Vikings and Sagas - Winter Adventure Iceland

Trace the Viking heritage in Iceland and see some of the most scenic places in the country at the same time. This themed tour focuses on the Golden era

Vikings and Sagas

Trace the Viking heritage in Iceland and see some of the most scenic places in the country at the same time. This themed tour focuses on the Golden era in Iceland’s history – the Viking Age. Learn more about Leifur Eiríksson – the first European to set foot in America – and the Icelandic Sagas, which are amongst the most remarkable documentary items and collections in the world.

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Duration: 8 days / 7 nightsMap - Guided Tour Vikings and Sagas

Travel Season: All year.

Included:
- 7 nights including breakfast for the whole trip, room categories according to the wishes of the group.
- Lodging tax.
- 6 x dinner.
- 1 x Lunch on the second day, or more if requested by the group.
- Professional guide.
- Private bus for the group from the first to the end of seventh day.
- Airport transfers.
- Entrance fees:
   - Settlement Exhibition in Reykjavík.
   - Culture House in Reykjavík (Þjóðmenningarhús).
   - Saga Museum in Perlan, Reykjavík.
   - Gljúfrasteinn, home of Nobel-laureate author Halldór Laxness.
   - Snorrastofa Saga Centre Reykholt.
   - Settlement Centre in Borgarnes.
   - Eyrbyggja-Museum.
   - Shark Museum in Bjarnarhöfn.
   - Eiríksstaðir Museum in Haukadalur.
   - Museum Leifsbúð.
   - Skálholt - Cathedral.
   - Saga Centre Hvolsvöllur.
   - Visitor Centre Þorvaldseyri.
   - Facility fee in the highland centre in Hveravellir.

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Day 1: Arrival in Iceland

You’ll be met at Keflavík International Airport by your private professional guide and taken to your accommodation in Reykjavík.

Day 2: Reykjavík City and Culture Tour

Today, we’ll take a close look at Reykjavík by bus and on foot. The tour includes many of the very best things the city has to offer. First, we visit Reykjavik’s best-known landmark, the Hallgrímskirkja Memorial Church, noted for its plain but impressive architecture. From there, we take a stroll into the oldest part of the city and visit the City Hall and Settlement exhibition, where you can learn about Reykjavik’s first settlers with the aid of different kinds of visual and audio-visual media.

We then take a short walk to Reykjavik’s Old Harbour, where we’ll visit an Icelandic couple, Ásta and Valgeir, at their culture house. They’ll introduce the roots of modern Icelandic culture, including some dramatic family stories and give you a taste of some Icelandic food.

After lunch, we visit the Culture House, which contains some of Iceland’s most important cultural heritage – the medieval manuscripts of the Icelandic Sagas. Later, we visit the Perlan (Pearl building), the second-most famous landmark in Reykjavík. It’s a public building built on top of six hot water storage tanks which regulate the hot water distribution to Reykjavík’s city centre. The glass dome looks like a pearl, hence the name of the building. We’ll visit the Saga Museum, which is located in one of the Pearl’s hot water storage tanks (it’s empty of water). You’ll enjoy an audio guided tour while looking at displays which include life-size wax sculptures depicting Vikings. We end the day by visiting the grounds of the official residence of the President of Iceland – Bessastaðir. Overnight in Reykjavík.

Day 3: Snorri Sturluson – Egill Skallagrímsson

Today, we start our day by visiting Gljúfrasteinn, the former home and workplace of Halldór Kiljan Laxness. Laxness received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1955 and, to date is the only person from Iceland who’s been granted this honour. We then continue to Þingvellir National Park and the site of the oldest still existing Parliament in the world. This most historical place in Iceland is richly endowed with natural beauty and an abundance of history and culture as well as geological wonders. Next, we cross the Kaldidalur Mountain pass (Cold valley). On a clear day, you’ll see at least two different glaciers along this gravel road, with the highest point 700 metres above sea level.

Once back on the lowland, we’ll visit waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafoss, literally a two-minute walk apart. Then we visit Reykholt, the former home of the great 13th century scholar, politician and Saga author Snorri Sturluson. And finally, we’ll finish the day at the Iceland Settlement Centre in the village Borgarnes, where you’ll be introduced to the local Viking Age history, namely Egill Skallagrímsson and his family. Overnight in the Borgarnes area.

Day 4: History and Natural Wonders

This morning, we visit Borg, the birthplace of Egill Skallagrímsson, who was one of Iceland’s most famous warriors and a Viking Age poet. From there, we continue along the south coast of the Snæfellsnes peninsula to Snæfelljökull National Park and the ice-capped volcano by the same name. Highlights along the peninsula include Búðir, Arnarstapi, Hellnar, Djúpalónssandur and the fishing villages along the northern seaboard. We’ll continue our drive to the northern side of the peninsula and pass fishing villages such as Hellnar and Ólafsvík. In Grundarfjörður, we’ll visit the Eyrbyggja Storytelling Centre, where you’ll be introduced to the local Viking Age story Eyrbyggja.

In the afternoon, we’ll visit the infamous Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum for a little taste of the local food specialities presented by the local farmer or some of his helpers. After some shark tasting, we head to Stykkishólmur, which is the largest town on Snæfellsnes Peninsula. It has a beautiful harbour which connects an island to the mainland. Overnight in Stykkishólmur.

Day 5: Viking Home, Elves and Seals

Today, we visit Eiríksstaðir, the original home of Erik the Red and birthplace of his son Leif Eiríksson, two of the most celebrated Vikings in the world. You’ll see a sod house replica of the Viking Age home of Eiríkur and his family. We also visit Leifsbúð Museum and the Vinland Exhibition dedicated to Leif Eiriksson.

We travel through the Dalabyggð region, famous for its countless stories of the hidden people – elves, ghosts and sorcerers. The “Elf Colony” in the rock at Tungustapi is the setting for one of Iceland’s most-loved folktales, but it is also the heart of the Laxdælasaga, one of Iceland’s historic Sagas. We travel across the Laxárdalsheiði pass to the northwest part of the country and make a stop at Borgarvirki, a natural fortress inside a volcanic plug. The Icelandic Sagas mention that, in earlier centuries, it was used in conflicts. An optional boat ride to see seals is available from Hvammstangi village. Overnight near Hvammstangi village.

Day 6: Highland Road – Outlaw Country

Today, we travel across the Icelandic highland via the summer highland road Kjölur. We’ll make a stop at Hveravellir, famous for its geothermal hot springs and colourful silica deposits which are easily accessible along a wooden boardwalk.

The highlands are famous for their outlaw stories. Kjölur route is no exception. Some claim that the ghosts of farmers and outlaws who died in this area in centuries past still roam this cold desert wilderness area.

We continue onwards to Gullfoss waterfall, the most famous of all waterfalls in Iceland. It has two cascades, 32 metres in total. Then we on to Geysir geothermal area with its star attraction, the spouting spring Strokkur which goes off every 3–8 minutes. In the late afternoon, we make a short stop at Skálholt Cathedral and bishopric, established in 1056. Overnight in the Flúðir area.

Day 7: Njálssaga – the Saga of Njáll

Today, we’ll visit some of the historical places mentioned in Njáll’s Saga. This particular saga is perhaps the most famous works of Icelandic medieval literature. We then drive to Keldur, the ancient farm mentioned in Njáll’s Saga. Afterwards, we’ll visit the Saga Centre at Hvolsvöllur village, where you’ll learn about the world of mythology, ocean voyages and the discovery of new lands.

In the afternoon, we continue eastwards to waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss. It is possible to walk behind Seljalandsfoss, affording a very special photographic opportunity. We visit the Þorvaldseyri Visitor Centre, dedicated to the interpretation of the infamous Eyjafjallajökull eruptions in 2010, before returning to Reykjavík. Overnight in Reykjavík.

Day 8: Departure

Transfer from your accommodation to Keflavík International Airport and departure.

 

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Bæjarhraun 2  |  220 Hafnarfjörður  |  Iceland  |  Tel: +354 560 2020  |  info@esjatravel.is  |  Id-Number: 550604-2050

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