Venture into the surrounding wonderland of waterfalls, forests and historic farms, followed by a tour of the world's northernmost botanical garden.
Traveling from the pier, you'll first cross Iceland's largest fjord and drive inland, where each mile the sights seem even more magnificent. You'll soon be enveloped by the unspoiled countryside, a land of majestic mountains and the occasional woodlands, such as Vaglaskogur. This sprawling forest of more than 100 species provides a breathtaking route to the famed Godafoss waterfall, your first stop.
Godafoss means "Waterfall of the Gods" and refers to a momentous event that supposedly occurred 1,000 years ago when an Icelandic chieftain threw statues of the Norse gods into the water to symbolically demonstrate Iceland's conversion to Christianity. Whether the legend is true or not, it's quite a sight to behold the Skjalfandafljot River cascade over the horseshoe-shaped cliff and plummet into the roiling tempest below.
Continuing on, the scenery is idyllic in every direction, especially when punctuated by a beautiful farmhouse, such as the one in nearby Laufas. While the stone-and-turf farmhouse that was once a manor house and vicarage has been expanded over the centuries, the oldest section is believed to contain timbers from the 1500s. Inside, there's a wealth of intriguing artifacts, including period furniture and agricultural implements.
Returning to Akureyri, you'll visit one of Iceland's rare botanical gardens, an attraction made possible by the area's surprisingly warm microclimate. Strolling the grounds, you'll delight in the riot of colors and fragrances from thousands of species. Afterwards, a short drive through town brings you back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 90-minutes of moderate walking/standing. The area at the falls requires negotiating some rough pathways and can be muddy. There are no handrails so guests are cautioned to take extra care. These same conditions may also be found at the botanical gardens. The farmhouse has low ceilings and narrow doorways and passageways. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing that should include a water/wind proof jacket; cap; sunglasses; and comfortable, flat walking shoes with a non-slip sole are recommended.