Oena went on a trip to see the wonders of Iceland for time away from our desks and to get our inspiration juices flowing on our return.5 minute read
Iceland has been on our bucket list for some time. The Nordic island country is renowned for being a tourist hot spot especially for designers and photographers a like. The country is known by the “land of fire and ice” for a reason. Iceland consists of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields, mountains, and glaciers, and many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Not to mention it’s home to the spectacular northern lights.
When the opportunity came up for us to book a five day trip to Iceland we knew it would be the perfect time away from our desks to recharge. We had a lot planned to see with a trip to hopefully see the northern lights, the wonders of the Golden Circle and a relaxing spa at the Blue Lagoon to finish the trip off.
Shot of the famous rainbow road taken when we were wondering around Reykjavik
The view over the interior of Iceland as you fly in is pretty majestic - it's like a snowy kind of artic moonscape thats mixed with rocky landscape. The interior is mostly uninhabited but you can pick out mountains, craters and volcanoes. The flight itself is pretty quick 2.5 hour flight from Manchester to Keflavík airport and then a further 45 minute coach ride to Icelands capital Reykjavik.
Strolling around Reykjavik is a rather low-key experience. With none of the usual high-rise skyscrapers towering in all directions like a typical city. The shopping and eating district of Reykjavik feels like you’re walking through a small town. Houses are even nestled on side roads between shops. What is a huge change of pace for us when walking down the main shopping street as well was the lack of a single recognisable European or American brand. Yes that means no big coffee chains like Starbucks or fast food places like McDonalds. Instead you’ll find charming independent cafes and Icelandic shops selling everything you’d need to live there.
Lets talk about the food in Iceland for a moment because it’s incredible. There’s a lot of choice for everybody and yes vegan food is all the rage here. We tried Glo and Veganæs and they had the most delicious vegan food we’ve ever eaten.
Shot at the Gullfoss waterfall which is part of the Golden Circle
After a day exploring Reykjavik, the first stop on our tour was seeing the Golden Circle. The three primary stops on our route were the Þingvellir National Park, the Gullfoss waterfall, and the geothermal area in Haukadalur, which contains the geysers Geysir and Strokkur.
Though Geysir has been mostly dormant for many years, Strokkur continues to erupt every 5–10 minutes and lets just say it’s spectacular to see. The Gullfoss waterfall was also equally as breathtaking. Last on the Golden Circle tour was seeing the Þingvellir National Park which is where the tectonic plates are located. Around this beautiful landscape is where a number of Game of Thrones episodes were filmed.
The last stop on our tour was the Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland's most popular attractions for a reason. The beautiful milky-blue water is unlike anything else found on earth, and makes a stark contrast to the surrounding black lava field and its growing grey moss. It averages around 39°C year-round, making it the perfect temperature for bathing in. The whole experience is completely relaxing and its soothing waters and rich skin nourishment are unreal.
We were also lucky to see the northern lights when leaving that night which we felt was a perfect way to end the whole trip.
To conclude we loved our trip to Iceland and we think Iceland loved us too. Not only are the people so friendly and the food so delicious but there’s so much to see. We only scratched the surface on our trip and we’ll definitely be back in the future to see the ice caves, glaciers and give the snowmobiling a try.