5 Day West and South

5 Day West and South

The Main Sites and Hidden Gems of South-West Iceland

Day 1 – Snaefellsnes Peninsula

We head west bound through the town Borgarnes on the shores of Borgarfjordur fjord. Then we head out towards Snaefellsnes peninsula. The peninsula is considered an active volcanic area with a great variety of geological sites with colourful rhyolite mountains and craters, beautiful lava fields and a rugged shoreline. The famous Snaefellsjokull glacier a stratovolcano featured as the entrance to the centre of the earth in Jules Verne’s novel is the jewel in this area. Arnarstapi village, Djupalonssandur beach, Londrangar cliff formations, Hellnar and the iconic Kirkjufell mountain close to Stykkisholmur town, a perfect last stop for the day.

Day 2 – Borgarfjordur Bay

We have two options on this day. One option is to continue along the eastern shore of the peninsula and go past Budardalur town towards Bifrost area. There we can take a short hike up the Grabrok crater, visit Glanni waterfall and the beautiful lava fields around it. Deildartunguhver hot spring would be next. It is the most voluminous hot spring in Iceland or Europe for that matter, producing 180 litres of 97°C (boiling) water each second. It is close to Reykholt historic site home of Snorri Sturluson an Icelandic author and politician from around 1200. His most famous work, Prose Edda, is a major source of our knowledge of Norse mythology. Also in the area we have Hraunfossar waterfalls and Vidgelmir cave/lava tube which is a popular site. Overnight stop in Husafell would be perfect.

The other option would be to take a shorter way with the first stop being Deildartunguhver. This we would choose if going on a tour Into The Glacier. That tour starts close to Husafell and takes about three hours. Stops after Deildartunguhver would remain the same.

Day 3 – Golden Circle

We take the mountain road Kaldidalur valley, a rugged mountain road if weather and snow conditions allow to cross over from Husafell to Thingvellir National Park one of the top sites on the so-called Golden Circle route.

Thingvellir plays a significant role in Icelandic history as it is the site of the old parliament that dates back to 930. Thingvellir is also one of the best places in Iceland to witness the effect of tectonic plate movement. Big rifts scar the landscape where the ground has been torn apart as a result of the plate movement. Some of the rifts are connected to lake Thingvallavatn and are popular for snorkelling and diving. One of these called Silfra is world famous.

Next stop on the list is Geysir an area with numerous small hot springs and geysers as the name suggests. One of the hot springs called Strokkur is especially popular as it erupts every 5-8 minutes shooting water 15 to 20 meters into the air.

Gullfoss waterfall with a two level drop of 50 meters and a flow of 140 cubic meters per second during the summer months will culminate this days experience.

Day 4 – Thorsmork Nature Reserve

What Icelanders usually refer to as Thorsmork is a protected area sheltered by Eyjafjallajokull in the South and Myrdalsjokull to the east as well as the mountains of Tindfjoll to the west. Due to this fact the area has a climate on its own. It can be raining all over but drive for 30 minutes into Thorsmork and you have sunshine.

The roads leading in are a bit rough with unbridged rivers so this is a 4×4 adventure day. The most dominant mountain in the area is Eyjafjallajokull volcano with its glacier top. Eyjafjallajokull erupted last in 2010. Along the way we will see how the area was transformed during the eruption and we will visit Gigjokull a former outlet glacier that was swept away by the resulting floodwaters.

Further in we have a small natural birch forrest as well as endless canyons, mountains, small waterfalls and an overall stunning landscape. Hiking possibilities are endless depending on time and ability.

On the way back to the main road we will also see Seljalandsfoss and Gljufrabui waterfalls,  Seljalandsfoss being the better known of the two.

Day 5 – Reykjanes Peninsula

Reykjanes Peninsula is a perfect place to visit in combination with The Blue Lagoon. The area is close to Reykjavik and Keflavik airport. Reykjanes is a UNESCO Geopark due to the fact that the Mid-Atlantic Ridge runs along the centre of the peninsula making it very geologically active. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge separates The North America Tectonic plate from The Eurasian plate and Iceland is the only place where it is visible above sea level. As a result the area has an extensive geological diversity. Craters and lava fields cover the peninsula and in some areas like Seltun you have hot mud pits and steam vents.

Stops along the way include The Reykjanes Lighthouse and Gunnuhver huge steam vent as well as The Bridge Between Continents, a spot where the plate movement is very visible.

If you like a relaxing end to the trip a visit to The Blue Lagoon is perfect. It sits right in the middle of the Reykjanes Peninsula and takes advantage of the immense heat underground to create an enormous pool of hot water for relaxation. It is also possible to stay there overnight at The Retreat Hotel or The Silica Hotel. It is quite convenient as a last day stop if you have an early flight as it is conveniently close to the airport.

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Season

  • Available all year long
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Possible Activites

    • Blue Lagoon
    • Into The Glacier
    • Boat Trips
    • Snowmobiling
    • E-Mountain Biking
    • ATV
    • Caving
    • Snorkelling/Diving
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    Suggested Accommodations

    Tour Day 1

    • Hotel Egilsen
    • Hotel Budir
    • Fosshotel Stykkisholmur
    • Fransiskus Hotel

    Tour Day 2

    • Hotel Husafell
    • Grimsborgir
    • ION Hotel 

    Tour Day 3

    • Hotel Geysir
    • Skalakot Manor Hotel
    • Eldar Lodge
    • Hotel Laekur
    • Hotel Ranga

    Tour Day 4

    • Skalakot Manor Hotel
    • 360 Hotel
    • Black Pearl Suites
    • Icelandair Konsulat
    • Canopy Hilton
    • Hotel Borg

    Tour Day 5

    • Retreat Blue Lagoon
    • Silica Hotel

     

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