Iceland offers spectacular waterfalls, boiling mud fields, steaming fissures, geysers and glaciers. Iceland is like no other place on earth. It is situated right above the geologic rift between the North American plate and the Eurasian plate, on the map, it seems that the rift cuts the island in two halves. It is believed that the rift is responsible for the formation of Iceland itself about 18 million years ago. With all this underlying tension, the country is a hot spot for volcanic and geothermal activity: 30 post-glacial volcanoes have erupted in the past two centuries, and natural hot water supplies much of the population with cheap, pollution-free heating. In addition, these geological marvels create spectacular drama and astonishing beauty in the countryside offering you a very unique experience.
The “Blue Lagoon” and other hot spring bathing spas have become one of Iceland’s signature experiences. Blue Lagoon is the most famous of Iceland’s countless geothermal recreational pools and it’s located in a lava field on the Reykjanes Peninsula, near the Keflavik International Airport. With its steaming, milky-blue waters and otherworldly setting amidst black volcanic rocks, this modern spa complex is a sight to behold. There are several pools of different sizes and with different water temperatures and even a natural sauna cave, all of them connected by wooden walkways and bridges. The blue color of the water comes from the skin-brightening silica. Spa treatments are also available here.
Day 1: June 10 – Depart for your overnight flight to arrive into Keflavik, Iceland (KEF) on June 11, 2018
Day 2: June 11 – Arrival into Keflavík airport (Reykjavic) – With early morning arrivals you will head to the “Blue Lagoon“. It is one of Iceland’s most popular attractions, a natural geothermal pool
in the middle of a large and dramatic lava field and an oasis that owes its existence to a nearby geothermal power plant. You will stop for for a refreshing swim in the inviting, rejuvenating and pleasantly warm mineral rich waters (36°C-38°C/100-110°F), famed for its reputed healing properties. An indoor pool and geothermal sauna are also on the site as well as massages. Bathing in this surreal environment is a unique experience no one should miss. The Blue Lagoon’s warm water and natural active ingredients like mineral salts, silica and blue green algae help you relax and escape the stress and strain of daily life. You may book an optional massage (additional$) After you will transfer to the Hotel in Reykjavík’s down town. Remainder of the day at your leisure to enjoy the town. Center Hotel for 1 night
Day 3: June 12 – Check out of the hotel and depart for the Golden circle tour. Our first stop will be Thingvellir National Park, which has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for both its historical and geological importance. There you will see the historic site of Althingi, site of the world’s oldest operational parliament: Thingvellir also straddles two continents: with the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates lying at the center of it. These two plates continue to edge apart, with the gap widening by about 2cm a year. This creates some of the most awe inspiring geology that can be found anywhere on Earth and it is the perfect way to kick off the trip of a lifetime! From there we will travel to the world-renowned Geyser hot spring area where you will see the incredible Geysers throw water and steam up to 25 meters into the air. Among them you will see the famous ‘Geysir’ from which the English word geyser was adopted and its younger brother known as Stokkur. Then we will move on to the majestic Gullfoss Waterfall (golden falls), so named because on a sunny day the water takes a golden brown hue as it cascades down to the Hvita (White River) below. If you are really lucky, a stunning rainbow will form over the canyon: providing an amazing photo opportunity. Gullfoss, Thingvellir and the Geyser hot spring area are all things that everyone who visits Iceland should see and on this tour you will cross each one off your bucket list in one incredible day!
Then on our way back to our accommodation, at a country hotel near the village of Vik, we will stop at both The Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss Waterfalls. Seljalandsfoss is a particularly interesting waterfall because you can walk behind the crashing waters, giving a truly unique vantage point.(B)
Day 4: June 13 – Vík – Skaftafell – Glacier Lagoon – Höfn – Day two is also packed full of incredible things. Our first stop will be the incredible Reynisfjara black sand beach, famous for being the best black sand beach in all of Iceland. Of particular interest are the two Reynisdrangar peaks, which local legend claims are two petrified trolls. We will also visit an amazing basalt column cave: the perfect start to your second day of fun! We will then move on, from volcanic beaches to actual volcanoes, as we pass the legendary Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which contains one of the most notorious volcanoes in all of Iceland beneath its Ice: the mighty Katla. If you are lucky to get a glimpse of Katla, you will truly begin to understand Iceland’s nickname: the land of ice and fire!
From there we will drive across the Eldhraun lava field to Skaftafell in the Vatnajökull National Park. Eldhraun is amazing and you will gain a new insight into how volcanic activity has crafted its stunning landscape. Then we will reach Skaftafell an awe inspiring oasis of luscious green birch forests and rich vegetation: an emerald jewel set in the center of a harsh desert of black sand. The natural wonders that you will see here will take your breath away, as you drink in the wildly contrasting scenes.
Next we will take a magical three-hour glacier hike up Vatnajokull, the largest glacier in all of Europe. This hike will be guided by one of our specialist glacier guides, ensuring that you are safe throughout the climb: they will also be on hand to teach you more about this incredible outlet glacier and all the amazing things that you will see from it.
We will finish by visiting the famous Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon: a truly mesmerizing sight and another great place for a photo or two. You will gaze in wonder at its jaw dropping beauty: crystal clear, sapphire water; lapping up against coal black sands, which are peppered with pearl white and ocean blue icebergs that have been washed ashore. It is a supernatural sight, which will send shivers down your spine. You may also recognize it from a couple of films: the most famous of which is the James Bond movie that was shot there. We will then go to our accommodation in the town of Hofn, feted as the lobster capital of Iceland. (B)
Day 5: June 14 – East Fjords – Djúpivogur – Egilsstaðir. Today you will marvel at the Eastern fjords of Iceland: as we thread our way along the coastline, we will see Hvalnes a remote and beautiful peninsula and the stretch of coast around the Þvottárskriður landslides between Lóns and Álftafjarðar. All of which is stunningly beautiful and we guarantee that your eyes will be glued to the incredible views all around you.
Our first stop of the day will be Djúpivogur, a traditional fishing village which is also home to a fine outdoor sculpture, Eggin í Gleðivík (meaning The Eggs of Merry Bay). The sculpture has become iconic within Icelandic culture and consists of 34 eggs.
Then we will take an invigorating hike to Hengifoss, Iceland’s second highest waterfall (standing an impressive 128m). Hengifoss is an amazing place and you will marvel at the water as it cascades down the giant steps. Then we will see the unique Litlanesfoss waterfall, whose cascade is framed by giant hexagonal basalt columns: imagine a mini Giant’s Causeway, with a waterfall in the middle. All of this is absolutely amazing and you will marvel at the beautiful gorge where the layers from volcanic eruptions across the millennia can be seen within the multi-colored rock face. Then we will move on to Egilsstaðir where we will relax in a country hotel. (B)
Day 6: June 15 – Dettifoss – Mývatn – Goðafoss – Akureyri. We will head towards the north of Iceland, travelling to Möðrudalur: Iceland’s highest farm. Here you can relax and grab a quick bite to eat in Iceland’s highest restaurant: standing a mighty 469m off the ground and offering stunning panoramic views over the incredible wilderness below.
Then we will stop at Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, the violent cascading water is truly awesome and will give you a new perspective on the power of nature. Then we will move on to the incredible world around Lake Mývatn: a beautiful crystal clear lake, with an abundance of incredible bird life. After that we will make the short journey to the steaming lunar landscapes of the Námaskarð geothermal area. Námaskarð is like nothing else on this planet: an arctic desert replete with boiling hot springs, steaming fumaroles and technicolor bubbling mud pots. Following this alien world we will travel on to the Hverfjall crater and the unique Dimmuborgir formations, known as the Dark Castles: these strange lava formations are steeped in mythology and our friendly tour guide will tell you all about them.
By now all your senses will have been titillated, meaning it is time to take a break from sightseeing in an incredible natural bath: the Myvatn Nature Baths. They are known as Jarðbóðin in Icelandic because the hot water comes straight up out of the earth and their mineral rich alkaline water (36-40 C) is the perfect way to relax. Those who do not fancy bathing can take a relaxing stroll around Myvatn and enjoy the amazing views; or grab a bite to eat in the café there. Our final stop of the day will be the Goðafoss waterfall, a crescent shaped fall, famous for being the place where the pagan idols were destroyed when Iceland converted to Christianity. Then we will travel to Eyjafjörður, an outstandingly beautiful fjord with high mountains, which is close to our accommodation in a country hotel near Akureyri. This day of the tour is a photographer’s dream and you will see more genuinely unique natural sights than you can count. (B)
Day 7: June 16 – Whale watching in Dalvík – Siglufjörður -Tröllaskagi – Bifröst. Today is dominated by Iceland’s incredible wildlife and is an animal lover’s dream! In the morning you will get the chance to explore Akureyri, the Capital of the North. This picturesque town is located right in the heart of Eyjafjörður (the Island Fjord) and offers spectacular views in every direction. Then we will travel to Dalvik, to go and see one of nature’s most incredible marine animals: the whale!
The whale spotting trip will give you the chance to see the power and majesty of the whale in the flesh. We usually see minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, harbor porpoises, and humpback whales, with some lucky travelers managing to see the biggest animal to ever live: the Blue Whale! Seeing these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat is an experience that will last you a lifetime. They often swim close to the boat: frolicking around you and guaranteeing you get a new perspective on the natural world. We may also see some amazing avian species, including puffins and many more. Then our friendly guides will teach you a lesson on how to do some sea angling, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in Icelandic culture.
Once we reach the shore, we will travel on to Siglufjörður, a quaint fishing village steeped in history before continuing around Tröllaskagi (the Troll Peninsula): rich in local legend and folklore. The charming villages on this peninsula will really give you a great insight into how people live in remote Icelandic villages. Our scenic drive will take us through some thriving agricultural areas on our way to Bifröst, a small university community, where you will spend the evening. (B)
Day 8: June 17 – We will spend our final day in Western Iceland: an area which Lonely Planet voted as one of the best holiday destinations in 2016. We will spend the majority of our time in Borgarfjörður, which has many spectacular natural sights and is famed around the world for its majestic beauty. We will begin at the bubbling Deildartunguhver hot spring and marvel at its gorgeous steamy waters; then move on to the legendary waterfall, Barnafoss, then it’s on to the Hraunfossar cascade, a low and wide falls where the water pours directly out of a lava field. From there we will travel to the historic and charming site of Reykholt. You will see Snorralaug, Snorri´s pool, where you can dip your fingers and feel the temperature of the water in the place where Snorri is likely to have bathed. The pool itself was built in the 10th century and may well be the oldest man-made structure in Iceland. Then we will drive around scenic fjord, Hvalfjörður (Whale Fjord): so keep your eyes peeled for more incredible wildlife and stunning scenery. Before we arrive back in Reykjavík at around dinner time. Overnight in Reykjavik at the Center hotel. (B)
Day 8: June 18 – Departure Day – Transfer from Reykjavík to the Keflavík airport for your return flight home. (B)
Cost: $4446.00 based on Double Occupancy. (Roommates can be provided)
Single Supplement: $1055.00
Booking/final payment deadline is 60 days prior to departure.
SAVE 3% OFF Tour cost if paying by check or ACH transfer
7 nights hotel with taxes
Whale Watching tour
Entrance fees to the Blue Lagoon
Local Tour Guide and driver
Private transfers to all included sites and cities visited
R/T airport arrival/departure transfers if traveling on scheduled days
Entrance Fees to all sites visited
Meals not listed in itinerary
Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks with meals
Room charges such as calls, mini bar, laundry, room service
All personal expenses
Gratuities for driver and guide
Additional tours or activities not included in program
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