Our expedition around Iceland offers an in-depth exploration of this small island of geological extremes. Encounter unrivaled natural diversity, from volcanic landscapes to lava fields, ice sheets, gushing hot springs and cascading waterfalls. Our Expedition team will make every effort to maximize your experiences with all the extremes of this land, its incredible bird life, colorful hamlets, friendly and hearty people and serene bays perfect for watersport.
The route taken will take you to the fringes of the Arctic Circle, where the first Vikings went ashore in the 9th Century. There are many stories and legends of their passage, describing the country’s wide open spaces, the last frontier of Europe, forged by fire and ice. Fjords with their abyssal sides, unfathomable glaciers, high volcanic plateaux - Iceland’s natural heritage is both wild and fascinating and has retained all of its mystery.
What you will see in short:
- Visit Golden Circle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Watch geysers erupting
- Visit the Blue Lagoon and the highland lava desert and sulfur pits of Húsavík
- Experience Icelandic culture, art and food
- Arctic bird life such as puffins, and great whale watching opportunities
Welcome to Reykjavik or the “bay of steam”. Coiled within a large bay sheltered from the wind, the world’s most northern capital is blessed with an almost surreal beauty. Founded by a Viking chief in 874, this fascinating yet vibrant city is minutes away from fields of lava and the silvery reflections of the famous Blue Lagoon, a vast natural swimming pool.
The natural port of Grundarfjordur at the end of a beautiful fjord is our stepping off point to explore the region’s extinct volcanoes. As their role in the landscape has long since been completed and the glaciers have disappeared, it is the rivers which have fashioned the countryside on more gentle lines. The village is known for the Snaefellsjokull volcano that seems to watch over the peninsula from a lofty 1440 m and was made famous by Jules Verne in his novel “Voyage to the Centre of the Earth”.
A small island 40 km north of Iceland and symbolically located directly on the Arctic Circle, Grimsey is a haven for numerous colonies of birds all along its untamed jagged cliffs. Be on the look out for the kittiwake, the Alca torda (small penguin), glaucus gull and the arctic fulmar. However the main resident, and also a symbol of Iceland, is the clown of the sea better known as the puffin.
At the end of a magnificent fjord more than 40 km long, the administrative capital of north Iceland deploys its charms on the banks of the Eyjajordur with its multi-coloured houses under the midnight sun. From the town you will leave to explore Lake Myvatn, shaped by volcanic eruptions and host to the famous “Waterfall of the Gods” at Godafoss. L'Austral’s route will take you into the very heart of north-west Iceland’s fjords, a wild unspoilt land of lost valleys and vertical cliffs where man can barely survive. In this isolated region, the Isafjordur fjord is arguably the most beautiful one in the country, notably for the stacks of ancient basalt rock slides. The delightful little town of Ísafjordur is dwarfed by mountains at the end of the fjord and is totally dependent on fishing.
Sailing through the fjords
We go sailing through the beautiful fjords along the coast of Iceland. In every fjord you will find different scenery. Many things of great beauty.
Dominated by the Eldfjall, Heimaey is the only inhabited island in the Vestman archipelago. A stunning landscape of vertical cliffs, reefs, marine caves and the ever-changing ocean is home to seals and cetaceans such as the killer whale. Watch the comings and goings of the inimitable puffins as they plunge into the sea.