IceAk W12 –
ICELAND'S CROWN JEWELS
"THE ULTIMATE ICELAND TOUR"
The Golden circle (Thingvellir, Geysir, Strokkur, Gullfoss)
Glaciers (Langjökull & Hofsjökull)
Geothermal Nature bath under the stars
Northern lights* (depending on weather conditions)
Mývatn (Skútustaðir, Dimmuborgir, Grjótagjá, Hverir)
Mývatn Nature Bath (the Blue lagoon of the north)
Untouched nature and endless fresh air
Peace, quite and solitude
Those who dare to enter the harsh, yet beautiful Icelandic highlands with us in our specially modified Super Jeeps will be richly rewarded with spectacular sceneries and breathtaking views of Iceland.
In this tour you will get it all, you will get to see the crown jewels of Iceland’s natural phenomenon, experience real Icelandic wilderness, bathe in a natural Geothermal pool under the stars and the Aurora Borealis (if the conditions are in our favour). We will lead you around the most spectacular gems of both the famous Golden Circle in the south and the Diamond Circle in the north, all in one and the same tour.
Pick-up at a local hotel in Reykjavik at 9:00
We start by driving towards and through Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park where we will make a short stop at Almannagjá which is the canyon formed between the North American and European tectonic plates, this is also the place where the first parliament in the world was established over 1000 years ago. Then we continue on to the Geysir geothermal field. Here we will take a look at the original Geysir which all other geysers in the world such as Old Faithful in the USA are called after. Even though Geysir itself is in hibernation then the geyser Strokkur is right next to it erupting 20-30m high column of boiling water straight up in the air just about every 20 minutes. Our next stop is at Gullfoss (The Golden Waterfall), here we will get to see this amazing waterfall which is one of the most beautiful in Iceland, Gullfoss got saved from being ruined in a remarkable way around the year 1900. We will have lunch break at the Gullfoss café restaurant before leaving civilization.
Now we drive along the rough mountain road Kjölur into the central highlands to reach our accommodation at the remote mountain hut Hveravellir*, on the way we will (if the weather is favourable) enjoy majestic mountain and glacier panoramic views. Even though we use the very best Super Jeeps available for this tour then during the wintertime the drive from Gullfoss to Hveravellir can take 3-7 hours, depending on weather and snow condition.
The unique nature reserve Hveravellir is a very beautiful geothermal field situated between the mighty Langjökull glacier and Hofsjökull glacier. Here you will have a great opportunity to stroll all by yourself among multiple smoking fumaroles, beautifully shaped with clear blue, boiling water, while waiting for dinner to be served. After dinner we recommend taking a warm relaxing bath in the natural pool close by the hut and if the conditions are favourable view the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) on the starry sky.
Thanks to being far away from any light pollution you will have great potentials of seeing a sea of bright stars and waves of Northern Lights, the lights can be absolutely amazing, the brilliance of their colours and light are endless, made even more vivid by the contrast to the deep darkness of winter.
There are few things in this world which can be compared to taking an relaxing evening bath in the pool after a delicious dinner, looking at the Northern Lights dance all around.
*Sleeping is in sleeping bags in common rooms (sleeping bags provided)
After a good breakfast we continue along the Kjölur mountain road towards Iceland’s north coast and to the capital of the north Akureyri. To get there we will cross Tröllaskagi, a great peninsula between the fjords of Eyjafjörður and Skagafjörður. The peninsula is mountainous with several peaks reaching over 1000m above sea level, the tallest being Kerling (1538m). It is the part of Iceland with the highest elevation outside the central highlands.
The peninsula is cut by several deep valleys that were carved out by glaciers during the glacial periods of the last Ice Age and later by the rivers that now flow down those valleys. A few permanent glacier ice caps still exist in central Tröllaskagi but they are all rather small. On the way we will stop and marvel at the spectacular Hraundrangi, a majestic mountain peak which was the architect’s inspiration to Iceland’s largest church Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavík.
We will only make a short lunch stop in Akureyri before continuing on east. Next we will arrive at Goðafoss (Waterfalls of the gods). The magnificent waterfall Goðafoss is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland. Goðafoss also has a rich history and its name dates back to the year 1000 when Iceland became Christian. This waterfall is sometimes called “the Little Horseshoe Falls” referring to the Canadian part of the Niagara Falls (the Horseshoe Falls) which both have similar features and form. Goðafoss is especially beautiful during wintertime when it’s partly or completely frozen over.
If we have made good time and have enough time on this day then we can take a D-tour to the fantastic waterfalls Aldeyjarfoss and Hrafnabjargafoss.
Next we continue towards Mývatn (the Midge lake), Mývatn is one of the biggest pearls in Iceland’s nature especially during the winter, with its unique lava structures, geothermal areas, volcanoes and clear blue water. At Mývatn our accommodation will be at one of the fine hotels in the area where you will stay in fully equipped double rooms, you will be served a delicious three course dinner that night. Because of its geological location then Mývatn is an excellent place to observe the Northern Light, therefore after dinner and if the conditions are promising we will take you out and search for the lights. Viewing the light reflecting in the calm water of the lake or above the frozen ice can be an absolutely fantastic sight.
After breakfast at the hotel we pack the Super Jeeps again and continue our adventure together. We will start this day by leaving Mývatn for now and head further east to reach another spectacular nature pearl of northern Iceland, the great and powerful waterfall Dettifoss. Dettifoss is located in the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum which flows down from the Vatnjökull glacier and trough Vatnajökull National Park, it’s reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in all of Europe in terms of volume discharge. It has an average water flow of 193 m3/s. The enormous power of Dettifoss can be felt if you lay your hand on a rock close to the waterfall, it will vibrate! The river slowly digs its way through the waterfall´s edge and each year Dettifoss moves half a meter to the south. The falls are 100 meters wide and drop 45 meters down into the canyon Jökulsárgljúfur.
The opening scene of the Hollywood film Prometheus was filmed at the Dettifoss.
During the high winter it can be quite a challenge to reach these locations but then the Super Jeeps come in good use.
The Jökulsárgljúfur Canyon (the Icelandic Grand Canyon) are over 24 km long with a width of up to 500m and a depth of up to 100m, Jökulsárgljúfur is one of the largest and most impressive of Iceland's many river canyons. It has enthralled visitors for centuries.
After taking our time admiring the falls and the canyon we return to Mývatn for a lunch break at a local restaurant. Afterwards we go for a sightseeing tour around the Mývatn region where we go to many of the extraordinary attractions around the lake, first to mention Dimmuborgir (Dark castle). Dimmuborgir consist of multiple volcanic caves and lava formations of mystery and imagination, along with the large hollow cell- or chamber-like structures formed around bubbles of vapour, and some great lava pillars. The most famous formations are the “Church”, a cave which is open at both ends and has a high dome-shaped roof and the “Hole cliff” a large hole trough a lava cliff wall. Dimmuborgir are also said to connect earth with the infernal regions. It is also said that Dimmuborgir is the place where Satan landed when he was cast from the heavens and created the apparent "The Catacombs of Hell" such Dimmuborgir being one of the gates to hell.
Second will be Grjótagjá a small lava cave near Lake Mývatn with a thermal spring inside. In early 18th century the outlaw Jón Markússon lived there and used the cave for bathing. Until the 1970s Grjótagjá was a popular bathing site, but during the eruptions from 1975 to 1984 the temperature of the water rose to more than 50 °C. Though the temperature is slowly decreasing and has fallen below 50 °C again.
Grjótagjá was used as a location for filming the fifth episode of the third season of Game of Thrones, named Kissed by Fire.
Next to mention is Skútustaðagígar, the Skútustaðagígar (pseudo craters) were formed by steam explosions as flowing hot lava crosses over a wet surface, such as a swamp, a lake, or ice. The explosive gases break through the lava surface in a manner similar to a phreatic eruption, and the tephra builds up crater-like forms which can appear very similar to real volcanic craters. The craters are a popular site for birdwatchers and are protected as a natural wetlands conservation area.
Well known examples are to be found in few locations in Iceland and then Pseudo craters have also been discovered in the Athabasca Valleys region of Mars.
Last but not least we will explore Námaskarð and Hverir. What will for sure strike you about the spectacular volcanic mountain Námaskarð is the sheer lack of vegetation. However, if you give a thought to the high temperature range, it does not appear impossible altogether. The constant emission of the fumes has made the ground utterly sterile and acidic, unfit to sustain any floras and fauna. At the foothills of Námaskarð is an expanse of hot springs called Hverir that are known for their changing variety. You may also find a number of fumaroles, mud pools and mud pots that all seem to be boiling with relentless energy. The beauty of the colourful minerals in this wonderful geothermal site defies all comparisons. The sight of the gigantic size and activity of the mud craters is what will make you go “WOW”.
After this exiting day out we head for a relaxing bath at the Mývatn Nature Baths, north Iceland’s answer to the well known Blue Lagoon in the south (fee not included).
From here we take the route to Akureyri to check in at a good hotel for the night. You will have free hands regarding dinner this night at one of the many quality restaurants in town.
Here our formal schedule ends and this day is open to whatever activity you like to do (fee not included), our recommendations are some of the following:
Strolling around, shopping and get to know the beautiful town of Akureyri.
A visit to the Christmas garden 10km south of Akureyri.
Go for a snowmobile adventure nearby.
Go skiing in one of Iceland’s best skiing area in the mountain just above the town.
Go on an Extreme Super Jeep deep snow adventure with us to a nearby location.
We will manage transfer to the Akureyri airport or bus terminal at a time of your choosing during this day.
* We can also assist or manage booking of transportation to Reykjavík
Duration: 3 days
Super Jeep transport (Fully guided in English)
A thermal overall if needed (provided/borrowed)
A sleeping bag and pillow (provided/borrowed)
Mountain cabin sleeping bags accommodation on day 1
Hotel accommodation on day 2 & 3 (Double room with a bathroom)
Breakfast on day 2, 3 & 4
1 x refreshment on day 1, 2 & 3
Three course dinner on day 1 & 2
Transfer to Akureyri airport
What to bring:
Good winter boots
Wind and waterproof outer shell (jacket and pants)
Hat and gloves
Swimsuit and towel
Available: Upon request between 1st October & 30th April
(Other departures possible)
Participants: 2 - 12
Age: Minimum age 8
Booked departures wich you are welcome to join:
2017 - Price per person:
300.000- ISK / 2.170- EUR / 2.400- USD
25% discount for children from 8-15 years old
Minimum 2 adults (or 1 adult and 2 children)
This tour is ONLY sold through selected travel agencies.
Ps: The Northern lights are more likely to appear from September to March.
This tour is recommended by our guests on TripAdvisor.
Read the reviews yourself by clicking on them here below.
ATH. We reserve the right to adjust ALL tours according to weather and road conditions.