From Reykjavik, the tour takes us across Hellisheiði heath, past Mt. Hengill volcano, an active central volcano with an enormous magma chamber that drives some of Iceland’s geothermal power plants.
From Hellisheiði we descend into the southern lowlands, travelling past the greenhouse village of Hveragerði and through Selfoss, the service hub of South Iceland. We carry on through the farmlands of the Flói area and over a bridge spanning Iceland’s longest river, Þjórsá, as we enter the village Hvolsvöllur for a short refreshment break.
East of Hvolsvöllur on the horizon looms the infamous Eyjafjallajökull glacier-volcano, whose 2010 eruption and subsequent ash cloud paralysed much of Europe’s airspace for nearly a week.
Our next stop is Skógafoss; a powerful waterfall visitors can walk right up to and considered by many to be one of Iceland’s most impressive. Afterwards, we pass Mýrdalsjökull glacier, the formidable Mt. Katla volcano, the expansive sand plains of Mýrdalssandur and finally the enormous Eldgjárhraun lava field. From there we enter Skeiðarársandur plains, a vast, desolate area of black, volcanic sands between Skeiðarárjökull glacier and the sea.
Emerging from these dramatic landscapes, we reach the eye-popping Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. The roughly 18-square-km lagoon is packed with huge pieces of ice cleaved from the glacier and majestically floating towards the sea. We’ll spend a good amount of time exploring the lagoon and its black sand shores where seals are commonly seen. The optional boat tour, available seasonally, also takes place during this time. (Please note, the boat tour must be booked *in advance* during the check-out process.)
From Jökulsárlón, guests are shuttled to Gerði Country Hotel, our nearby accommodations for the night where dinner is available for purchase. On clear, winter nights the hotel’s remote location is ideal to view the Northern Lights if they appear.
After breakfast (included), a local guide will take us to the edge of Vatnajökull glacier at Þröng to see the breathtaking views at the foot of one of Europe’s largest glaciers. Afterwards, we’ll return to Jökulsárlón for one, last look around before we start back, stopping in the seaside village of Vík where dinner is available for purchase.
Our last stop on is arguably the most picturesque waterfall in Iceland. At 60 meters tall Seljalandsfoss cascades down from ancient sea cliffs into a shallow pool. Weather permitting, visitors can walk behind the waterfall, which makes for some fantastic photo ops with spectacular views out to the countryside.