Last year was my year to pick a holiday and I chose…drum-roll please…Iceland! When traveling, I want to see out of the ordinary places, step out of my comfort zone and challenge my husband with unplanned, scary and memorable adventures – he’s more of a chill-at-the-beach and not move an inch kind of holiday person, whilst I’m 180o.
We visited Iceland in the winter, and as I’ve become accustomed to by now, we completely underestimated the weather. We went through a similar situation, though at the opposite end, when we bought tickets for China in the middle of the summer. Why you ask? Because I was cheap and foolishly seduced by the really low plane ticket costs. But this is a story for another time.
“It’s the power of Icelandic nature to turn the prosaic into the extraordinary”, says Carolyn Bain, writer for lonelyplanet
and I could not agree more. Going for a dip in a lake becomes a steam bath in a geothermal lagoon. Taking a casual stroll around the countryside can lead to finding hidden caves and volcanic craters. Taking a car trip at night can … get you caught in a snowstorm and make you feel like this is the end for you and your entire life decisions that led you to this point flash before your eyes. The magical thing about Iceland is that it has a transformative effect on the soul.
If you find yourself in the land of the elves, I highly recommend you avoid all organized tours and go at it on your own. We wasted so much time on organized bus trips, it was cold, long and most of the time was spent on the road, rather than at the actual locations. Everything was always about being back on time at the bus and never about enjoying the spectacular views and being in the moment. The only activity that does require a guide and was incredibly entertaining was booking an ATV tour. We chose the Twin Peaks ATV tour and it was so much fun!
The older I get the more afraid I am about the most ridiculous things and “what if…” scenarios. Obviously I was terrified of going alone on an ATV for the first time, below zero temperature, rocky paths and mountain trails. But once you reach the top, all of that fades away as you’re blown away by the view, this hauntingly beautiful land unraveling before you. As I am writing about my experience and I am so close to booking a ticket again – I’ve never wanted more to go back to a place as I do with Iceland.
Have you ever visited Iceland? If you’ve got any tips about some great places to see or activities, I would love to know. Thank you for reading this and stay classy blogosphere.
at the Great Geysir, part of the famous “Golden Circle Tour”
Twin Peaks ATV Tour with Safari Quads