As the plane touched down on the rugged terrain of Iceland, a sense of excitement and trepidation washed over me. It was the start of my solo journey to this wild and mysterious island, and I couldn’t wait to see what adventures lay ahead. With nothing but my backpack and a burning desire to explore, I stepped off the plane and into the unknown.
As I set off on my first day of exploring, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit nervous about going at it alone. But it wasn’t long before I met other travelers from all over the world, each with their own stories and reasons for being in Iceland. Together, we hiked to stunning waterfalls, the active volcano, braved the icy winds at the top of glaciers, and shared laughs over a few beers while enjoying the nightlife in Reykjavík.
I quickly realized that though I had come to Iceland on my own, I was far from alone. The people I met and the bonds we formed only enhanced my experience, making it all the more rich and memorable. Each day was filled with new friends and exciting adventures, and before I knew it, my solo trip had turned into the trip of a lifetime.
I quickly realized that though I had come to Iceland on my own, I was far from alone.
On my first day in Iceland, I explored Reykjavík, the country’s capital city. I was eager to start exploring, so I set out to see some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. My first stop was the Hallgrimskirkja, a towering church with unique architecture. Another iconic landmark in the city is the Sun Voyager, a sculpture located on the waterfront. The sculpture is a modern take on a Viking ship, and it was interesting to see how it symbolizes the country’s seafaring history. I ended my day at the Harpa music hall, a stunning concert hall that is home to the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. The building’s unique geometric design and the way it catches the light was truly mesmerizing. I was surprised by how much I was able to see and experience on my first day, and I couldn’t wait to see what the rest of the trip would have in store.
The Golden Circle
On my second day in Iceland, I embarked on a tour of the Golden Circle. Our tour guide, Mr. Howser, was an enthusiastic and humorous guide who had an enormous passion for Iceland. He looked a bit like a viking himself and his passion for the country and culture made the tour extra special.
We visited a variety of stunning natural landmarks, starting with the Kerið crater, a volcanic crater lake with vibrant blue water. Next, we stopped at the Secret Lagoon, a natural hot spring that offered a chance to relax and soak in the warm waters.
We also visited the Geysirs area where we saw the Strokkur geyser, which erupted every few minutes, sending hot water and steam high into the air. The Gullfoss waterfall was another highlight, the power of the water falling down the two-tiered waterfall was incredible to see.
Lastly, we visited Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is known for being the site of Iceland’s first parliament and is also on the boundary of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. The tour was a great way to see and learn about the country’s natural wonders and history, and Mr. Howser’s commentary made the experience even more enjoyable.
After a wonderful tour of the Golden Circle, we returned to Reykjavík where we decided to explore the city’s nightlife. We were pleasantly surprised to find that there was a jazz music festival happening in the city, so we decided to check out one of the local bars where we listened to some live jazz bands. To top off the night, we couldn’t skip trying the traditional Icelandic hot dog; a delicious end to a fantastic day.
Chasing Waterfalls and Exploring Iceland’s South Coast
Despite a late night spent exploring Reykjavik’s nightlife, I was eager to see more of Iceland’s beautiful landscapes. I woke up feeling a bit tired but excited for another day of adventure. I had a quick breakfast and set off on a tour of the south coast.
The tour began at Skógafoss, where I was greeted by an incredible sight. The waterfall was flowing beautifully, and the sun was shining just right, creating rainbows in the mist. The weather was perfect and the view was truly breathtaking. Next, we visited Sólheimajökull, a glacial tongue that was a beautiful sight to see. The contrast of the blue ice and the black volcanic ash was striking, and I was in awe of the natural beauty. We also visited Vík í Mýrdal and Reynisfjara beach, which is an incredibly picturesque black-sand beach with basalt columns and Reynisdrangar sea-stacks, a unique and beautiful sight to see. The last stop of this tour was at the magnificent Seljalandsfoss, the waterfall that you could walk behind.
It was an unforgettable tour, the south coast of Iceland was truly spectacular and full of surprises, I was glad I got to see it, and the great weather made the day even more enjoyable.
A Volcanic Adventure: Witnessing an Eruption at Fagradalsfjall
On my fourth day in Iceland, I woke up excited for the adventure that lay ahead. I had planned a hiking tour to visit the volcanic area of Fagradalsfjall in the Reykjanes area. When I had booked my Iceland solo trip back in April, the volcano was in dormant state and I had planned to visit the eruption site of 2021. However, fate had other plans, and just two weeks before my departure, a new volcanic eruption happened in the same area. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to see an active volcano, it made the tour even more special.
The weather was perfect, with clear blue skies and a comfortable temperature, it was ideal for hiking. The tour guide was knowledgeable and had a great sense of humor. He told us interesting stories and facts about geology of the area. We were able to get quite close to the volcano and the view of the lava flows was truly mesmerizing.
I felt incredibly lucky to have witnessed such a unique natural event, it was definitely a highlight of my trip. The combination of the beautiful weather and the opportunity to see an active volcano for the first time in my life made for an unforgettable day.
A Time for Adventure and a Time to Relax
Despite the fantastic weather yesterday, today most of the tours had been cancelled due to very bad weather predictions. I had planned a hiking tour to Landmannalaugar, but it had to be rescheduled for later in my trip. I got in touch with some friends I had met earlier on my trip and we decided to spend the day relaxing in Reykjavík. We went to a museum and geothermal swimming pools in the city, which was a great way to unwind and soak in the warm waters. Despite the weather, it turned out to be a perfect day. I got to spend time with friends and enjoy some of Iceland’s most famous outdoor pools. It was a nice change of pace from the usual tour-filled days and gave me an opportunity to relax and recharge before continuing my journey.”
Discovering Iceland’s Hidden Gems: An Adventure on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula
On my sixth day in Iceland, I set out on a tour of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. The tour was packed with highlights and I was excited to explore this beautiful area. Our first stop was Kirkjufell, a picturesque mountain that is known for its distinctive shape and beautiful waterfall. You may recognize it since it was one of the filming locations of Game of Thrones. It was a perfect spot for photography and I couldn’t resist taking a few shots of the mountain and its surroundings.
Next, we visited Saxhóll, an extinct volcano crater that offered beautiful views of the surrounding area. We also visited Djúpalónssandur, a black sand beach that was a unique and striking sight. The contrast of the black sand and the turquoise water was beautiful, and I was impressed by the power of the waves crashing against the shore.
We also stopped at Arnarstapi, Búðir, and Ytri Tunga where we saw sea lions, which was a real treat. It was great to see them in their natural habitat. The tour was a great way to see the Snæfellsnes peninsula, and I was happy to have had the opportunity to explore this beautiful area of Iceland.
Returning to Iceland’s South Coast: A Long Day of Adventure to Jökulsárlón Glacier, Skaftáreldahraun and Diamond Beach
On my seventh day in Iceland, I set out on a tour of the south coast once again, but this time we had to rise and shine early as we had a long drive ahead of us. Our first stop was Skaftáreldahraun, an area of volcanic lava fields that was quite different from the other landscapes I had seen in Iceland. Then we visited Diamond beach, a black sand beach where chunks of ice from the glacier wash ashore, and it was a spectacular view.
The highlight of the tour was Jökulsárlón, the largest glacier of Iceland. The sheer size of the glacier was breathtaking, and I was amazed by the various shades of blue in the ice. I also went on an amphibian boat tour which was an amazing experience, getting to see the glacier up close and learn more about it from the tour guide.
On the way back we stopped at the Gigjukvisl Bridge Memorial, and I also visited some places that I had been earlier on my trip: Vik, Reynisfjara (black sand beach) and the Seljalandsfoss waterfall. It was a long day but it was totally worth it, it was a packed with great stops, and I was glad I got to see more of the south coast and the glacier. I was happy to have another opportunity to see these beautiful places again.
Exploring Iceland’s Rugged Beauty: A Hike in the Highlands of Landmannalaugar and a Soak in Natural Hot Springs
On my next day in Iceland, I set out on a hike in the highlands. We hiked the Landmannalaugar area. The hike was challenging and the views were truly spectacular. The landscape was unlike anything I had ever seen before, with vibrant colors, rugged terrain, and an otherworldly feel. I was in awe of the natural beauty of the place.
I met a group of five Dutch people and we ended up spending most of the day together. It was great to have the company and we shared our experiences of Iceland.
The highlight of the day was the dip in one of the natural hot springs. It was a perfect way to end a day of hiking, relaxing in the warm water and admiring the surrounding landscape. It was an amazing experience and the landscape I witnessed here is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
Exploring Iceland’s Countryside: A Tour of the Silver Circle and Its Natural Wonders
On my last day of my trip, I went on a tour of the Silver Circle. It was an amazing tour of the countryside of Iceland and I knew it was going to be one of the highlights of my trip. The tour started at Grábrókargígar, a volcano crater that offered beautiful views of the surrounding area. We also visited Glanni, a waterfall that was surrounded by beautiful landscapes and it was a great spot for photography.
After that we visited Deildartunguhver, a thermal hot spring. One of the highlights of the tour was the visit to Hraunfossar, a series of waterfalls that flowed out of a lava field and it was a unique and beautiful sight. The area was truly magical.
We finished the tour in the Canyon Baths at Húsafell, it was a great way to end the tour and my trip. The warm water and the beautiful surroundings made it the perfect spot to relax and unwind. The Silver Circle tour was truly one of the greatest tours I had been on during my trip, I felt like I had seen the best of Iceland’s countryside.
Farewell to the Land of Fire and Ice
As my trip to Iceland came to an end, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of sadness at the thought of leaving this beautiful country. Iceland had completely exceeded my expectations and I knew that this wouldn’t be my last visit. The rugged landscapes, natural beauty, and friendly people had captured my heart and I couldn’t wait to come back someday.
One thing that I would love to experience in the future is Iceland’s winter landscape. I had only visited in the summer, but I have heard that the country is even more magical during the winter months with the potential to see the Northern Lights. I can imagine myself bundled up, watching in awe as the aurora dances across the night sky. I’m already looking forward to coming back to Iceland someday, where I will discover new adventures and make more memories.