"Marvellous Iceland" Iceland by jojes

Iceland Travel Guide: 6,440 reviews and 20,226 photos

Our visits

Iceland ... been there, done that ... and did it again ... and did it again a year later ... and will 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 at that time), 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.

We actually had a very brief unplanned visit in 2014. When flying Icelandair from Amsterdam to Edmonton, we had to change planes in Reykjavik. Due to the bad weather in Amsterdam our departure was delayed for 2,5 hours ... with only a 1,5 hour layover in Reykjavik. In Amsterdam they didn't yet know which flights would still be waiting, but we didn't get our hopes up too high ... When we reached Reykjavik, only 1 out of 7 connections was still there (needless to say it wasn't ours). So it looked like we got 'stuck' in Reykjavik for 24 hours. Icelandair had everything already laid out for us: Hilton Hotel with 3 meals, Flybus in and out, ... So no complaints here! And to be honest, there are much worse places in the world to spend an obligatory 24 hours ... The kids certainly were happy enough to being in Iceland longer than our originally planned 90 minutes :-).

Update 2015
Well, above I said that our next visit was going to be in summer ... Not quite ... We booked a 10-day visit for November 2015.
We got a great deal with Icelandair for the flights and an included northern lights excursion ... it was too good not to book (oh well, every excuse is valid for going back).

I'll try to start building more detailed Iceland pages soon.

The best info!

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 ... :-)

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:The best of all worlds !
  • Last visit to Iceland: Jul 2014
  • Intro Updated Jun 22, 2015
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Reviews (26)

Comments (8)

  • blueskyjohn's Profile Photo
    Mar 21, 2016 at 5:33 AM

    Excellent page Jessika! Great photos and information.

    • jojes's Profile Photo
      Mar 21, 2016 at 6:07 AM

      Thanks! And thanks for visiting and rating!

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Aug 6, 2015 at 10:07 AM

    Jessika, thanks for enlightening us on Iceland, a marvellous northern country...Well done! I do appreciate your interesting and useful tips....

  • wabat's Profile Photo
    Jul 23, 2015 at 3:25 AM

    Jessika, this is a wonderful page on the natural beauty of Iceland made even better by your great photos.

    • jojes's Profile Photo
      Jul 23, 2015 at 4:12 AM

      Thanks for visiting and for your ratings and nice comments!

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Feb 15, 2015 at 11:05 AM

    A lovely page with some very atmospheric photos! I loved Iceland in the winter and plan definitely to return to see it summer one day

    • jojes's Profile Photo
      Feb 15, 2015 at 11:33 AM

      Thanks for visiting! We'd love to see it in summer too. But as our summer holiday is planned and the kids are continuously asking to go back ... we're looking into going over for the easter holidays. Argh, the sufferings one has to go through to please the kids ;-)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Sep 12, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    In the 1960s the cheapest way to fly from North America to Europe was by Icelandic Airlines, with a stop in the middle of the night at Keflavik to re-fuel. One time we took their 48-hour stopover offer between flights, so we saw a bit of Iceland that time -- but not nearly as much as you saw.

    • jojes's Profile Photo
      Sep 12, 2014 at 10:46 AM

      We had an extra mandatory stopover when travelling to Canada this summer: plane delayed in Amsterdam and connection gone in Reykjavik. So Icelandair put us up in the Hilton for a night ... There are much worse places to 'get stuck' than Iceland ;-)

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Jun 5, 2014 at 12:27 AM

    Thank you for inspiration, Jessika!! Fantastic landscape and I like the often mysterious atmosphere, but also the sunny weather photos!
    And excellent helpful tips for books etc :-))

    • jojes's Profile Photo
      Jun 5, 2014 at 2:46 AM

      Thanks for visiting and rating!
      I'm glad you like it!

  • jonathanbarker's Profile Photo
    Jun 4, 2014 at 7:56 AM

    This is interesting I was in Reykjavik last summer. I met VT member and one of the writers on the Iceland's website, who showed me the sights and we also travelled around along the coast

    • jojes's Profile Photo
      Jun 4, 2014 at 9:39 AM

      We've visited twice in april (kids have Easter holidays then), so we really should return in summer. There is still so much to explore and discover since a lot of the roads were closed during our visits.

    • jonathanbarker's Profile Photo
      Jun 13, 2014 at 3:36 AM

      You should go during the summer, the weekend nearest the 18th August is good as there is a festival of art, music & culture, even local people open their apartments and offer visitors freshly cooked food.The museums are also free to enter. Please look at regina1965 pages, she is the lady I met and is an expert on Iceland. Regina is one of the co-authors for Guide to Iceland www.guidetoiceland.is

  • 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!


“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere (~Vincent Van Gogh~)”

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