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Classic Iceland

Nature and the great outdoors are what travel to Iceland is all about, and no trip would be complete without exploring lava caves in Thingvellir, witnessing geothermal pools with an erupting geyser, and of course hiking to a glacial waterfall for some Insta-worthy moments. Take an ice walk on the crevasse-riddled glacier at Solheimajokull and watch as huge blocks of ice break off the Breidamerkur glacier as you cruise around the lagoon. Visit quaint Viking village sets and stroll the rugged black pebble beaches of Hvalnes that are nothing short of otherworldly. Explore ancient craters and marvel as silica, algae and other minerals combine to create the Blue Lagoon.

Trip Type: Cosmopolitan

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Classic Iceland
Classic Iceland
Classic Iceland
Classic Iceland
Classic Iceland
Classic Iceland
Classic Iceland
Classic Iceland

Day By Day

Day 1 – Welcome to Iceland

Upon arrival into Keflavik Airport you will be met and transferred to your Reykjavik accommodation where you have an early check in.

Reykjavik, on the coast of Iceland, is the country's capital and largest city. It's home to the National and Saga museums, tracing Iceland’s Viking history. The striking concrete Hallgrimskirkja church and rotating Perlan glass dome offer sweeping views of the sea and nearby hills. Exemplifying the island’s volcanic activity is the geothermal Blue Lagoon spa, near the village of Grindavik.

After some rest you have the day to yourself in the beautiful city, Reykjavik. Enjoy your day by taking a walk in the downtown area and exploring the many sites such as Hallgrimskirkja Church, Reykjavik’s main landmark.  Or Perlan Museum, where you can explore the glacier and ice caves by travelling through a mand-made cave inside. With so much available you are sure to find something of interest.

Starting Accommodation: Alda Hotel Reykjavik


Day 2 – Thingvellir National Park, Caving, Hot Springs and Glacial Waterfalls

Today depart Reykjavik driving through the Icelandic countryside to Thingvellir, an area that became the first national park of Iceland. It lies in the rift valley and is one of very few places where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge comes to the surface, making the boundary between the tectonic plates visible. In the year 930 the oldest surviving parliament, the Althing, was established in Thingvellir. The cultural importance has earned Thingvellir a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Icelandic lava caves are like veins of the volcanoes as molten lava flows through lava fields and forms these tunnels. When the volcano sleeps again it leaves behind empty shells that turn into an exciting underworld of caves to explore. You literally walk into a world that once was glowing hot. Enjoy an easy walk through the cave to the other side (980 feet) or if you would prefer you can peek inside. Enjoy lunch at Fridheimar greenhouse. The greenhouse farmers at Fridheimar can grow tomatoes all year round using geothermal energy. You will have the opportunity to learn about the tradition of greenhouses and the methods used by the local farmers to grow their tasty and healthy produce. Experience the diversity and freshness of Icelandic food! The day continues to the Geysir area where you explore the geothermal pools around Geysir and see Strokkur erupt every few minutes. Changes in the activity of Geysir and the surrounding geysers are related to earthquake activities. In records dated 1630, the geysers erupted so violently that the valley around them trembled. The placename "Geysir" has been first mentioned in written sources in 18th century and the term became popular and has been used for similar hydrothermal features worldwide since then. Your last stop is Gullfoss waterfall. The glacial river Hvita feeds Gullfoss with water from the glacier Langjokull, the second largest glacier in Europe. Gullfoss waterfall, with its two cascades perpendicular to each other, is an iconic waterfall and one of the most well-known in Iceland. The day ends at your overnight hotel.

Starting Accommodation: Landhotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 3 – Volcano Exhibition, Waterfalls, Ice Walking and Reynisfjara Beach

Experience an interactive, high-tech exhibition on volcanoes which depicts volcanic activity, earthquakes and the creation of Iceland over millions of years. You will be able to examine the various volcanos, eruptions, lava flows, volcanic and rift systems, faults and glacial floods that make Iceland a showcase of volcanism. The center introduces the Katla Geopark, plus Iceland's elaborate monitoring system for surveying volcanos and earthquake zones. Continue to Seljalandsfoss waterfall with a drop of 197 feet and is part of the Seljalands River that has its origin in the volcano glacier Eyjafjallajokull. Visitors can walk behind the falls into a small cave. Skogafoss is a waterfall on the Skoga River in the south of Iceland at the cliff marking the former coastline. After the coastline had receded (it is now a distance of about 3 miles from Skogar). You will explore the south shore where the rugged landscape offers firsthand evidence of nature’s power. Next visit Solheimajokull, an outlet glacier of the larger Myrdalsjokull ice cap. Atop that glacier lies Katla caldera, an active volcano which only erupts every hundred years. Ice walking on Solheimajokull gives you the chance to experience the hidden world of frozen water and explore the crevasse-riddled glacier with its amazing ice formations, sink holes and jagged ridges – It is an easy activity amended to your capability. Your final stop today is Reynisfjara beach, where you will find Reynisfjall and Reynisdrangar along with an amazing cave called Halsanefshellir. Reynisfjall is a 1,115-foot-high tuff mountain arising out of a volcanic eruption from under a glacier. Alternating in an irregular manner are layers of tuff, pillow lava and columnar basalt veins and loops. Reynisdrangar stacks are a collection of 215-foot-high rock pillars that rise out of the sea. The day ends at your accommodation in Glacier Lagoon.

Starting Accommodation: Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon
Meals: Breakfast


Day 4 – Glacier Lagoons, Viking Villages and Hvalnes

This morning board a zodiac for a trip through a glacial lagoon. Huge blocks of ice constantly break off the Breidamerkur glacier tongue, an outlet of Vatnajokull glacier, and the large icebergs from the glacier float in the lagoon which is up to 814 feet deep. You will see firsthand the floating blocks of ice in the lagoon. At Diamond beach, which is located by Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon, you can see blocks of decades old glacier ice that has washed up on shore after being polished by the surf, creating an ever-changing scenery. The name “Diamond Beach” thus comes from the white ice on the black sand appearing like gemstones or diamonds, as they often glisten in the sun and sharply contrast their jet-black surroundings. Back on land you will drive down a small gravel road twisting away from the main route taking you to what appears to be a remote Viking village, in pristine condition. In reality, it is a film set for an Icelandic movie that was never filmed. The most striking feature of the village is the buildings, which ape the architecture of the period magnificently. Guests can pry open the wooden doors and find themselves within a range of rooms that look almost indistinguishable from the real thing. But this is not the only piece of period detail, the settlement also comes equipped with a dungeon located beneath an enormous artificial boulder. This location makes for a very interesting stop on the way for people who are interested in the movie set up or Vikings. Continue to Hvalnes, a small peninsula with a black pebble beach that stretches on for a several miles. Enjoy a walk along the beach or you can sit on the beach and enjoy the view. It is an excellent location for bird watching and photography. At the end of the tour, you will return to your accommodation.

Starting Accommodation: Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon
Meals: Breakfast


Day 5 – Skaftafell National Park, Laki Craters and Kirkjubaejarklaustur

Skaftafell is a preservation area in Oraefi and forms part of Vatnajokull National Park, the biggest National Park in Europe and covers 12% of Iceland’s surface. The landscape is very similar to some of the Alps, but it has been formed over thousands of years by different influences of fire and water. Volcanic eruptions under the ice-cap can give rise to glacial floods which swell the Skeidara river. The sandy wasteland between the glacier and the sea caused by glacial floods is called Skeidararsandur. Skaftafell is a unique oasis surrounded by sands, glaciers, volcanoes and lakes. With incredible natural beauty, Skaftafell is also home to about 250 different kinds of plants and about 30 different bird species that nest in the area. Next enjoy a hike to Svartifoss waterfall which flows over a step of about 66 feet. The name comes from the black basalt columns behind it. This wonder of natural architecture inspired the design for Iceland’s National Theatre and the Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik. The hike to Svartifoss, starts from the visitor center is about 1 mile or 45 minutes (one way). Along the way you will come across three other waterfalls.  Your journey continues Laki or Lakagigar, a volcanic fissure. The fissure is properly referred to as Lakagigar, while Laki is a mountain that the fissure bisects. Lakagigar is part of a volcanic system centered on the volcano Grimsvotn. The system erupted violently over an eight-month period between June 1783 and February 1784 from the Laki fissure and the adjoining volcano Grimsvotn, pouring out an estimated 42 billion tons of basalt lava, clouds of poisonous hydrofluoric acid and sulfur dioxide compounds that contaminated the soil. Next visit Kirkjubaejarklaustur, a small town surrounded by hills and plateaus to the north. You will be hiking towards the waterfall Systrafoss and enjoying the view from the hills of Kirkjubaejarklaustur. At Iceland’s southernmost point is a small peninsula that used to be a volcanic island. Its name literally means “door hill island”, derives from the massive arch of lava that stands over the sea. It is possible to get to the top of Dyrholaey, where you will see magnificent views of the coastline, including black lava columns and black beach as well as the nearby glacier of Myrdalsjokull.  Your day ends at your accommodation.

Starting Accommodation: Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon
Meals: Breakfast


Day 6 – Reykjanes Peninsula and Blue Lagoon

Reykjanes is a peninsula at the southwestern end of Iceland and due to the volcanic activity and large lava fields there is little vegetation. Along the way you will see numerous hot springs and solfataras (craters emitting sulfurous gases). Due to the geothermal activity and the importance of the natural life, Reykjanes Geo-park is listed as UNESCO World Heritage. After a large earthquake in 2000, the surface of Kleifarvatn lake diminished by 20%, which is located on the fissure zone of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. It was not until 2008 that the lake had regained its previous surface level. Next visit Seltun, an important high temperature geothermal area. Seltun has many mudpots and fumaroles, and minerals deposited from geothermal solutions providing colorful sediments. A boardwalk leads through the area with good walking paths. From Seltun continue to The Blue Lagoon. Visiting the Blue Lagoon Iceland is an essential part of your trip because of the variety of health benefits the destination offers. In a spacious sanctuary of interconnected chambers in the spa, you experience the Blue Lagoon Ritual, which is composed of the three treasures that come straight from the depths of the earth: silica, algae and minerals. Surrounded by volcanic landscape, this destination provides the perfect atmosphere for you to relax and enjoy the moment. After some time at The Blue Lagoon you will transfer to Reykjavik to your hotel.

Starting Accommodation: Alda Hotel Reykjavik
Meals: Breakfast


Day 7 – Depart Reykjavik

Today you depart Iceland. Transfer to Keflavik Airport to connect with your departing flight.

Meals: Breakfast


Pricing

Package Level: Superior

Pricing for this package is on request. Please call a Swain Destinations Specialist to customize this journey.


Terms and Conditions

Prices are per person, twin/double share in USD. All highlighted savings are reflected in the price. Price does not include airfare unless otherwise stated. Travel may be limited to certain days of the week. Hotels and tours remain subject to availability. Cancellation penalties and other booking or alteration restrictions may exist. Please note blackout dates may apply to Christmas, New Year and local special event periods. Pricing may increase over Holiday and special event periods and may not be reflected in price grid. Prices indicated remain subject to change without notice. Prices are not guaranteed until full payment is received and processed. CST #2012413-20 See our full Terms and Conditions: www.swaindestinations.com/terms

Details

Length:

6 Nights

Pricing:

Pricing on request

Destinations:

Reykjavik; Selfoss; Hnappavellir

Inclusions:

  • Roundtrip airport transfers
  • 2 night Reykjavik
  • 2 night Selfoss
  • 2 nights Hnappavellir
  • Thingvellir National Park, Caving, Hot Springs and Glacial Waterfalls Overland Tour
  • Volcano Exhibition, Waterfalls, Ice Walking and Reynisfjara Beach Overland Tour
  • Glacier Lagoons, Viking Villages and Hvalnes Full Day
  • Skaftafell National Park, Laki Craters and Kirkjubaejarklaustur Overland Tour
  • Reykjanes Peninsula and Blue Lagoon
  • Meals: 6 breakfasts, 1 lunches
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