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Iceland is a European country and yet so far from its neighbours. Reykjavík, capital of the country, and its surroundings are home to over 2/3 of the population. Different tales have been written over there about elves, gigantic trolls, water monsters, ghosts and others. Surely, we can all understand the reason why when you see the majestic waterfalls, picturesque landscapes, dramatic volcanoes (for some still active) and geysers rising from the ground. All this untouched wilderness and rarity of its fauna participate in nurturing ideas of a magical and unreal environment.
Keflavik airport is the first site you will see, and it is already impressive. With the number of passengers booming since last year, the airport is expanding its routes and is looking for renovation. You can observe lava stones covered in moss at the airport and statues at the front. The “Jet Nest” is probably the most outstanding one. Reykjavik is a modern city where you can find fine dining restaurants serving a wide variety of both foreign and Icelandic dishes inspired by ingredients found in nature. The city also has interesting museums and quirky little streets that should be unmissed.
Stykkishólmu is the next town on your trip. Most of the people living there make their living from fishing and tourism. You can explore the diversity of the region - stunning landscapes and remarkable wildlife surrounding the area. There are optional excursions that will take you to the Snæfellsnes Penninsula where you can see the Lóndrangar basalt cliffs or the black sandy beaches of Djúpalónssandur.
Patreksfjördur is a charming settlement on the west coast of Iceland with around 680 inhabitants. The picturesque fjord offers scenic hiking trails if conditions allow. Patreksfjördur is also close to the spectacular waterfall of Dynjandi and to Látrabjarg, a renowned site for birdwatching.
Our experienced captain will plan a day exploring the stunning fjords of northwest Iceland. Conditions will determine the final program and activity for the day. We might visit a small settlement, take you on hikes or launch our zodiacs
You will then embark for Grímsey, a small island which is known to be the closest to the Arctic Circle. In fact, the Arctic Circle line cuts through the island, so you can have the chance to step across, North to South.
We will use our tender boats to reach this green and grassy island. It is probably best known for its proximity to the Arctic Circle, which cuts across the island. You can have the chance to step across that line, North to South.
Bakkagerdi is the main settlement in Borgarfjörður. This area is known for its natural beauty and is `the land of the elves´. Puffin colonies abound in the fjord, making this a popular place for birdwatching. Bakkagerdi is off the typical tourist track, and offers peace, quiet and lovely views.
Heimaey, or “Home Island” welcomes us for our visit. The harbour has a very narrow entrance, caused by a volcanic eruption in 1973. Most of the island has steep cliffs, is well-vegetated and provides a habitat for countless birds, including the charming puffin.
The ship will arrive into Reykjavik and it will be the end of your trip. Fortunately, you will bring unforgettable memories and a wonderful experience. Iceland is such a magical and wonderful land for the eyes but also for the mind, with its mystical creatures and fairy tales.
There is also a longer 11-day version of this itinerary. Get in touch with one of our Polar Specialists on 0203 196 1000 to book your cruise of a lifetime.
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