NAME Brian Parker, Terrigal, NSW
THE TRIP Iceland
A week driving around Iceland. Our self-drive tour company provided us with pre-booked accommodation and a booklet with a suggested itinerary and recommended sights, such as waterfalls, glaciers, volcanic activity and thermal springs. It was easy to follow as there is only one major road in Iceland, Highway 1, which circumnavigates the island. It is virtually the only sealed road but it is no trouble to drive on as very often you are the only one in sight for miles. You can even get out of the car in the middle of the road and take a photo without any apparent danger. Some of the accommodation options were in university or college campuses because in August the students are on vacation. As a result the tour was much cheaper than an organised, guided tour.
Many visitors to Iceland, especially from cruise ships, only manage the Golden Triangle thermal area as it is an easy day trip from the capital, Reykjavik. Yet there is so much more to see. Our itinerary took us in an anti-clockwise direction from Reykjavik and not only included the geysirs and waterfalls of the Golden Triangle but enabled us to enjoy a boat trip on a lagoon (Jokulsarlon) filled with floating lumps of ice with black stripes from past volcanic eruptions. The eastern fiords provided more spectacular scenery. In the north another boat trip afforded us some whale watching. Finally, we visited the Blue Lagoon, located close to the International Airport and wallowed in the warm, creamy-blue water provided by a local power station.
The freedom to spend as much or as little time as we wished in places where the scenery was a knockout. There are heaps of photo opportunities. The itinerary was so easy to manage. Each day was limited to about 300 kilometres and no traffic!
The weather can be a problem. We arrived in August in 20C warmth but the daily maximum was mostly about 14C.
Research the self-drive Iceland holidays on offer and compare prices with organised tours. Iceland is no longer as expensive as it used to be.
WHERE TO NEXT A cruise through the Suez Canal from Dubai to Venice.
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