#iceland

When discussing driving plans or road trips or planning any driving tour in Iceland, there is a striking difference between Icelanders and visitors.  For decades, even centuries, Icelanders have referred to places in the landscape by name. Everything has a name. This is also true when we talk about roads.  Every road in Iceland has a name and Icelanders use that name when talking about their summer tour and when planning a driving tour.  Although many visitors are familiar with the term Ring Road which Icelanders call Hringvegurin, most af them talk about Road Nr. 1

This summer we met a young man from France, cycling over the Highland. We met him at Versalir in the middle of the road Sprengisandur or Sprengisandsleið.

In the heart of the Icelandic highlands is Nýidalur (New Valley). This is the perfect place to experience the true remote, but often extreme conditions of the highlands. Positioned right of the Sprengisandur Route - Highland Road Nr. F26, Nýidalur is also in between two glaciers: Tugnafellsjökull and Hofsjökull. There are a few hikes to be taken around the Valley, and The Icelandic Touring Association have two huts there, perfect as accommodation after a day out.

In the heart of the Icelandic highlands is Nýidalur (New Valley).

At Hit Iceland we are always excited when a new restaurant opens in Reykjavík. The restaurant flora and variety in quality food are fast approaching the best any city in the world can offer.  Now we must remember that Reykjavik measured in population is just a small town.  But on many other scales, like the number of quality restaurants, it is a large city.  This is because Reykjavík is a small town with a large city ego; a small town girl with a big city attitude.  This is such a wonderful thing for us living in the city as we have access to things only available in big cities.

The head chef Hákon is a renowned Icelandic chef
Iceland’s foremost Whale specialist, Gísli Víkingsson, explains the scientific truth behind Whale Watching and Whale hunting in Iceland

Decadal changes in distribution, abundance and feeding ecology of baleen whales in Icelandic and adjacent waters, was the heading of Gísli Víkingsson’s Ph.D. dissertation from the University of Tromsö, Norway. And who better to present us with educated and unbiased information about the real truth when it comes to whales in Icelandic waters.

Gísli Víkingsson

Yesterday the Icelandic Met Office issued a warning that heavy rain is expected in south and west Iceland in the days ahead.  The temperature in Iceland is also supposed to be warm for this season so in addition to the rain, water is coming from the mountains and melting glaciers. The wind forecast is a south and southeast 13-20 m/s. This is not good news for those traveling in or near the Highland.  As there are many rivers in the Highland and Highland roads one has to cross; the situation becomes more difficult and often impossible under such circumstances.  A river that was o.k.

This news and warning from the Icelandic Met Office is only a reminder of how important it is to follow the weather when traveling in Iceland.

For those interested in history and the Icelandic Sagas, Borgarvirki is a very relevant place to visit. Although originally formed naturally by an ancient volcanic plug of columnar basalt, that base is believed to have been transformed into a defensive fortification dating around the Settlement (879 - 1030 AD). There are some debates about whether that is true or if it was simply used for peaceful purposes but either way it is a great spot to see and perhaps decide for yourself.

 Borgarvirki

Often the journey towards a recommended sight seeing spot is just as interesting as the final destination. That is definitely the case for this photo. On the way from the camping area in Drekagil one can drive for about 15 minutes towards the popular Askja and Víti. In good weather conditions this drive can be quite amazing. On one hand there is a huge field of pitch black sand and rocks and on the other there are hills of layered rock formations ranging from brown to gray and black contrasting with the untouched white snow patches.

Between Drekagil and Askja

Traveling in Iceland in autumn, in the months from October to the beginning of November, is such a joy for two reasons.  On the one hand, you have all the colors of autumn as the leaves on the trees change colors.  This is so magical because all the green trees and the green leaves take on many different colors, mostly yellow, orange and red. For this reason, a large area can change the character for a few weeks and seem quite different to the bright green and light yellow that dominates the summer.

​Lake Myvatn in Autumn
Oct 8 2016

Autumn is a beautiful time to travel in Iceland.  As the leaves start to change color in late September the overall color of landscape with trees and vegetation begins to change. When driving from Reykjavík to the northern part, you drive through a landscape that during summer is more or less green through the landscape of many colors. Red, yellow and orange starts to take over large areas giving the whole landscape scenery a new look.  This is very true if the weather has been calm during the period of color changing, from the middle of September through late October. 

As we are traveling in the north of Iceland and staying in Akureyri, we noticed that the autumn is exceptionally beautiful

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