Meet at our accommodation in Reykjavik.
Today we drive the south coast to the Vatnajokull NP. ,stoppping 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 to Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon offering fantastic photographic opportunities with the icebergs floating on the water. We also go down to the beach where we often find big lumps of blue ice washed up on the black volcanic sand. The lagoon is on the edge of the Vatnajokull National Park and situated at the head of the massive Breidamerkurjokull glacier, one of the largest outlets from the Vatnajokull ice cap. Jokulsarlon evolved into a lagoon around 1950 as the glacier retreated from the coast. The banks of the lagoon today show where the glacier's edge used to be, just 1.5km from the ocean. The river running out of the lagoon is the shortest glacial river in Iceland and the lagoon itself is almost 300m deep, covering an area of 20 square kilometres.
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.
Today we head for Svinafellsjokull glacier and Skaftafell. This area is part of the Vatnajokull National Park, which covers 10% of the country and contains some of Iceland's most beautiful areas. Glaciers, mountains, extensive flora and fauna and beautiful waterfalls all make up this rugged landscape. One such place is the Svartifoss Waterfall, which we walk to before visiting the glacier. Dropping from a 12 metre high wall of basalt columns this is certainly not to be missed.
After Skaftafell we go glacier walking on the Svinafellsjokull Glacier, without a doubt Iceland's most impressive glacial tongue. It runs down from Oraefajokull, home to Mt Hvannadalshnjukur, the highest point in Iceland, and off the largest glacier in Europe, the Vatnajokull Ice Cap. 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 make our way along the south scenic south coast passing the Eyjafjallajokull volcano and taking in some of the most inspirational places in this part of Iceland, namely Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir, 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.