Natural Wonders of Iceland – Insight Vacations
Insight Vacations has a 10 day tour – a great option to visit Iceland!
Until recently Iceland occupied the fringes of European travel. Known for its mind-bending landscapes, it was popular with young hipsters, attracted by Reykjavik’s quirky creativity and party vibe. Icelandic tourism has suddenly taken off like a geyser, (the word geyser actually comes from Iceland’s Great Geysir, discovered in 1294.) Attracted by lower prices and explosive scenery, international visitors have grown steadily. So Iceland, the land of ice and fire, is so cool it’s hot! This is a great time to visit, before prices climb up as the global economy improves.
Much of Iceland is still taking shape before your very eyes – raw, dramatic landscapes born from volcanic eruptions and carved out by glaciers. Other parts have hardly changed since the first Viking settlers saw them more than 1,100 years ago.
Highlights include the iceberg-strewn Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon and Skaftafell National Park. The bird sanctuary of Lake Mývatn is surrounded by lava formations, volcanoes, hot springs and craters. Dettifoss is Iceland’s biggest waterfall, while the Gullfoss (Golden Falls) is beautiful and majestic. The national park of Thingvellir was the setting for the Althing, the world’s oldest national parliament, dating from 930.
In terms of music, Iceland has everything from pop to classical, opera, rock and musical. The hip Icelandic capital, Reykjavik is awash with cafes, restaurants, clubs, and pubs. Iceland also has a long history, and is rich in culture, so there are numerous museums, focusing on a wide variety of themes.
- Day 1 – Board your overnight flight to Europe.
- Day 2 – THE SMOKY BAY OF REYKJAVÍK Welcome to Iceland. At Reykjavík’s Keflavík Airport, transfers depart for your hotel at 08.00 & 16.30. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and an opportunity to get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine. Hotel: Fosshotel, Reykjavík Welcome Reception and Dinner
Day 3 – HOT SPRINGS AND WATERFALLS TO VÍK Head east to visit Iceland’s newest geothermal heat and electric power station at Hellisheiðavirkjun. Continue to the hot-springs at Geysir and the mighty Gullfoss Waterfalls, the Icelandic equivalent of Niagara Falls. Then to the ancient Bishopric of Skalholt, see the historic church set in a remote location amid magnificent natural scenery, before continuing to your hotel in Vík. Hotel: Icelandairhotel, Vík Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
- Day 4 – BY GLACIERS AND ICEBERGS TO HÖFN Drive along the southern coast of Iceland, beside the black basalt-sand beaches. The highlight of the day is the National Park at Skaftafell where you will see the largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajökull. Travel on to the luminous blue icebergs of Lake Jökulsárlón, the dramatic setting for scenes in two James Bond films. Hotel: Hotel Höfn Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
- Day 5 – THROUGH EASTERN FJORDS TO EGILSSTAÐIR (Relaxed Start) Explore the eastern coastal region, where Irish missionary monks lived some 1,200 years ago. Travel up the fjords to the beautiful area around Egilsstaðir. Hotel: Hotel Hérað, Egilsstaðir Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 – BY DESERT, LAKES AND DIVINE WATERFALLS TO AKUREYRI Drive through the sand desert of Mödrudal to the Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe. Continue on to the beautiful Lake Mývatn. This area offers a wide spectrum of geological formations and the intense geothermal activity produces mud pools and spectacular coloured deposits. Afterwards, view the Godafoss, known as ‘The Waterfall of the Gods’, before continuing to your hotel in Akureyri. In the evening, you are free to explore Akureyri. Perhaps, embark on an optional whale watching experience (available during whale season). Hotel: Icelandairhotel Akureyri Buffet Breakfast
- Day 7 – FROM THE CAPITAL OF THE NORTH TO BORGARNES. (Relaxed Start) Enjoy an orientation tour of Akureyri, the capital of northern Iceland – first established as a trading centre in 1602. Travel past mountains, waterfalls and green coastal regions to Hvammstangi. Later, continue on to the south-west coast of Borgarnes.Hotel: Hotel Hamar, Borgarnes Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 – EXPLORING SNÆFELLSJÖKULL NATIONAL PARK (Relaxed Start) Travel along the Snæfellsnes Peninsula to Snæfellsjökull National Park known as the Jewel of West Iceland and home to the country’s most famous volcano. Enjoy a fascinating exploration of the park’s many famous sites, including the magnificent Snæfellsjökull (Snæfell Glacier) and Búðir, a romantic landscape of white sandyhills, black lava fields and yellow beach. Also walk along the seacliff at Arnarstapi with its spectacular columnar rock formations. Hotel: Hotel Hamar, Borgarnes Buffet Breakfast, Dinner
- Day 9 – THINGVELLIR AND ON TO REYKJAVÍK Travel southwards to Thingvellir, where the first meeting of the Icelandic parliament was held in 930. This remarkable natural site lies on the Great Atlantic Rift line where the American and European tectonic plates meet. Back in Reykjavík, you will be at leisure. An orientation of Reykjavík will take you to the delightful Hveragerði Geothermal Park. Your tour culminates with a visit to Reykjavik’s Blue Lagoon, where you cheers to the end of your Icelandic holidays with a cocktail. Hotel: Fosshotel Reykjavik. Buffet Breakfast
- Day 10 – REYKJAVÍK Your departure transfer arrives at Reykjavík Keflavík Airport at 05.00 & 12.30. Buffet Breakfast Pictures courtesy of Insight Vacations!