Even though we cannot travel right now, I can relive the trip I took to Iceland in February. My photos and imagination easily take me there. Oh, what fun we had with our tour guide, Fee, from Reykjavik Outventure Tours.
She was great at sharing fascinating stories and history with our group. Not only is it not all about the destination but for me travel is about the people you meet along the way.
We arrived in Iceland in the early AM. Since our hotel rooms weren’t yet ready to accommodate our large group, we decided to get on with the tour. We boarded our tour bus and were off to the Reykjanes Peninsula by 6:30AM.
First, we visited the oldest lighthouse in Iceland and then the oldest village on the Peninsula, Hafir. My favorite stop was the old black church.
We then left the North American part of Iceland to enter the European part via the bridge between these two continents. Amazingly, you can see how the two tectonic plates are moving apart from each other.
On the next day we were allowed to relax and explore the city of Reykjavik. My first stop was a walk to Hallgrímskirkja church. Taking the elevator to the top of the tower revealed a breath-taking view of the city.
From the church, I went on to a cafe for a delicious, heart-warming bowl of soup. The main street of Reykjavik, Laugavegur, is great if you like shopping in boutiques and unique stores. I took my time, then went back to the hotel to prepare for the big night.
If you are planning a trip to Iceland to see the Northern Lights, I strongly suggest you book one on a yacht, not one on a jeep. The experience is so much more intense and if there is cloud cover, the boat can easily move out from under the clouds making it possible to see the lights.
Here’s a tip: Do not go out to see the lights on a full moon. Complete darkness and a clear sky will help you see the lights September through April.
On the third day of this adventure, we were all up early, ready to head out on a tour of the Golden Circle and the Secret Lagoon. Our first stop had us taking a magical walk through Thingvellir National Park.
Next, we went on to see the Geysirs, which are a part of the geothermal area of Haukadalur Valley. I loved watching them explode hot water into the air.
The Gullfoss Waterfall was our next stop. I really take my time around waterfalls, and this one literally took my breath away. I could stand there all day just staring at it.
At that point, I was pretty much sure that the day could not possibly get any better, but it did with our last stop – the Secret Lagoon. This beautiful thermal pool is the oldest swimming pool in Iceland and is located in the heart of an area with high geothermal activity, with steam rising from natural hot springs.
Little pathways, geothermal hot spots, and a small geyser, which erupts around every five minutes, are bonus attractions easily observed from the pool.
Our tour to Snæfellsnes Peninsula was my favorite day on this adventure. We stopped in the small fishing village of Buoir located on the ocean and surrounded by lava fields, then went on to Arnarstapi, one of Iceland’s most beautiful natural harbours. The extraordinary columnar basalt and cliff formations left us in awe of their beauty.
We continued on to Black Lava Pearl Beach, a dream location for photographers because of its mysterious rock formations. As always, our tour guide saved the best locations for last – the Kirkjufell mountain and the incredible Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall.
I was super excited to go to the South Coast and Katla Ice Cave. We started the day will a tour of the Seljalandsfossis and Skogafoss waterfalls, walking under Skogafoss to find hidden treasure – a walking trail up to the top of the glacier. I felt on top of the world looking down on the beauty of Iceland.
But the culmination of this day – and the entire week – was the Katla Ice Cave. Located off the typical tourist trail, the cave requires a super jeep to take you there as the terrain is very rugged. Inside this ice cave I felt as if I was experiencing Disney’s Frozen in person.
Despite the grand time I had on this tour, it was time to return home. This was my second visit to Iceland and most certainly not my last. I am ready to plan two follow-up trips in 2021 – one in the winter and one in the summer. In all honesty, I will never get tired of this wonderland.
Are you planning your next trip while you have the time to thoroughly investigate all the beauties in your chosen location? Have you been to Iceland? Which were your favorite places to visit? Please share your thoughts and experiences with the community.
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