Day Tour: Essential Iceland (Kaldidalur, Langjökull Glacier, Lava Caves, Hot Springs and Waterfalls)
Iceland Rovers Tours
We decided to book an experience using the company Iceland Rovers Tours. I decided on Iceland Rovers Tours because they use 4wd Range Rovers to take you around and with only 6 seats, there can only be a total 6 people including the tour guide! 🙂
Our Iceland Rovers tour guide was born and raised in Iceland and spoke English with a heavy accent – it was great & fun to hear him speak. He was nice, informative, knew what he was doing and clearly loved his country.
The tour we chose was called “Essential Iceland” and it consisted of going to four different sights. It ran about US$250 per person. A bit pricey but that’s expected in Iceland.
+ Kaldidalur (the land rift between Iceland and the rest of Europe)
+ Visiting a glacier!
+ Wandering down into some lava caves
+ Waterfalls and hot springs.
He picked up all of us promptly at 8.30 AM and after stopping at a gas station to pump gas and grab some food for lunch later, we were off.
This is the 4×4 Range Rover we took around. The tires were massive!! The thing was equipped with enough outlets to power up a laptop with GPS satellite (in case we got lost in a storm), extra headlights, extra spare tire, first aid kit, flashlights, etc. The 6 of us fit very comfortably with 2 people per row.
Afterwards, we headed to Kaldidalur, this barren mountain pass on the way to a glacier. The trip was very surreal. The land is like nothing I’ve seen before. There is a lot of volcanic ground made of lava, rocks, and nature. It was extremely still and quiet where we were. I don’t think we saw anybody else going or passing where we were.
You can see the land is totally different from the national park where there were different elevation, greenery and shrubs whereas this is more dark, flat, with rocks, and a mountain with snow caps.
Afterwards, it was onwards to the Langjökull to see this huge glacier. Again, a totally different landscape. We were going from mountainous areas with trees and greenery to a barren area with lots of volcanic rocks to a freezing ice cold glacier.
Temperatures dropped on the way to the glacier and I remember hurriedly putting on my gloves.
Then on the way to some underground lava caves!! But first, we had to pass through a river! And we just went right into it. Literally.
Our tour guide drove us into the river and out of the river on the other side. It was pretty exhilarating just because we were DRIVING through a river with a range rover and I’m hoping 4-wheel drive works or else I’ll be dead.
It was funny because a woman on the tour with us was trying to stick her camera out of the window to take a picture and almost dropped it! After that, she kept her camera wrist strap on.
After climbing out of the sinkhole which lovingly reminded me that I was dreadfully out of shape, we went to go see some waterfalls. Waterfalls that come out of the ground. This place is called Barnafoss.
It was freaking freezing and windy by the time we got here but I happily managed by wandering around the landscape, walking over the bridge, and reading about the history of this place.
After this stop, we headed to see some nearby hot springs. This wasn’t part of the Golden Circle tour but small hot spring a little further out. So much steam that I kept skipping around in it. The hot springs also smelled of natural sulfur.
After this stop, we headed on back to Reykjavik. I promptly fell asleep but woke up when we stopped on the road….a band of wild Icelandic horses saw us and ran over to greet us over the barbed wire fence! Do not call any of these Icelandic horses “ponies” or they will get mad. 🙂
They are very strong and sturdy…especially if they can survive the winter in Iceland. They were incredibly happy to see us and kept tossing their heads and noses into our hands to be petted! Wish we had apples or carrots at the time to give to them. All of these horses were super tame and loving…compared to the horses in captivity on our horseback riding tour the next day.
Overall, pretty amazing day. The horses were a lucky addition to the regular tour. The glacier was definitely my favorite part of Iceland. The people on our tour group were really nice and came from different parts of the world (Germany, Australia, and good ole’ USA). Iceland is definitely on the list of countries that I’d visit again. It would be great to see the Northern Lights next time.
I totally recommend the Essential Iceland Tour with Iceland Rover Tours.
*Note: Due to a disparity between the photographer and me, the only photos posted from this trip are with me in them. All photos of me belong to AndyParkPhoto.com unless noted otherwise.