After pick up from your hotel in Reykjavik we head down the south coast and cross the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that separates the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, along a landscape with moss covered lava fields and volcanoes on both sides. In the rift valley between the continental plates we will make a short stop at the Hellisheidavirkjun Geothermal Power Plant where we can feel and smell the geothermal power. Next on our list is Kerid, a volcanic crater lake. It was thought before that Kerid was formed by a huge volcanic explosion (as most volcanic craters), however recent research has revealed that this it is probably the result of a cone volcano which erupted and emptied its magma reserve. The cone then collapsed into the magma chamber and created the crater lake surrounded by strongly coloured red volcanic rock.
We will also make a stop at yet another spectacular waterfall, Brúarárfoss (Bruarfoss). We will do a hike toward one of the hidden gems in the landscape: the Brúarárfoss waterfall. This fascinating place is not so easy to find and sometimes not so easy to reach either, but it’s definitely worth seeing. It can only be accessed on foot. If you're visiting during the winter, we might need to walk in deep snow, so it's very important for your safety and comfort to bring sturdy shoes and waterproof trousers, or gaiters.
Our tour takes us through agricultural and horticultural areas where the geothermal power is used to heat up greenhouses so that fruit, vegetables and flowers can be grown all year round in Iceland. Next stop will be at the Geysir geothermal area. The English word “geyser” is actually derived from the Icelandic "Geysir". The nearby geyser Strokkur erupts into the air every 5-8 minutes while other hot springs in the area are quieter but colorful.
The Icelandic highlands are a world of their own, and a super jeep is the best vehicle to take you there. Do you even remember the last time you looked 360° around you and saw no sign of civilization? We'll go off road on the highland tracks for a while, where you will experience an otherworldly landscape, rather like being on the moon. We’ll go through an Icelandic forest, reach a desert, cross sandy areas, lava fields and rivers, and end up with a stunning view towards the Langjokull glacier . The world up there is strange and monochrome.
Gullfoss (“Golden Falls”) is our next stop and you can see it cascading down two huge (11 and 22 meters) steps into a deep gorge. Gullfoss is the first waterfall in Iceland to become protected by the state as a local girl, Sigríður Tómasdóttir fought a brave fight against the authorities who wanted to build the first hydro power plant by the falls.
Our last destination is Thingvellir National Park . This is the place where the settlers founded the Icelandic parliament, which was also the first parliament in the world, in the year 930. It was restored and then moved to Reykjavik in 1845. In the drift valley you can see how the two tectonic plates, the North American and Eurasian drift apart, by an average of 2.5 cm per year.
At the end of the day we’ll drop you off at your hotel in Reykjavik after what we hope was an awesome and unforgettable experience.