The Heritage Tours focus on the migration from Iceland to North America during 1870-1914
as well as providing opportunities to experience many of Iceland‘s most scenic and historical sites all around the island. The tour offers great insight into nature, history, culture and folklore with an Icelandic English speaking guide, especially knowledgeable in Emigration from Iceland. Those interested in their Icelandic background are encouraged to send us genealogical information prior to arrival in Iceland. Opportunities for walks, boat trip, bird watching and swimming. Participants are encouraged to bring good walking shoes, warm clothes and rain-wear.
Day 1 | Eyrarbakki village, area of glaciers Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull
Pick-up at lodgings between 08:30-09:00. We head along the
southern shore. First stop at Eyrarbakki village with the oldest wooden houses in Iceland „Húsið“. This is the same building from where the first Icelanders left for America in 1870s. Stops at Seljalandsfoss (behind which one can walk). We´ll stop at the visitor center at Þorvaldseyri farm where we find out what life was all about during the Eyjafjallajökull eruption (April-May 2010). Stop at the waterfalls Skogafoss and Reynisfjara beach with its basalt columns. Overnight and dinner in Countryhotel Höfðabrekka
in the area of Vík.
Day 2 | Skaftafell National Park and Glacier lagoon
The majestic Vatnajokull, Europe‘s largest glacier towers above today´s itinerary. The drive east along the southcoast is spectacular and demands
several stops during the drive across desert sands, through enormous lava fields and across glacier rivers. This region is quite unique, the contrasts in nature amazing. Stop at Skaftafell National Park. Opportunity to go on a short hike or simply relax and enjoy this remarkable area. A boat tour (30 min) on Glacier Lagoon is a must. Overnight and dinner in Countryhotel Smyrlabjörg
. For those interested, an evening drive in a jeep to the top of Vatnajökull glacier is possible (optional).
Day 3 | Höfn village, Eastern fjords and valleys
Today´s journey will be dedicated to the south-east and the eastern fjords and valleys from where many emigrated. Passing by the village Höfn and Djúpivogur, we stop at Breiðdalsvik, visit a mineral museum before continuing along the Eastern fjords. Quite a few Icelanders left this area for America during the Emigration period in the 19th century. Overnight and dinner in Guesthouse Egilsstaðir
Day 4 | North-East Iceland, Vopnafjordur, Interiour of Iceland and Dettifoss
More people left the northeast part of the island than any other part of the country and our first stop today will be in Vopnafjordur, a significant village in the history of emigration to America. Participants will have an opportunity to look for their roots in Iceland at the East Iceland Emigration Centre. Heading north now, driving across part of the interior of the island where you will get a good insight into why no one lives in the interior of the island. Despite the uninviting terrain, young people took to these parts in the late 19th century and attempted to survive. Abandoned farms and ruins can still be seen. Our last stop today will be at Dettifoss waterfall. Overnight and dinner in Countryhotel Narfastaðir
the next 2 nights.
Day 5 | Lake Mývatn area and Húsavík
Today will be spent exploring Lake Mývatn area, one of the pearls of Icelandic nature. Walk among the pseudo craters at Skútustaðir and in Dimmuborgir with its strange rock formations. Visit Krafla area with the crater Víti (hell) and the solfatares at Leirhnjúkur and Námaskarð area. We´ll visit a bird museum, based on the private collection of Mr. Sigurgeir. Leaving Lake Mývatn area we go to picturesque Húsavík village before returning to Countryhotel Narfastaðir.
Day 6 | Akureyri, Tröllaskagi and Hofsós
Our first stop today will be at Godafoss waterfall. We will also stop
at Storu Tjarnir from which Rev. Pall Thorlaksson and a few others left for Wisconsin in 1872. Rev. Thorlaksson later founded the settlement in the Mountain area in North Dakota. Short sightseeing of Akureyri town before heading to Tröllaskagi peninsula, passing the active fishing village of Dalvík, Ólafsfjörður and Siglufjörður. Our last stop today is at Hofsós Emigration Center where the afternoon will be spent at this remarkable museum, discovering more about the immigrants from Iceland. Overnight and dinner in Countryhotel Hofsstaðir
Day 7 | Skagafjörður, Glaumbær turf museum
We start with a visit and stroll through Sauðarkrókur town before a visit to Glaumbær turf museum to get an insight into Icelandic housing throughout the centuries. Next stop at Stephan G. Stephansson‘s monument. The Textile Museum in Blönduós will also be visited with its unique collection of homemade Icelandic wool and textile items. It also exhibits beautiful Icelandic national costumes and artistic embroideries along with many of the tools and equipment used to produce them. Heading now to the west, passing over Holtavorduheidi. Overnight and dinner in Countryhotel Hraunsnef
Day 8 | Eric the Red and Snæfellsnes peninsula
Today will be spent at Snæfellsnes peninsula and its area. First stop at Eiríksstaðir museum, homestead of Eric the Red and birth place of Leifur Eiriksson, the discoverer of America. Passing by Stykkishólmur village before arriving at farm Bjarnarhöfn where the farmer Hildibrandur is known for shark meat processing, tastes and a visit to his small wooden church is planned. Passing by fishing village Ólafsvík and Hellissandur arriving in the Snæfellsnes National Park, we make stops at Djúpalónssandur beach and the unique Lónsdrangar cliffs. Overnight and dinner in Countryhotel Hellnar
Day 9 | Snæfellsnes peninsula and Borgarfjordur area
We drive along the southern side of Snæfellsnes peninsula, with a stop at the small village of Arnarstapi and Búðir. Into Borgarfjordur area, from where quite a few
left from for America in the 19th century, even if this area is known as a good agricultural district with numerous farms. Several stops in the area for instance at Deildartunguhver hot spring, Reykholt museum, Hraunfossar waterfall and Borgarnes village. Overnight and dinner in Guesthouse Ensku Húsin
Day 10 | Hot springs, Horses, Tomatoes and Thingvellir National Park
Our first stop today will be at Thingvellir National Park. This place is the most historic site in the country. Considerable time will be spent in the area. Onwards through Laugarvatn before arriving at Geysir hot spring area. Gullfoss waterfall will be visited before arriving at Friðheimar, horse and green house farm
. We get to know their horses and visit the geothermal heated green houses where they cultivate tomatos all year around. Heading to Reykjavik where the tour ends.
At site of ancestors in the north
Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon