There are loads of day bus trips you can do from Reykjavik, and cover a lot of ground. See my other blog on things to do in Reykjavik. In our week there we decided on three. The most popular the Golden Circle Tour, the Northern Lights Tour and a new one for the past year called Inside the Glacier. All organised by Grayline, and all include pick up and drop off to your own hotel, great service!
First on our itinerary was the golden circle tour which includes three of the main geographical sights close to Reykjavik (the tour did last from 8am till 4pm, and by the end we were shattered). The first stop is Pingvellir National Park, which is one of the most important sites in Iceland as it is the location of the original parliament, the largest natural lake and is where the North America and Eurasia tectonic plate meet, split and move further apart every year. For some it may be a familiar site from Game of Thrones.
Back on the bus and next up was Gullfoss waterfalls. You can’t see the scale on the photographs, but it is huge and extremely impressive. Get too close for photos and you end up soaked, sprayed with the mist off the falls. Was great to see these still with some snow around at the end of winter. And we landed really lucky with weather on tour days, bitterly cold but clear blue skies!
Finally was to the Geysir geothermal area, where the name of geyser originated. The most famous is the geyser called Strokkor which blasts water 20m into the air every four to eight minutes. Perfect photo/video opportunity.
There are also plenty more sites to see and smell in the thermal area.
The next Grayline tour we went on was the northern light tour, which took us back out into the countryside. We did see some of the northern lights, but I have seen better before in Aberdeenshire and was expecting much more. However I would recommend if you hire a car to go out to the middle of nowhere and try spot for yourself where you have unlimited time and not as busy with coaches of tourists. Also you need to work out your camera settings in advance, and iPhones will not pick up a thing.
Our final tour (for which I think we were away from 7am till 5pm) was by far the best. Please do this trip if you visit Iceland. It is called Inside the Glacier. On the way to the glacier you stop off at the most stunningly crystal clear blue falls I have seen called Hraunfossar. Where the waterfalls come tumbling out of a lava field. Beautiful! No filter.
Once we got to the base for the Into the Glacier tour we had the option for a tasty buffet lunch and to get kitted out in water proof gear for entering Langjokull glacier. We then entered the converted military 8×8 trucks and made our way up the track to the man made ice cave within the glacier. Amazing views from the top looking down the glacier.
Thankfully it wasn’t as claustrophobic as I thought; once past the initial tunnel in. Very airy and spacious. Also all the walls have had LEDs built into them to light the cave up, also giving a stunning effects as you walked round.
The cave even includes a chapel, for those of you that wish to get married there.
There are many more trips to do in Iceland, and I wish I had done the trip south to the waterfall skogafoss, the volcanic black sand beach and the glacial lagoon, but time didn’t allow. Maybe next trip!?