"Marvellous Iceland" Iceland by jojes

Iceland Travel Guide: 5,673 reviews and 17,032 photos

Iceland ... been there, done that ... and did it again ... and will certainly do it again ... and probably again ... !!!

Fantastic, marvellous, beautiful, ..... These words don't even come close to describing Iceland !
We've been looking forward to visiting Iceland for so many years that we were kind of afraid we were expecting too much or we were having too high hopes ...
Our expectations were even excelled !
Never before have we been to a country that provided us with so much "wow"-experiences as Iceland.

Our 2012 visit
As it was the first visit to Iceland and we didn't feel like constantly moving from one hotel to another with the kids (4 and 6 years old), we decided to stay in the Reykjavik region our entire stay. This is how we ended up staying in Hafnarfjörður for our 15 day stay. From there we did daytrips to everywhere reachable in one day.
We ventured out over the Reykjanes peninsula, went as far south as Vik and up north as far as all around the Snæfellsnes peninsula.
There were some roads still closed due to snow (first 2 weeks of april). But of all the roads that were 'open' ... we've been on most of them. Sometimes we drive an extra stretch especially to take a road we haven't been on yet. We always call that going to 'the territory beyond' ... :-) And we haven't regretted doing this, because that way we've been to some of the most desolate but beautiful places.

Our 2013 visit
After returning home in 2012, we already knew we would be going back pretty soon.
In December 2012, we asked the kids where they wanted to go for the Easter holidays in 2013 … both of them instantly replied “Iceland” …
As this was our second visit, we wanted to tour the entire island.
We ended up staying 4 nights in Vik, 4 nights in Egilsstadir, 5 nights in Akureyri and 5 nights again in Hafnarfjordur.

We arrived in Iceland on March 27, so a lot of roads were still closed due to snow, but that’s something you know when travelling to Iceland in that time of year.

The only downside was that we didn’t get to see Dettifoss, as the roads leading up to it were always colored ‘red’ on the Vegagerdin website (which is excellent info on roadconditions by the way).
Maybe it was possible nevertheless to drive those roads, but since the website marked it as “impassable”, we didn’t want to take any risks … why else bother checking the official websites …

During our 19-day visit we saw so many beautiful places and sights, that I don’t even know where to begin …

One thing is for sure: it won’t stay with these 2 visits … although our next visit will have to be in summertime someday … We now know “winterly white Iceland”, so it’s time to see the country in summer.
I'll try to start building more detailed Iceland pages soon.

One tip I can already give : use Regina's (Regina1965) tips, as they are so very very helpful. I made several personal travelguides (devided them into 'sections'). Instead of printing them on paper I made PDF-documents which I put on my smartphone. We travelled in Iceland with a "Regina's Iceland guide" in our pocket everywhere we went. It provided us with info you can't find in most of the guidebooks. It lead us to some spots you would normally drive by without stopping, because you don't know what's there.
So Regina, thanks a lot for the info given in your tips !

Not only ice in Iceland

Iceland is a country where naturelovers will fall in love with nature all over again.

When we finally decided on going to Iceland, lots of people wondered what had gotten into our head ...
Reactions went from "wow, great" all the way to "what else is there to see then snow and ice?".
Now they've seen (some of) our pictures, they're all amazed about the natural beauty we've been able to capture on camera. Of course pictures don't even by far come to do justice to the "live"-visit we had !

People always tend to think Iceland is completely covered in snow and ice and is always extremely cold.
Since we were there beginning of april, of course it was cold most of the time, but that was nothing that some layers of clothes couldn't help. The first 4 days we had quite bad weather, but during the rest of our stay the weather was quite fine. It rained at times, but not excessively. It was especially the wind that made us feel cold when directly exposed to it.
But don't let the weather keep you from going ... Iceland's beauty will make more than up for that !

We had never been further north or further west than now in Iceland.
Travelling to Austria every year, we're used to mountain-sights. But never before had we seen mountains almost directly 'dropping' into the sea, like in Snæfellsnes peninsula.

Iceland has everything : mountains, gorges, volcanoes, geysirs, lava fields, hot springs, glaciers, waterfalls, ...
It's one of the few places on our planet where you can litterally walk from one continent to another inbetween tectonic plates (Reykjanes, Þingvellir). Our oldest son said "no one at school will believe me if I tell them that I walked from Europe to America without getting my feet wet and in only 30 seconds time!" ... although that's exactly what he did ... :-)

Now how to build and arrange my pages here ?
I'll try to create the tips per region in the order you come across the sights when driving from Reykjavik.

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:The best of all worlds !
  • Last visit to Iceland: Apr 2013
  • Intro Updated Feb 9, 2014
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Comments (1)

  • iblatt's Profile Photo
    Sep 7, 2012 at 8:08 AM

    I identify with the excitement you expressed in your Iceland page! I traveled there in July, there was certainly much less snow than in April, but every season reveals other beautiful natural "secrets"...
    Thanks for visiting my Iceland page, I am also writing the tips under the different geographical regions, and have only started with "South Iceland, "North Iceland" etc. Still lots to write about...
    Best wishes, Ilan

    • jojes's Profile Photo
      Sep 7, 2012 at 10:11 AM

      I still have a lot of work to do too ... So many beautiful things to write about ...

    • iblatt's Profile Photo
      Sep 7, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      Me too... Please let me know when you write something new about Iceland!

jojes

“On to 'the territory beyond' ...”

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