Fly to Reykjavik; transfer to city centre via Blue Lagoon thermal complex.
Leaving Reykjavik for the north, we pass Hvalfjordur (Bay of Whales) - during World War II this was an important harbour for US convoys heading for Britain. At the end of the fjord is the highest waterfall in Iceland, Glymur at a towering 200m. We set off for a 2hr hike around up to the falls. From Hyalfjordur we enter Myrar, volcanic country, where we stop for a 1-2 hour hike to the extinct volcanic crater of Eldborg. Climbing to its low rim offers fantastic views. Heading west towards Snaefellsness we pass some interesting columnar basalt cliffs at Gerduberg before heading back to our hostel in Stykkisholmur. Stykkisholmur is an old trading post where a modern fishing industry sits alongside old timber houses from Danish times. Here there is the option to take a 3-hour boat ride through the thousands of islands of the Breidafjordur Marine Conservation Area Archipelago; an excellent place for birdlife and we may also see seals.
Snaefellsness is perhaps best known for the glacier-capped strato-volcano “Snaefellsjokull” and its literary and mystical associations. Jules Verne in his classic “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” describes this as the start point for the protagonist’s journey. New-age followers consider this area as one of the earth’s seven major energy centres. With the volcano as a backdrop we visit the cliffs of nesting seabirds at Arnastapi, before a coastal walk to Hellnar, and discover the old cod-fishing community at Dritvik. Time allowing we can enjoy a soak in the warm swimming pool of mineral waters at Lysuholl geothermal area. The waters are said to have healing properties.
From Stykkisholmur we travel to Eiriksstadir, a reconstructed Viking house once home to Erik the Red and his son Leif Eiriksson - the two most famous travelling Vikings. The ‘Eirikstadir’ gives an interesting insight into the way of life for the early settlers.
as we head south towards Thingvellir, the old site of Iceland’s early parliament. This area became Iceland's first National Park in 1928 and a World Heritage area in 2004. It sits right on top of a major fault line and abounds with waterfalls, immense fissures and the largest lake in the country. Close to the old parliament site we find a lava tube cave and go underground to explore Gjabakkahellir cave. All participants get a helmet and a head torch.
We then move on to see the world famous geysers, the most reliable eruption comes every 5-10 minutes from one called ‘Strokkur’; the 30-meter jet of water and steam is spectacular. To top the day off, we drive a short distance to Gullfoss - a dramatic waterfall located in a 70m deep canyon of River Hvita (White River), and the largest volume falls in Europe. From Gullfoss We drive to the south coast to visit two of Iceland’s most spectacular waterfalls, Skogarfoss and Seljalandsfoss - each fed by the Eyjafjallajokul icecap
This glacier tongue is just east of the now infamous Eyafjallajokull volcano. We spend a good part of the day exploring this strange land of ice with fascinating natural ice formations, ridges and crevasses. All participants get crampons, ice axe, climbing harness and a helmet. All are attached to climbing rope for safety when travelling on the glacier. From Solheimajokull we head west towards Reykjavik via Seljalandsfoss waterfall.
A free day for further optional activities or exploring Reykjavik on your own. The town centre is within walking distance of the guesthouse, with plenty of cafes to sit and relax in. There are a number of activities and excursions available from Reykjavik and the guide will explain these during the tour - we strongly suggest you book these (through your guide) before you return to Reykjavik. Possibilities include: further whale watching, horse riding, and sea kayaking.
Free morning; fly to London.