“I have fantasies of going to Iceland, never to return.” Edward Gorey
Iceland has been known to be blessed with the ability to turn the commonplace into the exceptional. And we were all prepared to be swept away by the overwhelming beauty of the land of fire and ice as 23 of us took off from India on an incomparable adventure.
Our arrival to this magnificent country was marked by the infectious energy of its capital, Reykjavík. Vivid, quirky and wonderfully arty; the most northerly capital city in the world packs a heady punch indeed despite its small size.
We were ready; ready to groove to the tune of electrifying Reykjavik!
The second day of our road trip began with a visit to the Arctic Trucks headquarters, where we were handed over the keys to, and coached in the basics of, the powerful 4×4 modified trucks that were supposed be our travel companions on this extraordinary journey for the days to come.
After having established ourselves at the wheel of these road beasts, our convoy rolled on towards the phenomenal Raufarhólshellir Lava Cave in southern Iceland which was moulded as a lava tube about 5200 years ago. The total length of the tunnel is an impressive 1360 m, and a visit here offers a great opportunity to witness first-hand the remarkable forces of nature that emerge from the centre of the earth.
Next up was a trip to the mightiest of Icelandic caves, Cave Víðgelmir.Just short of 1600 m, the grandiose Víðgelmir displays stunning colours and lava formations which transform this experience into a truly spectacular affair.
Day three of our tour had us driving across what can be justly described as the most popular route in Iceland, the Golden Circle. Amidst all the natural beauty of this peerless destination, the Golden Circle route stands out for its characteristic variety. Looping from the capital city of Reykjavík into the southern uplands of Iceland and back, the Golden Route spans approximately 300 km and is indisputably the nerve-centre of the countrys tourism sector.
Thingvellir National Park (a certified UNESCO World Heritage Site), Geysir Geothermal Field in the Haukadalur Valley and the mighty Gullfoss Waterfalls are the three major not-to-be-missed attractions on this route. The cherry on the cake was exploring the incredible Langjökull Glacier, as we rode atop powerful snowmobiles, which felt like an almost other-worldly experience.
The next morning blessed us with a day that we will remember for the rest of our life! On what was the fourth day of our trip, we witnessed an excellent combination of astonishing mountains, soothing hot springs and shimmering blue lakes at Landmannalaugar. An absolute revelation, this marvellous watercolour wonder left us all awestruck. Herein, we also got to really test the capabilities of the Arctic Trucks as we drove through tricky snow-covered terrain.
The fifth day of our self-drive road trip dawned, ripe with the promise of revealing to us nature’s perfect artistry. We continued our delicate drive on snowy ground towards the south coast of Iceland, which is known to be gifted with particularly varied landscape. We were also treated to the breath-taking sight of glorious Icelandic horses galloping with abandon, as we drove past them.
The penultimate day of our journey had us visiting the last piece of the delightful puzzle that was Iceland. The therapeutic exquisiteness of the Blue Lagoon warmed and soothed us to the depths of our soul. Situated on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwest Iceland, this body of mineral-rich milky-blue water proved to be unlike anything we had ever come across before.
We capped off this day with a delectable farewell dinner where we enjoyed each other’s company on our last night in this gorgeous country.
It was time to bid adieu! The 4th Season of Adventures Overland’s Iceland Expedition had now successfully concluded. The high induced by Iceland promised to linger on, as this riveting road trip culminated as brilliantly as it had begun.