"Ísland - Iceland" Iceland by pure1942
Iceland Travel Guide: 5,617 reviews and 16,748 photos
Put quite simply, Iceland is an unbelievably different and unique country. The whole experience of visiting Iceland guarantees a different and totally unforgettable trip.
Iceland's unique culture, geography, climate and landscape guarantees every visitor a new experience. I have very rarely returned from a country with the same desire to return as soon as possible and a feeling that I have seen so much but have also missed out on so much more. One visit to Iceland is not enough for me and it is a country I am determined to return too.
I visited the country in October/November and visitng at this time of year gives a different experience of the country than when visiting during the summer months. I get the feeling that to fully appreciate Iceland you would need to visit during the summer and winter to get a full perspective on the country. Visit in October and you see the wintery, ruggedly beutiful side of the country while also being here for prime northern lights sightings while during the summer you have more access to the interior wilderness, whale population and puffin colonies as well as seeing the greener side of Iceland. Also just visiting the Reykjavik area and south of the island leaves you feeling that you have missed out on something special in the north. Just writing this makes me even more determined to return to Iceland for a more rolonged period of time to fully explore this amazing country.
The unique geography and landscape of Iceland is what really sets it apart from anywhere else in the world. From its active volcanic landscape, high temperature geothermal areas, glaciers and glacial rivers and formations, mountainous lava landscape and amazing wateralls Iceland is like nowhere else on earth. Where else can you walk between the two tectonic plates of America and Eurasia. You can literally walk between two continents along the great rift valley where Iceland is being split into two and America and Europe are drifting apart at a rate of between 1cm and 2cm a year!
And of course who could forget the amazing Icelandic geysers which can spew water 70 metres into the air. The geysirs, whether you are lucky enough to see the great 'geysir' itself or the smaller regularly erupting 'strokkur' all surrouonded by smaller bubbling pools of naturally boiling water and steaming cracks in the earth, are the typical icelandic 'must see' and although plagued by busloads of tourists all during the year are an unbelievable sight.
The vast majority of visitors to Iceland, including myself, base themselves in or around Reykjavik which is understandable as all international flights arrive in Kefavik, just under an hour from Reykjavik and is home to most of Iceland's most famous sights. These include the beautiful naturally heated Blue Lagoon, with its milky blue, mineral enriched waters, the interesting capital Reykjavik and Reykjanes Peninsula and the famous Golden Circle which takes in Geysir, Thingvellir, Gullfoss as well as the awe-inspiring landscape of the countryside.
The easiest, most convienient and most comfortable way to explore the south west of Iceland is by way of the myriad of Bus Tours which constantly trawl the Golden Circle route and Reykjanes Peninsula. While having the obvious disadvantages of being surrounded by crowds of tourists and rarely experiencing the delights of this part of Iceland on your own, they are run very well and means you can avoid the sometimes frustrating and nightmarish experience of driving in Iceland and are also good value (especially considering the value of the Icelandic Kroner during my trip which coincided with a crisis in the Icelandic economy, with the value of the Kroner falling through the floor in October 2008. The euro was worth almost 150 Kroner compared to 100 this time last year!!!)
I would love to experience these places for myself sometime in the future and hope to return during the summer season and will definitely rent a car to explore the country independently.
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Iceland Travel Guide
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