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Meet Your Guide: Ingimundur Thor Thorsteinsson

Ingimundur Thor Thorsteinsson is our driver-guide partner who has developed this special tour with us. He has over 30 years of experience as a tour guide for many different types of tours, and as a mountain guide. He also has years of experience on the Iceland’s air-ground rescue team. He has been on nearly all of Iceland’s glaciers and travelled widely in Iceland, as well as crossing the Greenland Ice Cap in 1999. He has a gift for sharing his knowledge of Iceland’s nature and history in a fun and unique way. He is passionate about Iceland. As he says, “I don’t consider guiding to be a ´job.´ It’s my responsibility to make your time in Iceland unique. I do it in cooperation with Icelandic nature, which through the years has become a part of my soul.” Ingimundur speaks Icelandic, English and French. He is married, and a father of three sons.

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Day 1: Arrival in Iceland

Highlights: Reykjavik Hallgrimskirkja National Museum The Blue Lagoon

Arrival at the Keflavik airport. Transfers to Reykjavik are not included in the tour. We would be happy to arrange shared or private transfers for you, so let us know at booking time.

If you are arriving earlier in the day, you might consider adding a day tour. We’d be happy to make suggestions based on your interests. One of our favorite activities after a long flight is to visit one of the neighborhood geothermal pools. It is so refreshing to relax in the warm water, breathing in the fresh Icelandic air. It’s a great way to get to see Icelandic daily life and maybe meet a few locals. It’s also nice to take a stroll in the old city center, perhaps visiting one of the museums or relaxing with a cup of coffee in a cozy café.

Dinner this evening is at your leisure. Reykjavik offers a multitude of restaurants and/or coffee-houses, making dinner a great way to get better acquainted with Iceland’s capital.

Please note that hotels in Iceland start check-in around 14:00 (2:00pm), and early check-in is not guaranteed. Most hotels will be happy to store your luggage if you are not able to check in early.

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Day 2 : Reykjavik – South Coast

Highlights: Seljalandsfoss Skogafoss Myrdalsjokull Reynisdrangar Cliffs Vík

4×4 Adventure – Back Roads and Beautiful Views – Lava Cave – Black Sand Coast – Waterfalls

Distance Travelled is variable- routes chosen based on the most scenic options each day. Approximately 250-350km (155 – 186 miles)

Breakfast at your hotel. Meet your driver-guide, who will brief you on the day’s excursion. Today you will be an explorer as well as a traveler! It’s important to know that your guide may adjust the itinerary to snow and weather conditions, to make sure each day is an adventure that shows you the best of the area at the time you are visiting. You’ll also meet the brand-new luxury off-road vehicle. Enjoy comfortable seats and plenty of legroom in this amazing off-road vehicle that can easily cross the roughest of Icelandic terrain.

All the activities planned are fun, but you are not required to take part. So don‘t worry if you don‘t feel up to it. The days will be really great with lots to see, so you‘ll still have a great time.

Once you leave the city limits, it won’t take long to reach remote areas. You’ll start the day with an easy caving expedition for those who are interested, into an ancient lava tube. These are created by volcanic eruptions and give a rare glimpse of how a volcano looks from the inside.

After emerging from underground,  drive along the South Shore using back roads and trails,  enjoying the views of rugged coast and isolated farms.

Along the way you’ll stop to view some of the beautiful waterfalls that decorate the South Shore such as the mighty Skogafoss waterfall. If conditions are just right, you might also visit a hidden waterfall, a local gem accessible only to small groups.

Then climb aboard the 4×4 vehicle again to explore a part of the region‘s famous black sand beaches.

At the end of the day you‘ll visit a secret natural wonder on the black sandy beach.

Spend the evening at the Hrifunes guesthouse, located on a cozy farm just on the edge of the highland wilderness. Hrifunes is far away from any light pollution, so if the weather conditions are right, there is a chance you could see northern lights*

The hosts of Hrifunes, Haukur and Hadda, will make sure you have a comfortable stay. They serve home-made family-style dinners. Your guide, Ingimundur, will also join you for the meal. Dinner is an especially fun part of the day, with lots of chatting and laughter about the day spent together. Our past visitors have really enjoyed this experience and the opportunity to enjoy good food and get to know the other people on the trip better. If weather conditions decide to cooperate you might even spot northern lights in the area around the guesthouse!

*Please note that the northern lights are a natural phenomenon and seeing them cannot be guaranteed.

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Day 3: Vatnajokull National Park

Highlights: Eldhraun Lava Field Skaftafell National Park Vatnajokull Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon

Extensive Lava fields – Europe‘s largest glacier – Glacier Hike – Lagoon with Icebergs – Ice Cave Exploration

Distance Travelled is variable-  routes chosen based on the most scenic options each day. Approximately 350 km (217 miles)

After a hearty Icelandic breakfast, start the day by driving along the mountain road that crosses Eldhraun, a huge lava field created an eruption in the 18th century. Some historians believe this was a cause of the French Revolution (you’ll hear more about that during the tour)!

Pass the huge cliffs at Lomagnupur with their incredible basalt columns and enjoy some of the hidden gems the area has to offer. Continue to the Skaftafell area of Vatnajokull National Park. The entire national park covers about 14% of Iceland, making it one of the largest parks in Europe. Here you’ll don crampons and, with ice pick in hand, hike on the wonderous Svinafellsjokull glacier. During the hike you‘ll see amazing shapes in the ice and learn how glaciers are formed.

Afterwards, enjoy the famous Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon with its colorful icebergs and lazy seals, and the picturesque Diamond Beach close by. Plenty of photo opportunities here!

If the period is right and weather and conditions on the ice are safe, you’ll visit a natural ice cave on the south side of Vatnajokull glaciers. These ice caves appear and disappear according to the movements of the glacier. Some are very stable to visit; others are more difficult to reach and are more unstable. Some are quite unique, while others look ordinary at first but become extraordinary in the right light and conditions. Expert glacier guides in the area will assess the conditions and see if there is any suitable ice cave to visit while you’re in the region.

After an exciting day of ice, icebergs and volcanic lava, return to your hotel for dinner and overnight at Hrifunes, your home away from home.

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Day 4: Hekla Volcano – Gullfoss – Geysir – Thingvellir

Highlights: Eyjafjallajokull Hekla Gullfoss Geysir Thingvellir National Park Reykjavik

Volcanic Views – Golden  Waterfall – Erupting Hot Springs – Bathing in a Secret Lagoon

Distance travelled is variable-  routes chosen based on the most scenic options each day. Approximately 350km (217 miles)

Enjoy another delicious Hrifunes breakfast. Then you’re off again for another day‘s adventure in your trusty 4×4 luxury off road vehicle.

Make your way towards the Golden Circle, passing through regions with views of volcanic mountains such as the famous Eyjafjallajokull (2010 eruption) and Mt. Hekla, Iceland’s most frequently erupting volcano.

On the agenda today is a swim in the Secret Lagoon, a peaceful hot spring fed lake. Created by local residents using the natural landscape and materials in 1891, it is Iceland’s oldest geothermal swimming pool. The water has natural minerals that soothe your skin. Surrounding the pool are tiny bubbling mud pots and a little geyser that erupts regularly. Watching these as you soak in the Secret Lagoon is a special experience.

End the day visiting the three natural pearls that create the famous Golden Circle: the big waterfall Gullfoss, the spouting hot spring area of Geysir and the beautiful Thingvellir National Park. Thingvellir is the ancient location of Iceland’s first parliament, as well as the meeting point of two tectonic plates that divide Europe from North America. Your guide will bid you adieu with a taste of Iceland’s famous schnapps, brennivin, and a bit of fermented shark meat to go with it. It‘s a true Viking test and tastier than it sounds!

Return to Reykjavik where the evening is at your leisure.

Overnight at hotel in Reykjavik. Dinner is on your own.

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Day 5: Farewell to the Land of Fire and Ice

Breakfast at your hotel. Please note that this might be a light breakfast if you are taking an early morning  flight. Transfer on your own to the international airport for your departure flight. The airport transfer is not included, but we are happy to help you arrange shared or private transfers.

We recommend you depart your hotel no later than three hours before your departure flight. We wish you a pleasant trip back to your homeland and hope to see you in Iceland again!

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