Rejoignez ce voyage d'aventure de 10 jours pour voir le plus possible de l'Islande et rendez votre voyage unique via la pratique d'activités d'extérieurs. Vous sillonnez le pays à bord d'un minibus et avez également un journée libre pour profiter de l'agitation de la capitale nordique, Reykjavik.
Le voyage inclus les incontournables comme la visite du célèbre Blue Lagoon et le Cercle d'Or jusqu'à plus beaux joyaux naturels d'Islande dont la lagune glaciaire de Jokulsarlon, la région de Myvatn et la chute de Dettifoss dans le Nord du pays ainsi que la plage de sable noir Reynisfjara située à proximité du village de pêcheur Vik.
Le voyage débute à Reykjavik puis vous mettez le cap vers la côte sud jusqu'au parc national Vatnajokull où vous pouvez rejoindre une randonnée sur glacier. Vous poursuivez l'aventure en traversant les fjords de l'Est et la région du lac Myvatn. Vous passez également par Akureyri et visitez des lieux d'exception dont la péninsule Tröllaskagi avant d'atteindre le parc national de Snæfellsnes pour profiter d'incroyables vues et de lieux romantiques. Vous explorez ensuite la péninsule de Reykjanes et vous vous relaxez au Blue Lagon avant de rejoindre la capitale pour un peu de répit.
A travers ce voyage, on s'occupe de tout. Vous n'avez plus qu'à vous relaxer et à profiter de celui-ci. Vous vivez un concentré d'aventure. Vous êtes encadrés par un chauffeur et un guide durant l'ensemble du voyage, avec du temps libre à Reykjavik et la possibilité d'ajouter des activités complémentaires à votre voyage comme une balade à cheval sur un cheval islandais (et ses différentes allures que lui seul a naturellement), l'observation de baleines à bord d'un bateau rapide ou sur un plus grand bateau ou encore un survol de la ville en hélicoptère.
Réservez-vite ce voyage de 10 jours/9 nuits en Islande !
The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa and is the single most popular attraction in Iceland.
The water is rich in silica and sulphur that helps make your skin shine like a baby. The Blue Lagoon also operates a Research and Development facility that helps find cures for skin ailments using the mineral-rich water.
The temperature in the bathing and swimming area is very comfortable, and averages 37–39 °C (98–102 °F). There´s a restaurant there and it´s a truly romantic and beautiful place one should not miss while in Iceland.
Reykjavik is the capital of Iceland and the northernmost capital of a sovereign state in the world.
Despite a small population (120.000 and more than 200.000 in the Greater Reykjavik area), it is a vibrant city that draws an ever increasing number of visitors. It is the financial, cultural and governmental centre of Iceland. It also has a reputation of being one of the cleanest and safest cities in the world.
The city of Reykjavik is located in southwest Iceland by the creek of the same name. Throughout the ages, the landscape has been shaped by glaciers, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and the area is geothermal. Much of the current city area area was subglacial during the Ice Age, with the glacier reaching as far as the Álftanes peninsula, while other areas lay under the sea. After the end of the ice age the land rose as the glaciers drifted away, and it began to take on its present form.
The coastline of Reykjavik is set with peninsulas, coves, straights and islands, most notably the island of Videy, and seabirds and whales frequent the shores. The mountain ring as seen from the shore is particularly beautiful. Mount Esja is the highest mountain in the vicinity of Reykjavik and lends its distinct feature to the whole area. This majestic mountain is also highly popular for climbing. Other notable mountains that can be seen from the seaside are Akrafjall and Skardsheidi and on clear days one may even see as far to the legendary Snaefellsjokull glacier, at the end of the Snafellsnes peninsula.
The largest river to run through the city is Ellidaa in Ellidaardalur valley, which is also one of Iceland‘s best rivers for salmon fishing.
There are no trains or trams in Iceland, but most people travel by car. The city also operates a bus system. There are two major harbours in town, the old harbour in the centre and Sundahofn in the east. The domestic Reykjavik Airport is located at Vatnsmyrin, not far from the city centre and close to Oskjuhlid and Perlan. The international Keflavik Airport at Midnesheidi heath then lies around 50 km from the city. Cars, jeeps and bicycles can be readily rented in the city and many organized tours are also being offered.
The local arts scene is strong in Iceland, with both annual events and single ones, many of whom have hit the international stage. For the annual ones please check our articles Best Annual Events in Iceland and the Top Ten Festivals in Iceland. Major events taking place in Reykjavik include the Iceland Airwaves, Gay Pride, RIFF (The Reykjavik International Film Festival), The Reykjavik Literature Festival, Cultural Night, the Reykjavik Arts Festival, Food & Fun, the Reykjavik Fashion Festival and the Sónar music festival.
Among famous people from Reykjavik are artists Bjork Gudmundsdottir, Sigur Ros, writers Halldor Laxness (born in Laugavegur) and Arnaldur Indridason and mayor Jon Gnarr. For more well-known and fairly-well known Icelanders, check our article on the subject.
You might also want to check our article on some of the many things to see and do in Reykjavik, such as visiting the city‘s many museums, exhibitions and galleries, checking out live music, visiting the Harpa music hall or the theatres, visiting the lighthouse at Grotta, the main shopping street of Laugavegur, visiting the old harbour and the flea market, going on a bird- and whale watching tour or visiting Videy island. We also have a top ten list of things to do.
Make sure to visit the public square of Austurvollur, one of the city‘s most popular gathering places, where you‘ll also find the national parliament, Althingi, the state church a statue of independence hero Jon Sigurdson, as well as cafés, bars and restaurants. Austurvollur was central in the 2008 protests, along with Laekjargata, home to the House of Government. You are also not likely to miss the great church of Hallgrimskirkja that towers over the city from the hill of Skolavorduholt, wherefrom you‘ll get a great view of the city.
Try a walk by the city pond, greet the many birds that frequent the area and visit the city hall, stationed by its banks. The Hljomaskalagardur is a beautiful park that lies by the pond, it ideal for a nice walk and sometimes concerts get held there. Further off is the campus of the university of Iceland, the Nordic house and the Vatnsmyri wetland, a particularly pleasant place, but be mindful of not disturbing the wildlife there and keep to the pathways.
For a nice swim on a warm day, we particularly recommend Nautholsvik beach.
Visit the Laugardalur valley, home to one of the city‘s best swimming pools, as well as the Asmundarsafn gallery, a beautiful botanical garden and a domestic zoo. A walk by the Aegissida beach, with it‘s old fishing sheds, in the west part of Reykjavik also holds a particular charm. The aforementioned Elllidaardalur valley is also a popular resort.
Another place that offers one of the city‘s best (and free) views is Perlan, up in Oskjuhlid hill. The hill itself is a popular resort, with over 176.000 trees and great opportunities for walking and cycling.
Travel to Alftanes to see the president‘s house at Bessastadir, which is also a historical site in it‘s own right, having been the educational centre of Iceland for centuries. Nearby is a beautiful lava field, Galgahraun, well worth a visit, though there is currently an environmental struggle going on as to it‘s future state.
The city is furthermore a short drive from many of Iceland‘s major attractions, most famously the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon. In close vicinity you‘ll also find the Heidmork preservation area, a favourite pastime resort of the people of Reykjavik, as well as the Blue Mountains, one of Iceland‘s most beloved skiing venues.
Check our Best of Reykjavik guide further for tips on the best cheap things to do in Reykjavik, some of the best restaurants in the city, happy hours, the top ten value places to eat and our two articles on the famous Reykjavik nightlife; Nightlife in Reykjavik and Nightlife and mating.
Finally, we‘d like to stress that these are only some suggestions of the many things you might check out in Reykjavik. Whatever you choose to do, we hope you‘ll be able to make the most of your visit and we wish you a pleasant stay in our capital.
Akureyri, ‘The Capital of the North’ is a town in the fjord Eyjafjordur in North Iceland. It lies just 100 km away from the Arctic Circle. It is Iceland’s second-largest urban area with a population of about 17,800.
Akureyri is an important fishing centre and port, but in the last few years tourism, industry, higher education and services have become the fastest growing sectors of the economy.
An international airport is located about 3 km from the center. A large number of cruisers also stop at Akureyri. One of Iceland's best skiing sites is found by Akureyri, at Hlidarfjall.
Traditionally Akureyri has survived on fisheries and some of Iceland’s largest fishing companies, like for example Samherji, have their headquarters there. Other large companies include Brim, Nordurmjolk, and Vifilfell hf, the largest brewery in Iceland.
FSA/Akureyri Hospital is a major employer in the area and is one of two major hospitals in Iceland.
Akureyri has excellent facilities for travelers and is located a short drive from many of Iceland’s top natural, cultural and historical attractions.
Akureyri is surrounded by mountains, the highest one being Kerling (1538 m). The area around it has rich agriculture and a beautiful mountain ring.
The innermost part of the fjord, Pollurinn ('The Pool') further lends the town a special character. The climate in Akureyri is generally very pleasant.
The islands Hrisey in the middle of Eyfjordur and Grimsey, straddling the Artic Circle, both belong to the municipality of Akureyri. Hrisey is often called 'The Pearl of Eyjafjordur' and Grimsey 'The Pearl of the Artic' and these beautiful and peaceful islands are highly popular with travelers.
During World War II the town was an important site for the Allies and the town grew considerably after the war, as people increasingly moved to urban areas.
Akureyri has a strong cultural scene, with several bars and renowned restaurants. Folk culture in general is more prevalent there than in Reykjavik. During the summer there are several notable festivals in Akureyri and its surroundings.
Sites of interest in Akureyri include the brand-new Hof concert hall and Akureyri’s many museums, The Nature Museum, Nonnahus, a.k.a. Jon Sveinsson Memorial Museum, for the writer, David's house or David Stefansson Memorial Museum, for the poet, Akureyri Art Museum.
Akureyri also has several churches, Akureyrarkirkja being the most notable, as well as beautiful botanical gardens. The old town is particularly charming, ideal for a nice walk.
Jokulsarlon is a glacier lagoon in the south of Vatnajokull national park that is easily reached by the Ring Road.
Covered in thick glacial ice until the 1930’s when the glacier started retreating, the lagoon today measures 7 square miles (20 km2). More than 300 feet of ice still breaks away each year, reshaping the lagoon and filling it with icebergs - causing an alarmingly beautiful sight.
The water is freezing cold and contains a mixture of salt and freshwater giving it a blue-green color. There is plenty of fish and birdlife by the lagoon and the vast sand area of Breiðamerkursandur, and hundreds of seals stay there in winter.
Myvatn is a beautiful lake with many small islands in the north of Iceland, the fourth largest lake in the country. Along with its surrounding area, the lake is one of Iceland's most amazing natural attractions.
Some of the islands in Myvatn are pseudocraters, formed by steam explosions. The lake has rich birdlife and more species of ducks than anywhere else in the world. As for vegetation, it is one of the few places in the world that grows Marimo, also known as Cladophora ball, Lake ball, or Moss Balls in English, a species of filamentous green algae (Chlorophyta).
The Myvatn nature baths are also renowned throughout the world, a perfect place to relax, surrounded by breathtaking landscape.
Close to the lake is Dimmuborgir, a fascinating area of dramatic and chaotic lava. Norwegian symphonic metal band Dimmu Borgir takes its name from the the lava field, and it continues to inspire travellers from all over the world.
The Myvatn area is definitely one of the most beautiful places in Iceland. Don´t miss it!
Godafoss waterfall is located the river Skjalfandafljot in North Iceland, the fourth largest river in Iceland. It is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland, falling from a height of 12 meters over a width of 30 meters.
The fall's name means either waterfall of the gods or of the 'godi' (i.e. priest/ chieftain). It is said that when the lawspeaker Thorgeir Ljosvetningagodi declared Christianity the official religion in Iceland, after his own conversion, he threw the statues of the old Norse gods into the waterfall.
Dettifoss, in the glacier river Jokulsa á Fjollum, flowing from the glacier Vatnajokull, is reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe.
This thunderous fall has an average waterflow of 193 m3 per second. It is 100 meters (330 ft.) wide and plummets 45 meters (150 ft.) down to Jokulsargljufur canyon.
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.
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.
Hraunfossar in Borgarfjordur district is a series of beautiful waterfalls formed by rivulets streaming from a short distance out of the Hallmundarhraun lava field.
The lava field flowed from an eruption of one of the volcanoes lying under the glacier Langjokull. The waterfalls pour into the Hvita river from ledges of less porous rock in the lava. These are some of the most magnificent falls found in Iceland and not to be missed.
Deildartunguhver, by Reykholt, in Borgarfjordur district, has the highest flow rate for a hot spring in Europe.
The flow rate of Deildartunguhver is 180 liters/second and water emerges at 97 °C. The place is also unique for being the only place in the country where the hard fern grows.
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.
The Reykjanes peninsula in Southwest Iceland is an area of much lava, volcanoes and strong geothermal activity. This is were the continents meet and here you may enjoy rich birdlife along with some of the most powerful breaker waves you are likely to encounter.
Reykjanes is a peninsula in Southwest Iceland. The whole peminsula is covered with lavas and active volcanoes and is strong in geothermal activity. Earthquakes are very common. The peninsula is the continuation of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Indeed, at the southern tip of Reykjanes, at Sandvik, there is a bridge where one can literally walk between the continents.
Volcanic activity stretches out to the ocean. A new island was formed in 1783 but was broken by waves. In the middle ages there were many eruptions in the area, but no eruptions have been recorded on the mainland for the last 500 years.
Closely related to the volcanic activity is geothermal activity. The main geothermal areas of Reykjanes are Krysuvik, Gunnuhver and Svartsengi.
Svartsengi has a power station with an energy of 76.5 MW with about 475 litres per second of water, at a heat level of 90 degrees Celsius. Its mineral-rich surplus water fills up the Blue Lagoon spa.
Various mud pools and fumaroles can be seen at Gunnuhver and it is also said to be haunted.
At Krysuvik you may further see all kinds of solfatarae, fumaroes, hot springs and mud pots, with the soil giving off mulitcoloured hues. The green crater lake Graenavatn is also an impressive sight.
Reykjanes has rich birdlife in all cliffs and its best known birdcliff is also located in Krysuvik, Krysuvikurbjarg, a nesting place of around 77 thousand seabirds. Slightly further north is Kleifarvatn, the largest lake on the peninsula and one of the deepest lakes in the country.
Reykjanes further has some of the most breathtaking breaker waves in the country, indeed in the world. We recommend visiting Selvogur a short drive from Krysuvik. The charming little church there, Strandakirkja, has been central in Icelandic seamen’s prayers for centuries and the area of Selvogur offers some of greatest waves. The southwest tip of the peninsula, Reykjanesta, is another prime example. The waves may reach as high as 20-30 meters.
There is much fishing fishing around the peninsula, the fishing villages being mainly located on the north side, i.e. Keflavik, Sandgerdi, Gardur and Vogar. Grindavik, however, is located in the far south of the peninsula.
Near Keflavik, slightly east, is the Midnesheidi heath, where the international airport, Leifsstod (often colloquially none as Keflavikurflugvollur or ‘Keflavik Airport’). The US army formerly has a base there, as established by a highly controversial treaty with the Icelandic government in 1951, and the base came to be a kind of village in its own right. The army left in 2006 and abandoned the base.
Towards the south of the peninsula, the geothermal spa Blaa Lonid is operated. Its recreational waters are world renowned and said to help people with skin diseases. An ideal place for a relaxing bath.
The world-famous Reynisfjara shore, near the village Vik in Myrdalur on Iceland's South Coast, is widely regarded as the most impressive black-sand beach in Iceland.
To reach Reynisfjara you can either drive there yourself. Here you will find the largest and cheapest car rentals in Iceland. Or you can join this summer tour to the South coast, or this winter tour to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon.
Reynisfjara is a black pebble beach and features an amazing cliff of regular basalt columns resembling a rocky step pyramid, which is called Hálsanef. Out in the sea are the spectacularly shaped basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar. The area has a rich birdlife, including puffins, fulmars and guillemots.
The waves at Reynisfjara are especially strong and unpredictable, and fatal accidents have occurred at this beach, so people are advised to take extra care when visiting the area.
According to folklore, two trolls attempted to drag a ship to land but were turned to stone as daylight broke, turning them into the Reynisdrangar stacks, clearly visible from the beach.
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.
Vik in Myrdalur valley is the southernmost village on the Icelandic mainland, located 186 km from the capital Reykjavik.
Vik is important as a service centre for the inhabitants and visitors of the marvellous Reynisfjara beach.
Reynisfjara is widely considered one of the most beautiful beaches on earth (see for example Islands Magazine). This black pebble beach boasts an amazing cliff of regular basalt columns called Gardar, which resembles a rocky step pyramid and out in the sea are the spectaculary shaped basalt sea stacks Reynisdrangar. The area has rich birdlife, including puffins, fulmars and guillemots.
Hvítserkur, sometimes referred to as the “Troll of North-West Iceland”, is a 15m (49ft) basalt stack protruding from Húnaflói bay, along the eastern shore of the Vatnsnes peninsula. Hvítserkur gets its name from the birdlife nesting atop it. In Icelandic, the name translates to “white shirt”, a nod to the colour of the bird droppings that cover the rock.
It should come as no surprise that Hvítserkur is often referred to as a troll. Folklore implies that Hvítserkur was originally a troll determined to rip the bells down from Þingeyraklaustur convent, an apparent allusion to the people’s stoic resistance to the Christianisation of Iceland. However, as goes the story, the troll paralysed by walking out under sunlight and quickly turned to stone. The Hvítserkur stack is all that remains.
The scientific community has another explanation. Erosion from the cascading sea water has carved three large holes through the basalt rock, sculpting and shaping it into what appears as some petrified, mythological animal. The base of the stack has been reinforced with concrete to protect its foundations from the sea, but this has not stopped visitors’ interpreting the rock’s peculiar shape. Some say Hvítserkur looks like an elephant, others a rhino. Some onlookers have gone as far as to claim the rock appears as a “dinosaur drinking.” Whatever the case, the rock is a nesting ground for seagulls, shag and fulmar, making it appear constantly in motion, further enforcing the idea that Hvítserkur is, in some way, very much alive.
To the south, visitors to Hvítserkur can detour toward Sigríðarstaðir, a location reputable for viewing seal colonies. Hvítserkur is also only a short drive from the historical and quintessential Súluvellir farm, a location that boasts incredible views of the surrounding landscape.
Iceland has one main ring road: Route 1. This ring road goes all around the island and is 1332 km long (828 miles). The road connects the capital, Reykjavík, to the second biggest city in Iceland, Akureyri, in the north of the country. Other notable towns that are connected via the ring road are Borgarnes, Blönduós, Egilsstaðir, Höfn, Kirkjubæjarklaustur, Vík, Hella, Hvolsvöllur, Selfoss and Hveragerði.
A number of popular tourist attractions are also found by the ring road, such as Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, Lake Mývatn and the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss, Skógafoss and Goðafoss.
The ring road consists mainly of paved two lanes road (one each direction). Some parts of the ring road are still unpaved however. In various places the road contains single lane bridges, especially in the east part of the country. The speed limit is 90km per hour on the paved section of the road (lower when it passes through towns), but 80km per hour on gravel.
The road was only completed in 1974, with the opening of Iceland's longest bridge, that crosses Skeiðará river in southeast Iceland. In 1998 a tunnel below the fjord Hvalfjörður shortened the drive around Iceland by about one hour (or 45km along a winding fjord). Hvalfjörður tunnels are the biggest tunnels in Iceland, 5,8 km and 165m below sea level. The ring road has another tunnel called Almannaskarð in the southeast by Höfn and by 2017 the Vaðlaheiðar tunnels should be open in north Iceland, shortening the distance between Akureyri and Mývatn.
Some sections of the ring road are original 1940's country roads, and a number of sharp curves, blind curves, blind summits as well as single lane bridges mean that people need to drive cautiously. In wintertime most of the ring road is kept open, with the exception of a short passage in the east part of the country that may be closed due to heavy snow (a detour is needed to travel from the north to the east during wintertime).
Guide to Iceland would advise people to drive cautiously on the ring road both in summer and wintertime, but also to explore other roads leading from it to multiple attractions.
Heure du transfert : Flexible
4 nuits en hébergement à Reykjavik (catégorie à choisir dans les options - petit déjeuner inclus en catégorie confort et sélection)
Transfert aéroport à votre arrivée et départ d'Islande
6 jours de voyage sur la route circulaire en minibus avec un guide anglophone
5 nuits en hébergement en dehors de Reykjavik (chambres doubles en hôtels de campagne avec salle de bain privée et formule petit déjeuner)
Randonnée sur glacier (côte sud)
Observation de baleines à Dalvík
Entrée standard au Blue Lagoon (surclassements disponibles) et transfert aller-retour
Assistance d'un agent de voyage veillant à la préparation de votre itinéraire de voyage
Déjeuner et dîner
Vêtements d'extérieurs chauds
Maillot de bain
Chaussures de randonnée
Règlement du voyage possible en deux fois. Pour cela, merci de nous envoyer un email.
L'ordre des activités peut varier en fonction de vos horaires d'arrivée en Islande et de la disponibilité des excursions.
Si vous souhaitez prolonger votre séjour, merci de nous contacter et nous nous occuperons de vos activités complémentaires et de vos hébergements.
Votre aventure démarre aujourd'hui ! A l'aéroport, vous prenez la navette qui vous dépose dans le centre-ville de Reykjavik. Vous rejoignez ensuite le centre de Reykjavik riche en restaurants et cafés. Vous passez votre première nuit dans la capitale la plus septentrionale du monde.
Aujourd'hui, vous débutez votre voyage de 6 jours sur les routes islandaises avec notre guide expérimenté. Le premier arrêt est le Cercle d'Or composé des 3 sites les plus célèbres d'Islande : le parc national Thingvellir, les geysers d'Haukadalur et la chute de Gullfoss.
Le parc national Thingvellir est un haut lieu pour les islandais et le monde en général. En effet c'est ici que les islandais ont créé le premier parlement il y a plus de 1000 ans. C'est aussi le lieu de rencontre entre les plaques tectoniques américaines et européennes à l'origine de crevasses et canyons profonds entourés de lave.
Le prochain arrêt est la vallée Haukadalur connue pour ses geysers. Cette région est également connue à travers son histoire et les sagas. Le grand Geysir a même donné naissance au nom geysers. Cependant ce geyser n'est plus en activité. On observe davantage son frère Strokkur qui entre en éruption toutes les 5 à 10 minutes propulsant l'eau à plus de 30 mètres de haut.
Votre dernier arrêt est la "Chute d'Or" : Gullfoss. Haute de plus de 30 mètres, cette cascade à deux étages se jette dans la rivière Hvítá avec une puissance incroyable. Ceux s'approchant près de la cascade peuvent même recevoir quelques gouttelettes.
Vous mettez ensuite le cap vers la côte sud om vous découvrez les cascades Skógafoss et Seljalandsfoss sur votre route vers Vik. Le village est connu notamment pour la plage de sable noir Reynisfjara. Nuit dans la région.
La journée continue plus à l'Est, où vous chaussez les crampons pour une randonnée glacier sur la langue glaciaire Svínafellsjökull, faisant partie du grand glacier Vatnajökull.
Après votre randonnée sur glacier, vous poursuivez votre route vers la lagune de Jokulsarlon. Profitez du paysage exceptionnel de Jokulsarlon : vous pouvez voir des blocs de glace se décrochant des langues glaciaires et dérivant lentement vers l'océan. Vous pouvez également voir des phoques aimant jouer à travers les blocs de glace. Vous découvrez également la plage à proximité que l'on appelle plage de diamant. En soirée, vous rejoignez votre hébergement dans la région.
Vous laissez la côte sud derrière vous et mettez le cap vers le Nord en traversant la côte Est et ses fjords paisibles.
Les fjords de l'Est se caractérisent par des montagnes abruptes et des vallées verdoyantes. Cette région fut formée durant l'âge de glace, lorsque les mouvements des glaciers modelèrent ces paysages. Vous évoluez à travers les fjords et les baies en zigzagant sur les routes de montagne et en passant par des villages de pêcheurs. La région offre de nombreux sentiers de randonnée où vous pourrez observer la vie ornithologique riche, de petits ports et des vues à couper le souffle. En fin de journée vous arrivez à la capitale de l'Est, Egilsstadir, où vous passez la nuit.
Aujourd'hui, cap vers le célèbre lac Myvatn. Ce site est un trésor géologique avec ses bassins de boue bouillonnante, ses volcans et ses formations et champs de lave. Vous découvrez les formations de lave de Dimmuborgir (la cité sombre) qui est soit-disant habité par de drôles de créatures. Au site de Námaskard, les islandais cuisent leur pain avec la force de la géothermie. Vous visitez également la chute de Dettifoss, la cascade la plus puissante d'Europe. Vous rejoignez ensuite Akureyri, la "capitale du Nord". Située au fond du fjord Eyjafjördur, la ville est notamment connue pour ses spécialités culinaires et ses stations de ski. Nuit à Akureyri.
Après une matinée de repos à Akureyri, vous reprenez la route vers les vallées et fjords de la péninsule Tröllaskagi. Vous faites un arrêt au village de pêcheur de Dalvik où vous partez au large observer les baleines. Vous poursuivez ensuite votre route : vous explorez les montagnes, fjords et villages du Nord de l'Islande. Vous faites notamment un arrêt au village de Siglufjörður qui a joué un rôle important dans la pêche au hareng en Islande. Ce fjord a également été le lieu de tournage de nombreux films et séries dont Trapped. Vous poursuivez votre route vers l'Ouest jusqu'à la région de Borgarfjörður où vous passez la nuit.
Sur votre route pour la capitale, vous faites une halte aux chutes de Barnafoss et Hraunfossar ainsi qu'aux champs de lave de Borgarfjördur et Deidartunguhver, la plus grande source chaude d'Europe. La région de Borgarfjörður est riche en histoire et notamment au niveau des sagas islandaises. Après cette longue journée de visite vous terminez la boucle et revenez à Reykjavik en passant par le fjord des baleines "Hvalfjörður". Nuit dans la capitale.
Aujourd'hui vous vous rendez au Blue Lagoon, au coeur d'un champ de lave. L'eau chaude bleue turquoise vous redonne de l'énergie et les bains de boue emplie de silice sont un miracle pour votre peau. Après votre baignade, retour vers Reykjavik où vous profitez de la soirée et y passez la nuit.
Après avoir vécu une bonne aventure à travers le pays, c'est l'heure de découvrir la capitale. Vous avez la journée libre et de nombreuses possibilités. Reykjavik est certes de petite taille, mais est une ville très dynamique et charmante. Vous pourrez y découvrir de nombreux cafés, musées ou succulents restaurants. Si les rues de la capitale ne vous suffisent pas et que vous souhaitez découvrir quelque chose différent, le options sont multiples. Vous pouvez prendre de la hauteur par un vol en hélicoptère qui vous donnera une perspective imprenable sur les paysages, ou visiter les musées de la ville ou explorer l'intérieur du volcan Thríhnjúkagígur et y découvrir sa chambre magmatique aussi vaste qu'un terrain de football. Elle fut créée par une éruption volcanique ayant eu lieu des siècles auparavant. Retour à Reykjavik pour profiter des couleurs du soleil de minuit et y passer la nuit.
C'est votre dernier jour en Islande. Une navette vous récupère à votre hébergement pour vous déposer à l'aéroport international de Keflavik.
Si votre vol est dans l'après-midi, vous pouvez profiter de la matinée pour vous balader dans les boutiques et cafés du centre-ville. Nous vous conseillons aussi de vous promener le long de l'océan, visiter la salle de concert et des congrès de Harpa avant de vous rendre à l'aéroport international de Keflavik. En espérant vous revoir bientôt en Islande !
Découvrez ci-dessous nos catégories d'hébergement. Si vous réservez pour 1 personne, vous aurez une chambre individuelle, si vous réservez pour plus d'une personne vous aurez une chambre double/twin ou une chambre triple. Si vous voyagez en groupe et que vous souhaitez avoir une chambre individuelle, merci de faire des réservations séparées. Merci de noter que les hébergements inclus dans les excursions guidées ne peuvent être surclassés et le niveau de catégorie d'hébergement sélectionné ne s'applique pas. Nous faisons toujours notre possible pour répondre à vos requêtes spéciales qui peuvent induire un coût additionnel.
Chambres avec salle de bain privative dans des hôtels 3 étoiles comme le Fosshótel Barón ou des guesthouses de qualité. Situation à proximité du centre-ville. Petit déjeuner inclus.