Iceland 2020 itinerary - 22 March 2020 - Northern Lights

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Iceland Extension Itinerary

DATEITINERARY
22 MAR 2020Oslo – Fly to Iceland. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Overnight: Reykjavik Lights Hotel (or similar) (B)
23 MAR 2020Reykjavik to Vik – Today you will be picked up for your tour. The first day of this round trip is mostly focused on exploring the attractions of the famous Golden Circle.

You will visit Þingvellir National Park which is recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its geological and historical significance. It was here that the Icelanders founded their historic Parliament in 930 CE, Alþingið, one of the first democratic governments in the world. The Law Speaker had one of the most dramatic ‘platforms’ in the world from which to proclaim the law, the cliff of the mighty rift valley stood at his back. The Mid-Atlantic ridge runs right through Þingvellir, the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates continue to edge apart, slowly widening the rift valley. The Geysir hot spring area will be our next destination. Geysir is the spouting hot spring which gave its name to this phenomenon, when the English word ‘geyser’ was adopted. Watch the Strokkur hot spring erupt great jets of hot water and steam every few minutes and see the bubbling fumaroles. The mighty Gullfoss waterfall is the final Golden Circle attracted. See the dreamy golden-hued mist rising from the spray as the Hvítá (the White River) pours down from Langjökull (the Long Glacier) roaring through the rugged canyon. Gullfoss drops 32 m in two stages.

On the way to your accommodation at a country hotel near the village of Vík, you will visit both Seljalandsfossand Skógafoss waterfalls. Seljalandsfoss is a very unusual waterfall because it is possible to walk behind the cascade, giving a unique vantage point.

Overnight: Hotel included in Vik (B)

24 MAR 2020

Vík – Skaftafell – Glacier Lagoon – Höfn – Explore the atmospheric Reynisfjara black sand beach with the glorious Reynisdrangar peaks and visit the basalt column cave. Then it is over to the glaciers! You pass the great Mýrdalsjökull glacier, which houses one of the most famous and feared volcanoes beneath its ice, the capricious Katla. In good visibility you will get a glimpse of the great fire maestro!  Witness the results of previous volcanic eruptions as we drive across the Eldhraun lava field to Skaftafell in Vatnajökull National Park. Skaftafell is a true oasis, with green birch forests and lush vegetation, a verdant jewel in the midst of the rough black sand desert.

Overnight: Hotel included in Höfn (B)

25 MAR 2020

East Fjords – Djúpivogur – Egilsstaðir – Today you will explore the East Fjords of Iceland. We continue threading our way along the coastline, driving some narrow roads around Hvalnes, a very beautiful and remote peninsula, and the stretch around the Þvottárskriður landslides between Lóns and Álftafjarðar. You will stop at Djúpivogur, a traditional small fishing village which is also home to a fine outdoor sculpture, Eggin í Gleðivík (meaning The Eggs of Merry Bay). There is then an invigorating hike to Hengifoss, Iceland’s second highest waterfall (128 m), we will also see the towering Litlanesfoss waterfall, the cascade is framed by giant hexagonal basalt columns. The hike takes about three hours in total. You will see a beautiful gorge where the layers from volcanic eruptions in ancient times can be seen in the colorful rock face. Following our hike we travel to Egilsstaðir, the night will be spent in a country hotel in the area.

Overnight: Hotel included in Egilsstaðir (B)

26 MAR 2020

Dettifoss – Mývatn – Goðafoss – Akureyri – Today you are on your way to the north of the country. From Egilsstaðir, we drive over the wilderness around Möðrudalur, the highest farm in Iceland for generations and now the highest inhabited place and restaurant, at 469 m. We will stop at Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, the voluminous flow is truly awesome! We then explore the mystical landscapes around the lake at Mývatn – from here it just gets more surreal – we head to the steaming lunar landscapes of the Námaskarð geothermal area. See boiling hot springs, steaming fumaroles and technicolor bubbling mud pots. The wonders continue when we visit the Hverfjall crater and the amazing Dimmuborgir formations, known as the Dark Castles!

The next stop is at Mývatn Nature Baths, in Icelandic these are called Jarðbóðin because the hot water comes straight up out of the earth. Bathe in the mineral rich alkaline water (36 – 40 C), the entrance fee can be added when booking or paid on site. For those do not wish to bathe, there is the option to stroll around and enjoy the exceptional views or relax in the cafeteria, there is a sun terrace for fine days! The wide and dreamy crescent shaped waterfall, Goðafoss, is the last stop of the day before we journey to Eyjafjörður, an outstandingly beautiful fjord with high mountains. Our accommodation for the night will be at a country hotel near Akureyri.

Overnight: Hotel included in Akureyri (B)

27 MAR 2020

Whale watching in Dalvík – Siglufjörður -Tröllaskagi – Bifröst – Occasionally there is time to make a short stop at Akureyri, the Capital of the North. We always drive through this charming town, passing through the really mesmeric scenery along Eyjafjörður (the Island Fjord) on the way to the little fishing town of Dalvík. Your whale watching boat trip departs from the traditional working harbor. During the 3-hour boat trip you can expect to spot humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins, minke whales, and sometimes even a majestic blue whale. Whales are spotted on 98% of tours. You will also get the chance to try your luck at sea angling, and a taste of the freshest fish imaginable.

When we step ashore, we drive to Siglufjörður, a charming fishing village with a rich history, in the early 20th century there was a gold rush atmosphere when the remote community became the herring fishing capital of the Atlantic. Your journey around Tröllaskagi (the Troll Peninsula) will show you some of the best ocean scenery and skiing areas in Iceland. The characterful small villages on this peninsula will really give you a good insight into how life was/is lived in the remote Icelandic villages. Our drive will take us through some thriving agricultural areas on our way to Bifröst, a small university centered community. Your accommodation for the night will be at a small hotel in Bifröst.

Overnight: Hotel included in Bifröst (B)

28 MAR 2020

Borgarfjörður – Reykholt – Hraunfossar – Hvalfjörður – Reykjavík – On this, your final day, you’ll will find yourself in West Iceland – an area which Lonely Planet voted as one of the best destinations in 2016. Your day will begin with a short hike up to Grábrók, a volcano crater. On a clear day there are fabulous views over the lava field and the whole area. Borgarfjörður has many splendid sights and we will focus on these today. We stop at Deildartunguhver hot spring, the legendary waterfall, Barnafoss, (the Children´s Waterfall), and the Hraunfossar cascade, the atmospheric very low and wide falls where the water emerges, literally straight out of the lava field.

Next on the agenda is the historic and picturesque site of Reykholt, home to Snorri Sturluson, the Icelandic historian, lawyer, politician, poet and the author of some Icelandic Sagas. See Snorralaug, Snorri´s pool, dabble your fingers and feel the temperature of the water in the place where Snorri is likely to have bathed! You will drive around scenic fjord, Hvalfjörður (Whale Fjord), on your way to back Reykjavík. Expect to arrive in the city around 5 – 6 pm.

Overnight: Radisson Blu Hotel Saga (or similar) (B)

29 MAR 2020Reykjavík to Oslo – You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Oslo. On arrival you will make your own way to your hotel.
Overnight: Radisson Blu Airport Hotel Oslo (or similar) (B)
30 MAR 2020Oslo – Fly to Australia (B)
31 MAR 2020Arrive Australia.

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