Iceland – Land of Ice, Fire and Dolphins

If you haven’t rented a car, not to worry there are plenty of excursions on offer, and we were up early (again) for this one. I booked all our tours through GrayLine and they were always reliable and great quality (not sponsored we just genuinely think they are great).

reykjavik at sunset

Plenty of research to find the most ethical and well run Whale watching tour had led us to Elding. They may not be the cheapest option but they seem to really care about the wellbeing and conservation of all marine life.

This is one of those where again the pictures say more than words. The crew onboard were amazing, they provide cold weather gear, hot drinks and for those who need them free sea sickness pills.

on board elding whale watching cruise

The Sunrise over the Greenland Sea was well worth the early wake up call and we almost forgot what we were out to see.

sunrise whale watching elding iceland

sunrise whale watching elding iceland

Getting excited and frantically searching for whales, we finally saw some fins in the distance.

sunrise whale watching elding iceland dolphins

and although only the dolphins came out to play it was still a magical experience.

sunrise whale watching elding iceland

Back on dry land and in need of warming up we found Kaffitar cafe near our hotel and had huge much needed hot chocolates and delicious cake. Before heading out for the last of our arranged tours, the gold circle tour.

This first takes you to the site of Icelands parliament from the 10th to the 18th centuries Þingvellir National Park.

Thingvellir national park

Huge rocky cliffs, and waterfalls created by the collision of two tectonic plates and of course the path to the Eyrie in Game of Thrones.

Thingvellir national park

Thingvellir national park waterfall

An hour was not enough time and we had built up quite a sweat trying to see as much as we could in this time but it was back on the bus and on to our next stop the much more sedate Laugarvatn Fontana Spa, for three relaxing hours in their natural thermal outdoor mineral pools and lunch before being picked up to continue the tour.

Laugarvatn fontana spa iceland

Although if you were feeling brave you could always jump into the lake that is filled by water running off the glacier. A thrilling experience and made the warm pools much more inviting.

Laugarvatn fontana spa lake iceland

Gullfoss, the golden falls a double drop of immense power carving its way through the rock. This is a popular spot for a reason we arrived on one of the last days before the weather would get too harsh for visitors and you could feel that cold coming in,

Gulloss waterfall iceland

Gulloss waterfall iceland

Gulloss waterfall iceland

There is a large visitor centre with plenty of food, and souvenir options. Not that we spent much more than a comfort breaks time in there the falls are far to interesting to waste time despite the chill.

The last stop on this tour takes in the Geysers, you can feel the heat as the steam from these natural wonders blows over you. There are large and small geysers to enjoy with the serene blue pools suddenly boiling up and blasting into the air, like so many things in Iceland you could stay and watch for hours.

geysir iceland

geysir iceland

Despite signs kindly asking visitors to refrain from depositing their pocket change in the pools, it seems people cannot resist flicking money into pools of water.

geysir iceland money pool

With the light fading it was back on the coach for a sleepy drive back to Reykjavik and the cozy comforts of our hotel.

geysir park iceland

 

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