Day 1: Gullfoss – Geysir - Hotel Pickup from hotel or guesthouse in Reykjavik from 08:30 in the morning.
First on our program for the day is a visit to the Great Geysir geothermal area. There we will take a look at the areas namesake and its neighbor, Strokkur a feisty geyser which spouts every 5-10 minutes. Close by we find Gullfoss, one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls; in two giant steps the water falls 32 meters into a deep gorge. We continue east through one of the largest agriculture areas. Passing by two very impressive glaciers, a huge sand desert and one of Iceland’s biggest lava fields we reach our hotel where we stay for the next 4 nights.
Driving: 6 hrs total Walking: 2-3 hrs total
Day 2: Vatnajökull National Park-Skaftafell
Vatnajökull National Park is Europe’s biggest National Park.The southeast part of this park is the area of Skaftafell which is composed of natural forest growing between glacial tongues, reaching down almost to sea level - a unique place to visit. We walk through a birch forest up to the Svartifoss waterfall, which is famous for its black basalt columns. On the way we will get fantastic views of Europe’s largest glacier Vatnajökull and Hvannadalshnúkur (2110m), its highest peak. In the afternoon a 2-3 hour inspiring walk on the glacier is optional. You will be provided with all the necessary gear (crampons and ice axes) to discover the amazing blue world of ice and explore its ridges and crevasses ! Return to the hotel.
Driving: 2 hrs total Walking: 4-5 hrs total
Day 3: Volcano Laki
Today we head for the craters of Laki. In 1783 a 25km long fissure opened and lava flew out of 130 craters, devastating huge pasture fields. Clouds of poisonous gases killed over 50% of the livestock on Iceland. This led to a great famine which soon killed about 20% of the population. This was the greatest eruption in Iceland since the original settlement and naturally had a deep impact on the Icelandic population. However, today these craters are mostly covered with green moss which makes a huge contrast to the black and red color of the underlying lava. In good weather we will climb to the top of the the Laki mountain. From there we have a splendid view over all the craters and the ice cap of Vatnajökull. Return to the same hotel.
Driving: 4-5 hrs total Walking: 3-4 hrs total
Day 4: Jökulsárlón – Slaga
Today we head east along the Öræfajökull glacier which covers one of the country’s greatest volcanoes and its highest summit. We then cross great flatlands in front of the huge Breiðamerkurjökull glacier before arriving to Jökulsárlón lagoon with its picturesque floating icebergs. This place has provided the backdrop for many Hollywood films - for example the James Bond movie “Die another Day”. We discover a great variety of icebergs of different forms and shapes and the wide range of blue and white colours in the ice. In the afternoon on our way back, we will take a walk at the foot of the Öræfajökull glacier, with fantastic views over the vast sand plains of the river Skeiðará. In 1996 the great glacier outflow from under the Vatnajökull icecap destroyed the longest bridge in Iceland. A huge mass of ice (3000 billion liters) melted and the water reached a flow rate of 55,000 cubic meters per second and covered these huge plains with water. Return to the same hotel.
Driving: 3-4 hrs total Walking: 4-5 hrs total
Day 5: Vík – Hot springs of Ölkelduháls – Reykjavik
On our return to Reykjavik we pass by the village of Vík (Vík í Mýrdal) where we can enjoy a walk on the black beach. The pinnacles of Reynisdrangar are to be seen just offshore. According to legend, the pinnacles were left standing there after two trolls tried to pull a three master ship past the headland, but were caught and petrified by the first rays of sunshine. North of the village Hveragerði, famous for its greenhouses, we enjoy our last walk over to the geothermal area of Reykjadalur where we can enjoy a relaxing bath in a warm stream before returning to the hectic life of Iceland’s capital.
Driving: 4 hrs total Walking: 3-4 hrs total