Day 1 – Warmth, water and the beginning of Iceland
“It must be cold in Iceland?
” is one of the most common questions Icelanders get. And yes, it can be cold here but we have plenty of geothermal warmth to heat up our houses all year round. We start with a visit to Hellisheiði geothermal power plant. Passing by greenhouse village Hveragerði, located in a geothermal zone, we continue our trip to Friðheimar farm
for a visit to a greenhouse where the purest of tomatoes are grown using geothermal energy. We then visit and walk around the magnificent Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir hot spring area where the hot spring Strokkur spouts every 5-10 minutes. We end the day with a stroll through Þingvellir National Park, a historical site located on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. We overnight and dine in Borgarfjörður district, at country hotel Hraunsnef
, a charming place where the owners will share with you tales of the hidden people (elfs) in the area.Day 2 – Miniature Iceland
The Snæfellsnes peninsula is sometimes called a “miniature Iceland”, as it has a little bit of everything Iceland has to offer; varied landscapes including a volcano, a glacier, lava fields, mountains, coastline etc. We drive along the south coast of the Snæfellsnes peninsula to its most western point where we turn northwards circling the Snæfellsjökull glacier. We stop at the picturesque village of Arnarstapi where we walk along the sea cliffs. Along the way we will see the unique Lóndrangar cliffs (up to 75m high) and walk around the beautiful bay at Djúpalónssandur. We pass fishing villages Hellissandur, Ólafsvík and Stykkishólmur. We then head towards the north where we stay overnight at farmer’s guesthouse Gauksmýri
, a horse ranch with horse-themed decorations and hosts who will prepare a special dinner for you in the evening.Day 3 – Horses and “hangikjöt”
We start the day with an introduction to the Icelandic horse at Gauksmýri farm
where we visit the stables and learn all there is to know about the unique Icelandic horse breed and its five gaits. We then continue to Akureyri town with its 15,000 inhabitants, often called “the capital of the north“ by locals. After a short sightseeing tour where we pass the best known landmarks of Akureyri you will have some time to stroll around the town center and perhaps have a chat with locals at one of the cafés. Our next stop is at Öngulsstaðir
where we visit the old farm and get to taste their traditional home-smoked lamb meat “hangikjöt”, a must to taste when travelling in Iceland. The last stop is at Goðafoss waterfall or “waterfall of the gods“. We spend the night at Stóru-Laugar, a charming and newly renovated farmer‘s guesthouse
. Our hosts at Stóru-Laugar will prepare dinner as they know best, after which it is possible to spend the evening relaxing in the outdoor jacuzzi (and who knows, perhaps conditions for viewing the Northern Lights will be favorable!)Day 4 – Magical Mývatn
Lake Mývatn is one of the most cherished jewels of the north and has a lot to offer. A fascinating walk in between the lava formations at Dimmuborgir is a must, as well as a walk among the pseudo craters at Skútustaðir. The geothermal area at Námaskarð pass is definitely one of the highlights of the day, with its extraordinary colors, boiling mud pots and special smell. We also stop at the Nature Baths for a refreshing geothermal dip - a perfect way to keep warm in our cool climate! We then visit a bird museum and find out which birds make Mývatn their home and nest around the lake. Then it is time to bid farewell to Lake Mývatn and return to the Akureyri area for an overnight stay at farmer’s guesthouse Skjaldarvík
. The owner will amaze you with her extraordinary designs and decorations to be seen everywhere around the guesthouse – also in the dining hall where you will enjoy the last dinner on this tour.Day 5 – “Troll peninsula”, a peak into the past and return to the city of Reykjavík
Tröllaskagi, or the “troll peninsula” will be our first destination. We drive through a couple of small fishing villages until we arrive at Siglufjörður village, famous for its herring fishing industry of the past. We will be met by a local guide at the Herring Era Museum, the largest maritime museum in Iceland, who will guide us through this important era of Icelandic history. We then continue around the peninsula arriving in Skagafjörður where we take another step into the past and visit Glaumbær folk museum, a turf farm that gives a special insight into how Icelanders lived throughout the centuries. We continue south, arriving in Reykjavík in the late afternoon….or should we perhaps just start the tour again?