Reykjavik Excursions offers tours to some of the hidden jewels of Iceland
Iceland is quite far from everywhere, so landing at Keflavik’s International airport, probably one of the first things on your mind is to get to your hotel.
Flybus to your hotel
Waiting outside the terminal for every flight, you will find the Flybus, ready to deliver you smoothly to your hotel door. Likewise, when you have to leave, the Flybus will be there to take you to your plane. Started in 1979, it is one of the most appreciated services for travellers.
The coach also leaves from the downtown BSÍ bus terminal and stops en route at the Viking Hotel in the centre of Hafnarfjörður.
Flybus can also take you to your hotel via the Blue Lagoon. There are numerous departures daily from there to Reykjavik – and to the airport, to catch your flight. If you would prefer to visit the Blue Lagoon later, there are frequent departures from Reykjavik, with pickups from your hotel.
Fly me to the moon
As the Flybus glides towards Reykjavik, you’d be forgiven for wondering if you have landed on the moon, with the views of volcanoes, lava and massive rocks. A plume of steam can be seen rising against the mountain backdrop: the famous Blue Lagoon, a bright blue crystal oasis in the midst of the lava field.
From the main road, there doesn’t seem so much of interest but, just out of view is a wealth of fascinating sites that visitors rave about.
Reykjavik Excursions has a trip leaving Reykjavik at 9 am to take you around the area with its bubbling hot springs and brilliantly coloured mountains, its cliffs, teeming with birdlife and the lighthouses that have saved many a seaman’s life.
Here, you can walk on the bridge that spans two continents, as the Eurasian and American tectonic plates pull apart in dramatic form.
Close by, you’ll see the steaming mud pools and coloured rocks and hear how a priest set a trap for a troublesome female ghost some 400 years ago, causing her to fall into one of the pools and giving the area her name.
This is Viking territory, where some of the first settlers lived, farmed and fished centuries ago. The tour visits the Viking museum that houses the replica longship, Íslendingur, that sailed to America in 2,000, celebrating the discovery of the New World by courageous Vikings hundreds of years before Columbus was even born. The multimedia presentations are fascinating and visitors marvel at the skills and bravery of these intrepid explorers.
Vikings are still skilled craftsmen and this tour takes you to a glass blowing workshop. Their designs are world famous and you can take some of the finished products home with you – or have them shipped.
The tour ends at the Blue Lagoon, where you have the choice to bathe and dine or you can take the coach back to your hotel. The former is recommended, as you can take a later coach home after enjoying this unique experience.
Feast and Fly
With time being so limited, everyone wants to take advantage of every moment, so Reykjavik Excursions has a special tour for your last day. Picking you up from your hotel in Reykjavik, with your luggage safely stowed for the afternoon flight, the coach takes you to the little town of Sandgerði, famous for its shipwrecks, rough winter seas and, above all, its fish and the tasty rock crab.
The Vitinn restaurant, where you’ll dine, is the only place it is to be found in all Europe. Vitinn means ‘lighthouse’, so it’s little surprise that it is right down by the harbour, next to the lighthouse. So the fish cannot be fresher than that and you can enjoy your meal outside in the sunshine (on the many days with good weather). Vitinn also has delicious Icelandic lamb. Eating in this classic wooden restaurant, surrounded by paraphernalia from the area’s agricultural and seafaring past, is a nice memory to take home.
Across the road are handicraft shops for unique last-minute gifts and the marine life exhibit, with a display about the famous explorer, Jean-Baptiste Charcot, whose research vessel, the Pourquoi-Pas, was shipwrecked in a fierce storm in Faxafloi bay in 1936.
Then, with the airport just minutes away, the coach will deliver you to the terminal in plenty of time for your flight home.
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