There are many journeys we take in life which deeply effect us and during which many of our dreams and aspirations come true. One such journey is the one we took to Iceland.
Having strong feelings and enchanted by this unique experience that we are about to live, we begin our journey to the country of fire and ice. Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe, and here one can admire majestic landscapes, such as glaciers, lakes, fjords, volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and large, desolate volcanic areas. This unforgettable experience, full of beautiful scenery, began in late July of 2013 and included 9,000 km of riding and 160 hours of travel by boat.
It is the largest city in Iceland, and the most northerly capital in the world. Located on the southwest coast of the country, Reykjavik has a population of approximately 118,000. An important attraction of the city is the Lutheran church that has a height of 73 meters and is the sixth tallest building in Iceland. The so-called Hallgrímskirkja hosts an enormous organ that was brought over from Germany, and the church has a seating capacity of 1,000.
One building that really stands out in the city is Harpa, which was constructed in 2011 and awarded the most beautiful building in Europe in 2013. It is a concert hall, conference center, and also has many shops and cafes. Another place worth visiting is the pedestrian area of Laugavegur, which is the most commercial street in the city, and besides shops you can also find restaurants, cafes and bars where you can have a drink until late at night.
Akureyri is regarded as the capital of northern Iceland and has about 18,000 inhabitants, making it the fourth largest town on the island. The area was first inhabited by the Vikings in the 9th century AD and nowadays is a large fishing village visited by many tourists. It is a lively town with many outdoor parties, while cafes and bars stay open until late at night, which is rare for Nordic countries.
A small village of about 1,200 residents in a distance of 76km from Akureyri. The route to Siglufjörður is the most beautiful that we took in Iceland.
A small village which is famous for its “wale safari”, or in other words whale hunting.
- Detifoss waterfall
It is the largest and most powerful waterfall in Europe with an average water flow of 193 cubic meters per second, while during times of flooding it can reach up to 600. The water falls from a height of 100 meters and is 45 meters wide. The color of the water is dark, due to volcanic sediment.
A geothermal area with intense volcanic activity, full of fumaroles and sulphuric water spouts throughout the land. The landscape looks almost lunar and the strong smell of sulphur is rather obnoxious.
- Godafoss waterfall
Godafoss waterfall, otherwise known as the waterfall of the Gods. It is 53km from Namafjall and will take us about 45 minutes to reach. Godafoss has a width of 30 meters and the water falls from a height of 12 meters. The name dates back to the year 1000 AD, when Iceland decided to embrace the Christian religion and a priest discarded many pagan statues here.
- Gullfoss waterfall
One of the most important attractions in Iceland. Here the water falls in three stages, creating a unique image.
- Thingvellir National Park
Since 2004 Thingvellir National Park is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sights. This is mainly due to the fact that it is the only place on earth where tectonic plates are visible. More specifically, the plates of the Eurasian continent and the American continent, where a huge rift is formed. Furthermore, it was in this area in the year 930AD where one of the first open parliaments in the world was established, in which the inhabitants of Iceland gathered to enact laws.
- Litli Geyser
It is a hydro-geological phenomenon that only exists in a few places on the planet. Every 10 to 15 minutes, these geysers explode, catapulting hot water very high in the air.
- Seljalandsfoss waterfall
Seljalandsfoss waterfall gushes water from a height of 60 meters. It is located in the southern-most part of the island at a distance of 127 km from Reykjavik.
- Skógafoss waterfall
It is located 29km south of Seljalandsfoss. The scenery is really beautiful, as the water falls from a height of 60 meters. It is worth walking up the path that leads to the top, as the view will amaze you.
- Skaftafell National Park
Spending the night here is a must. If you do not have a tent, you must book a room at one of the scarce and expensive accommodation options available. The glacier of the park is located about 20 minutes walking distance from the entrance, but you will need about 2 hours in total to see the surrounding area on foot. Generally, there are several paths with varying levels of difficulty. We chose the one that leads to Svartifoss waterfall, which is about an hour walk from the campsite.
- Jökulsárlón National Park
At Jökulsárlón you will see the largest glacier in Europe. In the southern section of the park a channel was created in order to let the ice that has detached from the glacier reach the Atlantic ocean. This was a rather impressive sight, seeing the huge ice chunks detach and fall into the beautiful lake.