Adventures in Iceland: Our 4 day itinerary
In 2014 I moved jobs. Part of that move meant that I had to leave one of my best friends behind at the office. We soon missed our constant contact and by Spring 2016 it had got too much. We decided on the only sensible course of action- a full throttle adventure trip to Iceland together, and to drag our partners into the mix with us.
My friend started the planning process and came across some fantastic activites to fill 4 days in Iceland. So we decided to do them all.
We arrived in Reykjavik at lunch time. The airport is roughly 50km from the city centre and you can prearrange a transfer through Flybus or Airport Express, which we did. There are also taxis available outside the terminal, but we wanted to save our hard earned spending money!
Northern Lights Cruise
Having settled comfortably into our rooms it was time to pile on the layers and head out into the night. At 9pm a coach arrived at the hotel and drove us to the harbour. We cheerfully joined a cruise that took us out into the harbour to enjoy a beautiful, if freezing cold, view of Reykjavik from the water. It was all very beautiful, with only one draw back- it was cloudy, so there were no Northern Lights!
We had our fill of cold on the first night, and knowing what was left to come, we decided on a warm and relaxing day the the Blue Lagoon.
This incredible man made lagoon is filled with 9 million litres of milky blue, hot, geothermal water. The changing rooms are hot. The water is hot. The dash between the two is colder, and less dignified, than anything I imagined.
To temper the shock we treated ourselves to a beer from the swim up lagoon bar and then a face mask.
Having relaxed ourselves into a stupor we knew we had to make the run back into the changing rooms. With gritted teeth we made our move. Then we realised that there was a route through the lagoon and straight inside the building that we had not spotted earlier and that salvaged what was left of our dignity.
Gullfoss, Geysir and Langjokull snowmobiling
Day three kicked it up a notch. An early start on the coach straight to Gullfoss, a waterfall as astounding as it is entrancing. The path down to the very edge was closed due to the ice making it unsafe, but we were in an unrivalled position to watch entrants for the Darwin Awards slide their way down for a selfie. Even standing at the top of the cliffs and watching the water thunder over two stages we were getting sprayed!
Moving on from Gullfoss we headed out towards Geysir. Here we walked between bubbling fissures and clouds of steam and made our way up the hill to admire Geysir. Patient waiting was rewarded with the earth spewing forth a huge tower of hot water (reminiscent of that one friend everyone has that can't handle their tequila).
Back on the bus and we were taken to a car park, which wasn't what we had expected. But then we were told to board what can only be described as The Bus. It looked like the result of a tank and a Routemaster mash up. If all public transport looked like this, we would probably use it more often.
Falling indelicately off of the bus, we were off for snowmobiling. Suitably suited and helmeted we were given the safety briefing and then taken out on the glacier for the ride of our lives.
Snowmobiling was exhilirating and exciting. I learnt quite quickly that as pillion passenger the best option was "cling on for dear life" after a spectacularly failed attempt at "lean back and hold the bars" almost ended in being run over.
As a driver, I learnt even quicker that the brakes had a knack to them that I couldn't quite master.
Snowmobiling is thoroughly enjoyable way of smashing your kidneys into smithereens and I would recommend it to anybody. It opened up another landscape to us that we would never have reached without the snowmobiles, the type of landscape I had not come across before (or since!)
Having partially recovered from the snowmobiling, we got up and enthusiastically headed out for our final activity- riding viking horses across Ishestar lava field.
Arriving at the riding centre we were told that we would have to form a bond with our horse by petting them and speaking to them in a soft voice. If this wasn't the best part of the entire trip for me then I do not know what was.
I was given the beautiful Viska to make friends with. After a few minutes of telling her how lovely she was and plonking a few discrete kisses on the end of her snout we were shown how to mount. I realised after a short while that my travel companions were all looking very majestic atop their ponies and I was being squidged against a fence by mine, who clearly knew she had me beat quite early on.
Taken up across the picturesque lava fields the horses knew the course, they knew they were about to break into a canter- the only issue was, we didn't.
I could hear my husband's plaintive voice from further down the line, explaining that he had some severe concerns about the placement of his genitals and whether they would still be intact at the end of the journey.
As a novel way to see a beautiful country I would certainly say it was worth the morning trip.
After a sad parting from Viska and one last pat on the nose, we were left with just enough time to cram some souvenirs into our bags and start making our way home. My travelling buddy treated himself to a rather attractive golden puffin statue for pride of place on the mantlepiece. It was such an attractive puffin that I actually had the mantlepiece ripped out entirely. You can see how well that worked out....
Despite the golden puffin statue, Iceland is an incredible destination for adventure and relaxation. The landscapes are breath taking, the people are friendly and the activities are outstanding!
Thanks for reading, and if you have any activities we missed please leave a comment, I would love to have ideas for Iceland: Round 2!