Iceland is not the usual travel destination: on this island half the way between Europe and North America, just below the Arctic Polar Circle, all natural elements coexist in perfect harmony. Geysers, volcanos, arctic storms, black sand beaches, midnight sun and aurora borealis… Iceland is the ideal destination for travellers looking for Nature’s highest expression, outdoor activities, but also for those looking for quite and relax.
My journey in Iceland started on a fishing boat in open sea, just out of Reykjavík Old Harbour. While I was waiting for sunset I gave a shot to open sea fishing, but with no much luck. The sunset was awesome, as for the fishes… well, luckily we had other means to feed ourselves.
From Reykjavík I moved further east and lodged in the wonderful Hotel Ranga, in the middle of nothing, with a stunning view from my room over Eyjafjallajökull glacier: an ideal spot to admire the aurora borealis during the freezing winter nights. There even is a special “night call” service in case the receptionist spots the aurora in the middle of the night.
For three days I tried myself in different activities, including a quod trip in Vatnsdalur Valley, an isolated land enriched by breathtaking sights, a four-hour ride through slopes, rivers, swamps, to finally get into cave and warm up around an improvised fireplace.
On a huge off-road vehicle – the wheels were taller than me – we arrived at the bottom of Eyjafjallajökull glacier, the one involved in the 2010 Eyjafjöll volcano eruption. The feeling was like being in a sci-fiction movie, surrounded by lunar landscapes. There was no trace of life forms, neither human nor animal. The only noise came from the wind and the glacier that, although unnoticed, is in perpetual movement.
To catch a full sight of Eyjafjallajökull – Europe’s largest glacier – there is nothing better than a tour by helicopter. It doesn’t come cheap but it’s fully worth it: flying over the huge glacier and arriving over the black sand coast and the rocky cliffs over the Atlantic Ocean is an unforgettable experience.
Renting a car, instead, is a great way to explore Iceland on the road: in two weeks you can cover the whole island’s perimeter along the legendary Highway One and check Iceland’s most charming spots. But don’t forget to pack up all the necessary gears: as for myself, I dug in millet’s and Blacks’ websites and found all I needed to stay warm outdoor, and a great North Face bag for my adventure travels.
My journey ended in spectacular way with two waterfalls, Seljalandsfoss and Gullfoss, two unmissable natural marvels: the perfect ending for such a great adventure.