Explore highlights of Southern Iceland
Sample program for 5 days/4 nights
Day 1: WELCOME TO ICELAND (50 km/31 mls)
Private transfer from Keflavík International Airport to the accommodation in Reykjavík where you spend the night. We provide ideas how to explore Iceland's capital on your own, dinner suggestions too! Food lovers will be pleased and perhaps even impressed by the number of diverse restaurants in Reykjavík. Many award winning chefs create delicious Icelandic cuisine that is characterized by an imaginative use of local ingredients such as fresh seafood, organic lamb, and wild game; but be sure to try the fabulous Icelandic hot dog and pizza too!
Optional activities: Blue Lagoon or whale watching depending on your flight schedule
Day 2: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE ROUTE (220 km/136 mls)
Start the private program with a short introduction to Icelandic geology while watching a striking film at the Reykjavik Volcano House documenting the eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull and Fimmvörðuháls in 2010, which caused millions of people to be stranded worldwide as thousands of flights were canceled. These films give a good insight into the general geology and volcanology of Iceland. At the Volcano House, you can experience a hands-on geological exhibition where you can examine various pieces of pumice, ash, and lava from Icelandic volcanoes. Later on, we depart from Reykjavik and drive to Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site, and where the Althingi, the oldest legislative assembly in the world was founded. This is one of Iceland's most fascinating places both geologically and for the role it plays in the country's history and sense of national identity. Þingvellir is also remarkable for reasons of natural science, as the site is part of a fissure zone running through Iceland, and is situated on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The faults and fissures of the area make evident the rifting of the earth's crust.
Exploring the hot springs at Geysir is like watching a geography lesson in real life: natural springs bubbling away in the ground until the pressure becomes too much – and they explode in spectacular style. Geysir and Strokkur are the two biggest of the geysers there. While Geysir is no longer active, Strokkur still spouts every 5 to 10 minutes to the delight of visitors. Next, we travel to Gullfoss, "the golden falls", which is a double waterfall that tumbles 34 meters into the Hvítá river. Gullfoss is one of Iceland's most beautiful waterfalls. The explosion crater called Kerið is filled with water and resembles an ancient amphitheater. Overnight in South Iceland, Selfoss or Hella area.
Optional activities: Diving or snorkeling or river rafting or hiking or horseback riding or visit to horse farm & geothermal greenhouse
Day 3: VATNAJÖKULL NATIONAL PARK & GLACIER LAGOON (385 km/239 mls)
A long drive brings us to a world of glaciers, ice, and icebergs. We travel to Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs. We explore this extraordinary site and perhaps see some seals swimming in the Arctic waters. You can walk on the black sandy beach, called Diamond Beach, where large icebergs get stranded. The Vatnajökull National Park is about 12,000 square kilometers and it is the second largest National Park in Europe. In this area, we find Iceland's highest mountains, an alpine environment, and Europe's largest glacier. We will stay for one night in the Vatnajökull National Park region.
Optional activities: 2-hour hike to epic airplane wreck or glacier hike or snowmobile tour or horseback riding
Day 4: SOUTH COAST (305 km/189 mls)
Today, we head across the Laki lava field to the village of Vík where we make a photo stop. We take a stroll on the black lava beach and along the bird cliffs at Reynisfjara beach in South Iceland. We pass the glacier Mýrdalsjökull and the infamous volcano Eyjafjallajökull and continue to Skógafoss waterfall which is 62 meters high and belongs to the most impressive waterfalls in the country. Further west we reach the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall, which is 65 meters high and plunges over the mountain. In the evening you return to Reykjavik for one last night.
Optional activities: Visit man-made ice-cave and observatory platform at the Pearl or whate museum or whale watching or hike at Vatnajokull National Park or visit to the Lava & volcano exhibition center
Day 5: DEPARTURE HOME (50 km/31 mls)
Private transfer from your accommodation in Reykjavík to Keflavík Airport.
Optional activities: Blue Lagoon depending on your flight schedule
DAILY DRIVING: Total mileage without airport transfer is 910 km (564 miles) which is an average of 303 km (188 miles) per day. You spend about 4 hours per day on the bus, depending on road conditions, traffic, and daily distances. On some days the driving might be longer than on some other days.
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