Adventurer of the Week: Breanne Walks Through Fire and Ice

05. January 2017 —
Pad Lynch

Welcome to our “Adventurer of the Week” series! Each week we will feature individuals that were inspired to make every moment an experience in Iceland by going out on epic tours with us that allowed them to interact with nature. 

This week's instalment of our "Adventurer of the Week" series tells the story of Breanne, who travelled to Iceland pretty soon after visiting the Bahamas, just to switch things up a bit. She joined us off the beaten track and found that travelling in Iceland was rather different from her native U.S, or any other place for that matter. 

Here she is, in her words:

What motivated you to visit Iceland?

So, I invited my friend Julia to swim with wild dolphins in Bimini during our first week of summer.  While we were in Bimini swimming in the open ocean, she asked if I wanted to join her on a trip to Iceland 2 weeks later.  I love traveling and exploring new places and I was excited to try somewhere new!  We really had no major plans except to be spontaneous and figure it out as we went. I had heard a lot about Iceland and everyone said it was gorgeous, so I wanted to see for myself!

How long was your stay? Did you travel solo or with a group?

I stayed for one week in July, and traveled with my friend Julia.  

Breanne
Crossing paths, crossing axes

Which tour did you take and why did you choose it?

We took the Walk Through Fire and Ice tour. We chose the tour because it incorporated hiking glaciers, swimming in the hot springs, and visiting waterfalls - all of the things that we really wanted to do! 

We stopped at a random house along our travels to purchase some gifts from the shop in their home. It felt very safe… something I wouldn’t do in other places

What is one thing you will always remember about your tour?

 

It was AMAZING!!  I love that this tour took us off the beaten path – away from the major tourist attractions and just allowed us to really enjoy the beauty of Iceland.  It was quiet and peaceful and just simply beautiful.  

As we hiked down to the hot springs, I couldn’t stop taking pictures.  The scenery was so breathtaking it seemed unreal.  The natural hot springs on a cool day after a hike felt awesome.  It was nice to be out in nature just enjoying what it has to offer.  The glacier was much different than I expected.  I think of hiking glaciers as something that extreme “outdoorsy” people like to do.  It was warmer and easier than I expected.  I am DEFINITELY glad we had a guide though.  

I strongly recommend anyone hiking glaciers to have a guide.  There were so many cracks and openings that could be very dangerous if we didn’t have a guide helping us and keeping us safe.  Drinking the clean glacier water and being the only ones on top of the glacier are experiences I’ll always remember.  We also visited a hidden waterfall where we climbed through an opening and stood on a rock where the water came down almost right on top of us.  We were the only ones in this waterfall cove and it just felt surreal.  That was an awesome feeling! 

Pad Lynch
Breanne and Julia at Gljúfrabúi

What is something that you learned about Iceland that surprised you?

I learned how safe Iceland is!  Whenever traveling abroad, I’m always extra careful about safety but this is the safest place I’ve been!  We stopped at a random house along our travels to purchase some gifts from the shop in their home.  It felt very safe… something I wouldn’t do in other places. Also, I loved that it never really got dark outside.  It gave me a “timeless” feeling as I never had to rush back before dark.  We could travel around all day, with no regards to what time it was, and just continue exploring until we decided to go back to our apartment.  We ate dinner maybe around 1am and it felt normal! It was still light out and sometimes we’d walk to the café in the middle of the night.  A very cool feeling that I never experience in the U.S.     

If you had more time in Iceland, what else would you like to see and do?

I would love to camp out by one the waterfalls, visit the west fjords and stay on a private island.   A friend on the plane told us about a private island you can stay at for a night and it sounded awesome!  I’d also rent a car and explore more on our own.  We rented a car for a day and I wish we had more time to stop at random places and check them out.  

Breanne
That special glacial mud!

What tips do you have for people who want to visit Iceland?

Iceland is insanely gorgeous and I recommend visiting Iceland to everyone! My tips would be:  venture off the beaten path and explore parts of Iceland that are not just the tourist spots.  I definitely recommend the Fire and Ice Tour by Icelandic Mountain Guides.  It was our #1 favorite tour and experience in Iceland.  It was a great mix of information, exploration, and a whole day adventure!

What adventure are you off to next? What is your next dream adventure? 

Hopefully continue with the island hopping theme!  Possibly the Greek islands, Madeira, or other islands that are less touristy!  I enjoyed swimming with wild dolphins so I’d love to share that experience with others and organize dolphin therapy trips for kids with special needs!  

Anything that is different where I truly get to experience the culture is where I like to be.  I’m always up for spontaneous adventures so you never quite know where I’ll end up next ;) 

Breanne
Looking down Reykjadalur, the smokey valley.

Wanna be our next Adventurer of the Week?

Breanne’s adventure is only one of the many features that make for an unforgettable experience. Book your tour and join us for an excursion that is guaranteed to make memories that last a lifetime.  

Have you been on a tour with us in Iceland and would like to be featured as an “Adventurer of the Week”? Feel free to email Joseph at [email protected].

About the Author

Joseph Mattos-Hall

Hailing from London and born into a British/Brazilian/Italian household, Joseph came to Iceland originally to complete a master’s degree in Environment and Natural Resources from the University of Iceland: the rest is history.

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