Travel to Iceland: part 1
We wanted to visit Iceland by long time; the geysers, the geothermal areas, the northern lights.
Finally crowning this dream we went to the land of ice, to discover the wonders of creation!
As for Iceland it is good to know what to pack, to not forget anything that will turn out to be important! Read the article “What to pack for a tip to Iceland“!
Travel to Iceland: WHEN TO GO
This is a good question, and the answer is always. I mean that depends on the purpose of your trip; in the summer the temperatures are milder and the days much longer, until you get to days where the sun does not even set (and you will witness the midnight sun) while in the winter having hours of intense darkness you will have the chance to come across the magic of ‘northern Lights. We have opted for the latter option, and we have not regretted it at all!
Travel to Iceland: ARRIVAL
November. When we arrived at keflavik airport, we immediately rented the car; RentalCars.com as always did not disappoint us, and with our Ford Cuga 4×4 we left!
Renting the car is essential to move from one area to another; the roads are wide and little traffic, the important thing is to opt for a 4×4 because especially in winter you could find snow or ice.
Travel to Iceland: DAY 1
I begin by advising you to leave for this destination with very clear ideas about the areas to be seen. If you have a week like us, you can not visit it all.
For this trip we have relied on the advice of the most famous Tour Operator in Iceland, Iceland Travel, which has created a tailor-made program for us, day by day with the best places to visit, organized tours to do. Iceland Travel provided us a tablet on which the program of the day was reported with tips on where to have lunch and dinner!
An experience that I recommend you do!
Once in the car, our tablet marked the first destination:
We are in the south of Iceland, from the airport is just 20 minutes, here you can visit:
• Lake Kleifarvatn
• Seltun Geothermal springs, the most active geothermal area in Iceland
• Krýsuvík Geothermal Area
• Blue Lagoon (Bláa lónið) incredibly touristy and equipped, it is a geothermal swimming pool with the typical color of the volcanic springs. The landscape that surrounds it is truly unique. The place is well served, there are towels, bathrobes, dressing rooms, bars, restaurants, shops. The waters, rich in silica slime, are comforting and regenerating for the body.
I recommend for lunch: “Hjá höllu” to get something quick.
After lunch we move about an hour by car, and we reach Hveragerði (do not worry, the roads are passable easily, but it is important to have a navigator because there are not many road signs)
Once in Hveragerði we can visit:
• Reykjadalur Hot Springs these are the geothermal sources that we have preferred, even compared to the more touristic Blue Lagoon. You can reach it after 4 km on foot, about an hour and thirty to go and an hour and thirty to return. The path is uphill, and often you can find ice or snow, so we suggest to bring with you spiked shoes as well as swimsuit and towel, since once reached the summit, the effort made will be rewarded very well!
Go there with the light, because the darkness does not help you in the path, remember also food and water because the man’s hand has not arrived and you will not find anything, you will find a warm river where relax you !
• Raufarholshellir, where you will enter the volcano in a beautiful Lava Tour to discover the colors, the rock formations, it will be like going back in time trying to imagine the activity of a real volcano.
• Solhestar here we are on horseback in the middle of the Icelandic land, a tour that is a must for those who visit this island for the first time. It is a beautiful experience that you will never forget.
For dinner we went to try the Icelandic pizza in one of Hveragerði’s few restaurants, called Ölverk! Iceland is very expensive, here we ate well without spending “too much”; two pizzas (only those) and two medium beers: 50 € (it seems a lot but compared to Icelandic prices, it is quite contained) The water supply it for free because it comes out of the pure and very good tap! Trust me, you do not need to buy it.
For sleeping we opted for a quaint cottage at Apavatn. The cottage is part of six neighboring houses in the middle of nowhere (bring something for breakfast!) In front of a lake. It’s really unique and the fact of not having light pollution around, allows you to see aurora borelae more easily! We saw it and it was amazing!
Apavatn is located about 50 minutes from Hveragerði, it seems a lot but it is not weighed considering that in Iceland early dinner, at 21.00 we had already finished. We chose this place because we approached the first goal the next day. Gullfoss.
Travel to Iceland: DAY 2
The first day was very rich and challenging, after a good sleep here we are ready to leave!
• At 10.00 we had booked a snowmobile tour with the help of Iceland Travel in the Langjokull glacier. The meeting point was in Gullfoss, where a monster truck, a mixture of a minibus, a truck and a tank brought us in the middle of the snow, for this tour that was absolutely AMAZING. Do not miss it!
• After the tour, returning to the meeting place you will be close to the famous Gullfoss waterfalls, so-called waterfalls of gold, a stage here is a must, you will be enchanted to admire them.
We are in the middle of the Golden Circle, a scenic area among the most famous in Iceland, where you will find incredible attractions, all natural.
• After the Gullfoss waterfalls, we headed to Haukadalur just 10 minutes, to admire the Strokkur Geyser that every 4 minutes, rises and explodes, leaving everyone astonished in front of the majesty of nature. Parking is free, as in all the attractions you visit.
For lunch, make a stop at the Geyser Center where you can also take advantage of to buy some souvenirs.
• Þingvellir The Thingvellir National Park is also one of the most important places in the history of Iceland: in fact in 930 one of the first, if not the first, parliament of the world was founded! Here you will the fault of Almannagjá is exactly the point where the American and European plates move away from each other.
• Laugarvatn Fontana, the area is not as big and equipped as the Blue Lagoon, but it is equally interesting. There are several pools with naturally warm water, each at different temperatures. There are also saunas, obviously with natural steam! Stop here for dinner, serve a rich and healthy buffet!
For the night we reached Hella, about 50 minutes away. So the next day we were closer to Skogafoss!
I tell you everything in the second part of this article
What to see in Iceland part 2 ! 🙂