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Around Iceland in 11 days - from Reykholt to Reykjavik

Iceland is a country full of beautiful and wild nature. Take Jesper Munk Hansen on a road trip in Iceland, where he will experience what the country can do.
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Af Jesper Munk Hansen

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The world's largest volcanic island

The tour goes to Iceland! We traveled five to Iceland in July 2020 and had planned 11 days on the world's largest volcanic island, where there are about 30 active volcanic systems and several thousand earthquakes every day. However, the vast majority are so small that you do not notice them at all.

Many had probably got the idea of ​​Iceland just before the summer of 2020 as an emergency solution, because we did not have to travel to many places if one had to follow the travel instructions from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But that was not the case for us.

The decision to travel to Iceland was made already in 2019, and we booked airline tickets in February 2020, so that was before the whole world changed. And before all other Danes also got the idea to travel to Iceland.

At the airport and on the plane, of course, we had to wear bandages, but it was a matter of habit, and when everyone else did, it was completely natural.

Arrived in Iceland on Saturday night around 19pm and we could begin the 11 day 'road trip' around the island in a rented car.

Over the course of a week and a half, we had to live in four different places; Reykholt, Akureyri, Selkot a little outside Vík í Mýrdal and finally end in Reykjavik.

Travel deals: Car holiday - Iceland's golden circle

Reykholt, Geysir and Gullfoss

There are two towns called Reykholt, and we had to live in the smaller of the two towns, which are close to Geysir and Gullfoss. Here we spent time with some locals we knew from before, and in that way we got a more authentic insight into Icelandic everyday life.

We visited a local greenhouse where tomatoes, carrots and chili are produced. Among other things, there was a tomato they called Chernobyl. It tasted “brilliant”…

We were also served food in the form of good lamb and potatoes - a mix between mashed potatoes and brown potatoes, as we know it from Christmas.

During the days we lived in Reykholt, we were also on day trips to Kerid, which is a more than 6500 year old volcanic crater, and we were also past Gullfoss and Geysir, which we only lived about 20 km from.

Travel deals: The classic round trip in Iceland

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Hot spring at the Arctic Circle

After a few days in Reykholt, the trip had come to visit Iceland's fourth largest city, Akureyri. It was a trip of 400 km north.

Akureyri has 18.000 inhabitants and is located in a fjord next to the Greenland Sea on the north coast of Iceland. Some would argue that it is Iceland's second largest city, but if you look at the official pages, the Reykjavik suburbs Kopavagur and Hafnafjordur are larger and count as independent cities, even though they are suburbs of Reykjavik. But it's probably mostly a detail.

Akureyri is a cozy city that you can get to see during a morning. The town is also a good starting point for excursions in northern Iceland.

An hour's drive from the city you reach Husavik, which is perhaps best known for the film comedy "Eurovision Song Contest - The Story of Fire Saga".

We were there for a single day with a visit to 'Geosea Iceland', which is a newly opened geothermal bath, which may be Nordisland's answer to the Blue Lagoon - just a lot smaller.

It is always nice to sit in a warm pool overlooking the Greenland Sea very close to the Arctic Circle.

In northern Iceland are also the waterfall Goðafoss and the lake Mývatn, which you must see if you are nearby.

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Selkot - Far out in the country

After a short week in Iceland, it was time for the third stop of the trip with accommodation. We had originally planned to drive across the country, but we were discouraged because of the terrain, even though we were driving in a relatively large four-wheel drive.

We therefore chose to drive the long road past the east coast and follow Highway 1, which is the road that goes all the way around Iceland.

The day we had to drive from Akureyri to Selkot close to Vík í Mýrdal, we drove a little over 700 km. But it was also the last long trip we had.

Selkot is a small farm with a great view of mountains and fields. It was a long way to the nearest town and it was 10 km from the impressive waterfall, Skógafoss.

We relaxed for a few days and also got to see the nearby town of Vík, which was still 40 km away, although it was categorized as a nearby town.

Selkot may become a little better known next year, because it is the location for some recordings for the upcoming Netflix series "Katla", which takes place in Iceland and is about the volcano Katla.

Katla is a volcano that has erupted about 20 times in the last 1100 years, and under normal circumstances it erupts every 30-50. years, but it has not happened since 1918, so it can happen at any time.

It's a little fun to have lived in a house that has starred in a Netflix series.

Find cheap flights to Iceland here

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The realm of volcanoes

The whole of Iceland is filled with volcanoes and Iceland experiences a volcanic eruption around every five years. That Iceland experiences so many volcanic eruptions is due to two things; the country lies on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where two tectonic plates pull apart by about 2 centimeters each year.

In addition, Iceland is located in an area where there is extra very hot molten lava from the earth's interior, which presses up under the island and feeds the volcanoes on the earth's surface.

Without volcanic eruptions, Iceland would actually disappear within a few million years due to the tectonic plates pulling apart. Most people probably remember best the volcanic eruption in 2010, when virtually all of Europe's airspace was closed.

More or less all airports in Europe closed down at the time - except for the airport in Keflavík. The airport is to the west, and the ash clouds from the volcano in 2010 drifted east and into mainland Europe.

Therefore, you could still fly west from Iceland to United States og Canada, while Europe was closed.

Here you will find good deals on accommodation

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Reykjavik - The northernmost capital of the world

After a few days on the farm Selkot we had a few days in Reykjavik to end the trip.

Reykjavik is a fine city where about 30% of the entire population of Iceland lives. Iceland's capital is therefore slightly larger than Danish provincial towns such as Esbjerg and Vejle.

Reykjavik is also the world's northernmost capital. Now people probably think that I have forgotten Nuuk, but Nuuk is actually further south than Reykjavik, even if one were to think that the whole Greenland is far to the north.

In fact, it can be said that the whole of Greenland 'encircles' Iceland in the way that Greenland's southernmost point is further south than Iceland, and Greenland's easternmost point is further east than Iceland. North and west give themselves.

Back in Reykjavik we asked at a restaurant what were the exciting things to see and do in Reykjavik. Here the answer was that there was really nothing exciting in Reykjavik.

It could not quite fit, so we even walked around a bit and looked. He was partly right, because Reykjavik is a completely ordinary city without the great experiences. The great experiences we had were clearly out in the small settlements and the local experiences.

However, we went inside and saw something called 'Flyover Iceland', where you get a fantastic virtual flight over Iceland with everything that belongs to geysers, glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes and nature.

So if you are coming to Reykjavik, visit FlyOver Iceland. Just be prepared that it's a bit like a little roller coaster ride in an amusement park.

Also experience Greenland's beautiful nature - see travel offers here

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End in the Blue Lagoon

Before we went to the airport and home Denmark, there was time for a few hours in the Blue Lagoon to end a fantastic trip to a slightly underrated country.

The Blue Lagoon was characterized by a lot of tourism, but probably not as much as under normal circumstances. A slightly alternative summer holiday compared to what I have been used to, but definitely a very great experience.

Iceland is the country with more than 10.000 named waterfalls. In addition, there are waterfalls that have no name. In addition, Iceland has an incredible history, and you can still find some Danish history up there. It is not so long ago that Iceland was Danish.

Iceland can definitely be recommended and I think everyone should experience Iceland at least once in their life.

So if you can do without 30 degrees and the beach, it's just about getting to Iceland. It only takes 3 hours to fly up there, and the experiences are at least as great as in other countries if you are into culture and nature combined with city life.

In addition, almost everyone can understand Danish, so you do not even have to be good at English to cope. Icelandic is also relatively easy to understand.

Finally two huge pluses: There are no rats or mosquitoes in Iceland!

Iceland has got a place on my personal top-3 list along with Italy og Vietnam.

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About the travel writer

Jesper Munk Hansen

Jesper is 37 years old, lives in Kolding and has traveled a lot in his life. Especially in Southern Europe, where Italy and Spain are his favorites, where he has visited Spain about 10 times. Jesper speaks Spanish and is also learning Italian. He has been to Italy no less than 20 times so far and is an ambassador for Visit Italy. In addition, he has lived in Malaysia for 3 months and is also happy to travel in Thailand. Jesper is out traveling at least 3 times a year and in 2019 he was out traveling 4 times. His upcoming trips go to Norway, Italy and Turkey, while Rimini and San Marino are also on the travel drawing board in the near future when the opportunities present themselves.

Follow Jesper's page about Italy on Instagram, where he talks about his many trips to Italy: https://www.instagram.com/favoritalia/

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