Iceland is becoming an increasingly popular country to visit. It is known as the land of fire and ice, for its diverse landscape. One of the greatest things about visiting Iceland is its landscape uniqueness. Iceland has everything from volcanos to geysers, ice caves, and waterfalls.
Iceland is known as the land of fire and ice
Our road trip in Iceland started by visiting the capital city of Reykjavik via WOW airlines. A cozy Christmas atmosphere was the best gift against the windy and rainy November. What followed was an amazing road trip by arctic adventures with a local guide, Sindri a truly wise man.
day 1: Arctic adventure tour began with the three famous Golden Circle attractions: Þingvellir (Pingvellir), Geysir and Gullfoss. Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site, is the place where the Icelanders founded their historic Parliament, Alþingi, in the year 930. This is the oldest continuously operating Parliament in the world, it is certainly situated in one of the most geologically amazing places on the planet. The boundary between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates is here, they have been slowly edging apart creating a rift valley, and a great cliff right behind where the Law Speaker would stand in the olden days. Þingvallavatn is a very beautiful lake set within this incredible landscape. We did visit the geothermally active area of Geysir, this is the erupting hot spring from which the English word, Geyser, has been taken. Next, is Gullfoss (the Golden Falls), the most often visited waterfall in Iceland. See the golden spray around the waterfall, and feel the water droplets in the air as the amazing powerful Hvíta (the White River), roars through the rugged canyon, dropping 32 m.
On a clear day, we get great views of Mount Hekla on the way to Seljalandsfoss, one of the most unusual waterfalls in the world. We did walk behind the powerful but graceful falls to enjoy the view from both sides. Next up, is Skógafoss, a really impressive waterfall which drops 60 m into the tranquil pool below. There are 527 steps leading to the top giving another vantage point. The famous volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, lurks high above the waterfall. First stop for rest at the small coastal town of Vík, a really great place to catch the mesmerizing northern lights if the conditions were right.
day 2: We head off to the dramatic black sand beach at Reynisfjara. The powerful, rolling waves of the Atlantic Ocean really show their force here, but also the amazing black basalt column cave. Incredible black basalt pillars were rising from the sea just off the shore at Reynisdrangar. Then tour tools us through enchanting lava fields and incredible desert sands, formed by enormous glacial floods, known as Jökulhlaup, as we head east. We continue to Breiðamerkurjökull, a glorious outlet glacier which reaches down, like an icy finger, from Vatnajökull, the second largest glacier in Europe. The magnificent Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and the nearby Diamond Beach were our next stop. The lagoon is filled with icebergs of all shapes and sizes, as they glide in a dreamlike procession towards the salty waves of the Atlantic. They have often washed ashore at the Diamond Beach, where they shimmer like diamonds on the black sand. Ocean birds are abundant and seals can sometimes be seen. Next stop for rest was at the Skaftafell area. From Jokulsarlon, we did head for a new adventure. Accompanied by a certified glacier guide we did explore the mesmerizing world inside an ice cave. The guide did explain how these caves and the incredible formations in them are formed. Surprisingly, deep shades of jewel blue did surround us, these tones are caused by ice compression, the way we perceive light and color, and the blueness can sometimes be intensified by algae. The temperature inside the ice cave is well below the freezing point.
day 3: Glacier hiking! We were given ice crampons and everything you needed to explore *Svínafellsjökull glacier. The glacier is dynamic, it is always moving and changing, incredible ice features are constantly being formed.
The last day once more at the capital city of Reykjavik, in order to explore modern art at museums and visit Harpa at night for an event! Iceland is a place that will always call us back, both for the amazing landscape but also for the warm-hearted people!
All the photos from my trip are at https://gr.pinterest.com/mkourti/photography-my-travel/and at www.test.mkourti.com/iceland