It's time to tell you about the final destination of our #big_nordic_trip – Iceland! Everyone who’ve ever been there would say that one needs at least a couple of weeks to get a feeling any deep of this marvelous country. But the time is not everyone’s luxury to afford. Someone has a stopover there on a way across the Atlantic, other people are limited by schedule, work or other circumstances. So, that was our case: we had less than a week to get acquainted with the country because of the upcoming shooting. That is why we decided to explore the southern and western parts of the island instead of rushing across the whole country. That’s what our today's story about and we hope it will be helpful for you!
We think, there’s no point telling you obvious and online-available facts about the country, still, we want to highlight some most frequently asked questions:
The first thing coming to everyone’s mind is how to reach Iceland. For sure, it is relevant: tickets are expensive, especially in the summer season, prices are constantly changing, so you’d better book tickets in advance or keep monitoring special offers. A good way to save money is a flight with change in some major airport with many airline companies – their prices are always lower to be competitive.
Another important thing is accommodation. Though it is absolutely no problem in Iceland: Booking and Airbnb are full of options at the most popular places; www.visiticeland.com is also of great help. Iceland camping is as much simple – the rules allow to camp in the wild. Just observe few facile restrictions – pitch no more than three tents and do not settle close to homes, farms and places with camping prohibited signs.
Everything else is even easier. You will find the list of car rentals here and the list of bus tours and public transport is here. Be prepared to the Scandinavian prices; take warm and waterproof shoes and clothes even in summer (the weather gives surprises in July too); and, most importantly, do not try to visit as much as possible – enjoy the process instead. However, we don’t think it will be a problem – the murmur of rolling wheels, lazy floating clouds and ever-changing scenery around will quickly adjust your mood.
What to do?
See Iceland in miniature on the Snæfellsnes peninsula.
This picturesque peninsula in the West Iceland was the starting point of our tour. The place is perfect to know local nature – here you can see all that typical Iceland landscapes without covering big distances. Be sure to take a look at the rocky coast near Búðir and Hellnar villages, stop at the Kirkjufell mountain, and, of course, visit the glacier after which the peninsula was named.
Enjoy the company of cute seals and majestic whales.
If you've always dreamed of seeing these sea creatures live, Iceland is your perfect chance. Seals are frequent guests of the Snæfellsnes coastline. There are some places of observation near the Icelandic seal center on the Vatnsnes peninsula and there is a chance to meet them in the West Fjords beaches. We were lucky to see them on the beach near the Ytri Tunga (Snæfellsnes). As for the whale watching, people usually go to the northern city Húsavík. However, if you don’t have time to travel northwards, you can go on a tour in the harbor of Reykjavik – though it is less likely to meet there giants like the humpback whale, one can be sure to see the smaller ones.
Watch the petrified trolls of Vík from different angles.
According to the legend, two trolls were dragging a three-masted ship out of the sea, when the first rays of the sun turned them into stones. Due to the legend or not, but the beach with black sand and 3 basalt cliffs rising from the ocean near the village of Vík must be one of the most famous landscapes of Iceland. These rocks (called Reynisdrangar) are really great, just a glance from any angle is enough to understand why the place is massively visited! Please note: if you want to stay in the village, book the accommodation in advance because of its popularity (especially during the summer season).
Catch the wind at Dyrhólaey.
This picturesque cape offers stunning views wherever you would turn your head! In the east you'll see all the same rocks of Vík(this place is located just down by the road), in the west you’ll face the endless coastline, and in the north – the mountains with the Mýrdalsjökull glacier. Besides, puffins nest here in summer and there is a beautiful lighthouse, so the place is definitely worth visiting!
P.S. The wind there is sometimes so strong that if you spread out your hands, it seems that you will fly away!
Find yourself on the other side of a waterfall and see the double rainbow (Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss watefalls)
Continuing the journey to the south of Iceland, it is a crime not to mention its famous waterfalls! Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to visit most of them (a reason to come back again!), so we only picked out Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss, located right on the way to Vík . Seljalandsfoss is known for the opportunity to walk into the cave behind the water and enjoy the waterfall from within. They say the most amazing sight awaits those, who comes there at sunset on a clear day. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a chance to check it out ourselves, but judging by the photos – it’s absolutely true! A SSkógafoss known for its size (it is one of the largest in the country) and a double rainbow, that is created by the waterfall sprays on sunny days!
Relax in hot waters of Blue Lagoon after your adventures.
On every journey, even the smallest one, a wanderer should stop and give himself a rest – it helps to keep the intensity up. This place is ideal for the break – it’s the king of relaxation! All year round the water there is more than + 35 C° (it is even higher near small geysers in the pool) and the medium is considered to be very useful for health as bacteria don’t survive in it. Be careful, as it’s too easy to forget about the time! We were going to spend only a morning there and left at the closing instead!
Tip: be sure to book the tickets online at www.bluelagoon.com, otherwise there is a chance to spend few hours in a queue or even miss the Blue Lagoon completely.
The length of a journey, the kilometers of a road and the number of checkmarks on a map – of course, it can be important. But not for a good trip. Instead, you just need some free time, the right mood and the desire to look over the horizon. So, even if you are in Iceland for a couple of days – grasp this wonderful country. Yes, you won’t have enough and melancholy will be filling your heart with every step you will have to take away. And, yes, one can explore the vastness of Iceland endlessly, aching to come back. But a moment is more than enough to fall in love with this country – and this is what you will never regret.