Greinasafni: Ferðaþjónusta einnig undir: Icelandic Times
Fire, Water, Air and Earth - Iceland Excursions
Fire, Water, Air and Earth
A Tour in Winter that Shows the Elements in Action with Iceland Excursions
There are not many tours in the world that will take in mountains and glaciers, volcanos and waterfalls, geothermal areas and strange beaches, countryside and communities all in the space of a single day.

South Coast and Waterfalls
Iceland Excursion’s tour to the south coast encompasses all these elements and the winter months present visitors with an entirely different landscape, showing the sights with a very different perspective.
Leaving Reykjavik, the coach heads for the Hellisheiði mountain range. Even from a distance, the steam from the geothermal area can be seen billowing up into the early morning sky. Crossing the plateau, the plumes of steam turn first blood red then white as the sun rises over the countryside. You feel as though you are being transported through another world–and this is only the start of the tour.
A panorama is laid out before you as you come off the mountain. On the right, the sea and on the left, the village of Hveragerði, with picturesque streams and hot springs sending up energetic clouds of steam.

Volcano country
By the time the coach reaches Hvolsvöllur, you will probably be thinking about some refreshments and this is where there is a stop for just that. You are now in volcano country, very close to the well-known Eyjafjallajökull and Fimmvöruhals volcanos that have hit the headlines–and the airlines–in the past few years. Not far away are the other big hitters: Hekla and Katla, both of which are still sleeping, though scientists say they are due to awake any time.

World-famous waterfalls
The landscape changes when you leave Hvolsvöllur. On the right, the Westman Islands rise out of the sea but today, we are continuing under Eyjafjallajökull to the small community of Skógar and its greatest natural attraction, its waterfall.
Skógarfoss is a magnificent waterfall that is said to have a chest of Viking gold hidden in a cave behind it. Only a bronze ring, said to be from it, has been found, however. There are 20 other waterfalls on this beautiful river.

The Skógar Folk Museum
Taking a break from the beauty of creation, we move on to one by man. Begun by one man with a vision to create a record of country life, the museum has grown from its inception in 1945 both in size and popularity, as it presents a life now otherwise forgotten.
The museum is one of the largest in the country–remarkable when one considers how its humble beginning was the basement of the village school house.
The buildings, including a reconstructed turf house, house historical and cultural exhibits along with a museum of transport and communication in Iceland. Full of interesting exhibits and surprises, it is well worth the visit and is included in the tour. The challenges of living in the Iceland of the past become quite evident, along with the resourcefulness shown in facing them.

Walk on a Glacier while you can
No trip to the south of Iceland would be complete without taking a walk on at least one of the glaciers.
Just a little way past Skógarfoss is the Sólheimarjökull glacial tongue–an ideal place to experience a geological feature future generations may never know except from pictures, due to the global warming effects.

The Village of Vík

A popular camping spot in summer, Vík is at the southernmost tip of the mainland. Its small community of approx. 600 have experienced the brunt of the eruptions but have not only survived, but thrived.
The village is also famous for its woollen products, its birdlife and its beaches. On the outskirts of the village is one of the largest Arctic tern breeding grounds.
It’s time for a good lunch at Halldór’s Café after a fascinating morning, made all the more interesting by the tour guide’s commentary. Tours on different days are also conducted in French, German and Scandinavian languages, as well as English. This is what makes a tour of such greater value, as it comes to life through the stories and background the guide shares.

Black Beaches and Basalt Columns
The next stop is the black sand beaches and the spectacular basalt columns of Reynishverfi, rising up from the beach.

Seljalandsfoss
Heading back, some 20 min. from Skógar, a cliff appears on the right with what look like strands of silver hair falling from it. This is the beautiful Seljalandsfoss, the waterfall that you can walk behind. In winter, it is all the more beautiful. If it is cold, some of the falls lining the cliff may be frozen columns of ice.
Continuing into the interior, you would come to the Þórsmörk National Park but our trip has to head back, passing through the old villages of Stokkseyri and Eyrabakki, former trading posts in days gone by, now tranquil but beautiful villages.

Northern Lights Mystery Tour
Every night, from 15th Sept–15th April, a coach sets out into the night to search out the best viewing location for the elusive Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights, which are at the peak of their activity cycle this winter.
There will not be a better opportunity to see this amazing phenomenon for more than a decade to come.
One a clear Icelandic winter night, the Northern Lights can sweep across the sky in a wild dance that can go on for several hours, leaving viewers awestruck and breathless from the experience.

Tours to Talk About

Iceland Excursions have a variety of different tours that make a visit to Iceland a very memorable experience. Whether it is enjoying the bonfire and fireworks on New Year’s Eve or watching an ethereal light show as the Northern Lights sweep across the night sky in a silent dance of awesome proportions, these tours are different, filled with the best that makes Iceland the destination of choice for adventurous travellers.


Iceland Excursions

Hafnarstræti 20 • 101 Reykjavík
+354 540 1313
iceland@grayline.is
www.grayline.is

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