Land of Fire, Ice and All things Nice

By Bryan | Published: 16th Jul, 2017

You know that thought when you're a little kid about Iceland being literally a land of ice? In this trip, it was all painted with green hills, blue lagoons, waterfalls, geysers, and all things nice.


Iceland is definitely not my average travel destination. It's like no other country on earth. In fact, it's probably one of the most amazing countries I've ever been so far. May is the perfect month to visit — late spring and early summer. Well, almost perfect. Sightings of the famous northern lights is a miss during this month.


One thing's for sure though, it hardly gets dark at all! Around this month, sunrise can be as early as 3AM to 05AM and sunset at 10PM to 11PM. That simply means, you can enjoy daylight and let your mind drift to stunning clear skies over grassy fields and waterfalls or snow capped peaks in the distance.


Considering it was another last minute trip, we've got lucky to get a pretty good deal from Icelandic low-cost carrier WOWAir which just opened its new route from Barcelona to the capital city of Iceland —Reykjavik. I find its evening flights ideal 'coz it saves me a night of accommodation. I can bear the nearly 5-hour flight, believe me.


We arrived about 2AM in the morning at the Keflavik Airport (KEF) and then slept all the way until around 6AM — just in time for the first trip to a nice relaxing dip in Iceland's well-known geothermal spa — the famous Blue Lagoon.


It's breathtakingly beautiful — with relaxing warm water around 37-39 degrees! I got my natural spa treatment with the lagoon's healing mineral waters and silica mud mask on my face. You would definitely leave this place feeling as soft as a baby.


After a soothing bath, we headed east of Reykjavík to see the historic Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park. It is, for one, designated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2004 and an unusual place where you can walk between two continents!


Yep, here you see the actual continental drift phenomenon in a rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic ridge. Here's where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates are slowly pulling apart over time — right in front of you.


Following the Golden Circle Route, we headed to the iconic waterfall of Iceland called Gullfoss — a.k.a Golden Waterfall. On a nice sunny day, the amazing gorges and the powerful hammering waterfall creates that dreamy mist over a shimmering rainbow.


And if you still can't get enough of Iceland's extreme geological contrasts, brace yourselves as we are yet to see the geysers!


There´s only one real geysir down south-west Iceland which spouts steaming water to a height of about 60 to a 100 feet! Known as the Strokkur geyser, it is located in the geothermally active valley of Haukadalur along with many islets of hot springs.


Then, down to Iceland's South Coast are impressive rock formations, black beaches and.. more waterfalls!

Skógafoss probably rivals Gullfoss as Iceland's most famous waterfall and it's definitely a personal favorite among the famous spots in southern Iceland. And the beaches — the black beaches — you can't miss them!


Perhaps Iceland’s most famous black beach is located at Vík. Framed by a long black volcanic sand beach, you'll find yourself somewhat battling against the strong winds as you face the open Atlantic Ocean.


Also, one of the delightful displays in the south is the beautiful columnar caves. Those eerie fingers of basalt rocks are the most bizarre natural formation I've ever seen. The Icelandic folklore has it that these bizarre stacks are thought to be the remnants of troll. It's truly a one of a kind sighting!


Don't forget to check out my full review of the Blue Lagoon.

  • Bright
    Reading this post just made it seem I was with you all through this backpacking trip. You certainly cleared the doubt that Iceland, is by its name a land filled with Ice. To think it has waterfalls and an endearing atmosphere is really nice. Walk between two continents pinoy this is one superb experience.
  • Bryan
    Thanks, Bright. Iceland is still one of my favorite travel destinations and I really want to go back there anytime soon.
  • Judith Benson
    Iceland has it all, quite a relaxed atmosphere one to be experienced by a backpack traveller. To think it was a place full of ice at first? Having 24 hours of precious beautiful light amazes me. To think of the things I could do with 24 hours of light. And I can't wait to be closer to the geysir when the next eruption can throw boiling water up to 70 meters in the air. The streets look relaxing.
  • Bryan
    It’s an entirely different world! Great experience and fantastic views! I’m planning another visit there – hopefully I get to see the northern lights very soon... Thanks, Judith.
  • Emily
    You know when we were kids, we all thought Iceland was a place covered with massive ice balls but now we know better. From the pictures above, Reykjavík is a wonderful place to visit. I can see the rocky area which will be nice for a selfie
  • Bryan
    Thanks, Emily. I haven't explored much about Iceland, to be honest. I would definitely go there for a second time — to finally see the Norther Lights. That's my dream...

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