Located far-far away across the Atlantic ocean, near the Arctic Circle is the magical island of Iceland. Its nature resembles fantastic and extraterrestrial landscapes like those from fiction novels. Or from Mars. Or from a time when our Earth was young and not so cosy and comfortable as it is in nowdays. Iceland is a county of water and stone, ice and fire. The air is so fresh and the water is so crystal clear like nowhere else! Waterfalls are transparent and sonorous, calm and sublime, you can enjoy them for hours. It’s nature is so pristine and untouched by man and it’s beauty is so majestic that it is difficult to find a place on Earth which is comparable with Iceland. Actually impossible. The contrast between dormant volcano shrouded by lava fields, geysers, hot springs and ancient glaciers which remind us of the Ice Age and the tops of volcanoes, generously sprinkled with snow, like powdered sugar. The edge of the Polar Day and Night, the Northern Lights kingdom. The Abode of Vikings. The place where all the rainbows of the world originated.
The first view from the window of the aircraft gives the impression of flat, green earth washed by the cold and steely waters of the Atlantic. Huge grey clouds hang over it as if caught by the mountain tops.
We were backpackers. It was August and icelandic weather was very benevolent and gracious to us.
Iceland – is a journey of a lifetime and everyone will find here something close and dear, something special and something that will stay in their heart forever. I want to tell you about the places that impressed me the most. So, take a backpack, tent, burners, good clothes and mood, and go forth to meet the Secrets of one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
1. Sleeping near the Waterfall.
The camp site is by the Skógarfoss waterfall at the end of Skoga river. Skógarfoss is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in south Iceland and is next to highway no 1. We stayed there for one night and it was unforgettable! Falling asleep to the sound of the waterfall and waking up admiring its wondrous beauty. Priceless. If you enjoy photography, you can get up early, when there are no other tourists and take some wonderful pictures. For lovers of hiking you can find here the most beautiful hiking routes.
2. Glacial Lagoon Jökulsárlón.
Glacial Lagoon Jökulsárlón – a truly impressive place. This lagoon is considered the largest in Iceland, where the glacier Vatnajökull breaks off large chunks of ice and icebergs and you can observe how they float away into the Atlantic Ocean. Here you can take a 40-minute boat or amphibian tour. I highly recommend to take amphibian tour as you can get closer to the icebergs. The ice is so ancient that it has acquired a deep blue color, due to the lack of air. This location is amazingly beautiful and peaceful. Very impressive, humid and cold. My favourite place ever!
Grjótagjá is an out-of-this-world beautiful cave. It found its popularity after Game of Thrones TV show(“Kissed by Fire”). This unforgettable place is situated in the North of Iceland near Lake Mývatn. The pool hasn‘t always a good spot for bathing but has been consistently good since new millenium. Nice and warm and worth a visit.
This is one of the best spots in Iceland‘s south coast where you can relax in breathtaking nature. The pool is a couple of hours drive from Reykjavík. It was discovered in 1923 and it’s one of the oldest still-standing pools in Iceland. One side of the pool is bounded by raw mountainside where hot water drips down into the pool. Built on rock, this pool gives an unforgettable feeling as if you are in the Swallow’s Nest. Small tip: wait for the sunset armed with a bottle of champagne and a flashlight.
Hrunalaug Natural Hot Spring is easily accessible from Reykjavík. It is about an hour’s drive, close to the village of Flúðir. This hot spring holds a perfect temperature all year around. Water gently flows into a beautiful stone lined pool. A really romantic place! Please note that this natural spring situated on private property and its is therefore forbidden to set up tents there. Since the owner shows kindness by allowing tourists to visit this picturesque place be respectful and do not leave garbage after your visit.
Godafoss Waterfall – the most mysterious in the world. Situated near the second largest city of Iceland, Akureyri. This city also called “North capital of Iceland” and also worth to visit. The name Godafoss is translated from the local language means “Waterfall of the Gods”. This name is associated with a pre-Christian legend in which local people were thrown into the water in worship of idols. According to another legend, the locals named the waterfall in honor of the statues of the gods which once surrounded the approaches to the waterfall. Eitherway, Godafoss is a kind of icelandic miracle, divided in three parts, it continues its beautiful dance of water and stones, joining again to form a torrent at its base. The shape of waterfall resembles a crescent, flowing streams of water running down the basalt columns with a with a deafening roar. Breathtaking and very memorable!
Words can not describe Iceland. This country is so majestic and diverse that to comprehend all its mystery and beauty at once is simply impossible. Everyone will find something for themselves in this country. This country is so distinctive and severe, its beauty does not blind you through bright colors, but rather finds its own special way to your heart and stays there forever. Iceland leaves a lasting aftertaste and once back home you will ponder a thousand times over all you saw and will be shocked at how much natural wonder you explored there. I left a coin in Iceland, hoping to go back. Come in summer or winter, autumn or spring, and you will find out how many facets this Scandinavian Diamond has. Come to Iceland anytime!