Iceland - Part 4

Friday, April 1, 2016

And now the adventure ends.... After having hiked the day before and seen a whirlwind of the Golden Circle we were eager to carry on our trip. There is so much to see in Iceland, you just never get bored!


First up was the Geysir. Another must if you are visiting Iceland. It's a fun thing to go see but I wouldn't hype it up too much. It can be busy and the massive Geysir doesn't 'erupt' at the moment, so the one you see in the picture is a baby one. Definitely go check it out, but don't make a day of it.

I really wanted to see the tectonic plates in the Thingvellir National Park. If you have time and a licence definitely go scuba diving or snorkeling between them. It is said to be the clearest water in the world.

Silfra Tectonic Plates

I wish we had a polariser on this lens to really show you how deep the crevasse went... 
From the National Park it is a relatively short drive to another hot pool, so we thought we would finish our last day properly. I am so glad we did as this was the best one of them all! It's called Hrunalaug GPS:  N64.140339°, W20.259107°

It was the perfect temperature and had a little house to change in, it has two different baths so more than one group of people could use it at once, and is only a 5 minute walk from where you can park your car.

Having relaxed we drove back to Reykjavik where we had our final meal and said our goodbyes u to this tiny and wonderful island that is Iceland.

Final tips and useful links:
  • Rent a car. Preferably a 4x4 if you are planning on doing more than route 1. Take the insurance that covers everything as there are lots of little rocks that could crack a windscreen etc...
  • If you are doing the whole island do it clockwise, saves the most packed area for last without spoiling your expectations for the begining
  • If you want to see the northern lights download an app or check a website which has KP indexes and an hourly cloud coverage report
  • Use this website for all hostels:
  • You can find some kickass airbnbs too
  • If you want to do the blue lagoon, go to the one in the north rather than the touristy one near the airport
  • Go hike!
  • Check out all hot pools using:
  • Layer layer layer
  • If you want to eat cheap, gas stations serve really good hotdogs and fat free healthy yoghurt called Skyr. This with some granola should have your breakfasts and lunches sorted.
  • Download a very detailed map on your iphone / ipad for when you will be lost.

Good luck! xox 

Iceland - Part 3

Friday, April 1, 2016

Here comes the final part.... the Golden Circle. And it really deserves its name, the South-West part of Iceland is jammed packed with sights to see. Every 20 minutes there's something you wouldn't want to miss, and that doesn't count the beauty of the road itself! Have a look for yourself...

Route 1 - Jökulsárlón

Coming from the North we decided to 'skip' the east side of the island. *Gasp* I know I know skipping a whole quarter of a tiny island seems a bit harsh.... but to be honest there isn't that much to see! And we were really pushed for time. If you are there for around 10 days I would say to do it, but if not, just clock in 100km at night and wake up in the Golden Circle! The particularity of this part of Iceland is that it is a lot more mountainous and surrounded by a huge glacier. Which makes stumbling upon icebergs just making there way out to sea quite usual. Like what?!


This picture, believe it or not, was basically taken out of the dashboard of the car. That's how close you can get to them from the road!

Oh yeah, that's me holding an Iceberg, kinda, no biggie. The icebergs are located in a lagoon called Jökulsárlón and depending on your luck, they will be close to the road (as in alsmot out to sea) or far up in the lagoon. If they are far up, you can take a tour boat which will bring you close to them. There is also luck needed for you to see turquoise ones. They will only be this color if they have just recently turned upside down and haven't been exposed to the elements for very long. In any case, its well worth a visit, and its just off route 1.

If you cary on past the glaciers you will quickly arrive in Vik. This is a biggish town, with a great hostel. It has black sand beaches, shops and a couple restaurants! Pretty much a metropolis for Iceland. However, it also comes with tour buses. Which can be less plesant.

We stayed the night in Vik and left ridiculously early in order to try and catch the northern lights. The KP index was good and we finally had some clear skies. We drove away from town and pulled over on the side of the roadto wait.

And it payed off! It only lasted a couple of minutes but it was unlike anything I have ever seen. I always thought the brightness of them were a photographer's ruse, and that you couldn't see them so clearly in real life. I was so very wrong. It is even brighter in person, and so beautiful. 

The moment quickly passed as clouds rolled back in, so we made our way to Skogafoss where we wanted to start our hike. 

Skógafoss is a great waterfall. It is the most textbook waterfall I've seen in Iceland. It's grand and high and straight and noisy. And because it's Iceland, you'll occasionally get a rainbow thrown in there. We were in the parking so early that we were able to see it before anyone else got here, and we could start our hike before the busses rolled in. 

The hike is called "Fimmvörðuháls" and goes from Skogafoss to Thorsmork. On a good day it is said to be an easy hike, but because the weather in constantly changing it can be very challenging. The hike can be a three day affair, going behing Skogafoss, across the glacier, up to a volcano (the one that errupted a couple of years ago and grounded all the planes) and back down to the valley of Gods. We didn't have the time to do all three days, so settled for the 1st day itinerary, which brings you behind the waterfall. 

It is a beautiful route, you get to see a total of 23 waterfalls along a meandering cliff top path.

I can say that this hike has claimed the 1st place in all of my hiking experiences so far! 
A couple minutes after this photo was taken the weather changed for the worst. It started to snow. Legit snow. We decided not to go to the foot of the glacier and make our way back to the warm car instead.

Since it was only the beggining of the afternoon we continued on route 1 to see Seljalandsfoss, another majestic waterfall. This is one of the most famous Icelandic waterfalls and with reason.


You can walk behind (and be sprayed by) the waterfall which is a great experience. If you continue on the path that leads you to the waterfall on your left, you will find another secret waterfall. You have to walk through a little river on stepping stones, but your wet feet will be worth it.

A secret waterfall in a cave!

To finish off this day which has emotion filled, we went to a hot pool. Again, one of the famous hot baths if you have been looking up Iceland on Instagram. It was suprisingly empty, and is set in between grand mountains.


Look at how small the people are in this picture... it will give you an idea of the scale!

And that was it for the day! All pictures by Lukas Fieber :)

Here's a summary for those of you planning a trip:
Golden Circle musts:
  • Glacier lagoon
  • Godafoss
  • Hike behind Godafoss
  • Seljalandsfoss
  • Secret waterfall near Seljalandsfoss
  • Hot pool between Godafoss and Seljalandsfoss : Seljavallalaug

Iceland - Part 2

Friday, December 18, 2015

The adventure continues! I left us at Akureyri in the last post as it marked the halfway point of our trip... And there is so much more coming!


We left early from Akureyri to make our way to the Myvatn lake.On the way we stumbled upon the most beautiful waterfall... accurately named the waterfall of Gods.

Which calls for a session of stop-drop-and-yoga!

A quick re-fuel for the car and coffee refill for us and we were on our way to Myvatn.


First stop - a casual hike! On the south side of Myvatn lake you will find an incredibly well maintained nature reserve where you can go for casual strolls. Making the most of the rare rays of sunshine, we took the opportunity to stretch our legs amongst old craters and lava rocks. September is a beautiful time to visit Iceland as the weather is not too cold, and you get to witness the leaves changing colors as you travel.

Next up - the secret Blue Lagoon.

Myvatn Baths
The Blue Lagoon, the real one that is, is located within the Golden Circle in South-West Iceland. It is extremely beautiful but overcrowded and overpriced. If you have the chance to travel all around Iceland, I cannot reccomend the Myvatn Baths enough. They are just as striking as the Blue Lagoon and alot more peaceful. At £10 per person compared to £35 for the Blue Lagoon its definitely worth a detour!

Feeling very relaxed, we continued on our adventure to see the widest waterfall in Europe! (Apparently.)
On the way, as seems to be the norm in Iceland, we stumbled upon another amazing sight... Sulphur mud pots. I know it doesn't sound great, and to be fair it really didn't smell fantastic, but it looked pretty kickass.


A short drive off route 1 will bring you to Selfoss. If you are debating wheater or not to make the detour (30mins each way)... just do it! Like everything else in Iceland... you really can't go wrong. 

Selfoss is extremely impressive, as it trully is massive. I must say it's a bit frightening when you see first hand the power nature has over everything else. We stayed for a while listening to the roar of Selfoss until we made our way to the next and final stop: Víti.

It is a hot pool in a crater! You don't get much more Iceland than that I'd say...

And it is with that that we finished the most amazing day of the trip so far... I still can't quite believe it.

More to follow... bye for now!

 ps: what am I doing with my feet... huh?

Iceland - Part 1

Monday, December 14, 2015

Back in September I had the chance to take the trip of a lifetime... traveling around Iceland! This gem of an island is getting quite the buzz as of late, but with reason. Flights to Reykjavik are getting cheaper as low-cost airlines are adding it to their destinations and Icelandair is doing a "MyStopover" plan where you can travel from Europe to the USA whilst doing a cheeky trip to Iceland.

I cannot express in words the beauty that Iceland is. It is like combining all places on earth and the moon into one. We spent a week going around it, and it was just enough time to see all that we wanted.

Most people usually either explore the golden circle, which is South Iceland, or go around the periphery an anti-clockwise fashion. We decided to be rogue and do it clockwise, which in hindsight was definitely the best decision!

If you are planning a trip, I hope this map helps, until then... enjoy the pictures!

Snæfellsjökull and Rif (Western Peninsula)

I had seen the little red roofed church in a lot of pictures of Iceland. So you can imagine my joy when I thought we had found the exact one on our first night! We spent a long time trying to get the perfect picture of it, during the day and at blue hour. It isn't until the next few days that we realised.... all churches in Iceland have red roofs! They are all as equally picturesque though, and well worth a shot.

Crater near Hellnar
My first ever volcanic crater! It was long extinct, and not very big. But hey, its a volcano none the less.

Hellnar - Population 8

One thing I didn't expect whilst in Iceland, was their love for coffee. You can find a good coffee pretty much everywhere. Even in Hellnar, with a grand total population of 8.


The first of many waterfalls! This is quite a famous spot, and you just stumble upon it driving from one fishing town to the next. This makes for an absolute brilliant picture when the sun is setting, but no luck on our side for this one... still very impressive!

This is Heidi, our rental car on day 1 and day 2. Oops.

Aren't the sheep way more glamorous in Iceland than back home? I mean... look at those locks! Driving in Iceland was surprisingly easy, if you stick to the "highway": Road 1. It is the only road that goes all around the island and is "mostly" paved the whole way.

 Deserted highway - Lake Myvatn

We spent the first three nights travelling along route 1 until Akureyri, where we found the most wonderful airbnb...

It had the most amazing view over Akureyri, which happens to be set between a fjord and snowy mountains. An amazing place to end the first part of this trip! For more amazing pics check out Lukas' site :)

Till' next time.

Les Gorges du Verdon

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Carrying on from exploring the UK, I set about exploring France when I went back home to Nice. About 1h30 drive from Nice, just above St-Tropez is the national Park of Verdon. Mom and I decided to go explore it but rather than just a day trip we thought to make a weekend of it, and swing by Avignon first.

Famous for well.... It's nursery rhyme (Sur le pont d'Avignon, on y danse on y danse), Avignon was a very pleasant surprise. We stayed in a lovely Airbnb and spent most of Friday exploring the streets and the Papal Palace. Avignon has lots of cute little bistros, with organic and healthy foods as well as local wine. This was quite refreshing, it isn't common to be able to eat healthy whilst on holiday.... Especially in the middle of wine country!

The next day we made our way towards the Gorges.... Not forgetting to stop by Chateauneuf du Pape first. Because it would be rude not to!

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After visiting a few vineyards we thought it best to stop for lunch before making our way to our hotel for the night. 

The "hotel" if you can call it that, is quite the family inside joke. It is in fact an old 12th century castle that was renovated into a pretty fancy hotel. My family, in fact, visited the castle many years ago when I wasn't much older than 2. Here is when the joke comes in. 2 year old me was quite fond of her pacifiers, whilst mom thought it well time for me to give them up already. So.... At our last visit to the castle, a perfectly timed ghost just *happened* to swing by our room and *happened* to steal all my pacifiers (all the ones at home too! Crazy right?). Living me with a rather bittersweet taste of Chateau de Trigance... I'm happy to report that no ghosts came to taunt me this time round!! Pay them a visit here.

All joking aside, it is a beautiful hotel owned and run by a lovely family for generations! So if you're in the area, definitely consider it.... But sleep with one eye open!

After a good night's sleep and a great breakfast in the old swords room... Mom and I made our way to the Gorges for a bit of hiking!

Les Gorges du Verdon are famous for its gut-renchingly steep cliffs that dive into a turquoise river 500m below... The windy road is separated from the cliff by little stone walls or.... nothing at all! This makes for a rather exciting drive (Mommy less than agrees) and even more breathtaking hikes!

The most famous hike is called Le Sentier Blanc Martel, which is a difficulty 4 and 6hrs one way. Mom and I thought that was a bit much so we settled for Le Sentier du Pécheur, a more sensible 3hr hike. It is labelled as a family hike, you start at the top of the gorges, walk down, along the turquoise waters and all the way back up again. It was just enough to walk off the wine tasting from the day before...

If hiking is not your thing, I would still recommend paying the gorges a visit, you can rent kayaks and pedalos near the Lac de Ste Croix and make your way into the gorge that way. In the summer you may even be brave enough to jump in for a dip!

I really enjoyed this weekend, and I'd recommend it to anyone spending a bit of time in the south of France, especially in the cooler Autumn months.
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