Day 1. The South – inland to the South coast. - 250 km travelled.
Places of interest: Þingvellir National Park. Geysir hot spring area with its fabulous Strokkur.
For more information on South Iceland please visit: www.south.is
Gullfoss waterfall. Seljalandsfoss waterfall. The magnificent waterfall and the folk museum at Skógar.
Stay at Hella!
Day 2. The Southeast and the East coast. - 270 km travelled.
Places of interest: Skaftafell National Park. The glacial lagoon Jökulsárlón. The Vatnajökull glacier – various types of glacier tours are on offer if booked in advance.
Accommodation in Höfn area.
· Árnanes V, 781 Hornafjörður. 478-1550
· Hali 781 Hornafjörður Iceland, sími 478-1073
Activities around Höfn
Seals are often seen in the lake and in the river running to the sea and occacionally one can see whales out on the sea.
Boats take you close to the icebergs. A unbelievable experience and great opportunity for photographing one of Icelands great nature sites.
This is where Iceland meets Greenland. You can watch the icebergs calve and break away from the clacier right beside you, on a breattaking cruise around a glacial lagoon.
Day 3. The East coast and fjords. Ca. 250 km travelled.
Accommodation in Egilsstaðir area.
· Skipalækur, Fell, 701 Egilsstaðir. 471-1324
· Guesthouse Egilsstaðir, 700 Egilsstaðir. 471-1114
· Útnyrðingsstaðir in Hérað, 701 Egilsstaðir. 471-1727
Day 4. Lake Mývatn area. Ca 240km travelled
Accommodation in Húsavík area.
· Húsavík Guesthouse, 641 Húsavík. 848-7600
· Garður in Aðaldalur, 641 Húsavík. 464-3569
Day 5. Akureyri and the North. Ca. 210km travelled.Places of interest: Akureyri town. Skagafjörður district. The farmhouse museum in Glaumbær. The old turf church at Víðimýri. Vatnsdalshólar. Kolugljúfur canyon.
· Gauksmýri, 531 Hvammstangi. 451-2927
Day 6. The North and the Southwest. Ca 200 km travelled.Places of interest: The lovely Borgarfjörður district. Climbing the old crater Grábrók. Borgarnes the site of one of the most popular Icelandic sagas, Egla.
Accommodation in the Southwest:
· Bjarg, 310 Borgarnes. 437-1925
Day 7. Snæfellsnes - Stykkishólmur. The Southwest. Ca. 250km travelled.
Day 7 or 8. Reykjavík. Accomodation in Reykjavík:Capital Inn, Suðurhlíð 35d, 105 Reykjavík. 588-2100 www.capitalinn.is
Visitors to Iceland's capital city Reykjavik experience easily the energy whether from the geothermal energy or the lively culture and fun-filled nightlife. Think of the qualities of a great city should have; fun, space, clean air, nature, culture and Reykjavik have them in spades. The population of the capital area is about 200,000. The world's northernmost capital is bordered by Mt. Esja and a mountain ridge on one side and the blue waters of Faxafloi Bay on the other. On a sunny day, the Snaefellsjokull glacier appears on the western horizon. In the summer, you can sit by the harbour at midnight and watch the sun dip slightly below the horizon before it makes its way up again. Reykjavik’s compact city centre has plenty to keep you occupied. The downtown area is clean and safe and ideal for strolling around. Find the perfect souvenir, enjoy a gourmet meal or lose track of time in a modern gallery.
For more information on the Capital area please visit: www.visitreykjavik.is
Reykjavik and the Sea
Iceland is an island nation, and wherever you go in and around Reykjavik, the influence of the sea and its stories is clear. Many of the people who live here today are descended from seafaring explorers like the Norwegian Vikings, who began arriving on the Icelandic shores during the 9th century, and left behind a legacy of Scandinavian folklore and a love of sailing. Although the connections to other Scandinavian countries like Norway and Denmark are still strong, the culture has developed in its own unique way on the isolated shores of Iceland. Reykjavik's museums of maritime history and mythology are the best places to discover more about the history of this island and its connection with the sea.
The history of Iceland has been preserved in its literature, which is full of seafaring Viking heroes and mythological creatures. The Culture House museum presents an exhibition of saga manuscripts, which were written during the medieval period to record the much older tales. The manuscripts are beautiful, but impossible to decipher without some understanding of the Icelandic language. Luckily, the stories have been interpreted for visitors by the Saga Museum, where some of the most famous scenes from Icelandic myth and history are recreated in dramatic style. One of the best-known figures in Icelandic history is also immortalized elsewhere by a tall statue placed right next to the distinctive white tower of the Hallgrímskirkja church. Leif Erikson was a Viking explorer who is said to have reached the shores of America when he set sail from Iceland to search for new land. Arriving centuries before Columbus would set out across the Atlantic, Erikson named the new country Vinland, for the grapes produced by its rich soil. Erikson's sister, Freydis Eiriksdóttir, is among the figures to be found in the Saga Museum, where the less well-known story of her fierce battles and schemes to claim the riches of Vinland is told. Other notable figures in the museum include Snorri Sturluson, the 13th century author of one of the most beloved prose sagas, and some of the earliest Viking settlers.
The First Icelanders
The Saga Museum offers a glimpse into the world of the past, but it is possible to get even closer to the Vikings by visiting the Reykjavik City Museum. The earliest known settlement, dating from before 871 AD, is recreated on the exact site where it was once built, at the Settlement Exhibition. The Viking houses are visualized in precise detail, making it easy to imagine the sort of life Erikson and his sister might have lived. A slightly more recent version of Iceland's past can be experienced at the museum's other site, an open-air museum at Arbaer. Walking through the traditionally built village feels like stepping into the past, particularly when old methods of farming are being demonstrated at the working farm.
The importance of the sea to these historic Icelanders can be explored further at the Vikin Maritime Museum, which inhabits an old fishery building by the harbour. The museum explores the history of sailing in Iceland, starting with the very first person who is known to have settled permanently on the island, Ingólfur Arnarson. Arnarson chose Reykjavik as the site of his new home because of its sheltered natural harbour, and the town has depended on this connection with the sea ever since. Reykjavik grew into a busy port town, which was particularly important as the centre of Icelandic fishing during the 20th century. The old coastguard vessel, Óðinn, is docked at the museum, and visitors can climb aboard to explore it for themselves. Óðinn, designed for the icy waters around Iceland, was responsible for saving many lives in its time.
Sailing around Scandinavia
Óðinn doesn't take its passengers out to sea any more, but other ships can still provide an authentic taste of the seafaring life. Short whale watching cruises can be taken from Reykjavik when the season is right, but more extensive tours can provide a deeper understanding of the seafaring Viking mythology. The best way to understand what it might have felt like to be one of the first Vikings to reach the shores of Iceland is to arrive on the island by boat. If you plan carefully, you can choose a cruise crossing the whole of the historic Viking range. Tours are available that depart from Denmark, Norway and other Scandinavian regions, which can give you a chance to explore the history of the Viking homeland before you come to see how the culture developed in Iceland. Upon leaving Iceland, it is possible to continue on to other Scandinavian destinations, perhaps even towards Greenland and the shores of Erikson's Vinland. Cruising around Scandinavia is the only way to appreciate just how far the Vikings came, and how adventurous they must have been to set out from their homelands. All of these Scandinavian countries are proud of their seafaring Viking heritage, and their museums tell similar stories to the ones you will hear in Reykjavik's museums and the Icelandic sagas.
Another way to appreciate the connection between Icelanders and the sea is to join the modern day islanders at one of the geothermal beaches. Iceland is a volcanic country, and the most enjoyable consequence of this is the naturally heated water that escapes from underground at certain points around the island. The sea itself is generally too cold for swimming, but where pools and lagoons have been built to trap some of the geothermal heat, a comfortable temperature is maintained even in winter. The beach at Nauthólsvik even has its own hot tub and a golden stretch of beach made of specially imported sand. It might not be the same as a Viking expedition, but splashing around in the geothermal lagoon is the perfect situation in which to ponder the close relationship between Reykjavik and the sea.
Make a Reservation
“We would stay here again!!”
We arrived earlier than expected but this was not a problem. Solon gave us a different but equivalent room that was ready for us. Because it was so early he made sure we knew breakfast was being served. Solon works the front desk and is a wealth of information. Read More
“Fabulous staff - made a trip into a holiday”
Clean & tidy premises, good location for shopping centre and easy to get into city centre. But the best thing is the staff who so clearly know their country, are polite & courteous and are very happy to help. They went way beyond our expectations & made a short trip an extremely enjoyable holiday. Read More