It’s been almost two months already since I travelled to Iceland, a country I’ve been eager to visit since I was a teenager. In the weeks since we returned home, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about our trip. I’m still obsessing over blog posts about other people’s Icelandic adventures and hunting out new Icelanders to follow on Twitter.
Temptingly, every week since our trip, Secret Escapes have featured a discounted holiday to Reykjavik. I’m already itching to plan my next trip and experience some of the things I didn’t have chance to see on our first visit.
We visited Iceland in June, when it’s light for almost 24 hours a day so we didn’t get the opportunity to see the spectacular Aurora Borealis. That just gives me an excuse to visit again in winter!
Although we made the trip to Gullfoss, Seljalandsfoss waterfall is also incredibly striking. Plus it’s possible for visitors to walk behind the waterfall itself.
I spent much of my childhood around horses, but it’s been a few years now since I went riding. The Icelandic horses are renowned for being hardy and easy to ride, as well as a beautiful breed.
Riding is a fantastic way to get off road and see some of the more remote areas of the Icelandic countryside. Plus I’ve always loved taking photos of horses, especially the cheeky ones who will come over and stick their nose straight into the camera!
Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon
Another stunning part of Iceland’s landscape that I would love to visit. As it’s located in the South West of the country, we unfortunately didn’t have time to make the journey on our first holiday.
Silfra snorkelling under the midnight sun
I’m not really one for snorkelling or any kind of water sports, much to the annoyance of my husband. However, this article about snorkelling in Thingvellir under the midnight sun on Wander the Map captured my imagination.
It would be a challenge, but certainly an experience to remember!
Journey inside a volcano
One of the more unique trips for your Icelandic itinerary is a tour that allows you to hike to the dormant Thrihnukagigur volcano and ride down into its depths on an open elevator.
During my three days in Iceland I took around 850 photographs, which is nowhere near enough when you consider the beauty and variety of the landscape. One of the best things about Iceland, after the stunning countryside, is all the quirky, surprising features you can find around every corner in Reykjavik. Even the airport was full of cool details that I had to capture with my camera.
So it seems natural for the bigger tour operators to offer package trips aimed at photographers that cover some of the more striking locations. Of course, you could also hire a car and make your own way around the country to some of the more unusual locations not featured on the tours, which brings me to…
Hire a car and drive
The idea of driving abroad has never really appealed to me, as I’m uncomfortable driving when I’m not sure of my surroundings, but I think I could handle it in Iceland where the roads aren’t that busy – once I’d got to grips with being on the opposite side of the road anyway!
Although Iceland’s major routes are covered by modern highways, there are a lot of non tarmac roads in the mountain areas and interior of the country. The time of year might also be a big factor in hiring a car, as the weather is going to be an important consideration in winter.
While we were enjoying our Golden Circle tour, we saw a convoy of super jeeps also visiting the sights. Not to mention the guy we saw washing his jeep in Reykjavik – the tyres were bigger than he was! Super jeeps definitely look like a cool way to explore the landscape.
I managed to visit most of the bars and restaurants I’d highlighted in Reykjavik, but the Lebowski Bar has a reputation for great beer, burgers and retro decor that makes it a nightlife highlight that I will be checking out next time I’m in the city.
If anyone has visited any of these places, I’d love to hear all about it!