I’ve always dreamed of visiting Iceland, its a place thats dominated my thoughts for years now. The culture, the landscapes and the language have fascinated me for as long as I can remember. Now IcelandAir operate a direct flight from Edmonton to Keflavik, I was bound to take a trip eventually.
Here’s my incredible stopover…
A direct flight from YEG – KEF with IcelandAir doesn’t get more perfect, within six hours I can be from my home to Iceland. Stepping on board the plane I already knew this would be an experience I would never forget, little did I know, Iceland would change me forever. I wasn’t just randomly going to be exploring Iceland though, I was on the ‘Incredible Stopover’ tour offered by IcelandAir. An opportunity to experience Iceland in a way unlike any other.
My stopover included a private guide for the duration of the trip to take us to the best places at the best times. It included a stay at IcelandAir Hotel Natura and a once in a lifetime stay at the Dyrhólaey lighthouse just outside of Vik. The first day was spent in Reykjavik, exploring the city, eating some local food before meeting my guide to talk about some of the places I wanted to visit. Berglind was a native Icelandic woman with a passion for the outdoors and after finding out she spends six months of the year in Kelowna just a few hours from my home in Banff, we instantly bonded. Her adventurous spirit and sense of humour made the trip even more enjoyable. After talking things through with Berglind I sat down for some dinner at the Satt Restaurant inside IcelandAir hotel Natura. The food was unbelievable, known for their lamb dishes, I couldn’t resist ordering it. An evening spent talking to friends and guests passed by and I got a well needed rest before the big adventure began.
After a relaxing night in the Natura I woke up extra early because I was too excited. I took a brief walk around the area before heading to the Satt Restaurant for some breakfast, packing my bags and meeting Berglind. Our Land Rover was waiting outside ready to take us to some of these incredible waterfalls and landscapes. I couldn’t wait anymore!
Driving out of the city, we were greeted with plumes of steam coming from the geothermal power plants, the smell of sulphur drifted through the air and the city disappeared from sight. Within an hour we arrived at Gljufrabui and Seljalandsfoss, two waterfalls I’ve only ever dreamed of visiting before, their power alone is overwhelming and they look straight out of a fairy-tale.
Moving on from that stop, we carried along highway 1 to Skogafoss, another incredibly beautiful waterfalls, more powerful than the previous ones and extremely photogenic. Burglind then took us off the road a little to the famous plane crash that lies on the black sand just four miles off the road. Its so surreal to see the remains of a plane in such a dramatic area.
From there we made our way to the Dyrhólaey lighthouse, our accommodation for the night. Only a handful of people have ever had the opportunity to sleep in here before so it was a wild experience. Erik from IcelandAir hotel Vik was our host and he settled us in, made us snacks and showed us around. The lighthouse is still fully functional and you’ll hear it go on as soon as daylight fades. I couldn’t resist walking out on to the cliffs to see it lit up as the daylight faded away.
The interior was beautiful, modern but keeping the charm of the original features. It was a historical 3 bedroom hotel with breathtaking views of Eyjafjallajokull Volcano. My room had 3 windows that shared views of volcanoes, black sand beaches, and the seemingly endless ocean that relentlessly crashed against the cliffs. We left the lighthouse to have dinner at IcelandAir hotel Vik where I enjoyed some of the best food Ive ever had, all produced locally along with the beer. After collapsing into a food coma we left for the lighthouse again and I stayed up late watching the moon rise above the town of Vik, fascinated by the lighthouse rotating its enormous light like a clock.
We woke to a little bit of rain but that didn’t deter us from getting up early to explore a national park nearby to the city of Reykjavik. After exploring the area for two hours it was time to head to the airport to catch our flights. Most people we’re flying onwards to another location and we’re enjoying they’re time on the island as a stopover, I was heading back to Edmonton. It was a bittersweet experience, I was so upset about leaving. Iceland stole my heart but I was so happy that I had the opportunity to explore this incredible country for a few days.
I rested up in the Saga lounge at the airport before boarding the plane back to Edmonton, Economy Comfort makes the experience even more enjoyable with priority boarding and access to lounges from both locations. The six hour flight flew by, but instead of staying awake the whole time, I was completely exhausted and so happy I was. I sapped every little bit of adventure and experience out of my time there and I already cannot wait to go back!
For more information and to book your own Incredible Stopover visit: http://www.icelandair.co.uk/flights/stopover/incredible/
IcelandAir also fly out of Vancouver and Toronto in Canada and multiple locations in the United States!