Iceland: an out of this world experience

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Hiking to the hot springs in Hveragerdi, Iceland
Our 7 day route
I saw people post pictures of Iceland on Instagram and I instantly knew that I had to see those landscapes with my own eyes.

The water in Blue Lagoon, Iceland

The island looks and feels like another planet: you’re driving and hiking through endless lava fields and ever changing scenery, hot springs, volcanos, cliffs, tiny villages with the most original churches, houses in the middles of nowhere, black sand beaches, glaciers and numerous waterfalls…

I feel like the most famous thing in Iceland is the Blue Lagoon, but that one is actually actificial! If you want to go there, be sure to book in advance. You need to have tickets for a certain hour in order to get in.

On the road in Iceland - lava fields
Black sand beaches in southern Iceland
View on the Jokulsarlon Glacier in Iceland
Beach made of lava stones in Iceland
Hot springs and colourful landscapes in Iceland
View on Reykjavik, Iceland from the top of the church

We moved hotels almost every single day, spent the day driving, stopping, hiking, and driving again, far away from civilisation, or at least so it seemed. The only people we met were a few other tourists and the cashiers at the supermarkets where we would get food and water. And the best part is: it hardly ever gets dark in the summer, so you have all the time in the world!

Hiking behind the Skogafoss waterfall in Iceland
View on a glacier in Iceland

I wasn’t a big fan of hiking before this trip, but Iceland changed everything. Everything was beautiful, unusual and impressive. We could have walked for days (we especially appreciated the hike behind the Sk√≥gafoss waterfall – and seeing the pictures still makes me think of the song “Top of the world” by The Carpenters).

On the road on a cloudy day in Iceland

We visited Iceland slightly off season, which means that we could only access the roads around the island, but not the highlands. It was okay, because we only had a small car and not the 4WD we would have needed for highland driving. However, even the “normal” roads can be gravel roads and we were afraid of breaking our rental car more than once!

Beautiful lava beaches in Iceland
Driving along the Iceland fjords on a cloudy day

The weather on our trip went from “why didn’t we bring shorts” to “it’s so cold I can’t breathe”. In the same day. Within the same hour. Basically, it gets super cold near glaciers and really warm in the mountains when the sun is out. But beware of the indicated temperature: if there’s wind, you get blown away. Literally.

Sculpture in Reykjavik, Iceland with view on the sea

The only thing I would say is: no matter what people say about Reykjavik being great and all, it's still a "normal" city. It' sounds weird said like this, but what I mean is that the rest of Iceland feels like another world, while Reykjavik doesn't. It's fun to visit and it's fun to go out there (beware of drinking and driving, it's not allowed!), but one day is enough for sightseeing (it's a small city) and you don't have to stay longer if you prefer spending more time on the road! We planned to stay 3 days because we didn't want to miss out on anything, but ended up leaving one day early.

All in all, Iceland has been my favourite destination so far: it’s just beyond beautiful and out of this world! Have you ever been there and have you seen the highlands? If so, please let me know how your experience was!


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