Day 1: Canada - Reykjavik (Iceland)
Flight with a good itinerary.
Day 2: Reykjavik
Upon arrival at the airport in Iceland, make your way toward the bus terminal for your transfer to your hotel. Airport shuttles (Flybus) depart every 30 to 40 minutes and seats are always available on board. The rest of the day is free for you to start your exploration of Reykjavik, the capital and largest city in the country.
Ingolfur Arnarson, the first Icelandic settler, built his farm on the peninsula where Reykjavik is today. The city owes its name, "Bay of Smoke", to the steam jets that could be seen rising from hot springs in the region and which probably impressed the first european settlers.
Day 3: Reykjavik - Thingvellir - Geysir - Gullfoss
After breakfast, you will meet your guide in the lobby of the hotel. Today, you will start with the visit of the fascinating Aurora Reykjavik Northern Lights Centre where you will get a great introduction to northern lights, how they are formed and the folklore surrounding them. You will also get tips about how to capture northern lights on film. It’s also possible to get assistance from the staff to adjust your camera’s settings for northern lights pictures. Then, you will head toward Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, where the world’s oldest parliament met for centuries on the shores of Iceland’s largest lake. You might even have the rare chance to walk between two continents as the national park is located where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet!
In the afternoon, you will continue on to the geothermal fields of Geysir with bubbling mud pools and the high-spouting Strokkur hot spring. Last but not least, you will see the dramatic Gullfoss waterfall, a spectacular sight in winter when frozen mid-cascade. During the day you will also visit the town of Laugarvatn which is built around three hot springs, and where the residents have cleverly harnessed the hot springs for heating, greenhouses and even cooking. You’ll visit a unique outdoor geothermal bakery where sweet Icelandic rye bread is baked in the hot sands. You’ll have the chance to taste some of the freshly baked bread, hot from the ground. It’s delicious slathered in sweet Icelandic butter. In the evening, if weather conditions are right, your guide will take you on a northern lights hunt on foot in the area outside of your hotel, or on the evening of Day 4 or 5. (Breakfast-Dinner)
Day 4: Iceland’s South Shore
Breakfast at your hotel and departure toward Vik. You will drive along the South Shore, one of the main farm regions of the country, and pass by typical Icelandic farms, often with Icelandic horses roaming in the fields. This part of Iceland is home to the wonderful LAVA Centre, an interactive, high-tech educational exhibition depicting volcanic activity, earthquakes and the creation of Iceland over millions of years. Enjoy both the exhibit and an interesting film about Icelandic volcanoes at the Centre’s cinema.
If the skies are clear you might see the area's two most famous volcanoes in the distance: Mount Hekla (last eruption in 2000) and Eyjafjallajokull (last eruption in 2010). You will stop at the spectacular waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss. If trail conditions are right, walk behind the ribbon-like Seljalandsfoss falls. A few kilometers away, Skogafoss is a beautifully shaped waterfall, with an interesting geological history, that makes it a perfect backdrop for a photo. Heading onward and passing Myrdalsjokull Glacier, you will visit Reynisfjara Beach. Take a walk on the black sands, admiring the extraordinary rock formations and thundering waves of the Atlantic Ocean. You will then drive through Eldhraun, a vast lava field created from a very destructive 18th-century eruption. The snows of winter turn this landscape into something very mysterious. Dinner and overnight in Kirkjubaejarklaustur. (Breakfast-Dinner)
Day 5: Vatnajokull National Park - Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon
Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will be in a world of glaciers! You will be visiting the southern area of Vatnajokull National Park, named after Europe’s largest glacier. The total park area covers almost 14% of Iceland, making it the largest national park in Western Europe. You will see vast sand plains created by glacial outwashes as you head east for the visit of Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon where you will enjoy the breathtaking sight of icebergs floating in the fantastic 180m (591 ft.) deep glacial lagoon. Make sure your camera is loaded and ready! Nearby, you will witness the dramatic beauty of the Diamond Beach, where shrinking icebergs settle on the black sands before they drift out to sea.
On your drive back to Vatnajokull National Park, you will see Svinafellsjokull, one of the most beautiful glacial "tongues" that are slowly creeping down from Vatnajokull. In the park, you will walk around the Skaftafell area, a site of outstanding natural beauty dominated by several magnificent glaciers. After an amazing day, you will return to the hotel in Kirkjubaejarklaustur for your dinner and overnight. (Breakfast-Dinner)
Day 6: Hveragerdi - Blue Lagoon - Reykjavik
After breakfast at the hotel, you will head back to Reykjavik. Along the beautiful south coast of Iceland, enjoy different views of the winter landscapes. En route, you will visit the village of Hveragerdi which is one of the few sites in the world located directly in the middle of a geothermal area. Hveragerdi is often called "The Flower Village" because of its many flower greenhouses heated by hot water from nearby springs.
Before arriving in Reykjavik, you will turn onto a southern coastal road and follow the shoreline with its breathtaking sea waves, passing through a deserted community that once was a flourishing center for the region. This road will take you through the surreal landscapes of the Reykjanes peninsula where you will spend the rest of the afternoon swimming in the famous Blue Lagoon, a unique wonder of nature with pleasantly warm, mineral-rich water in the middle of a black lava field. Overnight in Reykjavik. (Breakfast)
Day 7: Reykjavik
Breakfast at the hotel. Today, enjoy a full day at leisure to continue your exploration of Reykjavik and the region around the capital city. You can also choose from a wide variety of optional excursions ($) at your hotel. (Breakfast)
Day 8: Reykjavik - Canada
Following breakfast at the hotel, enjoy some free time to wander around the old town of Reykjavik. You are registered for a transfer to the airport. First you will be transferred from your hotel to the central bus station in Reykjavik. Then, you will board an airport shuttle (Flybus) to the airport for your flight home. (Breakfast)
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