Exploring Iceland’s magical, wild west – to Snæfellsnes & beyond!

“Dear Liz,
If you found yourself in the fabulous position of being in Reykjavik on say, a three day stop-over, how would you choose to spend the time..?”

Well, for starters I would definitely include a day out to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in my line-up. No question. And in order to make the best of every minute and opportunity, my transport of choice would definitely be a ‘larger-than-life’ Icelandic Super Truck.
I personally feel that you get to experience just that little bit more when travelling by Super Truck with an experienced driver-guide at the helm. The small group size also helps ensure a more intimate and flexible tour experience – a huge plus.
The monster vehicles are specially modified in Iceland and come equipped with huge, oversized tyres capable of conquering even the most challenging of terrains – rivers, glaciers and remote mountain passes included! So, for a ‘full-on day out’ such as the one that I am recommending, they are definitely a bonus. Not only that, but you will also look like a rock-star and everyone will want to take pictures of you and your vehicle at every opportunity.

I find the Snæfellsnes Peninsula to be, without doubt, one of Iceland’s most beautiful and inspiring locations. Packed with all sorts of natural, cultural and geological goodies.
It is steeped in ancient history – with dramatic coastlines, mountains and lava fields that provide the backdrop to several of Iceland’s greatest Sagas and ghost stories.
It is also home to one the best known volcanoes in the world, the Snæfellsjökull stratovolcano. The 1,446m high volcano takes centre stage in Jules Verne’s blockbuster ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth‘.

Want my advice? Go completely gung-ho and create your own journey to the centre of the earth by pairing your trip to the Snæfellsnes National Park with a hike to the summit of the glacier and a cave exploration. But not until after you have had a taste of the local delicacy, putrefied shark – cut fresh from the rafters by the great shark man himself, Hildibrandur Bjarnason.
Oh, and did I mention the opportunity to take in an al-fresco, geothermal bathe in the warm, naturally carbonated waters of Lysuhöllin?

Insiders tip: Plan your trip to coincide with the summer solstice. The atmosphere and vibe is incredible – just be sure to bring your crystals for re-charging and to book well in advance to avoid disappointment.

So, where to go from here and how to make this Icelandic dream a reality?
The following tour option is run through a company called East West Tours and they seem to have it all covered (including the snacks!) Worth noting is that during summer you will have the bonus of loooooong summer days, whilst winter offers the opportunity to take in some northern light hunting on the return drive to Reykjavik.

Their on-line tour descriptions reads as follows:

‘Join us as we head west on a full day magical mystical tour to the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and surroundings.
Countless lunar landscapes and volcanic vistas lie in store for us as we drive west out of Reykjavik and head towards the magnificent Snæfellsjökull glacier.

The glacier sits atop the active stratovolcano of the same name that took centre stage in the Jules Verne sci-fi novel, ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’. You might even have spotted the ice cap glittering from across the bay in Reykjavik. The volcano is thought to house mystical powers and is considered by many to be one of the seven main energy centres of the earth, so don’t be surprised if you experience an unexplained spiritual energy flow whilst in it’s presence.

This is an area is of exceptional geological beauty – craters, lava fields (some more recent than others) idyllic, hidden coves and bizarre rock formations all lie in wait to be explored and discovered. Local legends and folk stories abound and are an essential element of this multifaceted tour. The day would not be complete without an Icelandic home-cooked early evening meal along with some local interaction – so, naturally, this is also included. As are some light snacks and bottled Icelandic water.

A fabulous tour that really hits the spot when it comes to observing volcanic phenomena, discovering Iceland’s dramatic coast line and experiencing a more spiritual and mystical side of Iceland.’

Sounds good eh?
Be sure to enquire about the additional activities that I mention – caving, hiking, bathing in Lysuhöllin and don’t forget to pack swimwear! Have fun.

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