Day 1 │Sept 8th Manuscripts at Reykjavik´s Culture House – City tour
Pick-up at lodgings between 8:30 and 9:00 am. Group transported to The Culture House in downtown Reykjavik. An English speaking expert will discuss some of Iceland‘s treasures, Eddas and the Sagas. Quite a few are on display at the exhibition. Following the visit to the Culture House, group will next visit Hallgrimskirkja church. The church is Reykjavik's main landmark and its tower can be seen from almost everywhere in the city. It is located at the top of central arts and designs shopping street Skolavordustigur. The statue of Leif Eriksson is in front of the church. The monument was presented on behalf of the United States of America to the people of Iceland on July 17, 1932. After lunch and a short tour of Reykjavik group visits the National Museum. Free afternoon.
Day 2 │Sept 9th Reykjavik – Thingvellir - Reykholt
Pick–up at lodgings between 8:00-9:00 am. Tour heads out of Reykjavik for Thingvellir National Park. The oldest parliament in the world was founded here in 930 and the Parliamentary Plains are the most important historic site of the country. Here you will also see the geological seperation of North America and Europe. In 1939, Thingvellir became Iceland‘s first National Park and was officially added to UNESCO's World Heritage List on August 2004. After spending some time here, tour proceeds north along a mountain road (Kaldidalur) into Borgarfjordur area. Stops at Husafell, Hraunfossar waterfalls before reaching Reykholt. We stay three nights at Fosshotel Reykholt. Welcome dinner at the hotel.
Day 3 │Sept 10th Snorri Sturluson – History of Norwegian Kings
Snorri was born in 1179 and died here in Reykholt in 1241. He was a poet, historian, chieftain and author of significant histories. Snorri was invited to Norway in 1218 by King Haakon IV. He became involved in politics during this visit and convinced King Haakon that he could become king of Iceland. As a result he became King Haakon‘s vassal. Today will be an opportunity to hear local historians and scholars discuss this remarkable man and his contributions to the history of Iceland and history of Norway. Visit the site with local guide as well as the museum which contains wonderful items, all of which help the visitor get a better picture of Sturluson.
Day 4 │Sept 11th Egill Skallagrimsson – Poet and Hero
Snorri Sturluson was a descendant of the great poet and hero of Egils saga, Egill Skallagrimsson, who was born in Borgarfjordur district. Today the focus is on Skallagrimsson and the settlement of Borgarfjordur. At the Settlement Centre in Borgarnes an exhibition profiles this most colorful character of all the saga heroes. Here the Saga of the Viking Heritage is told. After lunch we visit some of the sites from Egils saga in the Borgarfjordur region with a local guide.
Day 5 │Sept 12th Leif Eriksson – America Discovered
Tour heads out of Borgarfjordur, north across mountains to Dalasysla, the district in which significant parts of the Saga of Eric the Red took place. Leif was probably born at Eiriksstadir (Erik-stead), the place first to be visited today. It is believed he was born here in the period 970-980. As was the custom of the sons of chieftains and other prominent men in Iceland at that time to travel to Norway, Leif, as a young man, sailed for Norway. He met King Olaf Tryggvason, was converted and spent the winter with the king. Scholars at the local museum will provide us with a clear picture of his travels, both to Norway and of course, the most significant journey of his life, the one to America. After lunch we´ll visit the area of Dalasysla before heading westward to the lovely town of Stykkisholmur on Snaefellsnespeninsula. Stay two nights at Hotel Stykkisholmur. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 6 │Sept 13th Snaefellsnes Peninsula – Greatest female explorer
Depart from hotel and head westward on the north side of this remarkable peninsula. At the western tip of the peninsula, the majestic glacier Snaefellsjokull towers above the Atlantic Ocean where unique rock formations have been carved by the waves. Lava fields surrounding the glacier are clear examples of the forces of nature. Gudridur Thorbjarnardottir was born here at a farm called Laugarbakki. She was an extraordinary woman who around the year 1000 was considered the greatest female explorer of the world. Tales of her journeys are found both in the Saga of Eric the Red and the Story of Greenlanders. She married Thorfinn and along with some 150 others sailed for North America. There she gave birth to a boy they named Snorri who is considered the first European born in North America. They went further south along the east coast, some say as far as Manhattan. Along the peninsula we pass a few fishing villages, stop at Djuparlonssandur coast, Arnarstapi village and Budir beach before heading back to Stykkisholmur.
Day 7 │Sept 14th Breidafjordur cruise - Reykjavík
The Breidafjordur Bay has often been referred to as the bread basket of Iceland. Not only has fishing been good but the countless islands are the breeding grounds of various species of sea birds whose eggs have proven invaluable so often during difficult times. A two hour cruise highlights the Bay, including where Eric the Red moored his ships before sailing west to discover Greenland. After the cruise, the group heads back to Reykjavik for the last night and the end of the tour. Overnight in Hotel Cabin.