Walking in South Iceland

Daily walks & touring
8 days
Jun - Sep
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On this tour you have the world at your feet with an average of 3-4 hours hiking and walking a day in some of the most stunning natural landscapes in South Iceland. All you need to take with you each day is a day pack, as your tour escorts will look after everything else!
 
Visit the Golden Circle, explore the interior highlands of Landmannalaugar, Þórsmörk glacial valley, fascinating volcanic landscapes at Lakagígar and the wonders of Vatnajökull National Park. Your Icelandic adventure includes daily hiking, bathing in geothermal lagoons and rivers, climbing volcano craters, walking on glaciers and zodiac cruising between floating icebergs. With a maximum group size of 20 persons, this program includes six full days of touring, exploring and hiking in South Iceland and the interior highlands. A great chance to discover green valleys, high mountains, moon landscapes, lava fields, waterfalls, hot springs and glaciers.
 
Day 1  Welcome to Iceland 
On  arrival at  Reykjavik’s Keflavik Airport  transfer by coach to your hotel. The small, city centre is characterised by eclectic and colourful houses, good shopping, dining and drinking. Reykjavík has recently established itself as a haven for food lovers, with various restaurants taking advantage of the abundance of local seafood, meat and game. There are also many wonderful museums including the National Museum displaying artefacts from the first settlement to the modern age (giving an excellent overview of Iceland’s history and culture), the Reykjavik 871+2 Settlement Museum, an archaeological museum based around a 10th Century Viking longhouse unearthed in 2001, Reykjavik Art Museum and the National Gallery.
 
 
Day 2  Golden Circle  
We start our adventure in Iceland with a 1-2 hour hike at the ancient Viking Parliament area and UNESCO world heritage site of Þingvellir National Park. We visit the active geothermal area of Geysir, where we can see Strokkur “the churn” spout up to 25 meters (70 feet) every five to seven minutes and explore Gullfoss, the beautiful double “Golden Falls”. We continue to the “Secret Lagoon”, a natural hot spring in a small village called Flúðir, where you can get a true Icelandic bathing experience. The surroundings of the geothermal pools and its steam rising into the air give a magical feeling to the place. We stay 3 nights in South Iceland.


Walking today: 1-2hrs, 2-4km, elevation 100-200m

Day 3  Landmannalaugar
Today we drive to Landmannalaugar, an oasis in the barren highlands, surrounded by colourful rhyolite mountains. Depending on fitness level and hiking experience of group members and subject to weather conditions, we hike from the hut in Landmannalaugar. The trail goes through a rough lava field to an amazing hot spring field and up the slopes of Brennisteinsalda with its incredible spectrum of colours. We return via Grænagil gorge that can only be described as simply spectacular and beautifully colourful. The elevation is about 300 meters and the hike takes about 3-4 hours. In Landmannalaugar there is also a natural geothermal stream where you can enjoy a refreshing bath. Have swimwear and towel ready. We continue our trip passing close to Hekla, one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes. On the way back to our accommodation we stop at the beautiful waterfall Hjálparfoss in Þjórsárdalur valley, surrounded by extraordinary basalt rock formations.

Walking today: 3-4hrs, 6-7km, elevation about 300m

Day 4  Þórsmörk
We start the day at the high but narrow Seljalandsfoss waterfall and continue to Þórsmörk, a wide valley named after Thor, the Viking God of Thunder. This beautiful valley is surrounded on three sides by steep mountains and glaciers. Fording raging glacial rivers and gentle streams is a big part of the great adventure. The landscape is dramatic with Eyjafjallajökull volcano towering on one side and the massive glacial river Markarfljót flowing on the other. We walk to explore the aftermath of the immense fast flowing flood, caused by the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in April 2010, which destroyed a glacial lagoon and left a blackened area.Þórsmörk is one of the most popular hiking areas in Iceland and it is breathtaking to stand on top of the many hills and mountains in this region. There are many different hiking options. We select the trails according to the weather and the fitness of the group. If everybody is ready for a 4-5 hours long challenging hike and a maximum of 800 meters ascend, we might be able to enjoy jaw dropping views. You see the rumored Icelandic highlands at its best - volcanoes, glaciers, high mountains, glacier made valleys and canyons, glacier rivers, lava fields and many more gems that the Icelandic nature holds captured.

Walking today: 4-5hrs, 7-8km, elevation about 800m

Day 5  Laki Craters and Waterfalls 
We travel along the south coast of Iceland towards Kirkjubæjarklaustur and into the highlands. The craters in Laki, called Lakagígar, were formed in one of the world's largest mixed eruptions in recorded history. This continuous series of eruptions emitted a vast quantity of lava and substantial amounts of volcanic ash from a fissure stretching 25 km across the area west of the Vatnajökull ice cap. The craters are regarded as a globally unique phenomenon and are a protected natural monument. Laki is a very remote location and one of the most unique places within the Vatnajökull National Park. It is however a very fragile area so visitors are asked to treat the nature with utmost respect. There are numbers of hiking trails and we explore this volcanic wonderland during a 2-3 hour hike. We also visit Fagrifoss (Beautiful Waterfall) and the name isn't a bad match. An easy climb leads to the view of the impressive waterfall and you can only hear the roar of the water. We stay here for 2 nights.

Walking today: 2-3hrs, 4-6km, elevation about 300m

Day 6   Glacier Hike and Glacial Lagoon
This is a day packed with fun activities and breathtaking sceneries. We start with a moderate 3.5hr glacier hike in the majestic surroundings of Svínafellsjökull - a glacier hemmed in by some of Iceland´s most spectacular peaks. We climb Svínafellsjökull glacier tongue up to the deep glacier valley between Hvannadalshnjúkur and Hrútsfjall summits. An experienced glacier guide leads you safely through the glacial wonderland of strangely shaped ridges, deep crevasses, huge water cauldrons and different ice formations. In the afternoon we head over to the famous glacier lagoon for a ride on a Zodiac adventure cruise, sailing between the icebergs of all shapes and sizes, which float in the clear blue water. After the Zodiac experience there is time to go down to the black sand beach to take a closer look at the icebergs that have floated all the way from the glacier lagoon into the Atlantic Ocean.

Walking today: 3-4hrs, 4-6km, elevation about 100-150m

Day 7  Vatnajokull National Park and the South 
Skaftafell is today a part of Vatnajökull, Europe's largest National Park and the whole area nestles under the slopes of Vatnajökull Glacier, also Europe’s largest glacier. Dominated by Iceland’s highest peak Mount Hvannadalshnjúkur (2110m), this area used to be one of the most isolated communities in Iceland because of the ice cap on its north, the harbourless sandy beach of the Atlantic Ocean to the south and the wild glacial rivers in the barren sands to the east and west. The landscape has been formed through thousands of years by different influences of fire, ice and water and the mild climate is characteristic for Skaftafell compared to the rest of southern Iceland. We hike up to Svartifoss (Black Fall) waterfall, which is surrounded by black basalt columns, and from there to Sjónsker (View Cliff) where we have a magnificent view of Mount Hvannadalshnjúkur and the area that was flooded during an eruption under the ice cap in 1996. As we start our return to Reykjavík, we cross the sandy desert of the south coast, overlooked by mountainous cliffs, glaciers and waterfalls. We stroll along the black lava beach and bird cliffs near Vík village and stop at Skógafoss waterfall before arriving back in Iceland’s capital.

Walking today: 2hrs, 5-6km, elevation about 200m

Day 8: Departure
Arrangements end with your transfer by Airport bus back to Keflavik Airport.

Departures 2017: July 02, 16 & 30; August  13 & 27 (on request); September 10 (on request)

Includes: Accommodation, 7 breakfasts, 3 picnic lunches (Days 3, 4, 5), 2 dinners (Days 5, 6), visit to two National Parks, entrance & towel to the Secret Lagoon in Flúðir, zodiac boat trip on glacial lagoon, Vatnajökull glacier hike, return airport transfers.

Maximum number of guests: 20

Accommodation: First and last nights at Guesthouse Borgartún in Reykjavík; 2nd, 3rd and 4th nights at Árhús Cottages in Hella, South Iceland; 5th and 6th nights at Hotel Skaftafell, Vatnajökull National Park.

                      Nordic Travel is 100% Australian owned and operated

Price per person FROM:
Double AUD$ 3873.00
Single AUD$ 4914.00

Includes: Accommodation, 7 breakfasts, 3 picnic lunches (Days 3, 4, 5), 2 dinners (Days 5, 6), visit to two National Parks, entrance & towel to the Secret Lagoon in Flúðir, zodiac boat trip on glacial lagoon, Vatnajökull glacier hike, return airport transfers.

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