I’m going to Iceland!

I have a travel announcement (that my headline sort of gives away)!

In December, I’m going to Iceland.

Yes, I realise that December is 5 months away – but I’ve decided that doesn’t mean I should stop feeling excited. It’s an incredibly unique coutry, and I can’t blimmin’ wait.

I’ve been to Iceland before – but in the summer, quite a few years back now. I went on the Golden Circle Tour, which took in the sights of Gullfoss (aka the Golden Falls), the Great Geysir and the Kerið volcano crater. I watched the sun set… only for a moment, before it would go, “only kidding, I’m back!” and rise back up.

Great Geysir

This time, I’ll be there in December, when the sun only rises at 11:30ish in the morning and sets around 4/4:30 at night. This is going to be interesting.

The first evening will be spent on the Northern Lights Experience Tour, which will pick me up at 7:30pm and go on until the early hours of the morning as I’m driven somewhere (I’m putting a lot of trust in these people…) in the Icelandic countryside to hopefully see the Northern Lights.

I’ll then be doing a new sort of tour that when you read this, will think I’m incredibly sad or incredibly cool… (the latter? Please?). I’m doing a Game of Thrones tour!

I love the show. Up until the season recently finished, it would be the thing that got me through a Monday at work – knowing I have it ready to watch once I got home. Yeah, see? I’m cool.

The Game of Thrones tour is fairly new, but it will include Thingvellir National Park, the Parliamentary Plains and various locations the series was filmed.

I’m also planning to visit the Blue Lagoon after I arrive at Reykjavik Airport, as it’s closeby.

BlueLagoonSource

I also need your help – I have a total of 4 nights and 3-and-a-bit days. I’m limited on time, so my indecisive mind needs your suggestions on these options…

Snorkelling the Silfra Rift, between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. I’ve read a couple of blogger accounts of this, from The Travel Hack and Flora the Explorer. It seems something so unique to Iceland, I’m not sure I can allow myself not to do it. But I’ll be there in December… is this TOO cold? Aahh.

I want to visit one or two black sand beaches, like Jökulsárlón, Reynisdrangar or Dyrhólaey (ideas thanks to this piece on Go See Write). To understand my obsession, watch this music video from Bon Iver to get some stunning Iceland shots (which also makes me certain I need an Icelandic jumper in my life).

I need to figure out if I should do this within a tour, or find a way there myself? And which one I absolutely should not miss, if I only have time for one? OH, and then there’s glacier hiking… it looks thrilling. I want to do this.

Solheimajokull GlacierSólheimajökull Glacier. Photo by Monika Markovinovic

Dogsledding with huskies – there are a few companies that do this, but I’m concerned about my limited time (and daylight, actually) and I have to work out how I feel about dogsledding first (i.e. I need to research it and whether the animals are happy and safe – ever since finding out more about mistreated elephants and tigers in India/Thailand etc, I want to be much more aware of what I’m doing on any travels). And if I do feel ok about it, would this be better to do in a more traditional place like Greenland or Lapland?

I know, I have a lot of things floating around in my mind – but I love that. When you have an exciting new travel prospect, the realisation of all the opportunities come flooding in. It makes me feel energised, but also completely content.

If you’ve been to Iceland and have any thoughts/suggestions on what I’m already thinking – and any other suggestions of things to do – please let me know! Comment below or email me at kirstovertheworld@gmail.com. I’d love to hear any ideas to make the most of my time in this beautiful country.

17 Comments

  • I’ve been to Iceland during winter 2012 and i’m going back this summer. I’ve done the snorkelling in the Silfra fissure and.. there is not so much to see. Clear water. Rocks, that’s it. I don’t know what are you expectations. I’m a diver, and i like to see wildlife, so i was a bit disappointed. and it was f*cking cold. I had a headache for hours after the snorkelling because of the cold. The Silfra fissure is more interesting to see from above than from under, if you know what i meant. So if you visit Thingvellir, you will see it, because the fissure is within the park.

    For blue lagoon, i recommend it. the header picture of my blog was taken in december. The atmosphere is wonderful.

    Hmm the golden circle tour was not my favourite but I loved the Snaefelsness tour ! That was great ! And the South coast was nice too (and it includes glacier walking) ! I would recommend these ones.

    • Ah yes I have heard there’s not any wildlife – only a couple of fish and they’re rare even. I think I could be quite awestruck over the thought of being between two plates though. Eeesh, that coldness doesn’t sound good! I’ve got 5 months to figure it out at least so no rush ;)

      Lovely! Will definitely be going to the Blue Lagoon! Oooh I’ll check out the Snaefelsness tour too – thanks for the suggestion :)

  • How exciting! I really hope you get to see the Northern Lights – I saw them up here in the Hebrides at the start of the year, and it was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen! I’m also pretty jealous of that Game of Thrones tour – definitely cool hehe :)

  • Deborah says:

    That is really awesome! Have a wonderful time! And I think it’s great that you are spending five months anticipating the trip! :-)

  • Virginia says:

    Ooooh this looks great! I want to hear all about it as I’m heading to Iceland in March to (hopefully) see the Northern Lights. I had no idea about all of the rest of this stuff so this has just made me incredibly excited!

  • You definitely need an Icelandic jumper in your life. My one regret from Iceland is not buying one!
    If you’re short on time and want to do a lot, I’d suggest a tour or two (or three)? The snorkelling tour I did could also be combined with a caves tour or a horse riding tour so you do one in the morning and something else in the afternoon.
    And snorkelling will be freezing, but it’s so worth it! It’s a once in a lifetime experience and wouldn’t be nearly as memorable if it was warm.

  • HannahontheMap says:

    I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland! I really hope you get to see the Northern Lights too. The “closest” I got to seeing them was when I went to Alaska, but nothing happened. 5 months should be plenty of time to plan :)

  • Arianwen says:

    I’m not a fan of Game of Thrones, but I’m still totally intrigued! I think I’d do it if I was there, but I’d probably spend most of the tour very confused!

  • Ayla says:

    This is so exciting!! Doesn’t matter at all that it’s still 5 months away, I get excited ages before a trip! Plus, I’m sure those 5 months will fly by anyway!

    I haven’t been to Iceland before so can’t really advise on what you should do but I know if I was in your shoes I’d be wanting to do everything as well. I did a husky sled ride in Lapland and it was so much fun but the snorkelling and black sand beaches sound incredible too. Decisions decisions!!

    Whatever you choose, you’ll have a fab time, and I’m exicited for you as Iceland is somewhere I’d love to visit myself :)

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