For many years I have dreamed to go to Iceland, long before the economic crash that hit our countries and the revival of the Iceland economy powered by tourism. The rugged landscape, a land without trees or so I believed, of numerous waterfalls, glaciers, volcanos, black beaches, aurora borealis, and more, were all acting like a magnet to my artistic and creative side. I dreamed of photographing these places one day.
In the last two to three years I was finding everywhere I looked a film, a photoshoot, a blog post about Iceland and I was doubting would i ever go. Fast forward to May 2016, after numerous not subtle hints to family and following my birthday I was surprised to find I would be taking a solo trip to Iceland, a fab present from my wife and kids.
Panic set in, what would i do, where would i stay, how would i travel hire car or join a guided trip, what could i fit in to a short trip, sunrise sunset, weather, clothing, all need to be considered. I quickly decided for flexibility and my limited budget to hire a car and self drive.
I listed the places I knew of and would most like to see, and then compared these to a map to figure out if i could fit them into a trip. Godafoss, Skogafoss, Sjellandafoss, Gullfoss, Kirkjufell, Skaftafell, Jokulsarlon, Vestrahorn, Stokksness, Blue Lagoon, Rekjavik, Thingvellir, ..... the list of places to see went on and on. I knew I would have to sacrifice some places. Godafoss I realised was too far north, Blue Lagoon I would only want to visit with my wife its a romantic place in my view, Kirkjufell was too far west if I wanted to see the east coast, most of everything else I figured could be visited with a keep busy schedule, and since I was travelling alone keeping busy and packing as much into the days and nights was doable.
Next I considered where could I stay. I knew the South coast was probably my best option, and I considered Selfoss and other places, finally I settled on Vik. Vik, I figured was central to some of the places I wanted to see and could drive there in a few hours from Rekjavik. After much searching on airbnb.com and booking.com and with little time to spare I had to pick a place or risk sleeping in the car. By Irish standards the accommodation was very expensive, I never thought I'd say Ireland was cheap, but Iceland is expensive for accommodation possibly as i'd left it so late to book though even choosing later dates it still seemed to be so. I booked a stay in the aptly named Puffin Hostel, and the cheapest single room deal they had.
With an intinerary sorted a place to stay and a car booked I was ready for my trip of a lifetime. Read on for my itinerary, things I learned on my journey, and why travelling to iceland is going to only make you want to go back for more ...