After a complimentary pick up service in Reykjavík your journey begins with the classic Golden Circle – the most famous sightseeing route in Southern Part of Iceland. First stop is at Thingvellir National Park – a unique place where nature meets with the history. While walking between the American and Eurasian tectonic plates, it is hard not to think about the history of this place. Thingvellir (“the field of parliament”) became home to the Icelandic general assembly from around the year 930 and continued until 1798. At the end of the path between cliffs you will notice Oxararfoss waterfall. It is rather small one — around 13 meters high, but well worth seeing.
Next on the agenda is a visit at Gullfoss – the Golden waterfall. The waters of the mighty Hvíta (white) river are swept into a 70 meters deep canyon giving visitors one of the most spectacular views in Iceland. Powerful and beautiful waterfall rushes down from two tiers into an ancient valley.
Third stop is at Haukadalur Geothermal Area, better known as Geysir – home to many bubbling hot springs and geysers — one of them is the very active Strokkur that throws up boiling water up to a height of 40 meters every 5-10 minutes.
These three famous sights are the classic ones that form the Golden Circle but to add even more to this experience, your last stop of the day is at unique Kerid Volcanic Crater. The crater made of a characteristic red volcanic rock is 270 m wide and more than 55 m deep. There is a lake in the bottom of the crater which is a little bit of magic.
OVERNIGHT STAY AT HVERAGERDI - town famous for Geothermal Activity
The day begins with two great waterfalls of the south coast, Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, as well as visiting lesser known, more secret waterfall Glufrabui.
Seljalandsfoss is single cascade fall from 60 meters tall cliff located beneath the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. It is one of the most intriguing waterfalls in Iceland and definitely one of the most famous ones, as it can be fully encircled by foot. Just remember to put your waterproof clothing and hiking shoes on before starting hike!
As we continue, we will drive under the great Eyjafjallajökull glacier volcano and the Mýrdalsjökull glacier cap, where we take a Glacier Hike for about 1,5 hours and have a closer look at the Solheimajokull glacier. Our certified glacier guides know the best hiking trails on the glaciers in Iceland, so following them guarantees spending a really nice time there.
Before we reach the accommodation for well deserved rest, we will stop at the “must see” Black Beach of Reynisfjara, where the sea crashes upon black sands and hexagonal basalt columns and rock stacks tower over the surroundings. Last stop on the second day will be at lovely village of Vik.
OVERNIGHT STAY ON THE COUNTRYSIDE
You will stay in a cozy country hotel located just few kilometres away from the Glacier Lagoon
Today, you will take a close look at majestic glaciers, ice lagoons and majestic Fjadrargljufur Canyon.
Th day starts with visit at the amazing Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon where you will enjoy a boat tour, sailing on the glacier lagoon. The lagoon is full of huge chunks of ice which crack off Breiðamerkurjökull glacier and float slowly out to sea.
Some icebergs wash on shore, lying on the vivid black sand like diamonds on satin, giving the Diamond Beach its name. There is a good possibility of seeing seals swimming around the huge icebergs.
After this visual feast we will make a short stop at Hofskirkja, which was the last church of this type to be built in Iceland, dating back to the 19th century. Deep layers of turf make up the roof of the church here, which is also surrounded by moss-covered burial mounds.
Next on the agenda is a visit to the river canyon at Fjadrargljufur. It is an astonishing place, a winding green gorge about a hundred meters deep and nearly two kilometers long. It’s an extraordinary natural environment, deeply carpeted with fragile mosses. The canyon was formed a few thousand years ago during a glacial period, leaving a snaking river behind when the ice sheet retreated. We will stay at this marvelous place for an hour.
After enjoying this wonderful experience, you head back in the afternoon towards Reykjavik where we estimate to arrive around 21:30 (09:30 pm). There you will get some rest before heading to the Western Iceland for another two days of adventure.
OVERNIGHT STAY AT REYKJAVIK - short pit stop before heading West
Today we’ll take you to Borgarfjordur, thought to be the location for many of the famous Icelandic Sagas.
Deep in the heart of the wild landscapes here, you’ll see Deildartunguhver – the most powerful hot springs in Europe, which pumps out more than 180 liters of boiling water every second.
Awe-inspiring waterfalls at Hraunfossar are next on the itinerary. Magnificent stretch of waterfalls that runs for nearly a kilometer over a rugged lava field. There is another waterfall nearby, known as Barnafoss, or the “waterfall of the children”. Once there was a stone arch making a natural bridge over the Hvita river here. Many years ago, two children from a nearby farm were drowned when they tried to cross it. Their heartbroken mother had the bridge destroyed to save others from the same sad end.
Then you’ll explore an astonishing lava cave system at Vidgelmir that was created over a thousand years ago, filled with stalactites, stalagmites and fascinating ice formations. The Vidgelmir Lava Cave is an incredibly colorful underworld, measuring 1585 meters long, nearly 16 meters high, and 16 meters wide. That means it’s easily the largest lava tunnel in the country.
For lunch you will stop at Husafell. Set between two glaciers, Husafell is an entrancing place filled with Viking history, with traditional turf houses and little elf huts to amuse the children too. This is a charming spot, with thick birch tree forests and pretty waterfalls, and it has been an inspiration for local artists. As well as that, the “Husafell Stone” can be found here, a legendary “lifting stone”, once used to test the strength of the locals and still used in strongman competitions today.
Last stop will be at Reykholt, which is an historic site in Iceland’s folklore, featured in the writings of Snorri Sturluson, a famous poet and local chieftain. Snorralaug (Snorri’s Pool) is an old-time hot spring, where locals have bathed for hundreds of years. Snorralaug is now a protected archaeological treasure, and there is also a traditional timber church here to look at too.
You’ll stay overnight in Borgarnes, which was one of the original settlement sites for the first Icelanders a thousand years ago. You can learn more about the story of those pioneers with an optional visit to the excellent Settlement Center, which features interactive displays and intriguing stories from the Icelandic Sagas. Borgarnes is situated in a stunning location on a beautiful peninsula with amazing views of nearby Hafnarfjall (the Harbour mountain) and Skessuhorn mountain, which appeared in Game of Thrones as “Bulls Horn”. This is also an ideal place to look out for the Northern Lights when they are active.
OVERNIGHT STAY AT BORGARNES - The Capital of West Iceland
Day 5 begins with a scenic drive towards the Snæfellsnes Peninsula – by many called “Iceland in miniature”. There are not some many places here in Iceland where you can see so many kinds of geology packed into such a small area.
There are very good reasons why Snaefellsnes was on the Lonely Planet TOP 10 Regions in World 2015 list. While driving along shores of the peninsula you will pass by lovely and charming fishing villages, biggest strato-volcano in Iceland called Snaefellsjokull, walk on top of the cliffs and have an opportunity to spot wild seals resting at the Ytri-Tunga Beach. Djúpalónssandur is another gorgeous black sand beach, where the air is filled with the sounds of birds circling the cliffs and the ocean waves hitting the sand. The most recognizable spot on the peninsula is Kirkjufell (Church) mountain accompanied by a small, but iconic falls. Make sure to have your camera ready to take a picture for your collection!
On the way to Reykjavík you will pass by the Whale Fiord (Hvalfjordur) and the tunnel laying 165 meters below it.
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