This popular shore excursion encompasses the highlights of Northern Iceland. The famous Godafoss waterfall is visited. The journey continues to the magical Lake Myvatn. There bird life is in abundance and the tranquil lake is contrasted with the bubbling mud-pots and fumaroles of Namaskard. We´ll visit the mystical lava landscape of Dimmuborgir and the pseudo-craters at Skutustadir. If you have a full day in the port of Akureyri then this shore excursion gives you the most comprehensive experience of them all.
We´ll commence our journey by driving along the picturesque coastline of Eyjafjordur Fjord. Eventually we‘ll reach the waterfall Godafoss, “Waterfall of the Gods”. The name refers to an important historical event that took place in the year 1000. After a time of friction and fights between the Christian and pagan people of the young nation the Althing decided that an official religion of the country had to be decided in order to maintain peace. The leader of the Althing, the pagan chieftain Thorgeir Thorkelsson, made a public declaration in favor of the Christian faith. When Thorgeir returned home he threw his pagan icons of the Nordic gods into the waterfall in a symbolic gesture.
The relaxing drive continues through fertile farmlands where it is possible to take in the beauty of the Icelandic countryside with its small farms lining the road at regular intervals. Our destination is Lake Myvatn, one of Iceland’s natural treasures. The lake is home to tens of thousands of birds, among them a variety of duck species. The area surrounding the lake is of tremendous geological interest.
You can enjoy the scenic drive along the shores of Lake Myvatn, try to spot some birds and absorb the volcanic landscape. Our next stop is Namaskard, a striking geothermal field that is one of the highlights of this tour. The field is full of mud-pots, steam vents, sulphur deposits, boiling springs and fumaroles. The experience is otherworldly with incredible colors, steam that rises from the earth and the loud popping of air bubbles in the mud-pots.
Close by is Dimmuborgir, a dramatic lava landscape with strange formations, columns and arches that have been the source of many folktales in Iceland. The name means “twilight castles”, an appropriately mystical name for this peculiar place.
A short drive from Dimmuborgir is Skutustadir pseudo craters. The craters were formed by gas explosions when boiling lava flowed over the wetlands near the lake. The craters are a popular site for birdwatchers and are protected as a natural wetlands conservation area. On a clear day the view from the craters over Lake Myvatn is incredible and makes a great photo stop.
At Lake Myvatn you have the opportunity to grab a light lunch before we start the return journey to Akureyri.
Before we arrive back to the ship, we´ll do a short panoramic tour in the small charming town of Akureyri. We´ll see the cozy town center, the new concert hall Hof, the symbolic Akureyri church and experience the Nordic 19th century architecture of the old town.
We recommend dressing in accordance with weather. Warm layered clothing is advised as are good, sturdy shoes (preferably hiking boots).
All our shore excursions have guaranteed departures. Please note that tours with few participants may be operated with Professional English speaking driver guide.