Iceland 2016

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to visit Iceland for two weeks with my best friend. This was my first “adventure trip” and I’m hooked. We hiked a glacier, marveled at numerous waterfalls, drove through a sandstorm and up and down mountains, visited the black sand beaches, took a dip in the hot springs, and climbed through a lava cave. There were endless activities to do.

I plan to do a few posts of my entire trip but I’ll start off with some of the main points I discovered while researching the trip and spending time in this amazing country.

  1. SO MANY WATERFALLS. This is not a complaint. I still cannot get over the amount and variety of waterfalls all around the country. There are a plethora of tourist attraction waterfalls (Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, Svartifoss, Godafoss, Kirkjufelssfoss, Glanni Waterfall, Trollafossa and that’s only day 6 of 14!) among waterfalls lining the roads that made great pit-stops.

    Svartifoss Waterfall
    Svartifoss Waterfall, Iceland
  2. The wind. We rented a car for 10 days and travelled the Ring Road (one road that circles the perimeter of the country) and the insurance company reminded us to hold our doors when we get out of the car because it is so common for the strong winds to whip open the doors and damage the car. They weren’t kidding!

    dsc_0261
    EVEE (our trusty rental car)
  3. Nerve-racking driving conditions. There is one major road (the Ring Road) that travels the perimeter of the country but not all of it is paved. I mostly drive in the city and on major highways so driving on a dirt road up and down the side of a mountain was not my favourite experience. Be prepared for narrow roads with bulb-outs for passing and fast locals.
  4. Attraction signs. Along the Ring Road there are signs indicating attractions such as waterfalls, monuments, historical plaques, etc. to stop at along the road. I suggest stopping if you have time!

    attraction-symbol
    Attraction Signs
  5. Sleeping. It was very common for people to rent camper vans or vehicles to camp along the side of the Ring Road. There are designated parking areas where we saw loads of people sleeping. I looked into the “Campingcard” which is a great idea for people with tents. A few of the camping sites had showers (for a small fee) for people who weren’t staying at the site but wanted to use the facilities. There are also loads of guesthouses along the Ring Road for people wanting to stay in a room with heat. I will say, I slept in multiple layers under my blanket in the car since the temperature dropped below 0 C every night.
  6. The “Golden Circle”. For those of you not wanting to spend an extended period of time in Iceland, the Golden Circle is a must. Within about a days trip from the capital, you can visit Þingvellir National Park, the Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir and Strokkur geysers and Kerid volcanic crater. All of these were great and easily accessible. You can choose to rent a car and tour the Golden Circle yourself or book a tour. Blue Lagoon is another popular destination (however, in the interest of saving money, we went to the naturally occuring hot springs on the side of the road for free).

    Godafoss
    Godafoss, Golden Circle, Iceland
  7. Finally, no amount of research or drooling over pictures on the internet could prepare me for how amazing the country is. With mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, geothermal areas, fjords and farmland the sheer amount of changing geological landscaping of the country was outstanding.
    10/10 trip! 

3 thoughts on “Iceland 2016

  1. Iceland is a phenomenal country to visit for adventurous people!! I highly recommend going the financially-savvy way and checking out all the free/cheap attractions possible – they are endless! By no means did I feel that I missed out by not spending tons of money going on expensive, guide-led tours every day – there’s SO MUCH to see just by wandering(driving) around!! Great summary of a great trip 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s