Pack 3 excursions | Snæfellsnes, Cercle d’Or, Secret Lagoon et Jokulsarlon
Lancez-vous dans le plus beau séjour islandais qui soit avec ce pack excursion de trois jours qui vous conduit sur tous les grands sites naturels, mais aussi au plus près des trésors cachés de la terre de glace et de feu. Ce pack est idéal pour les voyageurs qui séjournent en ville, et qui voudraient intégrer plusieurs excursions dans leur programme, sans se ruiner et en laissant le soin de conduire à des professionnels.
Dans cette formule nous vous proposons notre sélection des meilleures excursions en bus disponibles au départ de Reykjavík — contrairement au pack qui inclut l’hébergement, on vous dépose dans la capitale tous les soirs, et on vous reprend tous les matins.
Les destinations incluses sont une journée complète d’exploration de la péninsule de Snæfellsnes à l’ouest, suivie d’une visite du Cercle d’Or avec sortie aux sources chaudes du Secret Lagoon, et pour couronner le tout, une excursion sur la Côte Sud avec promenade en bateau dans la lagune glaciaire de Jökulsárlón.
Réservez-vite ce pack excursion pour découvrir le Cercle d'Or, la lagune de Jokulsarlon et la péninsule de Snaefellsnes à petit prix ! Cliquez sur "choisir une date" pour vérifier les disponibilités.
Bon à savoir
- Disponible: Jui. - Oct.
- Durée: 3 jours
- Activités: Visite de sites naturels, Bateau, Baignade sources chaudes, Visite culturelle
- Difficulté: Facile
- Âge minimum: 8 ans
- Langues: English
The Golden Circle is a 300 km route to the 3 most popular natural attractions in Iceland. The Golden Circle consists of Geysir, Gullfoss and Thingvellir.
See this for Golden circle tours.
Geysir is a geyser that gives its name to hot springs all over the world. But although Geysir itself is not active anymore the area features spectacular hot springs such as the powerful Strokkur (spouting a vast amount of water every 10 minutes, regularly about 15-20 meters into the air), Smidur and Litli-Strokkur.
The 'Golden Waterfall', is the second part of the Golden Circle, and one of the most beautiful and powerful waterfalls in Iceland, plummeting 32 meters into the river gorge of the popular rafting river Hvita. It is Iocated about 10 km from Geysir.
Thingvellir national park
The largest attraction of the Golden Circle is Thingvellir National Park. The Icelandic parliament was founded there in 930 and remained until the year 1798.
Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important places to visit in Iceland, not just for its historical and cultural values, but for also its magnificent landscape.
Thingvellir is surrounded by a beautiful mountain and volcano range and is the site of a rift valley, where the tectonic plates meet, marking the crest of the Mid-Atlantic ridge.
Of particular note at Thingvellir are the magnificent Almannagja gorge, and the beautiful lake Thingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland. The popular Gjabakkahellir lava cave is also in the area.
The fissure Silfra is located by Thingvallavatn, Iceland's largest lake, and is famous for its clear waters and popular for diving and snorkeling, as you can literally swim between continents.
Jökulsárlón is Iceland’s most famous glacier lagoon. Conveniently located in the southeast by Route 1, about halfway between the Skaftafell Nature Reserve and Höfn, it is a popular stop for those travelling along the South Coast or around the circular ring road of the country.
It stands out, however, due to the fact that it also fills with icebergs breaking from the glacier, some of which tower several stories high.
These icebergs, other than their scale, are notable for their colouration. Although they are, as expected, largely white, most are also dyed electric blue in part, with black streaks of ash from eruptions centuries past.
When the icebergs finally make it across the lagoon, they either drift out to sea or wash up on the nearby shore. Because of the way they glisten against the black sands of Breiðamerkursandur, this area has been nicknamed ‘the Diamond Beach’.
In spite of being a rather recent formation, Jökulsárlón is the deepest lake in the country, with depths reaching 248 metres. With a surface area of 18 square kilometres, it is also growing to be one of the largest.
Jökulsárlón has not been around since Iceland’s settlement; it only formed around 1935. This was due to rapidly rising temperatures in the country from the turn of the twentieth century; since 1920, Breiðamerkurjökull has been shrinking at a dramatic rate, and the lagoon has begun to fill its space.
Today, the expansion of Jökulsárlón is accelerating. As recently as 1975, it was just 8 square kilometres, and now that size has more than doubled.
In the relatively near future, it is expected that the lagoon will continue to grow until it becomes a large, deep fjord.
Though a dark omen for Iceland’s glaciers and ice caps in general, the retreat of Breiðamerkurjökull has resulted in an incredibly beautiful, if temporary, site. This has not been overlooked by Hollywood.
Jökulsárlón has been featured in the James Bond films A View to Kill in 1985 and Die Another Day in 2002, 2001’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and 2005’s Batman Begins.
In 2017, Jökulsárlón was enveloped into the Vatnajökull National Park, thus it is now fully protected by Icelandic law.
Because of the wealth of herring and capelin that the tides bring into the lagoon, Jökulsárlón is somewhat of a hot-spot for Iceland’s wildlife.
In summer, it is a nesting site for Arctic Terns; stay well away from this area, as these birds are notorious for the fierceness with which they protect their eggs, dive-bombing the heads of any they see as a threat. Skuas also nest on the lake’s shores in this season.
Seals can be reliably spotted here throughout the year, swimming amongst or else hauling out on the icebergs. Jökulsárlón provides them with a safe haven to rest and socialise, especially considering the waters of southeast Iceland are renowned for their population of orcas.
Snæfellsjökull (1446 m) is an ice-capped volcano found on the tip of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in West Iceland.
Though many consider Snæfellsjökull to simply be a particularly impressive ice cap, it is, in fact, a 700,000-year-old glacier-capped stratovolcano. The mountain is actually called "Snæfell" (Snowy Mountain), though the “jökull” (Glacier) is often added to help distinguish it from other mountains of the same name. For the first time in recorded history, Snæfellsjökull had no snow or ice at its peak in August 2012, causing concern amongst locals that climate change is threatening the nature of the mountain.
On clear days, one can see Snæfellsjökull from Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, approximately 120 kilometres away over Faxa Bay, making for an impressive sight—and a tick off the bucket list if you can’t make it to travelling across the Peninsula itself. The volcano makes up just a small part of the larger Snæfellsjökull National Park.
Nearby villages include Hellissandur, Rif and Ólafsvík, all of which were commercial and fishing hubs throughout the peninsula’s long history of human inhabitance. Fishing took off primarily in the 13th-Century, with fishing stations being built in all areas with easy access to the open ocean.
One notable example would be the settlement of Dritvík, one of the largest fishing stations in Iceland at the time, utilising around 40–60 boats and employing between 200–600 people. Fishing in the region declined during the 19th century due to a change in Iceland’s fishing practises, though it is still an important source of livelihood for those living on the Peninsula.
Snæfellsjökull has, for centuries, been considered to be one of the world’s ancient power sites, a source of mysticism, energy and mystery for the peninsula’s superstitious population. This likely has something to do with the stratovolcanoes place in the Icelandic sagas; the feature takes a prominent role in Bárðar saga Snæfellsáss, a late 14th-century saga that tells the story of Bárður, half-human-half-troll, who became the “guardian spirit of Snæfellsjökull.”
Snæfellsjökull serves as the entrance to a fantastical subterranean world in Jules Verne’s classic 1864 novel “Journey to The Centre of The Earth.” Given its central place in the novel, Snæfellsjökull has become one of the most popular spots for visitors in Iceland and has inspired a wealth of writers, poets and artists.
Since “Journey to The Centre of The Earth”, Snæfellsjökull has appeared in the Blind Birds trilogy by Czech SF writer Ludvík Souček (partially based on Jules’ work) and in Under The Glacier, a novel by Iceland’s only Nobel laureate, Halldor Laxness.
Along with the glacier, attractions include the two nearby basalt cliffs called Lóndrangar and the many fascinating lava formations at the beautiful Djúpalonssandur beach, such as the arch rock Gatklettur. At Djúpalonssandur, one can also test their strength just as the ancient sailors once did with the four "strength" stones, Amlóði ('Useless'), Hálfdrættingur ('Weakling'), Hálfsterkur ('Half Strength') and Fullsterkur ('Full Strength'). In the area, one can also explore the Saxhóll volcano crater and 'the singing cave' Sönghellir, which is named after the loud echoes inside.
Skogafoss is one of the biggest and most beautiful waterfalls of the island with an astounding width of 25 meters and a drop of 60 meters.
This is one of the most popular waterfalls in Iceland for travellers to visit. It is located in South Iceland, not far from Skogar, which itself features a highly interesting regional museum. Due to the amount of spray the waterfall often produces a single or double rainbow on sunny days.
Seljalandsfoss in the river Seljalandsa in South Iceland is one of the most sought waterfalls in the country.
Seljalandsfoss has a narrow cascade but is one of Iceland's highest waterfalls, at 63 meters. The waterfall is highly picturesque and has the rare distinction that one can actually walk behind it.
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.
Gullfoss (translated to ‘Golden Falls’) is one of Iceland’s most iconic and beloved waterfalls, found on the Hvítá river canyon in south Iceland. The water in Hvítá river travels from the glacier Langjökull, finally cascading 32m down Gullfoss’ two stages in a dramatic display of nature’s raw power.
Because of the waterfall’s two stages, Gullfoss should actually be thought of as two separate waterfalls. The first, shorter stage of the waterfall is 11m, whilst the second stage is 21m. The canyon walls on both sides of the waterfall reach heights of up to 70m, descending into the 2.5km long Gullfossgjúfur canyon (geologists indicate that this canyon was formed by glacial outbursts at the beginning of the last age.)
In the summer, approximately 140 cubic metres of water surges down the waterfall every second, whilst in winter that number drops to around 109 cubic metres. With such energy, visitor’s should not be surprised to find themselves drenched by the waterfall’s mighty spray-off.
In the early days of the last century, Gullfoss was at the centre of much controversy regarding foreign investors and their desire to profit off Iceland’s nature. In the year 1907, an English businessman known only as Howells sought to utilise the waterfall’s energy and harboured ambitions to use its energy to fuel a hydroelectric plant.
At the time, Gullfoss was owned by a farmer named Tómas Tómasson. Tómas declined Howell’s offer to purchase the land, stating famously “I will not sell my friend!” He would, however, go on to lease Howells the land, inadvertently beginning the first chapter of Icelandic environmentalism.
It was Tómas’ daughter, Sigríður Tómasdóttir, who would lead the charge. Having grown up on her father’s sheep farm, she sought to get the lease contract nullified, hurriedly saving her own money to hire a lawyer. The ensuing legal battle was an uphill struggle; the case continued for years, forcing Sigríður to travel many times by foot to Reykjavík if only to keep the trial moving. Circumstances became so difficult that Sigríður threatened to throw herself into the waterfall if any construction began.
Thankfully, in 1929, the waterfall fell back into the hands of the Icelandic people. Today, Sigríður is recognised for her perseverance in protecting Gullfoss and is often hailed as Iceland’s first environmentalist. Her contribution is forever marked in stone; a plaque detailing her plight sits at the top of Gullfoss.
Restaurant / Cafe
Besides Gullfoss, visitors can enjoy the views from Gullfoss Cafe, a locally run delicatessen that serves a wide variety of refreshments and meals. The menu has options to tantalise everyone’s taste buds; hot soups, sandwiches, salads and cakes. There is also a shop on site where visitors’ can browse and purchase traditional Icelandic souvenirs.
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.
Strokkur (Icelandic for "churn") is one of the most famous hot springs in Iceland and belongs to the famous Golden Circle.
Strokkur is a fountain geyser in the Geysir geothermal area in the southwest part of the country, east of Reykjavik. Strokkur is a powerful hot spring and an impressive sight. It erupts about every 4–8 minutes and spouts water to a height of 15 – 20 m, sometimes up to 40 m.
Snaefellsnes is a large peninsula extending to the west from West Iceland ending with a national park, Snaefellsjokull National Park, where the glacier towers over the scenery, as can sometimes be seen from Reykjavik, lending its beauty to the area.
The peninsula stretches over 100 km to the west as a mountain ridge that includes active volcanoes and is unique in the variety of mountains found.
A few small and beautiful villages are located on the south side and a few fishing villages are on the north side: Rif, Hellissandur, Olafsvik, Grundarfjordur and Stykkisholmur. The last one is highly popular for travelers, featuring a volcano museum and a ferry that takes you across the fascinating Breidafjordur bay to Brjanslaekur on the south border of the Westfjords.
Other museums you might want to check out are the Maritime Museum at Hellissandur, the regional museum Pakkhusid at Olafsvik, and, last but not least, the shark museum at Bjarnarhofn, indeed listed as the nr. 1 Snafellsnes attraction by Lonely Planet Travelers. Also, many of the Icelandic sagas take place at Snaefellsnes.
Snaefellsnes has an abundance of interesting sights. At the national park, you can witness the impressive lava formations of Djupalonssandur creek and test your strength on its four stones, see the two massive lava formations that compries Londrangar, explore the Saxholl volcanic crater and enjoy the echo of 'The Singing Cave', Songhellir. You may also hike on the majestic Snaefellsjokull glacier. The glacier has strong ties with folklore and was the setting for Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Other sights we can recommend at Snaefellsnes recommend include Raudfeldsgja canyon, east of the national park and the rugged and colourful Berserkjahraun lava field, near Bjarnarhofn, on the north side of the peninsula.
Last, but not least, Snaefellsnes is one of the main setting for Laxdaela saga. Chieftain Snorri godi, Gudrun Osvifursdottir, Bolli Thorlakssson all lived there as well as his namesake Bolli Bollason, the first West Norse member of the Varangian guard, an elite unit of the Byzantine army. Iceland's most famous mass murderer, Axlar-Bjorn, also lived at Snaefellsnes.
Hellnar is an old fishing village on the westernmost part of the Snaefellsnes peninsula. It used to be one of the largest fishing stations of the peninsula, the oldest record of seafaring there being from 1560.
At the shore are spectacular rock formations. Among them is a protruding cliff called Valasnos. Tunneling into the cliff is a cave renowned for its changing colourful hues, according to the light and sea movement. Large colonies of birds also nest in the area.
At Gvendarbrunnar a.k.a. Mariulind you can taste excellent spring water which is said to have healing powers.
Hellnar hosts the guesthouse for Snaefellsnes National Park and has a very interesting exhibition about the economy of former times and on the geology, flora and fauna of the national park.
Arnarstapi is a village in the southern part of the Snaefellsnes peninsula. The area has several old and charming houses with interesting stories to them and is furthermore renowned for its beautiful nature.
The beach holds a particular attraction. It has an eroded circular stone arch, called Gatklettur, and three rifts, Hundagja,Midgja and Musagja. The interplay of spectacular waves and the light of the sun creates a fascinating spectacle. Large colonies of the arctic tern also nest in the area.
An old horse trail through the lava field Hellnahraun is highly popular for hiking, due to the impressiveness of the surrounding landscape.
Kirkjufell (“Church Mountain”) is a distinctly shaped mountain found on the north coast of Iceland’s Snæfellsnes Peninsula, only a short distance away from the town of Grundarfjörður.
Kirkjufell takes it’s name from its resemblance to a church steeple, sharpened at the top with long curved sides. From other angles, the mountain can resemble a witch’s hat or even a freshly scooped ice cream.
Photography at Kirkjufell
Peaking at 463 m, Kirkjufell holds the honour of being Iceland’s most photographed mountain. Throughout the centuries, Kirkjufell’s striking slopes have acted as a visual landmark for seafarers and travellers.
Walking distance from Kirkjufell, one can find the photogenic waterfall Kirkjufellsfoss (“Church Mountain Falls”), an excellent subject for photographers who can easily frame the mountain in the background. Despite its relatively diminutive height, Kirkjufellsfoss’ three-pronged falls make the waterfall particularly stunning, even for Iceland.
At the base of the mountain, visitors will also be able to find a lake; on calm and clear days, this lake reflects a perfect mirror image of Kirkjufell, only adding to the fantastic photo opportunities around this area. On top of that, the colours of Kirkjufell change with the passing seasons; the summer see it a lush green, full of life, whilst the winter months scar the mountain’s face with a mask of barren brown and white.
Fans of the HBO series Game of Thrones will recognise Kirkjufell as a shooting location from Season 7 of Game of Thrones. The mountain is showcased from the scenes ‘beyond the wall’ when Jon Snow, The Hound and Jorah Mormont, among others, brave the wilderness in hopes of catching an undead wight. Having seen it in a vision, The Hound acknowledges Kirkjufell as “[...] the mountain like an arrowhead.” Even the Games of Thrones producers can’t resist capturing the mountain on celluloid!
There is a fairly steep trail to the top of Kirkjufell, from where there are magnificent panoramas of the surrounding fields, coastlines and rivers. The mountain takes roughly an hour and a half to ascend, and one and a half hours back to the bottom.
Alongside this mountain-track is a steeper route to the peak which involves two points where one needs to rope-climb. This route should never be attempted in the winter, and never without a certified guide. Given the steep elevation, it is highly recommended that you bring a sturdy pair of hiking boots, snacks and water to the trail.
Getting to Kirkjufell
Kirkjufell is extremely close to Grundarfjörður, a small town on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, approximately two hours drive from Iceland's capital city, Reykjavik. From Grundarfjörður, one travels ten minutes west down Route Snaefellsnesvegur 54 to the base of Kirkjufell. Visitors have plenty of parking space to choose from, all free of charge.
Flúðir is a small-scale village located in the municipality of Hrunamannahreppur in the Southern Region of Iceland.
The village has the river Litla-Laxá running through it into the larger river of Hvítá, and is overlooked by the mountain Miðfell. With a population of just under 400 people, its residency has grown around greenhouse activity and general horticulture, which continues to be the area's main produce.
Being located near the ever-popular destinations Gullfoss and Geysir, the village and its surrounding area are known for being exceptionally green, plentiful and warm because of geothermal activity. The aforementioned rivers are awash with trout and salmon, and the village's surrounding farmlands are acclaimed for their cultivation of plants, beef and dairy.
Sights, services and accommodation
Flúðir has long been a favoured camping destination amongst Icelanders. Visitors can camp at Tjaldmiðstöðin Flúðum or the nearby Álfaskeið, next to the farm Syðra-Langholt.
Since 1999 the particularly luxurious Hotel Flúðir has also been available for accommodation and fine dining. Because of the region's plentiful organic produce, the acclaimed hotel restaurant prides itself in serving solely locally-grown fruits and vegetables.
Another advantage of the geothermal activity includes natural and age-old thermal pools. Although the minuscule Hrunalaug has undergone a great deal of damage lately due to an excessive traffic of visitors, the larger-scale Secret Lagoon at Hverahólmi has been modified to accommodate a much larger number of people, whilst still preserving its natural terrain.
The water in these hot springs stays at a temperature of 38-40° Celcius (100° Fahrenheit) throughout the entire year. Built in the year 1891, The Secret Lagoon is officially the oldest swimming pool in Iceland.
Other sights include the folk museum at Gröf, the golf course Selsvöllur, the horse rental at Syðra-Langholt and Flúðasveppir, the country's largest mushroom manufacture.
Grundarfjörður is a small town found on the north coast of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in the west of Iceland.
The town has an approximate population of 872 people and has been twinned with the French town Paimpol since 2004. The town’s main industries lie in fishing and fish processing. Grundarfjörður also bears host to substantial ship traffic, a consequence of’ the settlement’s natural harbour.
Grundarfjörður boasts a public library, a historical centre, a resident’s café and a photography exhibition, Bæringsstofa, a collection of pictures by the late Icelandic photographer and honorary citizen of Grundarfjörður, Bærings Cecilsson. Asides from accommodation and amenities, Grundarfjörður offers the opportunity to partake in numerous outdoor activities, ranging from horseback riding and camping to ice-climbing. One can also find a nine-hole golf course beside the town.
Visitors to Grundarfjörður will likely visit the town’s main landmark, the photogenic Kirkjufell (“Church Mountain”). Clearly distinguishable from its dramatic slopes, steeple-like peak and surrounding shorelines, Kirkjufell is both one of the most beautiful and photographed mountains found in Iceland. Besides the mountain itself, one can find Kirkjufellsfoss (“Church Mountain Falls”), a beautiful three-pronged waterfall.
Folklore & History
Nearby, one can find the town and municipality of Stykkishólmur (population: 1195), a centre of commerce and services for the region. The road from Grundarfjörður to Stykkishólmur crosses a wide lava field known as Berserkjahraun. The name of this lava field is derived from the Eyrbyggja saga, in which it said two berserkers (Viking Warriors) were slaughtered by their master because one of them fell madly in love with own daughter.
Grundarfjörður is an important historical town in Iceland, having been a centre of trade for the Snæfellsnes Peninsula since at least the 15th century. The town was certified official as one the country’s six designated marketplaces in the year 1786. There are a number of antiquity sites around the town, however, that point to the region being well-inhabited as far back as the Viking era.
Header Photo: Wikimedia. Creative Commons. Chensiyuan
Djúpalónssandur is an arched-shaped bay of dark cliffs and black sand, located on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in western Iceland.
History & Monuments
The location was once home to a prosperous fishing village, along with other abandoned hamlets and ports of the area such as Búðir and Hellnar, from back when the Snæfellsnes Peninsula functioned as one of the most active trading posts of the island.
- See a selection of exciting Snæfellsnes Tours
Fascinating remnants of this period are for instance found in the form of four ancient lifting stones that still occupy the beach. The stones range in weight from 23 kg (50 lbs) to 155 kg (342 lbs) and were used to test the strength of fishermen. Their names are Amlóði (useless), Hálfdrættingur (weakling), Hálfsterkur (half-strong) and Fullsterkur (full-strong).
In 1948, the English trawler Epine GY 7 from Grimsby shipwrecked on the shore, with fourteen dead and five survivors. The rusty iron remains of the vessel remain scattered on the beach, now protected as a monument to those who perished.
Environment & Surroundings
The Snæfellsnes Peninsula boasts countless natural wonders, where locals and travellers both flock on a daily basis to enjoy the unique landscape and stunning coastlines. Djúpalónssandur’s black pebble beach is particularly stunning amidst rocky coastal lava formations, including the elusive Gatklettur, a large lava rock with a hole in the middle through which you can directly spot the Snæfellsjökull Glacier Volcano.
Behind the rock are two freshwater lagoons called Djúpulón and Svörtulón, with the former serving as the namesake of the bay. Believed in olden times to be bottomless, the water bodies were later revealed to reach the depth of five metres. Lagoons such as these are held in high regard amongst the Icelandic people, and Svörtulón is thought to possess healing properties, especially after having been blessed by Bishop Guðmundur góði ('the good') in the late 1100s.
A natural monument of the area is Söngklettur, or “singing rock”, a large lava rock with a reddish hue that resembles an elfish church. Other rock formations of folklorish appeal rest close by, including the alleged trolls-turned-to-stone Kerling and Lóndrangur.
When visiting Djúpalónssandur, take heed that these are treacherous waters and the Atlantic Ocean’s powerful suction can easily carry you out to sea. This beach is not one for wading, but enjoying from a safe distance, especially if the weather is stormy.
The glistening pebbles that make up the beach known as Djúpalónsperlur, or “pearls of the deep lagoon”, are gorgeous to look at and might seem appealing to stone collectors, but they are protected by law and should not be removed from the area by visitors.
The Secret Lagoon is a man-made hot spring of natural resources located at Hverahólmi, the geothermal area next to the village of Flúðir in southern Iceland.
The hot spring is situated within the range of popular tourist route the Golden Circle in the geothermal area of Flúðir, a village renowned for its greenhouse activity and general horticulture. A major advantage of this geothermal activity is the natural and age-old thermal pools to be found in the area. Hrunalaug is one of those, a minuscule and natural hot spring that has regrettably undergone a great deal of damage in the last years due to increased numbers of visitors. The Secret Lagoon, however, has been modified to accommodate a much larger number of people. It makes use of its natural terrain and geothermal heating, leaving the water at a temperature of 38-40° Celcius (100° Fahrenheit) all year long.
The pool was constructed in 1891 and is officially the oldest swimming pool in the entire country. Icelanders simply call it 'the old pool' or 'gamla laugin'. In the year 1909, the first swimming lessons took place in the pool, which continued until relocated to the new pool in Flúðir in 1947. Before the 1900s, the Icelandic people rarely knew how to swim, in spite of being a nation of fishermen surrounded by an ocean. The sea that surrounds the island was simply too cold to swim in. Today, near every single Icelandic person is an able swimmer, since swimming lessons are constructed in pools and are mandatory for every Icelandic child. After the opening of the new pool in Flúðir, the Secret Lagoon as good as fell into oblivion. It has since then been thoroughly renovated and enjoys a large array of visitors each day.
The area all around the hot spring consists of mossy lava fields and geothermal activity, including a small geyser that erupts every 5 minutes, or so which can be seen from the pool. The steam that rises from the surrounding terrain into the air gives the place its distinct and magical atmosphere.
The South Coast of Iceland is the country's most visited sightseeing route, along with the Golden Circle.
The famed South Coast shoreline stretches from the greater Reykjavík area and is dotted with natural wonders such as cascading waterfalls, volcanoes both active and dormant, black sand beaches and glacier lagoons.
Geography, Nature & Wildlife
Iceland is divided into eight geographical regions. Out of these, the Southern Region is the largest, as it spans over 24.000 square kilometres with its administrative centre in the municipality of Selfoss.
What is known as the South Coast embodies the shoreline of this particular region. The area consists of a lowland that is mostly composed of marshlands, bays and cultivated pastures that are met by a series of black beaches where the estuaries to the east and west of the district close off the coastal body.
Underneath the soil rests a vast lava field, known as Þjórsárhraun. Its edges reach several hundred metres offshore where the ocean waves crash upon them, thereby protecting the lowland from the invasion of the sea. This results in the South Coast being unusually lacking in the deep fjords that so distinctly characterise the rest of Iceland's shore line.
The region boasts vibrant bird life during all seasons. It is not only rich with both marshland birds and seabirds but also migrating birds such as the North Atlantic puffin. Some species stay throughout the harsh Icelandic winter, including the northern diver, the loom and various species of gulls and ducks.
Highlights of the South Coast
The South Coast offers an unprecedented array of natural wonders that draw thousands of visitors each day. When driving the route from Reykjavík City, the highlights in their correct order are:
- Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
- Vestmannaeyjar; The Westman Islands
- Eyjafjallajökull Glacier Volcano
- Skógafoss Waterfall
- Sólheimajökull Glacier
- Dyrhólaey Peninsula
- Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach
- Reynisdrangar Sea Stacks
- Coastal Village Vík í Mýrdal
- Skeiðarársandur Glacial Sand Plain
- Vatnajökull National Park
- Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon
These attractions count for but a fraction of what the South Coast has to offer. The vast sand plains of Sólheimasandur are home to a crashed DC-3 Plane Wreck, and close to Seljavellir by the Skógar Village there's Seljavallalaug, one of the oldest swimming pools in Iceland.
- Explore the many wonders of the area on these South Coast Tours
Heure du transfert : 08:00
Excursion à la journée à Snaefellsnes en minibus
Journée au Cercle d'Or et Secret Lagoon en car
Journée à la lagune glaciaire de Jokulsarlon en car
Entrée au Secret Lagoon
Promenade en bateau sur la lagune glaciaire de Jökulsárlón
Repas et boissons
A emporter avec vous:
Serviette et maillot de bain
Maillot de bain et serviette
Vêtements chauds et imperméables
Jour 1 - Excursion dans la péninsule de Snæfellsnes
Pour le premier jour de votre pack excursion, préparez-vous à voir les merveilles en tout genre que recèle la péninsule de Snæfellsnes. Cette région magnifique et ses paysages variés sont souvent surnommés « l’Islande en miniature ». Idéal pour débuter votre séjour. Devant les décors montagneux et multicolores, les côtes, les plages, les cratères et les glaciers, c'est sûr et certain, vous allez tomber définitivement amoureux de l’Islande.
Aujourd’hui, vous partez à la découverte de trois charmants et idylliques villages de pêcheurs, Grundarfjördur, Arnarstapi et Hellnar, tous d’importants ports d’escale historiques, parfois même depuis le Moyen-âge, encore imprégnés de traditions ancestrales et de folklore, et entourés de chaînes de montagnes et de hautes falaises côtières.
Vous admirez la splendeur du mont Kirkjufell, des cratères volcaniques de Ljósufjöll, et de la plage de sable noir de Djúpalónssandur. Mais le plus beau joyau de la péninsule est le Snæfellsjökull, un volcan glacier de 700 000 ans devenu légendaire après la parution du roman de Jules Verne, Voyage au centre de la Terre.
Après cette folle journée à vous être délecté de ces paysages très représentatifs du pays dans son ensemble, retour à Reykjavík où vous reprenez des forces en pensant déjà aux aventures qui vous attendront le lendemain.
Jour 2 - Cercle d’Or et Secret Lagoon
Le deuxième jour, vous quittez à nouveau la capitale, mais pour vous rendre cette fois-ci dans la région la plus prisée de toute l’Islande : le Cercle d’Or. En découvrant les paysages de cet itinéraire, vous allez immédiatement comprendre pourquoi ils ont tant de succès, surtout quand vous ressentirez les forces de la nature à l'œuvre sous vos pieds.
Mais avant de partir en exploration, un peu de relaxation ! Faites plaisir à votre corps et à votre esprit en vous offrant un bon bain dans les eaux géothermales et riches en minéraux du Secret Lagoon, situé dans la ville de Flúdir. Ce lagon est l’équivalent assez méconnu du Blue Lagoon... Une expérience totalement différente, mais tout aussi agréable.
Une fois sorti des eaux aux vertus curatives des sources chaudes, préparez-vous à mettre le cap sur la zone géothermale de Geysir, dans la vallée de Haukadalur, où le geyser Strokkur crache son eau bouillante vers le ciel à intervalles de quelques minutes.
Ensuite, vous mesurez par vous-même la puissance déchaînée des chutes d'eau de Gullfoss, une cascade devant laquelle chacun reste plongé dans un effroi mêlé d’admiration et de respect. Les chutes, véritable joyau naturel, sont protégées par loi islandaise — attardez-vous un instant aussi devant le monument de pierre érigé en la mémoire de la femme qui a menacé de se jeter du haut de la cascade pour empêcher sa transformation en centrale hydraulique.
Vous concluez ensuite votre journée avec la découverte du parc national de Thingvellir, un lieu vraiment fascinant, tant sur le plan géologique qu’historique. Le parc se trouve sur le rift continental qui sépare les plaques tectoniques eurasiatique et nord-américaine, c’est également ici qu’a siégé le tout premier parlement d’Islande.
En fin de journée, on vous ramène à Reykjavík pour passer la nuit. Mais n’oubliez pas de vous plonger dans la vie urbaine de cette petite, mais très active capitale avant d’aller vous coucher !
Jour 3 - Jökulsárlón avec promenade en bateau et Côte Sud
Pour le dernier jour de votre pack excursion, vous partez à la découverte des merveilles de la Côte Sud de l’Islande, là où le feu rencontre la glace et où abondent les perles de la nature ! Vous quittez donc Reykjavík pour longer la côte jusqu’à la lagune glaciaire de Jökulsárlón.
La lagune offre un paysage unique et paisible. Devant vos yeux se déroule le spectacle des grands icebergs en provenance du Vatnajökull, la plus grande calotte glaciaire d’Europe, portés par les eaux glaciales dans un décor sans cesse changeant. Cerise sur le gâteau, l’excursion comprend également une promenade en bateau qui vous conduit au plus près des glaciers, mais aussi des phoques qui ont élu domicile dans la lagune.
Situé dans le parc national du Skaftafell, par temps clair, vous avez également une vue panoramique sur l’Eyjafjallajökull, le volcan à la réputation sulfureuse, et dont l’éruption de 2010 est encore dans toutes les mémoires. Sur le chemin du retour, en bus, vous faites halte aux cascades de Skógafoss et Seljalandsfoss.
Ces chutes d’eau font le régal des photographes. A la cascade de Seljalandsfoss, il est même possible de passer derrière le rideau d’eau et de regarder la nature à travers lui, depuis les entrailles de la montagne. La visite du village de Vík et de sa plage voisine, Reynisfjara, où se déchaînent les forces de l’océan au pied des falaises et de leurs colonnes de basaltes, est également incluse.
On dit souvent qu’il s’agit là d'une des plus belles plages non tropicales du monde, mais les courants sont puissants, et il convient donc de s’en approcher avec prudence et avec un esprit d’humilité face aux éléments.
À la fin de la journée, vous êtes reconduit à Reykjavík une dernière fois, et vous prenez alors conscience que vous venez d’explorer les sites naturels les plus variés du pays en seulement trois jours, le tout en séjournant en pleine ville !