We were longing for a good adventure trip away from our homeland since our college days. During those days, we had decided that the day we all get settled in our lives with our respective jobs, we will head out for an adventure trip to one of the best location in the world.
After seven long years of finishing college and doing reasonable well in our respective career fields, we met one fine day and decided to make our wish come true. So here we were, 5 of us heading en route for an adventure break which was pending since more than seven years.
We chose Iceland as our holiday destination. The reason behind choosing Iceland was the challenging and stimulating outdoor adventure activities which were of interest to all five of us in the group. Hence Iceland was a unanimous decision. We were all ready to experience the wintery island of fire and ice.
Iceland is Europe’s second largest island and a highly developed country with a population of more than 300,000. The national language is Icelandic, but English is widely spoken, especially in the capital city of Reykjavik. Iceland is famous of its hot springs, magnificent geysers, waterfalls and active volcanoes.
We started our tour with a visit to the Blue Lagoon which is a geothermal spa located on the Reykjanes Peninsula. What a start it was!, truly Icelandic and a unique experience. While we were in the pool, soaking ourselves in the warm water, it was freezing outside. The bathing area had a bar where we had 2-3 drinks and relaxed in this warm and healing water. Overall the lagoon was an excellent experience and a good start to the journey.
After the blue lagoon, we headed to Solheimajokull Glacier tongue on Iceland´s South Coast for an adventure packed session of Glacier hiking and ice climbing. We discovered a wonderland of ice sculptures, waterfalls, edges and deep fissures
We were prepared with rain gears and warm clothing whereas the glacier gear and safety equipment were given by the tour company. We had a safe and easy glacier walk in between the ice formations, clefts, deep cracks and sharp edges. This was a great way to experience nature at its best. After reaching the ice wall on the glacier, it was time for ice climbing! The guide provided us with all the safety tools such as ice axes, crampons and safety lines. The stunning natural sights which we witnessed were our reward for this challenging climb and truly worth the hard work. We tasted the glacier ice and filled up our water bottles with glacier water.
We ended the day by feasting on beer and local food.
The next day was devoted to a more challenging activity – Diving. Diving in Iceland is not an easy activity, generally because of the cold climate all year round. We chose of the of best dive sites in the world to challenge ourselves – Silfra ravine in Pingvellir National Park. Silfra is the dividing line between the continents of America and Europe and is rated as the top 3 cold water dive sites in the world by Diver Magazine.
We were all ready to experience diving in extreme conditions; strong current and cold water. The professional diving equipment was given to us by our guide. The experience of seeing marine life in crystal clear fresh water was astonishing. Our diving suits were perfect for each of us since we had given the details of our height, weight and shoe size to the tour company beforehand. We were gliding along the currents feeling as light as a feather and the water visibility was unbelievable – as far as the eye could see. The professional diver with us was nice enough to take our photographs using his underwater camera. The dive itself is intense and deep, very different from our normal dive experiences. The beautiful cobalt blue color of the water cannot be seen anywhere else.
Our next adventure activity was canoeing on Hvita River, south of Iceland. We were split in pairs of 2 since two people sit together in the canoe and steer it and a guide in a kayak makes sure everything is safe and all right. We paddled down the Hvita River conquering the waves and rapids and travelled for 7 kilometers. Our little experience in rafting back in our homeland made it easier for us to do this activity though we were in constant fear of flipping over but this fear had a thrill and fun element to it. Then we stopped at a point where the guide in the kayak told us to jump into the water. Largely, it was a superb experience and we give ten on ten for this activity.
The subsequent day was dedicated to horse riding. The Icelandic horse is a unique breed, well-known for its pleasing nature and confident pace, a vital feature for Iceland’s rugged landscape. The farms are only thirty minutes from Reykjavik. They provide basic lessons on how to handle the horses as well as all necessary equipment such as helmets, boots and rain gear. Our pleasant ride commenced on the on gentle paths through lava fields and pastures. We witnessed scenic views of stunning landscapes, hill side s and mountains. We experienced varieties of Icelandic nature. Though it was Mother Nature everywhere, but not one of the scenes were repetitive. Everywhere, we saw a different view thus making our ride a wonderful experience.
We concluded our trip with a super jeep tour. These tours are quite extreme and unique and last for about nine to ten hours.
We drove with our guide from Reykjavik city to Thingvellir National Park, which is one of the country’s most significant historical sites because Iceland’s first parliament was founded here only. From Thingvellir we headed along mountain tracks towards the world-famous geothermal area around Geyser hot spring.
From there, we drove to the Golden waterfall where we were so close to the waterfall that we could actually glacial water’s spray on your faces. After seeing the waterfall and taking a few clicks, we drove into the mountain road Kjolur adoring the view of the mountains Jarlhettur,a mountain range which was created in a fissure explosion during Ice Age. Finally, the super jeep took us to the Langjokull glacier, the second largest glacier in Iceland offering a great view.
We devoted our last night entirely to the local cuisine and the bar in our hotel at Reykjavik. The local cuisine with an array of appetizers, mouthwatering main course and delicious desserts was a sight to look it. We feasted like hungry wolves since it had been a long day for us.
We departed the next day to the airport with a heavy heart. We had fallen in love with Iceland and had almost forgotten that we were tourists and had to go back some day.
There was a lot more to discover in Iceland and we had decided to make a trip again to this wonderful land whenever destiny permits.
It was truly a well planned action packed adventurous holiday with full of nostalgic moments which will be cherished by all of us for a lifetime.
These experiences were one of a kind and really make all five of us think about it even today. Iceland is truly a lovely place to holiday due to plenty of things to do. A must visit place for adventure enthusiasts like us.