Author: Wendy Maes
Wendy is a travel addict, foodie, and bon vivant who takes you along all her travels with her husband, two sons, and dog. Through her journey’s Wendy shares honest hotel and restaurant reviews mixed with a few trips down memory lane.
Facts about Iceland and it’s inhabitants
Icelanders are very chauvinistic? They want to keep their language as pure as possible so they keep away from foreign words and phrases.
Iceland has it’s own breed of horses, the Icelander. No other horses may be introduced on the island to keep the breed pure.
Napoleon has never been here, that’s why there are only a few last names. All others have as surname the name of their father with the suffix “son” (son) or dottir (daughter)
Here is how to spend 7 days in Iceland.
Kick off at the Blue Lagoon
After leaving Reykjavik airport, it takes just a short ride to The Blue Lagoon, a hotspot in a lava field. The water is extremely salty (12.5%) and comes out 1800m deep wells. It has a temperature of 70 ° C. The soil consists of a type of white clay that would be very good for the skin (among others for the treatment of psoriasis). Take a bath so you can start your trip completely relaxed.
Continue your journey and pass one natural wonder after another.
Pingvellir & Kerid
The first stop is Pingvellir (pronounced Thingvellir) a national park that is in fact a large prolapse where you can clearly see the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (geological boundary between the North American and European continent). Nature is really stunningly beautiful. The water in rivers and lakes is so clear you can take a sip from it.
The next important stop are the famous geysers, but first you pass Kerid, an explosion crater that is filled with the bluest water you’ve ever seen.
Geysers & Strokkur
After Kerid, you arrive at one of the main attractions of Iceland, the geysers. Iceland is called a hotspot (like Hawaii), which is an area with an above normal magma production. These high temperatures and exceptional activity of the underground explains many of the wonderful natural phenomena.
Iceland lost one of his most famous geyser (Geysir) to pollution. Previously they threw detergent in the water to let it burst on command. Because of this it bursts now only 1 or 2 times per day.
However, the nearby Strokkur bursts approximately every 10 minutes from 10 to 20 meters high. It’s really spectacular to see how the water is boiling, shows a large bell and eventually sprays meters high.
Waterfalls, Rainbows, Caves Oh My!
A short ride further you pass Gullfoss or Golden Waterfall, one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls. The falling water caused large clouds of fine mist, so most of the time you see a beautiful rainbow above the waterfall.
The next day you start again with some amazing waterfalls. The first one is Seljelandsfoss, a narrow but very high waterfall. Provide sturdy walking shoes and make a walk on the slippery path that runs behind the waterfall. Stroll around on the hill and find the Paradisarhellir or paradise cave.
The next one, Skogarfoss is a 60 meter high waterfall. According to legend Colonel Prasi has a treasury of gold hidden under the waterfall. Many have searched, but no one found it. Give it a try!
In Vik you should visit the black sandy beach. From the beach you have a view on a number of high cliffs into the sea. It claims that these are the remains of a three-master drawn into sea by trolls However, they were surprised by the dawn and turned into stone.
A few other must-sees
In Nupsstadur you can visit a tiny turf church from the 17th century.
Laufskalavördur is a hill dotted with innumerable cairns (piles of stones). Nobody knows why, but everyone who comes here for the first time has to put a stone on the hill in order to stay protected from bad luck.
Kirkjubaejarklaustur was long one of the largest farms in the region. Nowadays it’s a large village that owes its name to a Benedictine monastery that stood here from 1186 to 1550. 2 nuns that lived here were burned to death because they had evaded the monastic rules. One had stopped men and the other said unkind things about the Pope.
Vatnajökull & Jokulsarlon
Iceland is of course also known for its glaciers. Vatnajökull, is after the one in Greenland the largest glacier on earth. Get our of your car and take a short walk to the glacier. It’s pretty impressive to see how huge it is.
After the glacier you drive through a huge desolate sands coil. This terrain was formed by glacial rivers. In 1974, they finally managed to build bridges here that were not washed away. In 1996, however, it went wrong. By the eruption of Vatnajökull (the volcano that even a few years ago spread huge ash clouds) emerged large quantities of meltwater.
That mass of water lifted the glacier around the lake and all water went out of the lake. This created a huge wave. At its peak 45000 m³ of water per second and ice ran towards the sea. Ice blocks the size of a 6-story building were left.
At the end of your roadtrip the most beautifull scenery (according to me) is waiting for you. Jokulsarlon, a beautiful glacial lake. I have never seen a place like this. It’s truly breathtaking.They filmed the openings scene of the Bond film “A View to a Kill” over here.
The water is beautifully colored, giant icebergs float around and with some luck you see a seal swim by. Definitely book a ride on an amphibious vehicle. Provide some warm clothes because it’s really freezing!
After all this natural beauty you return to Reykjavik. Of course you can make a road trip around the island. In that case you need about 2 weeks. The trip we made took one week.
Make sure to follow Wendy on all her amazing adventures!
What do you love most about Iceland? Share in the comments below!