Come along on a relaxing, easy tour of some of the most famous locations in Iceland! This tour combines the wonders of the whales and seabirds with a tour of the Golden Circle.
You will be picked up from your hotel by the shuttle bus between 8:15 and 8:45 AM for the whale watching tour starting at 9:00 AM from Reykjavík's Old Harbour. After exploring the wonders of the whales and seabirds Faxaflói offers, you’ll return to the harbour around 12:00.
Spend a half an hour stretching your legs with a walk around the pier or a bite to eat. At 12:30, you'll be picked up by another shuttle bus in front of the Elding ticket office for an afternoon on the Golden Circle.
You will be visiting some of the very best known historical sites and natural phenomena in the country: Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall, and Geysir geothermal area as well as the hot spring town Hveragerði.
Þingvellir National Park was created to preserve some of Iceland’s most precious history and geology, and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site because the world’s first parliament was founded there in the 10th century. The valley is also split in two by the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Take a stroll down the walking path and you’ll be wandering between North America and Eurasia! Sifta fissure is also here, on the edge of Lake Þingvallavatn, and is a popular place for snorkeling between the land masses!
Next is Gullfoss waterfall, one of the mightiest of Iceland’s natural wonders. Located in a canyon of the fast-moving Hvitá river, this place is all about power. Glacial meltwater fills the river, shooting across the two-tiered falls before crashing into a crevice. The canyon below is also a favorite spot for white water rafting, allowing sportsmen to pit themselves against the river. You can watch the waterfall from a viewing deck, or walk down a path right next to the tumbling waters.
Geysir geothermal area will take you to a fiendish landscape of rock and raging power. Pressure building beneath the earth has created great forces at work. Hot springs bubble, steam vents hiss and fumaroles release smoky pressure from down below. The geysers, of course, are the stars here, and though The Great Geysir has gone to sleep, his little brother Strokkur blasts off every 5-10 minutes, flinging water as high as 40 m (131 ft).
See below for alternate summer itinerary, which takes you to the Golden Circle in the evening.
Don’t miss this fabulous tour of Reykjavik’s harbor and the beautiful south coast! Check the booking availability above by pressing "Choose a date."
Geysir is a famous hot spring in Haukadalur valley in South Iceland. Part of the ‘Golden Circle', Geysir gives its name to hot springs all over the world.
Though Geysir itself is hardly active anymore, the area features spectacular hot springs such as the powerful Strokkur, which spouts a vast amount of water every 10 minutes, around 15-20 meters into the air, Smidur and Litli-Strokkur.
North of Geysir are fumaroles, i.e. unlike the hot springs that emit hot water, only steam and gas emanate from these. You may be able to observe bright yellow stains at the fumaroles, this is native sulphur, which crystallizes from the steam. At the southern part of the geothermal area, called Thykkuhverir, you‘ll find various mud pots. Such mud pots are actually fumaroles that boil up through surface water/groundwater and may become steaming fumaroles during dry spells, rather than the usual boiling mud pots.
About 2 km from Geysir is an old preserved natural pool called Kúalaug. One can bathe in it and it has room for 3-5 people at a time, but care should be taken, as the area around the pool is very delicate. The temperature is 39-43°C, depending on how you are positioned in the pool. The water is slightly muddy, as the pool is built on soil, and the bottom is slippery due to algae, so caution is advised.
In Haukadalur there has also been tree planting in recent times and today the forest Haukadalsskógur is one of the largest in South Iceland. Aspen, various types of pine, and other plants have been tried out there and experiments and research continue. We also recommend visiting the tree museum, built in the memory of forester Gunnar Freysteinsson. There are good paths and roads in the forest and the wood is specially designed to accommodate wheelchairs.
Haukadalur has been a church site since ancient time. The current wooden church was last rebuilt in 1938 but the variety and appearance of the church dates back to 1842, making it one of the oldest of its kind in Iceland.
Haukadalur is indeed a historical place. It was settled during the age of settlement and scholar Ari “The Wise“ Thorgilsson grew up there. The first pastoral school in Iceland was also built there.
For accommodation, Hotel Gullfoss is about 7 km from the Geysir area, and closer still is the Hotel Geysir.
Thingvellir is one of the most important sites to visit in Iceland for its landscape, history and cultural value.
The Icelandic parliament was founded in Thingvellir in 930 and remained there for centuries.Thingvellir is surrounded by a beautiful mountain range and is the site of a rift valley, marking the crest of the Mid-Atlantic range. Today it is a natural park, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and considered a vital part of the ‘Golden triangle’ (with Geysir and Gullfoss). Of particular note is the magnificent gorge Almannagja, which marks the eastern boundary of the north American plate and into which the beautiful waterfall Oxararfoss falls.
Other notable attractions within the park include the beautiful lake Thingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland, the Silfra fissure, one of the world's top dives, and Gjabakkahellir, one of Iceland's most interesting lava tubes.
Silfra Fissure, situated in Þingvellir National Park in southwest Iceland, is one of the country's most visited and cherished natural wonders.
Roughly an hour’s drive from Reykjavik city centre, Silfra is a highly popular destination for snorkelers and scuba divers, with the fissure itself often ranking amongst the top ten dive sites internationally. The water is 2-4 degrees celsius all year round and offers visitors the opportunity to touch both the American and Eurasian tectonic plates simultaneously, an extremely rare feeling in itself.
Silfra is just one of thousands of fissures made up as part of a largely unmapped cave network underneath Thingvellir. The reasons for Silfra’s adulation particularly are, upon seeing it, self-explanatory. Firstly, there is the incredible water clarity. Visibility will often stretch beyond 100m, meaning the entire fissure, canyon walls and all, is in full and perfect view.
The incredible colour spectrums that this creates defies imagination. The water is so clear, for instance, that it refracts light in the same manner as a diamond, meaning, on bright days, that Silfra’s bottom is illuminated with rainbow patterns.
Þingvellir makes up part of the Mid-Atlantic rift valley, an area of fairly young magma fields (geologically speaking) that, continentally, does not exist. Water trickles down from the mighty Langjökull glacier, around 60km from Silfra, entering the cave network and taking up to a century to reach the fissure. This fascinating process began over 12,000 years ago.
Silfra also has a gentle current. This flow means that any sediment or floating particles kicked up by will quickly be pulled away, ensuring excellent visibility within minutes.
Hveragerdi is a town and municipality in the southwest of Iceland, around 45 km from the capital Reykjavik. The river Varma runs through it. The town is well known for its greenhouses and strong geothermal activity, in particular the nearby Reykjadalur valley.
In the scenic Reykjadalur ('Steam Valley') you have the hot water stream falling down the slopes of the valley. The mountain range is ideal for relaxing and the valley offers a rich variety of hot pools and geothermal springs. It is also possible to have a dip in the river.
There are nice botanical areas and parks in the town, many recreational activities are available, excellent hiking trails as well as nice hotels and a camping ground. A number of museums can be found, such as the Arnesingar art museum. The town hosts an annual culture and family festival in August.
Thingvallavatn is Iceland's largest natural lake, with a surface of 84 km² and a deep of 114 meters, located in the beautiful Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The lake has two islands and their volcanic origins are clearly visible. There is good fishing to be made in the lake, as it has four kinds of char and the fantastic ice age trout, raching up to 30 pounds.
The national parliament Althingi was founded in Thingvellir in 930. Thingvellir is located where Eurasian and North American Plates meet, notable witnesses being Almannagja canyon and the Silfra fissure, which lies close to the lake.
Starting time : 08:15
Use of overalls on boat
Pick-up / Drop-off at your accommodation in Reykjavik
Warm clothing and outerwear suited to rainy or chilly weather
Sturdy shoes for walking/hiking
The tour above is for the fall, winter and spring months. In the summer, the tour is arranged to take advantage of the Midnight Sun! You will go whale watching in the afternoon and spend the evening on the Golden Circle. You will be picked up from your hotel by the shuttle bus between 13:15 and 13:45 for the whale watching tour, starting at 14:00 from Reykjavík's Old Harbour. You'll return to dry land around 17:00. You can have dinner nearby before being picked up for the Golden Circle Evening tour by the shuttle bus at 17:30. Soak in the sunshine, all night long!