Winsley, George – Iceland Luxury Self-Drive

May 09, 2018 | Andrea Rempel

After several months of waiting, time finally came for a September trip to Iceland. Off we went for our drive around the Ring Road. Shauna Cook set up a complete itinerary for the trip based on the 14 day Great Canadian Travel Company tour with modifications to include an excursion to the West Fjords. It was a great trip. Nice accommodations, interesting driving, with so many sights and places to see. We loved it and brought many great memories back to our homes in the desert of southern Utah.

It was not long before my partner and I began thinking of another visit to Iceland perhaps in the winter, or perhaps in the spring to see birds and flowers. Then the thought hit that one of us was about to celebrate one of those every-ten-year birthdays and what could be a better way to celebrate than to go back to Iceland for the Northern Lights and to experience Iceland in mid-winter. So back to Shauna to set up another trip with minimal driving for us and adventures into Iceland’s back country with competent guides.

Once again she came through with three lodging options and 5 adventure tours. So here we were back to Iceland in late January. First to the Silica Blue Lagoon Hotel, the the Ranga Hotel, and finally Adventure Ion Hotel. Tours included a dogsled ride on a clear and cold day. We could see for miles and loved lavishing attention on the dogs pulling our sled. Our Glacier walk was a walk in the rain but so exciting as we climbed up several hundred feet on the ice for a closeup experience on the glacier and views over the glacial moraine and river below the ice. Gearing up in crampons, with ice ax, harness, and helmet proved to be challenging in the icy parking lot but soon we were on the glacier and enjoying the ice and watching waterfalls come to life on the nearby cliffs. Finally, 3 Superjeep trips took us into the snowy and icy back country of Thorsmork, Langjokull Glacier including the Ice Tunnel Tour, and Landmannalauger for a soak in the hot spring. The ability of the specially rigged jeeps and the Superjeep drivers to get us through soft snow, over ridges, up glaciers, and through rivers was amazing. The personal insights into Iceland culture and history shared by our guides was so interesting and made the tours an experience we will never forget. We also got to see the Northern Lights from the Ranga.

Iceland is fun. Entry is easy, the scenery is great, and there are many activities available to make a nice trip. I think it best to experience Iceland in warmer months before doing a winter trip, but the winter scenery is spectacular. Rental cars are well equipped for winter driving. Whenever you travel do take your time and respect Iceland’s restrictions on where it is acceptable to drive. Try do do a tour with a local guide. Iceland is there for a great trip and adventure.