Today we drive the south coast to the Vatnajokull NP (approx 5hrs)., stopping at few points of interest along the way. Our first stop is at the impressive 25m wide and 60m high Skogafoss waterfall. We make a short stop in the town Vik before we head on and make a brief visit to the Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, weather permitting. We also go down to the beach where we often find big lumps of blue ice washed up on the black volcanic sand. There are some wonderful photographic opportunities here as we enjoy a winter Icelandic sunset over the floating icebergs. Each night our guide will be monitoring conditions to assess our chances of seeing the Northern Lights, and where the best spot might be. Our evening excursions to try to see the Northern Lights are therefore subject to change but we will try to arrange excursions on at least two evenings.
The Breidamerkurjokull Glacier is one of the largest outlets from the massive Vatnajokull ice cap and is our first destination today. This magical place consists of huge crevasses, long and narrow ridges and natural ice sculptures. We make our way up the ridges, entering some of the crevasses where possible. Ice axes and crampons can be used here to access certain areas and follow certain routes, however alternative routes are available for those not comfortable with this. The crystal blue ice here is actually over one thousand years old and gets its colour from the lack of oxygen in the ice, which compresses it. Occasionally rainfall can wash away the debris to leave the glacier sparkling blue. We then return for a full visit to the beautiful Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, created around 1950 as the glacier retreated from the coast, leaving a body of water 300m deep and covering an area of 20 square kilometres. The banks of the lagoon show where the glacier's edge used to be, just 1.5km from the ocean. We also go down to the beach where we often find large chunks of blue ice washed up on the black volcanic sand. There are some wonderful photographic opportunities here as we enjoy a winter Icelandic sunset over the floating icebergs.
We make our way along the south scenic south coast passing the Eyjafjallajokull volcano and taking in some of the most impressive sights in this part of Iceland, namely Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir and Thingvellir NP and World Heritage Site before we return to Reykjavik.
We visit the Leidarendi lava tube cave. The cave is a great example of lava tubes with many fascinating lava formations. The flow of the lava can be easily seen in many places inside the cave and lava formations such as small stalagmites and stalactites are around. The cave is easily navigated and in winter the cave is often filled with glistening icicles of all shapes and sizes, creating an amazing world of ice. After caving we head for the Blue Lagoon and soak in the thermal baths before our flight back.