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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Just Another Amazing Thing to do in Iceland!




There's nothing quite like Iceland.  I can say that with great certainty.  A lot of things have changed over the years.  Volcanoes have erupted.  Glaciers have both decreased and increased, depending on which one you're talking about.  But, there are some amazing things that don't change about Iceland as well.  One of my favorite areas of the country is the south coast.  There are some amazing things, places and people there, and I enjoy traveling around that area.






If you want to truly enjoy the south of Iceland, you must try and spend some time outdoors.  They have amazing waterfalls, great valleys, glaciers, volcanoes, and so much more.  The best time to hike in the area is of course in the summer.  The sunlight lasts forever and the scenery is amazing.






The Eldgja is one of the premiere hiking spots.  You can rent space in any number of farmhouses in the area from the locals, and you can even camp if you like.  The Eldgja is one of the most surreal looking national park style areas that I've ever seen.  It's called the Grand Canyon of Iceland and it's beautiful.





Ofaerufoss, Svartifoss, and Seljalandsfoss are just three of the amazing waterfalls in the area.  Ofaerufoss is in the Eldgja so it's more difficult to get to than the others.  Iceland is famous for it's waterfalls and people like me come from all over the world just to see them.  I have yet to see one in that country that wasn't worth the trouble that I went to in order to see it.  In my experience, the 300 or so catalogued waterfalls are only the tip of the iceberg.  There was an amazing waterfall right behind the farmhouse I rented.  It was great.




One of the fabulous stops along the coast in southern Iceland is the village of Vik.  Here they are known for their black beach and the amazing cliffs.  You can surf here and swim here if you like.  Iceland sits at the end of the Gulf Stream, so the water is warmer than you think.  There is also a great woolens factory in Vik and a great store where you can buy your authentic woolens for souvenirs.  They last forever.  I still have the first blanket I bought there.  Vik is a regular stop on the bus route and is right on the ring road, so you can't miss it either.


As I've noted, there are many waterfalls in southern Iceland.  The one that will be a regular bus stop and sits right along the ring road is Skogafoss.  This is an enormous 60 meter high and gorgeous waterfall that is extremely accessible.  Not all waterfalls in Iceland are that easy to get to.  Take advantage of it when you can.



Of course there are several volcanoes in southern Iceland and Eyjafjallaj√∂kull is currently the most famous one.  It exploded back in 2010 and shut down most airports in Europe for quite a while.  It's still quite a sight and you can book a tour to go and see it up close and personal.  It's quite a sight.




But, as is my norm; I decided to talk about southern Iceland today because of something special.  Over the last 20 years, Iceland has become the premiere destination for something that was unexpected to the rest of us in the world.  They like to swim.  There are more than 200 swimming pools around the country that are open to all hours and year round.  They are not inside, they are outside.  Some have water slides and some are just pools.  They are thermal heated like everything else in the country so they stay warm.  It's become quite the past time in Iceland.  Along with this has been viewing the Aurora Borealis.  So, it was only a matter of time until the tourism people put the two activities together.  Now, it's fashionable to go to Iceland in the winter and watch the Northern Lights while you sit in a pool outside.  So, for an Adventure for Anyone, try out the Hotel Ranga.



Winter is the time of year to see the Northern Lights.  It's not as good of a time for hiking and such, so you should go to Iceland more than once. Iceland is the inventor of the stopover, so you can take a few days in the country on your way to and from Europe on IcelandAir. Hotel Ranga is open year round.  They have dozens of activities and are a sought after resort in the south of the country.  What they do have that is unmatched is a package for people who specifically want to come and sit in a pool and watch the Auroras.  They have an outside jacuzzi tub just for the activity. 



Iceland is one of the best places in the world to watch the Northern Lights.  Hotel Ranga offers a four night package, so that you have a good chance of seeing them.  The hotel staff will help you by waking you up when the lights arrive.  Then, just grab a drink and head to the hot tub.  You get to soak and watch one of Mother Nature's best shows.



So, come to the land that is like no other.  Come and see things that you won't see anywhere else.  Iceland is enchanting.  You won't want to visit only once.  I would live there if my husband would go.  It's one of my favorite places in the world, and in the winter you can't beat Hotel Ranga and the Northern Lights.  Enjoy!

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