The Hidden Gems of Iceland
Iceland has a ton of hidden gems for the discerning Arctic explorer. Aptly known as the land of ice and fire, the opportunities are endless, erupting geysers, breath-taking waterfalls, glacier lagoons, black sandy beaches and whale watching.
Hike the Svínafellsjökull Glacier in Skaftafell National Park. Located in the southeast of Iceland, in a place called Öræfi, (literally translated as “Desert”). This exhilarating hike traverses through crevasses and ice paths allowing an opportunity to absorb the stunning rocky landscape and natural landscapes carved out by volcanoes and ancient rivers.
Do not miss an opportunity to indulge in an excursion to see the Icelandic whales from the Dalvik coast situated on the Tröllaskagi Peninsula in the North of Iceland. The port is a primarily a fishing harbour but has many whale spotting tours on the Eyjafjörður fjord. Prepare to spot many species of whales including humpback, mink and the majestic blue whale. Also other wildlife such as dolphins and various fascinating bird species including puffins.
Explore centuries-old caves of ice under the powerful setting of the Vatnajökull glacier; experience the vivid blues of the ice caused by ultraviolet rays. Use a tour guide to benefit from expert advice and gain the ultimate experience but in safe conditions.
A visit to Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon situated within the vast Vatnajökull is a visual experience of a lifetime, and an opportunity to get close to the massive icebergs and resident seals. A boat tour will ensure the best encounter of this area known as Iceland’s “Crown Jewel”. Gently navigate and zigzag through static and moving icebergs provides a unique opportunity for amazing photographs
There are a vast number of waterfalls to visit in Iceland, most of which attract huge amounts of tourists. Therefore, to find one that is perhaps less known is inevitably one that is difficult to reach! Kvernufoss waterfall is one such waterfall and definitely worth a visit. Situated in the South of Iceland close to the more popular Skógafoss waterfall and often bypassed by visitors to the area due to the 20-minute hike required to reach it. However, when you do eventually arrive at this breath-taking waterfall you are able to walk around and behind it, and chances are it will be just you!
The North East of Iceland is unspoilt and has a rich and natural beauty. Remote and magical, long sandy beaches, diverse animal life. Staying in specialist farm accommodation allows a rare glimpse into this captivating region.
A visit to Northern Iceland and Myvatn Geothermal Lakes is a delight but should be visited early in the day to avoid the bus tours of visitors. The steaming lakes, created following a volcanic eruption over 2,300 years ago, provide a particularly amazing sensory experience. The scenery is very surreal, with naturally bubbling geysers and steaming pools of water dotted around a vast landscape and a strong smell of sulphur. The area is a natural haven for migrating birds and ducks, and many fish thrive in the nearby rivers feeding on the midges that occupy the space in the summer months.
Also in Myvatn is the Dimmuborgir Lava Fields, an area of dramatic volcanic rock formations, caves and arches formed around 2300 years ago. Also referred to as Kirkjan (church) formations, due to the Gothic church atmosphere. Nordic Christian legend has it that Dimmuborgir is the place where Satan landed when he was expelled from heaven, and here he created the “Helvetes katakomber”, which translates as “The Catacombs of Hell”.