Islândia: Em busca da Aurora Boreal

ISLÂNDIA – O ROTEIRO por Ester Muller (ester_muller)

-Duração da viagem: Foram 7 noites e 5 dias de viagem.

-Hospedagem: Dormimos todas as noites em Reykjavik (Capital da Islândia). De dia a excursão (local) nos buscava no hotel para os passeios e à noite saíamos para buscar a Aurora Boreal, se o tempo estivesse bom.

-Agência de viagens: Montamos o roteiro com uma agência chamada Gateway to Iceland, que encontramos no Trip Advisor. Recomendamos muito! Além de serem pontuais e oferecerem tours privados ou com poucas pessoas, fizeram um roteiro customizado e nos deixaram em um ótimo hotel, de acordo com nossas preferências de conforto e preço.

 PASSEIOS

  • Caça à Aurora Boreal: Fomos caçar a aurora boreal todas as noites, com exceção daquelas em que havia muitas nuvens no céu e, por isso, a possibilidade de ver era muito baixa.
Aurora Boreal
Aurora Boreal

Decidi ir para a Islândia, justamente porque, caso não tivesse a sorte de ver a aurora durante a noite, poderia aproveitar passeios diferentes durante o dia.

A cada dia, lá pelas 17h, recebíamos a confirmação de que sairíamos ou não para a busca da aurora naquela noite. As excursões possuem ferramentas que calculam a possibilidade de encontrá-las ou não. É preciso sair da cidade para vê-las, indo a um lugar onde não haja luz (esteja bastante escuro) e que se possa ver as estrelas.

Na primeira noite, tivemos muita sorte, já pudemos parar para vê-las.

Na segunda noite, a mais incrível, também vimos, voltando da Glacier Lagoon.

Na terceira noite, não tivemos sucesso, pois saíram somente às 3hrs da manhã, quando já estávamos dormindo.

Já na quarta noite, pudemos vê-la novamente por entre as árvores.

As outras noites estavam nubladas e, por isso, não saímos para buscá-las.

O Plano B era ficar pelo centro da cidade nos restaurantes e barzinhos.

A experiência mais incrível que já tive!

  • Glacier Lagoon | A Lagoa Glacial: um passeio maravilhoso que passa por cachoeiras congeladas, desertos vulcânicos e algumas cidades pitorescas.
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Lagoa Glacial
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Lagoa Glacial
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Lagoa Glacial

Amamos o tour para a Glacier Lagoon. Foi um dia longo (nos buscaram no hotel por volta das 7hrs e voltamos umas 23h, porque paramos três vezes para ver a aurora boreal).

Neste dia, vimos praias com areia negra que, na verdade, são cinzas vulcânicas, com pedras gigantes de gelo azul no mar e fora dele.  A lagoa glacial (uma paz incrível, parece que você está no pólo norte), com focas nadando e pedras de gelo flutuando conforme a correnteza, cachoeiras incríveis no meio das falésias iluminadas por arco-íris de dia e luzes à noite.

  • Caverna Vulcânica com pedaços de Gelo: Fechamos este passeio por fora do pacote
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Caverna Vulcânica
  • A Lagoa Azul (Kleifarvatn), cenário de diversos filmes: paramos nos campos de Krisuvik /Seltun, na cidade de Grindavik, na impressionante junção de duas placas tectônicas. O Tour terminou em uma Lagoa Azul onde podíamos aproveitar um banho termal.
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lagoa azul
  • Whale Bay | West Iceland Tour: Paramos no Whale Bay Fiorde, Skorradalur valley, Childrens Falls e na Igreja em Reykholt. E para fechar o dia, uma das piscinas termais mais famosas da Islandia: Dieldartunghuver.
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Whale Bay Fiorde
  • The Golden Circle Tour: Visitamos o Thingvellir National Park, que tem alguns dos lugares mais fotografados da Islândia, como o Mid-Atlantic Ridge (separação dos continentes), o Law Rock, Golden Falls (cachoeiras douradas) e pra fechar, o Geyser STROKKUR que entra em erupção constantemente.
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Mid-Atlantic Ridge por Gateway to Iceland
Geiser Strokkur
Geiser Strokkur  por Gateway to Iceland

Gateway to Iceland

Por que visitar a Islândia no Inverno?

Eu queria muito ver a aurora boreal e sabia que essa possibilidade era intensificada no inverno, principalmente entre os meses de setembro e março, sendo que o início de março é a época principal. Deu certo! De 7 noites, vimos 3!

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Temperatura média:

Pra quem pensa em encarar esta aventura… prepare-se para um friozinho: Nos primeiros dias, demos muita sorte, pois estava ensolarado e com uma temperatura de mais ou menos 4º graus. Já nos dois últimos dias a temperatura caiu bastante, nevou e acho que fez em torno de -4º”.

Dicas pra quem pensa em fazer esta viagem

Comida:  Na Islândia, come-se muitos peixes, frutos do mar… tubarão e baleia! O Green Peace fez uma atividade intensa no local para redução da pesca de baleias. Para quem, como eu, gosta de uma pasta italiana e batata-frita, há o Rossopomodoro e outros restaurantes confortáveis e gostosos.

Passeios: Recomendo todos os que fiz. Cada lugar é diferente do outro. Por mais que a Glacier Lagoon seja um passeio do dia todo, não deixem de ir!

Pessoas: O mais interessante é o povo islandês, hiper gentil e receptivo, descendente de vikings. Eles possuem várias lendas de elfos, anões e fantasmas. Cada guia irá te contar o que já viu e presenciou!! No meio de estradas, há pedras que nunca foram retiradas de lá, pois acredita-se que há um fantasma atrás. Acredite: você também sairá de lá acreditando!

O que fazer além deste roteiro?

Se tivesse tempo, subiria também um dos glaciais, onde andaria de snow mobile. Todos disseram que o gelo azul era lindo e o passeio divertido! Também iria ver as baleias, pois Reykjavik é considerada a capital desses animais! Como eu já as tinha visto em Vancouver, priorizei o passeio na caverna vulcânica.

Recomendamos MUITO olharem essa página para mais informações de Reykjavik :  http://www.iheartreykjavik.net/

Roteiro completo da agência Gateway to Iceland (infelizmente está em inglês):

Northern Lights

We recommend scheduling the Northern Lights tour on the first available night you are in Iceland. Then be ready to travel any night of your stay to have a better opportunity Gateway to Iceland ONLY operates Northern Lights Tours when 1. There is a clear to partly cloudy sky in the intended viewing area (within 120 KM) 2. There is sufficient energy coming to the atmosphere to produce Northern Lights 3. A full or half moon will not eradicate a weaker display near the horizon

IF Gateway to Iceland operates a Northern Lights Tour and for whatever reason nothing is seen, you receive one free additional trip during your stay or a subsequent trip to Iceland valid for 2 Years. Refunds are not made in cash or to credit cards. The Northern Lights are only a somewhat predictible phenomena of mother nature. Unlile many other companies, Gateway to Iceland ONLY operates a trip when we believe that there is at least a 50% or more chance a display will be seen. If you are on a complete package tour meaning, hotel, activities, transfers, and tours with us, you are welcome to go on Northern lights tours on any night of your stay EVEN if they are seen the very first night. If in the event there are NO FAVORABLE NIGHTS on the length of your stay, the price of the tour (5,000 Ikr Per Person) is refunded to you in ca

 The Glacier Lagoon Tour:

We have now basically separated the South Coast tour from the Glacier Lagoon tour allowing us to show you more incredible sites than ever before without doing some from one tour and a few from the extension being the Glacier Lagoon of the past. You can however view some of the South Coast sites however. This tour starts with a fairly long drive to the starting point of about 2-hours and 40 minutes but not without a rest room & coffee stop in the town of Hvollsvöllur, before actually beginning the new Glacier Lagoon tour in earnest.

Leaving the village of VIK (a dinner stop on the return) we drive across the first of FIVE volcanic deserts along the route known as highway one. These “deserts” were a result of centuries of volcanic eruptions spreading tefra and ash, far and wide. The first and the last of these deserts are quite massive and with the glacier and a desert basically co-existing together, it is just one reason this tour and Iceland are so incredibly special. The two volcanoes causing the lion’s share of all this black sand and ash were Katla (last eruption 1918) and the fissure eruption in the interior Laki (1783). The pseudo craters of Eldhraun appear all around us to our right and left as we make our way to Systra-Falls in the town of Kirkubaejarklaustur, population about 130, for some pretty stunning pictures. This is also a comfort stop and a short break for lunch. Visit a placed called Kirkjugolf, the marble church floor as it is known and all that remains to this day. From there a short stop at the falls with no real name although known as Foss á Siðu for the farm where they sit. This is a quick stop for a photo or two. Then a stop at Hvammur, weather permitting, for a short walk to the basalt cliff in the middle of a field and surrounding farmland. On to Skaftafell and now the largest glacier in Iceland, Vatnajokull, has been clearly evident for miles. Either coming or going, a stop at the visitors center for a rest-room stop, maybe a short film on the eruption of 1996, and even a hike to Svartifoss, the black basalt columned waterfall in the park. On to the Glacier Lagoon, a boat ride among the icebergs and ice sculptures  in this visually stunning lake, constantly changing. Look for seals in the water or sunning on the ice. Heading back towards Reykjavik now, a stop at Breiðamerkurlon, time permitting, another smaller glacier lake. Then to just outside of Kirkubaejarklaustur town for a stop at Faðrárgljufur, the “valley within a valely” frankly, breathtaking. On to the village of VIK for dinner, a walk on the black sandy beach to see the “sea-stacks” rumored to be trolls playing in the night surf and caught in the sunlight, turning to stone. Back to Reykjavik about 10:00 PM or so after a long, but a day filled with adventure.

Deluxe City Tour with Shopping

Pick-up at area hotels and guesthouses starts at 10 AM through 10:30 AM. Since yesterday‘s tour was very long, we put this later start day here to compensate for sleeping Our driver guide which will include the special sites that make Reykjavik so very special indeed. Among the stops will be City Hall where we hope to find the relief map of the entire country generally in the lower lobby. Your guide can take you around the country in about 20 minutes and answer your questions as you go. You quickly discover there are a lot more places you‘d like to visit in this incredible country. From there we visit the famous Hallgrims Church the largest cathedral in Iceland, Hofði House the site of the „summit“ between Ronald Reagan and Mikiahl Gorbachev in 1986, the Perlan Observation platform on Oskuhlið Hill, where there is time for some of their famous homemade ice cream or even soup and bread if you like. A walk around the platform before or after that is also on the schedule where your driver guide will point out many city sites seen from there. Hafnarfjordur the town of the Elves in the lava. There is an offerred shopping option also available on this tour and the Golden Circle (next day) at the famous ALAFOSS Outlet about 15 KM distant from Reykjavik where deep discounts for a special selection of wool sweaters over downtown are available if you desire. General discounts over downtown are 5-15% kless but the special selectiion of sweaters sometimes carries discounts of up to 70% and duty free refunds can be added on top of that. The tour with the shopping option is approximately 4 hours. Without it is approximately 3 hours.

Now if you wish Whale Watching. This trip departs at 1 PM so the start time of the city tour may have to be adjusted to compensate for this firm start time of 1 PM. We will deliver you directly to the

The Golden Circle Tour :

This tour will pick you up between 8:30 and 9:00 AM at the hotel, We drive to the famous ALAFOSS Outlet about 15 KM distant from Reykjavik where deep discounts for a special selection of wool sweaters over downtown are available if you desire. General discounts over downtown are 5-15% less but the special selectiion of sweaters sometimes carries discounts of up to 70% and duty free refunds can be added on top of that. Next stop after Alafoss is the first officialæ stop on this tour which is Thingvellir National Park. From where we park, it‘s a very short walk to the actual edge of North America for a look into the rift valley that IS the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, separating the North American continent from the European Continent. This is the first of what we refer to as „Kodak moments“ as the scene here is a postcard in every gift shop and venue in Iceland. There are several of these moments on this most popular tour in Iceland. You will visit the law rock and the famous drowning pool after a short walk down the gorge that IS the North American tectonic plate. It is here at the law rock where the World‘s first Parliament started meeting outdoors in 930 AD and continued meeting there annually until 1799. The drowning pool is an area where 17 women received the ultimate penalty for committing capital crimes in the years 1618-1749. There were more in other periods for many other reasons as well. From there another short walk into the park, the rift valley and to the small bridge that technically separates the two continents. Then it‘s time for a rest stop and maybe another cup of coffee. From there we drive a relatively new paved road close to a mountain pass, to the Golden Falls that give this tour it‘s name. This will also be the optional lunch stop where anything from sandwiches to the famous Icelandic meat soup and bread can be purchased seperately. From there just about 6 miles back down the road we come to the high temperature fields of Geysir. Here we view a couple of the hot pools of water some bubbling and some not but we also get closer to the erupting geysir STROKKUR than you would ever be able to anywhere else in the world. STROKKUR will erupt every few minutes sometimes to heights recently of 20 meters (60+ feet). From there we head to what we can only call the little cute waterfall on a salmon river called Faxi. Then we head back to Reykjavik and the hotel for the evening.

Arrival time at the hotel will be between 5:00 – 5:30 PM. Dinner on your option.

Reykjanes:  Movies, Magic & Mysteries  and the Blue Lagoon

There has been a lot of activity in your package so far and today perhaps a little later start around 10 AM might be good for another superior tour, not too far from “civilization.” However it does give one the feeling they are basically in the middle of nowhere. Cameras love this tour called the Reykjanes Tour. From the town of Hafnarfjordur, you drive southeast with your guide crossing the Mid-Atlantic ridge again into Europe and come through the mountains and a few volcanoes to a lake called Kleifarvatn. Many books have been written about this lake. It of course is rumored to have a sea monster in it, but more importantly it was the site of scenes from TWO Clint Eastwood movies, “Flags of our Fathers” and “Letters from Iwo Jima” Additionally, this tour was the Iceland setting for the Tom Clancy fictional novel “Red Storm Rising” Knowing this book makes the tour come alive with its accurate descriptions contained within. Another feature of the lake is the drained but now dry be on it’s southern flank you will visit that is red hot bubbling volcanic mud and sand. A stop at the steam fields of Krisuvik /Seltun and a walk to the action of sorts. From there along a road to the town of Grindavik where the landscape changes every few miles from grassy fields to lava piles high from centuries old eruptions. Perhaps an (optional) lunch in the town of Grindavik right at the harbor, followed by a continuation of this tour to the southwest edge of Iceland. Here you visit where the two tectonic plates come out of the ocean and a bridged span of some 30 meters joins the two. From there to the rugged coastline past a still working lighthouse. Then to Gunhver. This area will bring home the fact that Iceland is still a “work in progress” as the steam eruptions at this site show the power of the earth, alive, basically beneath your feet. All areas a short walks. From there we recommend astop at the Blue Lagoon. We can have a robe, and towel waiting along with admission for all, as part of this tour. Spend a couple of hours bathing in its healing geothermally heated salt water (90°F – 110°F) If you wish, dinner at the Lava Restaurant at the Lagoon or a return to the hotel for Dinner in town as you wish.                                          

 WHALE BAY / WEST ICELAND TOUR

This tour is rich both in history and photography. We visit among many other things, a very famous fjord, the home of one of Iceland‘s famous Law-speakers of the Parliament, perhaps Iceland‘s most stunning and „mysterious“ waterfall and much more. Starting from Reykjavik we cruise past the guardian of Reykjavik, Mt. Esja as we head for the famous Whale Bay Fjord. This fjord played a major role in World War two as the Americans had a submarine refueling station and the British a complete encampment and refueling dock directly opposite the old whaling station of Iceland‘s early whaling days. From there we head up into the mountains on an unpaved mountain road into the beautiful Skorradalur valley. Once back on the main roads we head for Children‘s falls, named for the three children that perished there on a Christmas day a long time ago. We also visit Iceland‘s most mysterious waterfall (you‘ll understand why when you see it) that is nearly a full kilometer long. An optional lunch is next at Husafell very close to the Langjokull glacier. Then we visit the former home, now a school and inn of sorts of law speaker Snorri Sturlasson and his recently remodeled hot tub (rumored to be the world‘s first) and where this law speaker met his end in the 13th century. Then a short walk to the museum and church at Reykholt. From there it‘s a short drive to Iceland‘s largest natural hot spring, called Dieldartunghuver. From there we drive to the beautiful little town of Borganes for a walk in the park‘ before the drive that takes us back to Reykjavik, under the fjord this time in the „more than a“ mile long tunnel. This tour averages 8 hours.

Total cost for this tour as written with all inclusions for TWO PERSONS is   256,000   Ikr  in a double room. Conversion to EUROS currently  Euro 1,650.00 TWO PERSONS