Among the most popular travel destinations in Europe, Iceland and today home to some of the most distinctive landscapes in the world is one of the states that appears to be with a moment.
The Nordic island nation captured our hearts when we first seen in 2012. We spent a week before Christmas just in the capital of Reykjavik and with our small but trusty hire car we negotiated the nation’s frozen roads to research some of the most famous landmarks of Iceland.
Driving the arctic landscapes on the Golden Circle tour has been sometimes a bit scary but certainly worth the effort there has been yet another vista respect and to stop.
We have so near the powerful Gullfoss waterfall we felt its icy spray, we had been engulfed in sulfur-smelling smoke while watching Strokkur dutifully erupt, bathed in the hot waters of the Blue Lagoon surrounded by miles of surreally beautiful volcanic wasteland, fulfilled beautiful Icelandic horses, and drove through miles of abandoned roads to gaze in the low-lying winter sun on the horizon.
We took in the trendy funds, discovering quirky arts and crafts — Reykjavik, drinking in some of the fashionable bars, and shopping for extra layers of clothing. We took the elevator to the top of Hallgrímskirkja — Reykjavik’s legendary church with a design explained to resemble lava Iceland’s leaks, also wandered around the Harper Concert Hall, a really modern piece of structure, with its own geometric glass facade and enormous music halls.
We even sat out during the night hoping to catch a glimpse of the northern lights. We had to push a couple of minutes out of Reykjavik centre before we have been thrown into darkness, and a car park in Seltjarnarnes provided a wonderful spot to stop and stare in the night skies.
Here are a couple highlights in our period in Iceland…
All words and photos by Graham Padmore out of GlobalGrasshopper.com.
Becky and Gray, the husband and wife duo behind the award winning traveling site GlobalGrasshopper.com are based in the UK but regularly travel the entire globe on a mission to find the world’s most amazing and underrated destinations. Also joined by a group of accomplished vacationers they provide travel advice, inspiration and photographs with a minor off-beat outlook.