West Iceland - 4 Days
Adventure around the west of Iceland to discover its many attractions and surprises, an area often overlooked by travellers.
This tour takes you on an adventure around the west of Iceland to discover its many attractions and surprises, an area often overlooked by travellers. You will see the most powerful natural hot spring in the world, as well as some breathtaking waterfalls, and you will explore the many sights of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, including the magnificent and (potentially) supernatural Snæfellsnes glacier. Furthermore, you can enjoy the peace and quiet of the northwest, where you will have a great chance of spotting some seals and several seabird colonies. Enjoy the many occasions to soak in the famous Icelandic thermal pools all around, after hiking down valleys and up craters and mountains. You will spend some time exploring the beautiful fjords of the west of Iceland as well, with their many attractions and historical sites.
DAY 1: REYKJAVÍK AND BORGARFJÖRÐUR FJORD
The first day of the tour takes you from Reykjavík to the sights of Borgarfjörður fjord. Leaving Reykjavík, you drive under the sea by passing through Hvalfjörður tunnel. Once on the other side, you are about half an hour away from the many beautiful sights of Borgarfjörður fjord. These include Deildartunguhver, the most powerful natural hot spring in the world; and Hraunfossar and Barnafoss, two beautiful waterfalls that are close to the road and very different from each other. Furthermore, you visit one of Iceland’s most important historical sites, Reykholt, where the famous writer and political leader Snorri Sturluson (1179-1261), author of the Snorra-Edda, lived and was subsequently killed. You could then go swimming in the recreational area of Húsafell before visiting the lovely village of Hvanneyri, where Iceland's Agricultural University has its main campus. From Hvanneyri you could spend some time exploring the beautiful nearby valley of Skorradalur, before carrying on your journey to the town of Borgarnes.
DAY 2: BORGARNES TO THE SNÆFELLSNES PENINSULA
You start the day in Borgarnes, a friendly town situated in the beautiful Borgarfjörður fjord. Borgarnes is home to the fantastic Settlement Center and many Saga sites. Spend some time exploring and letting it all sink in before heading to the Snæfellsnes peninsula, passing through a lava field and a couple of tiny towns by the sea, all offering great hiking opportunities. Brace yourselves as you are about to enter a place of (supposed) supernatural powers - Snæfellsjökull glacier and volcano, where Jules Verne based his novel "Journey to the Centre of the Earth". A view to the glacier dominates the park, but it is only visible on relatively bright days. Highlights in the park include a walk on Djúpalónssandur beach, known for its lava formations, pebble stones, and trial stones for strength. Arnarstapi and walks by the picturesque cliffs is another highlight, especially in the summer when the birdlife can be enjoyed simultaneously. Don’t miss a walk to the mysterious black church located close to the yellow sand beach at Búðir. Carry on your drive around the peninsula; on the northern side of the peninsula you drive through several very pretty towns by the sea, including the lovely small town of Grundarfjörður.
DAY 3: THE SNÆFELLSNES PENINSULA TO THE NORTHWEST
There's plenty more to explore on the northern side of Snæfellsnes peninsula. Spend some time exploring the streets of Grundarfjörður, dominated by the mountain Kirkjufell. There are many small and somewhat hidden waterfalls in the area. Onwards to the picturesque town by the sea, Stykkishólmur. On the way there, we recommend a visit to the Bjarnarhöfn shark processing exhibition. In Stykkishólmur, you can spend some time visiting the many museums and galleries in the village, as well as strolling around the harbour area and little streets with their lovely old timber houses before heading to the northwest of the country. You may wish to enjoy the rich birdlife of Álftarfjörður fjord on your way. You can then spend the evening enjoying the peace and quiet of this remote part of the country.
DAY 4: THE NORTHWEST BACK TO REYKJAVÍK
Today, you head back south, starting off by crossing the Holtavörðuheiði mountain pass, where on a clear day, there are good views towards several mountains and glaciers. Next up, you might want to visit the pretty village of Varmaland where you can go swimming in the local thermal pool. Furthermore, you can enjoy some of the hiking trails around Bifröst and through the surrounding lava fields, and even hike up Grábrók crater for a fantastic view, or walk down to Hreðavatn lake. Don’t miss the somewhat hidden nature gem, Glanni waterfall. Carry on your drive and spend some time exploring the beautiful sights of Hvalfjörður fjord, one of Iceland's largest and most picturesque fjords. If you're up for it, why not add a couple of hours to your trip and hike up to Iceland's highest waterfall, Glymur, at 198 m? Maybe have a picnic with you and lie in the grass for a while. Or, hike up to the top of Esja mountain, a favourite pastime of Icelanders popping out of the city for a quick couple of hours. End the day in Reykjavík where you can enjoy the many attractions the city has to offer.
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