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Iceland During the Winter

SmarterTravel

Author: Rae Ann Wright
Date of Trip: January 2015

We traveled to Reykjavik from Seattle on Jan 26 to arrive early morning on Jan 27, 2015. Icelantic Airlines did a great job, they are also offering free stop-overs if you choose to do so on your way to Europe!

We decided to do our own self-drive tour and in many ways, glad we did! We did our own exploring, spending 3 nights at 3 different locations out in the boonies! The sunrise was about 10AM and sunset around 4:15PM, although it took forever to get really dark. Lot’s of snow, some wind and winding icy roads, beautiful mountains, glaciers and streams.

Golden Waterfall

This waterfall is huge as you can see the people in the background. Very cold, however, so loud, proud and beautiful! Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall) is an iconic waterfall of Iceland offering a spectacular view of the forces and beauty of untouched nature. Gullfoss is part of the Golden Circle tour, located in South Iceland on the Hvit (White) river which is fed by Iceland’s second biggest glacier, the Langjikull. The water plummets down 32 meters in two stages into a rugged canyon which walls reach up to 70 meters in height. On a sunny day shimmering rainbow can be seen over the falls.

What was also very amazing was all the wild horse herds, their very own Icelandic Horses! It was such fun to see the horses galloping, playing, nuzzling each other and even sparring!

Icelandic Horse

The Icelandic horses height ranges between 12.3 (128 cm stick) and 14.3 hands (148 cm stick), with the average horse being 13.2 hands (135 cm stick). It is thought an insult on Iceland to call it a pony, and all over the world they are rightfully called the Icelandic horses. Many a rider has sat on an icy pony for the first time in his life, and returning after the ride saying “This is truly a Horse”, such is the feeling of power and personality that glows from the horse. The Icelandic horse is enormously muscular, and with very dense bones, often with a heavy head and compact body. This breed is possessed of great agility and is also very sure-footed. It carries grown men, even heavy men, at speed without tiring.

Our next journey took us on a short (45 min) bumpy ride in a 50 seated, Prop plane! SAGA Tours in Iceland were our hosts.

Highlights: Island Hrisey ● Meeting local food producers ● The fresh taste of the north

Culinary Coastal and Countryside

Here we enjoyed the first half of full “Culinary Coastal and Countryside” tour. We were able to focus on the seaside and materials from sea as well as the first micro brewery in Iceland. All the producers we visit are small family firms and by some the knowledge has traveled from generation to generation. They will offer us to taste for example fresh fish, local micro brewery beer and salted cod. We travel by the coastline as well as short boat trip to Hrisey Island and during the tour we sample as we go mouth-watering local treats sourced especially for us and the likes of fishermen’s and brewers will share their gastronomic knowledge with you and we can enjoy the fresh taste of North Iceland.

It was also amazing to see so many homes build in very rural areas that seem to be available for summer rentals where the mid night sun is there to meet you as you find a spa or a golf course to enjoy.

Travel in the winter like we did and see the Northern Lights for yourself!

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