#iceland

In the amazing Netflix series The OA there is a scene where the main character Prairie Johnson (Britt Marling) experiences her second near-death experience and is taken to a dreamlike exotic location.  Where on the planet would you find the landscape and location that could convey a place, interpreting the dimension between life and death?  The scene is most definitely in Iceland. It is in a landscape with moss that covers lava and has a typical walking path to a tiny cabin.

This is though probably the first time the landscape describes the dimension between life and death.

When driving in Iceland on vacation between natural wonders like waterfalls, basalt column cliffs, hot spring geothermal pools and glacier lagoons, you will most likely notice animals in the countryside. Especially if you are driving past farms and farmlands.  You will see a lot of sheep and cows, not to mention all the birds, small birds and large birds like geese and Whooper swans. Friendly wonderful animals, and in Iceland you don't have to worry about dangerous wild animals since they are almost non-existing in Iceland.

Overall most of the animals in Iceland are a significant addition to the landscape.

 If you are thinking about a holiday with the kids, Iceland should be on your list and for many reasons.

The Westfjords in Iceland are famous for the spectacular scenic drive in and out fjords and up and down mountain roads with many natural wonders included. It is often considered one of the most interesting road trips in Iceland.  One of the advantages driving the Westfjords in Iceland are the geothermal pools that pop up here and there by the road almost unexpectedly.  The pools are a perfect place to stop and dip into the warm water. Some of them are natural pools out in nature where you can enjoy the spectacular landscape while bathing and relaxing.

One of the advantages driving the Westfjords in Iceland are the geothermal pools

Yet another stunning waterfall in Iceland. Aldeyjarfoss is situated in the north of Iceland, north of the highland road Sprengisandur (Road F26). Therefor the waterfall is almost on the boarder of the highlands. It is an overwhelming sight to see the powerful river, Skjálfandafljót drop 20 meters down next to the majestic basalt columns in Aldeyjarfoss. Besides the basalt columns the lava field it is a part of contains a broad variety of rock formation. Although bit of a hassle to get to since a 4WD vehicle is needed a pitstop by Aldeyjarfoss is completely worth it.

Yet another stunning waterfall in Iceland, Aldeyjarfoss.

There are many natural wonders worth seeing in Iceland.  Among the best known are waterfalls, hot springs, lagoons, basalt columns, geothermal pools, craters, and cliffs to name a few.  Although not many mountains are on the list of natural wonders there are a few clusters of mountains that are very interesting.  Most of the mountains are quite colorful as they are rhyolite mountains.  One of the reasons that the Laugavegur hiking trail is so popular is the fact that on a large part of the trail, you walk through some very colorful rhyolite mountains.  Actually, the starting point in Landmannalaugar is exceptionally colorful as well as most part of the first day. 

The result of an interplay of hot springs and rhyolite

Ljósártungur is a name for a rather large area east of the hiking trail Laugavegur near Hrafntinnusker.  Although Ljósártungur mountains seem tempting the area is quite difficult to walk as it has many ravines, gullies, and ridges.  It also has many hot springs and here you can even find some ice caves.  The whole area is extremely colorful and in some respect, almost unreal. The mountains are at an altitude of 800 to 1000 meters and like most places in the Icelandic highland covered with snow during winter.  In summer it usually doesn't get warm enough to melt all the snow from winter, so the small snowdrifts from the winter do no melt adding the white color to the magnificent rhyolite color, the smoke from the hot springs, the mountain vegetation and the blue color of the sky.  Almost a perfect recipe for a great photo.

A difficult place to visit, part of the Syðri Fjallabak highland road

Ljósártungur mountains is a fascinating but difficult place to visit. Like almost all parts of the Icelandic highland, the area is only accessible in July until the middle of September.  Driving the mountain road Syrðri Fjallabak you will drive on a ridge that gives a great view of the Ljósártungur rhyolite mountains.

Ljósártungur is a name for a rather large area east of the hiking trail Laugavegur near Hrafntinnusker.

For all those cave curious travellers, Iceland having quite a collection of diverse caves, might be the perfect place to go. Here is a photograph of the entrance to the biggest one of those caves, Víðgelmir. Situated in the Hallmundarhraun lava field (West Iceland), Víðgelmir is a 1585 meter long lava tube. An expedition to the cave is interesting both for historical input as well as geographical. Traces of human habitation, most likely from the Viking Age have been found in Víðgelmir.

The biggest cave in Iceland, Víðgelmir.

Located in the heart of Vatnsfjörður fjord one of the most beautiful small fjords in the southern coast of the Westfjords, Flókalundur is a joy to visit and also a service center for tourists.  The landscape is beautiful as well as the view out to the ocean and the Breiðafjörður bay.  At Flókalundur you will find a restaurant, a good camping site, and accommodation.  It is a great place to stop if you are driving the Westfjords, both for a scenic stop and if you want to stay overnight.  It is located at the intersection of the Barðastrandarvegur road on the southern part of the Westfjords and the road leading up to Dynjandisheiði mountain road.  This road up to Dynjandisheiði is a kind of a shortcut when traveling the Westfjords as it bypasses the southwest part of the Westfjords.  If you take this road and leave out the southwest part, you are on the other hand, missing a very interesting and important part of the Westfjords, so it is not recommended. 

Hiking trails and wonderful landscape

At Flókalundur you will also find some wonderful short hiking trails and walk by the river Penna, and the canyon is a great evening walk during the bright summer nights. A hiking tour to the wonderful Hellulaug geothermal pool nearby is also a great evening storll by the shoreline and quite relaxing if you dip into the small pool. Vatnsfjörður fjord, as well as Flókalundur area and the surrounding area north up to the hills, is a nature reserve. The area was put on a protection list in 1975 for many reasons connected to geology as well as culture and history.  It is a significant place as Vatnsfjörður was the first place anyone tried a settlement in Iceland over a thousand years ago.

At Flókalundur you will also find some wonderful short hiking trails and walk by the river Penna

In many corners in every part of Iceland, there is a place connected to folklore.  Even in places that are very popular tourist attractions. Stories of trolls, elves, ghosts, mysterious creatures, demons, and zombies.  Stories of communication between humans and all kinds of beings, creatures and entities from another dimension or another world.

In many corners in every part of Iceland, there is a place connected to folklore.

Iceland has approximately 70 towns and villages around the island. Some are tiny hamlets or just a cluster of houses and barely fit into the definition of a village. Most of the towns do not have a long history, as Iceland was an agricultural society for centuries. The first indication of towns traces their beginning to a trading post or a fishing post.

Iceland has approximately 70 towns and villages around the island. This is our top 10 list.

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