NOW BOOKING FOR 2023
12th – 25th May 2023Contact Jóna:
This special tour, which explores the very dramatic and isolated part of Iceland, has been organised once every 4 to 5 years during the 38 years I have run my company, and for me this area of Iceland has a very special place in my love for Iceland. Remote and off the main tourist route, you certainly feel a part of these wild and powerful landscapes.
My main reason for venturing into the wilds of western Iceland earlier in the year (during the month of May) is to experience the drama of the landscapes. As winter is gradually giving up her white winter mantel and the sun is strengthening its rays to melt the snows, wonderful patterns and motifs of light and shade appear. At this time of year the weather will be noticeably cooler than at the height of summer but the atmosphere will be crisp and bright with pristine air to breath in and with an incredible clarity of light.
There will be long hours of daylight with the sun setting at 11.15pm and rising at 4am. As usual, I send out my 6 page letter a few months before the departure date giving comprehensive information and advice regarding all aspects of the tour.
Experiencing Iceland at this earlier part of the summer season is a special time to appreciate the dramas of the landscapes. It will certainly be an adventure so, be prepared for that! The high deck snow truck/coach and my driver Siggi will both guide us safely on our adventure.
The north-west of Iceland contrasts greatly from the rest of the country. Accounting for one tenth of the country’s landmass, this part of Iceland dates back 14-15 million years, which is young compared to other countries on our earth. The scenery is dramatic, as glaciers were the major force in shaping the land. Row upon row of high table mountains stretch to the horizon and precious strips of fertile land are sandwiched in between the sea and the foothills of sheer cliffs. The Drangajökull glacier, wide and pure white, rises from the shore, a relic of the last Ice Age. The land is indented by a great many fjords, comprising more than half of all the fjords in Iceland. Many rivers cascade down on their journey to the sea, they tumble over a myriad of waterfalls, the largest being Dynjandifoss, with a drop of 100 metres. Trout and salmon thrive in the rivers, geothermal areas are numerous, with steam rising out of the sea by shore lines, a road will end and down on the shore sits a geothermal heated swimming pool waiting to welcome you, alongside it, a hot pot to relax in. This area is also teaming with bird life, including sea eagles, great northern divers, waders, and thousands of puffins.
The vegetation differs from that found in other areas of Iceland. Some rare plants are only found here in the western fjords, and blue and crow berries grow in profusion. There are many nature reserves in this area and many islands to visit.
The remains of a bygone age are easily seen when travelling around the area. Remains of old farms dating back to the Middle Ages, old boathouses, turf huts by the seaside, summer pastures and abandoned farms up the valleys. There are also interesting museums and exhibits including subjects such as farming, fishing, flight and music, with many handicraft shops in the region.
Perhaps the most endearing feature of this area, is the fact that there are so few tourists. The landscape is pristine and stunningly beautiful, tranquil and peaceful, a naturalist’s paradise.
Recommended for second time visitors who have already seen the contrasting beauty of the North, East and Southern tour of Iceland, but also open to first time visitors.
A selection of photos from previous Jóna Tours of Iceland.