The incredible country called Iceland
Wow! wow! and wow!!!
This is the most common word that you use when you visit the incredible country called Iceland.
You are not sure what you are going to find on your travels… maybe you think that the photos you see on the internet are doctored and in reality you will be disappointed, but NO… I can assure you the real scenery is much better than the pictures… seriously, you see the amazing colors, different spaces but also you can FEEL them and this is impossible from your chair in front of your computer.
You have to go!
You have to see and experience it… you have to feel it. The wild nature close to you with it’s power and beauty is indescribable.
It was a dream and with the camper van it was easy, comfortable, inexpensive and most importantly… you can see more things in less time because when you plan your trip you can travel around without spending time returning to your hotel or moving your things every day from one place to another. The other big advantage with a camper is that it enables you to visit places that are amazing but inaccessible with tours. Don’t lose the opportunity to see the incredible waterfalls, glaciers and beaches along the journey… there are many places to park your camper van and enjoy the magnificent views.
There are also many camp sites where you can spend the night safely and maybe be lucky enough to see the Aurora Borealis as we did… We can thoroughly recommend a camper van to enjoy an incredible experience!!! In fact, the first two days we had dry eyes because there were so many things to see and we didn’t want to miss them and it’s funny when you realize that you have had your mouth open so many times… this is the Iceland Effect…
Our story in detail…
April 2018 Manchester to Reykjavik
We had 6 days to enjoy our dream trip…
All ready to make our escape to visit one of the most amazing destinations. We had questions in our heads about it… some doubts, but also excited apprehension. .
Our first time in a camper van, our first time with exciting activities such as snorkeling at the Silfra fissure where two continents meet but in almost freezing water temperatures, trekking across blue glaciers with immense crevices, the possibility of seeing the Aurora Borealis etc etc…
Iceland is a country that offers you many activities but without losing it’s natural charm. It can be quite touristic in some locations but you don’t feel the human hand is destroying the natural beauty. This tells you a lot about the Icelandic people. They are very friendly and very respectful of the environment… We went in April and the weather was good… with brisk clear sunny days.
Reykjavik is the main city and the houses can be brightly colored with balconies giving it an almost continental feel. You can walk by the port where you will see the modern glass Opera House and enjoy the sea views, backed by snow-capped mountains. Although is not a huge city it has a very cosmopolitan feel to it.
We covered approximately one thousand kilometers in 5 days but it seemed like a small journey. You make so many amazing photo stops during your trip that time just flies by. The camper van was definitely the best option and very comfortable. We completely recommend it. It was so much more convenient to visit the main touristic places and also discover new ones.
We visited The Golden Circle, The Secret lagoon, the “real” secret lagoon, the Blue Lagoon, Vik, Vatnajökull, Diamond beach, waterfall after incredible waterfall etc…
In our opinion the Blue Lagoon is perfect to visit the day before you leave Iceland as it offers the opportunity to relax and recover from all the trekking and time on the road before returning back to the real world and routines.
Diamond beach was spectacular. Black sand with pieces of ice of different sizes and colors… it is magical. The glacier lagoon close to the beach is also incredible. Huge chunks of floating ice… Icebergs! floating in an expansive eerie lagoon, it was spectacular. No-one in sight. Only us. Like being on another planet. You feel the quiet of the ice floating softly on the water. And the clear blue color of some blocks of ice is breathtaking . If you are lucky maybe you can spot seals surfing between the ice lumps….We did… Wow!
There are many good restaurants but they can be expensive so we were happy to make our own meals much of the time (fresh Icelandic salmon is a must) but you have to try hot dogs and bread soup in a restaurant in the Reykjavik city center. Bread soup can seem boring but not.. you can choose two types (vegetarian or meat) and the plate is the bread… yes, the bread. It is delicious and original! With a pint of locally brewed Iceland beer you have the per Icelandic dinner…. at a reasonable price.
The snorkeling at Silfra was…. Wow! You don’t feel cold as you are well insulated in a dry suit. You float your way between two continents allowing the current to take you at a leisurely pace and you can see the fissure clearly up to 50m I believe. It’s crystal clear. The guide told us he has dived all over the world and this was the clearest water he had experienced.
The glacier trek was amazing too… walking on the ice knowing it is hundreds or thousands of years old is incredible. You need a guide as there are many deep fissures with such the different colors, particularly the shimmering blue. You have different possibilities so if you want something more adventurous you can book a glacier climb activity too.
There are waterfalls at every turn on the road…you would think you would grow tired of so many but you don’t. Everyone is more impressive than the next and nothing like you would expect to see in UK or Spain…. and the best thing is that you can feel the power of it because you can get very close to them and in some cases touching the water. When you are there you feel that you are really small and weak in comparison with the nature. So, very important dry clothes and waterproof boots.
Finally….. The Aurora Borealis… It is difficult to see if you are not there at certain times of the year but we were lucky, we saw it.. it seemed like seconds, maybe a few minutes, but it appeared three times. It was a little bit cloudy but it was not a problem. At first it lights the sky as if there is a city in the distance, then it moves across about a third of the sky like a shimmering green laser show…. and while your mouth is still wide open it passes… Wow!
So, to sum up, the best advice that we can give is you go there. Live it and feel it, you are not going to be disappointed.
Mercedes & Hugh
(Spain & England)
Read more: Ice-Van-Dic Adventure
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