Between epic sagas and cascading waterfalls, read Oksana’s 5 most memorable moments on our Iceland Circumnavigation expedition. Iceland completely takes
Isolated. Beautiful. Diverse. There are a lot of words to describe the rich nation of Iceland. From bubbling hot springs and snow-capped mountains to red-hot volcanoes and rushing waterfalls, it seems like everything in Iceland is constantly moving and flowing – it’s not called ‘the land of fire and ice” for nothing!
With land that continues to change, the best way to see Iceland is on a trek or cruise with Aurora Expeditions. Are you a hiking enthusiast or lover of the great outdoors? The challenge of the intense, yet stunning Icelandic landscape would be well suited to your tastes.
Explore the streets of Reykjavik, the world’s most northerly capital, before escaping the urban environment and witnessing Mother Nature at work in the ever-changing Icelandic wilderness. Climb Mount Hekla, an active volcano and tour floating icebergs and glaciers in Fjallsárlón – you’re totally immersed in Iceland’s spectacular backdrop.
Explore the real world.
Embark on an Aurora Expeditions cruise for a true Icelandic adventure. Our Iceland tours are for explorers that have a sense of adventure and want to experience everything the “Land of Fire and Ice” has to offer. During our Iceland tours, you will sail in a small, purpose-built ship with a world-class Expedition Team who will help you explore this beautiful country, its craggy coastlines and the most popular destinations around Iceland.
On our Iceland tours, you can do everything from circumnavigating Iceland on one of our small expedition cruise ships to enjoying guided walks through some of Iceland’s most stunning terrain. Our itineraries include destinations and activities that should be in every Iceland vacation package but go beyond this with our focus on enrichment and our comprehensive activity program, which enables you to experience Iceland more fully. Plus, you’ll have the luxury of a comfortable cabin to recharge in, while meeting like-minded travellers in modern common areas.
Why Join Iceland Tours and Cruises with Aurora Expeditions?
Ah, Iceland, the “land of fire and ice”. A place where stark beauty and dramatic landscapes capture the imagination and lift the soul. A destination where Mother Nature gifts and withdraws in equal measure. Where hot springs, calving glaciers, lava-strewn fields and craggy volcanoes create unrivalled experiences for every kind of traveller.
Iceland is known as the “Land of Fire and Ice” due to its impressive array of active volcanoes and glaciers. It is divided into seven geographic regions, which differ slightly in terms of culture and landscape, although all uniquely Icelandic. Travellers flock to explore Iceland for its rugged landscapes and scenery. Its natural wonders include the Northern Lights, Blue Lagoon, countless volcanoes, glaciers and waterfalls. Iceland is also famous for its Viking history.
There are many characteristics that make this country so unique. Here are 10 interesting facts about Iceland that may surprise you!
Iceland Wildlife Encounters
Icelandic wildlife will not disappoint. When you embark on one of our Iceland cruises, you may be lucky enough to see dozens of different species of Arctic seabirds that use the region for nesting during the summer months. If you are a keen bird watcher our Aurora Expeditions Iceland vacation packages are for you. Here the sea cliffs around the country provide the perfect nesting spots for Kittiwakes, Puffins and Skuas.
There are also a few wild land mammals that you may spot on one of the Iceland trips ashore or hikes in your itinerary, including the Arctic fox, mink, rabbits and reindeer. However, Iceland’s marine life is also a highlight for travellers. On your Iceland cruise, your knowledgeable Expedition Team will point out different species of whales, dolphins and seals. Iceland’s diverse marine life is drawn to the nutrient-rich waters around the country to feed.
Unique Icelandic Experiences
When you travel to Iceland with Aurora Expeditions your adventure includes a number of activities that you can’t experience anywhere else in the world. You will enjoy guided walks with your experienced Expedition Team on black sand beaches, through valleys, between glaciers and past waterfalls. Our guided walks in Iceland are perfect for all levels as the terrain is relatively flat and easy to traverse. You will learn about the history of Iceland, and about the environment and wildlife in each destination.
Our popular Iceland Circumnavigation expedition cruise incorporates a number of different unique activities as part of our comprehensive activity program. Whale, mammal, and bird watching are common because of the rich and diverse wildlife of Iceland. Whether you do this from the ship, on a Zodiac cruise or on a shore landing, the wildlife mixed with the dramatic and otherworldly landscapes provides good photo opportunities for those keen on documenting the trip and improving their photography skills, with the help of a professional photographer. For those who want more adventure, we also have some optional activities that can be added to your travel package, that will help you explore Iceland from a different perspective. Whether you go sea kayaking in small groups through fields of icebergs, or scuba diving to explore the underwater landscapes of Iceland, you are guaranteed the adventure of a lifetime. Fun fact: Iceland is the only place in the world where you can dive between two tectonic plates!
Iceland Tours Regions
Capital Region - Reykjavík
This includes the capital city of Iceland, Reykjavík, and surrounding municipalities. While the region comprises less than 1% of Iceland’s landmass, it is home to over half its population. Reykjavík is the natural starting point for many Iceland tours and travellers visiting Iceland and is a destination unto itself. It boasts trendy cafes, cosy restaurants, world-class shopping, fascinating museums and a thriving nightlife scene.
The South Coast is one of the most popular regions for adventure travellers when they visit Iceland. It is home to some of the best natural attractions and must-visits on your Iceland vacation. Some of the biggest attractions on the South Coast include Diamond Beach and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Hvíta River, and Vatnajökull National Park, which contains Europe’s biggest glacier. Geothermal activity is high in South Iceland, particularly in the southwest and the Golden Circle, which is Iceland’s premier sightseeing trail, incorporating Thingvellir National Park, the Geysir Geothermal Area and Gullfoss Waterfall.
A short drive from Reykjavík, West Iceland is one of Iceland’s most geologically diverse regions and popular destinations for tour operators. The adventure starts with the mesmerising natural wonders, from slumbering volcanoes and magnificent waterfalls to hot springs and the mystical glacial cap of Snæfellsjökull. This is ‘Viking Country’, where much of the action in the famous Sagas occurred. Soak up Iceland’s history as you explore this region, retracing the footsteps of Icelandic settlers.
The Westfjords peninsula is a true Icelandic wilderness area and undoubtedly the ideal place for spotting birds and Arctic foxes in their natural habitats. Explore the vast landscapes, beautiful fjords, stunning waterfalls, quirky villages, hot pools, and endless beaches. Adventure through the Westfjords to see the puffins and more sheep than people. This remote part of Iceland is a true hidden gem and one of the most underrated spots to view the Northern Lights.
Most visitors travel to Iceland via Keflavík International Airport in the Reykjanes peninsula. Here, you are greeted by otherworldly landscapes. Reykjanes means “smoking peninsula”, and lives up to its name, with endless moss-covered lava fields, volcanoes, hot springs (the Blue Lagoon is found here) and in general heightened geothermal activity. Reykjanes boasts more lighthouses than villages, which were erected to help fishermen navigate rough seas surrounding the peninsula.
East Iceland or ‘Austurland’ is characterised by pristine nature and traditional villages that have developed around the fishing industry. Nature lovers will be spoilt for choice here, surrounded by breathtaking fjords, cascading waterfalls, glaciers, mountains and wild reindeer.
Experience the natural and cultural wonders of this part of Iceland. The Diamond Circle is the north’s answer to the Golden Circle and includes the highlights of North Iceland. Experience otherworldly landscapes, active volcanoes, stunning fjords, rustic fishing villages and Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe. Keep your eyes peeled for seals, whales and countless species of waterbirds. Be awed by the midnight sun as you near the Arctic Circle in summer and the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights in the winter when the nights are darker and longer.
Our Iceland Vacation Activities
Visit Iceland with Aurora Expeditions and our Expedition Team will take you on excursions unique to the High Arctic, fully included in the cost of your expedition. For those interested in a little extra excitement, there are optional activities designed to get you closer to the action. Our Iceland expeditions provide a mix of comfort and adventure; for those willing to explore the Arctic the memories will last a lifetime.
Whale and mammal spotting
Lecture on wildlife, our environment, history and destinations
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*Optional add-on activities are available on select voyages. They are listed on each itinerary page and additional fees apply.