Hot springs, greenhouses, and visits to a geothermal power plant, local farm, hydro plant are just some of the exciting stop-offs on this green energy tour.
On this eight hour tour departing from Reykjavik ten stops are made and the focus is on renewable energy. The tour stops at hot spring areas, you get to taste earth-cooked food, visit two geothermal power plants, two hydro power plants and a bio methane filling station. You also visit an earthquake exhibition where we get to try an earthquake simulator.
After picking you up from your hotel in Reykjavik, the tour drives South along route 1. Passing some lakes and rivers as the tour heads out of town through the park area of Heiðmörk. The drive to the first destination should take around 20 minutes after pickup is finished.
Hellisheidarvirkjun Geothermal Power Plant
First stop is electrifying Hellisheidarvirkjun, where the Geothermal Power Plant generates over 300 megawatts of power. The electricity is all produced from geothermal steam rising up from vents in the ground. Located close to highway 1, the plant began operating in 2006, continually increasing in productivity every year since then. The stop at the power plant lasts for about 40 minutes.
There are many boreholes in the area. To reach the steam, deep in the ground, it is necessary to drill boreholes. At Hellisheidi a stop is made to inspect one of 50 such excavations. They range from 1,000 - 2,200 metres deep and have been constructed to boost power production. The last phase (the 5th), added 2 x 45 MWe and went online in 2011.
Next stop Fontana, next to Lake Laugavatn. Here we will stop for lunch. You can choose from many different courses, and locally produced delicacies. Trout, geothermally baked rye bread, vegetables from an Icelandic greenhouse, sandwiches and much more. Also you can go up to the roof and enjoy the magnificent view of the mountains, lakes and steam from the hot springs. Also, the tour takes a short walk around the hot springs in the area. Three hot springs are within walking distance from each other and they all vary in heat and size.
Efstidalur Family Farm - Local ice-cream
You will scream for ice cream, and there’s no ice more worthy of your screams than the shockingly delicious frozen treats produced at the charming Efstidalur family farm. The tour will stop there so you can appreciate the flavours available at the ice cream barn, you will not be disappointed. The ice cream store is inside a barn ! You can watch the cows, who produced the milk for the ice cream, through the windows that separate the store from the barn.
The tour drives past a farm called Sydri Reykir, there you‘ll see another borehole and a hot river runs from it. Geothermal power in all its glory.
Farm Fridheimar - Greenhouses
The Icelandic winter is legendary for its long cold darkness, not ideal conditions for year-round farming you might think. Friðheimar farm defies the natural cycles, growing tomatoes and cucumbers all year. How is this possible? You will visit their greenhouses and learn more about their season-proof cultivation methods. They also run a restaurant, offering the opportunity to taste their delicious tomato soup and/the famous bloody mary, all produced from their own crops.
Here you get the chance to bathe in a natural geothermal pool. The water is around 38 - 40 degrees Celcius, all year round. Which is a similar temperature as a hot-tub. The pools natural surroundings and steam rising into the air gives the place a magical feeling. Bathing here is of course optional, and for those who do not want to dip into the water, it is possible to walk around the area, visit the bar or eat packed lunch. The tour stops here for around one hour.
Volcanic crater Kerid
Finally you go to Kerið, a volcanic crater lake located in Grímsnes municipality. First thought to be formed by a huge volcanic explosion (as is usual for volcanic craters), research now tells us Kerið was more likely a cone volcano which erupted and emptied its magma reserve. The cone then collapsed into the magma chamber exposing the strong coloured red volcanic rock which now contains the lake. Part of the crater is covered in green moss, and the contrast is quite magnificent.
The tour is operated by a DaytripFactory Partner
Location: The tour starts by pickup at your hotel/guesthouse in Reykjavik area, drop off at same place.
Duration: ca 8 hours
Available: June - Sept.
Difficulty level: Easy / for everybody loving nature.
Included: Hotel pick up & drop off in Reykjavik, transportation in a mini-bus, English speaking guide and all entrance fees.
Food: Stop is made at a local restaurant for lunch (lunch not included in tour).
Bring with you: Bathing suit, towel, warm clothes, sturdy shoes.
Operator: DaytripFactory Partner.