Skalanes Nature Reserve
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Approximately 3½ Hours
Enjoy this outstanding opportunity to visit one of Iceland's most remote places -- few Icelanders have had this same pleasure.
From the pier, you will begin your journey on a regular motorcoach, until you reach the starting point for the off-road driving. Here, you will switch vehicles and step aboard a 4x4 adapted truck for 'F-road' driving.
Your journey begins with a drive to Þórarinsstaðir for a look at an important archeological site complete with artifacts from the earliest years of Iceland's settlement.
Continue your panoramic drive through a green valley surrounded by tall mountains. The valley is dotted with lonely farms abandoned long ago, reminding the traveler that this peaceful landscape was once home to a number of families.
Your destination is the Skálanes Heritage Center. The Skálanes Nature Reserve covers 3,000 acres, and the goal here has been to create a site where the Iceland's environment and cultural history can be researched and interpreted while maintaining a model for sustainable tourism. The area is home to about 47 different species of birds during the summertime. Eider ducks nest in great numbers around the pond.
From the house at Skalanes, set out with your guide on a walk to the coastal cliffs at Skalanes. They are almost 2,000 feet tall and offer a chance to come in very close proximity to nesting seabirds. This is a windswept and wild place -- a very real glimpse of rugged Iceland.
Enjoy refreshments before heading back to Eskifjördur and the ship.
Wildlife sightings are likely but are not guaranteed. Many birds start migrating away around mid-August. Not advisable for guests with mobility limitations. Walking is required on uneven, unpaved terrain. The vehicle is a 4x4 adapted vehicle, exclusive for off-road driving. The steps to board the vehicle are high and steep; guests must be able to board without assistance. Please realistically assess your physical fitness and ability prior to booking. The optional walk to the cliffs is approximately a half-mile over an unpaved, uneven path with a slight incline. Some areas may be muddy. It is essential that you wear warm, layered clothing in order to fully enjoy and participate in this excursion. Outer layer should be waterproof and windproof. Bring gloves, a warm hat and a scarf. Wear sturdy, non-skid walking shoes. Parents traveling with children under the age of 3 must rent a child's car seat from the tour operator; please see the EXC Tours staff on board.