Travel stories

Why Iceland? by Christophe Jammet

Why Iceland? by Christophe Jammet

If you’ve met or spoken to me in the last two years you quickly learn a few things about me.  Aside from the glaringly obvious (short, bald, the presence of bacon in my mouth), one thing that ends up sticking out is my enthusiastic obsession with Iceland.  This is usually met with one of two reactions: Those who have been to Iceland get just as excited as me and we furiously back-and-forth stories and lists of the amazing things, places, and people we saw from our time spent there...  

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Miss Wanderlust takes Reykjavik, Iceland!

Miss Wanderlust takes Reykjavik, Iceland!

As soon as I arrived in Reykjavik 101, I felt like I was in a familiar place. I had been dreaming about visiting Iceland for such a long time that it’s sights and even it’s vibe were already imprinted on my minds’ eye. The bus ride from the airport into town was mildly surreal, driving through lava fields on an overcast morning, but nowhere near as surreal as the days and the scenes that were to come.

By Karlie Marrazzo 

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Tiny Iceland—A year filled with memories

Tiny Iceland—A year filled with memories

Today we celebrate Tiny Iceland’s 2nd birthday! Tiny Iceland was an idea first, which lead to a Twitter account on April 7th 2012 and after that evolved into a website. For the past two years we have promoted Iceland using all kinds of stories, photos, videos, articles, trips, travelers and more. So the accomplishment is big and I just want to say TAKK // thank you for being part of this community. This is not my diary of last year but more a recap of the highlights. Enjoy and hope to see you in Iceland one day. Cheers, Inga 

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Heading South to Reykjavík ~ #IcelandChallenge Day 7

Heading South to Reykjavík ~ #IcelandChallenge Day 7

On our last day, we traveled from Akureyri to Reykjavik which takes about 5 hours.

We spent the time exchanging good music, enjoying the scenery and discussing our favorite parts of the trip. I don’t recommend making this trip in such a short time, but we were excited to get to Reykjavik to enjoy a night on the town! 

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Over the Mountain we go! ~ #IcelandChallenge Day 6

Over the Mountain we go! ~ #IcelandChallenge Day 6

Day 6 was one of those days where I would be hard pressed to forget. Everything seemed to go wrong, tempers flared and arguments broke out, but it was one of those days where we realized what an adventure we were on.

We were thrown together by chance on a #IcelandChallenge trip of a lifetime. Things were bound to go astray, right?

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Tales of Borgarfjörður Eystri Part II ~ #IcelandChallenge

Tales of Borgarfjörður Eystri Part II ~ #IcelandChallenge

Are you ready to read about elves and puffins in Borgafjörður Eystri part II? It‘s often called the elf capital of Iceland and I could not have been more excited to spend a whole day there.

Everyone visiting Iceland always asks if the elves are true and if I believe in them. Read along and you’ll find out my answer. Cheers, Inga

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Tales of Borgarfjörður Eystri Part I ~ #IcelandChallenge

Tales of Borgarfjörður Eystri Part I ~ #IcelandChallenge

Off to an elf town to hear folklore tales and relax in an outdoor hot tub overlooking the North Atlantic! Have you ever been to the remote town of Borgarfjörður Eystri?

If not, read on to hear about the first half of our day in this beautiful spot. 

Cheers, Laura

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Exploring the Eastern Fjords ~ #IcelandChallenge Day 4

Exploring the Eastern Fjords ~ #IcelandChallenge Day 4

Have you ever ventured through the Eastern fjords of Iceland? Have you gotten lost crossing back roads and driving through thick, can’t-see-10km-in-front-of-you clouds? We have. For all those who have not experienced the wilds of Eastern Iceland, make sure to include it in your next trip! Join us for as we delve into the hidden beauties of the East!

Cheers, Laura

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Viking hike and glaciers ~ #IcelandChallenge Day 3

Viking hike and glaciers ~ #IcelandChallenge Day 3

It’s time for Day 3! An epic day filled with black sand beaches, an ancient Viking burial quest, Icelandic hot dogs and TWO glacier lagoons; yes, Jökulsárlón is not the only glacier lagoon in Vatnajökull National Park! We’ll give you the inside scope on this hidden gem. Read more to hear about some great places to explore while road tripping from VÍK to Höfn!

Cheers, Laura

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Seljavallalaug & Dyrhólaey ~ #IcelandChallenge Day 2

Seljavallalaug & Dyrhólaey ~ #IcelandChallenge Day 2

Day two of the Iceland Challenge was probably one of our longest and most exciting days.  We kept a fast pace, but always jumped at the opportunity to stop the car, wide-eyed with our cameras at what I can only describe as some of the most beautiful sites of the south coast.  

Are you ready to chase waterfalls, soak in the oldest swimming pool in Iceland and explore the South coast with me?

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Laugarvatn & South Iceland ~ #IcelandChallenge Day 1

Laugarvatn & South Iceland ~ #IcelandChallenge Day 1

I’d like to say we kicked off our Iceland Challenge with a bang, but we woke up to ominous skies and the distinct possibility of a downpour. Nevertheless our spirits were high and our excitement mounting as we drove to Keflavik International Airport. Marika, who had studied Medieval Studies with Liz in college, arrived exhausted after flying almost 2000km from Portland, Oregon. I’d like to say we kicked off our Iceland Challenge with a bang, but we woke up to ominous skies and the distinct possibility of a downpour. Are you guys ready for this journey?! 

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Iceland: Off The Beaten Path

Iceland: Off The Beaten Path

For a tiny, isolated island anchored in the North Atlantic ocean, Iceland is jam packed with some of the world's most incredibly stunning landscapes. From east to west and north to south: every bit of Iceland unfolds before the eyes of visitors in a manner that suggests Mother Nature arranged the country as if to say, "This is it. This is what it's all about. This is the icing on the cake; the glittering bow atop a gift exchanged between loved ones. By Nicole Hay-Chapman

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Patches McGee Trip in Iceland 2013 part 5/5

Patches McGee Trip in Iceland 2013 part 5/5

What should have been a sleep in actually had me awake at 7.30am tending to neglected trip admin and worrying about the whereabouts of my favourite hat in the world. I first noticed it missing yesterday morning when I went to put it on. I know I didn't wear it out the night before to see the Northern Lights (part 4/5) so it must have gone missing earlier that day because sadly, it is nowhere to be found. 

By Patches McGee, aka Naomi Doyle. (March 3, 2013)

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Patches McGee Trip in Iceland 2013 part 4/5

Patches McGee Trip in Iceland 2013 part 4/5

After all the excitement of last night (part 3/5), you'd have thought we'd earned a sleep in, but no. It was with great trepidation that I put my Holiday Bootcamp cap back on blew the whistle at 7am to rouse my jet lagged sister and sick mother. It was still dark outside and although they wanted nothing more than to stay in bed, I knew what wonders were awaiting them. I gently insisted they get up and get ready. 

By Patches McGee, aka Naomi Doyle. (March 2, 2013)

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Patches McGee Trip in Iceland 2013 part 3/5

Patches McGee Trip in Iceland 2013 part 3/5

Lights, camera, action! ~ My sister, Bec (aka Pretty Patches* for the purposes of this blog), has travelled for 37 hours straight to be here. Originally, I planned to do this trip with Bec but we just couldn't get our dates to match. She had a trip to Bali planned and a work trip that just didn't leave enough wiggle room in between. Then it occurred to us that she could tack it on to the front of her work trip. 

By Patches McGee, aka Naomi Doyle. (March 1, 2013)

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Patches McGee Trip in Iceland 2013 part 2/5

Patches McGee Trip in Iceland 2013 part 2/5

Far from the maddening clouds ~ Last night I dreamt of giant puffins, thousands of them. As I got closer, it turned out that they were just people in puffins suits... except for the ones that were genuinely giant puffins of course. It was lovely. It's not surprising that my mind is running rampant - today is a big day. Not to put too fine a point on it but this is day the whole trip is built around, or rather the night - tonight we go in search of the Northern Lights! By Patches McGee, aka Naomi Doyle.

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Patches McGee Trip in Iceland 2013 part 1/5

Patches McGee Trip in Iceland 2013 part 1/5

My last trip to Reykjavik was a very personal and transformative one but this time, I have the pleasure of my Mum’s company and so too the extraordinary honour of introducing her to this magical land. It was with a great deal of misplaced pride that I pulled back the curtains to give Mum her first glimpse of the city and she was suitably impressed, especially with the vibrancy of its colours which shine all the brighter for her following her successful cataract surgery. By Patches McGee, aka Naomi Doyle.

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Through the seasons: my love affair with Iceland

Through the seasons: my love affair with Iceland

I will never forget the tidal wave of emotions that came swirling over me upon my first arrival in Iceland. I was overwhelmed with wonder and excited to explore this land that, for many generations, sustained life for ancestors on my mother's side of the family--the place they called home. A flurry of butterflies still take hold of my stomach when I think back to the beginning of what would become one of the greatest love affairs of my life.

By Nicole Hay-Chapman

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Iceland Journey Part 7/7 - Part Troll

Iceland Journey Part 7/7 - Part Troll

I awoke a year older (21.07.2011), if not wiser in perhaps the most comfortable bed I've ever slept in. I got up at a leisurely pace and availed myself of the buffet breakfast before partaking of the private lagoon. I've learned my lesson from visits past so once again coated my hair with a thick layer of conditioner before slipping into the warm water with not another living soul in it.

By Patches McGee, aka Naomi Doyle.

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Iceland Journey Part 6/7 - A different kind of birthday blues

Iceland Journey Part 6/7 - A different kind of birthday blues

Happy Birthday to me! I awoke in an empty house to find a birthday card and gift waiting for me from superhosts - Halla and Berglind. Unfortunately I’d missed saying goodbye to them but the time had come to make tracks to my special birthday destination... I just managed to catch the bus as it pulled out of the bus terminal and then headed towards one of my favourite points on the planet - the Blue Lagoon.

By Patches McGee, aka Naomi Doyle.

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Iceland Journey Part 5/7 - Thermal Therapy

Iceland Journey Part 5/7 - Thermal Therapy

I have to admit that I awoke today with a case of pre-birthday blues. I had the house to myself but knew there was nothing to be gained by staying in and wallowing when I was in the perfect place to go outside and wallow! I put on my swimsuit and headed off to Laugardalslaug - a thermal pool complex in the Laugardalur Valley on the outskirts of the city.

By Patches McGee, aka Naomi Doyle.

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Iceland Journey Part 4/7 - Hidden Places

Iceland Journey Part 4/7 - Hidden Places

Having spent the wee small hours of the morning galavanting about town, I woke up at the crack of midday to enjoy a breakfast of reheated pizza with Halla and Berglind. I then headed off to explore the local flea market (Kolaportið) which first came to my attention in the movie Reykjavik 101. I was surprised by how quickly I was able to get around by myself compared to previous visits in the company of a master flea-marketeer. 

By Patches McGee, aka Naomi Doyle.

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Iceland Journey Part 3/7 - Wild bunnies & Wonderful Beer

Iceland Journey Part 3/7 - Wild bunnies & Wonderful Beer

This trip to Reykjavik was always going to be confronting for me as it was only 18 short months ago that I was last here with Matthew (my partner of 18 years who I lost quite suddenly only 8 months ago) - life seemed genuinely perfect and the future brighter than ever. It was therefore with some trepidation that I crossed the threshold of 'our' favourite cafe, Mokka, and took up our regular seat. In the context of my own life, this dark, little cafe is quite iconic - the photos I'd taken across the table of Matthew with his camera are amongst my favourites. Written 16.07.11 By Patches McGee, aka Naomi Doyle.

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Iceland Journey Part 2/7 - Something Old, Something New

Iceland Journey Part 2/7 - Something Old, Something New

For many years now I've had a secret little fantasy of one day coming to Reykjavik to just write. Today (15.07.11) that dream came true albeit a somewhat diminished version of the original grand plan in which I am paid a massive advance to write my masterpiece as opposed to labouring away on my hideously delayed blog. Still, at this point in time, I'm a little more concerned about making a life rather than making a living. 

By Patches McGee, aka Naomi Doyle.

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Iceland Journey Part 1/7 - Light & Easy

Iceland Journey Part 1/7 - Light & Easy

Patches McGee, aka Naomi Doyle, is a Sydney-based writer, traveler and fledgling photographer on a mission to see the Northern Lights. Her guest blog entries are from her most recent visit to Iceland as part of an 8 month round the world trip. 

When I decided to embark on my round the world journey, I had little idea of where I would go, what I would do or what I hoped to achieve - all I knew for sure was that I had to go and that I wanted to spend my birthday alone in Iceland. 

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Icelandic Food: Culinary Delights and Disasters

Icelandic Food: Culinary Delights and Disasters

Iceland has been one of the leaders of sustainability for some time. The pristine environment and geographical isolation of Iceland means there is no need to use any harmful chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics or hormones on their livestock. Iceland is an 'island' so it is a given that there is an abundance of seafood. No post about Icelandic food would be complete without a good dose of seafood.

By Cherina Hadley @Quietwanderings

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I Woke Up in Iceland

I Woke Up in Iceland

Second blog post from our friend Sara Maurer – Live By Ladybugs 

I woke up in Iceland and saw my breath.Where is my sweater?, I wondered as I calculated 16 degrees Celsius into Fahrenheit with my iPhone’s converter app. The 60-degree crisp air felt dramatically different than the 98-degree swampy feel of New Orleans. I liked it. It felt fresh. 

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If I only had one day in Reykjavík, Iceland I would…

If I only had one day in Reykjavík, Iceland I would…

What should I do if I only had one day in Iceland? Tiny Iceland would do this; Starting the day at a local coffee house is great. After a good breakfast and some delicious coffee we would walk down Laugavegur street, take some photos at Hjartagarðurinn (The Heart Garden) and as well shopping some souvenir on the way... 

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Roaming around Reykjavík & Touring The Golden Circle

Roaming around Reykjavík & Touring The Golden Circle

Hello from Iceland! It's hard to believe I've only been here for two days; I feel like I've had the chance to do so much. I can't even explain to you how spectacular it is... or how cold, much more so than I'd expected And still I've fallen in love. So, I thought I'd take you on a tour of the smallest big city, Reykjavík and the Golden Circle. Shall we? By Danielle E. Alvarez

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Dear Dad, Please Visit Iceland

Dear Dad, Please Visit Iceland

Dear Dad, I know international travel is not your thing, but I went to a place I want you to visit. Iceland may seem a random and obscure destination for Americans, but believe me when I say it’s a hidden gem. I originally decided to stop in Iceland after hearing about a stopover program through Icelandair. The airline allows travelers to extend their United States-to-Europe layovers for up to four days in Iceland – a perfect amount of time to get a feel for the country and likely decide to visit again. By Sara Maurer

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Iceland: On Elves and Hot Dogs

Iceland: On Elves and Hot Dogs

It is a personal goal of mine to keep my country travel tally at least as high as my age. With my 23rd country, I’ve finally caught up to myself. What started as a quick layover at the beginning of our adventure ended up one of the most interesting places I’ve ever been. Iceland busted more than a few preconceived expectations I had with a mere 2.5 days in Reykjavik. By Jamie Kerr

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An Alternative Way to See Iceland

An Alternative Way to See Iceland

I first became fascinated by this country when a friend introduced me to Sigur Rós in 2008. There was something special about the band. Granted, I heard them after the release of their most upbeat album, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust (2008), but the music touched me all the same. The falsetto of lead singer Jónsi Birgisson and incredible combination of instruments pulled me in. By Laura Hundersmarck

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Iceland: The Viking Language Saga

Iceland: The Viking Language Saga

Alice laughed, “There is no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.” 

“I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” – Alice in Wonderland

I keep being mistaken for an Icelander. Don’t laugh, it’s true...

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A lesson in Living and Loving - An Icelandic Adventure

A lesson in Living and Loving - An Icelandic Adventure

From April 16 through April 24 I was in Iceland on what would be best described as a solo woman's retreat.  I'd been dying to get out of New York for a year, just go some place quiet with a whole lot less people and a whole lot more nature.  I needed to be reminded that there are things bigger than me, than my dreams and failings, than New York itself.  I actually didn't see Iceland as an option at first.  I kind of saw it as an amazing place I could only go to in ten years or something... By Miriam Aqwai

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