“Skip the rest .. this is the BEST”
We wanted to avoid the cookie cutter standard bus tour and this looked like a more unique experience. As it turned out, this was a no-brainer. The very large, comfortable jeep held five people in three rows of seats plus Asdis our very helpful young lady tour director. The jeep is very high off the ground, so it took a little practice to get on and off.
We were picked up at our Reykjavik hotel at 8:30 AM and did not return until almost 7 PM. There was not a moment of the day that was not fun.
After picking up the other three people on the tour, at their hotels, our first stop was the Kerid volcanic crater which was filled with water in a bright red volcanic lava field.
Asdis gave us as much time as we wanted at the crater and never rushed us at any stop. The next stop was a local country store to use the rest room (much appreciated when you get older).
We then drove to the Oararfoss waterfall which we thought was spectacular until later, when we saw the Gollfoss falls.
The next stop was Strokkur geyser. This entire area contains steaming hot springs boiling out of crevices in the ground, a very unreal sight. The geyser is somewhat sporadic, but we witnessed five steam eruptions in about 20 minutes time. We were then taken to lunch at the local hotel/spa facilities. The recommended lamb stew was excellent and the prices were not unreasonable for Iceland where everything is very expensive. There is also a high end gift shop on site with prices similar to Reykjavik and some very high-end merchandise.
We were fortunate enough to be on the tour during the sheep roundup and Asdis took us to a farm where they were sorting and weighing the sheep, truly a sight to see.
We next drove to Longjokull glacier. After leaving the paved road, Asdis reduced the air in all the tires for a more comfortable ride on the unpaved road and better grip on the ice on the glacier. It still was a pretty bumpy ride up to the glacier, but there was a little light snow covering the ice and smooth going the rest of the way. This was fantastic scenery I was unable to capture in pictures. We built a snowman, threw snowballs, and I cleared the snow down to the ice. This was the only time we saw the other DISCOVER jeep and on the way down both jeeps pulled over to reinflate the tires. In spite of letting the air out of the tires, it was still a very, very bumpy ride. Not for those who are sensitive to being jostled in (or out) of their seat. In retrospect it was loads of fun.
Back to the pavedl roadway, the next stop was the Gullfoss waterfall. Having been to Niagara, this beats anything I have ever seen before. Huge cascades of water roaring into a canyon with rainbows everywhere you turn. You can climb onto the boulders which bring you level to where the falls make the curl. It’s your choice to do this or not. Obviously, no liability in Iceland (watch your step).
Our final stop was Thingvellir. I thought this was just an historic site for the first parliament in Iceland. I didn’t have a clue what we were about to see. There is a gigantic canyon that outlines where the North American and the Euro Asian continental plates meet! This is a frequent earthquake zone due to the plates shifting as part of the continental drift. The scenery was beautiful with crystal clear streams and waterfalls running throughout the area.
By the time we were driven back to our hotel, we felt that we had been on an extraordinary tour.
The big advantage of this tour was that it was a small group, you didn’t spend loads of time waiting for people to get on and off of the bus, and since the tour director is sitting inches away, questions are easily asked and answered.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.