What I would like to experience on my trip to Iceland
I have been wanting to visit Iceland for a long time – actually, well before it became a hot travel destination. The hiking, the wild landscape, the wildlife – everything it has to offer resonates with me. Then my friend Martina, the amazing blogger behind Pimp My Trip, went. And reading her posts, looking at the amazing pictures she took, made me literally drool over the idea of going there.
I want to visit Iceland during winter. Call me crazy, but the idea of feeling the cold wind to then be able to get inside a cozy coffee shop for a warm cup of tea; the possibility of seeing the northern lights (because well, since I’d be there, why miss on that?) and the chance to see the whales are all good reasons for making me want to go.
Not to mention, Iceland is packed with volcanoes: as many have already realized, I have a mild obsession for volcanoes (there’s one even on my logo) and I had already promised myself – see my post “Ten Places I would like to visit in 2016” – that one day I’d hike volcano Eyjafjallajökull, the one that kept the entire northern hemisphere ransom in the spring of 2010 (besides, it is meant to be one of the most amazing hikes in the world, and I am always in for amazement). 2016 was a year full of surprises that took me to many places I had never thought I would visit. This is the beauty of travel, after all.
But it is now time to make plans again, or at least dream about my next trip. So, it is time to dream about Iceland and the things I could do there, and hopefully I will get to do them in 2017. Here is a list of the places I would like to see and the things I would like to do in Iceland.
Seven places I would like to visit and seven things I would like to do in Iceland
To me, there is no visiting any country without spending at least a couple of days in the capital. Iceland would be no different, and I would like to see Reykjavik. Rumor has it that it is a really charming city, and I would like to see the iconic Hallgrímskirkja, which actually is a lutheran church.
Soak up in the Blue Lagoon, Grindavík
I remember the time when, in Bolivia, I went to the hot springs on an incredibly cold morning. It was -7 degrees Celsius outside, and the water was lovely and warm and regenerating. The Blue Lagoon is a a geothermal spa only 40 minutes away from Reykjavík and one of those places that, for as touristy as they are, I really care to see. Besides they say that the hot spring water is really beneficial for health and skin, and I care about my beauty, you know!
Drive along the Ring Road and hike volcano Grabrok
Iceland is the known as the land of ice and fire. There’s volcanoes everywhere (yay for me!) and driving along the Ring Road is a great way to see them, scattered everywhere. I suppose I’d take the opportunity to rent a car, drive around and then go hike volcano Grabrok, which is actually not active anymore – but apparently the views of Borgarfjordur, a fjord in the west of Iceland, from the top are spectacular (so says my friend Martina, and you know, given the pictures she took I will have to agree with her!).
Feel mesmerized by Jökusárlón or the “glacier lagoon”
Filled with floating icebergs, seeing pictures of this lagoon has raised my curiosity. From there, it is possible to reach Breiðamerkursandur, a beach covered in icebergs that from the lagoon float out to the sea. How crazy is that?
Whale watching in Iceland
I love observing wildlife, and whenever I have a chance to add some wildlife spotting to my travels, I feel even more accomplished. I always make it a point to only work with tour operators that are responsible, and that in no way cause any danger to the animals. In fact, I often campaign against the use of animals in tourist attractions. I even wrote a post about it last summer: “Don’t ride that elephant.”
Having said this, Iceland is known to be a great place to observe whales and there are lots of whale watching tours in Iceland from which to pick. Needless to say, I would look for a company that runs its tours in the most responsible way. Apparently, the places where they can be seen vary according to season, and in the winter time the best starting point is Grundarfjörður, in the Snæfellsnes peninsula. This is where white beaked dolphins and killer whales like to show up, although the killer whales can be seen only further away from the coast.
My friend Martina went whale watching there and said it was an incredible experience. She also said that it takes time and patience to spot them, and that it never goes without saying that they will show up. Nevertheless, I would like to give it a try and if anything, I can still admire the view around me.
See the geysers in Iceland
The first thing I learned in geography class about Iceland was that there are geysers. These are due to the volcanic activities that go on underneath the surface. There are supposed to be geysers scattered all around Iceland, so there is no way I’d want to miss on the chance to see one and fulfill my childhood curiosity.
Drive the 300 Km of the Golden Circle of Iceland
Apparently the Golden Circle of Iceland is the most popular tourist route in Iceland, and it goes from Reykjavik into the southern uplands of Iceland and back. It is a popular day trip and along the way there are some beautiful sights. One of them is the Gullfass waterfall, which is located in the canyon of the Hvítá river.
It really looks like Iceland is packed with beautiful, unique landscapes that call for many adventures. It is time to stop dreaming over the fabulous pictures my friends took, and actually to and take some myself. Watch this space for more adventures!
This article was written in partnership with Guide to Iceland.