On my 60th birthday the children surprised me with a week Iceland. Halfway between Europe and the USA it was the perfect meeting place for our family. As Björk sings: Iceland is “oh so quiet” and as we experienced “oh so beautiful”.
Icelandair, KLM, SAS fly several times a week between Amsterdam and Reykjavik. When you arrive at Keflavik airport you can rent a car. A car is the most used way to get around on the Island. There are no trains and public transport (buss passport), or taxis are expensive. Because there is a Ring Road “the Hringvegurinn” most of the time you will be able to reach your destination. Be aware that it can be difficult to drive in Winter. Other possibilities are ferries to the surrounding islands or domestic flights, but we did not use that so I cannot tell you from personal experience how that works.
Where to stay
We stayed in air B&Bs both in Reykjavik and in the countryside. Because we arrived close to Reykjavik, we did some grocery shopping there and off we went to our lovely cottage. With a jacuzzi and the most beautiful views, we really arrived in a completely different world. We did not know how to warm the water of the jacuzzi but after a phone call to the owner, we learned the hot water came straight from a hot spring in the garden!
What to visit in Iceland
This time no interior shopping for me, but of course a lot of nature.
Golden Circle Route
In the southwest of Iceland consists of 3 major tourist attractions.
- Gullfoss waterfall (Golden Waterfall) is one of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls. From the parking lot there are hiking trails with nice views over the waterfall.
- Geysir, the only place in all of Europe where you can witness a spouting geyser. The Geysir and the Strokkur are in a highly geothermal area in the Haukadalur Valley.
- Þingvellir national park, the valley of Þingvellir is located exactly on the boundary between the American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Every year, North America and Europe move 1 to 18 mm (about 0.71 in) apart. The valley, where the border is located, is characterized by dramatic rocky outcrops, pools, and rivers. The highlight is the Almannagjá crack.
lots of rainbows or rainbow colors
Reynisfjara is the black sand beach, from where you can see the rock pinnacles Reynisdrangar. The huge basalt cliffs and the black sand are impressive. The waves are very dangerous, so look for a viewing point. It was cold with strong winds, so put on warm clothes. And it is an excellent spot for photographing.
From the old harbor in Reykjavik there are tours to sail out into the open sea. In special suits and with a guide to help us spot the whales we spent a few hours enjoying our tour. We thought we saw a whale but too far away to take a good picture. Leaving our ship, we received a voucher to return for a next time in Iceland with hopefully more luck to spot the whales.
On our way back to the airport we stayed one night near the Blue Lagoon. The last day was for the healing waters of this Spa. We all love to swim and because of the damps above the water it feels like being alone because you cannot see all the other guests in the water. Two highlights:
- the in-water Clay Mask Bar, where they provide a Silica Mud Mask that is suitable for all skin types.
- The Lava Restaurant, for gourmet Icelandic cuisine in your bathrobe.
more information about the blue lagoon here
- Sulfur can give water a “rotten egg” taste. This gas can occur in wells and in the drinking water because of the plumbing system. We bought bottles of mineral water to brush our teeth.
- Names, every boy’s last name has the suffix –son and every girl’s last name has the suffix –dottir. Usually given his or her father’s first name, with the suffix -son or –dottir added to it. So if your father’s name is Kristján, it will be for example Johan Kristjánson for a boy and Johanna Kristjándottir for a girl.
- Music, Björk inspired the title of this blog Iceland is “Oh so Quiet” Want to hear her!
Enjoy “oh so quiet” Iceland.
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