The Magic Places - EI119
South Coast, Snaefellsnes and the Golden cirlce
Seize the day! If you have 5 days to spare you should definitely check out this amazing combo tour. Five days of fun and enjoying the beauty of nature.
Operated in a minibus
Small groups and personal service
Get offerAge limit: 10 years
Pickup time: 09:00 - 09:30
Available: Oct - Mar
Max group size: 18 persons
Included:Reykjavik hotel pick up, country hotel accommodation for 2 nights with breakfast, 3 separate guided minibus tours.
Excluded: Food except for breakfast on day 2
Bring with you: Warm clothes, hiking shoes, packed lunch (we will also stop at a diner / restaurant). Spikes which fit over your shoes to provide extra grip on ice.
Map of the route: See here below, or click here.
For further information:
Note: For all our combined tours it is necessary to arrive in Iceland at least one day before tour departure as it is always early in the morning. The accommodation in Reykjavik is not included in the package, so you must take care of booking it yourself. We also recommend booking airport transfer here. Keep in mind that each day trip ends in Reykjavik again, so you go on three separate tours, with three separate guides.
It starts off with a visit to the popular South coast including a visit to the stunning Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and sleeping in a friendly country hotel. Next up is a 2 day tour to the Snaefellsnes peninsula, spectacular place in west Iceland where you go caving – truly an unforgettable experience. After discovering these two both majestic yet so different places you‘ll go on the famous Golden Circle route. Between the tours you‘ll stay at accommodation in Reykjavik.
Day 1 - 2
The South coast of Iceland has long been travellers favourite. There‘s a very good reason for that. These two days are packed with visits to significant sights like astounding waterfalls, extraordinary black sand beaches, the breathtaking Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon and Skaftafell, the jewel in the crown of Vatnajokull National Park.
From Reykjavik we head east along the beautiful South coast. We will first stop at the very picturesque waterfall Seljalandsfoss, the only known waterfall of its kind since it is possible to walk behind it and look out through the falling water. (When it's not icy). The water comes from the famous Eyjafjallajokull volcano and glacier, that last erupted in 2010 and the whole world tried to pronounce its name Ay-yah-fyad-layer-kuh-tel. It is a beautiful and unique scenery.
Next up is another impressive waterfall, Skogafoss. It is 60 m in height like Seljalandsfoss is also, and is many people favourites. According to the legend the settler Thrasi buried his chest of gold under the waterfall. Those who climb the 370 steps to the top of Skogafoss waterfall will be rewarded with an astonishing view out over southern Iceland’s coastline.
From there we‘ll go further down the South coast and visit the amiable coastal village of Vik, the southernmost village in Iceland. It is surrounded by incredible scenery, including the dramatic black beach of Reynisfjara and the magnificent sea stacks Reynisdrangar.
Skaftafell Nature Reserve is in the Vatnajokull national park and we‘ll have a short stop there after passing the longest bridge in Iceland which is over one of the glacial floods from the massive Vatnajokull, the largest glacier in the world outside the Arctics. After a stop in Skaftafell and Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon we will arrive at the accommodation for the night, Smyrlabjorg, a charming country hotel at Skaftafell area. There we will have a nice dinner and afterwards we‘ll go seeking for the celestial Northern lights if conditions allow.
On day 2 we have early rise. After refreshing breakfast we‘ll go and enjoy more time at the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon, now we can take a look at the spectacular icebergs in bright daylight. They constantly break off from the glacier and drift to the sea. We will visit another black sand beach, often called The Crystal Beach, where icebergs lie scattered like jewels.
After this we‘ll go straight to the glacier were we prepare for the glacier hike. All glacier equipment is provided and when we‘re ready we‘ll start a one hour tour on the glacier. The crampons are amazing suckers so don‘t worry about the slippery ice. After the hike we‘ll start our journey back to the city and make some stops on the way.
Day 3 - 4
After waking up in Reykjavik we will again leave the city but now we will head up to West Iceland. Snæfellsnes is sometimes called "Iceland in miniature" as it has varied landscape of all types. We will visit many wonderful places like Hvalfjordur, Hraunfossar waterfalls, the famous mountain Kirkjufell and Vatnshellir cave to name a few.
Pick up will be from 9.00 – 9.30. Our first stop will be Hvalfjordur (e. The Whale Fjord), if the weather allows. Hvalfjordur is a peaceful and quiet fjord with a great history and marvellous landscape. From there we‘ll go to Skorradalur, a valley with its crystalline lake and legends of a monster.
Before we go to the historical place Reykholt, we‘ll visit Deildartunguhver, Europe's most powerful hot spring, pumping out a staggering 180 litres of 97°C water a second. Reykholt is one of Iceland's most notable historical sites, a little village where Snorri Sturluson, the author of the Edda Sagas, lived. There you can find probably the oldest hot tub in Iceland, the one he bathed in.
One of this day‘s highlight is a visit to Hraunfossar falls, located just next to Reykholt, a collection of numerous creeks and cascades small and big of bright, turquoise water streaming over a distance of about 900 metres through a very porous lava field. The waterfalls pour into the river Hvita from ledges composed of the less porous rock in the lava.
We pass by another waterfall called Barnafoss – named so - ʺthe Waterfall of the Children", - because according to a folk tale two boys fell to their deaths when crossing a narrow stone arch that once spanned the river. From there we continue on to the valley of Hnappadalur passing the magnificent crater of Eldborg, a beautifully formed crater rising 60m above the surrounding lava. We will see Gerduberg, an impressive belt of basalt columns, massive and spectacular, forming geometric patterns in the cliffs. We will also stop at Raudamelsolkelda, a mineral spring that contains naturally carbonated healing water.
We drive further, down the peninsula, through astonishing enviroment, towering cliffs and peaks, and finally arrive at our accommodation for the night where we have a great view over the Snaefellsnes glacier.
Our first stop on day 2 at the peninsula will be Raudfeldsgja. A deep ravine in the mountain wall. The hike up there takes about 30 minutes and depending on weather conditions, we might go up there.
Arnarstapi will be next, a small fishing village and one of the most unusual harbours in Iceland, surrounded by fantastic columnar basalt, ravines and grottoes. An enormous troll-like monument stands as a tribute to Bardur, the region’s guardian spirit and the main character in a local saga. We‘ll take a short walk along the coast and marvel its beauty.
Next up is Hellnar, another delightful little village were we will marvel the alluring cliffs, the playful seabirds and beautiful views towards the sea and to the glacier of Snaefellsjokull. At the pier at Hellnar we might grab some refreshment at the smallest coffe-house in Iceland.
Next up is a visit down underground, to the cave Vatnshellir which was created in a volcanic eruption about 7000 years ago.
There are two main sections: The upper section has great features and unique formations of lava statues curved on the sides of the lava tube. The lower part of the lava cave can be reached by a long spiral staircase that takes us deep down underground to a place hidden from the outside world for millenniums . The total lack of light and sound deep in the lava cave is a true adventure for the senses.
Next we visit small fishing villages on the north side of the peninsula. First the long wave radio mast at Hellissandur is a 412 metre high guyed radio mast, once the tallest structure in Europe.
We will make a quick stop here mainly to look at some peculiar rock shelters that might be the oldest man-made structures in Iceland. We make a stop at the waterfall with the iconic mountain Kirkjufell, Church mountain, in the backdrop, on our way from the sleepy village of Olafsvik. At the foot of the mountain is the peaceful little village of Grundarfjordur. We may buy some lunch pack there.
From Grundarfjordur we proceed through the small fjords of Hraunsfjordur and Kolgrafafjordur and drive through the impressive and beautiful Berserkjahraun lava field. Accroding to a legend Swedidh berserks laid a path through the lava field in record time in exchange for the farmers daughter, but instead of keeping his promise he murdered them both. We will then turn south and drive across the mountains at Vatnaleid and head for Reykjavik. We estimate that we will be back to Reykjavik city between 19:00 - 21:00.
The popular and well known Golden Circle is something no one should miss. That‘s why our last day will be dedicated to that route.
Pick up is from 9.00 – 9.30 and we will make our first stop after about 20 minutes drive from Reykjavik. The geothermal power plant Hellisheidavirkjun stores a great exhibition of geothermal energy in Iceland. Geology, technology and history are represented in an easy and fun way.
The volcanic crater lake Kerid is next up, colorful and located close to the Golden Circle area. It is an old cone volcano which erupted and emptied its magma. The cone collapsed and the crater lake was formed. Faxi, a waterfall located in a river named Tungufljot will warm us up for Gullfoss, the Golden Falls. Gullfoss is one of the three golden and is probably the most famous waterfall in Iceland, at least one of the most popular tourist attractions. It is in the river Hvítá. Its total height is 32 meters and the average flow rate is 140 m3/s.
After Gullfoss we‘ll stop at a local place where we can get some lunch and build up some energy for the Geysir area. The geothermal area is our next stop, there you‘ll get the chance to see Strokkur erupt, spouting water to a height of about 60 – 100 feet. All around there are different hot springs including the well known Geysir.
After Gullfoss and Geysir we will go to a cute family farm, Efstidalur. There‘s an ice cream barn at the farm and the concept is really charming, you can enjoy different flavoured ice cream produced from the cow‘s milk. So genuine and the ice tastes real good. Before closing the circle we make a stop at Laugarvatn lake, situated in the small town Laugarvatn. One of the hot springs connected to the lake is Vígdalaug. When the Icelandic nation became Christian the pool was consecrated by Norwegian priests and used as a baptism pool. We will visit that pool.
National Park Thingvellir is last but not least. The Eurasian and American tectonic plates meet here and Althingi (the Icelandic parliament) was formed on these rocks in 930 AD, making it the oldest parliamentary site in the world. So the place is important both for Icelandic history as well as being an interesting geology site.There’s also a beautiful waterfall nearby called Öxarárfoss and both Thingvellir and that waterfall have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Read about important winter information
Map - click to enlarge
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