THE GOLDEN CIRCLE
Drive to the World Heritage Site of Thingvellir National Park. This is the location of Iceland‘s original parliament. Enjoy views across the clear waters of Lake Thingvallavatn. Visit the thundering Gullfoss waterfall and famous Geysir geothermal area, where the geyser of Strokkur regularly erupts and numerous other hot springs bubble and steam. Nearby Laugarvatn area, we can recommend stop at the farm Efstidalur. Here you can enjoy a nice lunch or dinner or just have a taste of homemade ice cream. The geothermal natural pool, Secret Lagoon is in this area, so maybe an evening bath will be a good way to finish the day.
WATERFALLS AND BLACK BEACHES
From the foot of Hekla volcano, it is well worth taking a trip to the valley of the Thjorsa River. The earliest settlers in Iceland chose this valley. There you can visit the Viking farm Stöng, which is a reconstruction of the farm as it was 1000 years ago. The original farm was destroyed by a major volcanic eruption in the year 1104. Many scenes from the TV series Games of Thrones were taken in Thjórsárdalur valley. On the route to Vik, the southernmost town in Iceland make sure you stop at Seljalandsfoss and Skogarfoss. These are two of Iceland's loveliest waterfalls. You can walk to the back of Seljalandsfoss. On the way, you to Vik you will pass Eyjafjallajökull glacier and the area evacuated in the large volcano eruption in 2010. At Vik, you will find Reynisfjara, Reynisdrangar and Dyrholaey. Reynisfjara is a black lava beach that has amazing basalt rock formations. Outside the sea, you can see the basalt-shaped pillars Reynisdrangar. The area has a rich bird life and you will be able to see puffins here. Dyrholaey is a small peninsula at Reynisdrangar. Here you should take pictures of the view.
SKAFTAFELL-GLACIER LAGOON JOKULSARLON (LONGER DAY-TOUR)
You will drive pass Vik and over the black sands of Skeidara. Right next to the Ring Road is the Skaftafell National Park. The mountains are reminiscent of the Alps, and have been formed by volcanoes, glaciers and water. Skaftafell is an area you can spend a whole day. Go up to the glacier or just for a short trip to Svartifoss waterfall, one of the most popular attractions in the park. Svartifoss is a unique natural gem framed in black lava columns. Nearby is Europe‘s biggest glacier, Vatnajökull, and the extraordinary Jökulsarlon Glacial Lagoon. Without doubt, these are the highlights of the day. You can join a tour by boat on the lagoon or maybe a kayak tour. Make sure to visit the Diamond beach, just by the glacier Lagoon. Here you will find icebergs from the lagoon who have drifted ashore and created the most magical setting. White melting icebergs on a black beach.
Not far from Hella, you will find the port of Landeyar. The car is parked on the dock, and you take the ferry from Landeyjar to Vestmannaeyjar in the morning. The journey will take about 35 minutes. The archipelago of Vestmannaeyjar was formed by subsea volcanic eruptions 10,000 years ago. The youngest of the islands emerged from the sea in the year 1963. We land in the harbor of Heimaey, the only inhabited island in the group. Residents live with the constant threat of new volcanic eruptions. In 1973, the entire population had to be evacuated after the Helgafell volcano suddenly exploded. In many places at Heimaey, one can still see the houses half buried under lava and ash. It is recommended to take some organized excursion with guide on the island, by either bus or boat. In the afternoon or evening, take the ferry back to the mainland and drive to the accommodation.
Visit Iceland's oldest pool still standing, located in a narrow valley under the infamous Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Seljavallalaug was built in 1923 by some visionaries who wanted to give the locals a place where they could learn to swim. From the parking lot, you hike for about 15-20 minutes towards the bottom of the valley and finally you will see the pool behind a corner. Remember swimwear if you want to take a dip in the water.
Visit abandoned plane wreck on the desolate Solheimasandur black sand beach. The beach of Solheimasandur is astonishing. The beach is known for its many colors, from dark green, reddish grey and when wet, pure black. Mixed with the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean it becomes an amazing sight.
REYKJADALUR (SMOKEY VALLEY)
Reykjadalur is one of the most popular and perhaps most beautiful hiking areas in and around the town of Hveragerði. Hot springs and colorful areas full of geothermal activity undertain you along a hiking trail leading to a warm river. Rivers temperature is perfect for swimming, but you have to walk for about 50-70 minutes to reach the first place that is warm enough to dip in. The longer you hike, the warmer it will be. This is a fantastic nature experience. Do not forget your swimwear and towel.
It will not take you long to drive into the city for a day. Get to know the most northern Capital in Europe in the afternoon. You will find many shops, cafes and museums in the city. The best way to enjoy the city is to take easy stroll through the city center, with the small houses and nice atmosphere. From Hallgrímskirkja church in the city center, you can take panorama views of the city from the tower.
There are many options for activities on the South Shore, as riding-tours, snowmobile tours, Super Jeep safari, ATV driving, Golf, rafting or RiverJet, glacier walk, petting zoo and more.