Iceland Viking Discovery
Study the Vikings in Iceland
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Your trip begins when you arrive in the capital city of Reykjavik, the largest city in Iceland with a population of roughly 130,000 people. However, after getting acquainted with your guide, we’ll set up base camp for the first portion of our journey just outside of Reykjavik at the Hotel Viking. As the name implies, the hotel is Viking themed and contains plenty of decorations and furniture that would have been used when the Vikings first landed in Iceland, giving you a good introduction to Viking culture.
Naturally, we’ll spend our first full day in Iceland at the National Museum of Iceland in Reykjavik. The museum covers the entire history of Iceland all the way to the 20th century. However, that includes the Settlement Age, meaning there is no shortage of Viking artifacts, including some incredible swords. In the afternoon, we’ll head over to the Mink Viking Portrait. This place is the Icelandic equivalent of old-time photos, as you’ll be able to dress up as a Viking for a memorable photo session.
We’ll spend another full day in Reykjavik, with our first stop being the Settlement Exhibition. This is an interactive museum that’s centered around the remnants of a Viking settlement from the 10th century. You’ll get a first-hand look at how the Vikings lived when they first arrived in Iceland. The next stop is the Saga Museum, where you can also see historically-accurate depictions of Viking life from the start of their time in Iceland. The biggest difference between here and the Settlement Exhibition is that visitors can actually wear genuine Viking clothing.
Today our trip takes us to the southwest corner of Iceland, which is less than an hour away from Reykjavik. It’s here where we’ll find the Viking World Museum, where the biggest highlight is an exact replica of a real Viking ship for visitors to board and explore. It’s a chance to learn all about their engineering and navigation practices that they utilized over 1,000 years ago.
We’ll travel a little further away from Reykjavik today, as we pay a visit to Thingvellir National Park, which is a roughly 45-minute drive from the Hotel Viking. Aside from exhibiting the awe-inspiring beauty for which Iceland is known, Thingvellir National Park is also the site where the Vikings established the first parliament or general assembly in the year 930. A little further east of the park is the city of Skalholt, which served as one of the primary political and cultural landmarks of Iceland from 1056 until 1785.
Wave goodbye to Reykjavik and head north to the Settlement Center in the town of Borgarnes. There are two main exhibits at the center. The first one is dedicated to Egill Skallagrímsson, an actual warrior-poet from the Viking era. The other exhibit looks at the life of the Vikings prior to establishing the first parliament in 930.
After spending the night in Borgarnes, we make another short road trip to the city of Reykholt. Among the many historical sites in Reykholt is one call Snorrastofa, a cultural center dedicated to Snorri Sturluson, a poet and historian who was once among the richest and most powerful men in Iceland in the early 13th century. We’ll also make time to visit the Church of Reykholt, part of which date back to the 16th century. It’s a marvel of both history and architecture and a building that must be visited in person before leaving Iceland.
Your last night in Iceland will be spent in Reykholt. The next morning, we’ll make the 90-minute drive back to Reykjavik. The drive will give you one last look to soak up the beauty that Iceland offers while reflecting upon all that you learned about the Vikings who once ruled this amazing country.
A Trip to Iceland with a Viking Twist
Despite its name, Iceland is more than just icy glaciers and freezing temperatures. It’s filled with beautiful mountains and fields of lava from volcanoes. The island nation is also rich in Viking history and mythology. Vikings first arrived in Iceland from Norway in the 9th century and their influence on the island remains to this day. While Iceland is rather small, it is filled with remnants and landmarks of the Vikings who played a prominent role in shaping Iceland into the land that it is today.
Join us as we visit every corner of Iceland, exploring Viking heritage and learning more about a civilization most have heard of but know little about.
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