Over the years my husband and I have had some wonderful holidays together from our first city-break to Budapest a few months into our courtship to our honeymoon in Japan, but this year we decided to return to Iceland for a second time. We first visited Iceland in September 2014 and though we spent most of our time in and around Reykjavik we fell in love with the vast, volcanic landscape, and this time we hired a car to explore the ring road.
We travelled clockwise around the ring road, taking it in turns to drive, mixing our favourite songs with a few Icelandic artists like Bjork, Of Monsters and Men and Sigur Ros, and watching the landscape change through the windscreen. Iceland is sparsely inhabited, beautiful and full of contrasts from crashing waterfalls, winding roads, snowy mountains and frozen lakes to moss covered lava fields, craters, bubbling mud pits, black sand beaches, colourful houses and quirky churches.
It was such a memorable adventure that it’s hard to pick my favourite moments – some of which weren’t even captured on camera. In Akureyri, we had the option of pony trekking or whale watching and my husband chose the former as he pointed out there was no guarantee we’d see a whale but 100% chance of seeing a pony while trekking. I was a little nervous as I hadn’t been riding since I was a child, but it was a lot of fun and the ponies were full of character.
We visited the fairly new Into the Arctic museum in Akureyri and as we had the place almost to ourselves, the curator gave us a guided tour. Both times we’ve visited Iceland, we’ve really enjoyed chatting to the locals, as most people speak English and they’re polite, friendly and funny, and it’s a great way of learning about the country.
We also spent a couple of blissful hours soaking in the Myvatn nature baths and we emerged feeling relaxed, refreshed and wrinkly as prunes.
The first time we visited Iceland, we were lucky enough to see rainbows in the waterspray at Skogafoss, and this time the sun hit the spray in front of Svartifoss creating a perfect rainbow just for a moment.
We ended up spending longer than we expected at Jokulsarlon as we were fascinated by the contrast of the blue icebergs washed ashore on the black sand beach. It is truly one of the strangest and most beautiful places I’ve ever visited.
The Icelandic diet is heavy on meat and fish, but we didn’t have any trouble finding tasty vegetarian food, and the highlights were vegan curry-wurst from a little farm cafe called Havari near Breiddalsvik and tomato soup from Fridheimar, a farm where they use geothermal energy to grow fresh tomatoes.
It was an incredible adventure and although we saw almost everything we wanted to on this trip, there is still so much more to see and do that I hope we will visit Iceland at least once more. Have a lovely week. X