The Ring Road – Winter package

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The Ring Road – Winter package

Let’s take an epic journey and circumnavigate the beautiful island in the north, Iceland. This tour lasts for seven days, where we drive around Iceland and discover the mysterious beaten track places during the winter time. We will also visit the most famous landmarks that are must-sees for anyone visiting Iceland. Since we are travelling for seven days, we have a very good chance of seeing the northern lightsdancing in the sky during our travels. Every single trip is unique and our guides will do their best to shape the trip to the group’s interest. The Icelandic driving conditions will also shape your tour, as well as the Icelandic weather that can change quite often and quickly.

Day 1

From Reykjavik we go on the Golden Circle route, where we‘ll visit Thingvellir, Gullfoss and Geysir. With a stop at Fludir we‘ll end our day at the well known Eyjafjallajokullglacier area where we‘ll hope for the northern lights to appear.

We leave Reykjavik and head to Thingvellir National Park where the world’s oldest existing parliament was founded in the 10th century. Thingvellir National Park is a unique place where two continents meet. Here you can see where the Eurasian and North-American tectonic plates drift apart, but they move approx. 1.5 cm apart each year. Thingvellir, in its winter coat is just as breathtaking as it is in the summer months, but at the same time a very different experience. We continue with a stop at Laugarvatn, an interesting small village built in a geothermal area. Then we head to Gullfoss Waterfall and Geysir Geothermal Area. At Gullfoss we admire the roaring waterfall that stems from the glacial river Hvita. Then at Geysir Geothermal Area we’ll meet they geyser that all other geysers are named after, Geyser. We will also witness the hard-working geyser Strokkur erupting, where it spews hot water and steam about 100 ft. into the air.

After lunch we go to Fludir, a small village that relies on geothermal energy to run its numerous greenhouses. Icelanders use greenhouses to produce vegetables year-round. Afterwards, we return to the highway and continue on with our ring road tour.

We drive towards the mighty Eyjafjallajokull Volcano in the setting sun, stopping at Seljalandsfoss Waterfall. Seljalandsfoss is a bit special because you are able to walk behind the waterfall and get another perspective. Our accommodation for the night is close by the waterfall, located in the countryside, under the looming cliffs of Eyjafjoll. It’s a perfect place to wait and hope for the appearance of the Aurora Borealis, the famous northern lights. The guide will check the aurora forecast and weigh our chances of seeing them.

Day 2

Busy day. We‘ll watch a short documentary about the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, take a look at the amazing Skogafoss waterfall and then head over to Reynisfjara black sand beach. We‘ll stop at many places like Vík, Myrdalssandur, Eldhraun, Kirkjubaejarklaustur and end our day at the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon.

We start of the second day of this tour by taking a look at Skogafoss Waterfall, located close by our hotel. This day will be spent traveling along the south coast, stopping at many points of interest. We will visit Thorvaldseyri, a family farm with Eyjafjallajokull in their backyard where we can watch a short documentary about the massive Eyjafjallajokull volcano that erupted and stopped air-traffic in 2010. The black sand beach, Reynisfjara, will astonish you with its impressive rock stacks and intricate basalt columns. Reynisdrangar Cliffs are located close to the shore, and according to Icelandic folklore, they are a petrified fishing vessel of trolls. Reynisdrangar Cliffs are best viewed from the church at Vik, the small village east of the black sand beach. From Vík we continue traveling across the vast sand fields of the South Coast, that were formed by flash floods from sub-glacial eruptions over the centuries. Your guide will most likely tell you tales of settlement and folklore on the way, as many famous Icelandic sagas take place in the southern lowlands.

We explore the clusters of pseudo-craters at Myrdalssandur and Landbrot, that are quite extraordinary. These pseudo-craters are unique, and the best examples of their kind. We also drive across the mighty lava field of Eldhraun, where we learn about how the lava field came to be in the eighteenth century. That volcanic eruption nearly wiped out the entire population of Iceland, making the king of Denmark contemplate evacuating the island completely. Next up is a nice stop at the tiny village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur. We’ll drive across the vast expanse of Skeidararsandur, with Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajokull, covering the horizon to our left. We finish off our day by stopping at the majestic Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon. At Jokulsarlon we will admire the icebergs that break off of the melting glacier and into the lagoon. We then settle in for the night at a country hotel at the area, an isolated place that is perfect for viewing the northern lights, should they appear.

Day 3

First stop on day 3 is Hornafjordur and at this area we have pretty good chances of seeing reindeer. We go to Stokksnesfor some nature and then to Djupivogur for culture. At the end of the day we should be at Lagarfljot, the home of the Lagarfljots-worm. Hopefully all nights will be northern lights night, we never know.
We proceed east towards the village of Höfn (in Hornarfjörður). We have a good chance to spotting some reindeer along the way, as they are commonly seen in this area. East of Hornafjordur, we take a detour to Stokksnes to admire the imposing cliffs of Vestrahorn towering over the sand. A former navy base, this place is especially desolate and atmospheric. We drive through the sparsely populated area under imposing mountains where narrow roads cling to the hillsides, with the endless ocean to our right. We meander through deserted fjords with glistening sands, peculiar cliffs, and colorful mountains with sharp peaks. We stop at Djupivogur, a tiny village where Sigurdur Gudmundsson, a world renowned artist, has installed a peculiar work of art for all to enjoy, as well as we soak up the atmosphere in this isolated place. We keep driving from one village to another. Every place has a story of struggles, defeats, and victories. We rest for the night close to the lake of Lagarfljot, supposedly the home of Lagarfljotsormur, Iceland’s version of the Loch Ness monster. Maybe the northern lights will dance for us tonight? Our search for them never ends.

Day 4

Next to Lagarfjot we‘ll find the largest forest in Iceland and from there we‘ll take a look at Hengifoss, a terrific waterfall. Modrudalsoraefi (try to pronounce that!) is also a home of reindeer and after that we stop by Dettifoss waterfall. We‘ll go to the colourful geothermal area Namaskard and gain energy in the nature baths at Myvatn.

We start off the day by exploring the East of Iceland. We drive around the Lagarfljot Lake trying to catch a glimpse of the monster that could be lurking there. The largest forest in Iceland can be found around the lake, along with one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland, Hengifoss. After exploring Hengifoss Waterfall, we head for the wasteland, driving for hours across the mountains through an uninhabited area, and to the North of Iceland. The stark and threatening beauty with its strong sense of isolation being surrounded by rows of mountains on the horizon is an experience in itself. Maybe we will see the reindeers in their natural habitat on the frozen moors of Modrudalsoraefi. We might stop at the most isolated farm in Iceland, admiring the peculiar church built by an eccentric farmer in the nineteenth century. Once we are across the mountains, we will visit Dettifoss Waterfall. Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe, and while standing next to this giant waterfall, we can feel the earth tremble beneath our feet. Here we learn about the forces that shaped this peculiar area. After stopping at a famous haunted but abandoned hut, we drive towards Myvatn Lake and explore the geothermal fields in the area. The geothermal fields, called Namaskard are in their multi-colored splendor among roaring steam vents and bubbling mud pools. We end the day by taking a soak in a natural bath, before retiring to our hotel.

Note: In this area roads can be closed without notice so plans can change. Travelers have to be flexible and patient. All good things come to those who wait.

Day 5

There is a lot to see at the area. Lake Myvatn, Dimmuborgir and Grjotagja . A drive through Reykjadalur and a visit to Godafoss waterfall. Last is a tour at the second biggest town in Iceland, Akureyri and hopefully we will be lucky and see the dancing rainbows in the sky.
On this day, we will explore Lake Myvatn and its surroundings. We will visit the lava castles of Dimmuborgir and the underground bath at Grjotagja, where we can soak in the geothermal water, in a subterranean chasm. We might ascend the dome of Hverfjall mountain and admire the strange formations of lava at Kalfastrond. We drive through Reykjadalur and to Godafoss Waterfall where in the year 930, Thorgeir, the heathen chieftain at Ljosavatn farm, threw statues of the old gods into Godafoss Waterfall to demonstrate the beginning of Christianity in Iceland. We will also stop at a unique roadside church dedicated to his memory. Godafoss is among the largest and most imposing waterfalls in Iceland, but we might also sit down for coffee and the Icelandic food kleina‘s, at a local coffee shop. There we can chat with the farmers and ask them for advice on life, the universe and everything. We will eventually end up in Eyjafjordur Fjord, where we will visit Akureyri, the second largest town in Iceland. In Akureyri we can count the steps to the city church or stroll through the main shopping street. Before huddling down for the night, we will check the skies for the aurora ballet dancers.

Day 6

Saudarkrokur is next up but on our way we‘ll pass Drangey, a small island with great history. Hvitserkur is one of the highlights of the day and Gauksmyri will be our final stop.
We leave Akureyri and drive through the countryside, dotted with sleeping farms and chubby Icelandic horses in their winter fur. We will stop at the small town Saudarkrokur, where we take in its atmosphere over a cup of coffee. Every place has a story and here it is the fate of Grettir the Strong, who was an outlaw in the tenth century. His life ended in Drangey the imposing cliff island in the middle of Skagafjordur. We continue on driving through small villages where we will grab any opportunity to take in their peculiar charm and learn about their history. We will stop at the desolate place Thristapar, where the last public execution in Iceland took place in 1830. A dramatic story of passion, deceit, and murder is hidden beneath the frozen turf. Borgarvirki is a peculiar place with remnants of a fortress from the time of settlement, with great views over the terrain. Hvitserkur is a peculiar rock formation that looks a lot like a petrified dinosaur. An excellent photo opportunity. We end our day at Gauksmyri, a quaint country hostel watching, waiting, and hopefully basking in the eerie glow of the northern lights dancing overhead.

Day 7

Last day we will drive towards Reykjavik with multiple stops on the way. We’ll visit a museum at the historical place Reykir. From there we’ll go to BorgarfjordurHraunfossarwaterfalls and Hvalfjordur.
We start our day by driving to the local museum at Reykir. This museum houses the only shark catching vessel that has survived. Shark catching was a flourishing trade in the nineteenth century, and Ofeigur is a fine specimen, built from driftwood by local shipbuilders up north. After crossing Holtavorduheidi, we turn off the main road and visit Reykholt in Borgarfjordur. This place used to be the of Snorri Sturluson, a ninth century poet, scholar, and author of many fine manuscripts. Snorri used the geothermal springs for bathing, and his personal hot tub has survived throughout all of these years, and is probably among the oldest of such pools in Iceland, if not Europe. From Reykholt we will proceed to Deildartunguhver, the largest hot spring in the world, where 180 liters (47.5 gallons) of scalding hot water flow from the earth every second. We end by visiting the beautiful Hraunfossar Waterfalls in Borgarfjordur, a unique specimen of a waterfall in Iceland because of its unusual setting. You will understand why when you see it. We then drive through the magnificent Hvalfjordur on our way back to Reykjavik. Hvalfjordur has its own peculiar history as an important meeting place for convoys during the Second World War. After this the road leads back to Reykjavik and estimated time in the city is around dinner time.

What's included?

  • Fully escorted 7-day bus tour with an English-speaking guide.
  • Accommodation with breakfast and private facilities for 6 nights
  • Entrance with towel at Myvatn Nature Baths
  • Entrance to all museums

What do I need to bring?

  • Warm clothes, hiking shoes, packed lunch (we will also stop at diners/restaurants).

Tour information:

  • Duration:
    7 DAYS
  • Booking Cutoff Hours:
    20
  • Location:
    Eyjafjallajökull
  • Location:
    Geysir
  • Location:
    Golden Circle
  • Location:
    Gullfoss
  • Location:
    Reykjavík
  • Location:
    Seljalandsfoss
  • Location:
    Skógafoss
  • Location:
    South coast
  • Location:
    Þingvellir
  • Languages:
    en

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