An excellent adventure was had by us in Iceland! Geysers, roaring waterfalls, tectonic plates plus snow in the winter. Hunt for the Northern Lights, visit the gorgeous Blue Lagoon, watch the might of the Gullfoss. There is absolutely loads to do in Iceland and you can visit at any time of the year.
Did you know there were no native Icelandic people is Iceland when the Danish arrived but get this... the population's DNA is comprised of 60% Danish and 40% Irish! It seems we were taken back to Iceland by the Vikings no less!
We flew into Reykjavik the world’s most northern city. With its smoky bay when the mist blows in. It’s a compact city and easy to walk around. I would highly recommend visiting the rainbow street and popping in for fresh fish and chips in the Reykjavik fish restaurant. It was delicious and good value. Reykjavik’s church is a landmark in the city and is really striking. It took 41 years to build the church when construction started in 1945 and ended in 1986. It is very interesting architecturally and they have lovely cushioned pews in the church. I couldn’t help thinking we could do with these here too.
Another interesting fact. The cities homes and hotels use the natural geothermal water in their bathroom’s showers and sinks. Very environmentally sound but it does come at a cost as the smell of sulphur from the water as it is quite overpowering when you are not used to it, but the Icelandic people no longer notice it would seem.
I’ve always wanted to go to the Blue Lagoon so it’s a tick for the bucket list and it didn’t disappoint. It’s approx €120 to enter which includes free storage of your luggage. I know this sounds odd, but as the lagoon is only 15 mins from the airport it is best to visit just after you land or on your way home as Reykjavik is a full 45 mins away, so it’s actually very clever. Towels are included in the price too as is a face mask and a drink from the bar. It’s approx 38C so it’s gorgeous and warm! Stay as long as you can as there’s a bar which is actually in the water so you don’t have to get out but keep in mind the beer is very high in alcohol and the lagoon is very hot so be cautious. Stay a few hours have a beer and a mud mask and enjoy.
I would recommend doing a golden circle tour taking in all the hot spots. The best advice would be to book the best tour you can afford. The less people on your tour the better the experience and the faster you move from place to place. This also allows you more time in each place too plus less time spent doing hotel pickups and drop offs.
You will visit the area where the tectonic plates meet, the North America and Eurasian plates meet in Iceland with a no-man’s land between the two plates. These plates pull apart by 2 cms a year and the tour takes you on a walk between them which is very unusual.
The geysers are next. The geothermal pools have an average temperature of 80c-100c when they reach the surface. They cause steam to rise from the ground and puddles to boil, and geysers! Every 5-6 mins a huge tunnel of water shots from the earth and up into the sky. A fantastic sight.
The most incredible sight for me was the Gullfoss waterfall. No other waterfall in the world can match its fury, not even Niagara Falls. It full of glacial water. Thousands upon thousands of unharnessed water flow continually into the gorge. The sheer volume of water and the noise it makes is mesmerising.
Another bucket list favourite is to hunt for the Northern lights, and it is still a hunt. Seeing the Northern lights is completely dependent on the weather patterns on any particular day and the cloud cover so it is still very very difficult to actually see them. Having said that, the hunt itself is just as much fun, we got caught in a snow blizzard so that was a new experience. To maximise your chances, take a cruise out to hunt for the lights as this offers the best results. All these activities can be pre-booked so just let me know.
We travelled to Iceland for New Year’s Eve and they had the most amazing firework show I have ever seen. So, what is was so different about the Icelandic fireworks? They are not put on by the government or sponsored by any organisation. The people of Iceland put on this spectacular show. Every person buys and lights fireworks for New Year’s which leads to the whole city being lit up. Fireworks for miles and miles lighting up the sky and it goes on for about an hour! Kicking off at about 11.30 p.m.
We had the most amazing adventure. Iceland is a lovely place for a long weekend as a couple or in our case we brought the children and they loved it too. So if you are thinking of Iceland for your next trip get in touch. I would be delighted to help you plan and book your personal Icelandic adventure.