This morning your Mountain Taxi guides will meet you at your hotel in Reykjavík and head east in our super-jeeps.
Thingvellir National Park, The Great Geyser and Gullfoss.
The national park is where Iceland´s ancient parliament, Alþingi, was established in the year 930. The parliament remained on the site until 1789, and is the world’s oldest known parliament. The combined historical and geological significance of the site is palpable. Next we make our way to the geothermal area of Haukadalur and The Great Geyser – one of the most famous geysers on earth. Geysir used to gush boiling water 70 metres into the air but is no dormant. It´s smaller brother Strokkur is very active, spouting water some 35 meters into the air every 5 minutes. Further up the road is the magnificent Gullfoss waterfall cascading down the two tiered drop of the glacial run-off Hvítá river.
After lunch at Gullfoss café we drive to the Langjökull glacier for a thrilling snowmobile tour on the glacier itself. Afterwards we’ll head to your country home for the evening, Hotel Hekla.
Dinner and accommodation at Hotel Hekla.
Optional Adventure: Snowmobile Tour
Day 2 & 3
Hekla & Landmannalaugar Geothermal & Volcano adventure
This morning as we set off from our hotel, the snow-covered peak of Hekla, Iceland’s most famous volcano, comes into view. Although Hekla is relatively quiet today, its last eruption was just 10 years ago. Be sure to ask your guides about it – they all remember it well! The variations in the lava and vegetation that have been shaped by the forces of erosion create a spectacular setting.
Before making our way into the highlands surrounding Landmannalaugar, traversing streams and rivers in our specially outfitted jeep, we drive right up to the edge of Iceland’s youngest lava field formed during the last eruption. We’ll hike the multi-colored rhyolite mountains and swim in the area’s healing hotsprings (often tough and inaccessible by most vehicles).
Home for the evening is the cozy Landmannalaugar Hut. We’ll barbecue lcelandic lamb for dinner while we (hope to) witness the spectacular northern lights dancing overhead.
Dinner and accommodation at Landmannalauger Hut.
Þórsmörk, The legendary Valley of the Gods
As we head out of the interior, we visit the explosion crater Ljótipollur. After a pit stop at the Hrauneyjar Guesthouse, in the highland’s central town, we advance down the picturesque Þjórsárdalur valley. We take a moment to stop at the Hjálparfoss waterfall, which offers a striking contrast in the midst of the low lying lava fields.
Named after legendary Thor, the Thorsmörk mountain ridge is among the most beautiful places in Iceland, surrounded by ice-capped mountains, and glacial rivers. Icelanders call it “The Valley of the Gods.” We’ll hike along the trails and into the river canyons in this idyllic park setting. We will also take time to explore the magnificent canyon of Stakkaholtsgjá.
En route to Þórsmörk we’ll visit the stunning Seljalandsfoss waterfall, and walk behind the thundering torrent of water. We’ll also stop where the floods from the Eyjafjallajökull crater came down in 2010.
Dinner and accommodation at Hotel Höfðabrekka (near Vík).
South Coast & Lava Beach
As we head east along the south shore we’ll pass quaint settlements, and large sheep and dairy farms along the way. Keep your eyes open for the beautiful Eyjafjallajökull glacier to the north and the distant volcanic Westman Islands, 10 km. off the south coast.
Nestled under a mountain ridge topped by a glacier, Skogar is also home to the powerful Skógafoss waterfall, surrounded by stunning rock formations covered in rich green mosses and often, on sunny days, circled by beautiful rainbows. We’ll also visit the museum at Skógar which displays traditional turf houses, to gain an understanding of what life was once like in Iceland. Here, there’s also an incredible display of vehicles used in Iceland for search and rescue, mail delivery and accessing the highlands!
Next we’ll venture to the end of a steep mountain edging on Iceland’s fourth largest glacier, Mýrdalsjökull, home to the active volcano Katla. Some say this sub-glacier caldera is due to erupt soon.
As we head east toward Skaftafell we’ll take the super-jeeps onto the black lava beaches with pounding surf coming down right near us. Our day ends once we reach Skaftafell with rich memories of the beautiful south shore of Iceland in our heads.
Dinner and Accommodation at Hotel Skaftafell.
Skaftafell National Park
Huge icebergs constantly break off Breidamerkurjokull glacier and drop into the 250 metre deep glacier lagoon, Jökulsárlón. We’ll take a boat ride through the lagoon, to see the massive blocks of ice up close. Later we’ll hike along the paths winding their way through the hills in Skaftafell.
Dinner and accommodation at Hotel Skaftafell.
Optional Adventure: Boat Ride in Glacier Lagoon
Today we’ll make our way back to Reykjavík, travelling along the South shore.