Iceland. A country of extreme contrasts. “The Land of Fire and Ice”. A place we dreamt of visiting for so, so long. Too long, to be honest. It’s been on the top of our travel list for five years!
Can you imagine how excited we were for this trip? We decided to see the whole island with a rental car. Our last road trip was Scandinavia back in 2010, so it was about time to renew some of the routines we developed back then. When backpacking and traveling by a bus or train, we sometimes miss the freedom a car gives us. We can drive anywhere we want, whenever we want, we can choose our own music and sing loud without anybody staring at us … exploring a land with a car is something totally different and unique. And it’s best when travelling a beautiful landscape.
The Ring Road.
This road goes around the whole island and is the perfect route to take if you have at least 10 days to travel. It actually takes just 17 hours to finish the drive, but the scenery is so breathtaking and it changes with every mile, there really is no rush to arrive at your destination. Because there is none. It’s all about the journey you take. And we have to say, we truly enjoyed ours.
We visited in April, so most of the F-roads that lead to the highlands in the centre of the island were still closed (+ we would need a 4WD car), but we fell in love with this place and we just have to go back and explore some more.
ICELAND IS MADE OF…
Ice? We are pretty sure it’s made of waterfalls. There are at least a couple of hundred waterfalls all over the country and we were blessed to visit and enjoy some of the most magnificent waterfalls in the world. We were lucky enough to visit Iceland before the main season started, so we actually enjoyed some of them without all the tourist running around and snapping photos and selfies.
ANOTHER GREAT THING ABOUT ICELAND…
Are miles and miles of black beaches & lava fields. It felt like we came to another planet. Heck, there was even a crashed plane.
This is Snaffelsnes Penninsula, one of our favorite spots of Iceland.
WELL, WHAT WOULD ICELAND BE WITHOUT ICE?
We skipped the glacier hiking in Iceland, since we explored quite a bit of them in Patagonia two months before. But we did enjoy an afternoon at Jökulsárlón Lake, just watching big and small pieces of ice float around. There is something really calming about this place.
GIMME SOME HOT SPRINGS TO WARM UP!
Well, there’s got to be something to keep the Icelanders warm in the cold weather. Hot pools is the answer. Each town or village even has their own pool/jacuzzi/hot spring, where the locals spend their afternoons, chatting and with friends and neighbours. Just like we do over coffee.
The landscape is completely different in the evening and the light is amazing. As a result we enjoyed some really spectacular sunsets and to be honest, from time to time I could almost feel those little invisible elves, hiding behind the stones. These were my favourite moments.
We were a little sad that we didn’t see the northern lights. One night, we drove in the middle of nowhere and spend most of the night waiting for them in the freezing car, but no luck. Well, just a reason more to go back (note to self: buy more warm clothes).
The spectacular East Coast
We loved this part of Iceland. Not just because we were blessed with good weather and pretty views, but also because it felt like we are in the middle of nowhere. We would drive for hours without seeing a car and to be honest, at time it was kinda weird. We needed to stop at every gas station on the way because we had no idea when we would reach an other one. The same goes with food and supermarkets.
Standing against the wind…
From +10 degrees in the south and east, we reached to -10 in the north and in Westfjords. Not promising at all. Due to some snow storms and foggy weather we didn’t see much landscape, but we spent some time with the beautiful horses on the way.
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