum number of participants: 20
Mývatn participants: The area around Mývatn is a hotspot for geological activity. One of the byproducts of this is geothermal water – some of which has been used to form the Jardbödin Nature Baths. While the Nature Baths’ lagoon is manmade, the water is drawn up from a hot spring with a depth of 2.500 meters and is about 130 degrees C when it reaches the surface. This hot spring forms a basin which is then used to fill the lagoon. The lagoon itself averages between 36-40 degrees C, and the water is rich with minerals that are considered to have a positive effect on skin.
In addition to the lagoon, the Mývatn Nature Baths offer two steam baths that are built directly on top of the geothermal area. There are windows in the steam baths so guests can enjoy the magnificent view, and cool showers right outside to relieve the heat. There is also a café in the facilities where guests can purchase a variety of food, sweets, and drinks.
This excursion includes bus travel to and from the Nature Baths as well as the entrance fee. The excursion will begin around 7:30PM, and the bus will bring you back to your hotel after 2-3 hours have been spent in the Nature Baths. The Baths do not close until 11PM.
Gems of Myvatn Buggy Adventure | August 25, 2024 (2 hours)
Depart from picturesque Hella Farm, nestled within the Mývatn Nature Reserve, and venture into the untouched beauty of the north of Lake Mývatn. Traverse private lands and embark on a journey through black sand deserts, volcanic areas, and hidden trails. During your tour you will learn about the rich history and vibrant culture of Mývatn as you explore off-the-beaten-path locations, gaining insights that make each stop a captivating experience.
The user-friendly Buggies or UTVs are very easy to drive, providing a comfortable and safe ride. A lesson on operating the UTV buggy is included (a drivers license is required).
- Visit locations off the beaten path
- Explore Myvatn Nature reserve, Holasandur Wilderness, Black Lava Fields, Lunar Landscapes and the Myvatn Nature Reserve
- 4×4 Offroad experience with storytelling by trained guides
- Buggy operation & safety lessons and gear included
- Please note: personal insurance is not included
*Please note that if the minimum number of participants is not reached for an excursion, we reserve the right to either move participants to another departure day and/or time or cancel the excursion. If the excursion is canceled, you will be refunded.
Additional details will be shared after you book your tour and excursions.
All itineraries subject to change.
Packages & Rates
Iceland Volcano Marathon Tour | Five-Night Package | August 21 – 26, 2024
- Five nights at selected property (1 night in Reykjavik/4 nights in Mývatn)
- Transportation Reykjavik-Mývatn – Reykajavik/airport
- Myvatn Highlights excursion
- Meals as listed on the itinerary
- Sightseeing as listed on the itinerary
- Transportation to/from start and finish area
- All hotel taxes
- Pre-race briefing
- Celebration dinner including transportation
- Services of Albatros Adventure Marathons Staff
- Flights to/from Iceland
- Arrival transport from Keflavik-Reykjavik
- Race entry fee
- All activities listed as optional excursions
- Meals not listed on the itinerary
- Gratuities and tips
- Travel Insurance
Note: Getting from Keflavik Airport to Reykjavik city is roughly a 45 minutes’ drive. The Airport Direct shuttle is an easy and convenient service and drop off at your hotel can be added when booking your seat.
Roundtrip airfare is the responsibility of each client. Your passport should be valid for six (6) months after your last expected day in Iceland. You should have at least two full pages available in your passport.
Rates (all prices are per person and in US dollars)
Note: Only one optional activity can be chosen on August 25
Iceland Volcano Marathon Tour | Five Night Package Double Occupancy Single Occupancy Economy Package: Cabin Hotel - Reykjavik, Vogar Travel Service - Myvatn $2940 per person $3550 Additional Nights $185 per person $310 Comfort Package: Fosshotel Lind - Reykjavik, SEL Hotel - Myvatn $3415 per person $4700 Additional Nights $240 per person $430 Comfort Plus Package: Cabin Hotel Superior - Reykjavik, Vogafjos Farm Retreat - Myvatn $3530 per person $5145 Additional Nights $240 per person $430 Optional Day Excursions Rates Golden Circle Tour (from Reykjavik) | August 21 (5 hours) $240 per person Geothermal Nature Baths | August 24 (3-4 hours) $160 per person Wild Waterfalls | August 25 (5 hours) $220 per person Whale Safari | August 25 (7 hours) $240 per person Lofthellier Ice Cave | August 25 (5 hours) $450 per person Buggy Adventure | August 25 (2 hours) NEW $345 per person Race Entry Fees Rates Marathon $340 per entry Half-Marathon $340 per entry Quarter-Marathon $185 per entry
Vogar Ferdathjonusta (Economy Package):
This is the location of the marathon finish. Rooms are basic, but clean and comfortable, and toilets and showers are on shared basis in the hallway. A breakfast buffet is served in the common dining area. The kitchen is open to guests and allows you to cook your own meals for lunch and dinner. Groceries are available in the supermarket in the village of Reykjahlid one mile from the guesthouse.
Book this package if you:
Travel on a budget
Enjoy socializing (common dining room provides an area for mingling)
Would like the possibility of going straight to your room after finishing
Nice to know:
Participants staying at Vogar Ferdathjonusta will have to walk to the other side of the road for the pasta dinner at Vogafjós Farm Resort the evening before the race.
Shoes are not allowed inside the rooms, so we recommend that you bring a pair of slippers or indoor shoes.
Bed linen and towels are available to all guests.
SEL Hotel (Comfort Package):
A family run hotel with a cozy, friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Located south of Lake Mývatn in the small village of Skútustadir, this hotel is the perfect spot to explore the fascinating pseudo-craters that can be reached just by crossing the road. The hotel rooms are nicely furnished and the restaurant serves fine-tasting home-cooked dishes and offers both buffet and a’la carte menu. It is approximately 15 kilometers from the start and finish area. Race transfers are provided on race day.
Book this package if you:
Prefer a hotel with soul and personality
Enjoy easy access to Lake Mývatn and the famous pseudo craters
Want easy, high-quality meal options for meals not already included
Nice to know:
The nearby Sel Café offers alternative dining if needed Thursday and Saturday
The hotel is located 15 kilometers from the village of Reykjahlid
Vogafjós Farm Resort (Comfort Plus Package):
Vogafjós Farm Resort is a family run guesthouse, warm and cozy, built in 2005. The guesthouse consists of two loghouses with ten rooms each and one loghouse with family rooms and smaller double rooms, all with private bathrooms – a total of 26 rooms. The rooms are well furnished. They are designed to let the guests feel relaxed while enjoying the unique natural environment Mývatn offers.
Book this package if you:
Like peace and quiet and the charm of staying in a wooden log house.
Enjoy local produce and homemade bread.
Prefer to stay next to the Finish area (325 yards away)Reykjavík Hotels
Below are the hotels used for the first night in Reykjavik. Please note that the hotel combinations in the accommodation packages are fixed and cannot be amended.
Hotel Cabin Reykjavik (Economy Package – Standard Room):
Overlooking the bay the Hotel Cabin is a great place to explore the scenic Sculpture & Shore Walk path into the city center. Standard rooms are simple and relatively small, however comfortable for a good night’s sleep.
Fosshotel Lind (Comfort Package):
Comfortably located in the city center of Reykjavik, near the main shopping area, Laugavegur. You will find numerous cafes, restaurants, museums and shops right at your doorstep. Klambratún, one of the city’s largest parks, is a 5-minute walk away. Standard rooms are modern and spacious.
Hotel Cabin Reykjavik (Comfort Plus Package – Superior Room):
Overlooking the bay the Hotel Cabin is a great place to explore the scenic Sculpture & Shore Walk path into the city center.
Race Date: August 24, 2024
Race Time: 7:00 AM. The Marathon and Half-Marathon will start together, with the Quarter Marathon to start shortly after.
Course: The Iceland Volcano Marathon is run on a variety of surfaces, including asphalt, soft volcanic sand, volcanic rock, gravel, and dirt. Although the race can be run in normal running shoes, trail running shoes are recommended if one is hoping for top placement. You can view a course map here and the elevation chart here.
- Marathon – $340 USD
- Half-Marathon – $340 USD
- Quarter Marathon – $185 USD
Temperature: The Icelandic late-summer is not known to be warm. Expect temperatures between 41-51 degrees F (5-11 degrees Celsius). If we are lucky, temperatures may rise to 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Icelandic weather is notoriously fickle, and rain can be expected at any time.
- Marathon – 18 years +
- Half-Marathon 16 years +
- Quarter Marathon 8 years + (those under 12 years must be accompanied by an adult)
- Marathon – 7 hours (must finish by 2:00 PM). Five hour cut-off point at the 20 mile marker
- Half-Marathon – 7 hours (must finish by 2:00 PM)
- Quarter Marathon (must finish by 2:00 PM)
Awards: Everyone who finishes their running event within the time limit will receive a Finisher Medal and Race short.
Difficulty: The course difficulty is challenging.
For more information click here
Registration & Booking
Rates: All prices are based on current exchange rates may change due to currency fluctuations.
Race Entry: Guaranteed entry is additional and not included in the package cost.
Reservations and Payments: A completed tour application together with an initial non-refundable deposit of $800 per person for the Iceland Volcano Marathon package. Final payment is due before May 1, 2024.
Eligibility: Marathon Tours & Travel, an authorized tour operator, is required to offer travel arrangements in conjunction with guaranteed race entry. Marathon Tours & Travel is authorized to sell to a resident of a country where there is not an existing official Tour Operator.
Cancellations: All payments, including your deposit, are non-refundable and non-transferrable. Non-transferrable includes applying your balance to another person, another year or another trip. Should you cancel for any reason, you will forfeit your trip investment. Therefore, travel insurance for every trip is highly recommended. All cancellations must be received in writing.
Not included in price: All items not specifically listed under tour features.
Insurance: For your protection, trip cancellation, baggage, health and accident insurance is highly recommended for all participants. However, no representation or description of the insurance made by our staff constitutes a binding assurance or promise about the insurance.
Security Policy: Marathon Tours & Travel’s security policy requires that anyone staying in our room block must be registered as part of our package. If a registered client attempts to house a non-registered guest and /or invite them to attend any of our scheduled activities, the registered guest’s tour package will be forfeited and parties may be denied access to future tours. Please note that no exceptions will be made as this policy will be strictly enforced.
Responsibility: These tours are operated by Marathon Tours, Inc. of Chelsea, MA who acts only as an agent for the passenger to the companies offering such services and assumes no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity caused by any reason whatsoever by any party offering such services. All terms and conditions offered are governed by the laws of Massachusetts. The right is reserved to cancel the tour prior to departure with a refund, less applicable credit card and processing fees, made as full settlement to the passenger. The right is reserved by Marathon Tours, Inc. to deny acceptance of a booking application by any person. Marathon Tours, Inc. may make any changes or alterations in the itinerary as it deems necessary for the proper handling of the tour. The sole responsibility of any airline used is limited to that set out in the passenger contract evidenced by the ticket. The airlines concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time that the passengers are not on board their aircraft.
Meet the Reps
Trip Designer | Cycling Product Manager
Trip Designer | Cycling Product Manager
Born and raised in Canada, Marcie discovered the magic of road cycling in grade six after earning a 10-speed bike selling oranges for her school fundraiser. Although active in soccer, basketball and rowing during her school years, she admits that physical activity took a backseat to a career in design.
While raising her kids in New England, she rekindled her love of cycling in 2016 and, as a personal challenge, added running and swimming in 2018 to compete in her first 70.3 Triathlon in Prague, CZ to celebrate her 50th birthday. Since then, she has completed two full and five half distance triathlons; and a number of gravel and CX races. Her love of travel and cycling has spurred her to ride her bike more than 24,000 miles in the last six years including multi-day adventures across Czech Republic and three different states. She has circumvented Lake Champlain and conquered mountains in Austria, Canada and the US on two wheels.
Though competitive in nature and fueled by the excitement of a new venue, Marcie found that her greatest joy in racing Triathlon came from the challenge of planning for the unexpected and getting to know people along the course, hearing their stories and motivations and finding out their “WHY”.
A self-admitted “Jack of all trades”, Marcie comes to MTT with work experiences as both a bicycle mechanic and a producer of custom cycling endurance apparel. Marcie currently manages running packages to Big Five, Petra, Iceland Volcano, Polar Circle, Midnight Marathon, Lost City, First Light, Queenstown, Great Wall, and our very own Patagonia Running Festival. She is excited be a part of your journey and to help you to achieve your “WHY”.