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Day 1: Arrive in Keflavik, to Thingvellir
Upon arrival in Keflavik, you are met by your Icelandic guide and our adventure begins. The destination for today is Thingvellir National Park. We will drive along the lavafields of the scenic north coast of Reykjanes Peninsula, a land version of the North Atlantic Rift Zone, to the colorful capital Reykjavik for breakfast.
Day 2: Geysir, Gullfoss Waterfalls, Glaciers and Hot Springs
Today, we head for the famous Geysir, the geyser from which all geysers derive their name. After earthquakes shook south Iceland in 2000, Geysir now erupts only once in a while, but its faithful deputy Strokkur ("churn") shoots water every 10 to 15 minutes, over 100 feet into the air. A short distance from Geysir is the famous Gullfoss waterfall and below it the Hvitargljufur Canyon, a huge canyon formed after floods from the nearby glaciers, thousands of years ago. From Gullfoss we head inland to the Hveravellir hotsprings.
Day 3: Husavik -Whale Watching
The day starts with a visit to the lush botanical gardens of Akureyri. We cross the mountains east of Eyjafjordur and stop at the famous Godafoss falls where the Lawspeaker of the ancient Althing - the Icelandic parliament - threw the statues of the Nordic gods, after the forced adoption of Christianity in AD 1000. The falls and its surroundings are considered of mystical nature.
Day 4: Lake Myvatn
Myvatn is world famous for its bird-life and volcanic formations. Lake Myvatn has the largest duck colony in Europe. Many other bird species are also found there, such as the great northern and red-throated divers, arctic terns, red-necked phalaropes, the gyr falcon, merlin, various waders and other water birds. The lake is a true bird paradise and its natural beauty is really magnificent, with pseudocraters, lava fields, volcanoes, hot springs and lunar like lava formations.
Day 5: Nordic Farming Heritage, Highland Desert and Fjords
Before we leave the active volcanic part of Iceland we stop at the steaming sulphur pits of Hverarond, east of Mt. Namafjall. We continue our journey to the east and cross the vast northern highland before our visit to a reconstructed farm called Saenautasel. The old farm is one of Iceland's best examples of its old Nordic heritage. The farm is one of the most remote in Iceland and highlights the harsh lives of these hardy people.
Day 6: South Coast, Village of Hofn
A relaxing day as we head for the south coast. We drive up Hoffellsdalur valley to one of the outlet glaciers from Vatnajokull before we head for the village of Hofn, the largest village on the south east coast. The village is in a beautiful setting along side an estuary, with a magnificent view to the Vatnajokull icecap. We have a relaxing afternoon to explore the town. Overnight at Hofn.
Day 7: Vatnajokull Icecap, Glacier Lagoon and Skaftafell National Park
We drive along the southeast coast and head for Skaftafell National Park. This is a very scenic drive along the Vatnajokull glacier, which is the third largest icecap in the world and the largest one in Europe. We head to the Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, a spectacular area where icebergs breaking off from the glacier, float on the lagoon.
Day 8: Skaftafell National Park - Glacial Hikes, Svartifoss Waterfall
Today, we spend the day in the National Park. We hike up to the old farm, Skaftafell, which is a very good example of a 19th century farmhouse. We travel to the beautiful waterfall, Svartifoss, one of the prettiest in Iceland. The falls run through the middle of a beautiful columnar basalt gully. From here, we walk to a lookout point where we see excellent views of Skaftafell glacier and if weather permits, we may get a view of the highest mountain in Iceland, Hvannadalshnjukur.
Day 9: To Hveragerdi, Skogafoss Falls, Dyrholaey Rock Arch & Seljalands Falls
This morning we visit the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano Visitors Center located at Thorvaldseyr Farm at the base of the volcano which made world headlines in 2010.
Day 10: Hveragerdi Hot springs, Blue Lagoon, Reykjavik
Following breakfast, we enjoy a tour of Hveragerdi. There are many hot springs in and around town. There is no such thing as the status quo in an area like this one. The geothermal activity is constantly changing, so much that there are examples of people having had hot springs forming under their houses. On our way back to Reykjavik, we enjoy a healing and relaxing bath in the famous Blue Lagoon, the mineral-rich pool of geothermal heated water, nestled in a lava field. Overnight in Reykjavik.
Day 11: Depart Reykjavik
This morning we go for a tour of the city and head for the downtown area. We enjoy a gentle walk around the city's central lake, and through its adjoining streets and parks to see the Parliament House and the City Hall. From the downtown area, we take a short drive to the western seashore of Reykjavik to see great views of Snaefellsness Peninsula and the surrounding mountains. We depart the hotel around midday for our evening international flights homeward.
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