Day Tours in Iceland, Viking Style

By: Dsbrooks
First, if you are planning a trip to Europe, and haven’t thought of visiting Iceland, you really should consider it. Yes, there are a lot of great destinations; Europe, and the world for that matter, are full of them. Many people want to visit Rome, or London, or Paris; all great places, no question. But, what you may or may not realize is that those places are so crowded during peak seasons, it’s insane. You have to wait in lines, wait in traffic – get ready for a lot of waiting. I am not saying those places are worth waiting for.

Iceland is a relative new-comer to the global travel scene and, by comparison, is much less crowded but no less beautiful. In fact, many Europeans, especially the French, Germans and the Brits consider Iceland kind of like a European national park of sorts. If unspoiled nature and spectacular landscapes is your bag, look to Iceland.

But I digress. Many people, when visiting a new country or place, opt for a bus tour to see the highlights. They are an affordable and efficient way to see the sites. You can see what all the other tourists have seen so when you meet a person at a party and tell them you visited some new country, you can tell them, “Ya, I saw the (insert monument, historical landmark here)."

But, Iceland is a natural paradise and one of the best ways to really experience it is to get off the beaten path. The buses can’t do that. So, I am suggesting an adventure jeep tour. They can take you places, in the same level of comfort that the tour buses can’t reach. I am talking crossing stream, driving on glaciers, sandy beaches, or taking you up close and personal with a volcano. That’s what Iceland offers. One a clear day in Iceland you can see as far as your eyes permit in brilliant colors. You will see an amazing diversity of flora and fauna. You will get to experience nature as it should be: clean and unspoiled. You can even drink water from a stream, something I, sadly, wouldn’t recommend almost anywhere else in the world.

Convinced? Here’s what you should know about Iceland besides all the pretty stuff. Iceland is expensive and not for the faint of heart. Get ready for it. Food, fuel, lodging and alcohol are amongst the most expensive in Europe. My advice is to stay in a hostel, make your own lunches and buy your liquor from the state run stores called, “VinBud," (pronounced: veen-booth) which translates literally to, “Wine Store." Iceland has notoriously capricious weather. It could be raining one minute, sunny the next and snowing the next after that. And, it is rarely warm. On a good Summer day the temperature could hit 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but it is more likely to be in the 50s. Be prepared. Other then that, it’s all good.

Bus tours are fine, especially if you are in a city like Rome, or any other metropolitan area. But, Iceland is different and to really see and experience what it has to offer it is my opinion that you need to skip the bus tour and head off-road in a super jeep. You took a vacation to get away from it all, so do it right, do it like a Viking.
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