For ten years, I have wanted to go to Iceland. The idea of hiking glaciers, climbing in volcanic craters, and seeing the many waterfalls and other natural sites has always fascinated me. Finally Memorial Day weekend, we packed our bags and headed north. From the moment I stepped off the plane, I knew Iceland was going to be unlike anything I’d ever seen. The landscape changes from volcanic lava fields reminiscent of the moon to grassy farm fields, to large white-capped mountains. Check out my top highlights.
Golden Circle: A trip to Iceland is not complete without a trip to the Golden Circle. Our private guide drove us for two days to so many sights including: Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal area, countless waterfalls, and black beaches. Our day ended at the Hotel Grimborgir, a country hotel that wowed us from the moment we walked in. Our four-bedroom house was gorgeous and so comfortable. With windows all around we had fabulous views of the mountains. What a hidden gem!!!
Solheimajokull Glacier: We had no idea what to expect as we geared up in helmets, crampons, and ice axes but as we walked on the volcanic ash path we were in awe. This three hour hike took us up the run-off glacier of Solheimajokull. Everywhere we turned we say crevices, snow, rivers below the ice, and the most beautiful colors in shades of blue, white and black. My ten year old was able to handle this moderate hike so strap on those crampons and get hiking.
Helicopter Tour to Thrihnukagigur Volcano: Having never flown in a helicopter before I was a little nervous as we approached Reykjavik Airport. How quickly my fears disappeared as we flew over Reykjavik for our 7 minute trip to the top of the volcano. The friendly base camp staff and the yummy smell of lamb stew met us. After a very windy, short hike to the crater opening, we boarded a 6 persons elevator (like a window washer’s) and began our descent into the crater. The crater did not disappoint with bright colors of orange, gold and red brightening the walls. Black rock appears throughout crater interior indicating the earth’s tectonic plates. After returning to the surface, the staff served us hot lamb stew to complete this adventure!