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Published: October 25th 2011
We have just completed a week in Iceland and wow, what a trip! Iceland surpassed all expectations that we had and we cannot recommend it enough for you to take a trip there. Flights were easy, just a two hour hop from Manchester, we collected our hire car at Reykjavik airport and we were off.
We spent our first few days using the capital Reykjavik as our base and would wake up early each morning and set off for a day’s driving and exploring. We stayed in a lovely guesthouse called “House of Spirits” (Thankfully we didn’t get visited by any ghosts 😊 ) which was right next to the main shopping district, harbour, bars & restaurants etc. Many people think Iceland is crazily expensive and whilst it definitely can be, there are ways around this and this should certainly not put you off. Our accommodation was not more than 50 Euros a night and its very cheap for coffees, soups, Icelandic hotdogs etc at petrol stations during long days driving.
For a short trip of a week we were very pleased with what we accomplished, completing a lap around the perimeter of Iceland and 3000km’s in the car.
We saw some amazing sights along the way. Previously Costa Rica & Nicaragua was our favorite Volcano destinations where we seen around six volcanoes during our trip. In Iceland we think we seen 80-100 volcanoes, they are literally everywhere you look!
Some trip favorites include Pingvellir National Park which is stunning aswell as covered with history. The Gullfoss Waterfall which was huge, beautiful and so powerful. The Geyser Hot Spring area which is a hillside with more than a dozen hot-water pools which boil and steam up from the ground. One of our highlights here is seeing the main geyser explode every couple of minutes which sends a huge spout of steam and boiling water something like 50 metres into the air.
The drive along Iceland’s south coast was probably the most spectacular and the highlight of this was the glacial lagoon at Jokulsarlon, where icebergs drift off the glacier into a lagoon and then drift slowly down a river where they then reach the beach and finally into the sea. The place is just magical! Several Hollywood movies have been filmed there, Tomb Raider, James Bond and some others. It was amazing.
More favourties included the glaciers
in Skaftafell also on the south coast and the colourful mountainside of Snaefellsjokull in the East, which is dotted with mountains, volcanoes and is actually the place where the Jules Verne’s novel & the subsequent movie ‘A journey to the centre of the Earth was based upon’.
We seen a wild reindeer! Benn caught tons of fish including Cod, Haddock which we ate for dinner and he had a lovely day out salmon fishing but didn’t quite manage to catch a salmon.
A total must see in Iceland is the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal open air spa, set in the middle of nowhere. The water in the lagoon is over 40 degrees and with the outside temperature around 3 degrees when we were there, it was a cold dash from the changing rooms to the lagoon! We loved our first visit here so much we went back a second time before we left iceland !
I also loved the time I drove a few hours into the mountains of central Iceland amongst the volcanoes and some of Iceland’s best scenery. I drove through the misty mountains, national parks and at one point on a road where two volcanoes
could be seen each side of the road – truly amazing. One of the volcanoes was called ‘Hekla’ which has erupted many times over the years. This place was beautiful and fascinating; the roadside was covered with mounds of hardened lava. It was incredible driving through this deserted landscape, the scenery felt like something from the moon. The further I drove, the more incredible it became as glaciers started appearing and then out of nowhere, frozen lakes. Unbelievable!
We have never seen a country that has so many amazing natural sights and just loved the surprises that we encountered along the way.
We didn’t manage to see the Northern Lights, our Whale Watching trip didn’t happen as the Sea was too rough and Benn wants to try and catch loads more fish there. All enough reasons for us to make another trip back someday 😊
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