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Iceland Falls

Savouring incredible Iceland

 Steve McKenna head shot
by Steve McKenna

February 07, 2018

4 minute read

Bewitchingly beautiful, yet volatile and unpredictable, Iceland is one of planet Earth's most enchanting destinations. It's nestled in the Atlantic Ocean, where the North American tectonic plate drifts apart from its Eurasian cousin, and wows visitors with its astonishing volcanic scenery, exhilarating activities and other-worldly natural phenomena. Very much a year-round destination, Iceland has two peak seasons; summer (June-August), when the sun barely sets, and winter (November-March), when the Northern Lights cast their eerie spell over an island that was first settled by the Vikings in AD870 and has been the backdrop for numerous hit movies and TV shows, from Batman Begins to Game of Thrones. Experience Iceland on these three enticing Collette tours.

Icelandic Adventure

The most comprehensive option is this new, small-group tour, which lasts 10 days and starts with a guided walk around Reykjavik, Iceland's quaint, quirky capital, where you'll marvel at landmarks like the Hallgrimskirkja - a towering church that's carved like a space rocket.

The majority of the time, however, you'll be out in the sparsely-populated Icelandic countryside, enjoying photogenic touring routes like the Golden Circle, which is studded with spluttering geysers and mudpots, the thunderous Gullfoss waterfall and Thingvellir National Park, where the Vikings founded the first Icelandic parliament.

Also on the tour, you'll soak in geothermal baths, such as Lake Myvatn and the Blue Lagoon, go whale watching on Skjalfandi Bay and ride a snow cat (snowmobile) on the Snæfellsjökull glacier. Another highlight is absorbing rural Icelandic life with a farmhouse stay and visiting a family who have kept alive centuries-old methods of catching and preserving Greenland shark (hakarl) - one of several national delicacies you'll sample on this richly-rewarding adventure.

Iceland: Land of Fire and Ice

Reykjavik. The Golden Circle. The Blue Lagoon. You'll take in these iconic, not-to-be-missed attractions on a tour that spans 8-9 days and is named after the country's famous moniker. But you'll also get to see and do parts of the 'Land of Fire & Ice' that many tourists don't.

You'll overnight, for example, on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, a surreal finger of land that appeared in Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth, and is etched with dramatic mountains, glaciers, black-sand beaches, basalt columns and colourful fishing villages.

One of the toughest choices you'll make is deciding whether to descend 30 metres underground into an 8,000-year-old lava tube full of stunning stalagmites and stalactites, or walking across a lava field laced with jaw-dropping textures and tones.

Afterwards, you'll cruise on lovely Breiðafjörður Bay, passing the cone-shaped Kirkjufell - Iceland's most-snapped peak. Keep a look out for puffins, cormorants and white-tailed eagles, and tuck into seafood - such as scallops and sea urchin roe - plucked straight from the ocean.

Iceland’s Magical Northern Lights

Elusive and ethereal, the aurora borealis (Northern Lights) are a sight for sore eyes as they dance across the dark skies above a patchwork of awe-inspiring Icelandic landscapes. But while you wait for them to appear, there's plenty to keep you enthralled on a tour that includes a two-night stay in Rejykavik and three nights in Vik, Iceland's most southerly town.

Enjoy trips to the Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon where you'll witness the power of Seljalandsfoss, one of the country's most striking waterfalls, and float past the icebergs of the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon.

You'll check out the Skogar Folk Museum, which boasts a superb collection covering various aspects of Icelandic life, notably picturesque turf-built homes. Also sure to make an impression is the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano Visitor Centre. Here, you'll learn about a family’s struggle to live during and after the 2010 eruption, which famously sparked a giant ash cloud and shut down a huge chunk of European airspace. Fortunately for tourists, at present, Iceland is enjoying a rather calm moment in its tempestuous history.

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