A Guide to Iceland
Iceland is a rather under-populated (337,780 inhabitants recorded in 2018) North Atlantic island and is famous for its hot springs, geysers and active volcanoes. It is actually known as the island of fire and ice and is fast becoming a top holiday destination!
The capital is Reykjavík (translated means ‘Smokey Bay) and is the largest city of Iceland, located in the southwestern part of the country, on the southern shore of Faxa Bay. It is extremely well known for whale-watching and is the largest city in Iceland.
It is a fun vibrant place containing world-renowned cultural and many historical sites and attractions. In the summer months, the shores become an absolute feeding ground for over twenty different types of mammals including the Orca, Minke, Humpback, and Blue Whale.
There is so much to see and do in this incredible country with a strong emphasis on the ‘midnight sun’ – as, especially during June through to August the sun scarcely sets so you can watch it dip and touch the horizon before rising again.
So, if this is your holiday destination, take a look at some of the best tours that you should join during your stay in Iceland:
Here your whale-watching experience sets sail in the magical midnight sun and the gorgeous natural scenery of the fjord providing a truly amazing wildlife adventure.
Did you know that whales actually never entirely sleep, so you can expect to see the same whales in the evening as you see on the day tours such as the Eyjafjord Humpbacks, Minke whales, porpoises and even a few dolphins.
Another fabulous tour that takes you on a guided trip of the whales and seabirds in Faxaflói with a visit to the lovely island of Viðey, located in Kollfjörður just off the coast of Reykjavík.
Apart from the island's ancient ruins and rich history, other attractions include remarkable works of art by Yoko Ono (the Imagine Peace Tower) and Richard Serra (the Milestones project). The church in Viðey is one of the oldest in the country—and the Viðey House is the first building in Iceland to be constructed in stone.
Wow – this is a fabulous Iceland tour, especially if you love natural habitat and are a keen horse rider! There is a splendid variety of horses to choose from, so it doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or an experienced rider, there will be a suitable horse for you.
The whale watching tour actually takes you towards the middle of the Eyjafjord and close to the horse riding stables. You will be collected from your hotel and all riding equipment is included. If that’s not enough - there is also time for you to relax in a hot tub at stables!
Iceland, Reykjavik – Snowmobiling all Year
This is an amazing adventure tour in Iceland that combines a super snowmobiling experience across the Langjökull glacier, followed by whale watching in Faxaflói.
However, do please note that this is a self-drive tour for the most part and is set up as a multi-day tour so that you do each tour on separate dates. The open ticket means you need to confirm your exact day and date.
For the snowmobile tour, you will be picked up from Gullfoss Café and given all the necessary equipment including overalls gloves, helmet, hat and overshoes. Afterwards, you will be dropped off back at the café ready to embark on the 3 hour whale watching tour.
The Blue Lagoon is situated in a lava field south of Reykjavik and bordered by amazing snow-capped mountains. It is a unique geothermal spa with water temperatures of 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit all year round. The water contains mineral salts, silica and blue-green algae that help to cleanse and exfoliate the skin, leaving it feeling wonderfully nourished and revitalized. This bathing experience will definitely clear your skin and leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
This tour is an afternoon of magnificent whale watching and then a Northern Lights cruise to enjoy in the evening. The famous fjord becomes a mystifying place at night and if you get the conditions just right, you will see some of nature’s most fascinating displays of artistry (the Aurora Borealis) or better known as the Northern Lights.
This is a 3 hour whale watching tour that takes you out to the wonderful Faxaflói bay, where you are likely to see Minke whales, dolphins, porpoises and even Humpback whales!
You will then enjoy an enlightening hike that takes about 45–50 minutes to complete. It is rated as a moderate walk as it is not uphill and you will be walking on a hiking trail for most of the time, however, the surface can be rather hilly and uneven.
The Northern Lights Cruise is mainly focused on the southern part of Faxaflói, just off Reykjavík. The boat tour provides great opportunity to view the Auroras without having to go too far away from the city.
The Aurora Reykjavík exhibition is a wonderful walk through history, learning how people and cultures all around the world viewed the Northern Lights via legends and myths connected to this amazing experience. It is located by Grandagarður pier, just a 5 minute walk from where the Northern Lights Cruise departs from.
Enjoy a day or an afternoon filled with nature and wildlife watching on this Golden Circle – Whale Watching combination tour!
You will start your day or afternoon with a beautiful Gullfoss and Geysir bus tour that takes you to see the world-famous Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss, the queen of Icelandic waterfalls, as well as Thingvellir National Park.
Afterwards, the bus tour drops you off at Elding’s ticket office where you collect your tickets to start the amazing whale watching tour.
So, what are you waiting for – relieve some of that holiday stress and pre-book your tour in Iceland today!