How long was your stay? Did you travel solo or with a group?
I was in Iceland just for the weekend (Friday to Monday), traveling solo!
Which tour did you take and why did you choose it?
I took the South Shore, Glacier Walk & Ice Climbing tour. I had originally booked another tour but it got cancelled due to a crazy storm that hit Iceland the day I got there. So without any plans, I started flipping through tour booklets and found this tour. I wanted something adventurous; I am an avid rock climber so the combination of waterfalls, glacier hiking, and ice climbing was basically my dream come true. And after going on the tour, LET ME TELL YA – it definitely was a dream come true. Ice climbing is crazy fun and the glacier hike was better than I could have expected!
What is one thing you will always remember about your tour?
Definitely hiking around the glacier through intense hailstorms every 10 minutes or so. When they tell you Icelandic weather is fickle, they are not exaggerating. I felt like I was hiking to the end of the world (in a good way). Everything was covered in snow. The entire right side of my body was being pelted by hail and the only thing I could see was the bright red jacket the tour guide was wearing in front of me. Then it would end and the sun would come out and everything was calm again. And then more hail storms ensued. It was exhilarating. And beautiful. It’s one of those moments that I’ll always remember as one of the most epic things I’ve done.
What is something that you learned about Iceland that surprised you?
Our tour guide was telling us about how there’s really not many trees in Iceland which I thought was very interesting. Most of the trees are planted apparently and there aren’t really any forests due to the unpredictable and intense weather. It’s pretty cute actually. Driving through the South coast, you could see patches of trees placed perfectly symmetrical but they were all still fairly young trees. I also thought it was surprising to find out how most of the population resides in Reykjavik or along the coast. There were tons of villages where the population consisted of only a couple hundred people, which to me (coming from California where there’s a ton of people everywhere) is insane!
If you had more time in Iceland, what else would you like to see and do?
The Ring Road. For sure. Hands down. I need to come back and drive the entire Ring Road and see all the things! Also the horses and sheep – basically, see all the animals. In the winter, there were really only horses around, but I’d love to come back towards the end of summer to see all the sheep!
What tips do you have for people who want to visit Iceland?
Expect the unexpected. Especially if you’re traveling in the winter due to the weather. Go with the flow and explore! Be prepared to fall in love with this country. The people are incredibly friendly, the country is progressive and environmentally conscious, and the scenery is a dream. The only thing to dislike about the country is how expensive everything is! LOL.