You will get to see everything, from the most popular destinations to the country's most remote reaches. Best of all, there are no worries about bus schedules or departure times on this tour.
You get to decide where you go, when you leave, and how long you spend at each location. To make your journey even smoother, accommodation will be in full comfort, with ensuite bathrooms and continental breakfast included, to keep you comfortable between days of adventure. This tour will take you to all parts of the country, including the remote Westfjords.
Not only this, however, but you will receive a custom itinerary, shaped by local experts, that will ensure you don't miss some spectacular sights that few have even heard about. No part of the island will be unknown to you after this complete tour, and you will return feeling completely refreshed and recharged. On top of this, there are a variety of activities you can add to the trip. You'll have plenty of time on this trip to see and do all you have dreamt of; its ample length means that it is possible for you to build the holiday of your dreams.
It is thus often visited straight after arrival to the country or right before departure. The first person to bathe there was Valur Margeirsson in He was met with some resistance prior to taking the first dip as people thought he was mad for wanting to bath in a "blue mud pool". News quickly spread, and by , the first swimming facilities were officially opened.
Since then, the establishment has only grown, from an open pool with no surrounding buildings to a luxurious spa, research centre and hotel. The Blue Lagoon is considered to have such notable regenerative qualities because the water is rich in silica and sulphur. A research and development facility on site finds cures and remedies for skin ailments, and silica mud is available for free on the sides of the pool for guests to enjoy a facemask. Saunas, steam rooms and a small waterfall are also on site. For all of these reasons and more, the Blue Lagoon is considered to be one of the most enjoyable and romantic spots in the country.
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It is surrounded by a plethora of fantastic volcanic landscapes, and the water itself is opaque and vividly blue. The Blue Lagoon Spa is open throughout the year, and popular in every season. Due to the fact it has a maximum capacity for the comfort of its guests, it is essential that you book several months in advance to ensure your space. The vast majority of the time, you will be turned away at the door without a reservation.
More reserved guests might want to be aware that it is a requirement to shower naked in public before entering the lagoon, to ensure that the highest hygiene standards are maintained. Those who are travelling on a budget will note that the Blue Lagoon is quite pricey. Of course, natural hot pools are free to enter. For more information, you can read articles on the best pools in the country and the best natural hot springs.
Some of these tours have additional activities, such as snorkelling or snowmobiling, or are conducted in a unique style, such as by helicopter, or under the midnight sun. As could be guessed, it is home to a famous geyser, the name of which has named all others: Geysir itself. Though this feature is currently in a phase of inactivity, its neighbour Strokkur more than makes up for it.
Every five to ten minutes, it blasts a column of boiling water to heights that can reach over 40 metres feet. The surrounding area is dotted with fumaroles, hot springs, and mud-pits. Gullfoss was very almost lost in the early 20th century when British developers sought to harness its incredible power for geothermal energy.
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This resilient woman refused to see the waterfall, to which she and her sisters paved the first path, destroyed. This is not just for its historical and cultural values, but for also its magnificent landscape and dramatic geology. This makes it one of the few places in the world where you can walk between the continents, in the Mid-Atlantic Rift.
The daring and qualified even have opportunities to snorkel or scuba dive in this no-mans-land, in a ravine filled with crystal-clear spring water called Silfra. The visibility here can exceed metres feet , revealing incredible geological sites. Due to its convenient location in south-west Iceland, it is easy to visit the Golden Circle alongside with many other sites.
There are many tours that include such bonuses, but if driving yourself, you should check out this guide to great detours off the Golden Circle. The Westfjords are a wide area, stretching as a peninsula to the northwest of the mainland. The peninsula is ancient, mountainous and has many fjords of varying length. The agriculture, unlike in the rest of Iceland, is very scant, due to the steepness of the mountains and the limited areas of lowland.
Fishing and tourism, therefore, are the driving trades of the region. While there are many incredible places in the Westfjords, the most iconic and beautiful are listed below. Many places in the Westfjords are now deserted, such as the northernmost part of the peninsula, Hornstrandir.
Its allure, however, was made famous much earlier; the poem Floriggi by Valdimir Dunjic was based on this area. Hornstrandir is a holy place for travellers who seek solitude, peacefulness, breathtaking scenery and great hiking trails. It also has a special appeal for animal lovers, as the arctic fox is protected here, and, unlike in the rest of the country, curious of visitors, rather than cautious.
It is really a series of waterfalls, seven altogether, with a cumulative height of meters feet , that tumble down steps so perfectly formed they barely seem natural. How Iceland inspired J. Tolkien and the Game of Thrones crew is immediately apparent at Dynjandi. While officially on the North American tectonic plate, Iceland is considered a European country, leading to the confusion.
Over meters 1, feet high, these cliffs are renowned for the millions of seabirds that nest here in summer. These include Atlantic Puffins, which come between May and September.
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In a British trawler stranded at the base of its cliff. The stranded sailors would have no doubt frozen that night if their vessel had not been seen. Local farmers, however, did see it. For generations, their families had learnt how to scale down the cliffs on ropes to collect bird eggs, and by using this technique, they abseiled metres feet to the rescue. Along with many seabirds, the beach is home to hundreds of seals.
Two farmers lived there with their wives, but one fell in love with the spouse of the other and she with him.
Though no one knows exactly what happened, their original partners were found dead, and they were later sentenced to death. This dramatic event later served as an inspiration for Icelandic author Gunnar Gunnarsson's masterful novel The Black Cliffs. These include Europe's most powerful hot spring, Iceland's most significant lava tube, fascinating glaciers, beautiful waterfalls important historical sites and more.
Though also in the west, the Westfjords and Reykjanes Peninsula are considered to be in separate regions. The city is also renowned for its vibrant live music, cabaret and drag scenes, its street art, many sculptures, and its delicious cuisine. His son was Leif Ericsson, the first European to land in America, in the year It is the financial, cultural and political centre of Iceland, and has a reputation of being one of the cleanest and safest cities in the world.
After the end of the Ice Age, the land rose as the glaciers drifted away, and it began to take on its present form. The mountain ring as seen from the shore is particularly beautiful. This majestic summit is also highly popular amongst hikers and climbers. There are no trains or trams in Iceland, but most people travel by car.
The city also operates a bus system. Cars, jeeps and bicycles can be readily rented in the city and many organized tours are also being offered. It is, however, quite easy to walk between the major sites. The local arts scene is strong in Iceland, with annual events and festivals , many of artists from which have hit the international stage.
A beautiful park lies by the pond, ideal for a nice walk, and sometimes concerts get held there. The hill itself is a popular place to spend a few hours, with over , trees and great opportunities for walking and cycling.
Akureyri is an important fishing centre and port, but in the last few years, tourism, industry, higher education and services have become the fastest growing sectors of the economy. An airport is located about three kilometres two miles from the centre and a large number of cruise ships lay anchor in its busy harbour.
Other large companies are also based here, such as Vifilfell hf, the largest brewery in Iceland, which produces the famous Kaldi beer. Akureyri is surrounded by mountains, the highest one being Kerling at 1, metres 5, feet. The area around it has rich agriculture and a beautiful mountain ring. It is also close to the seal-watching capital of Iceland, Hvammstangi , on the Vatnsnes Peninsula. During World War II, Akureyri was an essential site for the Allies and the town grew considerably after the war, as people increasingly moved to urban areas.
Akureyri has an active cultural scene, with several bars and renowned restaurants as well as frequent concerts and shows. During the summer there are several notable festivals in Akureyri and its surroundings such as the Vaka Folk festival. Sites of interest in Akureyri include the brand-new Hof concert hall, many museums and the Christmas house which is open all year round.
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The city boasts the world's northernmost botanical gardens which are located close to the swimming pool which is worth a visit. Akureyrarkirkja church sits in a prized position halfway up the hill upon which most of the city is built. It stands out, however, due to the fact that it also fills with icebergs breaking from the glacier, some of which tower several stories high.
These icebergs, other than their scale, are notable for their colouration. Although they are, as expected, largely white, most are also dyed electric blue in part, with black streaks of ash from eruptions centuries past. When the icebergs finally make it across the lagoon, they either drift out to sea or wash up on the nearby shore. With a surface area of 18 square kilometres 7 square miles , it is also growing to be one of the largest.
In , it had less than half its current surface area. In the relatively near future, it is expected that the lagoon will continue to grow until it becomes a large, deep fjord. This has not been overlooked by Hollywood. In summer, it is a nesting site for Arctic Terns; stay well away from their nesting area, as these birds are notorious for the fierceness with which they protect their eggs, dive-bombing the heads of any they see as a threat. Seals can be reliably spotted here throughout the year, swimming amongst or else hauling out on the icebergs. In parts, it is a kilometre deep over three thousand feet , and its average thickness is around half of that.
Volcanic activity in the region has occurred on and off throughout the centuries, and many geologists believe that several eruptions are overdue. Depending on winds, this could result in worldwide consequences in terms of air-travel, agriculture and the general climate.