It was precisely ten years since my first go to to Iceland after I returned final summer season with Adventure Canada. And let me let you know, it couldn’t be extra completely different. To go to Iceland by sea is a unprecedented and distinctive strategy to journey right here.
Iceland was solely starting to increase on the tourism map a decade in the past. It was nonetheless fairly chill. Instagram was nonetheless new, and Iceland had but to dominate it. I went with girlfriends, together with a buddy from Iceland, and we did a loop street journey. It was a lot enjoyable. It was additionally considered one of my first jobs as a full-time journey blogger, so it meant a lot to me.
This time round was utterly completely different. Instead of flying in, we sailed over on their Scotland, The Faroe Islands, & Iceland: North Atlantic Saga journey, arriving by sea. All up, I spent about two weeks there with Adventure Canada on their Iceland Circumnavigation journey after which departing on their Iceland to Greenland: In the Wake of the Vikings journey.
Iceland was a little bit of a hub. And it was so thrilling to discover it in a totally completely different approach.
There’s one thing particular about visiting a spot the old school approach, the best way it was initially settled. It’s thought that the Vikings settled in Iceland within the ninth century, but it surely may need been earlier.
Making their approach throughout the North Atlantic, doubtless looking for arable land, the Norse got here of their hundreds, settling throughout Iceland inside a number of a long time. What’s attention-grabbing to be taught that plenty of the genetic proof contains Irish and Scottish ancestry along with Scandinavia, notably, ladies. Most individuals consider they got here as slaves.
Following within the wake of the Vikings over a millennia later by ship is a spectacularly cool strategy to arrive in Iceland.
Here’s a style of what we go as much as with 25 of my favourite images from a few weeks exploring Iceland by sea – get pleasure from!
One of our first stops in Iceland was to a spot I had by no means been to earlier than – the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in western Iceland. Somewhat off the crushed path, it’s a shocking nook of Iceland value exploring. Arnarstapi is a cute little fishing village that sits because the gateway to the Snæfellsjökull National Park.
I acknowledged the place we had been virtually as quickly as we stepped off the zodiacs within the harbor. With a cute white home perched on lava sea cliffs above turquoise water with an ideal volcano and glacier behind it, this was a view I had undoubtedly seen earlier than. It was on the quilt of the one ebook I purchased in Iceland (costly).
Arnarstapi felt otherworldly instantly. It didn’t assist that we had among the wildest lenticular clouds I’ve ever seen, making a moody ambiance that made it really feel all of the extra magical. I spent my time wandering the ocean cliffs, watching the fowl colonies earlier than meandering out to the lava fields. It undoubtedly felt such as you had been on one other planet.
From there, we made our approach up alongside the coast into the Westfjords, an typically neglected place. One of the perks of touring by ship is you can typically rock as much as locations which can be a lot more durable to achieve by automotive.
Dynjandi is the most important waterfall within the Westfjords, clocking in at 100 meters tall, with 5 waterfalls beneath it dropping down into the ocean. While it’s distant, it will probably nonetheless grow to be actually busy with tour buses trekking out to go to. We known as in early within the morning and had the entire place to ourselves for hours.
My first Iceland waterfall since 2013, I used to be struck by how a lot work has gone into creating infrastructure. I don’t keep in mind paths or indicators or blockades wherever after I was right here final. If you had been dumb sufficient to take a seat on the sting of a waterfall, it was on you. And I sat on plenty of waterfall edges.
The solely place you’ll be able to truly be throughout the Arctic Circle in Iceland is on the tiny island of Grímsey, off the northern coast. Sitting fairly at 66° N, Grímsey is just about dominated by birds.
If you need to get your (visible) fill of puffins, Grímsey is the place to go. Somewhat arduous to get to independently; it was nice to have the ability to arrive by boat as an alternative. Just be careful for nesting Arctic terns – they’re my new fowl enemy.
The northernmost city in Iceland is named Siglufjörður, and I had by no means heard of it. It ended up being considered one of my favourite spots in Iceland.
Going in with zero expectations, it was the sunniest, most lovely climate after we arrived. The colourful, charming fishing city surrounded by mountains couldn’t have been extra picturesque. Combined with a captivating story and tremendous pleasant locals, Siglufjörður blew me away!
In the Nineteen Forties and Fifties, Siglufjörður was the herring capital of the North Atlantic; it was like a gold rush with fish. It’s since declined, however now there is without doubt one of the finest museums I’ve ever been to, the Herring Era Museum, that shares the entire historical past. I do know, a museum about fishing? But belief me, it’s fucking superior, and it’s completely value coming only for that.
To go to Iceland by sea means we will go to conventional port cities the old school approach, like Akureyri.
A lovely little metropolis in northern Iceland, Akureyri is a superb place to base your self out of, even for a day. It’s near so most of the nice wonders of the north, and it’s tremendous cute all by itself. An awesome place for whale watching; one of many perks of touring round by ship with Adventure Canada is the chance to look at for whales whereas onboard. When we left Akureyri and sailed out of the fiord at sundown, we had been accompanied by whales the entire time.
During the day, we explored outdoors town, testing Goðafoss, an excellent well-liked waterfall. I didn’t understand till we returned to the ship that I had been there earlier than. We additionally spent a while exploring Dimmuborgir, residence to some very cool lava fields, caves, and arches.
As we continued our Iceland circumnavigation, heading east, we landed in Seyðisfjörður, one other off-the-beaten-track city. I’m undecided I’d ever considered coming right here by myself, but it surely was simply wonderful. One of the earliest settled areas in Iceland, Seyðisfjörður is residence to the little rainbow street that leads as much as the church.
We had one other day of excellent climate and spent the morning approach out on the fiord in Skálanes. Skálanes is a nature and heritage reserve. Luckily, the Arctic terns had been solely nesting by the carpark, so that you solely needed to keep away from them for just a little bit, haha!
The reserve at Skálanes is an space of nice biodiversity and is a middle for examine and analysis worldwide. There are almost 50 fowl species right here, together with a ton of puffins. There are additionally tons of reindeer, arctic foxes, and greater than 80 archaeological websites.
Fjallsárlón and Jökulsárlón
The hottest place we took in on our go to to Iceland by sea was out close to the Vatnajökull National Park, residence to the enduring Fjallsárlón and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoons.
We spent the morning on a ship tour across the lesser-known Fjallsárlón, taking within the lovely icebergs and glaciers within the distance. It was one other excellent bluebird day, not a cloud in sight.
We ended up having sufficient time that we additionally known as in Jökulsárlón too. En path to the ship, we noticed reindeer and arctic foxes, making it an ideal day.
Wow, one other high contender for a brand new favourite spot in Iceland needed to be Heimaey. I had by no means heard of this little spot within the Westman Islands; I’m undecided I’d have thought to come back out right here on a standard Iceland street journey. But it was so nice we known as in by ship as a strategy to go to Iceland by sea.
The zodiac cruise into the harbor was wonderful, and we occurred to time it when the prime minister was on the town for the 50-year memorial of the ending of the Eldfell volcano eruption right here. In the midnight in the summertime of 1973, the native volcano erupted with out warning. Luckily, dangerous climate had saved the boats within the harbor in a single day, so everybody might escape. Eventually, half the city was buried, and locals fought the spreading lava by spraying it with seawater, saving components of it, together with the harbor.
Today, you’ll be able to see components of homes rising within the lava area, and the views from the highest of the volcano are wonderful. Definitely well worth the climb up.
I used to be so excited to return to Reykjavík. Wow, town has modified loads within the decade since my final go to. It was so fashionable, with so many new spots and plenty of improvement occurring.
I spent a number of hours whereas in port, wandering round and soaking all of it in. I went again to my favourite cafe from the final time I used to be right here, the Laundromat, in addition to lastly going to the notorious penis museum. As a long-time fan of the bizarre, gross, and morbid, even I used to be not into it.
Everywhere else was wonderful, particularly the waterfront. I undoubtedly must spend extra time right here quickly. To go to Iceland by sea is an unforgettable approach to soak up this well-liked nation.
Have you been to Iceland? Would you contemplate visiting by ship? Spill!
Many because of Adventure Canada for internet hosting me in Iceland – like all the time, I’m protecting it actual – all opinions are my very own, like you may anticipate much less from me!