Iceland is a magical country in ways more than one. There are natural wonders wherever you look – waterfalls, geysers, roads that don’t seem to end, lakes, thermal pools, and some of the most scenic mountain ranges in the world.
Back in November, we rented our Land Rover and went on a crazy joy ride, discovering one gem after another. There is no shortage of attractions in Iceland but the famed Golden Circle makes an appearance on everybody’s itineraries, irrespective of individual tastes and preferences. At the Golden Circle, the triumvirate of Iceland’s natural wonders, it’s possible to stop and marvel at steam and bubbling water rising from geysers, check out gushing streams of water at one of the world’s largest waterfalls, take a dip in thermal springs and see impressive rock formations at the Thingvellir National Park. The stunning trails and rugged landscape of this National Park are bound to distract you from carrying on your road trip.
But carry on you must, for there is a lot to see in Iceland. As you leave the Golden Circle behind you will see awe-inspiring panoramas by the dozen and unending miles of impressive landscape. This is nothing like the roads you might encounter while cycling in the French countryside or travelling in the Italian countryside. There are no olive groves, vineyards, or orchards. There are barren fields, stunted trees, and desert-like landscapes. Iceland’s marooned landscapes are reminiscent of the moon, or better still Mars. The unearthly edge makes it exciting, surreal, and intimidating all at once.
Cities and supermarkets are few and far apart, so make sure you stock up at large supermarkets and gas stations when you see one. You might have to go the next hundred (or two hundred miles!) without one. Another top tip – don’t wait for a public toilet to relieve yourself. You can probably count Iceland’s public toilets on your fingers (ok- I exaggerate but you get the idea!). Lookout for handsome and iconic Icelandic horses as you stop at a random field for a picnic or a butt break – they are gorgeous to look at! Their unique and homogenous hairstyles can be credited to Iceland’s cold and windy weather. The constant wind ensures a side-swept hairstyle that seems to be inspired by the runways of Milan 😉 Take a look :-
The highlight of that road trip in Iceland, for us, were the hotels and farm-stays. Icelandic hotels are usually nestled deep in the countryside. Each one of the hotels we stayed in was situated in the most idyllic surroundings. Each farm was straight out of a story book. Imagine a wooden cottage set on sylvan farmland, surrounded by mysterious fog-laden mountains – that’s just a typical B&B in Iceland! One thing’s for sure – you will never be disappointed by what Iceland has to offer on the accommodation front.
As you Icelandic road trip comes to an end, don’t forget to indulge in some pampering at the Blue Lagoon. This natural spa is very close to the airport and could well be your last stop before you take the flight back to your home country. It’s definitely the cherry on the Icelandic cake 🙂