VISIT ICELAND THE LAND OF FIRE AND ICE.
ICELAND MUST BE THE MOST UNUSUAL LAND ON EARTH---IT IS STILL BEING FORMED
Yes, the volcanoes and glaciers are still forming this country. In many places you can feel it being formed underneath your feet. Just over 50 years ago the island of Surtsey, 32 Km. south of Iceland rose dramatically from the sea to form new land. The whole city of Reykjavik is centrally heated from boiling water beneath the ground. This is a truly amazing place. It is even more amazing if, rather than see only the "golden triangle" like most tourist do, you bring your own car (4 x 4 is best) and explore the whole country. To do this you now have to travel from England to Denmark and then to the Faroe Islands and on to Iceland. There is a search box further down this page where you can check the ferry times and prices. You need Harwich to Esbjerg (Denmark) and Esbjerg to Iceland via the Faroe Islands. O.K. so it will take 3 or 4 days to get there but you are on an adventure aren't you?
The weather shown above is the place where the ferry comes into in Iceland. It is the opposite side of the country to Reykjavik. It is on the East coast and Reykjavik is on the Western side. To get there you take Route 1. It doesn't matter much if you take the Northern or Southern loop the distance is not much different. We would suggest that on your tour you take the Northern direction first and come back on the Southern road thus doing a circle of the country. Make sure that you have a full fuel tank. There are not a lot of filling stations and most of them close on Bank Holidays. We got caught out one Witsunday in Reykjavik.
TIP: Route 1 is not surfaced all the way (unless they have improved it since we were there) and, if you follow another vehicle stay well behind since stones through windscreens are a real hazard. There is very, very little traffic though. On the Northern stretch one car an hour is about par for the course. If you venture onto a side road and find that you have to cross a river put your wellies on and try walking it first. If it goes over the top of your wellies or you get knocked over it is too deep. Turn back. Please note that some of the rivers have very hot water. the rest are very cold. If you plan to go swimming (it is great!) find a place where the cold and warm rivers converge to get an acceptable temperature.
Watch where you put your feet! The ground is alive underneath you. This is a scene repeated in many parts of Iceland
Thingvellir with its old church. Site of the world's oldest parliament. This is the area where the continental plates meet. It offers some fascinating scenery.
Tip: Did you know that they grow bananas in Iceland. Yes in greenhouses heated by the hot springs. Steven Fry on Q.I. did once incorrectly claim that Iceland was the largest banana republic in Europe. It is actually Spain but Iceland is probably one of the largest banana producing countries in Europe after Spain, Greece and Italy.
Now, if you want a really hot shower! This geysir goes off every 10 minutues or so and spouts 20-30M. high so you are always sure of a good show. Don;t bother bringing your bathing suit the water is a bit hot for that.
The famous Blue Lagoon. A huge natural bathing pool with theraputic properties. The temperature is always pleasantly warm. You can buy the white mud in jars to take home and use to rejuvenate your skin.
Another shot showing the vastness of the Blue Lagoon. A must see if you visit Iceland
Dettifoss is worth seeing but beware. Icelandic F roads are not like our B roads. They are not surfaced, sometimes ill defined and venture completely away from any signs of civilization. I know we were glad when we finally saw some telephone poles to show that we were not completely in the winderness.