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Travel

Exploring Iceland & the Midnight Sun

By
Marion Bres
on
May 11, 2017

Why you should go to Iceland if you're still hesitating...

Iceland: where the sun never sets in Summer

I came back home a few days ago and I can’t wait to tell you how awesome my first experience as an adventure trip leader was! 

I got lucky to lead four amazing groups in Iceland for a month and came back with tons of memories and stories to share with you.

Iceland is a small island with only 323,000 inhabitants but don't let its size fool you. It is a country rich with many historical and cultural sites, a great sense of humor, good music--and of course--excellent beer. 

If you love outdoor activities and want to explore volcanoes, glaciers, and different waterfalls everyday, Iceland is the perfect place for you!

We started the trip with a delicious breakfast at the Laundromat Café in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. I love this place for three reasons: incredible coffee, delicious banana pancakes, and because you can actually do your laundry there!

After exploring the streets, visiting the Harpa Concert & Conference Center, and enjoying the panoramic view of Reykjavik from the top of Hallgrimskirkja Church, we headed to our new home, the Fljótshlíð Hotel & Smaratun Farm in South Iceland.

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A picturesque town in a surreal country.

Explore South Iceland

The farm is a family business and is located in the middle of the countryside where we were welcomed by horses, sheeps, chickens, ducks, and the dog Tummi. It is also the place where you can see the famous volcano of Eyjafjallajökull that erupted in 2010 and stopped air traffic not only in Europe, but across the world.

It is a very relaxing and comfortable place where Nature is everywhere and our travelers had a great time enjoying the hot tub at their cottage after a long trip. The owner of the farm took the time to welcome us and explain the history of her property and the sustainability policy they have been implementing for the past decade to considerably reduce their impact on the environment and offer a better place to their visitors.

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‍It looks like a movie set, but I promise you it is where we stayed.

A Waterfall a day

During the trip we saw many waterfalls but one of them stood out from the rest. Skogafoss is one of the biggest waterfalls in Iceland and is absolutely beautiful! 

You can reach the top to enjoy the view and take the hiking trail to explore more. During a sunny day like this one, we enjoyed beautiful rainbows and even got sunburns! In Iceland! No joke!

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‍This looks like it belongs in a Pixar film about fairies & magic. Still hard to believe it was REAL.

Of Ice and Fire

I have to admit that the day on the Vestmann Islands was one of my favorite days of the whole trip. We hiked the youngest volcano in the world, Eldell, and enjoyed delicious fresh fish and lobster burger that came highly recommended by our bus driver, Petur. 

The view from the volcano is breathtaking and the colors are magnificent! And if you didn’t know, there’s a famous animal on the Vestmann Islands. His name is Toti, he is a puffin, and he attracts many people from around the world who come to see him at the Saeheimar Aquarium.  

The islands are the home of 8 million of puffins, which is ironic when you know there are only 4,500 humans living there! Of course our travelers enjoyed spending some time with the cute Toti.

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There he is!  The infamous Toti!
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View from the top of the Eldfell Volcano.

When we were not hiking on a volcano, you could find us on the Solheimajokull glacier. Our guides from Midgard Adventure were awesome, well-experienced and took the time to explain us the geology and the impact of global warming on the glacier. 

The experience would have not been the same if they hadn’t put some ash on our faces and made us sing and dance. A true Viking experience!

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Glacier + ash + awesome people = great fun!  We felt like real Vikings!
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You can drink some fresh water straight from the glacier! How cool is that?! Iceland has the cleanest water in the world!

Don't forget your sunglasses!

Another cool thing about traveling to Iceland in summer is that you can wear your sunglasses at night and admire the midnight sun… and it is quite an experience! Beautiful and unreal!

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‍So many of our moments here were Postcard worthy...

History And Legends...

After hiking on a volcano and walking on a glacier, we went exploring the Golden Circle that gathers the Thingvellir National Park which is a World Heritage site and a very important historical place since the first Parliament ever was founded there. It also marks the continental drift between the North American and Eurasian plates!

Next, we drove to the geysers and even enjoyed a really nice hike with the group where we could see the geyser erupting from the top. We finally reached the end with the big and beautiful Gullfoss waterfall.  

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Our group standing on the North American Plate

The Perfect End For A Perfect Trip

We ended our beautiful trip in Iceland at the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa, for some relaxation and fun in the hot waters which are rich in silica. It is the perfect place to go after all the hikes and walks we do during this trip. We had a lot of fun and didn't want to leave!

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If this doesn't convince you to visit this country, I don't know what will...

We always say that Under30Experiences is not only a travel company, it is an experience company and it is true! 

I’m so happy to be part of this incredible experience and make travel accessible to young adults. Experiencing new things and building new friendships is what a happy life is about... especially when you get to do it in some of the coolest places on the planet!

Under30Experiences is so grateful for having awesome travelers on every trip & awesome U30X Alumni organizing meetups all over the United States to help others realize the importance of travel.

Big shout out to all the people who came on the Iceland trip, you guys are awesome and I’m really looking forward to keeping in touch with you! Another shout out to the U30X team, Courtney and Eric, who were on this trip with me!

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From not knowing each other to making some incredible friendships in 4 days!

So go for it! 

Iceland is one of our most popular trips and we have a lot of trips scheduled, until Fall 2017!!

If you need more info, you can check the Iceland itinerary here, or just contact us with any questions you have.

Marion Bres
Marion is an Adventure Leader and Community Builder with Under30Experiences. She is a coffee lover and is always looking for meeting new people and pushing them to travel and get out of their comfort zone.

Edited by:  Miles Demars-Rote

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