3-generation adventure to see the soul of Iceland - Jun 25 - Jul 1, 2018

Traveler: Elizabeth R. - Local specialist: Halldor Bjarkason

We had a terrific trip. Visiting Landmannalaugar was probably my favorite - the landscape is incredible and hard to even describe. We hiked through an obsidian lava field to a bunch of fumaroles, and then up to the closest peak for an amazing view. The whole family really enjoyed our trip to Heimaey as well (although as the family member with motion sickness isssues, I had a few complaints!). We climbed up Eldfell and found an active hot air vent, which was very exciting, saw the puffins and other seabirds, and even had an unexpected whale sighting. Early in the trip, we did some of the more standard visits - Seljalandsfoss, Skokafoss, the glacier at Skaftafell, the glacial lagoon, and other nice stops on the ring road. The first couple were crowded but still lovely to see, and that's saying something given that we come from a town famous for its waterfalls. We also really enjoyed our visit to Snaefellsnes Peninsula - there were extreme winds on our first day there (a steady 50-60 mph with higher gusts), which was wild. We couldn't even make it to the top of Saxholar Crater because I was literally blown off my feet! The next day the winds were milder and we hiked from one village to another through a lava field, along sea cliffs. We also took an F road up to the edge of the glacier. In Reykjavik, we enjoyed seeing Hallgrimskirkja, we had a LOVELY visit to one of the local geothermal pools, and we walked around in the rain. Oh, and we stopped at Thingvellir to see the continental rift, and we couldn't miss seeing the geysir!

We stayed in guesthouses - shared bathroom facilities, and breakfast provided. All but one of them had kitchens, which worked out great because we only ate 2 restaurant meals during our whole trip to save money.

Halldor did a great job coming up with hike suggestions that worked for the whole family (3 generations, ages 4-64). We took a substantial hike every day of our trip, sometimes two, and found his suggestions really solid. It was chilly (48F and raining) pretty much the entire time but we were well prepared and the weather wasn't an issue.

If I had to do it again, I would spend less time in Reykjavik and more time in Snaefellsnes. Reykjavik was just so very expensive - we couldn't afford to visit all the museums (just the animal park, for the 4yo), and although the shops are lovely and I wish I could have bought a sweater, there was no way I could pay $200 for a sweater or even $30 for a single meal. We spent at least half of our last day watching Norwegian cooking shows on the guesthouse's television and eating Icelandic cheese sandwiches. It wasn't unpleasant, but we could have been poking around Snaefellsnes instead. The thermal pool visit, however, was SO WORTH IT.